Weekly roundup: Capistrano Valley High teacher wins $25K grant, dual immersion program includes infants, and more

Capistrano Valley High teacher Candice Harrington was presented this week with a $25,000 check from the Milken Family Foundation, which selected her as one of 40 teachers across the nation to be honored with this year’s Milken Educator Award.

The Orange County Register chronicled how Harrington, a math teacher and the school’s student newspaper advisor, was surprised with the announcement during a school assembly.

A news graphicThousands of students broke into applause when the initiative’s senior vice president, Jane Foley, delivered the news, according to the Register.

“I have literally nothing to say,” a shocked Harrington told the audience.

The award honors early-to-mid-career teachers for their work and professional leadership. No one is nominated; instead, the foundation’s staff works with panels appointed by state departments of education to find the honorees, according to the Register.

Harrington, who has spent more than 10 years at Capistrano Valley High in the Capistrano Unified School District, is the first teacher in Orange County to win the award since Jennifer Smith at Pioneer Middle School in Tustin in 2013.

Through games, group quizzes and other engaging activities, 95 percent of Harrington’s AP Calculus AB students passed the AP test over the last three years, the press release said. Harrington has taught other math classes including algebra, using hands-on techniques such as having students make scale drawings of their favorite comic strips, the press release said: “Her methods are anything but by the numbers.”

“A great teacher like Candice Harrington creates a myriad of pathways to success for all students,” Foley said in a statement announcing Harrington’s award.

Harrington has become an integral part of the Capistrano Valley High community, the announcement read. She advises a slew of activities including the yearbook and the improv team, as well as the newspaper. She also coordinates Link Crew, a mentorship program for incoming first-year students.

Here are some other news articles from throughout the region for the week ending Feb. 14.

  • Across the state, 29.9 percent of students met or exceeded the new science standards on this first test, with fluctuations according to grade level. High school students must take the test once between 10th and 12th grade.
  • A new plan by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who struggled with dyslexia as a child, would pay for more screenings and services for the thousands of California students with dyslexia — a condition that advocates say has not received enough attention in schools.
  • Tustin Unified joins nine other Orange County school districts in placing a bond measure on the March 3 ballot. Seeking $215 million, TUSD’s Measure N annually would cost home and business owners about $30 per $100,000 of assessed property.
  • Gov. Newsom’s bold plans for recruiting and preparing teachers, revealed in his budget proposal last month for the coming fiscal year, were widely acclaimed by teachers and other education advocates.
  • Ninety-five percent of American public schools conduct some form of regular active shooter safety drill — sometimes called a lockdown or active threat drill — according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But concerns are growing that these drills have not been proven effective in preventing violence and that they may even traumatize some students.

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