Weekly roundup: OC teacher goes to the White House, appreciating educators, cybersecurity training and more

White House 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden invited Saddleback Valley Unified School District teacher Alondra Diaz and other 2022 state and national Teachers of the Year to the White House.

An educator of 15 years from the Saddleback Valley Unified School District returned to Southern California to be interviewed live on KTLA 5’s morning show, a prominent news station in Los Angeles, after her trip to the White House.

Alondria Diaz is a third-grade general education and dual immersion teacher at Ralph A. Gates Dual Language Immersion Magnet Elementary in Lake Forest. Of California’s 319,000 public school teachers, Diaz was one of five who were named 2022 California Teachers of the Year. Another Orange County teacher to make it to that round was Sovantevy “Sovey” Long-Latteri, a special education teacher at La Sierra High School in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District. 

“In what may be the toughest ever time for California families, students and educators, these five innovative and caring teachers have made profound differences in the lives of their students and communities,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said. “I’m proud that these educators are receiving this prestigious honor for their continued effort to connect with students even during unimaginable circumstances, to address their needs, and support them in any way they can.”

Diaz was surprised with another round of good news when she was announced as California’s representative for the National Teacher of the Year program, which meant she went on to compete against nominees from other states. 

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, which falls on May 2 to May 6, KTLA 5 asked Diaz about her experience of going to the White House and her feelings about her fellow educators in Orange County. 

This segment aired on May 3.

And here are some of the news items we’ve been tracking this week:

  • More than 350 pieces of artwork created by local artists with disabilities will be on display at MainPlace Mall through May 9. Hosted by OCDE in partnership with VSA Orange County, the 46th annual VSA Festival spotlights artists, showcasing writing, dance, music, theater and visual art.
  • About 20 Orange County teenagers completed a cybersecurity training academy created by a collaboration between the OCDE-led OC Pathways Initiative and CyberForward. Six students interviewed and received paid internship positions after they finished the program.
  • OCDE and eight Orange County school districts will be recruiting and interviewing candidates at the 2022 Spring Career Fair on Saturday, May 7. Open positions include classroom teachers, speech and language professionals, custodial/operational support, accounting positions, information technology specialists and more.
  • And finally, in the spirit of Teacher Appreciation Week, NBC4 Los Angeles’ California Live show visited Sovantevy “Sovey” Long-Latteri’s class at La Sierra High School in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District. The adult transition class educator believes every student is capable of learning if they are supported.

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