Weekly roundup: UC Davis recognizes two Orange Unified educators, OC celebrates its top teachers, and more

Principal Monica Murray, Ed.D.
Principal Dr. Monica Murray (center) and research teacher Greg Miller were recognized by UC Davis’ C-STEM Program. (Courtesy of UC Davis)

Two educators from the Orange Unified School District were recognized by the University of California, Davis during the 2022 C-STEM Conference in late October.

During the event, West Orange Elementary School Principal Dr. Monica Murray was announced as one of four California C-STEM Robotics Administrators of the Year and McPherson Magnet teacher Lauri Truong was recognized as one of seven California C-STEM Teachers of the Year.

Lauri Truong
Lauri Truong (center) was named one of seven California C-STEM Teachers of the Year. (Courtesy of UC Davis)

UC Davis’s C-STEM Program focuses on integrating computing and robotics into classrooms with hands-on project-based learning. It is a UC-approved educational preparation program for undergraduate admission for K-12 and community college students to all UC campuses.

The C-STEM Teacher and Administrator of the Year Awards recognize individuals for their exceptional contributions to the creation and maintenance of programs that highlight computing, integrating computing into STEM subjects, and inspiring students to pursue careers and post-secondary study in STEM fields.

Robotics is at the center of Dr. Murray’s vision as her team strives to have C-STEM taught in every classroom at West Orange Elementary. She works to ensure that all students have access to materials necessary to participate.

Truong leads C-STEM classes for students in grade six through eight as part of the elective program at McPherson Magnet. She also runs an after-school C-STEM program for elementary students.

Here are the other stories we have been following this week:

2023 Orange County Teachers of the Year finalists
The 2023 Orange County Teachers of the Year were recognized at the Disneyland Hotel.
  • STEM students from the Irvine and Tustin unified school districts were awarded for their dynamic innovations at this year’s Intel Global Impact Festival after participating in the Careers in AI Program.
  • The Laguna Beach Unified School District announced the appointment of Kim Johnson as its new director of early learning. Her new role will include working with children between the ages of 3 and 5 to lead them on the path toward school readiness.
(Courtesy of Spectrum News 1)
  • Nutrition services employees in the Santa Ana Unified School District are attending weekly cooking classes to brush up on their skills as the school system steps away from pre-made, frozen meals.
  • Students from the Huntington Beach Union High School District showcased their creativity by personalizing parking spaces with art.
Ocean View High School student gives teacher a cup of coffee.
(Courtesy of Huntington Beach Union High School District)
  • The Orange County Board of Education discussed a proposed policy that would prohibit, among other topics, “instruction that advocates or teaches communism with the intent to indoctrinate.” The Voice of OC reported that trustees asked for more time to discuss and work on the policy brought forward by trustee Ken Williams.
  • The OC Register reports that the division in the Placentia-Yorba Linda community is carrying into this election season as two incumbents face three challengers in the upcoming Nov. 8 election.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.