Michelle Foster Named Teacher of the Year
Laguna Beach High School teacher Michelle Foster was named teacher of the year, Superintendent Sherine Smith announced this week.
“Michelle exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding teacher and her passion, dedication, and commitment to teaching are unparalleled,” Smith said.
Foster has works as a resource specialist at LBHS since 2000, teaching students with diverse academic, social, and behavioral needs.
An accomplished athlete, Foster began her LBHS experience as the girls varsity tennis coach before being hired as a long-term substitute teacher.
One benefit of her role is working with students as freshman through graduation.
Cultivating Lessons in Responsibility
Top of the World Elementary School’s Outdoor Classroom/Garden gives students hands-on experience learning about their environment. The 10,000 square foot space is home to a variety of citrus fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables, and also includes an array of colorful flowers, seedlings, and composting stations.
“Our students learn the value of hard work as they till the soil, plant the seeds, and pull the weeds to ensure a hearty harvest,” Principal Ron La Motte said, adding that the students learn another valuable lesson by turning their lunchtime leftovers into nutritional mulch for their crops. “For many students, this is the only experience they have ever had growing their own food,” said La Motte.
Retired TOW teacher Terry Hustwick is the after school outdoor classroom coordinator, and her sister, Mary Porter, assists in teaching students about horticulture and nutrition as students grow and harvest a variety of plants. Seeing their thrill in feeding the compost worms and their delight in creating a salad out of their own harvest “is priceless,” she said. “The garden responsibility is taken seriously and the children are proud of their accomplishments.”
Law Requires New Vaccination for Students
Beginning July 1, 2011, all students entering grades 7 to 12 will be required to provide proof of proper immunization against pertussis, also known as whooping cough, before being permitted to start school this fall. This new law was enacted in light of California’s recent whooping cough epidemic.
Irene White, the district’s director of special education and student services, encourages parents to see that students are immunized.
This new school requirement applies to all public and private schools. Since there is no grace period, parents are urged to get their children immunized now and not to wait until fall. Students cannot start school on Sept. 6 without proof of vaccination. “Waiting to schedule an appointment too close to the beginning of the school year may become difficult, as there is likely to be a last minute rush,” said Priscilla Reynolds, district nurse.
In addition to the pertussis vaccine, there are several important vaccines recommended for preteens and teens including the meningococcal vaccine, a second chickenpox shot (if they never had the chickenpox disease), and the HPV vaccine series. It is recommended that anyone over the age of six months also obtain a seasonal flu vaccine.
The Vaccines for Children Program provides free or low-cost vaccines if a child does not have health insurance, or is only partially insured. More information about this program is available through a physician or the local health department.
For more information, visit www.ShotsforSchool.org or www.ochealthinfo.com. Information on how to submit student vaccination verification is available at LBUSD’s website, www.lagunabeachschools.org.