Laguna Beach Unified School District names Educators of the Year

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El Morro Elementary School teacher Shannon Chastin (center) celebrates with district staff and her third-grade students after being selected as Teacher of the Year. Photo/LBUSD

Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has chosen Shannon Chastain, a third-grade teacher at El Morro Elementary School, as its Teacher of the Year and Lynn Gregory, College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School, as Classified Employee of the Year.

Lynn Gregory, recognized as Classified Employee of the Year, serves as the College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School. Photo/LBUSD

LBUSD surprises its employees of the year each year at their school sites, carrying on a cherished tradition. Superintendent Jason Viloria, board president Jan Vickers, and El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel, along with district and school site staff, surprised Chastain with the announcement in her classroom. Her students participated in the celebration, adding to the excitement.

Chastain and Gregory will also be celebrated as part of a broader recognition ceremony at the school board meeting on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. The special event will spotlight the outstanding achievements of various students and staff members within LBUSD.

According to El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel, Chastain’s impact extends beyond the classroom, positively influencing the entire school community. Chastain’s contributions to student engagement and behavior management have played a vital role in making El Morro and LBUSD exceptional places for learning and growth.

Gregory, recognized as Classified Employee of the Year, serves as the College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School. Described by Principal Jason Allemann as consistently positive and informative, Lynn provides valuable direction to students and families exploring options for learning beyond high school.

In addition to the district-wide winners, LBUSD will recognize Classified Employee of the Year winners in specific categories, reflecting the diverse talents of its staff: Missy Palino: Clerical and Administrative Services, High School Reception and Counseling Office Assistant, Laguna Beach High School Doug Bowman: Custodial, Maintenance, Nutrition, and Security Services, District Office Delivery Driver Erin Carlton: Paraprofessional and Instructional Assistance, Instructional Aide, Top of the World Elementary School. 

These individuals were chosen through a district-wide nomination and voting process open to all classified school employees. The district-wide winners will advance to the county competition, presented by the Orange County Department of Education.

All Orange County school districts are invited to submit nominations for the program based on guidelines and timelines established by the California Department of Education. LBUSD uses a peer-driven approach, allowing colleagues to nominate and vote for the standout individual whose exceptional contributions and dedication have significantly impacted the workplace.

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