School Board Elects Wolff President

Peggy Wolff

The Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Trustees reorganized at its Tuesday, Dec. 17, meeting, with members electing Peggy Wolff as president and Carol Normandin as clerk.

Shortly after James Kelly nominated Wolff for president, Dee Perry nominated Normandin, who recently served as clerk. Perry’s motion failed, and Wolff’s nomination passed, with only Perry opposed.

Board Clerk Carol Normandin

Perry nominated Kelly for the position of clerk, but he declined saying he gets caught up in operations and needs to have more time to focus on policy. Wolff nominated Normandin, who was elected unanimously to serve as clerk for another year.



 LBUSD Names Employees of the Year

LBUSD named Tamara Wong, third grade teacher at El Morro Elementary School, the district’s Teacher of the Year. Photo courtesy of LBUSD

Earlier in the week, LBUSD surprised its 2019-2020 Employees of the Year. Honorees included Teacher of the Year: Tamara Wong, third grade, El Morro Elementary School; and Classified Employee of the Year: Durinda Klein, Office & Technical, Laguna Beach High School.

Durinda Klein was named the LBUSD Classified Employee of the Year for her Office & Technical work at Laguna Beach High School. Photo courtesy of LBUSD

Other category winners included: Liz Drudy, Child Nutrition; Gary Ferman, Maintenance & Operations; Megan Weinert, Support Services & Security; and Robin Lux, Paraeducator & Instructional Assistance.

The employees of the year will be recognized at a future board meeting.


Board to Meet on Thursdays

The board also approved its 2020 meeting dates, unanimously voting to switch from meeting on Tuesday nights to Thursday nights (with the exception of the second meeting in January, which is a joint meeting with the City of Laguna Beach).

Prior to the vote, Jan Vickers said the board was considering the switch to Thursdays in order to better align with Laguna Beach City Council meetings, which fall on Tuesdays (both LBUSD and City Council met on Dec. 17). Vickers said the change is meant to accommodate residents interested in attending both meetings.

Next month, the board will meet on Thursday, Jan. 16, and Tuesday, Jan. 28. Meetings take place at 6 p.m. at 550 Blumont Street. For a complete list of 2020 meeting dates, visit

District officials noted that the board has taken action to approve the purchase of an audio/visual recording system to live stream board meetings with closed-captions. In the interim, meetings are being recorded and published to LBUSD’s website by 4:30 p.m. the following business day. The meeting on Thursday, Jan. 16, will not be live-streamed, but the recording will be available on the district website on Friday, Jan. 17.


OCDE to Co-Host Forums Exploring Impact of Hate Incidents on Students, Schools

OCDE is partnering with the Orange County Human Relations Commission to host two forums in January that will explore the impact that hate has on students and the school community.

“Building A Stronger, United Community By Addressing Hate-Motivated Incidents in Schools” will bring together law enforcement, local nonprofits and community members to openly address hate-motivated incidents and share strategies for supporting students in safer, more connected campuses, OCDE officials said in a news release.

“Our county’s strength is rooted in its diversity and the shared values of kindness and compassion, and it is essential that we respond loud, clear and unequivocal to any acts of hate or intolerance in our schools and communities,” said Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares. “These forums give us an opportunity to learn from multiple perspectives while at the same time speaking out in a united voice in support of human dignity and safe learning environments for our students.”

Students, families and community members are encouraged to attend the first forum from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the Orange County Department of Education, located at 200 Kalmus Drive in Costa Mesa. Attendees can register at

Educators, counselors and school administrators are invited to attend a second forum that will take place from 8-10 a.m. on Jan. 22. Guests can register for that event at

In addition to serving some of Orange County’s most vulnerable student populations, OCDE provides support to 27 school districts serving approximately 480,000 students. To help improve school climates, the department offers bullying prevention trainings, deploys a crisis response team to schools, works with districts to analyze student survey data, and oversees on-campus programs that empower students to make positive changes.

OCDE also launched a One Billion Acts of Kindness campaign and is leading the statewide implementation of the Multi-Tiered System of Support framework, which is designed to support the academic, behavioral and social-emotional needs of each student.


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