Webber, Hatchel named Orange County Administrators of the Year

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On March 5, the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 17, which covers all school districts in Orange County, announced its 2024 Administrators of the Year, including two Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) administrators. Victoria Webber, executive assistant to the superintendent and board, was named the Classified Leader of the Year, and El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel was named the Elementary Principal of the Year.

LBUSD Superintendent Jason Viloria hugs El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel after surprising her with the award in front of her front office staff and parent members of the PTA. Photo/LBUSD

ACSA is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the country. Region 17 focuses on serving educational leaders in the pursuit of equity and excellence to meet the diverse needs of Orange County students. One of ACSA’s priorities is to make sure school leaders are recognized for their excellence and dedication to public education and administrators of the year are selected for their outstanding performance and achievement in their respective categories.

“Victoria is a leader within LBUSD. While her official title is Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, that barely scratches the surface of her contributions to our team of five school board members,” LBUSD Board of Education President Jan Vickers said. “From agenda preparation and minute-taking to planning and scheduling meetings around multiple calendars, the tasks she manages are both critical and time-consuming. Beyond these responsibilities, Victoria adeptly supports the superintendent and his leadership team with thoroughness and efficiency. Her expertise in Robert’s Rules, the Brown Act, and meeting protocols is invaluable, providing us with the guidance and direction we need. I have complete trust in her. And, as a bonus, she’s genuinely a wonderful person.”

From left to right: Director of Social and Emotional Support Michael Keller, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Michael Conlon, Laguna Beach High School Principal Jason Allemann, El Morro Elementary Principal Julie Hatchel, Superintendent Jason Viloria, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board Victoria Webber and LBHS Assistant Principal Dale Miller. Photo/LBUSD

Candidates for the award are nominated by their peers and selected for outstanding performance and achievement in their respective categories.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be recognized by ACSA and my fellow colleagues,” Webber said. “The ACSA Awards program shines a light on the dedication of school leaders, and I am honored to be a part of that.”

With over 25 years of service in public education, Webber bridges communication amongst the governance team and ensures organizational efficiency to facilitate effective school district governance.

“We are incredibly proud to see two of our LBUSD administrators honored by ACSA Region 17. Victoria and Julie represent the best of what LBUSD stands for. Their dedication to our students and staff and commitment to innovative leadership has rightfully earned them the recognition of Classified Leader of the Year and Elementary Principal of the Year, respectively,” LBUSD Superintendent Jason Viloria said. “These awards are a testament not only to their exceptional contributions but also to the culture of excellence that defines LBUSD.”

Hatchel brings more than 30 years of experience in public education to LBUSD. Her background includes teaching at elementary, middle, and high school levels and serving in site and district administration roles for over 20 years. She has a particular passion for serving as a principal.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with ACSA in advocating for our students across the state. It has been a blessing to work with so many amazing people throughout my administrative career who are part of this recognition,” Hatchel said. “I am extremely grateful for my LBUSD and El Morro team, who have brought so much support and joy to the work that we are privileged to do for our kids.”

ACSA Region 17 will recognize all award recipients at the Administrator of the Year Celebration of Excellence Dinner at the Irvine Marriott on May 13.

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