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School Board Meeting Wrap-Up

January 15, 2010

The following is from Tuesday’s meeting of the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education.

Employee of the Year

Donna Todd, the Laguna Beach High School registrar, was recognized as the 2009-10 Classified Employee of the Year, and was awarded a certificate and flowers, presented by Nancy Hubbell.

Principal Don Austin spoke of Todd’s strong leadership on campus, modesty and graciousness.

“Donna is a gifted leader and problem solver who is respected by everyone who knows her,” he said. “We appreciate her insightfulness and determination to always look for improvements.”

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Todd, whose role involves working closely with the counseling office in course scheduling, aiding students with enrollment, transcripts and the college application process, expressed her gratitude for the award and thanked the board for allowing her to have a “voice.”

“I am so grateful, and this is such an honor,” she said. “Thank you for allowing us to voice our opinions — I have a lot of them!”

Counselor of the Year

Dr. Jami Parsons, an elementary school counselor at Top of the World and El Morro elementary schools for the past five years, was honored for being named as one of eight national finalists for the American School Counselor of the Year award, sponsored by the American School Counselor Assn. (ASCA).

Introduced by Irene White, Parsons also received a certificate and flowers from the board.

Following her nomination by Assistant Supt. Nancy Hubbell and Vicki Walker, Parsons completed seven writing assignments and submitted a video application, which was reviewed by ASCA’s Executive Board, and picked among seven other finalists.

She will travel to Washington at the end of the month to meet with members of Congress, the Department of Education and ASCA’s executive board, where she and the other finalists will provide feedback on best practices and what is working in education, and the top finalist will be selected.

Parsons previously served as the assistant principal at Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High.

Parsons thanked the board for their continued support in prevention, intervention and all that she does as a school counselor.

Visitor comments

George and Karen Champ, parents of three children at Top of the World Elementary, addressed the board with concerns regarding “bell-to-bell instruction, customer service and the process of searching for a new district superintendent.”

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