Foothills Sentry - July 2022

Foothills Sentry Page 6 July 2022 Family. Friends. Community. We’re all in this together. State Farm, Bloomington, IL 1801073 Ron Esparza, Agent Insurance Lic#: 0C79663 827 S. Tustin Ave Orange, CA 92866 Bus: 714-505-3400 SCC salutes Class of 2022 By Lilia Rodriguez While campus life has slowed for the summer, Santiago Canyon College’s (SCC) faculty, staff and graduating students are still on a high after celebrating the ac- complishments of the Class of 2022. The institution’s 23rd an- nual commencement ceremony was held June 3 at the college’s Vasquez Promenade where it was standing-room-only for those honoring the graduates. It was a celebration designed to laud and recognize the obstacles many of these students encoun- tered on the road to higher edu- cation. This is the class that be- gan its educational pursuits in the midst of a global pandemic. SCC’s graduating Class of Their long and winding road takes on a new direction. What lies ahead for SCC’s graduating Class of 2022 is a four-year university or new employment opportunities. 2022 included 1,149 students earning 1,943 associate degrees. They ranged from ages 15 to 67. Many of them returned to com- plete their degrees after several years of absence. Fifty-one stu- dents earned high school diplo- mas and 13 competed their GED/ Hi-Set programs. The youngest graduates was two 15-year-olds who are on their way to receiving their associ- ate degrees before they graduate from high school. The oldest was a grandmother who was thrilled with her achievement. This year, Santiago Canyon College served a total of 107 veterans; 11 mili- tary veterans took their place in line with fellow graduates. Robin Lyall, Ada Edwards Laugh- lin Awardee Robin Lyall honored Longtime Assistance League of Orange member Robin Lyall was awarded the Ada Edwards Laugh- lin Award at the group’s annual meeting in May. The award is named after Ada Laughlin, an integral, behind-the- scenes partner who, with Anne Banning, founded the first Assis- tance League in Los Angeles over 100 years ago. The award, given annually since 1989, recognizes a member who quietly and con- sistently contributes to the bet- terment of the Orange Chapter, without seeking recognition. Ly- all was nominated by her fellow members and selected by a com- mittee of past award recipients. In announcing the 2022 recipi- ent, Marketing Communication Chair Catherine Rose noted Ly- all’s roles in fundraising, strategic planning and membership devel- opment for Assistance League, as well as her support for the Assis- teens Auxiliary. Her name will be added to the list of past recipients on a plaque at the Chapter House in downtown Orange. OCWD drills at VPE Orange County Water District is drilling four wells in the Villa Park Elementary School park- ing lot that will be used to collect samples and monitor the quality of the groundwater. The ground- water basin provides 77% of the water supply to 2.5 million peo- ple in north and central Orange County. Drilling will be com- pleted before school resumes in August. OUSD Foundation puts fundraising first A steering committee began meeting last year to flesh out the details of a revitalized OUSD foundation, with many of them now board members. From left, Whitney Amsbary; Frank Tucker, board president; Kennedy Schaal and Christine Deihl, members at large; Amy Case, secretary; Janet Kwon; Anya Valdiva, VPHS student who designed the logo; David Rivera, OUSD assistant superintendent; Wendi Forrest, member at large; Joe Erven, OUSD director of Innovation & Excellence; Nicol Jones, Michelle Weisenberg, members at large. Not shown: Anne Truex, vice president; Todd Hanson, treasurer; Eugene Fields, parliamentarian. The newly-formed Orange Unified Public Schools Founda- tion (OUPSF) has elected board officers and declared its maiden fundraiser a success. The foundation replaces a pre- vious body that had been dormant for more than a decade. Recogniz- ing the benefits an active founda- tion could bring to the district, the Orange Unified Board of Trustees hired a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study. Interviews with community members grew into a steering committee that ultimately signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the school district, making the foundation a recog- nized partner with OUSD. Four days after the MOU was signed, the foundation launched its first fundraiser, selling ban- ners highlighting a high school graduate to proud parents. The banners were displayed at gradu- ation ceremonies and then taken home by families. Despite the short turnaround, 120 banners were sold; enough, says board member Christine Deihl, to label the program a success. The foundation’s fundrais- ing efforts, says President Frank Tucker, will be focused on two ar- eas: mental health and visual and performing arts. The goal for stu- dent mental health, he explains, is to create “one door access” for services. “Students shouldn’t have to go through a series of bureaucracies or programs to get help,” he says. “We’d like to es- tablish mental health/wellness centers at every high school and middle school. Create a safe place with easy access. And eventually evolve to elementary schools.” Visual and performing arts, Tucker notes, are usually the first things to go when a district has to cut its budget. Yet studies have shown the arts help students with verbal, reading and math skills. The group plans to raise funds to support those programs at the fourth and fifth grade level. The OUPSF is now 13 mem- bers strong. About two-thirds of the members are parents of chil- dren in OUSD. The rest are civic- minded individuals who want to “give back” to their community. “Good schools are part of a good community,” Tucker relates. “And good citizenship is part of good schools. If we invest our time and talents into our schools, then good things come out of it. Students get a good education and learn to become good citi- zens. It’s a virtuous circle.”