On October 18, 2019, the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) hosted nearly 60 high school students for the second annual “Sparking Joy Future Educator Pathway Summit.” All student participants are enrolled in the Teacher Pathway Program at either Esperanza or Valencia high school.
The goal of the summit was to match the professional learning opportunities that PYLUSD teachers receive in benefit of students.
The morning began with a few words from distinguished guests including PYLUSD Deputy Superintendent, Candy Plahy, Director of High School Education, Cary Johnson, Director of Human Resources, Cara Robinson, Association of Placentia Linda Educators (APLE) President, Linda Manion, and STEM Coordinator, Eddie Tabata. All of the speakers shared about their personal experiences in education while offering words of encouragement to the future teachers in the room.
The event then went on to feature a variety of professional development sessions for students to choose from instructed by PYLUSD teachers on special assignment Cameron Castaneda, Kelly Farrell, and Krisa Muller, as well as community partner, Nithin Jilla, Mental Health Coordinator, Neha Shahpatel, Mental Health Clinician, Danielle Sherman, Wellness Specialist, Johanna Parra, and STEM Coordinator Eddie Tabata. Sessions included specialized information about design thinking, cooperative learning structures, trauma sensitive classrooms, and more.
In partner with the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program (ROP), the Teacher Pathway launched in the District in 2017, making it one of the newest career technical education programs. Students in this pathway, known as teachers in training, learn about the growth and development of children, classroom management, lesson planning, exceptional student issues, and much more.
Esperanza’s program, known as the Aztec Bulldog Connection or “ABC,” partners with Glenview Elementary School down the street from their campus. Valencia’s program, named Tigers Leading Cubs or “TLC,” works collaboratively with Kraemer Middle School and Ruby Drive Elementary School. Classes offered include Principles of Teaching and Learning, Teaching Students with Special Needs, Child Development. The programs are led by North Orange County ROP teachers Bird Potter at Esperanza and Amy Jensen at Valencia.