Saddleback Hosts Local High School Leaders at Sixth Annual K-12 Partnership Breakfast

Local school board members, superintendents, principals, and assistant principals at Saddleback’s sixth annual K-12 Partnership Breakfast.

On the morning of Tuesday, October 29th, Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, hosted his sixth annual K-12 Partnership Breakfast, where more than 75 local school board members, superintendents, principals, and assistant principals were in attendance, in addition to members of the Saddleback faculty, staff, and administration.  The K-12 Partnership Breakfast emphasized the college’s High School Partnership Program, recently developed with the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) and Saddleback Valley Unified School District (SVUSD), and the importance of maximizing student preparedness and success.

Dr. Burnett presented a summary of the Annual State of the College, entitled “The Next Five Years,” which includes Saddleback’s plans to increase student completions of degrees, certificates, and transfers, and is focused on maximizing student success, enrollment management, economic and workforce development, employee success, and strategic planning.  Also at the breakfast, engineering student Bahman Sabahi, president of Saddleback College’s Associated Student Government (ASG), provided remarks and introduced additional ASG members who were in attendance.

Dr. Burnett stated, “Partnering with our local schools supports our future students and prepares them to succeed not only at Saddleback College, but at other community colleges, four-year institutions, the workforce or military, and in any other pathway. I am proud of the work we have done, but I know that we have more work ahead of us and I am confident that together we will succeed in increasing our nation’s graduates.”

To further highlight partnerships between Saddleback and the local high schools, Dr. Joseph Farley, CUSD superintendent, and Dr. Clint Harwick, SVUSD superintendent, spoke about the success they have experienced as a result of collaborating with Saddleback faculty, staff, and administrators.

Dr. Farley stated, “There are several examples of the successful partnership between Saddleback and the Capistrano Unified School District.  That spirit of the partnership is exemplified by Dr. Burnett and college staff who listen and respond to suggestions that are beneficial to the betterment of the students.”

“The K-14 partnership is a great foundation for students to start and carry on through Saddleback College,” said Dr. Harwick who recommended expanding the partnership in several ways. “Let’s try to reach students in virtual locations via online classes if we cannot reach them at physical locations; maybe provide testing opportunities to students prior to entering college so that if they need remedial classes in English or math, we can provide it before they graduate, and let’s expand Advanced Placement course offerings.”

Attendees learned about Saddleback’s High School Partnership Program that will help guide and better prepare students for success in college and ultimately reach their career and higher educational goals. Leslie Humphrey, Saddleback’s outreach and recruitment director, presented information about a pilot portion of the program that better prepared students at Mission Viejo High School and San Juan Hills High School for the rigors of college coursework leading to success after high school.

Other guests in attendance included:
Dr. Jim Wright, South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees
Kim Thomason, Superintendent, Capistrano/Laguna Beach Regional Occupation Program
Ginny Atkins, Board Member, SVUSD
Sue Palazzo, Former Board Member, CUSD
Dolores Winchell, President, SVUSD
Dr. Michelle La Patner, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary Schools, CUSD
Darlene Messinger, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services, Laguna Beach Unified School District
Laura Ott, Director of Secondary Education, SVUSD
Michael Halt, Principal, San Clemente High School
Joshua Hill, Principal, Junipero Serra High School
Marc Patterson, Principal, Tesoro High School
Brian Ferguson, Principal, Laguna Hills High School
Jason Allemann, Principal, Dana Hills High School
Kevin Astor, Principal, Capistrano Valley High School
Chris Carter, Principal, Aliso Niguel High School
Tom Ressler, Principal, San Juan Hills High School
Jolene Dougherty, Principal, online and adult education
Christina Portillo, Principal, R.H. Dana Elementary School
Peggy Baerst, Principal, John Malcolm Elementary School
Jose Pedraza, Principal, Kinoshita Elementary School
Dr. Ray Gatfield, Principal, Mission Viejo High School
David Gordon, Principal, Silverado High School
Craig Collins, Principal, Trabuco Hills High School
William Mocnik, Assistant Principal, Tesoro High School
Mike Ciecek, Assistant Principal, El Toro High School
Glenn Giokaris, Assistant Principal, Trabuco Hills High School
Todd Amon, Assistant Principal, Capistrano Valley High School
Sally Clanin, Assistant Principal, San Clemente High School
Eric Paulsen, Assistant Principal, San Juan Hills High School
Cynthia Steinert, Assistant Principal, Dana Hills High School
David Pino, Assistant Principal, Junipero Serra High School
Elisa Felix, Assistant Principal, Laguna Hills High School
Dan Sullivan, Assistant Principal, Mission Viejo High School
Liz Brackez, Assistant Principal, Laguna Beach High School
Cathy Kane, Coordinator of Instructional Services, SVUSD
Matthew Reid, Coordinator, Athletics and Extra-Curricular Programs, CUSD

Saddleback College Journalism Student Publications Recognized for Excellence

On Saturday, October 12th, Saddleback College journalism students of the Lariat newspaper and Orange Appeal magazine staffs won top honors, including General Excellence for and Orange Appeal magazine, at the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Southern California (JACC SoCal) regional conference at California State University, Fullerton.  The students won 15 awards, including first place for magazine cover, magazine design, magazine article, newspaper infographic and online photo essay.

“Congratulations to our outstanding journalism students who continue to publish exemplary work on a daily basis,” said Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College. “I thank them for their hard work to ensure that their fellow students and our community have access to up-to-date campus news.”

Amara Aguilar, journalism instructor and faculty advisor, said, “The students have really worked hard, dedicating a lot of time and energy to student publications and it’s nice to see them rewarded for their efforts. We have tried to be a leader in innovation in the journalism department, supporting a launch of Orange Appeal as an iPad magazine and revitalizing Our initiatives have inspired the students and invigorated our program. The conference also gave the students a chance to compete on deadline, network with other students, and attend valuable workshops given by media professionals.”

The conference featured a variety of workshops on media-related topics, and on-the-spot deadline competition in news writing, feature photography, design, and more. In addition to on-the-spot awards, students were also honored for work submitted by mail from the previous year.

Saddleback College 2013 JACC SoCal Contest Winners:

Magazine Publication Contests (Mail-in)

Magazine General Excellence: Saddleback College Orange Appeal, unranked

Magazine Cover Design: Katrina Andaya and Stephanie Bennett, First Place

Magazine Design/Layout: Orange Appeal staff, First Place

Magazine News Feature (Non Profile): Katrina Andaya, First Place

Magazine Photo Story-Essay: Joseph Espiritu, Fourth Place; Chelsea Jarrell, Honorable Mention

Newspaper Publications Contest (Mail-in)

Online Journalism General Excellence:, Unranked

Informational Graphic: Anibal Santos, First Place

Online Photo Story-Essay: Elizabeth Ortiz, Shirley Smith, and Peter Shafron, First Place

Inside Page Layout (Broadsheet): Anibal Santos, Third Place

Editorial Cartoon: Anibal Santos, Honorable Mention

Student Designed Advertisement: Anibal Santos, Third Place

On-The-Spot and Bring-In

Broadcast News Writing: Kristen Wilcox, Honorable Mention

Feature Story: Melanie Roberts, Honorable Mention

News Story: Kaylee Johnston, Honorable Mention

Great California Shakeout is Thursday, October 17th at 10:17am!

At 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, October 17th, Saddleback College will join thousands of other colleges, schools, and organizations in the Great California Shakeout Earthquake Drill. All students, faculty, staff and administrators are requested to participate in this full-scale emergency preparedness drill that focuses on responding to a simulated, catastrophic earthquake. The entire exercise is expected to take approximately 30 minutes. The following provides an overview of the drill:

Phase I – Earthquake Announcement

At 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, October 17th, a campus-wide simulated emergency InformaCast System broadcast will be made to each classroom and/or office telephone stating:  “This is a drill; this is a drill; earthquake, earthquake!”  In response to this announcement, all students, faculty, staff, and management should practice the DROP, COVER, HOLD ON protocol (DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table; and HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops).  Because not all classrooms are equipped with desks for coverage, hold on to what is available and stay put.  For drill purposes, hold on until the “all clear” announcement is received through the college’s InformaCast System via classrooms and office telephones, which will be delivered 30 seconds after the earthquake drill announcement.

Phase II – Building Evacuation

After the “all clear” is announced, all students, faculty, staff, and management are asked to evacuate their buildings according to the campus evacuation floor plans and evacuation maps which can be found in each building and online at  The evacuation drill is over when the College CERT Team member(s) announce (green vests and green helmets) that the exercise is over, and ask everyone to return to their classes and workspaces and resume normal activity. CERT team members will be directing students and staff to the evaluation areas, and standing by for the “all clear” command.

By participating in this important emergency exercise, you are taking direct action in preparing yourself and your community in the event of a true earthquake or other emergency.  For more information on the Great California Shakeout please visit and for additional information on Saddleback College’s emergency planning and procedures, please visit

Thank you in advance for taking personal responsibility for the health and safety of you and those around you by participating in the Great California Shakeout!

Saddleback Architecture Students Take Top Awards at Orange County American Institute of Architects Awards Ceremony

Winner: 1st Place: Dylan Bachar (6th person from left in photo), 2nd Place: Jayson Champlain (2nd from left), 3rd Place: Anne Rosen (1st person left). Honorable mention Merit Awards went to two more Saddleback students, Seyed Nazari (5th from left in HM photo) and Christopher Graham (3rd person from left in HM photo). Six other Merit Awards went to Orange Coast College students.

Saddleback architecture students swept first, second and third-place Honor Awards at last month’s design awards ceremony of the Orange County American Institute of Architects. Their projects were entered in the OCAIA Student Design Competition, done last semester, focusing on sustainable proposals for the now-vacated Newport City Hall site.

First Place and $1,000 went to Dylan Bachar (6th person from left in photo), 2nd Place and $750 to Jayson Champlain (2nd from left), 3rd Place and $500 to Anne Rosen (1st person left). Honorable mention Merit Awards went to two more Saddleback students, Seyed Nazari and Christopher Graham. Six other Merit Awards went to Orange Coast College students.

“Honor award winners did a great job at explaining how sustainability was woven into their design, as well as creating unique projects, presentations, and well scripted descriptions,” announced Jeffrey Gill, AIA President.

“It’s a big deal to sweep. We haven’t swept 1/2/3 for 15 years. I plan to celebrate when my students buy me steak dinner,” said Lem Chin, professor of the design class.