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

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