Congratulations to Classified Employee of the Year, Mark Sierakowski

Mark surrounded by him family and Dr. Tod Burnett, Saddleback College President.

Mark surrounded by him family and Dr. Tod Burnett, Saddleback College President.

Mark Sierakowski has been named the 2014-15 Saddleback College Outstanding Classified Employee of the Year. I and the Board of Trustees had the opportunity to recognize him at last night’s Board of Trustees Meeting.

Mark has served as the college’s network systems administrator for 30 years. In this role, he has helped to design and implement network upgrades throughout the campus and has a role in making sure the college’s central heating and air conditioning server is working properly. Mark and has contributed his service to college governance, having served as president of the Classified Senate and the college’s chapter of the Classified School Employees Association. I thank him for his terrific service and unique dedication to Saddleback College.

Speech and Debate Team Honored at Board of Trustees Meeting

Dr. Tod Burnett flanked by members of the Saddleback College Speech & Debate Team.

Dr. Tod Burnett flanked by members of the Saddleback College Speech & Debate Team.

At last night’s Board of Trustees Meeting, I had the privilege of recognizing the Saddleback College Speech and Debate Team for their fourth place finish at the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament.

The team was entered in the Large School Division Sweepstakes, the most difficult competition level, with 59 other colleges. The top three spots were taken by Orange Coast College placed which placed first overall, Moorpark second, and Mt. San Antonio College third. Students from four-year universities also compete in this competition, including UCLA and Cal State Northridge.

The students in attendance last night are those that placed in individual events:

Kate Rochefort
Gold, persuasion
Bronze, prose
Silver, Readers Theatre

Patrick Leahy
Bronze, prose

Scott Lankford
Bronze, prose
Silver, duo interpretation
Gold, Readers Theatre

Maggie Shephard
Silver, duo interpretation
Silver, Readers Theatre

Alex Sherwood,
Bronze, informative
Silver, International Public Debate Association

Each year I am thoroughly impressed by the caliber of our forensics team and know that the guidance they get from our wonderful coaches – Heidi Ochoa, Larry Radden, and Lucas Ochoa, will only lead them to great things here at Saddleback and beyond.

Congratulations to Our Newly-Tenured Faculty


Dr. Tod Burnett is joined by the newly tenured faculty staff, SOCCCD Chancellor Gary Poertner, and board of trustee members Dr. James Wright and David Lang.

Dr. Tod Burnett is joined by the newly tenured faculty staff, SOCCCD Chancellor Gary Poertner, and board of trustee members Dr. James Wright and David Lang.

Yesterday, I was delighted to welcome the 13 members of our college faculty approved for tenure by the Board of Trustees during a reception held in the Fine Arts courtyard. If you were unable to make it, please join me in congratulating the following faculty to our tenured faculty ranks:

Teresa Bear, Chemistry
Christina Bowles, Nursing
Ryan Even, Photography
Kirill Gliadovsky, Music
Lawrence Grihalva, Emergency Medical Technician
Safiah Mamoon, Health Information Technology
Maria Mayenzet, Screen Acting and Video Production
Patricia McGinley, Nursing
Jedrek Mularski, World History
Lucas Ochoa, Speech
Penelope Skaff, Matriculation and Counseling
Deanna Valdez, Mathematics
Kolin Williams, Counseling (Veterans and Generalist)

Tod A. Burnett, Ed.D.

Saddleback College to Offer Six, Eight, and Ten-Week Summer Class Sessions

Summer class sessions at Saddleback College begin Monday, June 1st and will include more than 800 classes, with 34 additional classes added since last summer. Six, eight, and ten-week sessions will be offered. The start dates for each are as follows:

June 1st
Six, eight, and ten-week classes

June 15th
Six and eight-week classes

June 29th
Six-week classes

Applications are being accepted for the summer session. To attend, visit to submit an application and review our schedule of classes. Classes are just $46 per unit.
For more information, visit Admissions and Records in SSC 102 or call (949) 582-4555.

Saddleback College to Recognize 51 Nursing Graduates at Pinning Ceremony

The Saddleback College Nursing Program will honor 51 graduating nursing students in a symbolic candle lighting and pinning ceremony to be held on Tuesday, May 12th at 7:00 pm in the McKinney Theatre. Each graduate will receive a time-honored pin, a symbol of a nurse’s service to others, and their induction into the nursing profession.

Nursing Program Director Tamera Rice, MSN, RN, CNE, will welcome the graduating students, their family members and friends, dignitaries from the South Orange County Community College Board of Trustees and the Chancellor’s office, college administrators, faculty members, and staff. A “Remember When” speech will be delivered by graduating students Brian Le and Anthony Wilkinson. Professor Christina Bowles, MSN, RN will then present the spring 2015 graduating class.

Each graduate will receive a symbolic pin from Professors Esther Gravis, MSN, RN, and Linda Gleason, MSN, RN, FNP, CNE. The class pledge will be read by graduate Melanie Tongren. Graduating students Emily Bateman and Jordan VanDurme will give the “Farewell to Class speech. Professors Candy Nelson, MSN, RN, and Loretta Niccola, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, and graduate Michelle Saldana will assist in the lighting of the individual candles, symbolizing the “passing of the flame” from Florence Nightingale to each nurse. The Class of Spring 2015 will be formally dismissed by Professor Diane Pestolesi, DNP, RN, CCRN, CNE.

The Graduating Class of Spring 2015 includes:

(All listed in alphabetical order)

  1. Basal Assaf – Mission Viejo
  2. Karin Barrow –  Mission Viejo
  3. Emily Bateman – Trabuco Canyon
  4. Kristine Bisceglia – Mission Viejo
  5. Maya Bowe –  Mission Viejo
  6. Dianne Bruck – Irvine
  7. Danielle Carman – Aliso Viejo
  8. Jennifer Conzone – Irvine
  9. Mariel de Guia – Placentia
  10. Morissa Garrett – Lake Forest
  11. Danielle Gavin – Dana Point
  12. Suzanne Graham – Lake Forest
  13. Jeremy Halbmaier – Cypress
  14. Corinne Hoelscher – Oceanside
  15. Amy Houlihan – San Clemente
  16. Tanecia Hunn – Dana Point
  17. Nino Ketskhoveli – Laguna Hills
  18. Brian Le – Orange
  19. Rebecca Margeson – Laguna Hills
  20. Jennifer Miller – Laguna Beach
  21. Korey Moritz – Mission Viejo
  22. Kindel Noel – Laguna Niguel
  23. Ariel Pamulaklakin – Santa Ana
  24. Kristina Pearson – Ladera Ranch
  25. Tanya Perez – Aliso Viejo
  26. Jill Polfer – Dana Point
  27. Alyssa Prestel – Lake Forest
  28. Sue Prosser – Mission Viejo
  29. Casey Raring – San Juan Capistrano
  30. Tannaz Razavi – Mission Viejo
  31. Nazly Reyes – Lake Forest
  32. Alexandra Rider – Carlsbad
  33. Suzanne Rodriguez – Ladera Ranch
  34. Jennifer Roecker – Trabuco Canyon
  35. Michelle Saldana – Lake Forest
  36. Leslie A. Sandoval – Lake Forest
  37. Chad Sheppard – Newport Beach
  38. Michelle Speetzen – Mission Viejo
  39. Landa Tan – Laguna Hills
  40. Eunice Tapia – Mission Viejo
  41. Melanie Tongren – Irvine
  42. Josephine Trueblood – Lake Forest
  43. Crystal Turner – Camp Pendleton
  44. Jordan Van Durme – Laguna Beach
  45. Wendy Velez – Orange
  46. John Vitasa – Irvine
  47. Thomas Ward – Dana Point
  48. Anthony Wilkinson – Mission Viejo
  49. Tané L. Wise – San Juan Capistrano
  50. Allison Wiseman – Trabuco Canyon
  51. Katherine Yoshida – Trabuco Canyon

Congratulations graduates!