Trudy Arriaga Addresses District Staff at Opening Day Assembly

On August 15, Dr. Trudy Arriaga, Distinguished Educator in Residence at the Graduate School of Education at Cal Lutheran University, gave an energizing and motivating keynote address to a standing-room-only crowd of teachers and staff at Bishop Elementary School’s auditorium. Before beginning, Dr. Arriaga got the crowd to join her in singing Wing’s 1976 song, “Let ‘Em In,” which set the tone for the morning’s message about opening doors for students. She spoke about taking an inside-out approach to be a culturally proficient organization and how to recognize inequities, craft inclusive guiding principles and recommit to educating all students in inclusive ways that embrace their cultures.

Dr. Trudy Arriaga is the author of Opening Doors, An Implementation Template for Cultural Proficiency. She served the Ventura Unified School District as superintendent for 14 years. She began her career as a bilingual para-educator and enjoyed 40 years of service in education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, and university instructor at all levels. Her leadership has focused on the core values that ensure equity, access and opportunity for every child and family. Trudy works with school districts throughout the United States to support them in their journey toward building culturally-proficient organizations.

The morning continued with a district tradition of recognizing employees who have reached milestone years of service at the annual Opening Day Assembly. Thirty-five employees were recognized for 10 years of service, 23 were recognized for 15 years of service, 15 employees were recognized for 20 years of service, five were credited for 25 years of service, and three employees were honored for 30 years in the district.

Employees of the Year received recognition as well. Patty Martinez was Classified Employee of the Year, Colleen Lynch Espinoza was Teacher of the Year, and Catherine Plevney (Payroll Analyst) was Management Team Member of the Year. After new employees were introduced and welcomed into the district, Superintendent Benjamin Picard delivered his remarks for the year, highlighting District facts, goals, and values. Teachers and staff then headed back to their schools to prepare for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

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Article by Alia Wilson

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