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Schools celebrate teachers’ work

Teachers, students, police chief and school board member join in festivities that recognize local schools’ educators.

May 22, 2008|By Daniel Tedford

It’s not very often that students, teachers and school staff get to see school board members and district officials get funky, but on Wednesday morning that is exactly what they got.

Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard did the “Hokey Pokey,” school board member Dana Black did the “Chicken Dance,” and Assistant Supts. Susan Astarita and Elizabeth Novack joined them all in performing the “Cha Cha Slide” with teachers and students at Victoria Elementary School.

And what better to get them all grooving than the school’s celebration of Teacher and Classified Day.

“I have never seen a great school without great teachers,” Hubbard said to the crowd of teachers, parents, administrators and students. “They want to make the world a better place. They have a value inside of them, a better purpose.”

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Hubbard said this was the first time he had done the “Hokey Pokey” since 1965.

Principal Judy Laasko put on the celebration for the teachers and their students, filled with dancing and music.

Guest speakers included Black, Orange County Board of Education member Elizabeth Parker, school board member Walt Davenport, Costa Mesa Police Chief Christopher Shawkey and others.

As part of her thanks to the school’s teachers, Laasko provided a medal to teachers, recognition from Assemblyman Van Tran, and a special gift — a trip to Downtown Disney after school Wednesday.

“Teachers are passionate,” Laasko said. “They do whatever it takes to provide the best educational experience for [the students].”

The theme for the celebration was Journey of Passion, commemorating teachers diligence in providing for their students.

Laasko also thanked the teachers for their efforts in helping to make Victoria a National Blue Ribbon School and increase the school’s standing to 10 out of 10 in this year’s Academic Performance Index report ranking for similar schools.

Teachers enjoyed the celebration in their name, but were grateful for a principal that gives them so much recognition.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to work at this school,” third-grade teacher Patty Poveda said. “[Laasko] makes it a fun place to work.”


DANIEL TEDFORD may be reached at (714) 966-4632 or at daniel.tedford@latimes.com.

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