Message from the Superintendent

September 24, 2021

In this Message

  • Anaheim Hills Elementary Named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School
  • 2021-2022 Student Board Members
  • OUSD EDGE Community Partnership Recognition – Assistance League of Orange
  • National Merit Scholarship Commended Students
  • College & Career Fair
  • COVID Relief and LCAP Funding – We Need Your Input!
  • Microsoft 365 Advantage
  • COVID Testing Opportunities
  • Employment Opportunities

Upcoming Events

  • September 28 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – Spanish
  • September 30 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – English
  • September 30 – Board of Education Meeting
  • October 4 – 8 Elementary Parent Conferences
  • October 5 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – Spanish
  • October 5-6 – Virtual College & Career Fair
  • October 7 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – English
  • October 12 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – Spanish
  • October 13 –High School Minimum Day
  • October 14 - Disciplina Positive Parent Workshop – English

Dear OUSD Community:

It is hard to believe that over a month of the new school year has already passed. With so much going on, I’d like to pause for a minute to thank our Orange Unified staff for their relentless work to keep our students, safe, healthy, and learning. This year has been like no other we’ve faced before, and it truly requires a unified effort to continue to serve the needs of our students, mindful of the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. Behind the scenes, the work of running schools has become so much more complicated because of the Delta variant of COVID, and none of what we have been able to accomplish would be possible without the support and collaboration of our Orange Unified community.

I am very proud of the accomplishments we’ve made despite the challenges of the past year and a half. Most recently, Anaheim Hills Elementary has been recognized as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School for its progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the AHES school community’s work to not only keep students healthy and safe, but also to serve students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.

Please scroll down to read more about the good news, recognitions, and opportunities currently in Orange Unified.

Warmest Regards,
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District

Anaheim Hills Elementary Named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School

Congratulations to Anaheim Hills Elementary School (AHES) for being selected as one of 325 schools across the U.S. as 2021 National Blue Ribbon School. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Anaheim Hills was recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing School for being amongst California’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Anaheim Hills Elementary has a closely connected school community of teachers, parents, and staff who collaborate to provide a supportive and personalized educational program for students. Throughout each AHES classroom, teachers utilize small group instruction to support the diverse learning needs of their students.

Along with their strategic approach to academic success, Anaheim Hills Elementary School values and prioritizes students' social and emotional well-being and individual development. As a school, they focus on kindness, inclusivity, and building strong character traits that last a lifetime. Teachers utilize a school-wide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum supported by the school's Mental Health Counselor.

“I am proud to serve as principal of Anaheim Hills Elementary School, where each day I witness our teachers and staff providing exceptional educational experiences to our Panther students,” said Principal Nicole Van Wilgen Moore. “As a tight-knit AHES community, we rallied together to continue this important work for our students during the recent unprecedented times. It is an honor that AHES is now recognized as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

National Blue Ribbon Schools will be celebrated at a ceremony on November 4-5.

Anaheim Hills Elementary is committed to continuing long-standing practices that have led to success while supporting the various needs of their students. More information is available on their website at

Schools are eligible to be nominated for the National Blue Ribbon recognition every five years. In addition to Anaheim Hills Elementary School’s 2021 award, Fairhaven Elementary was selected in 2012 and Sycamore Elementary was nominated in 2014.

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2021-2022 Student Board Members

Every year, the Orange Unified School District Board of Education invites each high school to select an outstanding student to represent them at school board meetings. Our students are a source of valuable insight about the effect of school board decisions on Orange Unified School District’s high school population.

Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, Secondary Educational Services will work with the student representatives to facilitate communication between the Board of Education and the students of our district. Student Board Members will:

  • Attend Board meetings.
  • Spotlight one aspect of their school that is unique.
  • Return communication to their schools regarding decisions made at Board meetings.

Canyon High School’s Student Board Member for the 2021-2022 school year, Hydar Shmara. He was interested in serving as his school’s Student Board Member because of his positive attitude in and out of the classroom. He feels that attitude will help him to represent his school in a positive way. Hydar sees himself as a messenger between the Orange Unified School Board and the student body at Canyon High School. Hydar is in involved in the Ambassador program as well as a board member for the Red Cross on campus. His interests outside of school include playing sports and maintaining a business where he buys and sells sports equipment. In the future, Hydar would like to attend college, pursuing an education in Business. He would like to live in California.

Eliana Lipson will be the Student Board Member Representative for El Modena High School for the 2021-2022 school year. Eliana was motivated to become a Student Board Member in order to be sure the voice of her school is heard. She is excited to share her and her peers' thoughts and opinions on school board actions. Eliana is Senior Class Vice-President and dance team captain. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing and volunteering at Mary’s Kitchen. Eliana would like to attend a four-year university and major in Environmental or Marine Science.

The Orange High School Student Board Member for the 2021-2021 school year is Melissa Medina. Melissa was motivated to be a Student Board Member because she was excited for the opportunity to voice her opinions and contribute to the bigger picture. She has a passion for her school and is eager to be able to add her input and perspective in active conversations at the board meetings. Melissa is a member of the chamber singers and the master choral. She is captain of the volleyball team and takes numerous AP classes. Melissa is always interested in trying new things and talking with different people. Melissa plans on majoring in communication in college.

Villa Park High School will be represented by Evelyn Melgoza for the 2021-2022 school year. Evelyn was motivated to participate as a Student Board Member because the position will allow her to become involved and make an impact for her school and classmates. She also wants to learn and educate herself so that she is able to become a better decision-maker. Evelyn is Vice President of Cards for Kindness and is involved in Girl Scouts. In her spare time, Evelyn enjoys playing musical instruments, participating in color guards and would like to volunteer at an elderly home. In the future, she would like to become a children’s book illustrator, art teacher, and real estate agent.

Orlando Neri will represent Richland High School for the 2021-2022 school year. Orlando believes he is the perfect fit for the position of Student Board Member because of his confidence. His number one motivator is “change” and this year he hopes to create changes that will contribute to the overall betterment of his peers and school. Orlando is interested in serving as his school’s Student Board Member because he will be able to bring back important information about our district’s vision to his campus. He is also looking forward to engaging in discussions with honesty and passion. Orlando is active in Leadership and has many responsibilities around campus. Orlando speaks fluent English and Spanish and enjoys communicating with different people. In the future, he would like to be an entrepreneur. He is also considering going to a trade school to learn about engineering, specifically lighting.

Thank you to all our Student Board Members. The Board of Education looks forward to working with you during the 2021-22 school year.

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OUSD EDGE Community Partnership Recognition – Assistance League of Orange

Our Community Partnership Recognition to honors the valuable partnerships that exist between community organizations and the district. As described in the District Strategic Plan, under focus area 2.0 Dedicated and Engaged Communication, the District seeks to “Build and maintain strong educational, university, business, and community partnerships and to cultivate deep-rooted connections with stakeholders.”

Organizations are to be nominated based on their contributions in assisting the district in advancing one or more of the following Focus Areas:

  • Excellence in Academics and Leadership
  • Dedicated and Engaged Communication
  • Genuine Wellness and Safety
  • Efficient Utilization of Fiscal Capital

This quarter the Assistance League of Orange (ALO) has been selected to receive our Community Partnership Award. ALO has provided a myriad of opportunities that have enhanced and enriched our students' curricular and extracurricular experiences such as:

  • Operation School Bell, which assists students with clothing, hygiene kits, backpacks, and shoe vouchers
  • Operation 101, which assists students with school supplies
  • HALO volunteers that assist students with improving their literacy skills
  • Links to Learning Program, which provides scholarships to teachers in order to support the instructional needs of their classrooms
  • Salute to Service Dinner to honor our high school seniors who are entering the armed forces after graduation

We are grateful for your dedication and contributions that exemplify our District Core Values of Integrity, Equity, Respect, and Excellence. Congratulations to ALO once again for this well-deserved honor!

Congratulations to Our National Merit Scholarship Commended Students

We are pleased to announce that the following students have been named as Commended Students in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program:

Canyon High School

  • Teagan Carr
  • Amelie Chang
  • Lauren Liu
  • Kael Mai
  • Katherine Mumpower
  • Nhan Nguyen
  • Megan Nishitani
  • Albert Ogrodski
  • Evan Sandoval
  • Lauren Van Auken
  • Isabel Wilson
  • Owen Yim

El Modena High School

  • Cole Adams
  • James A. Cortes
  • Nathan Krstich

Villa Park High School

  • Tyler C. Ho
  • Daniel Niizawa
  • Meena Salib
  • Abby Seseri

A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®), which conducts the program, will be presented to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

They join National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Jayson Hall, Jeremy Letrac, Ethan Nguyen, Ohm Patel (Canyon High School), and Laila Hamidi (El Modena High School) in being recognized by the 67th annual National Merit® Scholarship Program.

COVID Relief and Additional Local Control and Accountability Plan Funding

This year only, we are receiving additional funding for COVID relief and our Local Control and Accountability Plan. While we have been hard at work planning ways to use the funds to best support our students, we would appreciate your feedback as well! Please take a moment and let us know your thoughts by filling out the survey at

Some of the input we have already received includes the consideration of shade structures, HEPA portable filters, additional staff to reduce student-to-staff ratios, athletic facility upgrades, summer school for elementary, bottle filling stations, instructional software subscriptions, counselors, and tutoring. Do you agree with these suggestions? Disagree? Have other ideas? Let us know! Thank you in advance for your time.

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Microsoft 365 Advantage

Orange Unified School District is part of the Microsoft Office 365 Advantage program, providing all staff AND students with five full copies of Office 365 ProPlus at no cost! This software can be installed by users on personal computers, tablets, and other devices. (Note: Most Windows Tablets and Windows Phones come with Office installed.)

Get Started in 4 Easy Steps!

To login to your account:

  1. Click here or go to go to the main login page for Office 365.
  2. Enter your Student ID or Staff email address as the Username ( or, then enter the Password you use to sign in to school/District computers.
  3. Once you are signed in click "Office 365" in the top left corner of the page.
  4. Click the orange "Install Now" (lower right) button, and you're ready to go!

More information:


Voluntary, cost-free COVID-19 testing is available four times per week to all interested students. This type of surveillance testing program is recommended by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

EVENT DATES/TIMES: Every Monday and Thursday, 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM.


  • Canyon High School
  • El Modena High
  • Orange High School
  • Villa Park High School
  • OUSD District Office


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Employment Opportunities

Orange Unified School District is gearing up for its Spring recruiting and hiring initiative. Are you interested in a profession that makes a positive impact in the community? If so, please visit our website at to view a vast array of employment opportunities that span from entry-level to upper management, classified, and certificated. Join the Orange Unified family and Inspire our learners of today to be purposeful leaders of tomorrow.

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Connect with Us

We invite you to take a moment to follow Orange Unified on social media to receive the District’s latest news and announcements. Social media may also be a critical line of communication during emergencies and will be an excellent place for you to get up to date information: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube