Message from the Superintendent

May 13, 2022

Upcoming Events

  • May 16: Classified School Employee Week
  • May 18: Employee of the Year Celebration; College Signing Day at El Modena High School
  • May 19: Prospect ES Open House; Sycamore ES Open House; Board of Education Meeting
  • May 25: Richland Open House
  • May 26: Crescent ES Open House; Esplanade ES Open House; Nohl Canyon ES Open House; Running Springs ES Open House; Villa Park ES Open House
  • May 27: Elementary School Minimum Day; Portola Prepatory Academy Applications Due
  • May 30: Memorial Day Holiday – All Sites Closed
  • June 1: Retiree Celebration

In this Message

  • Orange May Parade

  • May’s EDGE Employee of the Month: Peyton Hickman

  • ACSA Employee of the Year: Tracy Knibb

  • California Day of the Teacher

  • School Nurse Day

  • School Lunch Heroes

  • Orange Unified’s Transportation Department Hosts EPA Workshop

  • Jordan Academy Community Walk

  • OUPSF Graduation Banner Fundraiser

  • Portola Preparatory Academy Now Enrolling

  • CARES Child Care Registration

  • Spring-A-Palooza at Santiago Canyon College

  • Career Fair

  • Employee of the Year Celebration

Dear OUSD Community,

With less than four weeks left in the school year, our celebrations are ramping up as we prepare for our graduation and promotion ceremonies!

At our last Board of Education meeting, the Trustees announced Peyton Hickman as our May EDGE Employee of the Month, proclaimed May 11 as both School Nurse Day and California Day of the Teacher, and approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Orange Unified School District and the Orange Unified Public Schools Foundation (OUPSF), effectively reviving the District’s long-dormant foundation.

To learn more about these recognitions, proclamations, and other great things happening throughout our District, please check out the information below.

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

Orange May Parade

We were excited to participate in this year’s Orange May Parade!

Students Evelyn Melgoza (Villa Park High School) and Alex Tran (Orange High School) carried a banner in front of the carriage with our Board of Education President Andrea Yamasaki, Vice President Kris Erickson, Clerk Ana Page, Trustee Kathy Moffat, Trustee Angie Rumsey, and Certificated Employee of the Year Missy Goldman. Also representing the District were Trustee John Ortega and Administrative Employee of the Year Jeff Jones. In addition, many of our school groups participated in the parade.

Originally called the May Festival Parade, the Orange May Parade was a fixture in the City of Orange from 1933 until 1991. It was revived in 2019 but subsequently delayed due to COVID-19. Initially, the parade marked the beginning of the Valencia orange packing season. It later evolved into a showcase of the many fine organizations that call the City of Orange home.

May’s EDGE Employee of the Month: Peyton Hickman

Each month, OUSD honors an employee who exemplifies one or more of the District’s core values of Integrity, Equity, Respect, and Excellence.

Congratulations to Peyton Hickman, a Cerro Villa Middle School teacher and OUSD Employee of the Month for May 2022! He is caring, helpful, humble, personable, and works for equity and inclusion for all students. He is a true leader on campus. Thank you for all that you do, Mr. Hickman!

ACSA Employee of the Year: Tracy Knibb

Human Resources Executive Director Tracy Knibb was awarded as 2022 HR Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 17! Mrs. Knibb consistently goes above and beyond in her efforts to support our students and staff. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

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California Day of the Teacher

California Day of the Teacher was on May 11. We appreciate our incredible teachers who teach, guide and support our students every day. We would also like to thank our families and community members who took the time to express their gratitude to our educators! It was wonderful to see the outpouring of thoughtful kindness to those who do so much for our students.

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School Nurse Day

School Nurse Day was on May 11. Thank you to our nurses for making a difference by providing diligent care and comfort to support our students throughout the District!

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School Lunch Heroes

School Lunch Hero Day was May 6. We would like to acknowledge our Nutrition Services staff for their hard work and commitment to preparing and providing meals for our students. We appreciate all that they do to support the nutritional needs of our students with love and care!

Orange Unified’s Transportation Department Hosts EPA Workshop

Orange Unified’s Transportation Department hosted Congresswoman Katie Porter’s Clean School Bus Program Workshop this past week, with numerous school districts engaged in learning about OUSD’s process to acquire and implement EV buses in our fleet. Transportation Director Christina Celeste-Russo presented, as well as Congresswoman Porter and a representative from the EPA.

Jordan Academy Community Walk

Jordan Academy held its annual Community Walk this week, with staff, parents, and students walking through their families’ neighborhoods to show appreciation for their community’s support!

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Families with graduating SENIORS – don’t miss out! There are only a few more days to purchase a graduation banner that will be displayed at Fred Kelly Stadium during our graduation ceremonies. This is the first fundraiser for the Orange Unified Public Schools Foundation, and all proceeds will help support OUSD programs, including Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) and mental health initiatives.

These banners are separate from the ones featuring our graduates that will soon appear on light poles throughout the cities we serve. Please visit to learn more or order your banner today!

OUPSF is a group of parents, educators, and community leaders whose mission is to mobilize the community to provide equitable opportunities for all of our students to learn creatively, think innovatively, and collaborate effectively. They are dedicated to bolstering Orange Unified School District as one of the top school districts in Orange County by augmenting the resources that enrich OUSD students’ school experience and equip them to succeed in their education, career, and life.

Keep up to date on the latest news and information from OUPSF by visiting their website ( and following them on Facebook and Instagram (@SupportOUPSF).

Portola Preparatory Academy Now Enrolling - Applications Due by May 27

A new program that prepares students for college-level coursework is now accepting applications from incoming sixth-grade students. Portola Preparatory Academy applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis and are due by May 27 to the Portola Middle School Office.

Read more:

CARES Child Care Registration

CARES Child Care registration for the 2022-2023 school year is now open.

For information about the program and monthly fee schedules, visit their website at

Spring-A-Palooza at Santiago Canyon College

Bring the family to check out Santiago Canyon College at their Open House. Learn about SCC’s Dual Enrollment high school program and their FREE College for Kids summer program. There will be lots of fun activities and workshops for the whole family.

For more information, please visit

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Career Fair

Thank you to all who came to see us at the OCDE Career Fair! For those who missed us, 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.

Employee of the Year Celebration

Save the Date! We will celebrate ALL of our Employees of the Year on May 18 at Fred Kelly Stadium. All are welcome to attend this free event!

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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