E-News MCOE

Celebrating Education Successes Across Monterey County

Fantastic Fall

MCOE is proud to share news from Fall 2019, where our staff, along with district and community partners, are beginning a new school year and making outstanding impacts on education throughout Monterey County.

Pacific Grove Unified's Robert Down Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School

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Congratulations to Robert Down Elementary in the Pacific Grove Unified School District (PGUSD)! They have been named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School!


In late September, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond congratulated 30 California public schools chosen as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools. This coveted award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve high learning standards.


The award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. In its 37-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has presented this award to more than 9,000 schools.


Schools are recognized based on schoolwide student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates. They are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or national tests.


Public schools are nominated by top education officials in each state, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. More information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program can be found on the U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools website.


Congratulations Robert Down Elementary and PGUSD!

North Monterey County Unified Wins United Way Impact Award

Shout out to North Monterey County Unified School District and their Castro Plaza Family Resource Center & Summer Bridge for receiving United Way Monterey County’s Community Impact Award at their Annual Community Breakfast.


The mission of the Castro Plaza Child and Family Resource Center is to improve the quality of life and strengthen the individuals,children, and families of the North Monterey County area while promoting a safe and healthy community.


The Summer Bridge Program is offered each summer incoming kindergarten students without school experience. The program provides a seamless transition into the kindergarten school year.

Chevron Fuel Your School Program Visits Kammann in Salinas City Elementary School District

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Kammann Elementary School in the Salinas City Elementary School District was visited in late September by Chevron for their "Fuel Your School" campaign. In collaboration with DonorsChoose.org, three teachers: Ms. Harper, Ms. Wyrsch, and Ms. Williams were awarded STEM-learning materials to enhance the learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in their classrooms and students.


In addition, Principal Leticia Garcia and Vice-Principal Tonya Vossler were given a $10,000 check for DonorsChoose.org!


"At Chevron, we believe that effective education in the key subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can help provide the career and technical training that can lead directly to the high-paying jobs of tomorrow, " said Andrea Bailey, Chevron's Public Affairs Representative.


The support from Chevron the last two years has supported Salinas City's 21st Century Learning model and has provided their students with opportunities to experience STEM first-hand.

Chevron partners with DonorsChoose.org, a crowd-source funding site for public school teachers in the U.S. This year will mark the 10th anniversary that Chevron has collaborated with DonorsChoose.org through the Fuel Your School (FYS) Program and the second year of this program in Monterey County.


Teachers submit projects through the Fuel Your School site beginning Sept. 30th through October 31st. For every fill-up of 8 gallons or more (at participating local Chevron and Texaco stations) during October, Chevron will donate $1 to the local DonorsChoose.org project. To learn more specific details about the Fuel Your School program, please visit https://www.fuelyourschool.com/.

Migrant Education Program Honors Parents, Students and Alumni for Successes

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The Monterey County Office of Education's Migrant Education Program and the Monterey County Board of Education were proud to recognize several parents, students, and alumni of the Migrant Program during the November 13th Board of Education Meeting.


Nominees were selected under the following categories:


Honor Parent

· Be an eligible migrant parent and have a child enrolled in a school in Monterey County served by the Migrant Education Program.

· Actively participate in opportunities offered at the school, district, and community, regional or state level.


Honor Student

· Be a dependent of a Migrant parent and enrolled in a high school in Monterey County served by the Migrant Education Program. Student must be eligible for the MEP during the conference date of March 6-8, 2020.

· Be a graduating Migrant student in the current school year, maintaining a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.

· Have applied, or be planning to apply, for admission to a public or private college or university.


Honor Alumni

· Be previously eligible migrant student in a school in Monterey County served by the Migrant Education Program.

· Currently be employed in a professional career.


Honor Parents

(Parents nominated by their district. The highlighted parent was selected, by secret ballot, by his peers on the Regional Advisory Council and will attend the State Migrant Parent Conference in March)


Mr. Juan Antonio Nery

Chualar Union School District


Mr. Jorge Rivas

King City School District


Mrs. Silvia Villanueva

Soledad Unified School District


Mrs. Reyna Aguilar

North Monterey County Unified School District


Sra. Leonor Aldaco

Gonzales Unified School District



Honor Students

(Students must be in 12th grade and are nominated by their School Counselor or Migrant Teacher. The highlighted student was selected, by the Regional Advisory Council members and will attend the State Migrant Parent Conference in March)


Jaqueline Ramos

Greenfield High School


Griselda Aldaco

Gonzales High School


Yasmin Gaspar

North Monterey County High School


Maria Aguirre Nunez

Alisal High School


Jennifer Santos Roldan

Salinas High School


Andrea Martinez

Soledad High School


Ana Alfaro

North Salinas High School


Ashley Gonzalez Marin

Everett Alvarez High School



Honor Alumni

(Alumni are nominated by their district. The highlighted Alumni was selected, by secret ballot, at the Regional Advisory Council. The Alumni is a former migrant student who had graduated from college and is working in a professional career)


Ms. Adriana Melgoza

North Monterey County Unified School District


Ms. María Ruiz

Soledad Unified School District


Congratulations to all!

2020 Census FAQs

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What is the U.S. Census?

The U.S. Constitution requires a headcount every ten years of each person, including children and undocumented immigrants, in the United States. The information gathered from the census survey is incredibly important as it determines the number of U.S. Representatives each state has in the House of Representatives and how $675 billion should be distributed each year to states and local governments.


When will the census count take place?

The Census will begin recording responses in April 2020. For the first time, the Census Bureau will permit respondents to answer the survey online, by mail, or by phone.


Who should be counted?

Absolutely everyone! People of all ages, races, ethnicities, citizens and noncitizens should be included in the survey count.


Is Census data confidential?

Yes, Census responses are confidential and protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. The Census Bureau will never share personal information with immigration or law enforcement agencies. Employees of the Census Bureau also swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent data.


Are there ways to get involved in the effort?

Yes! There are job and volunteer opportunities to ensure a successful census count. Students seeking to complete community service hours are also encouraged to join the complete count effort. You may also get involved by encouraging friends and family to complete the Census survey in April 2020.


About MCOE's Involvement

The Monterey County Office of Education has opted in for a California Complete Count Census 2020 Grant and has developed a County Office Education Outreach Plan serving both Monterey County and San Benito County schools.


We invite school districts to participate by:

  • Designating parent centers or other school locations as Census Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs) and Questionnaire Assistance Kiosks (QAKs).
  • Inviting students to participate in the Census 2020 Art and Public Service Announcement (PSA) Contests.
  • Adopting a resolution to promote participation in the census, here are examples from:
  • Announcing at events and meetings, e.g. PTA, ELAC, DELAC, family resource centers, back-to-school nights, lunchtime activities, assemblies, open house and other events where we can have a booth or table and provide presentations promoting participation in and assistance completing the census survey.
  • Encouraging teachers to implement the “Census 2020: Count Me In!” curricular resources/lesson plans.

MCOE Employees of the Month for October

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On Monday, October 7th and October 9th, Dr. Guss and MCOE leadership surprised three outstanding MCOE employees with the honor of being named October's Employees of the Month!


Please join us in celebrating:


  • Kate Dorto, Teacher, Arthur B. Ingham School
  • Angela Longoria, Instructional Assistant, Silver Star Center
  • Michelle Archuleta, Director, Compliance


These three were also recognized at the Monterey County Board of Education meeting on October 16th.


Congratulations to October's Employees of the Month!

MCOE Employees of the Month for November

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On Tuesday, November 5th, Wednesday, November 6th and Friday, November 8th, Dr. Guss and MCOE leadership surprised three outstanding MCOE employees with the honor of being named November's Employees of the Month!


Please join us in celebrating:


  • Laura Posson, Teacher of the Visually Impaired
  • David Gaboni, Maintenance Custodian, Gabilan School
  • Cathy Cranson, Director of Special Projects, Educational Services


These three were also recognized at the Monterey County Board of Education meeting on November 13th.


We are thrilled to continue this monthly recognition and announce December's Employee(s) of the Month next month.


Have an employee you'd like to nominate? The process is easy and any employee can submit a nomination. Simply visit the online form here and honor your colleague today!


Employees can be nominated in one or more of the following categories:

  • Exemplary performance of responsibilities contributing significantly to the success of a Monterey County Office of Education program, service or special project;
  • Exemplary performance of customer service;
  • Exemplary performance in an outside community activity/program promoting the role of the Monterey County Office of Education or public education in general;
  • Exemplary attendance.


Employees are selected based upon the nomination’s rationale for why the nominee has gone above and beyond to stand out in an extraordinary way.


Congratulations to November's Employees of the Month!

How to Become a Teacher Workshop

MCOE is continuing to educate Monterey County residents on the pathway to becoming a teacher with our How to Become a Teacher Workshops. These workshops held throughout the year are designed to lead current students, recent graduates, and those looking for a new career to the teaching profession.

The first workshop of the 2019-20 year was held on Tuesday, September 24th at MCOE Main in Salinas. Forty-one potential teachers attended the free workshop, which included breakout sessions on the steps to becoming a teacher and/or substitute teacher, financial aid, and local college and university admissions, pathways, and internships. Participating institutions included Hartnell Community College, Monterey Peninsula College, Brandman University, California State University, Monterey Bay, National University and Grand Canyon University.


Keep an eye out for new workshop dates for early next year in South County and the Monterey Peninsula.

MCOE Celebrates National Pancake Day

On September 26th, MCOE's Human Resources Department treated visitors and employees to pancakes on National Pancake Day.


Kudos to the HR team for this unique celebration and for helping staff members to start their days off with full stomachs!

Holiday Donation Opportunities

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MCOE is partaking in several holiday collections this holiday season! They include:


  • Food Bank for Monterey County’s Annual Holiday Food and Fund Drive: Donation barrels are located outside the Superintendent’s Office
  • KSBW's 33rd Annual Share Your Holiday Toy Drive: Collecting toys up to present at the Annual Share Your Holiday Event. Bring toys to Superintendent's Office

  • Operation Give Back Toy Drive: 7th Annual Drive Collecting new toys, clothing, blankets, shoes, etc. Collecting items in Superintendent's Office

  • Infant Pajama Drive: Visit tree in Special Education to purchase pajamas for infants

  • Basic Needs Drive for Homeless Youth: Bring toiletries, clothing items and food to donate to Community Human Services' drive. Bins are located outside the Superintendent's Office



'Tis the season for giving! Thank you for your participation!

All-Star Shout-Outs!

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Dr. Jonna Triggs Named Senior Director, Special Education

Congratulations to Dr. Jonna Triggs, who has been named Senior Director, Special Education. Jonna has been with MCOE since joining us in 2009 as a Special Education Teacher. From 2010-2015 she served as a Special Education Principal and in 2015 was named a Director.


Before joining MCOE, Dr. Triggs served in a wide-variety of roles working with students with special needs, beginning her career in 1975 in Clark County School District in Nevada.


Jonna is a dynamic, inclusive and talented leader who inspires our students and staff on a daily basis. We thank her for her dedication and congratulate her in this new role!

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Kayleigh Springer

Kayleigh Springer, who attends Salinas High, was diagnosed with Arthritis at 15 months of age and with Uveitis at 8 Years of age. She is a huge advocate and fundraising fool for the Arthritis Foundation. Kayleigh is the youth honoree for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk in Pacific Grove this year in celebration of the 10th annual Pacific Grove Jingle Bell Run. She was also the first child honoree 10 years ago.


Kudos to you, Kayleigh!

Mark Your Calendars

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Have a story for E-News? A staff shout-out? A fantastic photo?

Send your news to jhull@montereycoe.org today for future editions!