Message from the Superintendent

March 26, 2021

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In this Message

  • A Comment on Recent Events
  • Community Volunteer Celebration
  • In Our Schools
  • Orange County Register Artist of the Year 2021 Nominees
  • Child Development Center Preschool Now Enrolling
  • Job Opportunities

Upcoming Events

Dear OUSD Community,

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its Youth Sports Q&A to clarify that band, drumline, choir, and drama fall under the same rules for low-contact activities, as detailed in the state’s guidance for youth sports. Outdoor low-contact activities are currently generally permitted with face coverings and distancing in all tiers of the state’s color-coded monitoring system. CDPH also clarified in the same Q&A that sideline cheerleading is allowed as a moderate-contact sport. Meanwhile, additional guidance on observers for youth and adult recreational sports — including parents and fans in the stands — is being developed. Spectators will be allowed for indoor sports once we move to the orange tier.

Based on the latest data posted Tuesday, all three of Orange County’s key COVID-19 metrics now meet the orange-tier threshold. Per the state’s rules, however, a county must remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks before it can advance to a less restrictive tier. Orange County shifted from the most restrictive purple tier to red on Sunday, March 14.

The health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and community remains our priority. We continue to work closely with the Orange County Health Care Agency and Orange County Department of Education to monitor local conditions and follow the most up-to-date public health guidance.

We will continue to share updates as we work collaboratively with our stakeholders to develop plans to host a modified in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 and begin planning for the 2021-22 school year with the hope to be able to bring all students back onto campus in the fall.

I hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable Spring Break!

Warmest Regards,

Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Orange Unified School District

OUSD’s COVID-19 Dashboard

As of January 2021, any student-athlete who is positive for COVID-19 and is on campus during their infectious period is included on the OUSD Dashboard, even if they are in 100% distance learning.

A Comment on Recent Events

Orange Unified School District is committed to maintaining a safe and positive school environment where all students, staff, parents, guardians, and community members are treated with respect and dignity. This is integral to the successful implementation of the District’s core values of Equity, Integrity, Respect, and Excellence, and in alignment with our mission to, in partnership with our community, provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.

We as a school district condemn hatred, xenophobia, harassment, and violence against any group of people. The instances of hate crimes over the past year have led us to an opportunity and an obligation to reinforce the importance of preparing students not only for academic and career success, but also for success in personal and civic life by teaching our students to be good citizens who uphold the principles of equality and respect for people of all backgrounds. Our Districtwide Equity Task Force, which is comprised of staff, parents, and students, has recently identified the following sub-committees that will address multiple topics, including:

  • Developing a culturally relevant ethnic studies curriculum
  • Identifying additional culturally relevant professional development opportunities for staff & students
  • Exploring Diversity Recruiting and Hiring Protocols
  • Developing Equity-Based Grading Practices and Protocols
  • Developing a Districtwide Equity Lens Approach Protocol

The sub-committees will meet after Spring Break.

Community Volunteer Celebration

Our volunteers truly make a world of difference, and we celebrated their contributions virtually on March 23. You can view the school pages with incredible performances from our high schools, and heartfelt messages to our volunteers from Dr. Hansen and Board Trustees at

Leadership Team Orange's Annual Community Volunteer Celebration

In Our Schools

This past Sunday afternoon, Villa Park High School hosted a “21 for ’21” Senior Class Celebration to honor their graduating class. This monthly event offers seniors and their families the opportunity to celebrate the Class of 2021 and is a collaborative effort between PFSO, ASB, and school site staff.

All students and parents remain in their cars: The participants in the Jeep photograph were all from the same household and temporarily lowered their masks for the photo.

Kindergarten students at Nohl Canyon Elementary School learned about the incubation cycle of eggs, which takes 21 days at 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit with more than 50% humidity. Students completed daily journals about the eggs during both the incubation and hatching stages. The kindergarten students were highly engaged in this activity, completing chicken art, thinking maps, writing about the hatching, holding the chicks (once they were two days old), and finally naming the chicks: Fluffy, Blaze, Lovey, Magic, Pepperoni, Cupcake, Donut, Juniper, and Glitch. Nohl Canyon kindergarteners have been hatching chicks for 10 years, and the chickens are adopted by families in the community.

Orange County Register Artist of the Year 2021 Nominees

Congratulations to our students who were nominated as 2021 Orange County Register Artist of the Year!

Computer-Assisted Visual Arts


Sarah Aguilar

“This girl is multifaceted because she’s ruthlessly in her pursuit of a brighter future. In projects given through class, Sarah is the student who thinks big and follows through. When you discuss her art with her, you can hear her passion as she describes her workflow and thought process behind it. She loves to explore the girly side of life and what it means to navigate the world as a female in 2020.” — Daniel Meza, Orange High School

Kera Hammour

“As a second-year photography student, Kera has shown the ability to look within and bare her true self. Although this is an incredibly difficult task for her, she uses her art to express herself. This is especially important during the pandemic as students seek refuge from the harsh realities of distance learning and a lack of school resources.” — Daniel Meza, Orange High School

Naomi Constance McLeary

“One of the things I love most is that she has spent so much time beyond the boundary of the classroom to work on her craft, and it has been my pleasure to be her teacher this year. Several photo shoots were completed where Naomi honed her craft, learning tricky studio lighting, and all while being a virtual learner. She takes the time to come in after school and learn the technical skills needed to improve her already stunning photography.” — Ingred Shine, Villa Park High School

See artist’s website

Emma Wagner

“Emma is pure magic behind the camera. Her ability to capture light and the subtle nuances in black and white photographs is not only beyond amazing but incredibly timeless. The first time I saw her work, I was stunned. She had experience beyond a year one student and most of her skills were natural and self-taught. Her work exists on its own and without artifice.” — Ingred Shine, Villa Park High School

See artist’s website


Daisy Zahory Fernandez-Reyes

“Daisy creates art because she enjoys the storytelling aspect of it and loves seeing other people enjoy it… Even amidst the uncertainty and chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic, she still not only faithfully submitted assignments online and continued on with her work to successfully complete a passing portfolio via the College Board, but also finished out the Vans Custom Culture competition on her own time, and collaborated and communicated with the other students in that group.” — Deborah Jollineau, Orange High School



Lauren Beamer

“Watching Lauren perform always brings warmth to my heart and sometimes even tears to my eyes. Although she is not a student that has spent countless hours in a studio, her deduction within her movement certainly makes up for it. What is artistry if not someone’s emotions radiating out and impacting the people around them.” — Hector Brambila, Canyon High School

Elizabeth Raburn

“Her dancing is full of sassy facial expressions and spectacular leg extension. She brings creativity with her choreography and always presents pieces for our concerts. She is a well-rounded dancer, student, and artist.” — Claire Zabaneh, El Modena High School

See video

Sydney S. Robinson

“She is well trained in Cecchetti ballet, which requires a high level of technique as well as artistry in all forms of dance. Her height and beautiful extension allow her to use space with ease and grace. As a choreographer, she has amazing creativity in her composition work. She is also an excellent student in learning the history of dance and appreciates the contributions of dancers, choreographers, and companies who have advanced the art form of dance.” — Claire Zabaneh, El Modena High School

See video



Henry James Mull

“Where Henry shines is filming sports! He specializes in cinematography and editing to showcase our Vanguard athletes. As lead cinematographer for Vanguard Football, Henry filmed not only the games themselves, but he produced weekly inspirational hype videos for the team. These superb energetic videos signaled game day for our community!” — Vicki Mull, El Modena High School


Ryan Robinson

“Ryan’s films range in content from hilarious dark comedies to inspirational films, sentimental animated shorts, and PSAs that encourage young adults to get help for mental health needs. His work exudes his attention to detail — you’ll hear intricate sound design work if you listen closely and you’ll be able to recognize how he shifts the emotional content of his work through color-grading.” — Alex Graham, Canyon High School

Zach Shenouda

“Zach Shenouda is one of the rare filmmakers that we are lucky to have as teachers who really loves and understands every single aspect of filmmaking from the screenplay to the sound design. A lot of students naturally fall in love with only one part of the process or only have a real passion for one piece of the equation, but he loves it all and knows that a great film is the sum of all these parts.” — Alex Graham, Canyon High School

Vocal Music


Megan Beehler

“I have had the privilege of watching Megan grow as a singer, well-rounded musician, and overall person for four years. She has been dedicated to developing her innate talents in music and has been a member of five choirs. She is also an outstanding songwriter. Megan has always received opportunities with no sense of entitlement.” — Ariel May, Canyon High School

See video

Handcrafted Visual Arts


Luna Blanchard

“Luna Blanchard is a dedicated and patient artist. Her inspiration comes from architectural design. She looks into elements of things that inspire her. Her artistry revolves around what she sees within her environment. Her admiration of different cultures helped envision her travels.” — Alberto Yap, Villa Park High School

See artist’s website

Aubrey McGrew

“Aubrey is one of those fantastic students that all teachers hope to get. She listens to direction and implements them perfectly. Aubrey is such a kind and humble star at our school. She quietly goes about her day and shines brightly on all of her endeavors.” — Andrew Edlund, Villa Park High School

See artist’s website

Check out the entire list at

Child Development Center Preschool Now Enrolling

Our Child Development Center currently has full-time, Preschool openings for 3- to 4-year-olds. For more information about Parent Paid Pre-K, please call 714-628-5412.

Job 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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