Message from Orange Unified

March 3, 2023

In this Message

  • Acting Superintendent Appointed by the Board of Education
  • Now Enrolling for 2023-2024
  • Opportunity for incoming 7th-grade students!
  • “You’ve Got the EDGE” - March Employees of the Month
  • Canyon HS & El Rancho Science Olympiad Teams Going to State
  • “Thankful Thursday” at Richland High School
  • El Modena High School Alumnus Freddie Freeman and Wife Chelsea Donate $500,000 to District in Support of EMHS Baseball Program
  • Orange County Athletic Directors Association’s Women in Sports Conference
  • Canyon High School Robotics Competition Study Trip to Las Vegas
  • Athletics Update
  • OUSD YouTube Channel
  • California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA)

Upcoming Events

  • March 7: Minimum Day - Elementary & Middle Schools; Special Education Parent Workshop
  • March 21: West Orange ES Open House; Handy ES Open House; Olive ES Open House; Fairhaven ES Open House
  • March 23: Portola MS Showcase/Open House; Yorba MS Showcase/Open House; El Rancho MS Showcase/Open House
  • March 24: Minimum Day - High Schools
  • March 27 – 31: Spring Break - No School

Dear OUSD Community,

We would like to welcome Ernest Gonzalez to his new role as Acting Superintendent. Mr. Gonzalez was appointed to the position by a unanimous vote at last night's Board of Education meeting. He is a long-time District employee who most recently served OUSD as Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources.

While he transitions into the position, please continue to find news from throughout our District in the message below.

Thank you for your support of our students and Orange Unified!

OUSD Communications

Share your good news with us!

Please share details about the great things happening at your school! No fundraisers, please. *Individuals in images must be photo cleared.

Now Enrolling for 2023-2024

Give your child the Orange Unified EDGE!

If you missed any of our PreK-12 Showcases and would like to book a personal tour of one of our schools, please complete the interest form or call Dr. Ken Miller at 714-628- 4350.

Opportunity for incoming 7th-grade students!

Incoming 7th-grade students have the opportunity to attend a new class added at Running Springs Academy! Students in this program will have the full middle school experience in addition to smaller class sizes, the option to enroll in CARES (before and after school enrichment), earn high school credits in Spanish 1 and 2, and attend an International Baccalaureate school. Space is limited! To learn more, please call 714-281-4512.

“You’ve Got the EDGE” - March Employees of the Month

This month we celebrate Amanda Campbell, 4th-grade Teacher at Palmyra Elementary School, and April Watson, Library Media Technician II at Nohl Canyon Elementary School, who have been selected for this honor.

Both Ms. Campbell & Ms. Watson go above and beyond to serve the staff and students of the Orange Unified School District in ways that reflect the core values of OUSD’s EDGE.

Palmyra Principal Christina Bletterman had this to say about Ms. Campbell:

Amanda represents Palmyra in so many ways:

  • She is a positive, influential force on campus. She promotes Palmyra by leading our social media, Facebook and Instagram. She is a PTA representative and helps bridge communication between parents and teachers.
  • She is an outstanding GATE teacher. Her instructional skill creates innovation for students, challenges their thinking, and prepares them for their future. She goes over and above to meet all the needs of all students.
  • She helps lead our Peer Assisted Leadership students by instructing them on what leadership is and how to practice it.
  • She has led Anti-Bully Week, Kindness Week, Peer Mediation, and much more.

Amanda represents all our Core Values in OUSD.

Nohl Canyon Principal Jeff Jones had this to say about Ms. Watson:

April exemplifies all four of OUSD's Core Values. Her determination to provide equity to all students and staff has been displayed throughout the school year. April has been a rock star in collecting and distributing all 1:1 devices, preparing textbook materials for teachers, and preparing her library for students to attend. She works extremely hard while keeping a calm composure throughout each day. April is goal-oriented, solution ready, and innovative in providing students access to the library. April is a wonderful teammate with our office staff and teachers and provides a wonderful library environment for our students. April also demonstrates the core value of EXCELLENCE in her strive for personal growth, along with her willingness to support Nohl Canyon with many a variety of duties. Nohl Canyon is thankful to have April on the team!

We thank Ms. Campbell & Ms. Watson for representing OUSD’s EDGE values. They will be awarded a customized EDGE tumbler with their names engraved, a gift card from School’s First, and a framed Employee of the Month Certificate.

Congratulations, Ms. Campbell & Ms. Watson! The Board of Education thanks you for your dedication and devotion to the Orange Unified School District.

Canyon HS & El Rancho Science Olympiad Teams Going to State

Congratulations to Canyon High School and El Rancho Charter Middle School Science Olympiad Teams on their accomplishment at the Orange County Regional held at UC Irvine on Saturday, February 25! It is their second time bringing both the B division (El Rancho) and C division (Canyon) teams to States and making Orange County Region history by bringing home trophies for both division teams under the same coaching staff.

After six months of hard work preparing for the Regional Science Olympiad competition in which teams of 15 students competing in 23 events covering a variety of science fields and subjects, El Rancho brought home ten medals and a 6th place team trophy. Canyon brought home 11 medals and a 5th-place team trophy. It is a notable accomplishment, especially when they compete against the best teams in the state, including past national champions.

Both teams will now advance to the State Tournament on April 8 at the California Institute of Technology.

“Thankful Thursday” at Richland High School

“Thankful Thursday” is a quarterly event at Richland High School that promotes a positive school culture through team-building activities that students and staff participate in, including arts, crafts, sports competitions, and more. Go Condors!

El Modena High School Alumnus Freddie Freeman and Wife Chelsea Donate $500,000 to District in Support of EMHS Baseball Program

At last night’s Board of Education Meeting, Orange Unified’s Trustees received from El Modena High School Student Board Member Ruby Hewitt the ceremonial check for $500,000 that Freddie and Chelsea Freeman presented to commemorate their generous gift to the EMHS baseball program. The Freeman family visited EMHS to personally provide the ceremonial check to El Modena’s excited and grateful baseball players and coaching staff.

At their meeting on August 18, 2022, the Board of Education voted to approve the charitable donation pledge from El Modena High School alumnus, World Series Champion, National League MVP, six-time All-Star, and current Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman and his wife.


Big picture
El Modena baseball thanks Freddie Freeman, Jr. for $500,000 donation.

Orange County Athletic Directors Association’s Women in Sports Conference

Orange High School Athletic Director Alicia Seevers organized the Orange County Athletic Directors Association’s Women in Sports Conference on February 27 at the Eastside Campus in Anaheim. Over 1,400 female athletes from Orange County schools were in attendance.

Mrs. Seevers serves as Orange County Athletic Directors Association President and has participated on the Women in Sports Committee for 17 years. Mrs. Seevers plans the event, including finding guest speakers, breakfast & lunch preparations, sponsors, and managing finances and school attendance.

Orange High School Principal Sheryl Anderson-Glass was one of the guest speakers who motivated our female student-athletes through her story of athletic accomplishment, perseverance through adversity, the importance of academics, the importance of being a great teammate, and bringing one’s best effort every day.

Mrs. Anderson-Glass attended OHS, where she played softball and volleyball, earning First Team AII Century League honors in both. Sheryl was also involved in student leadership at Orange. She has served in the field of education for 20 years as an Athletic Director, Activities Director, Assistant Principal, and now Principal, as well as a great role model for our student-athletes.

Thank you to Mrs. Seevers and Mrs. Anderson-Glass!

Canyon High School Robotics Competition Study Trip to Las Vegas

Canyon Robotics is in its second year of competing in VEX Robotics, but they have quickly become the up-and-coming program to watch! In the competitive Southern California Regional, all three teams have earned coveted spots to the State Finals this March, with the goal of qualifying for the VEX World Championships in May.

As the regular tournament season has ended, the three teams are ranked as follows:

World Rankings (5300+ teams)

  • Team A - 376th place
  • Team B - 720th place
  • Team C - 171st place

State Rankings (400+ teams)

  • Team A - 45th place
  • Team B - 75th place
  • Team C - 22nd place

Las Vegas was worth the trip, as all three teams ranked well and made it into the qualifying matches. With over 150 teams from all over the United States and 3 countries, we were pleased with the outcome.

Team B heads to Los Angeles on Saturday to compete in the State Finals, and Teams A & C will compete in San Diego on March 11.

Follow their journey via Instagram @CanyonRobotics!

Athletics Update

Canyon High School:

CIF State, Division 2, Boys Basketball Regional Playoffs, Round 1: #16 King/Drew Magnet HS @ #1 Canyon HS, Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 7 pm, Canyon HS Lost 73-65, the season concluded (This was Canyon HS Boys Basketball 3rd State Playoff Berth in the last 10 seasons). Final season record 25-7, CIF-SS Semifinalist and CIF State Quarterfinalist.

Villa Park High School:

CIF State, Division 1, Girls Soccer State Regional Playoffs, Round 1:#5 La Costa Canyon HS vs. #4 Villa Park HS @ Fred Kelly Stadium, Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 5 pm, Villa Park won 1-0; advance to CIF State Regional Semifinals (This is Villa Park HS Girls’ Soccer 4th State Playoff Berth in the last 5 seasons). This was a great event at Fred Kelly Stadium yesterday evening!

**#4 Villa Park HS (18-3-4) vs. #1 Santa Margarita HS (19-2-2) at Saddleback College, Thursday, March 2 at 6 pm in the CIF State Girls Soccer Regional Semifinals.

**Villa Park HS Win=CIF State Regional Championship vs. #2 Westview HS (16-3-4) or #3 Los Alamitos HS (19-7-5) on Saturday, March 4.

CIF State Wrestling:

170-lb. Roy Haroun (12); 1-2 record (made it to the 2nd day of the tournament)

220-lb. Kevin Cardenas (12); 3-2 record (24th in the State)

OUSD's YouTube Channel

Did you know that we have a YouTube channel? Check out our videos featuring programs throughout the District, Board Meetings, school highlights, Measure S progress, graduation ceremonies and more at

California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA)

The California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) of 2016 requires school districts to ensure that students receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education at least once in high school (grades 9-12) and once in middle school Grades 7-8).

State law allows parents/guardians the right to opt their students out of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education. Comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education are not taught in OUSD elementary schools.

You can learn more about comprehensive sexual health education on our website at

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