The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

AUSD Recognizes Profiles in Excellence


Every year, Arcadia Unified School District (AUSD) recognizes staff who have been a pivotal part of helping the district to achieve its goal of “Imagine, Inquire, and Inspire.” This tradition commenced almost four decades ago in 1989. This year, on Mar. 26, AUSD celebrated 24 staff from across the district at the Performing Arts Center. 

Superintendent Dr. David Vannasdall said, “This special recognition opportunity is an ever-welcomed, bright, and beaming spotlight on those in our district who truly embody the ‘Arcadia Way’ of going the extra mile, doing work with a welcoming smile, and fostering connectedness between the work they do and the community [AUSD is] so fortunate to serve.”

The award recipients are voted upon by staff within the district. Below are the winners from each prospective district location.

Arcadia Education Center: Ms. Connie Lopez, Ms. Sharon Van Kirk, and Ms. Alex Worozaken.

Arcadia High School: Ms. Leandrea Arrendondo, Mr. Keith DeLuca, Ms. Claudia Grubbs,  Ms. Grace Huang, Ms. Mimi Park, and Mr. Gerry Wang.

First Avenue Middle School: Ms. Tveen Jatalbachian.

Foothills Middle School: Ms. Samira Esfahani and Ms. Jennifer Sanchez.

Baldwin Stocker Elementary School: Ms. Tiffany Chang.

Camino Grove Elementary School: Ms. Krisi Heltsley and Ms. Ann Olsen.

Highland Oaks Elementary School: Ms. Melissa Budworth, Ms. Meredith Hawkins, and Ms. Monique Homan.

Holly Avenue Elementary School: Ms. Cerina Arellano and Mr. Ramon Calcanas.

Hugo Reid Elementary School: Ms. Roxanne Myers.

Longley Way Elementary School: Ms. Marie Bournoutian and Ms. Natalie Faris.

Rancho Learning Center: Ms. Daniela Mazzeo.

At the ceremony, each recipient had the opportunity to come up on stage, where their achievements and contributions were celebrated. They received certificates and pictures with the Board of Education, which includes Ms. Leigh Chavez, Mr. Raymond Cheung, Mr. Fenton Eng, Ms. Kay Kinsler, Ms. Shirley Yee.

“Every year, I feel like parents entrust me to teach their kids. Parents send their kids to school to learn, and so I take my job very seriously in that I appreciate that responsibility they’ve given me. I want to be able to have my students be able to leave my classroom knowing that they can leave to the next level. I just always think about every student in my classroom and what they need to advance, and that’s what makes me do my best, ” said Ms. Claudia Grubbs. She continued, “I think being able to be in a group of other teachers who I know have worked really, really hard over the years and being recognized, and being one among them, in addition to being with the rest of the colleagues cheering other colleagues on, was really, really great.”

Ms. Tveen Jatalbachian said “As a teacher, I am inspired by the growth and development I see in my students. Witnessing their progress, achievements, and moments of understanding motivates me to continually strive to do my best in guiding and supporting them on their educational journey. Additionally, the passion and dedication of my fellow educators, the curiosity of my students, and the impact I can have on shaping young minds all inspire me to give my best every day.” To Ms. Jatalbachian, the best part of the ceremony was “witnessing what [her] colleagues across AUSD do daily for our amazing students and district.”

Ms. Meredith Hawkins said, “My biggest inspiration to do my best as a teacher is the students and their excitement and eagerness to learn (especially in kindergarten). There are so many ‘firsts’ for students at this age, and I love getting to experience those firsts with them every year. The joy and enthusiasm of the students makes me want to be a better teacher!” She continued, “My favorite part of the ceremony was getting to share the night with my colleagues, especially my teaching partner Monique Homan. She has taught me so much about teaching kindergarten and being a part of a team. It was special to get to share the night with her.”


Photos courtesy of DCI

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