(Eureka)— Nine Humboldt County educational administrators have been honored by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 1, for the 2021-2022 school year. The region includes Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, Lassen, Modoc, and Siskiyou counties.
The awards recognize outstanding performance and achievement by individual administrators that have shown strong support of the school management team; exceptional leadership in managing school programs; commitment to educational quality and student achievement. The award also is based upon commitment to professional growth, creativity and innovation in dealing with issues and problems facing public education.
Three winners are leaders at the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE). Stacy Young was selected as the Region 1 ACSA Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year. Felicia Doherty, Principal at HCOE’s Court and Community School Program, was selected as the ACSA Region 1 Continuation/Educational Options Administrator of the Year, and Lori Breyer, Director of Instructional Leadership and School Support won the Central Office Administrator Award.
HCOE Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, Dr. Colby Smart said, “Stacy Young is so deserving of this award. This recognition is a testament to her leadership in Arts Education in Humboldt County, ACSA’s Region 1, and throughout California. Our community benefits greatly from Stacy’s steadfast commitment to the essential role Arts Education has in providing rich learning experiences that support the whole child. Her boundless energy and creativity as an educator is fueled by the promise of making learning meaningful for every child in our community.”
Felicia Doherty oversees the Court and Community School program for HCOE. The curriculums she is responsible for overseeing include those conducted through HCOE’s Educational Resource Center, serving over 400 students in grades 7-12 at five locations in Humboldt County. Students come to the community schools through referrals from the Humboldt County Probation Department, School Attendance Review Boards, and school districts.
HCOE’s Lori Breyer, who received the ACSA Central Office Administrator award, has held many roles in her 23 year tenure at HCOE. She has served as a business teacher, project coordinator and principal for the local regional occupation program. Currently, Lori leads the School Support and Instructional Leadership department at HCOE.
Her current duties include her support of districts with regards to the development of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), a tool for local schools to set goals, plan actions and leverage resources to improve student outcomes.
Other Humboldt County educators who won awards include Luke Biesecker, Superintendent of the Arcata Elementary District, who was recognized in the Superintendent category. Mr. Biesecker, who said that his 18 years in education have been “amazing,” have included stints as a high school math teacher and principal. “I am honored. I am appreciative of my family’s support and patience and appreciative of all of the amazing people I work with,” Biesecker said.
Jennifer Johnson, Principal of Eureka High School received the award for Secondary Principal. Ms. Johnson has served Eureka City Schools since 1993 in the capacities of Principal, teacher and district instructional coach. Ms. Johnson stated, “I was honored to receive this award. I have an incredible team at Eureka High. We made it through last year because of the dedication of our staff and the willingness of our students and families to be flexible.”
Tahnia Campbell received the Secondary Co-Administrator award. Campbell works at Arcata High School, within the Northern Humboldt Union School District. Ms. Campbell said, “I must admit this came as a surprise, but I am very humbled and grateful for this honor. My career at Arcata High School started almost 30 years ago when I was hired as a teacher and basketball coach. It is my honor to serve the students at Arcata High School and the community in which I grew up.”
In addition, Blaine Sigler, representing the Cuddeback School District, received the Area 1 Superintendent/Principal award. Mr. Sigler has served 23 years at Cuddeback Union School District; 9 years as Superintendent/Principal and 14 years as a teacher. Mr. Sigler said, “I am honored and excited to receive this award. Speaking for the over 200 Superintendent/Principals across the state, this is a position of never ending challenges, but also rewards. All good administrators must treat people well to build relationships, and I thank my fantastic team of educational leaders that share in this success.”
Cal Poly Humboldt Education Professor, Kenny Richards, received the Professor of Education award and said, “I have always had a passion for education. Our public school system works, but we have to keep replenishing, training staff to move on and carry the torch for all students.” Retired educator and former Superintendent of the McKinleyville Union School District, Jan Schmidt also received an ACSA award in the Retired Nominee category.
ACSA’s 19 regions divide the state geographically and provide valuable opportunities for professional involvement with administrators in nearby school districts. The organization allows for conversations and collaboration on education issues in California.