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December 15, 2023

Laguna Beach Unified School District honors exceptional educators of the year

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is proud to announce the selection of Shannon Chastain, a third-grade teacher at El Morro Elementary School, as Teacher of the Year and Lynn Gregory, College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School, as Classified Employee of the Year.

LBUSD Teacher of the Year

Shannon Chastain's third-grade class joins in celebrating the Teacher of the Year.

Each year, LBUSD surprises its Employees of the Year at their school sites, carrying on a cherished tradition. Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D., Board President Jan Vickers, and El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel, Ed.D., along with district and school site staff, surprised Mrs. Chastain with the announcement in her classroom. Her students eagerly participated in the celebration, adding to the excitement of the moment. 

Mrs. Chastain and Mrs. Gregory will also be celebrated as part of a broader recognition ceremony at the school board meeting on January 11 at 6 p.m. This special event will shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of various students and staff members within LBUSD.

Shannon Chastain's impact extends beyond the classroom, positively influencing the entire school community, according to El Morro Elementary School Principal Julie Hatchel, Ed.D. Mrs. Chastain's contributions to student engagement and behavior management have played a vital role in making El Morro and LBUSD exceptional places for learning and growth.

Lynn Gregory, recognized as Classified Employee of the Year, serves as the College and Career Specialist at Laguna Beach High School. Described by Principal Jason Allemann, Ed.D., as consistently positive and informative, Lynn provides valuable direction to students and families exploring options for learning beyond high school.

In addition to the district-wide winners, LBUSD will recognize Classified Employee of the Year

LBUSD Employees of the Year

From left to right: Board Member Jim Kelly, Ph.D., Board President Jan Vickers, Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D., Erin Carlton, Doug Bowman, and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Michael Conlon

winners in specific categories, reflecting the diverse talents of its staff:

  • Missy Palino: Clerical and Administrative Services, High School Reception and Counseling Office Assistant, Laguna Beach High School
  • Doug Bowman: Custodial, Maintenance, Nutrition, and Security Services, District Office Delivery Driver
  • Erin Carlton: Paraprofessional and Instructional Assistance, Instructional Aide, Top of the World Elementary School

These exceptional individuals were chosen through a district-wide nomination and voting process open to all classified school employees. The districtwide winners will advance to the county competition, presented by the Orange County Department of Education. 

All Orange County school districts are invited to submit nominations for the program, based on guidelines and timelines established by the California Department of Education. LBUSD uses a peer-driven approach, allowing colleagues to nominate and vote for the standout individual whose exceptional contributions and dedication have made a significant impact on the workplace.

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