Menu Trigger

2 teachers and 1 student teacher sitting at a table together.

We often hope that through education, we can inspire and empower those we teach to take on life after school head-on and with confidence. That's exactly what happened to two past Laguna Beach Unified students, and now, as adults, they've found a friendship and mentorship in one of El Morro's teachers.

Both Caroline Cannan and Grace Barton are LBUSD alumnae who have come back to the District at El Morro Elementary to teach and become role models, just like those who inspired them to go into education. Caroline attended Top of the World, Thurston, and Laguna Beach High School, and is in her fourth year teaching first grade at El Morro. Grace attended El Morro, Thurston, and Laguna Beach High School, and is currently student teaching under Tamara Wong.

Tama Wong is a third-grade teacher at El Morro, who has been teaching in LBUSD for 30 years. She completed her final phase of student teaching at El Morro, thanks to her advisor in the ASU Education Department's relationship with El Morro's principal at the time. Tamara created an "incredible working relationship" with her master teacher, Jan Kaplan, and "still plans lessons with her influence behind those decisions on how to best meet the needs of [her] students," thirty years later.

When Caroline began her teaching career at El Morro, she and Tamara just clicked. Through the relationship they created, Tamara not only became an incredible mentor to Caroline, but she became a close friend as well. "One of the things that's special about Laguna Beach Unified is you're able to form relationships across generations, and that's unique to this community and something that I really cherish being here," Caroline explained. Similarly, Tamara took Grace under her wing as her master teacher and really made Grace feel like she belonged and was part of the El Morro and Laguna family. Grace explained how special it was coming back to El Morro, where everyone in the office greeted her and remembered her, just like a family.

Relationships really do matter and are so important in the field of education, and it's something we are proud to foster at Laguna Beach Unified. Whether it was 30 years ago when Tamara created a special bond with her master teacher, or today, where new teachers can now turn to her and find an exceptional leader and friend, it is incredible to see how the relationships created at Laguna inspire those to return to this District to teach and encourage those who have been in the District for years to stay. See the power behind this relationship on the LBUSD Media YouTube Channel.

So, why did YOU choose Laguna?