Distinguished Award Recipients, Honor an Educator Recipients – 2017

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Distinguished Award Recipients, Honor an Educator - 2017

Bissell, Dr. Joan

Distinguished Education Leadership Award

Joan S. Bissell is the California State University (CSU) program director for teacher education and public school programs. She provides leadership in the preparation of more than 10,000 new teachers each year by the 23 CSU campuses. Bissell leads the CSU Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative, which has nearly doubled the number of new teachers prepared in these critical fields annually. She represents the CSU in "100Kin10," the prestigious partnership dedicated to preparing 100,000 outstanding STEM teachers in the current decade.

Bissell was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015 and recognized as one of California Leading Woman in STEM Education in 2012. In 2016 she was named California’s Outstanding K-12 STEM Education Leader and in 2017 Educator Champion for Secondary Linked Learning Reforms. She currently serves on the board of directors of Linked Learning Alliance and EnCorps Teachers Program, as well as on the steering committees of CA4NGSS and the Better Together: California Teachers Summit.

She has led major grants of more than $20.5 million. Partners have included the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Fluor Corporation, Google, James Irvine Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation and David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 2005, Bissell led the development of the CSU Ed.D. program – the systems first doctoral program, designed to train well-prepared administrators to lead California's public schools and community colleges.

Before joining the staff of the Chancellor’s Office, Bissell was dean and professor at the College of Education and Integrative Studies at Cal Poly Pomona. There, she created Partners in Education, a public-private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing learning opportunities for at-risk children. Prior to that, she was the vice chairman and director of the doctoral program in educational leadership in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Before teaching at UCI, Bissell served as assistant vice president for the western region of the American College Testing Program, where she worked closely with California’s public university systems to enable California students of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds and incomes to have more, and fairer, options for college admissions testing.

Earlier, Bissell spent a decade in Sacramento, serving as deputy director of the Employment Development Department, deputy secretary of the California Health and Welfare Agency and senior program analyst in the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Before coming to California, she served as vice chair of the Human Development Program and assistant professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees magna cum laude at Harvard and was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

She is a nationally recognized expert in program evaluation and her work has included large-scale national studies of the outcomes of preschool and early childhood education programs, including the first national evaluation of Head Start.

Every good teacher leaves a legacy. For Bissell, this legacy includes the students she inspired to do better, the ones whose grasp of a subject “clicked” because of the way she presented it, and even the ones she saved from a directionless future by getting them excited about a subject that would become their life’s work.

She and her husband Stanley have three lovely daughters and three granddaughters. They are avid hikers and on most weekends can be found enjoying beautiful trails along the central coast or somewhere in the California desert.


Bosworth, Heather

Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award

Heather Bosworth has been an educator for 11 years and is the principal of Sycamore Elementary School in Orange Unified School District. Previously, Bosworth served Orange Unified School District as coordinator, 21st Century Teaching and Learning, in the Office of K-12 Curriculum, Instruction and GATE. Prior to joining the school district, she was a classroom teacher, teacher leader and professional development teacher leader in Laguna Beach Unified School District, as well as a classroom teacher in Capistrano Unified School District.

Bosworth has significant experience and training in the areas of professional development for teachers, instructional technology, and elementary curriculum and assessment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in child and adolescent development and a master’s degree in education-reading from Cal State Fullerton, as well as a certificate in Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) from UC Irvine. Bosworth is a National Board Certified Teacher who holds professional educational credentials in multiple subject teaching, reading instruction specialist and administrative services.

Bosworth is passionate about providing high-quality literacy education to underserved students. In working with CSUF's College of Education, Department of Literacy and Reading Education, she collaboratively established the Summer College for Kids Camp to provide literacy intervention to students during the summer and after school. In addition to providing intervention support for students, this partnership serves as a professional learning opportunity for teachers. University professors and alumni collaborate with OUSD teachers to build capacity in teaching reading and literacy.

Due to her efforts, the Summer College for Kids Camp now serves four schools within the school district and has positively impacted over 100 students and 26 teachers. The partnership that she has fostered between Sycamore Elementary School and her alma mater are changing lives and developing literacy and reading professionals. Bosworth looks forward to continuing to build collaborative partnerships with the Sycamore Elementary School community to provide innovative learning experiences for all students.


Crellin, Kristin S.

Distinguished Education Partner Award

As vice president of school and community relations for SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union — the largest credit union in the nation to serve school employees and their families exclusively — Kristin S. Crellin is the key spokesperson within the educational community and is responsible for managing the credit union’s community relations programs and financial literacy programs. This includes working closely with the Orange County and Riverside departments of education and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, and their Teachers of the Year and Academic Pentathlon programs. She is on the selection committee for Orange County Teachers of the Year. This committee selects five finalists who represent Orange County for further consideration in the California Teachers of the Year Program.

Crellin has been with SchoolsFirst FCU for more than 28 years and enjoys working closely with Discovery Cube, Orangewood Children’s Home, MIND Research Institute and Biz Kids. She has served as the chair for Discovery Cube’s annual gala and the MIND Research Institute’s gala. She enjoys her ongoing relationships with Children’s Miracle Network, National Credit Union Foundation and CHOC Foundation. Additionally, she is a foundation board or committee member at Santa Ana College, Rancho Santiago Community College, Orange County Children’s Foundation, Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation, Chapman University American Celebration Committee, Discovery Cube Orange County and Summit Springs Charter Education Foundation.

She is an advocate for both the community college system and the California State University system. She is currently a trustee for the CSU Foundation. She has served on the Innovative Teaching Award Program review committee for Irvine Public Schools Foundation and is on the Dean’s Leadership Advisory Board, UC Irvine’s College of Education. She has served as board member for Orange County AVID Dollars for Scholars, Magnolia School District Foundation, Mt. San Antonio College Foundation, Irvine Public Schools Foundation, UC Riverside Affiliates, CSUF Alumni Association, CSUF Guardian Scholars and CSUF College of Education’s Leadership Council. She has participated in the strategic planning for Santa Ana College, Cal State Fullerton and Orange Unified School District.

Crellin is the executive director of the Education Foundation for Orange County Schools, a foundation that provides grants for educational programs that support core curriculum and enable local teachers to purchase or create materials for their classrooms. A graduate of Cal State Fullerton, she currently serves on the Blue Ribbon Committee. She also works with the CSU Chancellor's Office and is the immediate past president of the CSU Alumni Council, a statewide council with alumni representatives from each of the 23 CSU campuses. She also is a graduate of Western CUNA Management School and is recognized as a credit union development educator.

She received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Cal State Fullerton and was named one of the Advocates of the Year by the CSU. She received the Leadership Award at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union on two different occasions. Crellin grew up in Orange County and lives in Anaheim Hills with her husband of 24 years and her two adult children.


Hiatt, Leslie

Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award

Leslie Hiatt has been teaching in the Montebello Unified School District for 32 years. Social justice and service-based learning has always been a focus in her classroom. In 2015, her fifth-grade students took this learning to a higher level, resulting in a new law in California.

As she taught her students about the history of immigration in California and the unconstitutional deportations of the 1930s from a unit created by her student teacher, Ana Ramos from California State University, Dominguez Hills, the students were dismayed at the complete absence of information in their history textbooks. It also bothered them that there had never been a federal apology for the expulsion of over 1.2 million United States citizens and over 2 million Mexican nationals legally living in the U.S.

After writing to President Obama, creating group projects and inviting visitors to their class, the students entered Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s “There Ought to Be a Law” contest to get the information about this horrific period in the nation’s history into California's history textbooks. They won the contest, went to Sacramento to testify — all 34 of them — and finally, in fall of 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 146 into law.

This proves that the knowledge and passion of fifth-grade students is more powerful than the ignorance that has kept this ugly history hidden. It also proves that educators need to listen to the voices of their students and support them in their efforts to make change in the world.


Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District

Distinguished Education Excellence Award

Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) holds high expectations for all students through rigorous and relevant educational experiences that challenge them to become responsible, ethical and engaged citizens. Located in Orange County, PYLUSD serves residents of Placentia, Yorba Linda, and parts of Anaheim, Brea and Fullerton. The district educates approximately 25,000 students at 34 award-winning K-12 public schools.

The school district dates back to 1874. A one-room schoolhouse was established by pioneers who — with bravery, hard work and perseverance — paved the way for one of the finest education systems in Southern California. In 1989, the Placentia Unified School District and the Yorba Linda School District merged to become the present-day Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District.

Today, PYLUSD has a richly deserved reputation for providing outstanding educational opportunities for all students. This has not come about by happenstance, but through a steadfast resolve to being a dynamic learning community that prepares each and every student for success now — and in the future.


Teacher Created Materials

Distinguished Education Community Partner Award

Rachelle Cracchiolo founded Teacher Created Materials in 1977 when she was a classroom teacher. Looking for art activities to supplement her lessons, Cracchiolo wrote and illustrated "Quick Fun Art" with a friend and fellow teacher. Try as they might, they could not find a publisher for their work. Both were eager to share their ideas and passion for education with other classroom leaders, so they decided to publish the book themselves. It was a success and they quickly added additional titles to their line, each more successful than the last. What began as a hobby — selling lesson plans to local stores — became a part-time job after a full day of teaching, and eventually blossomed into a nonstop opportunity to develop and grow Teacher Created Materials as a full-service company and a welcome and familiar name in every classroom.

Over the years, Teacher Created Materials has been fortunate to partner with many thought leaders in the world of education to create phenomenal resources for teachers and students. These partners include TIME for Kids, International Literacy Association, Sally Ride Science, Lesley University and Texas Instruments. They have also partnered with Cal State Fullerton to support opportunities for both current and pre-service educators and are proud of this collaboration.

In 2004, the company launched Shell Education, which creates professional and classroom resources designed to support curriculum resources. Today, Teacher Created Materials is one of the most recognized names in educational publishing worldwide, with this year marking their 40th anniversary. The company strives to develop innovative and imaginative educational materials and services for students worldwide.

Everything Teacher Created Materials produces is created by teachers for teachers and students to make teaching more effective and learning more fun. With hard work and creativity, the company creates a world in which children love to learn.


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Page updated: March 23, 2017