Titan Education Excellence Award Winners


The College of Education is recognized for its reputation of excellence in preparing classroom teachers and educational leaders.  Annual “Excellence in Education” awards are given by the college to acknowledge individuals and partnerships for outstanding achievement.  These awards honor excellence in teaching and educational leadership of College of Education graduates as well as the high quality of educational endeavors accomplished in partnership with Cal State Fullerton with its many school and district-based programs.

picture of Susan Newcomb

Individual Category   

Susan Newcomb
Norwalk-LaMirada Unified School District    

Susan Newcomb (MS, Reading, 2003) is an exemplary Literacy Coach, providing her LaMirada High School students with an outstanding program.  Recently, at a school visit, the California Secretary of Education was so intrigued by the vast amount of student-centered learning and inquiry methods employed by teachers trained by Susan that he asked for the school site to be used as a model for project-based, interactive learning at the high school level.  Susan currently is preparing to defend her dissertation, “Persistence in Suburbia:  A Study  of Low-Performing Students Inside a High-Performing High School” at Claremont Graduate University where she received a fellowship to support her studies.  Susan is a passionate and dedicated educator who champions literacy and makes a difference in students’ lives daily.

Individual Category

Lilia Stapleton
Orange County Department of Education

picture of Lilia Stapleton

Lilia Stapleton has been an active and involved educator throughout the region and the state for many years.  Most recently she was appointed by the California State Board of Education to serve on the Language Arts Instructional Materials Advisory Panel (IMAP) for the 2008 adoption.  As the Orange County Department of Education Coordinator-Services for English Learners, she has been responsible since December 2006 for providing California Teachers of English Learners (CTEL) test preparation classes for teachers throughout Orange County.  She has also provided English Learner support to math teachers from four Orange County school districts participating in the OCDE/CSU Fullerton TASEL-M grant.  During the fall of 2007, Lilia initiated professional development training on Systematic English Learner instruction for six school districts in Orange County.  Additional districts will be participating in this four-day training during the spring and summer of 2008.  She served on the California Department of Education Comprehensive Needs assessment Migrant Education Advisory Committee from 2005-2007 and has provided support to the District English Learners Parent Advisory Committee in the Placentia Yorba Linda School District from 2000-2006.  Beginning in 2003, Lilia worked closely with Orange County Head Start to establish Early Head Start and Head Start Preschool Programs serving 120 children annually at Topaz Elementary School.  She co-authored an article with faculty member Hallie Yopp Slowik, published in the International Reading Association’s journal, The Reading Teacher, the most widely read practitioner journal in the area of reading.

Partnership Category

Tijeras Creek Elementary – Professional Development School

Tijeras Creek picture

Principal Diann Buckingham & CSUF Faculty Donna Bennett (center) with Tijeras Creek teachers

The Tijeras Creek Professional Development School in Capistrano Unified School District, was developed four years ago through the efforts of principal Diann Buckingham and CSUF faculty member Donna Bennett.  Every year 60 credential candidates observe model instruction on concept attainment that allows students to explore the core curriculum thematically and conceptually using higher order thinking skills.  Teacher candidates observe exemplary teaching strategies, carefully designed to address differentiated instruction for diverse learners, and student scholars who model exemplary learning.  They greatly benefit from seeing the effect that the use of icon tools have on enabling students to develop critical thinking skills and analyze learning material at high levels.

Share This Page:

Page updated: May 17, 2017