Honor an Educator Awards

Congratulations to the honorees and thanks to nominators for their generous support of the College of Education.


2016 Distinguished Award Recipients



Anaheim Union High School District - 2016 Distinguished Education Excellence Award


Matsuda, Mike - 2016 Visionary Leadership Award


*Bahner, Dr. Daniel Thomas

Daniel Bahner earned the Ed.D in Community College Leadership at CSU, Fullerton last year.  He left us with the memory of his dedication to the doctoral program demonstrating commitment to excellence in his own learning and supporting the learning of his cohort members.  Daniel pursued his doctorate so that he could better serve his students and the college community. His dissertation focused on the responsibility of Hispanic Serving Institutions to effectively serve their students. His scholarship has led to publications describing best practices for educational leaders to serve and support student success.

He served on the faculty of Crafton Hills Community College in Yucaipa, CA.  He was eager to teach, support, and showed amazing regard for his students and the learning process.  He facilitated successful grant projects on his campus and loved teaching students at all levels. He was one of the most enthusiastic teachers, scholars and learners on that campus and at CSUF.

Daniel is no longer able to brighten each of our days with that contagious smile and wonderful sense of humor, but his teaching glow will be remembered and his imprint on our hearts and souls will help sustain us.  Daniel helped create a community of care bringing energy and joy to our learning process.

CSUF Department of Educational Leadership

*Posthumous Award


Ahmed, Saeeda

Ms. Ahmed is a caring Assistant Teacher and always has a smile on her face. Thank you for your passion and enthusiasm for teaching.

Dr. Natalie Tran


Bailey, Beth

Ms. Bailey is a dedicated and caring teacher. She has created a conducive learning environment for students in her classroom. All her work to keep the children engaged is appreciated.

Dr. Natalie Tran


Bailey, Gloria

Ms. Bailey was hired in 1970 as the first full-time Black English instructor at Santa Ana College. During her 34 years at SAC she was Black Student Union Advisor, Black Studies Chair, Ethnic Studies Chair and co-author of SAC’s Affirmative Action Program. She served as a mentor for hundreds of students and remains an active volunteer after her retirement.

Dr. Jerome and Mrs. Adleane Hunter


Case, Kim

Ms. Case is being honored for her collaborative efforts to create a unique iSTEM partnership through Cal State Fullerton and Rio Vista Elementary School in Anaheim. Her innovative spirit has enabled the partnership to grow and benefit both Rio Vista’s professional practice and Cal State Fullerton’s teacher credential program.

Mr. Jose Cabrera and Ms. Barbara Caganich


Cavallaro, Dr. Claire

Dr. Cavallaro joined the College of Education in 2006 as the first permanent dean, two years after the College’s establishment in 2004. During her tenure as Dean, Dr. Cavallaro has guided the establishment of multiple centers, including the SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Center for Creativity and Critical Thinking, the Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership (C-REAL), the Catalyst Center for the Advancement of Research in Teaching and Learning Math and Science (in collaboration with the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics), the Center for Maximizing Teacher Impact, and the CSUF Center for Autism (in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Development).

Under her leadership, she has been a great support of international partnerships and the College launched the first independent doctoral program at Cal State Fullerton with the Doctor of Education program, which has since awarded 128 doctoral degrees. She was also instrumental in bringing the prestigious Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate to CSUF for its 2015 convening, and successfully led the CSU effort to bring more than 14,500 teachers to sites across California for the July 2015 “Better Together: California Teachers Summit,” a one-day, first-of-its-kind event for educators to share innovative strategies and exchange best practices for implementing the California Standards.

The leadership team would like to thank her for her tireless work for the College.

CSUF College of Education Leadership Team


Cheri, Ashley

Ms. Cheri is a tireless advocate to promote youth development, education and success in achieving high school graduation and higher education.

Dr. Sora Tanjasiri


Christian-Marchetti, Suzette

Suzette Christian-Marchetti is an incredibly inspirational educator and leader who has dedicated her life to the education and elevation of the beauty and wellness industry. Beloved by her colleagues and peers as well as her students, Suzette consistently goes above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of the students and educators around her. She is an exceptional leader that has trained and supported many other educators by creating comprehensive lesson plans using out of the box teaching methodologies to make the education engaging, enjoyable, and impactful, resulting in a top notch experience for students. She encourages students to bring forth the best of their potential to succeed in the industry and helped many of them begin their careers and is the go to person that they can rely on for guidance through challenges and successes throughout their career. She does this all with a smile and positive spirit. Advance Beauty College is grateful to have a leader and educator who is passionate about the industry and we know that she will continue to inspire all those that are fortunate enough to work and learn from her.

Advance Beauty College: Taylor Bernard, Linda Kreh, Christine Nguyen, Linh Nguyen, Tam Nguyen, and Fellow Educators and Students


Doffoney, Dr. Ned

We honor Dr. Ned Doffoney, a legend who early in life recognized the value of education.  He was high school class valedictorian, earned his doctorate of education, and rose to the rank of Chancellor for the North Orange County Community College District. He is an excellent role model who has demonstrated care and commitment to others as a teacher, counselor,  educational leader,  mentor, advisor, and trusted confidant to many. He is recognized for promoting access, student success, and equity as essential for the future of the state of California and the nation.  Thank you Dr. Doffoney for your dedicated service to so many for so long.

CSUF Department of Educational Leadership


Elliott, MJ

MJ Elliott has spearheaded the development and implementation of the Anaheim Union High School District's P21 Mentoring program. The five-tiered mentoring program provides varying degrees of mentoring opportunities for business across the city of Anaheim and Orange County. MJ has established strong working relationships with a number of businesses who she has convinced to lend their "time and talent" to the mentoring of the District high school students. MJ co-plans each mentoring event and works in collaboration with the school sites to match students to each business. To date, over 300 students have participated in some level of mentoring thanks to the efforts of MJ Elliott.

Anaheim Union High School District


Garcia, Michelle

Michelle Garcia previously held the program coordinator position with six years of unwavering dedication to C-REAL (Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership). She effortlessly contributed to our growth at the center and its’ students. Her relentless encouragement and strength serve as a catalyst to invigorate those around her including students and colleagues. And while Michelle doesn’t seek recognition for her effort and work, we want to recognize the work she has done and continues to do to support the center. We miss daily interactions with her but we know that she is positively impacting the students she interacts with at Fullerton College. We love you Michelle! CREALer for life!

C-REAL Students


Gautreau, Dr. Cynthia

Dr. Gautreau is being recognized for her leadership, professionalism, and willingness to chart new directions in technology, e-learning, and mobile learning in the MSIDT program. Her work has a direct influence on the workplace/business community both nationally and internationally. She is adept at working with the faculty team in a highly collaborative manner to foster new avenues for research as a continuing goal of the MSIDT program overall.

Dr. JoAnn Carter-Wells


Huerta, Araceli

Araceli Huerlta help developed the model for the community liaison position for the Anaheim Union High School District. As community liaison for Sycamore Junior High School she has worked to create a culture of parent involvement along with developing a comprehensive sense of community. Araceli has been a pioneer in providing services for the community such as the Farmers Market, Parent Information Nights, McKinney Vento, needy families, Sycamore fire victims and Parent Leadership Institute. Araceli has worked closely with GEAR UP in an effort to make those services sustainable even after that grant moves on. The connection between the parents, community, and school have thrived due to her passion.

Anaheim Union High School District


Jarvis, Christa and Sandoval, Alfonso

Ms. Jarvis and Mr. Sandoval are Instructional Assistants extraordinaire!  As a team, they are dedicated, patient, creative and work tirelessly as the glue that holds it all together in Ms. Garcia’s classroom of severely handicapped children.

Margaret Garcia and Leslee Milch


Le Blanc, Dallas

Mr. Le Blanc taught with enthusiasm, vigor and love. He dedicated his life to teaching reading and writing and literature in a way that made his students excited about learning.

Dr. Orlantha Nin


Lewis, Lara

Lara was our daughter's 3rd grade GATE teacher last year. She is passionate, dedicated, funny, creative, and such a strong role model to all her students. We felt good every day knowing our daughter was in her care. Thank you Lara for your commitment to children and education.

Drs. Sharon and Drew Chappell


McConnell, Lorrie

Lorrie McConnell is described by her colleagues as “passionate,” “positive,” and “someone who displays excellence on purpose.” She has dedicated over 25 years of her life to educating our future generations. As a teacher, Ms. McConnell was a standout educator, being honored with MVUSD’s Teacher of the Year recognition in 2015. Ms. McConnell has also been an English Language Development (ELD) Facilitator, and currently serves Moreno Valley Unified School District as a Professional Development Specialist. In this role, she uses her knowledge and experience to coach other teachers with a focus on embedding best practices into instruction. Daily, Lorrie gives her all to support teachers and students, and for this reason she is truly deserving of this honor.

Teacher Created Materials and Rachelle Cracchiolo


McDougall, Emily

We would like to honor Ms. Emily McDougall. She is an amazing teacher. Our son Oscar has thrived and grown in her class. Ms. McDougall has a deep commitment to education and the intellectual empowerment of her students. Kudos, you are fantastic!

Berenecea and Oscar Eanes


Miller, Donna

Prior to her retirement, Ms. Miller provided outstanding service as a Board member for the North Orange County Community College District, served as an Administrator at all levels, was a Faculty Leader, a Library Board Member and Speech and Forensics activist. In all her endeavors she brought a keen analytical mind and objectivity that set a tone for her peers.

Dr. Jerome and Mrs. Adleane Hunter


Norman, Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Norman is being honored because she has been selected as the 2016 College of Education Distinguished Faculty Member for her visionary leadership and her strong record of exemplary teaching, scholarship, and service throughout her tenure at Cal State Fullerton. She is highly respected and admired by her students, whose learning is foremost in her mind at all times and is evident in the work they produce. She is committed to continuous growth as an instructor as she develops and implements new methodologies and she collaborates with colleagues to improve the educational experiences for all students.

Dean Claire C. Cavallaro, Ph.D.


Parke, Joanie

After graduating college in Kentucky in 1981, Joanie Park moved to California where she started teaching at Eastside Christian School.  In 1986, she taught in the Rowland Unified School District, and since 1999, in the Walnut Valley School District.  Joanie has Master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of La Verne, and a Special Education Credential from Azusa Pacific University.  She has taught summer school sessions in China and India, but is blessed to have made an impact on hundreds of students, especially her own three children, Lauren, Jamie and Will.  Her impact in teaching Special Education, while embracing the families she inspires, warrants the honor and recognition of this evening’s event.

Larry and Theresa Rovira


Perez, Isabel

Isabel Perez is a proud product of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She graduated from Huntington Park High School as ASB president and captain of the varsity basketball team. Ms. Perez went on to graduate from California State University Fullerton in 1995 with a degree in Science and Human Services. From 1998 to 2007 Ms. Perez was an elementary school teacher at San Antonio Elementary School, and following that became the Categorical Programs Coordinator at Lillian St. Elementary School in south Los Angeles. In 2012, she became a principal and helped open a new school—Dr. Lawrence H. Moore Math, Science, and Technology Academy. She has served in that role ever since. Ms. Perez says, “I love to go to work each and every day! I have the greatest and most hard-working   team   of teachers, support staff, and parent volunteers who dedicate countless hours to meet the needs of our students and families in this community.” According to the   School Report Card,   Dr. Lawrence H. Moore Math, Science, and Technology Academy boasts fantastic attendance rates with 87% of parents stating that they feel welcome and 86% of students feeling “happy.” Ms. Perez works hard to create a positive learning environment for the staff and students, which is evident not only when you walk the halls and visit classrooms around the school, but from the 99% of staff who report that the school is a supportive and inviting place for students to learn. She is truly deserving of this honor.

Teacher Created Materials and Rachelle Cracchiolo


Rote, Kris

After receiving her AA from Santa Ana College, Kris transferred to Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology.  She completed her teaching credential in physical education and adapted physical education in 1993.  While working in Cal Poly’s highly recognized Motor Development Clinic she was a recipient of the Barney Anooshian scholarship for top clinician.  Afterwards, she began teaching adapted physical education in the Walnut Valley Unified School District to students in preschool through grade 12.  In 1993, the program served 15 schools and 50 students.  Now, in 2016, they serve 15 schools and 250 students preschool through age 22.  In 2000, she was WVUSD Special Education Teacher of the Year, and in 2013, WVUSD Teacher of the Year – Quail Summit Elementary.

Larry and Theresa Rovira


Ryan, Celeste

While earning a Bachelor’s in Art degree in Applied Psychology, Celeste began her tenure at Coastline Community College as an intern assisting in special classes at Fairview Developmental Center and in the Traumatic Head Injury Program. In 1981, Celeste was given her first teaching assignment — a cooking class! Her students were individuals with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities who resided at Fairview Developmental Center.  Her assigned room was bare; there was no oven, but there was a refrigerator.  Celeste borrowed a toaster oven, decorated the room with nutritional and cooking facts, and spent hours designing curriculum.  Her class dined on culinary treats of Gazpacho, Ceviche, and Banana Bread.  This was the beginning . . .

After earning a Master’s in Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Cal State Los Angeles, Celeste was hired as the Instructor/Coordinator of Career Development at Coastline. In this role, Celeste not only taught career development courses but collaborated with college administrators on a variety of grant projects that were eventually funded by the Department of Education’s Fund for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.  Under her direction and guidance, these grants resulted in the development of the nationally recognized Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Program, the establishment of a Cognitive Rehabilitation Specialist Certificate Program, and the design of an online Boot Camp to meet the needs of brain injured service members and their caregivers.

Currently, Celeste is the Instructor/Coordinator of Special Programs and Services at Coastline Community College.  In this capacity, she provides leadership to faculty and support staff of the ABI, Intellectual Disabilities, and Adaptive Fitness Programs. She also coordinates Mainstream Support Services for individuals with disabilities who are taking regular college courses.  College-wide, Celeste’s interests and participation include Academic Senate, Accreditation, Co-Chair of Scholarship, Student Success, Adult Block Grant Collaborator and DSPS District Chair.

From the very beginning, Celeste’s focus has consistently been on putting students first. Her high standards and her dedication to student success, an inspiration to all who work with her, lift up everyone around her—students, faculty, and staff alike. She embraces collaboration and serves as a mentor to those who engage with her. She is a wonderfully positive person with a gentle demeanor and a wise soul. Above all, Celeste’s focus and dedication to students is unquestioned and those who work with her feel proud and lucky to do so—and to call her our friend.

Dr. Michelle Priest and Kirk Johnson


Smith, Dr. Marianne; Coto, Dr. Jennifer; and Garcia, Yanet

There is a national and local shortage of qualified university graduates in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Strengthening Transfer Education & Matriculation in STEM (STEM)2   is a 5-year $6 million collaborative program funded by the Department of Education that is now entering its final year. The program coordinated by CSUF includes three local community colleges, Citrus College, Cypress College and Santiago Canyon College. All of these are Hispanic Serving Institutions as is CSUF. This program has been very successful in helping the community college student participants in transferring to a four year university in the STEM fields and persisting in their majors. The program includes peer mentors, advisement assistance at the community college partners, supplemental instruction, summer research experiences, STEM degree preparation workshops, transfer workshops, mandatory STEM specific academic transition sessions at CSUF, and intrusive advisement at CSUF when students are flagged as needing help at an early stage. Each community college partner has had a number of key people running this program and today we wish to honor some of the key participants.

Dr. David Bowman and CSUF College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics


Stewart, Vanessa

Ms. Stewart is an excellent leader in setting the vision for the school. She has created a welcoming environment for parents and students at Leport. I commend her for her leadership!

Dr. Natalie Tran