In honor of National Inclusive Schools Week, which Conejo Valley Unified School District celebrated from December 6th to December 10th, the District put out a call to the CVUSD community to shine a light on our Inclusion Heroes. Inclusion Heroes are CVUSD teachers, staff members, and administrators who go above and beyond to create a community of inclusivity, kindness, and respect to enhance the learning for ALL students. Inclusion Heroes have a passion for ensuring all students have access and opportunity - and who turn this passion into action by modeling inclusivity in their day to day work.
More than 70 nominations of incredible, dedicated professionals were submitted, and we are proud to recognize the following five individuals as our 2021 Inclusion Heroes:.
Madrona Elementary, Special Education Teacher
Ms. Wynner always shows the utmost respect for the students in her class and those on Madrona's campus. Besides the hard work she puts into being a wonderful teacher for the 3rd grade Special Education class, she also leads inclusion time with the general education classes and has been doing so for a couple of years. She is welcoming with her warm smile and inclusive demeanor. She constantly looks for ways to make sure that all of the students are interacting together and she offers activities that can be accessed by all students. Her lessons are fun and entertaining and she always thinks of new ways to teach Madrona’s little learners. Ms. Wynner is the lead of the Inclusive Team at Madrona and advocates firmly, but kindly, for students of all abilities. When anyone has a question about inclusivity or Special Education, Ms. Wynner is the team’s go to person. She is an Inclusion Hero because of her natural kindness and acceptance of all and her ability to bring kids together by teaching them to respect and understand each other’s differences.
Ladera STARS Academy, Special Education Teacher
Ms. Luderer has a gift for encouraging and leading students to the next level. She goes above and beyond to make sure her students have opportunities to learn with their grade level peers. She knows her students well and does a great job collaborating with other teachers and staff members to help Ladera students with autism have positive experiences across all settings. She is definitely a hero to her students, their families, and the staff here at Ladera STARS Academy!
Los Cerritos Middle School, Special Education Teacher
This school year, Ms. Church started the first Los Cerritos Middle School LGBTQ+ club. Through this club, she has created a space for students to feel comfortable expressing themselves at a time in their lives (middle school) when that is next to impossible. The club meets weekly and has created friendships between students and has helped to connect them to school, which makes them more likely to be successful in the long run. Middle school is a unique time in a student's life which can be very difficult. Ms. Church has connected with a group of students and has truly made them feel accepted. They have an adult on campus they can trust when they feel that they need help. She also is a leader for colleagues, explains without judgement and is always open to talk to staff who have questions on how to best support their students. She is an invaluable resource for the staff and students of Los Cerritos Middle School. She is a true Inclusion Hero who works daily to make sure her students feel included.
Thousand Oaks High School, General Education Teacher
Ms. Pappas welcomes all students into her class and accommodates the curriculum to meet the needs of a variety of learners. When planning lessons, Ms. Pappas considers equitable access. Her lesson designs carefully consider language, ability, gender identity, ethnicity and how these may impact access to different art designs. She helps to foster a community of acceptance and inclusion while developing students' love of art and helping students create products they are proud of. She is a wonderful example of an Inclusion Hero, each and every day!
Walnut Elementary School, Parent Outreach Assistant
Ms. Alamilla is an excellent human being and communicator. Thanks to her support, students have grown in school and their progress is stupendous. There is no doubt that her charisma and engagement is a key factor for conducive family engagement. She is attentive to every detail with the children she serves. It is clear all that she does is to support the future of the student’s she serves. Her great dedication, kindness and enthusiasm make her a great Inclusion Hero.