Employee recognitions occupied most of the meeting of the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education. Reporter Dan Stork reports that school awards, employee contracts, career education funding, and financial administration were also discussed…

At the start of the Board of Education meeting, employees from (mostly) western schools in the Morongo Unified School District were honored by their principals. Selected teachers and classified employees from each of 11 schools were lauded for their dedication. The names of those honored are listed below…


Black Rock Avery Smith, Kyle Chapman Eric Beck
Friendly Hills Diana Fisher Margaret Reed
Joshua Tree Carol Steere Mitch Benson
Lander Lisa Knoll Linda Higginson
La Contenta Virginia Youngberg Leah Bergman
Morongo Valley Bill Lipkins Angela Beamon
Onaga Barb Parsons Margarita Ramirez
Yucca Mesa Mike Ware Lori Anderson
Yucca Valley Elementary Tony Cruz Victoria Hoover
Yucca Valley High Gail Mangan Ray Larson
Twentynine Palms High Linda Ogdahl Kristin Walsh


Superintendent Cecelia English announced that four District Elementary Schools—Landers, Friendly Hills, Morongo Valley, and Condor—were named Title 1 Academic Achievement award winners. Only 6 other schools in San Bernardino County got the award, with a total of 106 winning schools in California, out of 6,000 schools that receive Title I federal funds. To receive this distinction, the school must demonstrate that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California’s academic content standards. Additionally, the school’s socioeconomically disadvantaged students must have doubled the achievement targets set for them for two consecutive years.

Trustee Karalee Hargrove requested that the payments item be pulled from the consent agenda, so that she could vote against it, without commenting on her reasons. She also was the lone vote against the approval of Prop 30 funds for non-administrative uses, citing an absence of oversight information. She also expressed concern over the exit of the District’s top business affairs administrators.

The Tentative Agreement with the classified employees’ union was approved, as was a 5.77 percent total compensation increase for non-contract management and confidential employees. Also approved was funding for Career Technical Education and the acceptance of $81,000 of federal funding for the program. Single Plans for Student Achievement for the three District high schools and for Morongo Valley Elementary were also approved.

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