It is that time of year when the Cypress School District recognizes the outstanding service of its teachers and staff. On April 13, during the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, we honored the Teacher of the Year from each of our six elementary schools, as well as our Classified Employee and Administrator of the Year. During the April meeting, the Board of Trustees also adopted resolutions commemorating Day of the Teacher on May 13, 2017, and Classified School Employee Week, May 22-26, 2017.
We are extremely proud of all our employees in the Cypress School District, and the Board of Trustees looks forward to publicly acknowledging their excellence each year. We hope you will take a few minutes to learn more about some of the extraordinary people who are serving the children of our community.
Anne Silavs



Cypress School District Teacher of the Year
Jenni McShane
Clara J. King Elementary School
Jenni McShane has faithfully served children of the Cypress School District for 18 years. Over the years, she has worked as both a primary classroom teacher and a learning specialist at Arnold and King Schools. Currently, she supports student needs as a Title I teacher at King. Ask anyone, and they will tell you that Jenni is a passionate advocate for all students. Her warmth and genuine love of children inspire their learning. Jenni's leadership at King was instrumental in launching the school's RED reading program, which provides every student with a new book to read each month. It's no wonder that one of her colleagues said that every school needs a Jenni! The Cypress School District is extremely grateful for Jenni's commitment and many years of dedicated service. We are proud to have her represent the district as our 2017 Teacher of the Year!
Cypress School District Classified Employee of the Year
Pam Lesher
District Office
Pam Lesher has been a dedicated employee in the Cypress School District for 26 years! She has provided support to teachers and staff as a Clerk Typist II at Arnold, Morris, and Vessels Schools as well as the District Office. For the past 18 years, Pam has served as our Resource Center Technician, and what an incredible resource she has been! Pam plays an important role in supporting student achievement by creating and producing a variety of instructional materials that enhance the classroom learning environment and supplement the core curriculum. Pam's strong technical skills and creative vision are truly an asset to the district! She has been instrumental in creating brochures, banners, decals, and other promotional materials that advertise school events, feature our educational programs, and highlight the district brand throughout our community. In fact, Pam's talents are appreciated far beyond our teachers and staff. Local PTAs, community groups, and city agencies also benefit from Pam's expertise. No wonder she is the district's Classified Employee of the Year!

Cypress School District Administrator of the Year
Tracy Mouren-Laurens
District Office
Tracy Mouren-Laurens has over 18 years of service in the district. She began her career at Morris, where she taught both primary and upper grade levels. She also worked as a Teacher-on-Special Assignment, supporting English learners and special education students across the district. In 2005, Tracy was named Cypress School District Teacher of the Year, and in 2006 she was promoted to principal at Landell. Tracy later joined the district office team as Administrative Director of Human Resources and Induction, a role in which she has instituted best practices in recruiting, hiring, and retaining exceptional employees. Tracy works hard, day in and day out, to build positive working relationships across the district. This year, Tracy was also honored by the Association of California School Administrators as the Human Resources Administrator of the Year for Orange County Region 17! Way to go, Tracy!
A.E. Arnold Elementary School
Katie Pham
Katie Pham has been with the Cypress School District for 16 years, serving as a second, fourth, and fifth grade teacher at Arnold. This year, she has taken on the challenge of a grade 5/6 GATE cluster combination class, but that doesn't faze Katie one bit! A visit to her classroom reveals a seemingly tireless teacher. Katie is always on the move...posing questions, facilitating thoughtful discussion, and providing her students with rigorous instruction. This year, Katie has also been participating in the district's GATE certification program, attending after-school training sessions and applying differentiated instruction in her classroom. On top of all that, Katie finds time after school to coach her award-winning math team for weekend competitions. As you can see, Katie is a real go-getter! It's easy to see why she has been selected as the Teacher of the Year at A.E. Arnold Elementary School!
Margaret Landell Elementary School
Cathy Clingenpeel
Cathy Clingenpeel is a 20-year veteran employee who first began working in the district as an Instructional Aide at Swain. Cathy went on to become a classroom teacher and since that time has taught kindergarten, second, and fourth grades at Vessels and Landell. She also served as Teacher-On-Special Assignment, providing intervention for struggling students at Luther. While Cathy is an incredibly effective teacher, the impact of her commitment and leadership extends far beyond her classroom. Cathy has served as Kindergarten Team Leader and as a member of the school Leadership and Student Study Teams. She has also supported new teachers as a BTSA Mentor and is currently assisting in the revision of the district's math checkpoints. Cathy is truly a dedicated professional, giving generously of her time and energy to ensure student success. She is most deserving of the title "Landell Teacher of the Year!" Congratulations, Cathy!
Steve Luther Elementary School
Eryn Copperthite
Eryn Copperthite has been teaching children in the Cypress School District for 16 years and has worked with fifth and sixth grade students at both Cawthon and Luther Schools. Eryn is a quiet force in the classroom. Her calm and focused demeanor puts students at ease while her high expectations and the rigorous instructional program she provides ignites student learning and propels their growth. Committed to lifelong learning, Eryn is always reflecting on her teaching practice and honing her craft to effectively engage her students. This year, Eryn has been participating in the district's GATE certification program so she can learn more about the instructional needs of gifted students. Eryn has also been involved in revision of the district's math checkpoints, lending her expertise to the process of developing a measure that supports teaching and learning. Heartfelt congratulations to Eryn for being named Teacher of the Year at Luther School!
Juliet Morris Elementary School
Monique Zoida
Monique Zoida is a 20-year staff member at Morris Elementary School, teaching both second and third grade students. As a product of the Cypress School District, Monique is committed to providing outstanding instruction and meaningful learning experiences for the children of her home community. Monique's leadership and dedication are also reflected in her involvement in a number of school and district programs. For example, Monique is the advisor for the Morris student leadership and philanthropic group IMPACT, which has raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations and others in need. She is also a district trainer for the Write from the Beginning program and provides her fellow teachers with follow-up training and assistance. Monique's boundless energy and her support of students, parents, and staff members alike make her a beloved member of the Morris family and the school's 2017 Teacher of the Year!
Frank Vessels Elementary School
Olivia Smith
Olivia Smith has been teaching for eight years and has worked in numerous schools across the district including Cawthon, Dickerson, and Vessels. During this time, she has taught students in grades three through five, and she also served as Site Program Coordinator at Landell and Morris Schools. Olivia's positive outlook and her "can-do" attitude inspire greatness in her students. Not only is she loved by the children she serves, but she is also highly respected by both parents and colleagues at Vessels. Whether it's taking on a combination class for the year, mentoring a student who is facing personal challenges, pioneering innovative lessons, or integrating technology into her instructional program, Olivia's fearless spirit and commitment to her students are the hallmarks of her success! She is an integral member of the Vessels community; and, in unity, they presented her with their school's highest honor...Teacher of the Year!
Candi Kern   .  Sandra Lee   .  Donna McDougall   .  Brian Nakamura   .  Lydia Sondhi, Ph.D.