September 22, 2017
Saddleback Valley Unified School District
Community Newsletter
School News
Serrano Intermediate Receives Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Recognition
The California PBIS Coalition has recognized Serrano Intermediate School for its implementation of the core features of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports by awarding Serrano the PBIS Silver Medal.

PBIS, a multi-tiered system of support for achieving desired student outcomes, is a set of core features that guides the integration of scientifically based practices for improving academic and behavior outcomes for all students.

Serrano Intermediate School initiated the PBIS Program more than ten years ago and is currently participating in the Sustainability Training with its school team. Congratulations Serrano!

For more information, please see link below:

Picture of PBIS Silver Medal Award for Serrano Intermediate
RSM Intermediate Engages Students with Lip Dub
RSM ASB Advisor taking video camera on campus for LipDub
RSM students cheer during pep rally for LipDub
RSM staff and students started the school year off with a Lip Dub community builder. RSM ASB students and ASB advisor, Mr. Paul Triebel, wound around the hallways of RSM Intermediate while all classes participated in lip synching to a popular song.

Lip Dub is a type of music video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song. Lip Dubs are usually done in a single unedited shot that often travels through different rooms or areas.

At the end of the Lip Dub, all students and staff gathered in the Multi-Purpose Amphitheater to show school spirit. It is great to see students and staff engaged and connected to the school community! Way to go RSM Road Runners!
RSM Students cheering for the LibDub camera
Community Partner Helps Los Alisos Intermediate Students "Dream Big"
On September 15, 2017, fifty (50) Los Alisos Intermediate STEM students were invited by our community partners with the FLUOR Corporation to view the engineering inspired movie, Dream Big . The 3-D IMAX movie, the first for STEM, was privately shown at the Edwards theater in Aliso Viejo, CA. 

The movie was narrated by Jeff Bridges and journeys through some of the greatest engineering wonders around the globe. This movie aims to inspire students from diverse backgrounds to become our future innovators, engineers, educators and leaders in the field of STEM. 

Following the movie, a large cadre of FLUOR engineers and representatives answered questions from students about STEM careers. The District is thankful for the support our STEM classes receive from the FLUOR Corporation.        
Saddleback Valley PTA Hosts
PTA Presidents and Principals Breakfast
SVUSD Principals and SVPTA Presidents socialize during the SVPTA Breakfast
Saddleback Valley PTA Presidents hosted the annual PTA Presidents and Principals breakfast on September 13, 2017. The purpose of the meeting is to foster strong relationships between site administrators and PTA Presidents.

This year's PTA theme is " We are all in this together ." To illustrate this point, table groups were given a list of possible discussion topics, and constructive conversations took place across the room. PTA Presidents shared their ideas on how they can best work with Principals, and Principals shared different ways to keep communication open between administration and the PTA.

The Saddleback Valley PTA's across the district provide countless volunteer hours to work together with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to make our schools the very best they can be for all students.

The PTA partnership is valued in SVUSD!
SVPTA Executive Board Members pose for a picture
Community Events
American Red Cross Blood Drive
The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at the SVUSD District office on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Appointments can be made by going online to and enter sponsor code: SVUSD or contact the Benefits Department at (949) 580-3424

If you are pressed for time on your appointment day you can save 15 minutes if you go online to and complete the pre-donation questionnaire prior to your appointment .

Give blood. Help save lives.
Flyer announcing blood drive dates and times
14th Annual Orange County Children's Book Festival

Sunday, October 1, 2017           
9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Over 125 authors and illustrators, professional storytellers, booksellers, and educational booth exhibits will be at the 14th annual children's book festival on Sunday, October 1, 2017. The festival, sponsored by the Orange County Department of Education and Orange Coast College, offers the rare opportunity for students to meet and visit published authors and to see, purchase and take home a wide variety of children's books.

Six engaging stages, with ample seating, are offered this year. The main stage presents family friendly entertainment while auxiliary stages host the Animal stage, Storyteller stage and the Author/Illustrator stage. Also, back by popular demand is the Early Reader stage and the Middle Grade stage.

The popular Storyteller stage features performances by The Puppets-n-Players and many authors reading from their books.

More information is available at

Trabuco Hills High School PTSA
Hosts College Fair
Tuesday, October 3rd
6:30 PM for THHS Students
7:30 PM for all SVUSD Students
 College Fair 2017   
High school students and their parents are invited to attend the SVUSD 2017 College Fair. Families will be able to meet representatives from over 160 two and four-year colleges and universities from across the country, to discuss topics such as college admission, financial aid, campus life, and on-campus housing. Break out seminars will also be offered on financial aid, college admissions and testing, the transfer process, and NCAA recruiting.

Whether students are interested in community colleges, technical and trade schools, University of California, California State University, out of state, international, private, or public colleges and universities, this is the ideal opportunity to explore the many options available to students.

For more information, please see the College Fair flyer.

For more details:
District Financial Aid Nights
SVUSD is offering “Financial Aid Night” for 11 th and 12 th grade students and their families. This event is especially valuable for 12th grade students and their parents.

Preparing for college also includes planning for ways to pay for it. “Financial Aid Night” will provide valuable information on options for student aid, grants, scholarships, and work study.

Financial aid topics will relate to all post-secondary education options (community college, vocational schools, and 4-year colleges/universities). Information will be presented by an experienced representative from a local community college. 

ETHS & THHS Students and Families : October 9, 2017 @ ETHS in the ETHS Theater.
LHHS & MVHS Students and Families : October 16, 2017 @ MVHS in the Performing Arts Theater.
Spanish Version : October 23, 2017 @ ETHS in the ETHS Theater
All presentations will begin at 7:00PM. 
* Silverado and Mira Monte High School Families are welcome to attend any of the nights.
The Saddleback Valley Unified School District Board of Education is pleased to announce new administrators for the 2017-18 school year.

Connie Cavanaugh, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
Ms. Cavanaugh has 19 years of experience in both the public sector and in education. Ms. Cavanaugh worked in the public sector for 7 years as a senior accountant and as a controller before moving into education. In education, Ms. Cavanaugh has served as Chief Business Official, Business Manager, Director of Fiscal Services, and Assistant Superintendent, Business and Operations. Most recently, Ms. Cavanaugh served as the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations in the Thermalito Union Elementary School District in Oroville, CA.

Ms. Cavanaugh received her bachelor's degree in economics with an accounting emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA and holds a Certified Public Accountant license.

Ms. Cavanaugh said, "I look forward to working with the excellent staff of Saddleback Valley Unified School District to continue to provide outstanding educational experiences to all students." 

Kristin Thomsen, Assistant Principal, Foothill Ranch Elementary
Mrs. Thomsen has worked in education for 28 years and has a rich history with SVUSD. Mrs. Thomsen served as a teacher and educational technology teacher on special assignment in SVUSD for 19 years. For the past two years, Mrs. Thomsen has served as a Coordinator of Educational Technology for the Orange County Department of Education. 

Mrs. Thomsen received her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and master’s degree in educational leadership from California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, CA. She also received her Multiple Subject Credential and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential from California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, CA.

Mrs. Thomsen said, “It is an honor to return to the SVUSD team where I have so many wonderful memories and relationships with students, parents, and staff. Further, I’m thrilled to be joining the innovative Foothill Ranch Elementary staff and look forward to the opportunity to renew past relationships as well as build new ones within the community.”

Rowena Mak, Ed.D., Coordinator, Services for English Learners
Dr. Mak has worked in education for the last 18 years as a teacher, principal, Director of Student Learning Programs, and Director of World Languages. Most recently, Dr. Mak has served as the Principal at Ramona High School in Ramona, CA. 

Dr. Mak has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and secondary education from Northeastern Illinois University, a master’s degree in education and curriculum and instruction from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, and a doctoral degree in education from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Mak said, “I am excited and privileged to join the Services for English Learners Department. I look forward to collaborating with the SVUSD community as we work together to ensure the success of all students.”

Tiffani Volpe, Budget Coordinator, Business Services
Mrs. Volpe has worked with school districts for 21 years. She started her career at the Orange County Department of Education in the Budget department and then came to SVUSD where she has worked as the district accountant for 17 years. For the past year, Ms. Volpe has served as the Accounting Manager.
Mrs. Volpe received her bachelor’s degree in business with an accounting emphasis from California State University, Long Beach in Long Beach, CA.
Mrs. Volpe said, “I am thrilled to assume the Budget Coordinator position. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to being a part of the SVUSD Business Services team.”
Upcoming District Events
September 28    Intermediate Back to School Night
October 3 College Fair @THHS
October 3                SVUSD District Blood Drive
October 5           High School Back to School Night
October 9          ETHS/THHS Financial Aid Night @ ETHS
October 12         Board of Education Meeting
October 16        LHHS/MVHS Financial Aid Night @ MVHS
October 23        Financial Aid Night (Spanish) @ ETHS
District Information
Board of Trustees

Dolores Winchell

Vice President
Dennis Walsh

Amanda Morrell

Suzie R. Swartz 
Dr. Edward Wong

Student Member                                 
Daniel Choi

                                                          SVUSD Board Meeting Dates

The Saddleback Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees encourages community members to attend and participate in its business meetings whenever possible.

Closed session board business is typically conducted at 5:00 p.m. followed by open session business typically beginning at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are held in the SVUSD Educational Center Board Room located at 25631 Peter A. Hartman Way, Mission Viejo.

                                                                       October 12, 2017*
*Board workshop begins at 4:00 p.m.
                                                                       November 16, 2017
                                                                       December 14, 2017