On Saturday, October 8, Fullerton School District parents, teachers, administrators, friends and supporters found themselves at Cal State Fullerton following a yellow-brick road that had several middle schoolers dressed as Dorothys, Scarecrows and not so Cowardly Lions serving as guides. Rather than searching for a wizard in the mythical Land of Oz, the group was pursuing the opportunity to support local students at the Fullerton Education Foundation’s annual “Toast to Learning.”
The Emerald City – themed evening marked the 11th year that the Education Foundation has sponsored the “Toast to Learning”. Annually, business, civic and community leaders as well as Fullerton residents, who support the Foundation’s mission of providing a world-class education for each Fullerton student, gather for the much-anticipated “Toast to Learning” gala. This year’s event, which was emceed by the Education Foundation’s President, Ms. Hilda Sugarman, included a reception, silent and live auctions, fine dining, and performances by students.
As part of this year’s event, the Education Foundation recognized several organizations and individuals who have enhanced the learning experiences of the boys and girls in FSD schools. Among the honorees was the Cotsen Foundation for the ART of TEACHING, which was feted for the work that the Foundation has done to elevate teacher performance in the district. Also saluted at the event were Congressman and Mrs. Ed Royce, Greg Schultz, President of Cal State Fullerton, Amir Dabirian, Cal State Fullerton Vice President of Information Technology, Lisa Kirtman, Cal State Fullerton Dean of Education, and Fullerton’s Mayor, Jennifer Fitzgerald. In celebrating the honorees, Fullerton Education Foundation leadership commented that their, “vision, energy and dedication to sharing the gift of education enabled us to reach new heights.”
Executive Director Jerry Harris, who attended the event at the invitation of the Fullerton Education Foundation, accepted the recognition on behalf of the ART of TEACHING. Of the honor, Harris said, “It is always gratifying to be part of a team that is committed to excellence in teaching and learning. Since the mission of The ART of TEACHING is to transform good teachers into great teachers, we are pleased to partner with the Fullerton School District and Education Foundation in providing Fullerton students with a world-class educational experience.”
The ART of TEACHING has been involved in Fullerton Unified since the 2014-2015 school year when fellowships were established at Valencia Park and Acacia Schools. Since then, Beechwood, Robert C. Fisler, and Woodcrest Elementary Schools have also become ART of TEACHING schools.