Student Success Stories

Graduate School of Education Student Success Stories
for Alumni Achievements

The purpose of the Graduate School of Education Student Success Stories for Alumni Achievements is to honor  achievements by Graduate School of Education alumni. Achievements in this context are those that are recognized by the community to fulfill the values and mission of the university. Achievements are submitted by Cal Lutheran family members.

Our students work at places like Los Angeles Unified School District, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Simi Valley Unified School District, Ventura Unified School District, Oxnard School District, California State University, Northridge, Las Virgenes Unified School District and Moorpark College.

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2020 Alumni Achievements:


Jamie Snodgrass  

Congratulations, Jamie Snodrass, current 2nd year EdD student (K-12 specialization), on her promotion to Director of Instruction and Pupil Services for the Simi Valley Unified School District.

  Each spring, the H.B. McDaniel Foundation is thrilled to honor the legacy of Dr. H.B. McDaniel — the father of school counseling and guidance in California — by awarding scholarships to graduate students who are pursuing careers in school counseling. This year, we received a competitive pool of applications. We are excited to celebrate the recipients of this year's scholarships. 

The Dale C. Burklund Memorial Research Scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Burklund, a school counselor, dean, teacher, and leader in innovative research and assessment. The Burklund Memorial scholarship was presented to Vanessa Gonzalez, a school counseling graduate student from California Lutheran University. Vanessa impressed the Scholarship Committee with her commitment to researching the effects of childhood trauma and designing school counseling interventions to support students who experience trauma.


Samantha Meyer is an IES Integrated student completing her undergraduate and teaching credential concurrently in the Graduate School of Education and was hired as a 5th grade teacher for Lanai Road Elementary, LAUSD.

Nanci Powers   Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Powers '20, who receives her final bell ringing virtually after defending her dissertation on Equity in Access to Public Waldorf Education during the stay-at-home orders of COVID-19.
 JWilcox    Congratulations to Cal Lutheran alum, Jenee Wilcox M.A. in Educaitonal Leadership '20 from Balboa Middle School, VUSD. She was named the Ventura County Mathematics Council's 2020 Mathematics Educator of the Year.
 Leticia Ramos   Alum, Leticia Ramos EdD '19 presented at the VCOE, Ventura County Dual Language Institute Summit about an English Learner Toolkit of Strategies with other educators.
 Leanna Izen          Graduate School of Education, Counseling and College Student Personnel (CSP) alum, Leanna Izen '19 is hired as the Career Educator with Chapman University's Office of Career and Professional Development.
 CGalvao   In July, alum Christiane Galvao Ed.D. '18 shared on LinkedIn a video in Portuguese on the professional development lecture for English language teachers that she offered at the invitation of CEPFOR - Center for Research and Teacher Training of the stat school system in Golas, Brazil, "Use of Digital Tools for The Realization of Collaborative Activities."
TNetter   With a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies and minor in sociology from Cal Lutheran, Taylor Netter '18 posts on Facebook about her new position as a first grade teacher for Meadows Arts and Technology Elementary School (MATES), LAUSD.
 Christine Powell   Cal Lutheran alum, Christine Powell '17 EdD posts Career Education & Training for Students with Special Education (Lessons from Singapore) about her Fulbright research in her blog. Powell also announced her new role with the Tools for Teachers State Network of Educators with the California Department of Educaiton (DOE) on Twitter.
CMcNay   Cristy Richey-McNay '17 Ed.D., who holds three degrees from Cal Lutheran, including a bachelor's degree in social sciences and a master's degree in educaitonal leadership, announces a new opportunity as an Account Executive of Catholic Schools in the Western Region with  SchoolAdmin  and plans to make an impact on the future of Catholic education.
 Mark McLaughlin   ACSA local region and Region 13 recognized Cal Lutheran alumnae as Administrator of the Year Award, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Superintendent of the Year Mark McLaughlin '17 EdD and Leadership Matters, Aileen Wall '13 MA in Educational Leadership, Walnut Elementary School.
 JCastro    Alum, Juanita Castro '16 M.A. in Educational Leadership is named principal at Camarillo Heights STEM Academy of Pleasant Valley School District.
    Alum, Amy Cranston '16 Ed.D., is featured on the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast Episode #661 on 5 Ways to Build Effective Social and Emotional Learning in Online Spaces.
 Mona Mallory   Alum, Mona Mallory '16 EdD started her new position as Assistant Head of Secondary School at Pilgrim School.
jahlquist   Congratulations to Cal Lutheran alum, Josie Ahlquist Ed.D. '15, for being named among Keystone Academic Solutions Higher Ed Influencers 2020: Who to Follow.
crobertson   Alum, Colleen Robertson Ed.D. '12 featured in a CLU Magazine article says, "The Cal Lu classes were never about putting things into your brain but about pulling things out. 'What would you do if this happened? Why would you do it?' I feel like it helped me become a better leader."
    Hueneme Elementary School District Superintendent and alum, Christine Walker Ed.D. '10 partners with Amgen and Khan Academy to support science learning and equity amid COVID-19
    Alum, Annie Ransom credentialed in '07, writes about understanding what the California Education and the Environment Initiative, Assembly Bill 1548, means for her and with community partners, "It was the missing link I had been looking for to completely integrate my lessons together with purpose and relevance for my students."
scastillo   Cal Lutheran alum, Shelly Castillo, T.C. '05 and M.S. in Counseling and Guidance participated in a town hall panel to privide insight into the challenges of remote instruction by a student run organizing group @justiceintheclassroom
 Oscar Cobian   Alum, Oscar Cobian '01 MS, Vice President of Student Development at Oxnard College, has been named the Educational Leader of the Year by the Ventura County Leadership Academy.
 Tweet    Congratulations to alum, Vanessa Calderon-Garcia '01 M.Ed., for recieveing the 2020 Latino in Leadership Award from El Concilio Family Services. Although the event is postponed, we celebrate you!

Cal Lutheran alum earned her singe subject social science credential in 1998, Krista Verardo, teacher at Charles Blackwood Jr. High, Hueneme School District applied and was awarded DonorsChoose: Keep Kids Learning $1000 grant funds to purchase over 120 new books for students. Then she held Grab and Go Book events in May and June durin the COVID stay-at-home orders so students could be encouraged to read. Here are a few things her students had to say:

"I really enjoy the books...especially since libraries and schools are closed."

"Awesome, thank you so much!"

kmagdelano   Alum, Ken Magdaleno B.A. '88, M.S. Counseling and Guidance '96 and Teaching and Administrive credentials, Founding Director, Center for Equity Leadership and Research (CLEAR) was a panelist on UCLA Ed & IS Transformative Voices: Educators for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion on July 21.
Micheline Miglis    Micheline G. Miglis '84 & '93 MS in Counseling and Guidance, becomes the new superintendent of Scott Valley Unified School District.


Teacher Candidate of the Year Awards


Nelson Pyle – Single Subject

Mikaela Hoolma – SPED

Christina Flores – D/HH

Annette Alfaro – Multiple Subject


Shauna Hadaller - Single Subject

Jennifer Diaz - Special Education

Megan Brown - Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Kristina Albaria - Multiple Subject

2018 IES

Educational Studies Departmental Distinction

Amanda Romero - Kerry Sanchez - Mackenzie Walker - Bailey Wineman

Education Studies Director Award - Victoria Lahney

Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize - Samantha Meyer

The annual Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize ($1000) was first awarded in 1972. The prize became an endowed scholarship through the donations of poet Mark Van Doren’s sons, John and Charles Van Doren. 


Future Teacher Scholarship Award

2020 - Rachel Howe, Spencer Gottmer, Crista Gonzalez, Ellie Sanders

2019 - Lynda Kelley

2018 - Matthew Santa Cruz

2017 - Hector Rodriguez

2016 - Not awarded

2015 - Denise Bain

2014 - Michael Adame

2013 - Kari Ponce, Brittany Bernstein

Learn More

Graduate Student Award

This award recognizes a graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the areas of leadership and involvement in student and professional activities.


2018 - Nazareth Bautista

STRIVE for Excellence in Educational Leadership Fellowship

2017-2018 - Majelane "MJ" Bautista-Dinh

2016 - Theresa Plante

2015 - Betrina Moore-Southall

2014 - Cynthia Sheaks-McGowan

2013 - Juan Santos

2012 - Shannon Taylor

2011 - Heather Penrod

2010 - Anne Tumbarello

2009 - Sandra Cruz

2008 - Anne Roundy-Harter

2007 - Antonio Castro

Teaching Credential Scholarship


Cal Lutheran Donor Scholarships for Teaching Credential Students
Graduate School of Education Grants


Cal Grant Recipients
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
10 18 13 17
TEACH Grant Recipients
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
28 33 26 12
CPE Recipients
2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
5 4 4 10







2019 Alumni Achievements


Sharon Furman-Lee  
Doctoral candidate, Sharon Fruman-Lee is featured in an article | Shomrei Torah Synagogue Picks Apples for Rosh Hashanah | via @JewishJournal
 CPowell   Fulbright scholar and doctoral alum, Christine Powell '17 was keynote speaker at the 2019 International Conference on Research in Education & Learning. In addition, she presented at the 5th Asian Conference on Education and International Development about 'Thinking Beyond California: Exploring School to Work Programs for Students with Special Education needs in Singapore'.  





Alumna Trina Moore-Southall '16, Ed.D. and an excerpt from her interview with NAIS -- National Association of Independent Schools is highlighted in the Winter 2019 magazine.

     Learn about talking to your children about race and diversity with this interview with Trina Moore-Southall '16 Ed.D. and L.A. Mom Magazine.

Trina Moore-Southall '16 Ed.D. is featured on the #CalLuGivingDay video for Graduate School of Education, sharing her student opportunities.

 jahlquist    Josie Ahlquist '15 Ed.D. presented at the 2019 Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Conference SA Speaks and an epic battle with EpicLLOYD.  

 Alum, Lauren (Rasmussen '13, MEd '15) McFarland, Pasadena, California is the new cross-country and track and field coach at Maranatha High School according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.

 Raul_Aguilera    Congrats to GSOE graduate, Raul Aguilera '15 M.S. in Counseling and Guidance, recognized as Educator of the Month from Santa Paula Unified School District.  
     Kurt Lowry, EdD '15, and adjunct faculty member, is the new preincipal of Los Primeros School of Sciences and Arts in the Pleasant Valley School Distirct.  
    Summer (Planet-Newman '09) Tigert, MS '12, Sagle, Idaho, in March was named Bonner County Teacher of the Month according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
    Ann (Chase, TC '07) Ransom, Oxnard, California was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Semester Research Program grant to study educaiton in Finland according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
     Dane Rowley '04, MS '08, Moorpark California, received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association of Collegiate Admission Counseling according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
Victoria Calle   Alum Victoria Calle '01 and '06 M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership is named Conejo Valley Unified School District Teacher of the Month of October.  
     The School of Education Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University has selected Cal Lutheran alumna, Margarita Mosqueda MS '00, for the first annual Alma Flor Ada Social Justice Award.


    Teri (Peppi '90, TC '91, '96) Vargas, Burbank, California, was named a Kiwanis Teacher of the Year according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
    Rick Yancey '78, Moorpark, California, retired in June after three decades of teaching and coaching in the Moorpark Unified School District according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
    Nancy (Munguia '75, TC '76) Bowman, Somis, California, was inducted into the Ventura County Educators' Hall of Fame according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
    Richard Schroeder '70, Las Vegas, retired after 29 years as an elementary teacher and ELL specialist with the Clark County School district according to the December 2019 CLU Magazine.  
 roger_rice   Congratulations! Cal Lutheran GSOE Adjunct Professor, Roger Rice named Ventura Unified School Superintendent in a Ventura County Star article.   
2018 Alumni Achievements


 Kristina_Benson       Completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership with the GSOE, Kristina Benson, was offered a superintendent position for the Shandon Joint Unified School District.
 HaleighSalvage       Graduate Haleigh Salvage MS DHH '18 started a new position as Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialist at Conejo Valley Unified School District.
 source: Alyson Santa LI       Alum, Alyson Santa MS '18 PPSandCWACredentials becomes Middle School Counselor at Lancaster School District.
 source: VUSD FB       Alum, Marcus James Konantz MA '18 in Educational Leadershipintroduced as the new Executive Director, of the Special Education Department for the Ventura Unified School District.
 WendyFierros       Alum, Wendy Fierros TC '18 started a new position as 5th grade teacher at Ceasar Chavez Elementary School in the Oxnard School District.
 Zenda_Abbott         Graduate, Zenda Abbott EdD '17 was keynote speaker at the second annual Career Technical Education Day on March 12. She spoke about finding purpose to find careers. “What would you do if nobody paid you to do it,” said Abbott. “That’s your passion.”
Sucari Epps   Information Age Publishing will soon publish a book chapter by Cal Lutheran, Graduate School of Education alum, Sucari Epps '17 EdD entitled "Middle Level Virtual Classroom Development and Instruction for Students With Disabilities".
 JPerez    Educational Leadership at Cal Lutheran YouTube video of alum, Jennifer Perez MA '17 sharing the immediate benefits she experienced after earning her masters degree.
 ChristinePowell    Cal Lutheran Graduate School of Education graduate, Christine Powell EdD '17 , receives Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant and shares her journey.
Another achievement for alum, Mark Mclaughlin EdD '17 and Conejo Valley Unified School District superintendent as COLVOP Leadership Matters award from ACSA Region XIII.
    Alum, Laila Jorns MA '16 in Special Education steps up as White Oak Elementary School principal.
 MarkPalmerston     Mark Palmerston EdD '16 started a new position as assistant principal at Santa Maria Bonita School District.
 Source: VUSD FB    Alexandra "Sandy" Echeveste-Corona MA '16 in Educational Leadership introduced as the new Assistant Principal for DATA Middle School in the Ventura Unified School District.
 Trina_Moore-Southall    Trina Moore-Southall EdD '16 will serve as a new member of the GSOE Dean's Executive Advisory Board.
LeslieMartinez    Dan Stepenosky, LVUSD Superintendent, announces alum, Leslie Martinez MA '16 in Educational Leadership as the first Principal of the Year for the district.
 Isabel_Pelayo-Ryan   Master of Arts in Educational Leadership alum, Isabel Pelayo-Ryan '16 is collaborating with the Southeast Ventura County YMCA with the #FindMyGenius program.
KennethLoo    Kenneth Loo, who received a Clear Administrative Services Credential in 2015 is named Conejo Valley Unified School DistrictDirector of Middle School - Professional Learning. Loo also became a new member of the GSOE Dean's Executive Advisory Council.
KathleenScott    Alum Kathleen J. Scott EdD '14in Higher Education appointed Long Beach community college district vice president of academic affairs.
Josie Alquist  

Alum, Josie Ahlquist EdD '15 leading women as keynote NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education's 2018 conference.

Congratulations to alumna, Dr. Josie Ahlquist '15 for being named a LinkedIn Top Voices 2nd year in a row.

 Ana_DeGenna   Alum, Ana DeGenna '14 EdD and Aracely Fox, doctoral candidate, earn new positions in Oxnard School District after retirement of longtime employee.


Alum Melissa La Belle MA '14 in Educational Leadership and Administrative Credential steps up to principal role at Mesa Verde Middle School in Moorpark Unified School District..
 MaeTietjen    Preliminary Administrative Services Credential alum, Mae (Joaquin) Tietjen '10 named new principal at Conejo Valley Unified School District Aspen Elementary School 
source: ARH LI    Santa Barbara Unified School District hires alum and faculty member, Anne Roundy-Harter EdD '10 as new Director of Secondary Education.
 Rose Dunn  
Aracely Fox  
Alumna, Aracely Fox EdD '18, Juan Lagunas Soria School and Oxnard School District earned a Golden Bell for its 80/20 Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program from California School Boards Association
SusanaBaird   Susana Baird MA '13 and Administrative Credential alum becomes A.C. Stelle Middle School principal in the Las Virgenes Unified School District.
 Jim Hand - Source: Catawba College   Alum, Jim Hand EdD '06in Educational Leadership  becomes new dean of new school at Catawba
StewartMcGugan    Alum, Stewart McGugan MS '05, PPS of Oak Park Unified School District is named Administrator of the Year by ACSA Region XIII in the Thousand Oaks Acorn.
 Terri Ohler   Alumna, Terri Ohler MEd '05 named December Teacher of the Month by Simi Valley Unified School District
 SusanSalcido     Santa Barbara Superintendent, Susan Salcido '01, Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC) alum  named 2018 Woman of the Year by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.
Donna Adamski   Alum, Donna Adamski TC '95 and MA '96, is named October  Teacher of the Month by SVUSD.
 Helen_Cosgrove       Alum, Helen Cosgrove MA '95 recognized as Hueneme Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year.
 CarolynAlexander    Alum, Carolyn Alexander TC '94, BA '95 and MA '00 named Educator of the Year.
 Diane_Weis    Alum and GSOE adjunct faculty member, Diane Weis BA '78 and MA '84 in Special Education celebrates retirement.


2017 Alumni Achievements
Christine_Powell   Christine Powell EdD '17 becomes a member of the State Network of Educators (SNE).

 Kenita Hale TC '17 was featured in the Moorpark Acorn about reaching teens through art.

 Mark_McLaughlin    Mark McLaughlin EdD '17becomes Conejo Valley Unified District youngest Superintendent.
Trina_Moore-Southall    Trina Moore-Southall EdD '16 in Educational Leadership highlights the importance of affinity groups in education.
Julane_Barthelmess    Julane "DeeDee" Barthelmess '15 is named associate director at the Alpha Resource Center of Santa Barbara.
Monica_Madrigal     Monica Madrigal Lopez MS '13 in Counseling and Guidance with PPS Credential is elected to the Oxnard School District board.
 Kristen_Robinson     Kristen Robinson MS '09in Counseling and Guidance with CSP specializationbecomes the Moorpark College Student Activities Specialist.

Aaron Ferguson TC '07 Cal Lutheran alum, and Oxnard teacher was awarded CA Milken Educator Award.

Ferguson names Professor Michael McCambridge as an impact on his teaching career in this EDWEEK BLOG article.

Gayle Pinkerston  

Alumna, Gayle Pinkston '06, EdD in Educational Leadership named Teacher of the Month by SVUSD.

 Susan_Salcido     Susan Salcido '01, Preliminary Administrative Services Credential (PASC)will replace longtime leader William Cirone as Santa Barbara County Superintendent of schools.

 Go to our Fulbright Program Page and  Alumni Page for more.