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2017-18 La Vista and La Sierra Employees of the Year

Julie Vinson - La Sierra Certificated Employee of the Year

Julie was hired as the Fullerton Joint Union High School District nurse in 1997 and has served as the La Vista/La Sierra nurse since 2012. Having a designated nurse on site has completely transformed the level of service we provide to our students and families.

As a school nurse, Julie balances working directly with medically fragile students for most of her day while managing all her health logs and report writing responsibilities. The health assessment reports she prepares for student IEPs are always professionally written and presented. They reflect a high level focus and accuracy, but what they cannot do is reflect the extraordinary connection she makes with all students. Whether she is handling a tube feeding, checking blood sugar levels, distributing medication, or assessing an injury, Julie’s calm, gentle manner helps the young people in her care to feel safe and comfortable. Our parents are pleased with the quality of service they receive from Julie

In addition to the strong relationships she builds with students and families, Julie has also earned the trust and respect of her colleagues. In the Endeavor High School setting, where Julie’s office is located, staff members have to be highly calibrated in their practice to support the unique needs of their students. Julie is part of this calibration and never hesitates to add her support to any situation. Her positive disposition is an asset to the entire team.

Julie Vinson’s considerable expertise along with her excellent rapport with students and staff make her the perfect choice for the La Sierra High School Certificated Employee of the Year and I am grateful to have a nurse of her caliber on our team.


Dannica Beener - La Vista Teacher of the Year

Dannica is amazingly accomplished for a young teacher only in her second year at our school. She has had tremendous impact on our campus in her roles as science teacher,  Academy chair and ASB advisor. 

As a science teacher, Danica is well-versed in Next Generation Science Standards and implements them in her planning, instruction and assessment. She utilizes highly-effective strategies that allow students to engage with each other while investigating scientific theory.     

Danica’s work as the instructional leader of the new Academy program is also commendable. This class, and the curriculum she has gathered to support it, has provided a school-wide vision to improve credit productivity for the at-risk students at La Vista - and in the La Sierra Opportunity Program.  It also provides a forum to attend to students’ social/emotional needs through weekly Restorative Practice Circles.

In her role as the ASB advisor, Danica has revitalized the program this year and her students have demonstrated growth in their leadership skills. They have distinguished themselves at District Student Advisory Council, participated in leadership training for the first time ever, and, just received a Phelps Grant to attend summer ASB camp.  It is exciting to see the positive growth these students experience under Danica’s  mentorship.

Danica is a talented and enthusiastic new teacher who has had an incredible impact on the students and staff at La Vista in her first two years.