The Placer County Office of Education spotlights excellence in education through various programs for students, teachers, school districts, employees and community leaders.
Each year, the Placer County Office of Education supports student teams who compete in the Academic Decathlon - the premier scholastic competition for high school students across the country. Students are tested in ten categories including art, economics, essay, interview, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science and speech. The competition culminates in the team event, called the Super Quiz.
Academic Decathlon teams spend months preparing for this demanding competition. In addition to mastering the extensive academic content, students learn about teamwork, goal setting, planning and leadership. Winning teams advance through the local, regional and state levels of competition.
February, three Placer County teams competed in the 2022 Placer County Academic
Decathlon - the premier scholastic competition for high school students
across the county -- with Rocklin High School taking top honors for the second
consecutive year scoring 30,389.10 points. The team now advances to the state
finals, which will be held in March 2022. Read the press release.
students earned college scholarships due to the generosity of SAFE Credit
Union. View complete individual and team results.
This year, the Placer County Office of Education shined the spotlight on five special employees who demonstrated dedication to the organization, an exemplary work ethic and a commitment to education.
Classified School Employee of the Year - Craig Faulkner
Certificated Employee of the Year - Natalie Liabeuf
Management Employee of the Year - Michele Hill
Rookie of the Year - Mark Williams
Superintendent's Award Recipient - Allison Murphy
The Placer County Office of Education provides services, programs and resources to ensure we provide a globally competitive, comprehensive, rigorous and relevant education to all students.
Read more about our PCOE program impact stories to learn more about the life-changing effect these program have in Placer County.
Meet Kevin. He is a 20-year-old recent high school graduate from the PCOE Intensive Community Action for Responsive Education (iCARE) Come Back Program. The program is based on an independent study model specifically designed to address the academic needs of adult students who have not completed high school and who wish to obtain a high school diploma rather than a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED), which is offered by mostcontinuing education programs.
Over the years Kevin struggled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive functioning skills. In the Come Back Program, he learned how to use a calendar to keep track of assignments and meetings, and he was able to work on tasks when he felt he was best able to focus. Kevin soon earned the 84 credits he needed to graduate and became a peer mentor to other adult students in the program. With his diploma in hand, Kevin is now living in his first apartment and started his own handyman business.
Camie is a third-grade student. She has a physical disability that makes it difficult for her to speak. From the earliest days in her development, she couldn’t communicate what she wanted or what she’s excited about, no matter how hard she tried or how carefully her parents listened.
One day Camie came home from school excited to share something with her parents, and this day was different. Just a year prior she’d been given a voice-output communication tool. She went to the device and selected the picture of another student in her class. Her parents were then able to figure out that she was asking for the same haircut as one of her classmates. They immediately drove to the hair salon.
For parents who struggle to have a meaningful exchange with their children, this was a huge step forward and one of the driving forces behind the Placer County Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) Open Access Project.
SELPA is a state-mandated association which oversees and facilitates education services for students with disabilities.The SELPA office for Placer County is located at the Placer County Office of Education, and its operations are cooperatively governed by the Placer County Superintendent of Schools and member district superintendents. SELPA’s role is to ensure the specialized educational needs of each student with a disability in the county are appropriately met.
The project provides leadership and training to local education agencies across the state on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) strategies. These strategies eliminate barriers that students with disabilities face when they are in a classroom. The goal of the project is to make it possible for every teacher in Placer County and beyond to provide the technology, access and support to help all students learn.
Student mental health is critical to success in school and in life. A school climate in which adults maintain consistent expectations and teach positive social interactions greatly increase a child’s mental wellness.
In Placer County, 33 percent of high school juniors report experiencing chronic sadness and hopelessness. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents, and 16 percent of individuals in this age group have been hospitalized for self-harm. That’s why the Placer County Office of Education Prevention Supports & Services Department teamed up with the Placer County Children’s System of Care to establish student wellness centers on school campuses in Auburn and Roseville.
The Wellness Centers are staffed with mental health and family support specialists during regular school hours. The mental health specialists are licensed therapists whose primary functions are to facilitate the program and provide a continuum of mental health services. The family support specialists have a myriad of experiences with community resources, and their primary function is to work with parents and families to support student success – students like second-grader James.
James was having a hard day and was distraught, distracted and making a scene in class. After a time out in the Wellness Center, where a mental health specialist could address his needs, he returned to the classroom focused and engaged.
By supporting students and teaching them to build their resiliency and coping skills, the Wellness Centers are making a difference one student at a time.
“It takes an entire school community to ensure our
students are ready for college, career and life," said Superintendent
Garbolino-Mojica. “As the Placer County Superintendent of Schools, I am
honored to recognize these amazing individuals for their commitment and
contribution in making Placer County gold in education."
year, Placer County honors nine Classified School Employees of the Year
who best symbolize the profession's contributions and commitment to
quality education. Honorees are then eligible to participate in the
state program facilitated by the California Department of Education.
Rocklin Unified School District
Western Placer Unified School District
Auburn Union School District
Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
Roseville City School District
Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District
Placer Union High School District
Newcastle Elementary School District
Roseville Joint Union High School District
Placer County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica is pleased to announce the 2022 Placer County Teachers of the Year.
"Teachers like these are what makes Placer County gold in education," said Superintendent Garbolino-Mojica.
Congratulations to the 2022 Placer County Teachers of the Year!
Carl C. Coppin Elementary School, Western Placer Unified School District
Granite Oaks Middle School, Rocklin Unified School District
Truckee High School, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
Held Monday, November
1, 2021 at the Rocklin Event Center, the Placer County School Boards
Association (PCSBA) celebrated local school board members, honoring one
trustee with a Longevity Award and five trustees with Trustee of the
Year Special Recognition Awards. Read more.
Special Recognition Awards
Julann Brown, Auburn Union School District.
Carol Garcia, Sierra College District.
David Patterson, Ed.D., Placer County Board of Education.
Andrew Tagg, Roseville Joint Union High School District.
Maureen "Mo" Ward, Placer Union High School District.
Special thank you to the Placer County School Boards Executive Committee
Bill Schuetz, Chair, Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District.
Sarah Brichler, Vice-Chair, Auburn Union School District.
Kelli Gnile, Placer County Board of Education.
Lynn Oliver, Placer County Board of Education.
Nancy Palmer, Sierra College District.
Maureen “Mo” Ward, Placer Union High School District.
Kris Wyatt, Western Placer Unified School District.
The Placer County Office of Education's Spelling Bee brings the best
spellers in the county together for a competition designed to promote
and acknowledge exemplary student achievement.
Each year, approximately 250 students in grades four through eight qualify to compete in the countywide written exam in February, with the top 10 scorers
in each grade level moving on to the oral competition in March.
County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino-Mojica is pleased to
announce the winners of the 2022 Placer County Spelling Bee.
Grand Champion: Koa Sounthavin, 8th grade, Roseville City School District
Winning word: pharmaceutical
2nd Place: Audrey Tzeng, 7th grade, Rocklin Unified School District
3rd Place: Stella Wylie-Minor, 4th grade, Rocklin Unified School District
4th Place: Cael De Sagun, 6th grade, Roseville City School District
5th Place: Skyler Emery, 5th grade, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
“We’re proud of the academic achievements of our students in Placer
County,” said Superintendent Garbolino-Mojica. “The students who
participated in the 2022 Placer County Spelling Bee are the top spellers
in their grade level - they are all winners."
As Grand Champion, Koa Sounthavin participated in the California State Junior High Spelling Bee on Saturday, May 14, 2022 - and placed second overall! Congratulations Koa!
See the excitement of PCOE programs and events for yourself in these great video stories.
How can my student participate in the Spelling Bee?
The process begins with your local school district. Contact them for details and key dates.
How do I nominate my teacher for Teacher of the Year?
The process begins with your local school district. Contact them to share your story and find out the process in your district.
California Academic Decathlon
California Classified Employees of the Year Program
California Teacher of the Year Program
Statewide Spelling Bee
Students turning 16-18 years of age during the school year may register to vote by following the link to the Secretary of State's website.
“The best education is not given to students; it is drawn out of them."
― Gerald Belcher