Encinitas Union School District proudly receives statewide awards

Governance Team Leadership and Climate Change Innovation Awards

In its 43rd year, the California School Boards Association (CSBA) Golden Bell Award program promotes excellence in education by recognizing outstanding public school programs that are innovative and sustainable, make a demonstrated difference for students, and focus on meeting the needs of all public school students.  Experts from school districts and county offices of education comprise the judging panel and on-site validation visits assessed the programs in action.  In 2022, CSBA announced a brand-new Award — The Golden Gavel: Governance Team of the Year Award. This award recognizes and celebrates exemplary and effective governance of an entire governance team.

Encinitas Union School District is honored to receive the Golden Gavel Award for the Governance Team of the Year and the Golden Bell Award for its Farm Lab program.  The 2022 awards were presented at special ceremonies at the CSBA Annual Education Conference in San Diego this month. 

Golden Gavel Award: Governance Team Leadership

EUSD’s Governance Team was honored to be selected for the Golden Gavel as we know the tremendous effort, dedication and work being done by school board members across the state for the benefit of the students and community. The current climate, opposition and challenges faced by school boards has never been as intense as they have been over the past few years. EUSD’s board is proud to stand in support of all students despite the many obstacles put in the way. As a Board, we have the obligation and responsibility to ensure we continue to cultivate schools where all children can be seen, heard, loved in ways that connect them meaningfully to learning. 

 It is our most essential work to keep our students and families at the center of our decision making. Each EUSD Board member brings their unique perspective, background, and experience to the dias. And then together we make decisions that consistently mirror our mission and purpose as a district.  It is our trust in one another and our shared purpose that has no agenda, but the business of creating the best school experience for each and every child within our care. 

Golden Bell Award:
Farm Lab Program

EUSD’s Farm Lab program was chosen to receive the state’s leading educational honor, the 2022 Golden Bell Award, in the Climate Change Innovation Category.  The Farm Lab project began as a 10-acre dirt lot. Through a visionary, green lens, EUSD leadership built out the property to expand district farm to school efforts and provide innovative, transdisciplinary, project and place-based environmental education to all kindergarten through grade six students. Two intentional components were integrated to meet the school board’s goals and serve all EUSD students: an organic farm and the DREAMS satellite sustainability campus (Design, Research, Engineering, Art, Math and Science.) The project provides various climate change education opportunities for all and minimizes the district’s carbon footprint.

EUSD Superintendent Dr. Andrée Grey shared appreciation of the CSBA validation team in awarding the 2022 Golden Bell for the EUSD Farm Lab program.  Superintendent Grey shared that “All EUSD students visit Farm Lab annually.  The sustainability campus provides high quality, hands-on science instruction and design thinking challenges that create solutions to real world problems.” 

EUSD Board President Marla Strich commented “The Farm Lab project’s certified organic farm supplies produce for school salad bars and scratch made lunch items, which has created healthier students and built rich soil. The farm has built student awareness of food systems and the benefits of eating local and organic, while simultaneously minimizing the district’s carbon footprint.”