Chicca-Wilding Gets Double Honors

One week after Lucerne Valley first grade teacher Marina Chicca-Wilding was surprised by Assemblyman Jay Obernolte with a special award, she was named the school district’s “Certificated Employee for August.”
“Marina continually steps up when things need to be done,” Superintendent Peter Livingston said during Thursday’s regular monthly meeting where Ms. Chicca-Wilding received her award.
Ms. Chicca-Wilding wears many hats. She serves as the elementary school’s first grade team lead and coordinates the lesson planning and implementation of first grade curriculum. She also serves as the advisor for the Destination Imagination teams and holds practices and coordinates the itinerary for the multiple DI teams Lucerne Valley Elementary School supports.
“This is a big job,” said Assist. Supt./Principal Mr. Burt Umstead, who nominated the teacher for the monthly award. Ms. Chicca-Wilding also has assumed the position of English Language coordinator for district. “This is another big task that has been made more efficient due to Marina helping to lead this charge.”
Additionally, Ms. Chicca-Wilding is a coach for three new teachers on campus. Her mentees have come to rely on her heavily.
“Our new teacher success is, in part, due to Marina’s efforts with our new teachers for student success,” according to Mr. Umstead. “Marina also supports our school as the Family Night and assembly coordinator.” Finally, he added, “Marina is an excellent teacher and I would be proud to have my children in her class.”
On September 6, Assemblyman Obernolte personally presented Ms. Chicca-Wilding with the Outstanding Teacher of the Month for the 33rd Assembly District following the dedication of the Bud Biggs STEM Lab at the elementary school. Obernolte was one of several featured speakers at the event, which featured the Biggs family and a number of state, county and regional officials.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, Trisha Parr received “Employee of the Month” honors as the district’s outstanding classified staff member for the month of August.
The superintendent read the nominating text from Ms. Parr’s supervisor, Food Service Manager Cindy Lattin-Oliveira: “Trisha has been a valuable addition to the Food Service Team. She contributes more than her fair share. Trisha goes the extra mile and takes direction well. Trisha turns every situation into a positive one.”
Ms. Lattin-Olivera added, “I can always count on her to lighten the mood or make us all laugh. I look forward to working with her for many years to come.”
The Employees of the Month joined Mr. Livingston and members of the district’s board of trustees — board president Jim Harvey, and board members Tom Courtney, Carmen Fox, Ruben Medina and Jessica Risler — for a photo during the meeting. Earlier this year, the Lucerne Valley Unified School District’s board members have started alternating who conducts the monthly meetings at the pleasure of the president. Jessica Risler led the recent meeting.
#1 Teacher Marina Chicca-Wilding and food services staff member Trisha Parr, fourth and fifth from left respectively, join Supt. Peter Livingston, left, and members of the school board. Board members: Board President Jim Harvey, Tom Courtney, Ruben Medina, Jessica Risler and Carmen Fox. Photo by Doug Beaton
#2 Teacher Marina Chicca-Wilding shows the award she received from Assemblyman Jay Obernolte to one of her students. Photo by Peter Day
#3 Assemblyman Jay Obernolte presents the 33rd Assembly District Teacher of the Month Award to teacher Marina Chicca-Wilding as students and guests look on. Obernolte was one of several dignitaries who attended the dedication of the Bud Biggs STEM Lab on September 6 at Lucerne Valley Elementary School. Photo by Peter Day
#4 Teacher Marina Chicca-Wilding receives the special award from Assemblyman Jay Obernolte. Photo by Peter Day