District-Wide Professional Development Day: “Imagine, Believe, Achieve!”

Orange, Calif. – August 21, 2015 – Orange Unified School District’s (OUSD) Division of Educational Services hosted the Second Annual “Welcome Back” General Convocation Ceremony for OUSD educators. The highly anticipated event, titled “Imagine, Achieve, Believe,” successfully brought OUSD classroom teachers and additional certificated staff together. Similar to last year’s event, the approach to providing teacher professional development gave every attending participant a new and exciting opportunity to engage in high-quality training that was based on the attendees’ choices and needs.

The District was pleased to be strengthening its collaborative partnership with the Chapman University community by bringing all PreK-12 teachers to the Chapman campus for the first time in many years. This venue provided over 2,000 participants the opportunity to step onto the local university campus and experience a collaborative learning environment firsthand. The keynote address and all session themes focused on fostering Growth Mindset in the organization. PreK-12 classroom teachers, counselors, psychologists, special educators, instructional specialists, alternative education teachers, Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers, Regional Occupational (ROP) teachers, library media specialists, home/hospital teachers, assistant principals, principals, and district administrators were amongst the OUSD crowds.

The ceremony began with a strong “student-centered” opening. As teachers arrived at the event, music was provided by the Villa Park High School (VPHS) Student Jazz Band, under the direction of Chuck Jay. Following VPHS, the Orange High School JROTC presented the colors and a Canyon High School student lead the Pledge of Allegiance. The opening session ended with the National Anthem, beautifully sung by a current student from El Modena High School. Following the opening, Superintendent Michael L. Christensen provided a warm welcome back speech that brought in the new 2015-2016 school year. Orange Unified Education Association (OUEA) President Jennifer Pettey and OUSD State Teacher of the Year Erin Rosselli then addressed the audience with a reading of “Thinking,” a poem by Walter D. Wintle.

Next, OUSD welcomed guest keynote speaker Eduardo Briceño, founder/CEO of Mindset Works ®, which he started with Carol Dweck, Lisa Blackwell and others to help people develop as motivated and effective learners. The keynote focused on helping teachers and students cultivate ownership of their own learning.

Certificated staff and administrators have lauded the event as a great success: providing in-house teacher leadership the opportunity to share best practices and collaborate across the District.  The breakout session presentations covered a wide array of 21st century teaching and learning strategies in all disciplines and grade levels, focusing on the development of Growth Mindset in all students.  The focus of “Imagine, Believe, Achieve” was to develop strong relationships with students in order to engage them in continued educational success. 

The breakout sessions exemplified a myriad of professional learning opportunities that showcased strategies and ideas that current OUSD educators and leaders have successfully implemented in their classrooms. These sessions enabled participants to engage in real and relevant learning that left attendees with the tools necessary to support students in 21st century learning with a Growth Mindset.

Of the 90 sessions offered by our own OUSD staff, attendees were able to select two sessions based on their own interests and needs. Our OUSD schools and District Office are very excited to kick-off an amazing and exciting new school year full of Growth Mindset inspirational activities for all children in our OUSD community.

The District would like to thank all the teacher leaders and in-house experts for their session presentations at the Professional Development Day.


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.