2023 LA County Golden Bell Winners

Thu Dec 14 05:54:00 PST 2023

14 LA County districts take home prestigious Golden Bell Awards.

This year, 14 school districts from across L.A. County were recognized for their stellar education efforts at California School Boards Association (CSBA)'s 44th annual Golden Bell Awards ceremony. We congratulate this year’s awardees and invite everyone to check out the award categories and projects that received this incredible recognition.

The CSBA Golden Bell Awards® promote excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.

CSBA's Golden Bell Awards 2023 Program Image

Career Technical Education


California Advancing Pathways for Students:

Building Bridges to Industry

Bellflower High School, Buena Vista HS, Firebaugh HS, Las Flores Education Center, Lynwood HS, Mayfair HS, Odyssey STEM Academy, Paramount HS, Somerset HS, Vista HS

California Advancing Pathways for Students (CalAPS) ROC/P is dedicated to building bridges to industry by providing quality career technical education for students to ensure they become successful, college- and career-ready members within the global community. The program’s vision is to ensure courses are standards aligned, taught by industry experts, provide meaningful career exploration, supported by business and higher education, and aligned to the local labor market. New innovative programs are the BioAnimaker Lab, Switch Electric Vehicle instruction and ESports Gaming Lab.


Solar Car 

Antelope Valley Union High School District, Palmdale High School

In 2014, during an inspiring conversation on a field trip to a renewable energy facility, Palmdale High School students embarked on a journey that would shape their futures. The seeds of ambition were sown as they envisioned building and racing a solar car. This audacious project did not just materialize overnight: it thrived through unwavering support from industry leaders, community partnerships and the Antelope Valley Union HSD. Together they propelled the program far beyond initial expectations in meeting students’ academic and professional aspirations.


Covina High School Agriculture Program “The Farm”

Covina-Valley Unified School District

The Covina Agriculture Program is dedicated to delivering a premier education in animal and plant science. Students are not only prepared for successful careers in these domains but also foster a deeper understanding of consumer needs. Program effectiveness is assessed by student accomplishments, highlighting the pervasive role of agriculture in people’s daily lives — from the food they eat, the clothes they wear, to the medicines they take and the pets they cherish. Covina High’s hands-on farm experience underscores the indispensable nature of agriculture in society, reinforcing the imperative for continued learning in this vital sector.

Civic Education


Project Life Experience about Democracy (LEAD)

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District, Del Valle Elementary School, Nelson ES, Sunset ES, Workman ES, Orange Grove Middle School, Sierra Vista MS, Sparks MS, La Puente High School

Project LEAD fosters informed citizens who are hopeful about democracy and develop knowledge, skills and civic dispositions by identifying relevant community issues, proposing solutions, developing resolutions and participating in real-world civic action. Students’ experiences span beyond learning content knowledge such as history, social studies, government, politics and literacy into transferrable essential life skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, effective communication, citizenship and character development.

Closing the Opportunity Gap


Compton Unified Esports League (CUEL) Initiative “From Games to Career”

Compton Unified School District

Compton Unified Esports League (CUEL) is a districtwide program that envisions a future where scholars have opportunities to engage in STEAM education. Addressing the lack of diversity in STEAM careers, Compton USD harnessed the engagement of esports to boost inclusion, and to ensure that students are college and career ready for STEAM fields. CUEL’s approach provides mentors through university partners and exposes students to career opportunities within the $300 billion gaming industry. 


Super Tutor Program

Glendale Unified School District, Fremont Elementary School, Keppel ES, Muir ES, Valley View ES, Roosevelt Middle School, Rosemont MS, Toll MS, Wilson MS, Verdugo Academy, Clark Magnet High School, Crescenta Valley HS, Glendale HS, Hoover HS

The Super Tutor Program uses a team of student academic tutors who support their peers in a variety of courses at Glendale USD schools while giving tutors an opportunity to develop leadership skills. Super Tutors have course mastery and participate in a certification training on effective tutoring and teaching practices to ensure they possess both content mastery and effective pedagogy. A special website lets students find tutoring schedules on their campus for their desired subjects.


Lynwood Job Opportunities for Youth (LJOY)

Lynwood Unified School District

The Lynwood Job Opportunities for Youth (LJOY) program offers McKinney-Vento and foster youth students the opportunity to work at local schools while earning their high school diploma. LJOY allows students that have faced challenges to re-engage in school by participating in on-the-job training and mentorship opportunities while working toward their high school diploma. When a student completes the LJOY program, they will have earned their high school diploma and will have gained valuable work experience and skills needed for post-graduation. 

Early Childhood Education


TK & Kinder Readiness Academy

El Monte City School District

The TK & Kinder Readiness Academy closes the achievement gap for El Monte City SD students. This fully funded program provides online learning, family nights, parent workshops and more for students as they gain self-confidence and get a jump start on literacy and mathematics. Parents build a support network and learn to nurture their child’s social, emotional and academic development. TK and kindergarten students see themselves as scholars as they begin their educational journey in El Monte City SD.

Equity and Access


Los Nietos Middle School STEAM Academy Cybersecurity Program 

Los Nietos School District, Los Nietos Middle School STEAM Academy

Engaging students through cybersecurity education, mentorship with STEAM professionals, and team-based competition to ensure they remain engaged in math and science after middle school is working! The program’s success has spawned a new middle school-to-college STEAM pathway in Los Nietos SD’s predominantly Hispanic community that is placing more students on the path to success in STEAM careers. Students from the inaugural cohort — the first in their family to attend college — are now pursuing STEAM degrees.

Family/Student/Community Engagement


Student Leadership

East Whittier City Elementary School District

Students are valued and impactful leaders in East Whittier City SD. A student board member represents the voices of students in the community and actively participates in every board meeting. Student leaders from all school sites meet with the superintendent to voice their ideas and suggestions during Student Advisory Committee meetings. Every year, the district hosts the Student Leadership Summit for over 350 students to attend. The Student Leadership Initiative ensures that all students have opportunities to develop as 21st-century learners and leaders.

Innovation in the Times of Crises 



Cultivating a Creative Culture and Connecting the Community

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, Eastwood Elementary School

When students were forced into isolation, EastwoodTV (eTV) strengthened the school-home connection. eTV is the digital storytelling and broadcasting hub for Eastwood Elementary School that began during the global pandemic with a weekly principal update. Since then, eTV has evolved into a student-led program. Students learn multimedia storytelling, broadcasting, video editing, script writing, production and design. Through student-led content, eTV provides social-emotional learning resources, celebrates student and staff accomplishments, highlights pertinent information, and serves as a catalyst of innovation for partnering schools throughout the district.

Social/Emotional Health/Wellness


A Multi-Tiered System of School Support for Mental Health: 

Model for Covitality Implementation

Baldwin Park Unified School District

In 2018, Baldwin Park USD initiated a pilot program using the Covitality Survey to screen students in grades 4-12 due to a rise in mental health needs and instances of mental health hospitalizations. Historically, identifying struggling students with internalized stress, who may not exhibit overt behavioral issues, has been difficult, but the district’s survey implementation led to one-on-one meetings with 1,978 students and connecting them with appropriate mental health resources before they reached a critical point.

Special Education


Effective Co-teaching Practices in Secondary Classrooms

Downey Unified School District, Downey High School, Warren HS, Doty Middle School Griffiths MS, Stauffer MS, Sussman MS

The Downey USD Board of Education implemented a new graduation policy in 2017, requiring ALL students to complete the 15 UC/CSU “A-G” subject requirements with a C or better by 2027. In response to these new rigorous requirements, the district’s secondary schools implemented a co-teaching inclusion model to give access to and support in A-G courses for all students. This model significantly contributed to the increase in the A-G completion rate for our students with individualized education programs (IEPs). 

Technology Innovation


InvenTeam at Garey High School

Pomona Unified School District, Garey High School

In 2022, the Garey High School InvenTeam was awarded U.S. Patent 11382564B2. Their invention, a “medical monitoring system with a foot diagnostic device,” allows diabetics to self-monitor foot health. The team of eight student inventors (seven girls, one boy) and two teachers were in a district where 25 percent of students will be the first in their family to complete high school, 99 percent are minority, 95 percent are Hispanic, and 97 percent are socioeconomically disadvantaged. The students learned self-reliance, teamwork, creativity and determination. Everyone on the InvenTeam went on to universities and STEM careers.