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Principal receives diversity award

Valencia High School’s Paul Priesz earns the 2008-09 Valuing Diversity Award

Posted: June 25, 2009 6:47 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia High School Principal Paul Priesz

 

Valencia High School Principal Paul Priesz received the William S. Hart Union High School District’s Valuing Diversity Award for the 2008-09 school year.

The award recognizes the Valencia administration, staff and students for outstanding efforts to raise diversity awareness and appreciation on campus and in the community. Priesz was selected for his hands-on efforts and his drive to create a multicultural learning environment.

“Since its opening in 1994, Valencia High has always been a campus where diversity has been a source of pride and celebration,” said Greg Lee, diversity coordinator for the school district. “The full spectrum of the student population is reflected in the faces of those representing the school in the arts, athletics and academics. The staff itself may be the most culturally diverse in the district, evidence of Principal Paul Priesz’ commitment to creating and sustaining a multicultural learning environment.”

The award cited programs as Circle of Friends, which pairs general education and special needs students to increase peer interactions and reduce social exclusion. Valencia’s Safe School Ambassadors have been trained to reduce interpersonal and intergroup tensions, with a minimal amount of adult involvement.

The school also trains peer mediators and peer counselors, who work with students to resolve personal conflicts, and the school regularly hosts Open Forum public comment sessions, where students freely dialogue about topical social issues of the day. The school also conducts its own Unity Week event each year.

 

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