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Trio honored for school program work

Volunteers helped Junior Achievement

Posted: August 19, 2008 9:05 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Gary Hickman, president of Junior Achievement of Southern California, Sabrina MacDougall, JA district manager for Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, Randy Moberg, recipient of Volunteer of the Year, and Sam Sheth, chairman of JA of Southern California Board of Directors, pose for a photo during a ceremony honoring Moberg.

While high school students can turn to their textbooks and teachers to learn about colonial history and British literature, the Junior Achievement program has become a source for teenagers to understand business ethics, resume writing and balancing budgets.

Recently, the skills-building organization honored Randy Moberg, chief operating officer of LBW Insurance and Financial Services, Joanna Sarff, chairwoman of the Golden Valley High School English department, and Nancy Heinisch, career advisor at Saugus High School, for their contribution to building Junior Achievement programs in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Moberg was selected as Volunteer of the Year for his efforts in piloting new programs at local schools, including the Business Ethics program that was taught at Sarff’s 12th grade English class at Golden Valley High School.

For the class, Moberg, who currently serves as chair of the Connecting to Success committee, said he and other business leaders spent seven weeks leading discussions and teaching ethics and general life skills to the teenagers.

"It gives them tools to help make ethical decisions when confronted both in personal and professional situations," he said.

Sarff was named Educator of the Year for her role in implementing the School Wide Action Plan for Golden Valley High and initiating the Business Ethics class at the high school for the first time.

Golden Valley has been involved in the Connecting to Success business conference every year and leaders like Sarff have worked to implement Junior Achievement lessons into the everyday classroom.

Sarff considered the Business Ethics class to be a strong program for the students.

"Having a community or business member come in once a week for seven weeks and present real world, ethical problems and considerations only validates the readings and discussions that we have here in the classroom," she said.

Sarff added that the lessons gave students the ability to reflect upon their own ethics and bring real world problems and situations into the classroom.

Sarff believes the award serves as a recognition for the team that worked to bring the Business Ethics class to Golden Valley.

Heinisch was named Coordinator of the Year for role in incorporating Junior Achievement programs in several areas at Saugus High School.

Saugus High students were among the first in the valley to participate in Junior Achievement Finance Park, an event for the high school students that allowed them to understand concepts like employment, salary and budgeting.

"Junior Achievement teaches business skills, concepts and teamwork applicable not only to all professions and trades, but to life itself," Heinisch said.


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