School News

Financial Assistance @ HBAS

21:37 25 August in News, Uncategorized

“We want to give students every chance to learn.” – Principal Steve Curiel

What and Why:  At HBAS, we never want financial obstacles to keep students from reaching their goals. That’s why we have always strived to make our programs affordable.   And now, HBAS has developed a financial assistance program to help students who need it the most.  

Who can ApplyStarting in Fall 2017, students enrolling in the Career Technical Education Programs (CTE), English as a Second Language (ESL), or Diploma/GED programs will have the opportunity to request financial assistance.  Types of assistance available varies by program:  

  • CTE-  Course Fees, Books, Materials, Transportation (bus vouchers). Note: Only students enrolling in one of our 6 CTE Certificate programs can qualify for assistance.  Students enrolling in an individual CTE course are not eligible for assistance.   
  • ESL-  Books and Transportation 
  • Diploma/GED–  Transportation and Internet Access

We especially want to help our current ESL and Diploma/GED students take the next step in their educational and career paths. Students in these two programs who are in good standing will have a better chance of being awarded financial assistance for our CTE programs.

How to Apply: 

Students can apply for financial assistance in 3 simple steps:

Step 1: First, students must enroll and attend their orientation session, where they will provide household and income information.  Interested students will receive the Financial Assistance Request Form and directions on how to complete it. Note: Supporting documentation is required to verify eligibility.

Step 2: Students bring the completed Financial Assistance Request Form and supporting documentation to the front office staff at either the BESST Center campus, Gothard campus, Westminster Mall campus, or Westminster High School campus.

Step 3: HBAS staff will review the information to determine if the student qualifies for financial assistance. Students will receive a response within 1-2 weeks with further directions.

We are thrilled to have the means to offer financial assistance, and hope this will open the doors for new students to reach their academic and career goals at HBAS.   Learn how to start the enrollment process here.


Student Spotlight: Kathleen Jones, Personal Care Aide Program

20:45 17 August in News, Student Success Stories

Kathleen Jones’ journey is the epitome of upward mobility. Within 2 months, she went from being a Personal Care Aide (PCA) student at HBAS to recruiting and hiring HBAS students for a local PCA agency. HBAS interviewed Ms. Jones to find out how she got there.

Looking for a New Career

After 20 years in the mortgage industry, Kathleen left her job and took some time off. “I was taking care of a family relative who was at home and disabled,” she said. “I decided I really liked that type of work and wanted to look into a career in caregiving.” Kathleen found our Personal Care Aide class when she received an HBAS catalog in the mail.

Kathleen, furthest to right, learning and having fun with her PCA classmates.

Becoming a Personal Care Aide

In October 2016, Kathleen became a student in the very first PCA class at HBAS. She was thrilled with the PCA class, and especially the instructor, Alan Bell. Kathleen described Alan as a “hands-on and visual teacher. It was a very fun and interactive environment. We learned so much in such a short period of time.”

Hired on the Spot

When nearing the end of the 2-month PCA course, HBAS Job Developer Arlene Flores visited Kathleen’s class. “Arlene came to offer help with our resumes and practicing job interviews,” Kathleen said. “She then arranged for a couple of home care companies to interview us. Even after class ended, Arlene continued to send us job leads.” In December 2016, Kathleen finished the PCA course and was hired by Canaan Home Care. She was immediately grateful for her training, realizing that she entered the field with far more preparation than the average applicant.

Kathleen attends the HBAS 2017 Community Advisory Committee Meeting – as a business partner! She is to the left of her PCA teacher, Alan, who is standing in the photo.

Moving on up

Within 2 months, Kathleen secured a promotion at her new job. Katie explained, “when a position of Case Coordinator became available, I asked if I could apply. I had administrative experience. I was hired for the position in February 2017.” Kathleen hires and supports caregivers, manages cases and makes client visits. Her experience has truly come full circle, as she now coordinates with Arlene to interview and hire PCA students from very program she just completed!

As a recruiter of personal care aides, Kathleen has a unique perspective on the value of the PCA Program at HBAS. With 80 hours of high quality training, our students are among the most qualified and prepared candidates she comes across. Katie asserted, “if HBAS students are qualified and interview well, we’ll be hiring them. There is a high demand for caregivers, especially with that training. I can’t hire enough people to fill our need.”

A Career in Helping People

So now for the most important question: does Kathleen like her job? She replied enthusiastically, “I love my job. I love interacting with clients and caregivers. We’re helping people.” At HBAS, we are proud of Kathleen and all of our students who have been hired out of our PCA Program. We are proud to offer a career program with a job at the end.

Are you or someone you know interested in the personal care and home health field? Our next PCA class starts September 11th, 2017. 

Learn more about the PCA Program here.


2017 Diploma and GED Graduation

19:41 27 July in News

Our Diploma and GED graduation ceremony took place at the Westminster Mall on June 15th. We celebrated 91 students who completed high school diploma and 15 students who passed and received their high school equivalency.  

At the ceremony, students and guests heard from guest speaker Briana Johnson, a former HBAS student who was awarded the Simon Youth Scholarship in spring of 2016. She was followed by student speaker Reanna Holland, who received a 2017 Recognition of Achievement Award and 2017 Schools First Scholarship.  

HBAS Math Teacher Ann Cosgrove presented several students with Recognition of Achievement Awards, which are chosen by HBAS teachers. She explained how “these students stood out to their instructors, be it for harder work than anyone else or having to do more work than anyone else, and some students stand out for their attitudes.”   

Then our College & Career Specialist, Valerie Beachly, presented scholarship awards to students chosen for their “perseverance, attendance, and academic promise.” These scholarships will help students in their further pursuit of higher education.  

Principal Steve Curiel introduced Dr. Michael Durnil, Executive Director of the Simon Youth Foundation. Dr. Durnil awarded Lisa Marie Tickenoff a $8,000 college scholarship.  

After students were called up by name to receive their diplomas and certificates, District Board Member Kathy Iverson accepted the class of 2017, making them official graduates of the Huntington Beach Union High School District.   

Thanks to all of the family and friends who joined us to celebrate our 2017 graduates. Congratulations, Class of 2017!  

See our Graduation Photo Album and download photos of your graduates here.  

HB Administrators Association Scholarship winners Cynthia Aquino Garcia and Arlette Bautista
Schools First Federal Credit Union Scholarship winners Evelyn Iniguez and Reanna Holland

Recognition of Achievement Award Recipients:  

Kolby Barton • Maria Sandoval • Evelyn Iniguez • Alissa Arreola • Mark Elvidge
• Su Moran • Ruben Del Villar • Reanna Holland • Amber Castaneda 

Scholarship Recipients: 

Huntington Beach Administrators Association (HBAA): • Cynthia Aquino Garcia • Arlette Bautista 

Schools First Federal Credit Union (SFFCU): • Evelyn Iniguez • Michael Sweeny • Reanna Holland 

Simon Youth Foundation: • Lisa Marie Tickenoff

ESL – Enroll for Fall starting July 5th!

20:20 05 July in News, Uncategorized

For the past few years, the ESL Program at HBAS has been expanding to meet growing demand in our community.  During the 2016-2017 school year, we added classes at a new location in Costa Mesa, the BESST Center, and served over 2,500 students!

We are now gearing up for a new school year, and are excited to add two more locations at Fryberger Elementary (Westminster) and Anderson Elementary (Garden Grove).

Starting on July 5th, students can now enroll for our Fall ESL classes.  Check out our list of our Fall 2017 classes and locations.  Students can enroll in any class at any of our main campus locations: Gothard, Westminster High School, the Westminster Mall Learning Center and the BESST Center. Please visit the ESL webpage to see the specific days and times for enrollment at each location.

In addition to our standard ESL classes held mornings and evenings Monday-Thursday, HBAS is proud to offer two extension classes on Friday mornings: Citizenship and Conversation.  The Conversation Class gives students an opportunity to focus on building conversation skills.  This class is open to all levels.

The Citizenship Class is designed to help second language learners pass the new citizenship exam and become U.S. citizens. Students will learn citizenship requirements, practice the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) exams and gain a background in US history and government. Students must test at the ESL level 2 or higher to enroll.

HBAS is proud to continue serving our growing ESL community in new and exciting ways for the 2017-2018 school year.

2017 Pinning Ceremony: Career Programs

16:53 26 June in News, Student Success Stories

On June 15, 2017, Huntington Beach Adult School held a pinning ceremony to mark the passage of our Career Tech students into the professional world. These students recently completed their studies, took their certification exams and are putting their learning into practice in new careers.  Many of our students are hired directly out of their program, often with help from the HBAS College and Career Center.

Thanks to the HBAS faculty and staff, HBUHSD Board Members and family and friends who gathered to celebrate our graduates.  We are proud of their accomplishments and excited to see where their bright futures lead.

See more photos in the CTE Pinning Ceremony Photo Album!

2017 CTE Classes:

The Medical Assisting Certificate Program prepares students for work in a variety of health care settings.  Students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform traditional medical assisting responsibilities including administration and clinical duties and to function as contributing members of the health care team.  The 2017 Medical Assisting class included: Jackie Nguyen, Kim Flores, Tam Nguyen, Giao Nguyen, Taihua Ho, Erica Gonzalez, Candace Harmon, and Deirdre Downey.

The Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program equips students with skills to prepare insurance and billing forms for patients and insurance companies. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Exam of Certified Medical Coding Specialist (CBMCS) for certification. The 2017 Medical Billing and Coding Program class included: Diana Moore, Autumn Carley-Givant, Tyler Morgan, Dori Billstrom, Dolores Becerra and Mizelene Asilo.

The Pharmacy Technician program prepares students to help provide medication and other health care products to patients and consumers.  Students are eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board after completing the Pharmacy Technician courses.  The 2017 Pharmacy Technician Program class included: Andrea Pettett, Jerod Frey, Chandra Zechmeister, Steven Duarte, Cynthia Garcia and Laurie Herbert.

HBAS has had an Administrative Office Assistant certificate program for the past 7 years.  Students take several classes to gain a step up in the labor market.  These classes include Microsoft Office classes at both the beginning and intermediate level as well as accounting and QuickBooks classes.  This is our first year including our student completers in the pinning ceremony.  Congratulations to our first pin recipient for Administrative Assistant, Windy Yau.

Legislation Day

02:10 14 April in News


Legislative Day is an event organized jointly by CCAE (California Council for Adult Education) and CAEAA (California Adult Education Administrators Association).  Supporters of Adult Education make their way to Sacramento to discuss the most immediate and pressing issues facing their schools. Those who make the trip have the opportunity to meet with legislators from their area.  Most who make the trip have the opportunity to make at least three or more appointments with state assembly members and/or senators.  This year our representatives were able to meet with two Assembly members and a Senator. We were able to meet and speak personally with the Assembly Member for our district, Matthew Harper.  Mr. Harper was glad to visit with the folks from HBAS, being a former member of our school board.  He was receptive to the issues that we brought to his attention and was open to support them when they come in the form of an actual Legislative Bill.

Teams of three to six (made up of Adult Education instructors, administrators, and students) present their individual program successes and goals, as well as being sure to hit on the talking points that the Adult Education Associations want to make sure everyone involved is following up on. This year the talking points included 1) a willingness to continue consortia efforts started under AEBG and highlighting the beneficial strides made with this; 2) Conveying the short term perception problems of using the word “grant” and ask the term be revised in statute to words like Allocation or Funding; 3) Support increased funding for AEBG in the form of a COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment); 4) Propose the establishment of an AEBG stakeholder Advisory Committee to make recommendations to CDE and the Chancellor’s office on AEBG policy and guidance. Overall it was a good positive experience in Sacramento for all of us here at HBAS.

Thank you to Tracy Foreman, Jesus Garcia, Suzanne Hammoud, Sherry Mancini (Student), Jim Turnbough, and Phil Villamor for representing HBAS!

Sherry, Suzanne, and Jesus in (Capitol Cafeteria)

Sherry, Suzanne, and Phil (Gov Office in Capitol)

Briefing/ Legislative appt. training (Hyatt Hotel)

Lifelong Learner Awards – 2017

01:59 04 April in News, Student Success Stories, Uncategorized

Adult Education students achieve tremendous growth in learning while facing various personal obstacles. They often proceed to more challenging levels as they achieve their initial goals and discover new interests and set new goals.  Their desire to learn continues to grow and they continue to overcome life’s challenges. These students become models of Lifelong Learning for all of us, young and not so young.”    –  Principal Steve Curiel

Our 2017 Lifelong Learners (front row), with HBUHSD Board Members Dr. Dishno & Dr. Simon, Superintendent Dr. Harwick, and HBAS Principal Curiel (back row).

With these words, Principal Steve Curiel kicked off our 2017 Lifelong Learner Awards on Thursday, March 30th. This annual event is a special opportunity to honor some of our most dedicated and motivated students.

Each year, HBAS educators are asked to nominate students who stand out as lifelong learners.  At this year’s awards ceremony, we honored six HBAS students from our Diploma/GED, Personal Enrichment and Career Technical Education programs. While our 2017 Lifelong Learners come from diverse backgrounds and educational paths, they all inspire the teachers, support staff, and fellow students they meet along the way.

Thanks to HBUHSD Superintendent Dr. Harwick and Board Members Dr. Dishno and Dr. Simon for joining HBAS to celebrate our Lifelong Learners. Thanks to the HBAS teachers who nominated their students, and to the staff members who coordinated the event. And thanks most of all to our amazing 2017 award recipients:


Our faculty and staff are proud to serve these students year-round, and to recognize their accomplishments at the Lifelong Learner Awards.  Please feel free to get inspired: click on each Lifelong Learner’s name to read their story!

– Briana Valadao is a teacher and “field reporter” for the HB Adult School.  She meets with staff and students to learn about the programs offered and share stories and new opportunities with the community. 

Community Advisory Committee 2017 Meeting

20:23 28 March in News

Administrative Assistant Breakout Session

Every March, HBAS calls our community together for an annual “check up” of our Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. At this year’s Community Advisory Meeting, held on March 23rd, we shared updates and sought advice from our diverse CTE community members.

This year, we had one of our biggest turnouts ever! It was an honor for our faculty and administrators to host students, community college and business partners, and HBUHSD Board Members Bonnie Castrey, Dr. Duane Dishno and Dr. Michael Simons.
First, Assistant Principal Shirley Vaughn reflected on several initiatives taken after input from past CAC meetings, including:

  • Career Readiness Skills course
  • Electronic Health Records course
  • Incorporating Microsoft Office and Outlook into our computer course offerings
  • Hiring a Job Specialist and College & Career Specialist
  • Adding English and Math Pre-tests for certificate programs, and offering free courses to improve students’ skills when needed

Ms. Vaughn also emphasized the importance of labor market data and feedback from local businesses in driving our career programs. She explained how these factors led us to establish the Personal Care Assistant Program, and to develop an accounting certificate program that will start next year.

During lunch, Principal Steve Curiel shared student demographic data, and described our efforts to a school safety net for students as we prepare them to transition to college and careers. Attendees also got a brief update on our career pathways from teachers in each program.

Pharmacy Technician Breakout Session

The meeting concluded with the most important part: industry breakout sessions. These sessions give our teachers and administrators a chance to seek advice from students and business partners in their fields.

The annual CAC meeting helps HBAS identify strengths, weaknesses, trends, and practices related to our CTE programs in order to better serve our students and our community. We are thankful to all who attended this year’s event, and look forward to implementing what we’ve learned!

– Briana Valadao is a teacher and “field reporter” for the HB Adult School.  She meets with staff and students to learn about the programs offered and share stories and new opportunities with the community. 

Preparing for Success with Golden West College

18:16 10 February in News

During the 2016-2017 school year, HBAS has focused on preparing students for college and careers.  Our work with the Coast Adult Education Consortium has led to exciting collaborations with Golden West College (GWC).

In Fall 2016, GWC Instructor Crystal Proud began offering College Success Workshops at the Learning Center. These workshops serve HBAS Diploma and GED students planning to move on to community college in the next 4-6 months. To expand this effort in 2017, HBAS and GWC are now launching a College Success Course.

Through this course, students can earn three transferrable college credits. To supplement the online coursework, Instructor Proud will continue to provide workshop-style sessions twice a week, offering students individual support as needed.  The workshops will also be open to other students, though only students enrolled in the course will earn college credits.

The College Success Course is just one of many collaborations with our closest community college neighbor.  Starting this month, Golden West College is providing Mathematics Mentoring at the Learning Center. Like the College Success Course, this opportunity is also geared towards students intending to transfer to community college in the near future. Students will work to improve their math skills in preparation for the mathematics placement test.  With higher placement scores, students can avoid remediation classes when enrolling in college.

And the best part? These courses and workshops are completely FREE for our students!

Our work with Golden West College is made possible by Adult Education Block Grant funding through the Coast Adult Education ConsortiumGWC Dean Alex Miranda Ph. D has been instrumental in working with HBAS Grant Coordinator Philip Villamor to provide these opportunities at the Learning Center. We look forward to expanding this fruitful partnership, always seeking new ways to help our students reach their goals.

* Find workshop hours and locations here.

You’re Hired! – Student Support Services Update

22:57 16 December in News, Student Success Stories

Anongnat Suebsak – Pharmacy Technician

At HBAS, we seek first and foremost to help students transition from our programs into jobs and/or post-secondary education. Teachers are working diligently to understand what is expected from employers and post-secondary institutions so that they can make sure students are well-prepared for their next step in their journey.

Jason Roth – HS Diploma

As a core part of our work in the Coast Adult Education Consortium, we have invested in additional student support staff, and opened the College and Career Center at our Gothard campus.

We are also developing new approaches to enrolling and supporting students throughout their time at HBAS. These new approaches will focus on the development of job readiness skills, often referred to as “soft skills,” while acquiring their academic and vocational skills.

Zoe Garcia – Pharmacy Technician

With all these efforts underway, it is always exciting to hear when our efforts bear fruit. Recently, we were happy to hear that four of our students were hired right after completing their training with us:

  • Anongnat Suebsak, a former ESL student who also completed our Pharmacy Technician program, was hired at Walgreens in Huntington Beach.
  • Diana Moore is working in the field as a Medical Biller with Pacific Medical Lab in Irvine.
  • Jason Roth, who is currently working on his high school diploma and close to finishing, was hired at California Closets.
  • Zoe Garcia, a Pharmacy Technician student, was hired by Telenet RX in Yorba Linda.


Diana Moore – Medical Billing

These student successes represent a number of similar success stories that are happening more and more often at HBAS. This brings great joy to me and my staff.

As we bid farewell to 2016, we look forward to another year of helping our students reach their goals at HBAS…and beyond!

Steve Curiel
HBAS Principal