As we approach the start of a new semester, join us in reflecting on the successes and celebrations of Fall 2021. We are more impressed and grateful than ever for our dedicated and innovative team at HBAS. The annual CCAE Conference in November 2021 was a perfect opportunity to recognize a few incredible members of our staff.
The HBAS Admin team was delighted to honor our nominations for the CCAE Excellence Awards in Support Services and Teaching. Enjoy these spotlights on our 2021 honorees: Counselor Ashley Nguyen, Lead Receptionist Heidi Offerdahl, and Instructor Lauren Roberts-Gilmore.
Ashley Nguyen: CCAE Excellence in Support Services Award
In her five years as Counselor at HBAS, Ashley Nguyen has played a significant role in our school’s Student Support Services Department. Through her efforts, we have significantly increased the number of partner agencies that provide support services to our students.
As a member of the HBAS Leadership Team, Ashley assisted in researching and planning for the implementation of an HBAS Student Education and Career Plan. She took the lead in planning our first ever ESL Promotion Ceremony, a special event to recognize our students’ achievements.
Ashley’s extensive experience with college planning and counseling before coming to HBAS has helped improve our school’s efforts in this regard. She works closely with our three partnering community colleges and supports all teachers as they promote a college-going attitude among our adult students.
Ashley also supports students directly as she meets one-on-one to help them overcome barriers both academic and personal. She has also created a variety of online resources, from a series of YouTube videos to our very own HBAS Wellness Hub. Our student and staff communities are lucky to have Ashley in our corner.
Heidi Offerdahl: CCAE Excellence in Support Services Award
Since Heidi Offerdahl joined our team more than 15 years ago, serving HBAS in many capacities, she has performed her duties with pride and excellence. Currently, as lead receptionist, Heidi is one of the key persons responsible for the intake of 1000s of students. Her friendly, caring, and energetic demeanor has boosted our school’s reputation for excellent customer service.
I have observed in Mrs. Offerdahl a natural ability to identify problems and propose viable solutions. She is a very quick learner, asks excellent questions, and gives valuable input. Heidi always aims to exceed the expectations placed on her.
Heidi’s responsibilities include orienting students to our programs, helping them complete enrollment forms, and answering questions they might have about our hundreds of classes. This can be a stressful experience for students, but Mrs. Offerdahl takes the time to reassure and make each student feel comfortable through the process. Even students who lack basic English skills appreciate her effort to help them feel welcomed.
For many students, Heidi is the first person they encounter from our school, and it is always a positive encounter, which makes them want to come back.
Lauren Roberts-Gilmore: CCAE Excellence in Teaching Award
Lauren Roberts-Gilmore has made quite an impact in her time at HBAS, with 13 years teaching ESL and 2 years in the Diploma/GED program. Lauren has done an excellent job of maintaining large classes by focusing on the needs of her students, implementing a plethora of instruction strategies, and working collaboratively with coworkers to build support systems for students.
Mrs. Roberts-Gilmore consistently searches for ways to do things better through professional development and researching educational topics on her own. Well-respected by her colleagues, Lauren has been selected for leadership roles in book selection committees, curriculum committees and articulation committees. She currently serves as ESL Department Chair and as a member of the HBAS Leadership Team.
Mrs. Roberts-Gilmore has also been active in our CCAE Chapter (California Council on Adult Education), most recently as our Chapter President. She promotes CCAE membership to new staff, sharing the vital role CCAE plays in supporting Adult Education across the state.
Whether you encounter Lauren in the classroom or a staff meeting, her passion for education (and her laughter) are contagious.
With Ashley, Heidi and Lauren on our team, there is no doubt HBAS will continue to grow and thrive, finding new ways to support and instruct our students. We deeply appreciate their commitment to our learning community.