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The Anaheim Union High School District is proud to announce that Katella High School and Walker Junior High School were awarded the Civic Learning Award of Excellence, the top state award in civics education, by a panel of judges and educators selected by the Chief Justice’s Power of Democracy Steering Committee. In addition, Superintendent Michael Matsuda was named a Champion of Civics in the inaugural year of the award and also earned a 2021 Civic Learning Award from the state.
The awards program, now in its ninth year, is part of the California Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative, which includes other programs like Judges in the Classroom. “In the last year, each of these schools moved their classrooms from campuses to computer screens and despite that challenge, they've kept true to their commitment of engaging students in civic learning,” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye said.
This year's Civic Learning Awards were adapted to celebrate people and programs successful in engaging students in civic learning, particularly those not putting civics aside during the pandemic.
AUHSD Superintendent Michael Matsuda is known for his innovation and worked tirelessly to implement and expand civic education in the District. Indicative of Superintendent Matsuda's dedication to civic engagement and leadership, 28 schools in his district have earned Civic Learning Awards since the program began nine years ago. In addition, AUHSD is also home to 15 designated California Democracy Schools, more than any school district in California. This designation means that a school has institutionalized civic learning, through projects like TED Talks or Capstones, and all students participate in that learning/project.
“Our civic-engagement work with our young people reaches across the curriculum, reinforcing their identity, connecting their passions with classroom content, and making learning more relevant and meaningful to them,” Superintendent Michael Matsuda stated.
For more information on the Civic Learning Awards and other programs under the Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative, visit www.powerofdemocracy.org.