At the 2014 California School Board Association’s (CSBA) Annual Education Conference in December, the Alhambra Unified School District was awarded the Golden Bell Award for its outstanding Intern Training Academy. The CSBA Golden Bell Awards program, now in its 35th year, promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. The competition highlights best practices in education and distinguishes innovative and sustainable programs while focusing on the needs of all public school students.
AUSD created the Intern Training Academy to provide comprehensive prevention, intervention and mental health services to uninsured, underinsured and indigent students while providing a clinical training experience for interns focusing on best practices in mental health delivery. The district has been able to address the holistic needs of students, improve school outcomes and school climate, and reduce suspension and expulsion rates. Under the direction of Dr. Laurel Bear, Assistant Superintendent Student/Employee Welfare, 101 interns were trained and currently 96 are serving AUSD students for the 2014-2015 school year. Tonya El-Hendi, LCSW, Gateway To Success Counselor, coordinates the intern program.