Lora Allison Named Orange County School Hero by Parenting OC Magazine
For her commitment to service learning and student growth at St. Margaret’s, Upper School Director of Community Life Lora Allison was named to Parenting OC Magazine’s 2019 list of “School Heroes” and is one of 25 finalists for top employee of an Orange County school.
Mrs. Allison was told of the honor during a surprise announcement at convocation in front of the Upper School student body this week. The news was met with a thunderous applause.
“Mrs. Allison is a dedicated educator and models a life of service,” Upper School Principal Jeneen Graham said. “She works tirelessly to advance the student service learning program at St. Margaret’s. Beloved by students for her genuine encouragement of their voice, leadership and empowering student culture, Mrs. Allison is always available to her students to listen, support and nurture their pursuits.”
In the past few years, Mrs. Allison has been a visionary and key leader in revamping and innovating the school’s long-established service learning graduation requirement. Formerly high school students were required to complete a designated number of service hours outside of school. Mrs. Allison envisioned a more meaningful learning opportunity and impact to communities served, and passionately advocated for a new service learning model to deepen connection with real-world matters, relationships with communities and understanding of authentic vs. perceived needs.
She led a strategic planning team of faculty across the school, solicited feedback from students and community partners and designed a program that allows students to work in advisory groups during the school day thorough the high school years and form long-term relationships with local partner organizations of interest and personal meaning to the students.
“The tremendous impact of this innovative program change has transformed the student experience of service learning by allowing them to cultivate deeper relationships with their organizations through consistent and ongoing interactions, enabling better meaning and connection, and greater impact of their service through better understanding of meeting of authentic needs,” Dr. Graham said.
Mrs. Allison will be recognized at an Orange County awards ceremony on February 6 at the Bowers Museum and will be featured in the March 2019 issue of Parenting OC Magazine along with 24 other Orange County school employees.
UPDATE: In an awards ceremony for Parenting OC Magazine’s 2019 School Heroes program, Mrs. Allison was named 2019 School Community Action Leader in addition to a Top OC School Hero. Congratulations Mrs. Allison!