WHITTIER – La Serna High School intervention specialist Lisa Barnes is known by her peers as someone who continually goes above and beyond, whether it’s conducting her Homework Club, providing mentoring opportunities for students and local community partners, or working with the Wellness Team to monitor the health and wellness of La Serna students and staff, all while maintaining the school’s successful Guided Studies, OASIS and Haven programs.
Barnes received the surprise of a lifetime on Sept. 19, when a routine meeting with La Serna principal Griselda Castro turned into a celebration for the popular instructor, who was named a 2023 Extra Yard for Teachers recipient by the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation and the Pac-12 football conference. UCLA assistant director of marketing, Bri Hutchings, virtually presented Barnes with a $1,000 donors gift card.
“I’m still in shock, but tremendously grateful for this honor,” Barnes said. “Honestly, I feel like my colleagues have gone the extra mile for the students in this post-Covid period. I’m looking at options for the $1,000 to use it in a way that benefits our student/mentor run Homework Club, in class or afterschool, so that our students can benefit from this award.”
The Extra Yard for Teachers program was initiated by the CFP Foundation to reward teachers and elevate the teaching profession by implementing and supporting activities related to resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.
“It’s not a secret that educators around the country have faced unprecedented challenges in the past couple of years. But many are taking these challenges and teaching students how to manage them in our ever-evolving world,” Hutchings said. “As with many teachers in school, Lisa Barnes has risen to the challenge and because of this, La Serna students have succeeded.”
Castro said she nominated Barnes for the award based on Barnes’ tireless efforts to ensure equity in education, keeping students on track to graduate, and leading wellness teams on campus to make sure that teacher’s needs are being met.
“Lisa is a very humble person who does everything from the bottom of her heart,” Castro said. “She successfully recruits students and community members to serve as academic mentors for the Homework Club and brings these mentors to work with our special education and English learner students. This is on top of providing leadership for our intervention programs.”
Barnes has been at La Serna High for 30 years, beginning in 1993 when she came to the school as a student teacher from Biola University. Over the years she has taught Global Issues, U.S. History, and Ancient Civilizations. After leading the Guided Studies program for several years, Barnes was hand-picked by former La Serna teacher Ken LaVigne to lead the school’s OASIS and Haven programs in 2020.
“Lisa Barnes is a dedicated, diligent and beloved teacher who has worked for years to build trust between herself and her students, allowing them the opportunity to blossom into high achievers and campus leaders,” Superintendent Dr. Monica Oviedo said. “Thank you to the CFP Foundation for recognizing her achievements, and to Griselda Castro for nominating her for the award.”
WUHSD_BARNES1: La Serna High School intervention specialist Lisa Barnes (center) celebrates with La Serna administration and staff after being recognized as a 2023 Extra Yard for Teachers Award winner by the College Football Playoff Foundation and the Pac-12 football conference. Barnes was honored for her work providing academic mentors for students and keeping students on track to graduate.
WUHSD_BARNES2: Lisa Barnes, a La Serna High School intervention specialist, has been recognized as a 2023 Extra Yard for Teachers Award Winner by the College Football Playoff Foundation and the Pac-12 football conference.