A group of Northwood High School (NHS) teachers, parents, students and staff members — led by NHS teachers Leanne Lauritzen and Christina Banagas-Engelerdt, along with former PTSA President Beatrice Tseng — successfully nominated NHS Principal Dr. Leslie Roach for recognition by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).

(Left to Right): Leanne Lauritzen, Leslie Roach, Beatrice Tseng, and Christina Banagas-Engelerdt

Dr. Roach was chosen as the recipient of the distinguished Marcus Foster Award for Administrator Excellence, which recognizes outstanding leadership and significant contributions to education by a school administrator.

The ACSA committee was so impressed by the sentiments expressed in the nomination letter of Dr. Roach that they’ve advanced her as a finalist for the State Administrator of the Year Award. 

Dr. Roach is a lifelong Irvine resident and graduate of Irvine High School.  She started her career as an educator at Lakeside Middle School before transitioning to Northwood High School in 2001.

Dr. Roach taught math, was the ASB Director, and held several other leadership positions on the NHS campus before becoming an Assistant Principal in 2005.   She was hired as principal in 2007. 

According to the teachers who nominated Dr. Roach for the award, Northwood High School has thrived under her leadership.  (It is ranked as one of the top public high schools in the nation.)  The educators believe that Dr. Roach has fulfilled the role of principal exceptionally well through many challenges, especially over the the past year as schools have had to adapt to changing circumstances in education due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

When asked why they were so passionate about nominating Dr. Roach for this award, the teachers said: “Dr. Roach is a skilled leader who inspires her staff and creates a community of trust, mutual respect, and dedication to our students.  She is a true educator at heart and she always brings conversations back to the question, ‘how is this good for students?’  We are so proud of her!”

Irvine Community News & Views congratulates Dr. Roach on this prestigious award!