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Candace Leuthold

Candace LeutholdCandace Leuthold teaches Biology and AP Biology at Early College High School in Costa Mesa. She was part of the original ECHS design team in 2005. Candace was the 2009 Early College Teacher of the Year, the 2009 Newport-Mesa Unified School District Teacher of the Year, and the 2010 Orange County Teacher of the Year. Ms. Leuthold was also recognized by the Wyland Foundation and CBS as a 2011 Earth Month Hero award recipient. In 2012, she was a Newport-Mesa USD Super Star award recipient. Candace was named as an Educator of Distinction by the National Society of High School Scholars. She has also been nominated as a California League of High Schools Educator of the Year, and for the National Association of Biology Teachers Ecology/Environmental Science Award.

Ms. Leuthold is very active on the ECHS campus as a lead teacher and mentor, as well as the emergency coordinator, technology coordinator and administrative intern. She designs lessons that connect content to real world applications through cross-curricular project based learning and performance based assessment. She created the annual Environmental Issues Fair where her students extensively research a local environmental concern and present their thoughts on possible solutions to local experts, as well as the public.

Ms. Leuthold is a strong advocate of environmental education and has developed an ongoing habitat restoration project in the Upper Newport Bay through a partnership with the Newport Bay Conservancy and Orange County Parks, in which her students have successfully restored nearly 2 acres of essential habitat. As part of the project, her students have grown native plants from seed and transplanted them at the restoration site in the place of invasive plants they removed. The students visit the site a few times each year to monitor the restoration progress and expand the restoration area. The efforts of Ms. Leuthold and her students have been recognized with a Gold Level Presidential Volunteer Service Award. Ms. Leuthold has presented the restoration project at the California State Service Learning Leadership Institute.

Candace earned her BA in Exercise and Sport Science and her MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Vanguard University.