Hundreds of children, their parents and community leaders turned out for the new Palm Lane Charter School‘s grand opening fiesta on Saturday, August 11:

Dr. Sagui Doering, the principal of the new independent charter school, welcomed everyone to the grand opening and ribbon-cutting. It was a day for which a brave group of poor and working class parents had fought for nearly four years in the face of virulent opposition from the Anaheim Elementary School District’s leadership and employee unions.

A group of Palm Lane students led the Pledge of Allegiance:

A roll-call of local elected and community leaders took turns praising the parents, students and teachers for their courageous fight against the odds and expressed confidence in the success of Palm Lane Charter School. Speakers included former state Senator Bob Huff, who co-authored the Parent Trigger Law used by the parents group to convert Palm Lane into a charter school; former Assemblymember an current 39th Congressional District candidate Young Kim; Anaheim Councilmembers Lucille Kring and Steve Faessel; OC Board of Education Trustee Mari Barke; AESD Board of Education member Jeff Cole; Geronimo Gaytan, one of the lead parents and a member of the school’s board of directors; Teresa Hernandez, a member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County and member of the school’s board of directors.

Geronimo Gaytan (speaking) and others leaders of the Palm Lane parents group that spearheaded the charter school conversion effort.



The ribbon cutting.

Also there to show their support were former Mayor Curt Pringle, a key supporter of the Palm Lane parents; OC GOP Chairman Fred Whitaker; Anaheim mayoral candidate Harry Sidhu; Anaheim City Council candidate Trevor O’Neil; 4th District Supervisor candidate and La Habra Councilman Tim Shaw; Shaun Dove, running against AESD Board member Ryan Ruelas in Area 5; and Bob Loewen, Lincoln Club of Orange County member and strong advocate for the Palm Lane parents.

Jeff Cole was the only Anaheim Elementary School District official to attend the ceremony for the new charter school, which is now independent of the district’s control, politics and red tape. Students will be educated in a STEAM-focused curriculum and the school will be operated by New Century Charter Schools.