LBUSD welcomes new leadership at Top of the World Elementary and in special education services

The Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) announced the appointment of Thomas Turner as the new principal of Top of the World Elementary School and Jennifer Moss as the new Program Specialist for special education services. Turner brings extensive experience in educational leadership, while Moss will support the coordination and implementation of special education services. Both will formally join the team during the summer ahead of the 2024-25 school year. The LBUSD Board of Education took action to approve their appointments at a special meeting held on Friday, June 21.

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

Top of the World Elementary School Principal Thomas Turner

“We are fortunate to be part of an exceptional school district that consistently attracts highly qualified educators. It speaks to the caliber of our current leadership team and the desire of exceptional leaders to join it,” said Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D. “We are excited to welcome Tom Turner and Jennifer Moss to our team, whose diverse experiences and perspectives will be invaluable as we continue our commitment to excellence as a top-achieving district in the county and state,” he concluded.

Turner has nearly three decades of experience in education, with 20 years in school, district and county administration. He currently serves as the executive director of Educational Services at the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Southern California (USC), a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego and is a member of the State Bar of California.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity and am very much looking forward to learning more about Top of the World and its wonderful community,” said Turner.

Turner was selected from a competitive pool of 47 applicants, 15 of whom participated in the screening round of interviews. Six candidates were interviewed separately in the second round by a panel of parents, teachers, support staff and administrators. Four candidates were selected to move on to the final interview panel.

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Program Specialist for special education services Jennifer Moss

Moss has worked in education for 26 years, with two decades of experience as a classroom teacher before returning to earn a Master of Science in School Psychology and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential with a School Psychology Specialization from National University in 2018. She earned her Administrative Services Credential in 2022. Moss also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chapman University. She is currently the district coordinator of Special Education Mental Health Services at Capistrano Unified School District.

“I am beyond excited to join the Laguna Beach Unified team! I look forward to collaborating and supporting our students, families and staff,” said Moss. “It is a privilege to join the district’s team, and I cannot wait!”

Moss was selected from a pool of 29 applicants, 13 of whom participated in the screening round of interviews. Five candidates were interviewed separately in the second round by a panel of teachers, support staff and administrators. Three candidates were selected for the final interview panel.

LBUSD will host a series of meet and greet events for the Top of the World Elementary school community, including teachers and staff, to meet Turner once his start date is determined.


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