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In this Oct. 1, 2018, file photo, Lompoc High School Principal Paul Bommersbach talks to Blue Angels pilot Marine Capt. Beau Mabery, a Lompoc High alum, during an assembly at the school. On Friday night, Bommersbach was presented with the 2019 Valuing Diversity Award from the Association of California School Administrators during a banquet in Solvang.

Lompoc High School Principal Paul Bommersbach said he continually strives to support all students on his campus, regardless of that student’s economic or ethnic background.

On Friday, Bommersbach was recognized for those efforts.

Bommersbach, who is now in his seventh full year as Lompoc High’s top administrator, was presented with the 2019 Valuing Diversity Award from the Association of California School Administrators during a banquet Friday evening at Hotel Corque in Solvang.

As the recipient of the award, Bommersbach was highlighted for his commitment and advocacy for diversity on his campus with staff, parents and students.

A day before accepting the award, Bommersbach said he was “pleasantly surprised” upon hearing he had been selected.

“I’m very honored,” he said. “I have a wonderful staff that tries to treat each student individually and support whatever their needs are, no matter where they come from.”

The award was open to all school administrators in ACSA’s Region 13, which spans all of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties.

The Valuing Diversity Award, according to the ACSA website, is presented annually to an administrator who “fosters positive district office and school climates; promotes the awareness and celebration of diversity; empowers and supports staff to take risks in developing programs for all students; develops strong community partnerships to ensure success for all students; and involves educators and the community in the development of effective and comprehensive outreach and community programs that address issues of diversity.”

Bommersbach was nominated by a colleague who now works in Orcutt.

Among the initiatives likely considered in Bommersbach's selection was a recent push by Lompoc Unified School District to allow students to take tests like the SAT, PSAT and AP exams free of charge.

“Whenever it comes to money, we try to find a way that that should not be a barrier for any student to take part in academics or extracurriculars,” Bommersbach said.

During the 2017-18 school year, Lompoc High began offering El Joven Noble, a character development program that aims to support Chicano/Latino youth and young adults.

The school also has frequently hosted foreign exchange students whose cultures are explored during activities on the campus.

LUSD Superintendent Trevor McDonald was supportive of Bommersbach’s efforts.

“Paul is committed to Lompoc High and works tirelessly with our students, staff and community to provide the best opportunities for all,” he said.

As the Region 13 award winner, Bommersbach is slated to be considered for ACSA's statewide Valuing Diversity Award. The recipient of that award is scheduled to be honored at ACSA's Leadership Summit in November.

“We are hopeful that the state selection committee recognizes all that Mr. Bommersbach does, not just for Lompoc High School, but LUSD as a whole,” said Bree Valla, the district’s director of certificated human resources.

Bommersbach said he was simply proud to continue representing his alma mater.

“I love what I do,” he said, “and the people that I work with and the students here at Lompoc High School definitely keep me coming back each and every day.”

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Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.



Willis Jacobson covers news and other issues, primarily those that affect the Lompoc Valley and Vandenberg Air Force Base, for Lee Central Coast News. He is a graduate of The University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications.