AVID Region 9 Team

AVID Region 9 views ongoing professional development as critical to supporting student and teacher success and encourages a variety of professional development approaches, including:  
  • AVID Coordinator and Teacher Workshops
  • On-site technical assistance
  • School-based, in-services for faculty and staff
  • Pre-certification and certification meetings between the AVID site teams and the regional staff
  • Tutor training workshop series
  • Annual AVID Summer Institutes
 Every opportunity to bring AVID professionals together to explore teaching and learning is an opportunity to support professional growth.
​Orange County ​San Diego County ​Imperial County
​Cynthia Gutierrez ​​Liz Laughlin Toni Dickerson
​Denise Harshman Darren Smith
​Myrtice Rowe

Cynthia Gutierrez is an AVID Coordinator at the Orange County Department of Education. Cynthia worked for seventeen years for the Long Beach Unified School District as a teacher, elementary school counselor, and high school counselor/activities coordinator. She especially enjoyed implementing the AVID program at her high school, and was the Coordinator for her school. Cynthia earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology, Master’s in Education, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership at UCLA. She received her Bachelor’s in Counseling at the University of La Verne. Cynthia supports the AVID programs in the Anaheim Union, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach Union, Ocean View, Newport-Mesa, and Westminster School Districts.
Phone: 714-966-4292  Fax 714-327-0494

Denise Harshman is an AVID Coordinator at the Orange County Department of Education.  She  worked with AVID at Colton High School and Tustin High School.  She worked with AVID as a tutor before beginning her teaching career.  In addition to her AVID experience, she has been an English and ELD teacher.  She received both her Bachelor’s Degree in English and her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from California State University, San Bernardino.  Denise also works with Orange County Social Services Foster Youth program. As an AVID Program Coordinator, Denise supports the AVID programs in the Garden Grove, Orange, Placentia-Yorba Linda, Saddleback Valley and Santa Ana School Districts. 
Phone: 714-966- 4446  Fax: 714-327-0495

Myrtice Rowe is an AVID Coordinator at the Orange County Department of Education. Myrtice earned a B.A. in English, a Single Subject Teaching Credential, and later, an M.A. in Educational Leadership and an Administrative Credential from San Diego State University. She was a teacher and AVID Coordinator at Monte Vista High School where she taught English, Reading, and AVID for eight years. Myrtice was advisor to the African Student Coalition and the Step Team. During her exemplary teaching experience, Myrtice earned the Golden Apple Award, Monte Vista's Teacher of the Year, and the Carlston Family Foundation's Outstanding Teachers of America Award. Myrtice collaborated with AP teachers at Monte Vista High School to raise the number of students enrolled in AP courses. This partnership resulted in an increase in the school’s AP pass rate.  Myrtice supports the AVID programs in the Buena Park, Capistrano, Fullerton Elementary, Fullerton Joint Union, Garden Grove, La Habra, and Tustin School Districts.
Phone: 714-966-4423  Fax 714-327-0494
E-Mail: mrowe@ocde.us


Liz Laughlin is the AVID coordinator for the schools within the San Diego Unified district. She has been involved with AVID since the early 1990s when she served as the site coordinator at Clairemont High School as well as a staff developer in the Socratic Seminar strand during several AVID Summer Institutes. Liz has 18 years experience as a middle school and high school teacher in various San Diego Unified schools.  She also has been a vice-principal and principal, having worked in that capacity at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts from 2002 – 2007. She was an active member of the AVID site team and increased the number of sections of AVID from two to five during her time as principal.
She earned her Masters of Arts degree from San Diego State University in 2000 and is currently working towards a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership in a unique dual enrollment program at UCSD and Cal State San Marcos.
Phone: 858-569-5493 -- FAX: 858-541-0265


Darren Smith is the East County AVID Coordinator at the San Diego County Office of Education. Darren served as the AVID Coordinator at Emerald Middle School in the Cajon Valley Union School District for six years. His teaching assignments over the past thirteen years include Mathematics, English, History, Science, Physical Education, Digital Art, Computer Literacy, ELD and AVID.
Darren earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture with honors at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and gives professional development to teachers and AVID Coordinators on technology integration.
As a director for Emerald’s eConnection technology program, Darren collaborated with the Lemon Grove School District and the Classroom of the Future Foundation to establish an innovative One-to-One Initiative, which has transformed teaching and learning in his AVID classroom.
Phone: 858-569-5450 -- Fax: 858-541-0265