It was a celebration of education at the fourth annual Newport-Mesa Unified School District State of the Schools breakfast on Wednesday.
Hundreds attended the event in Costa Mesa High School's newly renovated gym. Proceeds from donations will benefit the Newport-Mesa Schools Foundation.
The breakfast included performances from Costa Mesa High singers and jazz musicians, a highlight reel explaining the district's educational offerings, and remarks from Mesa ASB President Manuel Morales and Principal Jake Haley. The table settings were Western-themed with horseshoes — a nod to Mesa's mascot, the Mustang.
In a keynote address, Russell Lee-Sung, acting district superintendent in place of Fred Navarro, who remains on leave following an injury in August, touted Newport-Mesa's recent accolades and award-winning teachers and staff.
He noted new efforts to address students' mental health and wellness, including hiring full-time social workers, and the campus receiving about 15 recognitions from the Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports program, which seeks to establish a positive school climate.
"The state of Newport-Mesa Unified School District is as strong as ever, fiscally, academically and with the comprehensive social and emotional support our students deserve," Lee-Sung said.
He also described how new software is helping to monitor students' attendance.
Newport-Mesa will continue to support technology and innovation through its Chromebook, robotics and summer engineering programs, Lee-Sung said.
He also noted recent improvements to Newport-Mesa campuses, including new playgrounds, the modernization of Early College High School and work at Mustangs and Davidson fields.