Last week, a post appeared on the Ladera Ranch Mom’s Facebook Page from Jill, applauding the then “unknown” fire captain who takes time each week to teach the young boy something new about firefighters – something we all know will positively impact this young boy for life – the fact that a “real fire captain” took the time and effort to answer this young boy’s questions.
    “If this is your husband, he’s one cool dude,” the Ladera Mom of the future firefighter wrote. “My husband and son see him often at Brueggers and each time, he goes out of his way to make my son’s day.  This morning was a mask demo and light show. Please send our gratitude.”
    The post quickly garnered attention and over 400 mom’s “liked” the post – and if you can get the “Mom’s of Ladera” on your side, you are doing something right! Its a very discerning group.
    By day’s end, word reached Captain Barry’s wife, Kristi, also a member of the Mom’s page. Kristi has known about the new friendship since the two first met, as she was the first call her husband made originally to tell her of this sweet, inquisitive boy who simply loves firefighters.
    "It makes me feel great that it makes this boy so happy. I remember calling my wife to tell her about him the first time I met him,” said Captain Barry.
    “You see something like that and it teaches you what it’s all about – why we chose this profession.  It makes my day and I definitely go to work with a smile on my face.”
    Captain Barry will be featured as a firefighter on “Rogan’s Heroes” this Sunday, November 6, following Sunday Night Football.
    And as for the little boy, Captain Barry has a helmet and firefighter stickers for him the next time he see’s him.

By Amy R. Spurgeon-Hoffman, Ladera Times Reporter/Photographer

Young 'Firefighter' Meets Hero at Brueggers

    P21, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, designated The Goddard School (photo above) as an exemplar school for 2016-2017. 
    The Goddard School received this honor for exemplary 21st century learning practices in preparing students for success in college, career, and life.
    P21’s 21st Century Learning Exemplar Program searches for and shares the stories of schools and districts that have successfully transformed student learning through innovative practices such as distributed leadership and community partnerships. 
    Michael Smithers (insert), Owner of the Goddard School of Ladera Ranch said, “We are very excited to be offering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in a preschool environment.  Our parents are blown away by what their students are able to do, comprehend, collaborate and share.  Our students connect to their outside world and we are proud to provide a high quality environment.”
    “All learners deserve to grow in a 21st Century Learning environment,” stated Dr. Helen Soulé, P21 Executive Director. “It is P21’s vision for the innovative practices in education exhibited by all P21 Exemplars to be replicated across the country and world.” 
    In the Spring of 2017, a case study on The Goddard School and other 2016-2017 P21 Exemplars will be published.


    With all the chaos in the world, we can all learn from the simple, sweet friendship between a fire captain and a little boy.
    Anaheim Fire Department Captain Dave Barry (photo above), a 20-year veteran of the department, and wife Kristi (inset) have lived in Ladera Ranch since 2000 with their daughter Marissa, now 15, and son Zach,13.
    Every Wednesday, Captain Barry starts his day with a coffee and bagel from Brueggers in Mercantile West where the friendship between the fire captain and a little boy, who loves firefighters, started there eight months ago.
    “Every time I see him, he’s in his fire uniform and has a fire truck with him,” Captain Barry said. 
    “He’s always with his father and little sister. Every time I see him he asks to see my firefighter jacket or car. I think he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up!”
    Who is this future firefighter? He is Liam, 3, son of Jill and Brett Dougherty, of Ladera Ranch.
    The Dougherty's could not say nicer things about Captain Barry and what he has done for their son. 
    "At his young age, Liam is smart enough to instinctually recognize the heroism and importance of those who protect and serve others daily in all risk situations," said Jill, whose father is retired Major Anderson United States Air Force.
    “This story makes me tear up. Captain Barry shows Liam his car and his gear. It’s seriously the most considerate and thoughtful thing.”
    Jill and Brett also have a daughter, Elise, 1. The family have lived in Ladera Ranch for close to four years and love the community.
    “Every Saturday and Sunday, and maybe a couple times a week, I take the children to Brueggers,” said hands-on Ladera Dad Brett. “It is our father-child routine.”
     “The thing that impacts me the most about Captain Barry is that I know he is on his way to work for a very important and demanding job, but he is just so polite to our son and never makes him feel rushed,” said Brett. 
    “He always makes Liam feel like the most amazing kid in the world and never ceases to take the time for an excited child on the way to work.”

Goddard School Nationally Recognized As 21st Century Learning Exemplar

Laderians in the News