Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Antioch School Board, by consensus, narrows field of Superintendent candidates to one

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

By Allen Payton

At the Antioch School Board meeting, last night (Wednesday, May 25, 2016) Board President Diane Gibson-Gray read the following statement about the search for a new superintendent, when reporting out from the closed session, earlier that day:

“The Board has narrowed the search to a finalist but no decision on actual employment has been made until the completion of negotiations on the terms of employment. The final decision would come with approval of the new superintendent’s contract which should be scheduled on or before the June 22, 2016 Board meeting. No candidate names will be released pending agreement on the contract and review of any additional information that may come to the attention of the Board.

All those interviewed have been notified of developments which have occurred to date.

Negotiations with the finalist will occur between now and the Board meeting. The Board will ask its attorney to develop a proposed contract with Board President Diane Gibson-Gray and Board Member Debra Vinson.”

In a subseqent email from Gibson-Gray, she wrote “The board reached a consensus on a final candidate. There was no vote to report out.”

The name of the candidate was not released.

“Once the contract has been negotiated it will be placed on a regular meeting agenda for a vote in public,” Gibson-Gray added. “Until then, the candidate name is confidential.”

Newly appointed Trustee Alonzo Terry has not been included in the board meetings regarding the search for a new superintendent. He is expected to take his seat on the board at their next regular meeting on June 8, following the required 30 days of the provisional appointment period.

When asked how the board can reach a consensus without a vote and if that’s legal, Gibson-Gray responded in an email, “The process is conducted using our board attorney. Not being an attorney, I cannot tell you about the legality of a consensus without a vote.”

Board Member Debra Vinson, who was asked the same question, said Gibson-Gray had been chosen to speak for the board on the matter.

A request was made to Gibson-Gray for the Board’s attorney to provide a legal opinion on the issue. Check back for that update.

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Community College Board announces progress in Chancellor search

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

The Governing Board (Board) reports progress is being made on the search for the next chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District (District) following Chancellor Helen Benjamin’s December 31, 2016, retirement announcement.  The Board is committed to conducting an equitable, inclusive, and transparent national search that will attract a strong pool of outstanding candidates.

“The selection of our next chancellor is one of our most important responsibilities,” said Governing Board President Vicki Gordon.  “We encourage our students, staff, and community members to participate in the process.”

Community input on the following two questions can be submitted online through the District’s website by clicking onto “Chancellor Search,” or you may send an email directly to search consultant Dr. Pamila Fisher at pamfisher@bresnan.net as soon as possible.

The questions are:

  1. What are the major issues and challenges facing the District and its colleges in the next three to five years?
  2. What characteristics, qualities, attributes and skills do you think are critical for the new chancellor’s success?

Progress reports and updates will be posted on the District website, and members of the community can meet the chancellor finalists at public forums during the last stage of the process.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon.  Each college is individually accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.

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Teacher at Antioch Charter Academy II wins National Teacher Scholarship

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Ms. Brittany Fank, a Kindergarten to 2nd grade teacher – and Association of American Educators member – from Antioch Charter Academy II in Antioch, has been awarded a teacher scholarship by the Association of American Educators Foundation (AAEF). She was one of 15 award winners from across the country. Fank’s scholarship will be used to fund a Montessori training program that teaches curriculum in nine subject areas and thoroughly prepares teachers to inspire students with a unique style of Montessori learning.

“Thanks to this AAE teacher scholarship, I’ll now know critical Montessori lessons that have proven useful in so many classrooms across the country. Instead of having to learn each step as I come to them before presenting them to the classroom, I’ll now only have to review the lesson before teaching,” explained Fank. “Montessori lessons are presented in a certain series of steps and have extensions to teach if a student is ready for them which makes this knowledge critical to strong implementation. I plan to integrate my new knowledge into my everyday classroom routines and instruction by being well versed in all aspects of Montessori. The Montessori method encompasses tactics on teaching the whole child and not just the academic aspects.”

AAEF is committed to offering individual educators teacher scholarships and classroom grants to optimize student learning.

“AAEF applauds the dedication that Brittany has demonstrated by trying to implement proven teaching methods into her classroom,” said AAEF Chairman Gary Beckner. “Without question, teachers like Brittany make AAE scholarships and grants a worthy investment in empowering educators to meet their professional potential.”

The AAE Foundation’s National Scholarships and Grants competition is held twice a year in the fall and spring and is open to all educators. The deadline for the annual fall competition is October 1 and spring is March 1 each year.

The Association of American Educators Foundation is the non-profit charitable arm of the Association of American Educators (AAE), a non-union professional organization for teachers across the country. With members in all 50 states, AAE is the nation’s premier, non-union professional educators association, offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy. Membership is 16.50 per month and includes $2 million in professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources, as well as a host of other benefits.

For more information about AAEF or the Association of American Educators, visit www.aaeteachers.org.

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Community College District Board begins search for new chancellor, public invited to participate

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Governing Board (Board) has officially begun the search for the next chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District (District). The Board is committed to conducting an equitable, inclusive, and transparent national search that will attract a strong pool of outstanding candidates, and encourages members of the community to participate in the selection process.

Assisting the District in the chancellor search is the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). ACCT has conducted over 400 community college executive searches and brings a wealth of information and expertise to the process. Working directly with the District is Dr. Pamila Fisher, a longtime California community college educator, who recently assisted in the search for the new president of Contra Costa College. A search committee is currently being identified using District policy guidelines, representing a cross-section of constituents, including students and community members. During the summer months the primary activity will be recruitment led by ACCT, and the search committee’s work will occur in September and October with the goal of announcing our new chancellor by the end of the year.

Open public forums are being held on May 23rd and May 24th with Dr. Fisher to learn more about the search process and to share ideas on the challenges and opportunities facing the District and the ideal characteristics desired in the new chancellor. Here are the dates, location and times of the public forums.

Date Location Time Room
May 23 LMC 10:00 am – 11:30 am L-109
May 23 CCC 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm Three Seasons, AA-239
May 23 DO 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Board Room
May 24 DVC 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Diablo Room

For those unable to attend one of the public forums, you may provide your comments by clicking here.

The questions for you to consider are:

  1. What are the major issues and challenges facing the District and its colleges in the next three to five years?
  2. What characteristics, qualities, attributes and skills do you think are critical for the new chancellor’s success?

The District is seeking a new leader following Chancellor Helen Benjamin’s December 31, 2016, retirement announcement.

Progress reports and updates will be posted on the District website. Members of the community will also have an opportunity to meet the chancellor finalists at public forums during the last stage of the process.

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Six Antioch students honored for excellence at annual Career Technical Ed/ROP awards ceremony

Monday, May 16th, 2016
ROP Students of Excellence 2016

Six of the 41 students honored at this year’s ceremony are from Antioch.

On Thursday, May 12, the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) honored 41 high school students, representing 27 schools in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, with the Students of Excellence Awards for their outstanding achievement in their CTE/ROP (Career Technical Education/Regional Occupational Program) classes. The celebrated students were each presented a certificate of merit and a $250.00 scholarship award. Scholarship funding was provided by Honda Walnut Creek, John Muir Health, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Walnut Creek Honda, and C&H Sugar.

More than 200 attendees were on hand at the Concord Senior Center. Along with the honored students and their families, the students’ teachers and ROP business-partnership representatives were also on hand.  Welcoming remarks were made by Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata, County Board of Education President Christine Deane, Assembly Member Jim Frazier, and CCCOE Director of Student Programs Janet Haun.

Superintendent Sakata individually presented the awards and checks to each student on stage, followed by a short speech from each of the awardees. The common themes of the heart-felt speeches were their gratitude of their parents and families, as well as their appreciation for their CTE/ROP courses and teachers. Many of the students said their CTE/ROP courses were the highlight of coming to school, and that the classes made their future career goals much clearer.

The Contra Costa County CTE/ROP serves nearly 12,000 students annually with classes in 34 high schools throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Currently, there are 393 state-of-the-art career development classes in this program. CTE/ROP focuses on career preparation and exploration, hands-on experience, and academic excellence to prepare students for success in college and future careers. CTE/ROP provides students with the newest equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technologies. All of the CTE/ROP classes and programs are directed by and funded through the CCCOE. For more information about CTE/ROP classes, visit their website.

The following outstanding students received certificates of merit plus $250.00 in scholarship awards for the CTE/ROP courses they excelled in during the current school year:

ANTIOCH
Mark Jovero, Art & Animatio,
Antioch High School – Erin Susoev, Instructor

Angelita Yarborough, Careers in Teaching
Antioch High School – Tamsen Armstrong, Instructor

Shyriah Vaughn, Cosmetology
Delta Beauty College – Tamara Reaves, Instructor

Jacqueline Villaseñor, Sports Medicine
Dozier-Libbey Medical High School – Kim O’Leary, Instructor

Jordan Bjorklund, Television Production
Deer Valley High School – Kiel Olff, Instructor

Noah Lema, Marketing
Deer Valley High School – Steve Kish, Instructor

BERKELEY
Milo Whitburn-Thomas, Advanced Digital Photography
Berkeley High School – Gabriel Berent, Instructor

BRENTWOOD
Miranda Breves, Robotics Engineering
Heritage High School – Rob Pardi, Instructor

Christianna McFarland, Law Enforcement Careers
Heritage High School – Matt Carr, Instructor

Joseph Gliedt, Fire Science
Liberty High School – James Scarbrough, Instructor

Tianna Nelson, Automotive Technology
Liberty High School – Jonathan Dorr, Instructor

CLAYTON
Miya Adolphson, Game Design
Clayton Valley Charter High School – Evan Hughes, Instructor

Andrey Pristinsky, Civil Engineering & Architecture
Clayton Valley Charter High School – Scott Farquhar, Instructor

CONCORD
Jake Gorospe, Computer Applications
Concord High School – Laurie Harris, Instructor

Zachary Ruiz, Robotics Engineering
Concord High School – Tom Trowbridge, Instructor

Yoselin Tamayo, Careers in Teaching
Ygnacio Valley High School – Thatcher Palmer, Instructor

Claire Rader, Biotechnology
Ygnacio Valley High School – Maria Fletcher, Instructor

DANVILLE
Grant Hayes, Architectural Design
Monte Vista High School – Mike Huntsman, Instructor

Katie Parker, AP Environmental Science
San Ramon Valley High School – Cindy Egan, Instructor

EL CERRITO
Lucy Tabor, Art of Video Production
El Cerrito High School Theodore Grover, Instructor

LAFAYETTE
Julia Lauer, Digital Arts/Design for the Web
Acalanes High School – Susan Lane, Instructor

MARTINEZ
Elizabeth Doty, Automotive Technology
Alhambra High School – Brian Wheeler, Instructor

Matt Webb, Construction Technology
Alhambra High School – Jay Heeb, Instructor

MORAGA
Holly Moore, Advanced Sports Medicine
Campolindo High School – Ray Albiento, Instructor

OAKLEY
Kaleigh Rubio, Careers with Children
Freedom High School – Elizabeth Rodriguez, Instructor

PIEDMONT
Kaitlyn De Mello, Culinary Careers
Piedmont High School – M’Lisa Kelley, Instructor

PINOLE
Marina Boudsady, Publications
Pinole Valley High School – Alexander Van Hook, Instructor

Shalvena Sharma, Law Enforcement Careers
Pinole Valley High School – Patricia Blades, Instructor

PITTSBURG
Shudipto Rahman, AP Computer Science
Pittsburg High School – Romeo Simionas, Instructor

RICHMOND
Luis Arreola, Hospital Health Services
De Anza High School – David Pintado, Instructor

Simranpreet Kaur, Hospital Health Services
De Anza High School – Fathom Riordan-Ng, Instructor

Jacqueline Hopkins, Digital Photography
Kennedy High School – Steve Pinto, Instructor

Mariana Romero, Advanced Photography
Richmond High School – John Ohlmann, Instructor

SAN RAMON
Annissa Bensalah, Journalism Productions
California High School – Brian Barr, Instructor

Kathryn Lew, Analytical Forensic Science
California High School – Andrew White, Instructor

Emily Lai, Introduction to Business
Dougherty Valley High School – Jeff Silverman, Instructor

Bethany Vega, Computer Graphic Arts
Dougherty Valley High School – Jeff Silverman, Instructor

WALNUT CREEK
Jaclyn Leonard, Medical Technologies
Las Lomas High School – Kathleen Mooney, Instructor

Makena Paynton, Sports Medicine
Northgate High School – Glen Barker, Instructor

Roya Stoops, Veterinary Science
Northgate High School – Melanie Scott, Instructor

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Help students in need attend STEaM workshops and Summer Camp

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math

2016 Charity Drive_png

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Antioch School Board appoints former charter school board member to fill vacancy

Friday, May 6th, 2016
Alonzo Terry answers questions in round three during Wednesday night's Antioch School Board meeting, while the two other remaining candidates, Candy Amigo and Gary Hack listen.

Alonzo Terry answers questions of the board members in round three during Wednesday night’s Antioch School Board meeting, while the two other remaining candidates, Candy Amigo and Gary Hack listen.

By Allen Payton

Following three rounds of questions, and the narrowing of the field from six of the candidates who showed up at the meeting, Wednesday night, down to two, the Antioch School Board voted unanimously to appoint Alonzo Terry to the board. He will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of long-time Board Member Claire Smith.

New Antioch School Board provisional member, Alonzo Terry.

New Antioch School Board provisional member, Alonzo Terry.

The appointment is provisional and Terry can’t take his seat until at least 30 days have passed. That is expected to occur at the next regular board meeting on June 8th.

Terry served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Synergy Education Project, a state approved, public charter school in Pittsburg with former County School Board Member Cynthia Ruehlig, the wife of Antioch School Board Member Walter Ruehlig.

Prior to that Terry worked for 19 years with the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office in training, crime prevention and custody alternative, and as Athletic Director for the East County Boys and Girls Club. He’s owned his own businesses and works as a Senior Investigator for Excalibur Investigations and has worked as a substitute teacher in the past. Terry is also the father of two grown sons.

“I’m single and free and happy and I have all the time to give to your children,” he said in his closing statement to the Board.

During his opening statement, Terry said he was born and raised in Chicago until age 18.

“I came from a rough background,” he shared. “There were 10 children in our family. I learned from my coach and my teachers.”

He wanted to be a judge but couldn’t pass the bar, Terry told the Board. Then he came to California and went to work with the Sheriff’s Office

“I have my own business, so my time is my own,” he added. “I’m here to help.”

Later he stated “I have the time. I have the energy. I have the knowledge.”

In an interview prior to the board meeting, Terry said he supported Walter Ruehlig when he ran for school board in 2014. He also said that he supported transparency and either televising the school board meetings, or at least live streaming them on the internet. When asked if any of the board members had recruited  him or encouraged him to apply for the vacant seat, he said “No.”

Asked if he would run for election this fall, Terry wouldn’t commit, saying “We have to work as a team. Our whole goal is the children. If that’s the case, then I’ll run.”

During the questioning, Terry said his top three priorities are transparency and communication, tools and materials for students and teachers, and training.

His response to the question “What’s the difference between public, private and charter schools” Terry offered a unique response.

“There’s no difference,” he stated. “They’re schools. I hate separating things.”

Following the first round of questions, Terry received all four votes from the board members, both Candy Amigo and Joy Motts received three. Gary Hack, Julie Young and Ed Daviess each received two votes. A run-off vote was taken by the board and Hack received three votes in order to move forward to the next round, eliminating Young and Daviess. George Rehm did not show up to the meeting.

After the second round of questions, Amigo received four votes, while Hack and Terry each received three votes, eliminating Motts. Then following the third round of questions by the Board, Ruehlig moved and Trustee Fernando Navarro seconded the motion to move forward Terry and Amigo.

The final two candidates each gave their closing statements, with Amigo speaking first and becoming emotional.

“I’m doing this because I care,” said the mother of four daughters who have all attended or are attending Antioch public schools. “I don’t know why I’m getting emotional, right now. I love this community. I love this district. I’m so passionate about things. I just want to make Antioch this great community and district that I know that we are.”

Terry asked “You want me to follow that?” to laughter from the board and audience.

Following his closing statement, Amigo’s sister, Celestina Perez who works for the district and didn’t know her sister had applied for the vacant seat, spoke during public comments.

“She was raised by a mom where was very involved in the school district, as well,” Perez stated. “She has created four beautiful daughters who have contributed to this community, already. She is a very passionate person. She will give you her all.”

The board members then shared their thoughts before the vote.

“I want to appreciate everyone who applied,” said Board Member Debra Vinson.

“I’m always a big fan of the average citizen not just griping under their breath,” Navarro stated. “The fact that you are here, this is what our country was built on.”

Then Navarro moved and Ruehlig seconded a motion to appoint Terry to the vacant board seat, and it passed on a 4-0 vote.

 

 

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Seven apply for Antioch School Board vacancy appointment, interviews Wed., May 4

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Allen Payton

The Board of Education of the Antioch Unified School District announced the appointment process for the vacancy on the Board caused by the resignation of Claire Smith on April 1, 2016.  Board members will appoint an individual to complete Smith’s term, which expires December 2016.

Seven district residents submitted applications by the April 20th deadline. District staff vetted them with the County Clerk to determine that they are each registered voters and live within the school district boundaries. They released the names and applications, today, Wednesday, April 27.

The applicants include:

Julie Young, who applied for and was the Board’s second choice for the vacant seat filled by Fernando Navarro in December;

Joy Motts and Gary Hack, both former School Board Trustee, who lost for reelection in 2014 and also applied for the vacant seat, last November;

Alonzo Terry, owner of an ATM placement franchise and senior investigator, worked with the County Sheriff’s Office in training and crime prevention, and is a former Board Member for a private charter school. He has lived in the district for five years;

Candida González-Amigo, a mom, wife and professional volunteer who has served on the PTSA’s and School Site Councils for both Dallas Ranch Middle and Deer Valley High Schools. She has lived in the district for 25 years;

Edward Daviess, a project manager, who has a child who attends Holy Rosary School, and has served as a youth baseball, softball and soccer coach, but has not participated in any school committees or activities. He has lived in the district for 40 years; and

George Rehm, currently a photographer, who worked in the information technology for major banks. He’s a Navy veteran who served in various veterans organizations in East County. Rehm has no children in district schools nor has participated in any school committees or activities. He has lived in the district for 19 years.

The Board will interview candidates at their meeting on May 4, 2016 between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and can vote to appoint one of the applicants, that night.

The appointment is provisional and subject to the petition process specified in California Education Code 5092, which allows for residents to call for a special election if a sufficient number of signatures have been gathered.

If not, then the new Board Member will be sworn in at the regular Board meeting on June 8, 2016.

For more information on the candidates, please see their applications here: Edward Daviess  Candida Gonzalez-Amigo  Gary Hack  Joy Motts  George Rehm  Alonzo Terry  Julie Young

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