Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Dozier-Libbey Medical High School celebrates Class of 2016 graduates

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016
Dozier-Libbey Medical High graduated the Class of 2016 during commencement ceremonies at Deer Valley High's outdoor amphitheater in the cooler hours of Friday evening, June 3rd.

Dozier-Libbey Medical High graduated the Class of 2016 during commencement ceremonies at Deer Valley High’s outdoor amphitheater in the cooler hours of Friday evening, June 3rd. photo by Sean Pearson

By Sean Pearson

The healthcare industry is hiring, and that means bright prospects for another crop of fresh Dozier-Libbey Medical High School graduates.  On Friday, 3 June 2016, at 8:00 in the evening, the Dozier-Libbey Class of 2016 held their graduation ceremony at the outdoor amphitheater of Deer Valley High School in Antioch.

Joining the graduates’ families in celebrating their achievement  were Antioch Unified School District Board of Trustees Vice President Walter Ruehlig, AUSD Trustee Fernando Navarro, AUSD Provisional Board Member Alonzo Terry, AUSD Associate Superintendent Tim Forrester, and Antioch City Councilwoman Monica Wilson.

The Board of Trustees’ decision to start all graduation ceremonies two hours later successfully avoided a repeat of the health crisis of June, 2015, which resulted in dozens of grandparents collapsing from heat exhaustion during commencement exercises and being transported to local emergency rooms.  One relative of a graduate was overheard calling the decision “genius”.

Ruehlig, using a book as a metaphor for an individual’s life, concluded his brief remarks with this exhortation:  “My closing prayer, then, is that each of your chapters ends with the same three words you finished with at Dozier-Libbey:  job well done.”

Graduate Michelle de los Reyes reminded her classmates how excited their families had been at their admission to the academically challenging pathway school, where they all wore medical scrubs as their school uniform.  Graduate Andrés Soto reflected on the gap between fantasy and reality:  “Unfortunately, Disney didn’t get their facts right.”

Bergerhouse named several students as he shared some of the valuable memories from their time at Dozier-Libbey.  When teacher Mark Libbey rose to read the names of the graduates, he was welcomed with loving applause.  After the reading, the class president and valedictorian each gave some closing remarks, challenging the students to go face the world with boldness and vision.  While thousands of high school seniors in Contra Costa County are graduating this spring, this small group of less than 200 can start college knowing they are especially well prepared for their future studies in health sciences.

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Antioch High graduates nearly 300 in four academies for the Class of 2016

Monday, June 6th, 2016
Antioch High graduates celebrate as they file in for the commencent ceremony, Friday night, June 2, 2016. photo by Luke Johnson

Antioch High graduates celebrate as they file in for the commencement ceremony, Friday night, June 2, 2016. photos by Luke Johnson

Families celebrate their Antioch High graduates.

Families celebrate their Antioch High graduates.

By Luke Johnson

Nearly 300 graduates assembled in Eells Stadium for Antioch High School’s Class of 2016 Commencement Ceremony, Friday night, June 3rdd. This marked the first graduating classes for three academies: Media Technology, Environmental Studies, and Leadership and Public Services.

It was also the Engineering Academy’s third graduating class. With all these separate academies, Principal Louie Rocha likes to describe it as “four schools within one large high school.”

The campus has gone through several changes over the past two years with a new football field, administrative building, library and modernized classrooms. Still to come on the construction timeline is a new cafeteria, aquatic center and media center.

Antioch High ASB President Julia Odom shares her parting thoughts with the Class of 2016.

Antioch High ASB President Julia Odom shares her parting thoughts with the Class of 2016.

In her speech, Associated Student Body President Julia Odom emphasized that this moment was bitter-sweet, because although she was receiving a diploma, it signified that there will be some activities she will never get to do again, such as getting ready for prom and attending sports games.

“I’ll probably miss being a student athlete most, because that’s like a real big part of who I am, and it’s helped build my character throughout the years,” Odom said after the ceremony.

AHS’s athletic department reached milestones that had not been seen in decades. Its football team went undefeated in the regular season for the first time since 1977, and its boys’ volleyball team won a league championship for the first time since 1996. Rocha said the school’s athletic and academic success this year was like combining the old Antioch High School with the new one.

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Deer Valley High graduates 600, selfless students leave positive legacy

Monday, June 6th, 2016
Excited Deer Valley grads prepare to receive their diplomas. By Luke Johnson

Excited Deer Valley grads prepare to receive their diplomas. Photos by Luke Johnson

Families celebrate their graduates.

Families celebrate their graduates.

By Luke Johnson

The largest high school in the Antioch Unified School District, Deer Valley High School, held its annual Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2016, honoring approximately 600 graduates in its newly resurfaced football stadium, Thursday evening, June 2nd. These diploma recipients have left a lasting impression according to Vice Principal Blair Wilkins.

“The Class of 2016, as a whole, are some of the most selfless students I have worked with in my 10 years in the AUSD,” Wilkins said. “In conversations I have had with students, they spoke about the legacy they wanted to leave so that the students behind them inherited a better school.”

Students and faculty alike feel that Deer Valley High School receives unfair and out of perspective negative criticism from the public on a regular basis. But this year, students decided to stand up for themselves and conducted a positive protest in October. They stood in front of the campus, waving signs that read, “Stop the Hate,” and “This is the real Deer Valley,” among several other messages.

Deer Valley girl grads stand for their turn to receive their diplomas.

Deer Valley girl grads stand for their turn to receive their diplomas.

Student speaker and Senior Class President Emma Hamilton said what she will remember most about her high school experience is the diversity to come out of Deer Valley.

“We have a huge variety of personalities,” Hamilton said. “We have people who achieve well in school, people who want to pursue a rap career and all of the above. It’s just amazing.”

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Summer Math Intensive Program for students begins in Antioch, Monday

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Math_Intensive_class

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Dozier-Libbey High students display knowledge, talents during science fair, art and talent shows

Friday, June 3rd, 2016
Participants of the Dozier-Libbey Science Fair are joined by PTSA Exec. VP Frances Spijker, Antioch School Board Trustee Debra Vinson and Principal Scott Bergerhouse.

Participants of the Dozier-Libbey Science Fair are joined by PTSA Exec. VP Frances Spijker, Antioch School Board Trustee Debra Vinson and Principal Scott Bergerhouse.

Senior Class President’s singing inspires students, faculty, staff and Principal to join in dancing

Science fair display

Science fair display

By Frances Spijker

Students at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School displayed their knowledge and talents during an evening that included a science fair, as well as art and talent shows, in the school’s multipurpose room on Friday, May 6. A variety of students participated with the Garden Club serving a pizza dinner.

Following are the winners of the Science Fair.

9th/10th Grade:

1st place:  Chinyere Umozurike   $100 prize

2nd place:  Stephanie Spijker  $75 prize

3rd place:  Jordin Lara  $50 prize

11th/12th Grade:

1st place:  Andie Lindeman  $100 prize

2nd place:  (group project)  Matthew Beland, Sierra Abel, Mina Hernandez  split the $75 prize.

Special designs of pairs of Vans shoes were part of the art show.

Decorated Vans shoes were part of the art show.

3rd place:  Lucas Stuart-Chilcote $50 prize.

Honorable mentions for great projects:  Madison Miller, Sarah Bohannon, both freshmen. Were given Starbucks gift cards

I have requested from the science teachers that they offer some type of extra credit to their students for their extra effort and helping us to promote this new annual event that I hope to grow bigger and better each  year.  I hope to work with the administration next year as PTSA Pres. to set up the fair earlier so that the students have time to participate in the larger fairs available in the district/region.  Thanks to Callida Martinez, one of our science teachers, for her help in organizing this event.

The awesome participants in the art show by the DLMHS Art Club, included Matthew Beland, Chinyere Umozurike, Cheyanne Jellich, Madison Miller, Ismal Obad and Graciela Ornelas.

Club Sponsor:  Gretchen Kohl (she did an awesome job organizing the amazing artwork.)

Merry D. Wilson performed Hey Jude on her saxophone during the talent show.

Merry D. Wilson performed Hey Jude on her saxophone during the talent show.

Talent Show performers:

The Hula Club

Freshman Nicole Cadigan sang Love Story by Taylor Swift

Sophomore Xavia Tanner sang NO by Meghan Trainor

Sophomore Merry D Wilson played Hey Jude on the saxophone and the audience sang along with “nah, nah, nah, nananana, nananana, hey Jude.”

Senior Class President and President of the Garden Club, Lucas Stuart-Chilcote sang the 1972 song Dancing in the Moonlight with Senior Andreas Soto, as his back up dancer.

Chilcote’s performance inspired other students and staff, and even Principal Scott Bergerhouse to join in and dance to the music.

We would like to give a special Thank You to our prestigious Science Fair judges:  DLMHS science teacher, Callida Martinez;  AUSD Board President Diane Gibson-Gray, Trustees Walter Ruehlig and Fernando Navarro,  and Interim Superintendent Stephanie Anello.  Thanks also to School Board Trustee Debra Vinson for representing the board and attending our event.

Nicole Cadigan sang Love Story by Taylor Swift.

Nicole Cadigan sang Love Story by Taylor Swift.

Our upcoming year will be filled with many new and exciting events at Dozier-Libbey to stimulate the young minds of the future.

Spijker helped organize the science fair. She is the Executive Vice President of the Dozier-Libbey PTSA.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

Xavia Tanner performed NO by Meghan Trainor.

Xavia Tanner performed NO by Meghan Trainor.

Members of the Hula Club performed a dance routine.

Members of the Hula Club performed a dance routine.

 

Students, faculty and staff, including Principal Scott Bergerhouse joined in as Senior Class President Lucas Stuart-Chilcote sang Dancing in the Moonlight with Senior Andreas Soto, as his back up dancer.

Students, faculty and staff, including Principal Scott Bergerhouse joined in as Senior Class President Lucas Stuart-Chilcote sang Dancing in the Moonlight with Senior Andreas Soto, as his back up dancer, during the talent show.

Some of the entries in the art show.

Some of the entries in the art show.

 

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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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