Archive for the ‘People’ Category
At their most recent meeting on August 24, 2016, the Antioch School Board voted to hire Dr. Adam Clark as the District’s Associate Superintendent for Educational Services. He began his new position on Thursday, September 1 and replaced Stephanie Anello who was promoted to Superintendent, in June.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Clark to AUSD,” Anello said. “He brings with him experience leading change at the elementary, middle and high school levels and will be an asset to our educational program. Most importantly, he is excited to serve the students and families of the Antioch community.”
According to his contract, Clark will be paid $190,056 per year, a $300 per month automobile stipend and other benefits, which are received by and afforded to other certified management staff in the district. It also includes a six month severance package. To see the complete contract, click here: Dr Adam Clark contract
Clark most recently served as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in the Liberty Union High School District. Prior to that time, Dr. Clark served as principal for Miramonte High School for five years. His experience also includes principalships at Adams Middle School and Krey Elementary School in Brentwood, as well as teaching positions with schools in Brentwood and Richmond.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the Antioch Unified School District,” he said. “I’ve been in far East County since 1999.”
In his position with Liberty he worked on various services, such as foster kids, homeless youth, and health and safety.
“When this position opened up with the Ed services piece, I was very excited to come on board to help with education, student services as well as special education,” Clark stated.
He also said he was excited to work with Anello.
“She’s very committed to the students in Antioch and the community at large,” Clark offered
He is diving right in, working to get up to speed on the Antioch district.
“Since starting last Thursday, I’ve been visiting with stakeholders and school sites,” he continued. “I’ve been learning about the various programs in the district and will be working to implement the LCAP in our schools and making sure our community understands the LCAP and getting input from the community to make sure we capture their desires and expectations.”
Clark received a BA in Sociology from San Jose State University, and a masters degree and doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, which he completed in May. He holds a multiple subject and an administrative credential.
Dr. Clark and his wife Michelle have three children. Their oldest son, Marcus, is 22 and recently graduated from Arizona State University. Their son Rene, who is 19, attends the University of San Diego, and their daughter Jazmyne is 17 and a high school senior.
By Allen Payton
While attending Antioch High School, Anthony C. Ferrante took a film course at Los Medanos College. The movie director, who gained fame with his four Sharknado films, has been back in Antioch, over the past two weeks, filming a TV thriller entitled Forgotten Evil.
“My very first film I shot at the El Campanil Theatre but the lights went out,” Ferrante said in an interview this week. “I shot a whole other horror film in the basement and at the Riverview Lodge.”
“I filmed a lot of different things in Antioch,” he added.
Besides his course at LMC, Ferrante earned his liberal arts degree in film studies from San Francisco State. He also used to be the entertainment critic for Antioch’s former Ledger-Dispatch newspaper, for years.
He shared how the idea of returning to his hometown came about.
“I actually had been trying to find something I could do in Antioch for awhile,” Ferranted stated. “We shot for a day in San Francisco for Sharknado 4. Then after I said ‘Let’s drive back through Antioch on our way back to L.A.’”
“I forgot how cool downtown was,” he offered.
That was earlier this year. Then he was asked to direct his latest film.
“When this project happened, they asked me where I wanted to shoot. I said ‘why don’t we look at Antioch,’” Ferrante said. “I got to revisit the place I did my first short films.”
“I wrote the script four weeks ago, and I kept thinking about Antioch and it was perfect,” he continued.
So, he and his crew arrived a few weeks ago and began recruiting family, friends and other local residents to be extras in the film
“We shot a few days at the high school. We changed the script to fit where we were shooting,” Ferrante explained. “We decided to call Antioch, Antioch in the script. But we’re also shooting in a coastal city.”
They also shot at the site of his first film, El Campanil Theatre.
“One of our producers back in L.A. said they were stunned at how good the theater looked,” he stated. “It’s such a beautiful downtown. Film companies are always looking for places that are easy to do it without a lot of hassle.”
Ferrante said he is “hoping by setting the movie in downtown that other movies will be made here.”
“It still has a small town feel and attitude,” he added.
Ferrante offered his appreciation and thoughts about Antioch.
“Everything you’re trying to do to revitalize it, like the concerts,” he offered. “It looks like you’re looking at a town out of time. It’s just gorgeous.”
He wanted people to know “how supportive and how positive that everyone has been.”
“It’s been really cool,” Ferrante stated. “A lot of friends have been coming out and hanging out. Every time we’ve turned around there’s been generosity.”
He was grateful for the support of the Antioch Police, the Chief, the Antioch High School, the principal, Louie Rocha.
“We also used Martin Gonsalves’ law offices,” he explained. “Rick Carraher of the El Campanil has been amazing. City hall has been great getting us the permits and allowing us to shoot here. Lynn [Kutsal, owner] of Nature’s Bounty has been catering for us and making great food. The carrot cake with cream cheese on top has been the best thing ever. The enchilada chicken salad everyone just loved.”
“This all kind of worked out,” Ferrante continued. “We used the locals for extras. We’ve been low maintenance for the most part.”
On Monday, August 22nd they filmed inside and outside of the El Campanil Theatre, including in the basement in one of the “creepy rooms” in the front of the building, as described by a member of the film crew. That was also when they needed the most extras, to play members of the audience inside the auditorium. About 100 residents were there. A few were asked to remain for the shooting of the outside scenes. The extras were paid $10 per hour for their participation.
They also shot some of the footage at the Antioch Police Facility and the marina, this week.
Today and Friday will be their last days of filming, in Antioch.
“Then we’re done and start working on editing,” Ferrante said.
The main actors of Forgotten Evil include Masiela Lusha, who was also in Sharknado 4, but gained her fame as the daughter of George Lopez in the comedian’s TV series.
Ferrante shared more about his movie making.
“I started the [Forgotten Evil] script in mid-June,” he explained. “The company came to me with a bunch of thrillers. I picked out the one I was most interested in and gave it some treatment.”
“Sharknado 4 we started in February and delivered it to the network in July,” Ferranted shared. “It was a very short time period for making a movie.”
Asked about when we can see Antioch in his new movie, he replied “I have to have it finished by the end of the year. It probably will air early next year.”
The movie will be sold, once it’s finished. Ferrante isn’t sure yet to which company that will be nor on which channel it will air. But, he hopes to let Antioch residents see it, first.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to do some kind of screening or something,” Ferrante added. “Possibly at the El Campanil Theatre. That’s where we’d love to have it.”
Ferrante is married. They have one daughter and live in Los Angeles. One of his sisters still lives in Antioch and the other lives in Napa.
So, expect to see him back in town, not only for the screening, but hopefully more movie making in the future.
Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, announced today that Assembly District 11’s 2016 Veteran of the Year is Stephen P. Todd, an Antioch resident whose advocacy and exemplary leadership has galvanized the East Contra Costa veterans community.
“Steve Todd truly leads by example and it’s an honor to recognize him today. After serving his country, he continues to be hands-on and support his community,” stated Frazier. “It’s a privilege to work side-by-side with Steve helping veterans in need. The world needs more people like Steve Todd and I’m extremely grateful that he is part of my community.”
Todd served in the U.S. Army and California National Guard from 1986 to 1997 and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant. His tours of duty included overseas postings to the Middle East during the First Gulf War and to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy, and domestic deployments such as the California wildfires of 1987 and the Rodney King riots in 1992.
Following his military service, Todd was with the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department for seven years before beginning a federal law enforcement career with the U.S. Treasury Department. He later transferred to the Federal Protective Service and then became a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity, Todd traveled throughout the country providing protection and security in courtrooms, such as the Cary Stayner arraignment and the “Unabomber” trial; at political venues, including the Democratic National Convention; and during natural disasters, such as the San Diego wildfires in 2003 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
He earned the rank of police captain before being medically retired in 2007, as a result of a leg injury he suffered on the job. For his heroic actions, he received the Award for Valor and has been nominated for the Department of Homeland Security “Purple Heart Medal.”
Since 2010, he has served as commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10789 in Brentwood. Under his leadership, the post supports the outreach to homeless veterans and works to connect all veterans to the benefits they have earned and the care they need. The group also supports numerous community service projects: It sponsors a Boy Scout troop, an Explorer Post and a high school Junior ROTC program; works with the Brentwood Police Activity League and Liberty High School Band; provides security details for community events, including one that traveled to Sacramento to protect the Traveling Wall memorial to Vietnam Veterans when Assemblymember Frazier sponsored its presence in 2014; and participates in numerous fund-raising ventures for veterans and community groups. The post is also a clearinghouse for donated wheelchairs and electronic scooters, which Todd himself helps to restore, and its members are currently providing labor to veterans on fixed incomes who need help with home-repair projects.
A true advocate for veterans in his District and wherever the need arises, Todd works closely with other veteran and civic organizations to make a difference in his community.
He presently serves as the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post District 10 Junior Vice-Commander, is a member of the American Legion Post 202 and the Delta Diablo Marine Corps League Det. 1155 and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans Post 7. He is also Second Vice President of the Brentwood Lions Club.
Todd acknowledged being “excited” to be named the AD11 Veteran of the Year for 2016, but was characteristically modest about the honor. “It’s not just me – our whole VFW post does a lot of work. I’m just the commander who facilitates stuff and fields the calls. They make me look good,” he said. “Our goal is to help as many people as we can, especially the ones who don’t have money. We want to let our veterans know that there are others out there who are like-minded and still care for them.”
Todd is married and lives with his wife, Margaret, and their three children (Briana, Corina and Kenny) in Antioch. He also has two older children (April and Stephenie) from a previous marriage and five grandchildren (Briana, Dillon, Kaylen, Santiago and Nathan).
Todd was among 80 service men and women who were honored today during the California State Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee’s 9th Annual Veterans Recognition Luncheon.
Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove. To contact him, please visit his website at http://www.asmdc.org/members/a11/ or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow Assemblyman Jim Frazier on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.
“I am honored to receive this award from such an inspiring organization. As a volunteer at the summer games, each year I witness the confidence, self-esteem and dignity instilled in the athletes who have the opportunity to shine and showcase their talents,” stated Frazier. “Knowing how much they look forward to this event and seeing the smiles on their faces is reward enough for me. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Special Olympics Northern California to expand possibilities for the athletes of the future.”
Frazier has volunteered at the summer games for the past 12 years. This year he is carrying legislation, AB 2371, to help maximize opportunities for people to make donations supporting the Special Olympics. Frazier also worked to secure $1,000,000 in the budget to expand the Special Olympics Unified Strategy for Schools.
“Volunteers are essential to the success of Special Olympics Northern California. This year we chose to honor Assemblymember Jim Frazier as Special Olympics Northern California’s Volunteer of the Year. The time and dedication Assemblymember Frazier and his staff, have shown year-after-year as volunteers at Summer Games is extraordinary,” said David Solo, President and CEO of Special Olympics Northern California. “We thank Assemblymember Frazier for believing in the abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities and the importance that Special Olympics can have on their lives.”
Special Olympics Northern California is a free year-round sports training and competition program for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. There are 19,940 athletes who compete in 198 competitions throughout the region in 12 sports.
Included in that figure are 9,385 special education student-athletes who have Special Olympics in the classroom through our Schools Partnership Program. Special Olympics requires the extraordinary support and time of 20,000 volunteers and volunteer coaches.
Financial support comes almost exclusively from individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations. For more information on Special Olympics Northern California, visit www.SONC.org.
Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.
New Orleans, LA (Grassroots Newswire) June 6, 2016 – Tulane University awarded degrees to nearly 3,000 graduates on May 14, 2016 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Local student, Jared Clay of Antioch, graduated from the School of Liberal Arts with a Master of Arts degree. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Hoda Kotb, co-host of NBC’s Today show who also received a Tulane President’s Medal. Honorary degrees were given to renowned artist Lynda Benglis and Christopher Paola, a world leader in the study of earth surface processes, particularly in river and delta regions.
The Deer Valley High grad, Clay and fellow class members were honored at the ceremony, which included all the pomp and circumstance of a traditional commencement but with a New Orleans twist, including herald trumpets, and a second-line jazz procession. Music was provided by Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band, jazz singer Topsy Chapman and Tulane a capella group Green Envy.
Tulane University is one of the nation’s leading educational and research institutions. Founded in 1834 in New Orleans, Tulane has ten schools and colleges offering degrees in architecture, business, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health and tropical medicine, the sciences and
engineering, and social work.
By Allen Payton
The self-named Watchdog of local politics, Barbara Zivica, passed away on Saturday, May 21 following a long battle with cancer. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she graduated from East Rockaway High School and earned a degree in Management from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. Before she was the columnist for the Antioch Herald, Barbara was a columnist for the Dawn newspaper chain in East Detroit, Michigan, the Valley Merchant in Concord, CA and the Ledger-Dispatch in Antioch. She also worked at the Antioch Police Department for many years.
Barbara served on the Antioch Waterfront Commission, was a Charter Member of the Delta Toastmasters, and Executive Director of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association.
She was especially proud of being in charge of a referendum to locate the Walnut Creek City Hall where it is, today. As a result, in 1980, the Mayor gave her a brick and certificate of commendation for her efforts, which she had on display in her home.
She is survived by her two daughters, Stephanie Simonson of Scottsdale, Arizona and Stacey Anderson of Benicia, and five grandchildren, Destiny, Todd, Skyanne, Jacey and Jenna, and Barbara’s long-time companion, Hank Bagwell.
Barbara wanted the following poem shared, which it’s believed she wrote:
Beneath the bridge and waves so blue
I commit my soul to life anew.
To those I love I leave this thought
Don’t let life be lived for naught.
Taped to her computer monitor she had the following quotes:
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin
Then, of course, this quote:
Our liberty depends on freedom of the press and that cannot be limited without being lost. – Thomas Jefferson
I enjoyed her writing and our discussions on local issues. Although we didn’t always agree, I respected her opinion and research skills. Barbara wouldn’t let me pay her, even with gift certificates from local businesses. She created the logo for her column, a photo of her dog Hooch, who she also left behind.
Her final column, about water issues, was posted on the Antioch Herald website on May 10, 2016 and will appear in the July issue of the paper.
Sutter Elementary teacher Vicki McGuire, is Antioch Unified School District’s 2016-17 Teacher of the YearMonday, April 11th, 2016
Contra Costa County’s school districts announce their 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year
There are currently, approximately 8,401 teachers educating more than 174,800 students in Contra Costa County’s public schools. To recognize their efforts and bring much-deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teachers of the Year (TOY) representatives. (See list below.)
The upcoming school year’s 21 TOYs represent 16 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE). Most of these representatives, those who teach grades K thru 12, are eligible to compete in the Contra Costa County TOY competition. The two top teachers in the county TOY program will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall.
“We are immensely proud of these amazing educators,” said Karen Sakata, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. “They were thoughtfully chosen to represent their schools and districts, and truly represent what is best about public education.”
Now in her 30th year of teaching, McGuire began her career in 1985. She taught in the Oakland Unified School District for seven years, then moved to Antioch, where she’s been teaching for the past 23 years. Most of them have been spent at Sutter Elementary, but she did work at John Muir Elementary for five years.
McGuire received a Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio State University and her Master’s Degree from Cal State Hayward (now East Bay).
“I am currently taking classes at Los Medanos College because I believe in life-long learning,” she said. “I enjoy getting to build meaningful relationships with my students and their families. In some cases, all of the children in a family have come through my classroom. As a member of the community, I like seeing students and former students outside the school setting at sporting events or around town.”
“I believe in educating the whole child, by helping them grow socially, as well as academically,” McGuire added.
The county’s TOY program is directed by the CCCOE. With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the CCCOE’s TOY program uses a three-stage selection process, with a point and percentage system to determine the final candidates as follows:
I Application Screening:
On April 8, a committee of 15 judges, representing the county’s education, business, and public-sector partners will carefully review the applications submitted by the school districts. This committee independently rates each application. After the application screening and scoring are completed, four teachers will be selected to advance to the next two phases as finalists.
II Classroom Observation and Interview:
In April and May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners observe the four finalists interacting with their students. Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates discussing topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques.
III Speech Presentation:
On August 15, the four TOY finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech to another panel of a dozen educators, business, and public-sector representatives who will judge the finalists on their speech and presentation skills.
On the evening of September 22, 2016, all 21 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (an audience of close to 400) will be honored at the annual Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, held at the Hilton Concord. Ms. Sakata, who serves as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story that reflects her classroom visits of each teacher during the current spring and summer months. This will be followed by the four finalists giving their three- to five-minute speeches (same speeches given in August) to the filled banquet room. Finally, the night will come to a dramatic close with the announcement of the two 2016-2017 Contra Costa County Teachers of the Year.
2016-2017 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives:
Vicki McGuire, Antioch Unified School District, Sutter Elementary, Fifth Grade
Jamie Cackler Bennetts, Knightsen Elementary School District, Knightsen Elementary
Cynthia Boyko, Acalanes Union High School District, Miramonte High
Rachael Byron, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Dougherty Valley High
Krystal Figaroa, Pittsburg Unified School District, Stoneman Elementary
Erin Flanigan, Martinez Unified School District, Alhambra High
Daniel Yoshio Haley, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, El Dorado Middle
Shauna Hawes, Mt. Diablo Unified School District, Valley View Middle
Judy Jernigan, Lafayette School District, Lafayette SD Schools
Kristyn Loy, West Contra Costa Unified School District, Stewart Elementary
Judy Mazur, Walnut Creek School District, Buena Vista Elementary
Aminta Mickles, Contra Costa Community College District, Contra Costa College
Gina Minder-Maldonado, Oakley Union Elementary School District, Oakley Elementary
Dayle Okamitsu, Orinda Union School District, Wagner Ranch Elementary
Lawrence Pang, West Contra Costa Unified School District, El Cerrito High
Deborah Guillén Rocchild, John Swett Unified School District, John Swett High
Summer Rodriguez, Liberty Union High School District, Liberty High
Joyce Rooks, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Creekside Elementary
Juliet Simens, Brentwood Union School District, Pioneer Elementary
Angela Taylor, Contra Costa County Office of Education, Parole Education Program Oakland Computerized Literacy Learning Center
Sarah Vieira, Byron Union School District, Timber Point Elementary
Note regarding eligible participants:
- Sixteen of the eighteen Contra Costa County school districts represented, and the CCCOE are participating in this year’s TOY program.
- Each year, one instructor from Contra Costa Community College District is submitted to the TOY program for his/her outstanding body of work with their designated college. The colleges rotate each year between Diablo Valley, Los Medanos, and Contra Costa. (These instructors do not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition.) This year is Contra Costa College’s turn.
- Due to the larger number of students and teachers in their districts, West Contra Costa USD, Mt. Diablo USD, and San Ramon Valley USD are allowed to submit two TOY candidates.
Follow Contra Costa County’s Teacher of the Year program on Twitter: #CoCoTOY