Archive for the ‘Youth’ Category

Antioch student graduates from virtual California Connections Academy @ Ripon

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Photos by Matt Lorenz courtesy of California Connections Academy.

More than 100 online public school students celebrate academic accomplishments, head to distinguished universities

California Connections Academy @ Ripon, a tuition-free online public school serving students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade, graduated 108 high school seniors at a commencement ceremony held at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton on Monday, June 18. Remarks honoring the graduates were delivered by Couper Condit, district director, Dr. Richard Savage, the school’s executive director, Kara Mannix, high school principal, and Alexandria Yao, valedictorian and professional figure skater on Team USA. Hundreds of family members, friends, teachers and administrators gathered to honor the students’ accomplishments.

The graduates include Antioch’s Gadai Bulgac who utilized the flexibility of his education to pursue Debate Club and take challenging college courses while in high school. Other graduates from Contra Costa County include Jasmyn Barkley, Kylie Diaz, Amilkar Lopez and Anastasiya Klimko.

The graduating class also included Tatum Osborne, an activist from Los Gatos who produced and directed a PSA on sexual assault and will attend Saint Lawrence University on scholarship. She was also the recipient of the Student of the Year award presented by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. Tatum views her advocacy as a long-term commitment and hopes to one day be a creative director for a magazine.

“The biggest advantage of attending Connections Academy is being able to customize your education to fit your learning needs,” said Osborne. “I was able to take classes my junior year that I would have taken during my senior year at traditional public school. I also had 24/7 access to my teachers which gave me the confidence to reach out to them whenever I had questions.”

Other graduates include valedictorian and professional figure skater Alexandria Yao who skates for Team USA. She enrolled in Connections Academy several years ago, seeking an education option that provided a high-quality curriculum and the flexibility to pursue her dreams on the ice. Additionally, aspiring actress Reagan Harwood from Palo Alto is headed to Foothill College this fall and the plans to transfer to a four-year university. She was able to balance her academics and her passion for acting through online school. Last year her hard work earned her a spot in a Disney on Ice commercial and she’ll be starring in a short film this July.

“We are so proud of what our 2018 graduating class has accomplished, and we are confident the skills and knowledge they acquired at Connections Academy has provided them with a foundation for success,” said Amy Hunt, site administrator at California Connections Academy @ Ripon. “Today we celebrate the culmination of their hard work and determination, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

Additional students from the 2018 graduating class will go on to pursue higher education at institutions including University of California: Berkeley, University of California: Santa Cruz, Columbia University, Gonzaga University and San Francisco State University.

California Connections Academy @ Ripon provides an innovative and flexible learning environment for more than 1,200 students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties. Through a combination of state-credentialed teachers and high-quality curriculum which meets stringent state education standards, the school provides an individualized and top-tier learning program for its students.

Throughout the school year, students have many opportunities to interact with their classmates in person and prepare for the next stage in their lives. Recently, California Connections Academy organized visits to various academic institutions, including the Academy of Art University and the University of the Pacific. The school also hosted several field trips, including visits to the Hilmar Cheese Factory, Sutters Fort, the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and the Jelly Belly Factory. California Connections Academy offers a variety of clubs and activities for students, including National Honor Society, sports club, music club, and robotics club, among others.

Juniors and seniors planning to attend college may adapt their schedules to accommodate exam preparation and applications, as well as take advantage of the school’s diverse course catalog, including expanded AP classes and career technical education offerings. Unique electives include accounting, psychology and computer science.

To learn more about California Connections Academy @ Ripon and begin enrollment for the 2018-19 school year, please visit

About California Connections Academy @ Ripon

California Connections Academy @ Ripon is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school serving students in grades K-12, including transitional kindergarten, in Alameda, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties. California Connections Academy is fully accredited (grades K-12) by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school opened in 2012 and is authorized under state law by the Ripon Unified School District. California Connections Academy provides students who meet state residency requirements with the flexibility to learn from anywhere with an internet connection with an innovative curriculum which meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of state-credentialed teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit the school’s website.

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3rd Annual Bay Area Football Academy in Antioch Saturday, June 23

Monday, June 18th, 2018

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Bay Area Football Academy in Antioch to kick-off with celebration Friday night, June 22

Monday, June 18th, 2018

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Antioch’s Cornerstone Christian School celebrates Class of 2018

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Cornerstone Class of 2018 graduates, faculty and staff celebrate on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Article & photo by Denise Baquing

Cornerstone Christian School’s graduating Class of 2018 included some top performing students.

Valedictorian Ryan Sierra earned a GPA of 4.14 and will be attending Grand Canyon University where he will major in mechanical engineering.

Salutatorian Michaela Felmann earned a GPA of 3.98 and will be attending Los Medanos College.

Cougar of the Year Jordan Edwards earned a GPA 3.9 and will majoring in computer engineering, also at Grand Canyon University.

Jordan has played three years of varsity basketball and received All League honors in both his junior and senior years. He’s maintained his high grade point average while serving the school in multiple ways, including being elected as President of the Student Government.

Jordan has volunteered at Royal Family Kids Camp where he’s been a counselor to foster kids, and he’s been a part of the youth leadership, at Cornerstone.

Cornerstone Christian School is located at 1745 E. 18th Street in Antioch and serves grades K-12. For more information about the school visit

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Antioch High sends off 300 graduates into the world

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Salutatorian Diego Gonzalez Ventura and Valedictorian Diana Muñoz speak to their classmates on Friday night, June 8, 2018. Photos by Luke Johnson.

By Jesus Cano

Not even the strong winds infiltrating Antioch High School’s Class of 2018 graduation could have ruined the milestone celebration for its students.

But that is just one of the adversities the class had to face during their tenure as Panthers.

Something expressed deeply by many of the speakers was how discontent they were about not having a cafeteria throughout high school. In addition to that, during their sophomore year these scholars did not have their home, outdoor multi-purpose athletic facility (Eels Stadium), as it was under renovation.

That foreshadowed what these students were able to receive over time. Principal Louie Rocha pointed out that these students were able to witness the opening of the new library and media center.

But at the end of their high school careers, many of the students felt that walking across the stage was well worth the struggle.

Valedictorian Diana Muñoz and Salutatorian Diego Gonzalez Ventura both touched on the subjects about being children of immigrant parents in their speeches, but Gonzalez Ventura additionally spoke about his denial into both Dozier-Libbey and granted admission into one of Deer Valley’s academies.

“The best decision of my life was withdrawing my petition for appeal at Deer Valley,” Gonzalez Ventura said. “I got to create a whole new family here at Antioch.”

This was a smaller class for Antioch, with only 300 graduates, but Rocha saw unity. It was demonstrated by them organizing a rally on the National Walkout day to spread awareness about gun control following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“This class really highlights a strong sense of community,” Rocha said. “I think they’re going to make a difference in the years to come.”

See more photos on the Antioch Herald Facebook page.

Antioch High Class of 2018 graduates celebrate.

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Dozier Libbey Medical High graduates 127 in Class of 2018

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

2018 Co-Valedictorian Natalie Tong speaks to her fellow graduates on Friday evening, June 8, 2018. Photos by Luke Johnson.

Co-Valedictorian Cinddy Wu Deng addresses her classmates.

By Jesus Cano

Dozier Libbey Medical High School’s graduation illustrated how much of a tight knit community the Antioch campus really is.

As principal Scott Bergerhouse addressed the 2018 Dozier-Libbey graduates, he not only did so as a class, but he mentioned 40 kids individually with the positive aspects they brought to him and the school. He described the smiles students offered him, anecdotes about the daily life of a student at Dozier Libbey, and recognized pitcher Ayanna Sanchez for tossing a perfect game.

“I wanted to recognize as many people as I can, because that’s how much they mean to me.” Bergerhouse said. “It all about the kids, it’s all about their accomplishments and what they do.”

He has been able to watch this class grow, since when he took over the helm as principal, they were just freshman.

This class of 2018 saw 127 seniors walks the stage. This was one of the smallest classes in recent memory according to the principal. Bergerhouse added that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that it’s because many students ended up switching districts.

This year, Dozier Libbey had co-Valedictorians, in Natalie Tong and Cinddy Wu Deng. While they shared similarities in grade point average, they mentioned commonly how attending a close community like Dozier Libbey served as an advantage.

“Even if we don’t talk to everyone, we can always be there for each other.” Tong said.

See more photos on the Antioch Herald Facebook page.

Dozier-Libbey graduates cheer on their classmates.

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Teenager arrested for armed carjacking, evading police after crashing into two cars during chase Friday night

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

By Sergeant Matthew Harger #3305, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Friday, May 18, 2018 at about 8:35 pm, Antioch Police units were dispatched to the area of Hillcrest Avenue and Larkspur Drive regarding an armed carjacking that had just occurred. According to the 19-year-old victim, he was in the parking lot of Hillcrest Park when he was approached by the responsible who pointed a gun at him and forced him out of his car. The responsible got into the victim’s car and fled the area.

A short time later Antioch Officers located the stolen car in the 4800 block of Lone Tree Way and attempted to stop it. The responsible attempted to flee in the stolen car but almost immediately collided into two cars on the roadway. The responsible fled on foot in the area of Sagebrush Drive and Lone Tree Way but was quickly caught by officers after a brief foot pursuit. A loaded semi-automatic handgun was found near the responsible after he tried to discard it while fleeing.

The 19-year-old male suspect was arrested and booked into the Contra Costa County jail on charges related to armed carjacking, possession of loaded, concealed firearm, and evading the police.

The occupants of the two vehicles involved in the collision all declined medical assistance at the collision scene.

This preliminary information is made available by the Field Services Bureau. This case is currently under investigation and there will be no further information released regarding this case at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at

(925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Dollar Day at the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair on Opening Day Thurs., May 17

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

ANTIOCH – Open Day May 17th, Is Dollar Day at the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair. Gates Open at 12 noon, and everyone can enjoy the Fair for just $1 until 5PM. Also you can enjoy $1 Carnival Rides until 5PM. The Contra Costa County Fair has partnered with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano to bring $1 Day to the Fair. Pay $1 to get into the Fair, and donate $1 to the Food Bank, $1 can provide 2 Health Meals to a needy family in Contra Costa or Solano County.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair. For the complete program presented by the Antioch Herald, click here: 

For additional information about the 2018 Contra Costa County Fair visit our website at, or like us on Facebook. The fairgrounds are located at 1201 West 10th Street in Antioch.

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