WiSH Education Foundation Starry Night a Big Success
An incredible time was had by all who attended the second annual Starry, Starry Night event sponsored by the WiSH Education Foundation earlier this month. Starry, for short, was an amazing evening featuring top talent from the hit reality show So You Think You Can Dance. More than $15,000 was raised toward literacy programs at all schools in the Hart School District for this school year. The talent was over the top with several different dance styles represented and included solo and couples dancing. Performer Alex Wong treating the crowd to not only thrilling dance solos, but he also broke into a song. Starry offered guests an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy nationally acclaimed dancers right in the SCV! Held in the beautiful West Ranch Theatre, and produced by WiSH board member John Zaring of John Zaring Productions, the Hart High School dance team also performed two numbers for the adoring audience. For an additional cost, guests could meet and greet the dancers on stage after the show and have their photos taken and chat with them. It was a very successful event for a great cause! Visit www.WiSHscv.org for more info!
Principal for a Day Event Matches Local Leaders with District Principals
The SCV Education Foundation held its 22nd annual Principal for a Day event across all five local school districts earlier this month. Principals and assistant principals at all Hart District schools and several district leaders shared their morning with a member of the local business community. All participants then joined together for lunch at the City’s Activities Center and an interactive discussion on the new Common Core State Standards. This annual event provides educators the opportunity to share with “shadows” a first-hand perspective of the local school environment and see the day-to-day business of running a school. This fundraising event supports programs by the SCV Education Foundation including student scholarships, student enrichment awards for teachers, Teacher Tribute, Santa Clarita Literacy & Arts Festival and other educational outreach programs for all five local school districts. (Photos: right, Dr. Paul Priesz, Valencia High School principal and Paul De La Cerda, Saugus School Board member; left, Bill Bolde, Saugus High School Principal with Tracy Moscoe, assistant principal, on the right with Jason Pugh of California Credit Union and Kevin Rishko of Logix Federal Credit Union; below, Robin Geissler, Bowman High School principal with Joan Serra from of UTI and others at the luncheon.)
West Ranch Teacher Wins National Teacher of the Year Award
West Ranch video production teacher Jennifer Overdevest has been selected as national teacher of the year by the Student Television Network (STN). This national organization supports, promotes and recognizes excellence in scholastic broadcasting, creative video and filmmaking and media convergence. STN holds contests and workshops each year that many students in the Hart School District enter and attend. Overdevest was hired by Valencia High School in 1997 and became the first full-time video production teacher in the district. Overdevest was involved in creating the curriculum that is approved by UC and CSU campuses. She built the program at Valencia for several years, and then started the program at the then brand new West Ranch High School in 2004, where she has led the highly renowned program for the past 10 years. “Winning STN Teacher of the Year is a great honor,” Overdevest said. “This award was given to me by teachers who teach TV and Film production throughout the United States. To be recognized by my peers for the opportunities I have created for my students is the greatest honor I have had as a teacher.” Overdevest is credited with forming a collaborative effort with College of the Canyons to ensure that the high school video production programs articulate to COC. This collaboration led to “Media Day,” which brings together industry professionals from the Los Angeles broadcasting market and film industry to give advice and guidance to students interested in pursuing a career in this field. As the winner of this award, Overdevest will receive a $1000 cash award, a plaque and invitation to attend the upcoming STN convention in Orlando, FL for professional development. STN will cover the cost of airfare, hotel room, meals and full convention registration. She is proud of the many awards her students have won over the years in national competitions and looks forward to another successful school year of competition with her current crop of talented students.
Hart High School Show Choir Wins Top Honors
Hart High School’s award-winning Sound Vibrations Show Choir did not disappoint when they kicked off their 2014 competition season on Friday, February 7th at The Diamond Bar Spectacular, held at Citrus College. The 32- student advanced group, led by director Gail Hart and choreographed by Gerald Espinosa, won first place at the competition, wowing the audience and judges with their 50’s themed set that included such crowd-pleasers as “Somebody to Love,” “Do You Love Me?,” “Hey, Good Lookin’,” “And Then He Kissed Me,” “Dance Apocalyptic,” “Simply Irresistible,” and a stirring a cappella rendition of “Tattooed Heart,” featuring soloist Maddi Frisch. Adding to the appeal was the inclusion of 1950’s-styled attire designed by costumes and tech director, Mary Rosebrock, and four roller-skating performers who harkened memories of car-hopping waitresses. Accompanist John Fairbanks provides many of the group’s arrangements, and Hart’s instrumental ensemble/stage band, led by Leslie Garman, accompanies all groups on the road as well as at home. The Hart Show Choir Department, which includes SweetHarts - all girls, intermediate/beginning level; Hart N Soul - mixed, intermediate level; Hart Breakers - all girls, advanced level and Sound Vibes - mixed, advanced level, are known nationally for dancing, singing and entertaining audiences everywhere. Hart Choirs have been competing locally and nationally over the past two decades, bringing home some of the highest honors and awards. Performances are judged on aspects of overall group vocals such as tone, pitch, balance, diction and blend, dynamics and difficulty of literature; achievement in overall visual effect as it relates to choreography: execution, design, variety of styles and difficulty; pace of show, attention to transitions, and effective utilization of costumes and props, among other criteria. Competition season runs from February through April, with all groups bringing their polished sets home for the Spring Concert in late May. For more info: http://hartchoir.com. Contributed by Pam Ripling.
Saugus Welcomes Local Elementary School Students to Campus
Saugus High School hosted the second annual elementary outreach night in late January. Future Centurions from all the local feeder elementary schools enjoyed a special evening to get a taste of what they will enjoy on campus. “It was a huge success and we were thrilled to have our future students here,” Tracy Moscoe, assistant principal, said. More than 25 teachers opened their classrooms, sharing displays and hands-on activities showcasing the great things students are learning at Saugus High School. Students also attended a league basketball game in the school gym. The evening culminated with a lay-up relay competition between the feeder elementary schools. Rosedell Elementary School took top honors for the evening winning all three categories: halftime competition, attendance, and spirit.
Bowman Students Enjoy Healthy Breakfast Before High School Exit Exam
More than 160 hungry Bowman High School students were served a pre-California High School Exit Exam “Breakfast of Champions” on two mornings in early February. Bowman ASB students worked hard for weeks coordinating breakfast for this special event. They were honored to be able to serve their fellow Bulldogs. Western Bagel of Valencia donated huge bags of bagels. In addition to the donations, ASB provided juice, water, granola bars, muffins, and fruit platters. Students were overheard saying, “Wow, I can’t believe all of this is for us.” Students expressed their gratitude for the nutritious breakfast through smiles and heart-felt “thank you” comments to the ASB students serving them. ASB director April Soria said, “We are proud of our testing Bulldogs and we were glad we could provide them with the nutrition necessary for them to do their best!” Students in California are required to pass the California High School Exit Exam in order to graduate high school. Students first take the exam in 10th grade. The Hart School District’s overall passing rate on the first try is 68% for English Language Arts and 69% in math in the 2012-2013 school year.
Valencia Theatre Students Take Top Honors at Shakespeare Festival
Valencia High School theatre arts were the sole winner of Outstanding Scene at the Chapman University Shakespeare Festival last weekend. The Valencia High School thespians and their director, Stephen Whelan, mounted a scene from Shakespeare’s romance PERICLES. Senior Mark Gofman played the role of Pericles, and his daughter Marina was played by Lily Florczak. The cast of 14 also included seniors Gage Rothstein and Kendall Stillman-Riddle and many more talented young actors. The Chapman Shakespeare Festival is a statewide tournament and students and teachers travel from as far as the Bay Area, Fresno and many other spots from around Southern California including Los Angeles High School of the Arts and Mater Dei. This is the 12th visit to the festival for Valencia High School theatre and this is the 6th time they have taken Best Scene of the Tournament. “This is a very classy festival on a beautiful college campus in Orange County,” Whelan said. “The Valencia High School student-actors especially look forward to doing Shakespeare at this event every year.”
Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Public Relations Officer,
email@example.com, 661.259.0033 x 227
William S. Hart Union School District website: www.hartdistrict.org
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