Teacher Receives Governor’s Gold Medal
George Velarde, head of the Physical Education Department at Sierra Vista Junior High, has been awarded a Gold Medal by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness. As a Gold Medalist, Velarde will receive $10,000 for his school’s P.E. program. The grand prize winning schools and gold medalists were selected from more than 700 nominees based on their use of innovation, inspiration and initiative. Velarde’s local program focuses on developing the fitness of its students rather than on sports activities and has resulted in more Sierra Vista students scoring in the Healthy Fitness Zone on the State Physical Fitness Test. Sierra Vista is now the highest scoring school in the Hart District and one of the highest in the state.
Jennifer Huhn Named District Teacher of the Year
Jennifer Huhn, a special education teacher at Golden Valley High School, has been named Teacher of the Year for the Hart School District. Huhn is currently in her fifth year as a special education teacher at Golden Valley, where she has taught everything from English and study skills to reading, Career Explorations, U.S. history, Career Visions, biology and earth science. She has also taught special education and intervention programs in the district’s summer school program. She will represent the district in the Los Angeles County competition, which is part of the California Teacher of the Year program.
Sequoia Honors Victims of Sept. 11
Students at Sequoia charter school honored the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack by completing a paper quilt based on students’ personal experiences on that day. The activity was requested by the school’s student council and carried out by advisory teachers, who provided paper squares on which students could draw and write their experiences. At brunch, the squares were glued to butcher paper to create the quilt, which was displayed in the multipurpose room following a moment of silence. In the background is the school’s new sign, donated by 111 Ink, a local sign company, to include the schools new Samurai logo.
Bowman Celebrates Successful Back to School
Bowman High School celebrated a successful Back to School Night, with more than 250 parents, students, family members and even some returning graduates turning out the launch the new school year. The ASB organized family activities, including face painting, basketball hoops and other games and topped off the evening with cake and Sam’s Club donated pizza. Talented senior Wes Aguilar and his brother Warren entertained guests in the quad with their guitar and singing. Parents were impressed by the progress their students are making at the Hart District’s model continuation school.
Quick Thinking Saves Friend
Placerita Junior High students Alex Guerrero and Anthony Tohill were lunching together recently when Anthony began choking on a piece of chicken. After it became apparent that Anthony was really struggling for air, Alex came to the rescue and began strategically pounding on Anthony’s chest. Truly concerned for his friend, Alex continued to provide assistance until Anthony coughed up the piece of food that was obstructing his airway. “That was really scary,” Anthony exclaimed. “I’m glad Alex was right there.” Alex has no formal training in emergency first aid, but used his instincts to save his friend.
Saugus High Blood Drive Exceeds Expectations
Saugus High School ASB held their first blood drive of the year with over 150 donors participating, collecting enough blood to save 400 lives. Donors received a T-shirt and a gift certificate for a free appetizer from Mimi’s. ASB President Jordan Morgenstern, who organized the drive, said that the American Red Cross was efficient and prepared for any and every contingency with a cadre of trained volunteers. “Everything went so smoothly,” she said, “that this has to rank as one of the best blood drives ever.”
Rio Norte Video Celebrates Constitution Day
Students and staff at Rio Norte Junior High School celebrated Constitution Day by creating a singing video of “The Preamble” from School House Rock. History teacher Ron Ippolito coordinated students and staff in academic teams, each singing a phrase from the song, which was then compiled into a music video which was shown to all students during homeroom.
Saugus Senior Receives Two Prestigious Awards
Receiving two prestigious awards in one week was a humbling experience for Saugus High School senior Taylor Schubert. First she was chosen to receive the CIF Championship for Character Award and then was selected as a Channel 7 Cool Kid for her contribution to her brother and Special Olympics. (Her segment on Channel 7 aired on Sept. 17.) According to her volleyball coach Zach Ambrose, “Taylor has always been an outstanding student athlete. Not only is she great on the court but she excels in the classroom and the community.”
West Ranch Opts for Healthier Snacks
West Ranch High School’s Student Store has recently made the switch from Fritos and Chee-tos to their healthier baked alternatives. The switch is in accordance with SB677, which calls for a ban on sodas and junk food. This bill called for a gradual reduction in soda sales across California high schools, and culminated in a state-wide removal of the sugary drinks. Campus soda machines are turned off from 6:45 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
Canyon Hosts Teen Truth Live
Students and staff at Canyon High School were proud to host the new Teen Truth Live program for all juniors and seniors. Teen Truth focuses on social issues that can lead to school violence and drug or alcohol abuse while the personal speeches challenge students to think about how their reactions to these issues impact the lives of those around them. Ultimately, Teen Truth Live challenges the audience to have a positive impact on their peers, in order to make school a safer, healthier and happier place. Many students spent time with the presenter and producer after the presentation, evidence that the program had a significant impact on the audience.
Arrowsmith Named to CIF Council
Todd Arrowsmith, the director of student activities at West Ranch High School, has been named to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Federated Council. The CIF Federated Council is the governing body of the state-wide organization and is composed of superintendents, principals, athletic directors and leaders from allied organizations throughout the state. Arrowsmith will be representing all of the activities directors in the State of California on the athletic council.
CADRE Offers Drug Education Seminar
The Hart District’s Comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Reduction Education (CADRE) program will host a drug awareness seminar for parents and students from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at Sierra Vista Junior High School. Detective Tom Lorenz will cover drug use and abuse in the local community. Participants also will receive, descriptions of how the CADRE program works and the support services available to students and families. Handout materials will be provided by the MEDTOX Drug Abuse Reduction (DAR) Program. Some students in Hart District health and science classes may receive extra credit for attending. The program will be held in the multipurpose room at the school, 19425 Stillmore St., Canyon Country.