Sierra Vista PE Program Wins Golden Bell
The physical education program at Sierra Vista Junior High School has received notice that it will be awarded the prestigious Golden Bell award at the California School Boards Association conference in December. This makes the third Golden Bell that the Hart District has earned and the most recent in an impressive series of awards the Sierra Vista program has received this year. PE Department Chair George Velarde devised the student-friendly program, “No Child Left on His/Her Behind,” which promotes lifelong fitness instead of the traditional PE emphasis on sports skills.
Board Welcomes Student Trustee
The Hart District Board of Trustees welcomes newly elected Student Board Member Taylor Arnone, a senior at Hart High School. Taylor was elected by members of the Student Communications Council, which represents student leaders from all Hart District schools. Taylor has been active in orchestra, drama, auditorium stage crew, volleyball and golf teams, Associated Student Body (student government), School Site Council, District Advisory Committee, Student Communications Council and Young Republicans Club. Taylor will present the student point of view at Governing Board meetings, casting an advisory vote on all issues before the Board. He will also carry Board issues back to the schools through his reports to the Student Communications Council.
Chinese Exchange Program Reaches Five Year Mark
Marking five years of the Chinese Exchange Program on the Saugus High School campus, the Chinese students from Saugus’ sister school - Gao Xin No. 1 High School – performed a medley of songs under the direction of their teacher, Yanjun Wu, during a celebration held at lunch.The students prepared posters illustrating some of the differences between American and Chinese schools, such as the fact that Chinese school buildings are designated by meaningful names like “Knowledge” and “Friendship” rather than letters. They also created displays of festivals, miniature authentic costumes and Chinese artifacts for students to see. Patty Stephenson, World Language Department chair, is at the helm of the program. All of the students as well as Mrs. Wu are being hosted by Saugus families.
Parents Happy With E-Communications
Viking parents have expressed extreme gratitude to Valencia High School’s communication team for its monthly parent E-Communication, an e-mail document that includes all the school’s upcoming events, important college or career information, and/or any other item teachers/staff members would like to share with parents. Each month, counselor Kathy Ferry heads up the VHS communication team and sends this document to the over 4,000 e-mail addresses that are added to the school’s computer system based on student emergency cards. Parents have made it clear that they prefer this style of communication and hope it continues (in addition to the other, traditional styles of communication) for their entire high school involvement.
GVTV Crew Members Go Professional
Two student members of GVTV, the Golden Valley High School Television Production show, have started their own production company. Senior Robert Rye and freshman Andy Ryan created Rye-Man Productions in order to provide businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley with affordable, yet professional, video projects. The students have already been hired by a local hair salon to produce a 30 second commercial to air locally and other job offers are already coming in. Andy Ryan has over four years of experience in cameras, lighting, sound and post-production as well as directing, producing and writing. He is also an intern for the KABC Channel 7 Los Angeles news team as a location cameraman shooting and editing on-air reports. Robert Rye also has experience in sound design, cameras and editing. He volunteers at his church running cameras and their sound board. Both plan on continuing their production company after they graduate and look forward to a long career in video production.
‘No Bad Kids’ a Key Message
“There are no bad kids, just kids who make bad choices.” That’s the message to the Action Team Partnership members at Bowman High School who welcomed guest speakers Cary Quashen and Stephanie Weiss from ACTION at a recent meeting. The agenda also asked parents, students and staff on the ATP Committee to name their non-celebrity heroes and explain why. The primary function of Bowman’s ATP is assessing parent involvement and participation. The recent meeting stressed communication between parents and students as a vital factor in student success.
Hart Swimmers Qualify for All-American Team
Four athletes from Hart High School have qualified for the USA Swimming Scholastic All-American team for the 2008-09 school year. This is a very prestigious award in the swimming world, composed of 1500 top swimmers from across the United States. Hart’s student athletes include current junior Hayley Good and recent graduates Chris Weber, Chelsea Griffiths and Jordan Danny. In order to qualify for this award, each athlete had to achieve a minimum of a Junior National Bonus time in an individual event and maintain a 3.5 grade point average in core classes.
Arroyo Seco Salutes Hometown Hero
Arroyo Seco Junior High School is proud of the school’s computer technician, Danny Ross, who received a Hometown Hero award from the American Red Cross for being a bone marrow donor. Somewhere out there is a healthy cancer survivor who got Danny’s white blood cells and is on the road to recovery! Danny received his award from Sheriff Lee Baca at the Hometown Heroes event.
Video Students Explore Career Opportunities
For Saugus High School Video Production students, touring the Andrita Media Center - a 106,000 square foot state-of-the-art high definition media facility located in Pasadena – was an eye-opening experience. The students split into three groups and rotated among three stations: stage production, production/audio control and post production. A highlight of the trip was seeing how video and audio from the stage is captured and then edited using Final Cut-Pro. “This was a great opportunity for our Career Technical Education classes to visualize how what they are learning in the classroom is applicable to their future,” explained Video Production teacher Wade Williams.
Volunteers Greet Business Expo Guests
Students in the Business Office class in the Hart District’s Regional Occupational Program volunteered as greeters during the recent Business Expo sponsored by the SCV Chamber of Commerce. They greeted guests and directed them to the Expo exhibits, a nearby job fair, and a flu shot clinic. Four students from the class staffed the ROP booth at the Expo and greeted guests, using their bilingual skills to make both English and Spanish speaking guests feel welcome.
Seventh Graders Discuss Africa with Peace Corps Volunteers
Cynthia Ross, a resourceful history teacher at Placerita Junior High School, found a unique way to bring perspective to a recently completed unit on Africa. She facilitated phone conversations between her seventh grade classes and Peace Corps volunteers Ciara Ignacio and Adam Johnson. The students submitted questions on African history, culture and society to compare current happenings to what they had just learned. The Peace Corps volunteers answered questions ranging from the natural resources of Africa to the Malinke hero Sundiata, to the most challenging and gratifying things about living in Africa.
Journalism Class Stresses Community Service
The journalism class at Sierra Vista Junior High School views community service as an important part of producing “The Plainsmen Press.” During October, the journalism class hosted a week-long hygiene drive for the Santa Clarita Food Pantry, collecting soap, toothpaste and deodorant for the pantry’s clients. The students also volunteered at the food pantry on Saturday and are planning another working Saturday on Nov. 7 to help stock shelves. The spirit of giving is alive and well at “The Plainsmen Press.”
Cowboys Run for Senior Center
Some 35 students from the Canyon High School cross country team and ASB helped support the local Senior Center by participating in the annual 5K race at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Assistant Principal Pete Getz organizes the school’s participation in the local event each year. The local runners raced along with a number of Olympic athletes, including local favorite Allison Felix. After the race, all of the participants were invited to stay and play at Magic Mountain.
Hart Girls Cheer on Walkers
Volunteers from the Hart High School cheer squads participated in the Diabetes Walk at Bridgeport Park. The girls sold raffle tickets and cheered on more than 1200 people who participated in the community event to raise funds to fight diabetes.
Performances Dedicate West Ranch Theater
Performing arts groups from West Ranch High School happily took the stage to celebrate the opening of the school’s newly completed performing arts center. Principal Bob Vincent actually directed the orchestra and chorus in a performance of “A Welsh Lullaby,” a song Vincent arranged and conducted as a tribute to the 71 babies born to West Ranch staff members since the school’s opening in 2004.
Junior High Schoolers Gather to Prevent Bullying
More than 300 junior high school students from Hart District schools and Castaic Middle School gathered at the City of Santa Clarita’s Activities Center for the annual Youth Summit. Keynote speaker Verne Johnson challenged students to take the “iWill” pledge–a commitment to be kind to their peers and prevent bullying and harassment. Students from West Ranch High School joined the program to engage students in teambuilding activities. At the end of the day, students gathered in school groups to develop action plans to prevent bullying and harassment on both a short- and long-term basis.
Math Error Wins T-Shirts for Rio Norte Students
Tracy Navarrete and Noah Twigg in Nancy Phillip’s Power Math class at Rio Norte Junior High School were working on an assignment in “Math Scholastic” magazine when they noted that a number was written incorrectly. Tracy and Noah saw a headline which included the number 33,00 and immediately recognized the error. They e-mailed the magazine and by the day’s end received a return e-mail thanking them for spotting the error. They will receive an official “Math Scholastic” T-shirt for their sharp observation.
Students Train for STRIVE Program
Thanks to Valencia High School seniors Marisol Guzman and Riley Reiss for organizing a new group of student volunteers for the school’s STRIVE diversity outreach program. Under the direction of counselor Iyashema Redd, students were trained to deliver activities and instructions regarding respect, inclusion and tolerance. The newly trained group and a number of previously trained students are ready to visit sixth grade classrooms in the Santa Clarita Valley with their diversity message.