AOC Celebrates International Week
Academy of the Canyons held its first International Week recently and hopes to make the event an annual project. International Week is a festival celebrating diversity and global cultural awareness. On Monday through Thursday, flags, pictures and landmarks from all of the continents adorned AOC halls. Friday was Heritage Day, and students dressed in clothing representing their cultural backgrounds. Students were able to sample a wide variety of international foods. The event was a great success and spawned interest and discussion among students about cultural and ethnic differences.
Teacher Puts ROP Floristry Class to Work
Some students in the Hart District’s Regional Occupational Center floristry class use their newly enhanced skills to work in a grocery store flower department, a flower shop, or open their own business doing weddings and special events. ROP teacher Diane Causey is a former ROP student who is now one of the program’s instructors. She inspires students to take as many ROP courses as possible to discover their own career passions. Causey currently teaches Beginning Floristry at Golden Valley and Saugus high schools and Advanced Floristry each spring at Saugus through the ROP program.
T-Shirt Decorating Party Cements Friendships
Valencia High School’s Circle of Friends program hosted a lunchtime T-shirt decorating project to strengthen friendships between general education and special needs students. Each special needs student received a plain white T-shirt to decorate with multiple colors of fabric paint and glitter pens provided. Students with special needs worked with their peer friends creating a fun, simple T-shirt that they could keep forever. The project was one of many designed by Circle of Friends to promote the social interaction between the general education and special education students.
Elective Teachers Visit Rio Norte Feeder Schools
Elective teachers and ASB students from Rio Norte Junior High School visited Rio Norte’s feeder elementary schools and met with next year’s seventh grade students. Helmers, North Park, Bridgeport, Tesoro and Mountain View students watched a video produced by teacher Ron Ippolito explaining Rio Norte’s elective programs and were able to request their preferences. ASB students spoke about their experiences at Rio Norte and answered the younger students’ questions. The school visits were coordinated by ASB Director Chad Powell and Electives Department Chair Mindy Moore.
Graphic Arts Student Qualifies for Southern California Finals
Congratulations to Hunter Jones, who will be competing against four other students from various high schools in Southern California at the Printing Industries of America, Southern California’s (PIASC) Raise Foundation Technical/Academic competition. Students from the Hart District’s graphic arts classes won round one of the competition by creating a new soft drink, label and story board. The team took first place with a score of 47.5 out of a possible 50 points. Round two was a written test covering more than 500 graphic communication terms. The Hart District team of Jones, Evan Yakel and Matt Perazzo came in third place. Hunter will represent the Hart District in the final competition, a game show format at the PIASC’s Top Management Network dinner. Hunter finished in third place at last year’s competition and received a $700 scholarship. The winning school also receives a new computer system for the school’s graphic arts program.
West Ranch Bands Win at Newbury Park Festival
West Ranch High School jazz bands returned from the Newbury Park festival with “superior” ratings across the board and several division awards. The Wildcats’ Studio A Band took second place in the Heavy Division, the highest in the competition. The Lab Band won third place in the Intermediate Division, and the jazz combo took third place in the Combo Division–the combo’s first time in competition. Seven West Ranch musicians received outstanding solo certificates and four members of the Lab Band earned $1,000 scholarships to Idyllwild Summer Jazz Camp. Brandon Canada received a full $2,000 scholarship for the same camp.
‘Women in History’ Brings Icon to Life
There was a new twist at this year’s Women in History presentations at Saugus High School. This year’s theme was iconic figures, highlighting the enormous financial and historical impact that these symbols have had on American culture. The program consisted of one-hour performances which featured staff members portraying Barbie, Betty Crocker, Lady Liberty, Mother Nature, Rosie the Riveter and Wonder Woman. More than 900 students and guests enjoyed the performances, under the direction of Career Visions Adviser Louise Willard. The program was offered in celebration of Women in History Month at Saugus.
Students Explore Automotive, Design Careers
Students in the Hart District Regional Occupational Program’s Exploring Engineering Technology and Automotive classes attended a Career Day at Pomona Fairplex, exploring technologies related to career opportunities. The Youth & Education Services (Y.E.S.) program is presented by the National Hot Rod Association and the U.S. Army to allow students to interact with professionals and explore different career options. Students listened to professional drivers tell how they started their own careers and enjoyed hands-on activities related to those career fields, plus rock climbing and a dragster exhibition.
English Learner Parents Invited to School
Students in Kimmie Frith-Smith’s classes for English learners at Rio Norte Junior High School invited their parents to join them at school for a morning. Parents attended class with their children, then enjoyed brunch at school. An informational meeting for all parents of English language learners followed. Students, parents and staff enjoyed the morning visit at school, and parents were encouraged to take an active role in their children’s education.
Gardening Classes Popular with Adult Students
Students at Golden Oak Adult School are filling a series of gardening classes which are available through the school’s self-supporting Community Education and Enrichment program. The winter quarter included the sell-out class, Roses, Roses, Roses. The upcoming spring quarter will offer Gardening for Beginners and Gardening in the Santa Clarita Valley. Topics include such areas as environmental awareness, water conservation, proper feeding and care and plant growth. Classes are taught by John Windsor, a certified nurseryman for more than 20 years. An arborist, horticulture instructor and consultant, Windsor brings the right mixture of expertise and enthusiasm to his plant-loving students.
Student Video Wins Rock Opera Contest
Three students in Wade Williams’ Video Production class earned $5000 for Saugus High School’s career technical education fine arts program by producing a winning entry in the White Gold Rock Opera video contest. The contest challenged California public high school students to develop a creative video recreating a “got milk?” scene featuring White Gold. The winning video, by Nick Romano, Katie Floyd and Georgeanne Aronson, was featured on two consecutive nights on “American Idol.” Saugus video students also earned first place in the Commercial competition at the Student Television Network (STN) convention. Saugus students Steven Seals, Bobbi Aholt, Tyler Stabenau and Jake Sellers won the first place award and Williams took first place in the Teacher Submission contest.
Bowman Students Celebrate Cesar Chavez Day
Students at Bowman High School used Cesar Chavez Day to speak out strongly for issues in which they believe. Chavez was a civil rights activist whose work and support led to many improvements in the lives of farm workers. Since Chavez’ work was focused on the plight of grape pickers, students were given grape cutouts on which they could write about an issue they would support, stand up for, protest, or sign a petition about. Students felt very strongly about different issues, including abortion, same sex marriage, immigration, war and social equality. One student used the occasion to express his strong support for American troops and their fight for freedom around the world.
Hart Show Choir Crowned Grand Champions
Hart High School’s show choir program returned from the Fame national competition at Lincoln Center in New York City with a Grand Champions award. Both Sound Vibrations, Hart’s advanced mixed group, and Hartbreakers, the advanced women’s group, came in first place in their divisions while competing against some of the top show choirs in the country. Hart’s choir also received the award for best choreography overall, Miky Tayoba was voted most outstanding male performer and Alyssa Adair won most outstanding female vocalist. Hart’s Show Choir also had the honor of being filmed as the featured show choir for a documentary to be shown in Great Britain right after Glee, the network show about the inner workings of a high school show choir.
Composer Visits Rancho Pico Advanced Band
Composer Thomas Kahelin visited Rancho Pico Junior High School to help the advanced band prepare to perform his recently published composition, “Western Horizons.” He spent the morning with students explaining the composition process and sharing some of the inspirations that resulted in “Western Horizons,” in addition to offering suggestions for proper interpretation and performance. The following week, the composer returned to hear the band perform his composition for judges at a festival sponsored by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association. The advanced band was one of three Rancho Pico ensembles that earned Unanimous Superior ratings at the festival. The orchestra and a combined ensemble comprised of both the beginning and intermediate bands also earned Superior accolades from the judges. All of the groups performed at West Ranch High School, where Rancho Pico Director Randy Gilpin and West Ranch Director Jason Marshall hosted 20 ensembles over two days at the inaugural Santa Clarita Band and Orchestra Festival.
Sequoia Students Explore Possible Careers
Sequoia Charter School hosted a career day this spring, providing students with broader knowledge of the possibilities the future holds. The school had speakers from a wide range of industries, including Bohan Automotive, College of the Canyons, USC, Columbia College of Film and Television, L.A. Sheriff’s Department, Advanced Fire and Rescue, Flair Beauty School, Clarice’s Cakes and Candies and Walt Disney Corporation. Terry Tourley, passing game coordinator for College of the Canyons, was keynote speaker for the event. A former NFL High School Coach of the Year for Southern California, he urged students to “find your passion.”