Hart, Valencia Among ‘America’s Best High Schools’
Hart and Valencia high schools are among the 1600 high schools across the country saluted by Newsweek Magazine as “America’s Best High Schools.” The honor is based on the percentage of students who take and pass college-level Advanced Placement classes, earning college credit while still in high school. Hart is listed at 619 on this year’s list, up 329 places from last year. Valencia is No. 1316. More than 550 Hart High students took just over 1,000 AP classes last year, with a 75 percent pass rate.
Valencia Architectural Drafting Students Sweep Awards
Valencia High School students claimed the three top awards in the Building Industry Association Architectural Drafting Competition covering the Los Angeles and Ventura county regions. Winning students included Logan Smith, first place; Chad Bloor, second; and Jacob Chamness, third. The Viking class entered a model into the Model Competition for the first time this year, and Adam Alonzo earned third place with his entry. The students received their awards at a dinner at the Pasadena Convention Center. Elizabeth Wilson is the course teacher.
Saugus High School French Students Excel
Each year more than 100,000 students of French across the U.S. voluntarily participate in the “Grand Concours,” the National French Contest sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of French. This year 30 Saugus High School students took the exam, with 18 ranking in the top 20 scores in Southern California (in levels 1 – 4). French III student Michelle Endo earned 10th position in Southern California, just one place out of top 10 in the U.S. Sara Feldman (French II) earned eighth place in the U.S. and seventh in Southern California and was recognized at an awards ceremony in May. Patty Stephenson, who teaches all levels of French at Saugus, (where she also serves as World Languages Department chair and China exchange coordinator) is very proud of the achievements of her students.
AOC Students, Staff Show Off Talents
Students and staff at Academy of the Canyons had a chance to show off their many talents at the school’s annual talent show, “AOC’s Got Talent!” The show featured a varied repertoire of talented acts, ranging from singers and musicians to hip hop dance routines and comedians. The afternoon was topped off with a surprise appearance by the AOC staff, performing the Electric Slide. Students spontaneously jumped up and joined in, and before the dance was over there was a huge group “boot scootin’” across the dance floor. Students enjoyed a delicious barbecue lunch as part of the event.
SHARE Trailer Visits Bowman
Ninety-six juniors from Bowman High School completed the S.H.A.R.E. (Stop Hate and Respect Everyone) Tolerance program when the trailer visited the Bowman campus this spring. The program trailer can accommodate 24 students at a time, offering a 30-minute video presentation designed to engage students in conversations about tolerance and respect. Following the video presentation on hate crimes, students participated in role playing activities moderated by specially assigned Sheriff’s deputies.
Canyon Madrigals Win A Capella Festival
Canyon High School’s Madrigals won first place and a cash prize of $1,700 at the A Capella Scholarship Festival hosted by the Verdugo Hills Showtime Chorus of the International Sweet Adelines. The festival is a highly prestigious event, with schools competing by audition for the five high school and three middle school slots available. The Madrigals are repeat participants in the festival, earning second place and a cash prize of $1,200 last year. The group also made a number of community service performances in the local community this year and was selected to perform at the California Music Educators conference and in the Capitol Rotunda in Sacramento.
Borondy Named Student of the Month
Jonathan Borondy has received the final Student of the Month award for 2009-10 from Lockheed Federal Credit Union. Jonathan maintained a 3.5 grade point average and earned all A’s this past year, despite illness that has kept him hospitalized for weeks at a time. He has taken numerous advanced placement and honors classes and is involved with the marching and symphonic bands at Saugus High School, where he is a recent graduate. He received a $250 scholarship from the credit union for his achievements. He was selected on the basis of overall performance, including academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities and leadership.
Valencia Honors Career Path Graduates
Students who completed a Career Path at Valencia High School were honored at the annual Career Path Awards Night, appropriately themed, “What Is Your Story?” Students, parents and Career Path advisors enjoyed a delicious menu catered by Terri Seifried and her Culinary Arts program, the encouraging speech by motivational speaker Dan Williams and the awards ceremony itself.
Inspiring Student Returns to Campus
Although former Homecoming king and ’06 Saugus High graduate Eric Sparkman has cerebral palsy, he considers himself to be an example of someone who has overcome the obstacles associated with having a handicap. Sparkman returned to his alma mater recently, where he spoke to the Yes I Can students. He first showed them a video of himself doing ordinary tasks such as driving a car, playing video games, washing his clothes and even climbing stairs. He then fielded questions about what his life is like at CSUN, where he is majoring in history with aspirations of becoming a teacher. “What an inspiration he is,” said teacher Joel Stehle. “It just goes to show that with the right attitude you can accomplishment almost anything.” The visit was arranged by instructional assistant Marcia Davis.
Optimist Club Recognizes La Mesa
The Santa Clarita Valley-Newhall Optimist Club recognized La Mesa Junior High School’s Principal Pete Fries, ELD Coordinator José E. Malavé, and eighth grader William Oh for their service to the community and involvement with the Optimist Club. Oh won the club’s Oratorical Contest this year. The SCV-Newhall Optimist Club is a chartered club of Optimist International. As such, the club participates in a large number of international efforts to “Bring Out the Best in Children.”
Bowman Bulldogs Field Basketball Team
Students at Bowman High School this year didn’t have to give up competitive sports when they enrolled at the small continuation school, thanks to the efforts of teacher Jose Rosales and substitute teacher Nate James. The two formed a team of 14 basketball players who practiced every week and made it all the way to the championships in a club league operated by the Boys & Girls Club. Although the Bulldogs were defeated by a team of varsity Canyon High players in the final game this year, the team is planning to take its victory all the way next year!
English Classes Learn About Careers
Students in Nancy Phillips’ English classes at Rio Norte Junior High School had an opportunity to hear about many diverse careers as part of their classes’ Careers unit. Phillips worked with Jan Weber, from the Hart District’s Workability program, to bring in a series of community members and parents to share information about what they do for a living. Students heard from a Web designer, a private investigator, Fed Ex pilot, disc jockey and many more.
Saugus Club Helps Cancer Patients
Helping Hands, a new club at Saugus High School last year, managed to raise close to $3,000 to help the lives of local residents dealing with cancer. The club was founded by Melissa Arjon, a Saugus senior who lost her father to cancer and decided to do something to ease the strain on others undergoing a similar ordeal. The club hosted a yard sale and enlisted the support of bowling teams to raise funds, which it used to purchase grocery and gas gift cards. The group also donated $500 to Padres Contra el Cancer.
Student Signatures Headed to Space
Saugus High School students joined with more than 500 other schools around the world by signing Student Signatures in Space® posters to celebrate “Space Day 2010!” Student Signatures in Space® provides the opportunity for students to send their digitized signatures into space and feel a personal involvement with the crew and the mission. Jointly sponsored by NASA and Lockheed Martin, Student Signatures in Space is one program of the award-winning Lockheed Martin Space Day educational initiative. Saugus High received a giant poster for students to sign and return to Lockheed Martin to be scanned onto a disk. NASA then flies the signatures aboard a Space Shuttle mission. Upon completion of the mission, the poster is returned to the school along with a photo of the astronaut crew that took the signatures into space and a NASA flight certification verifying that the signatures flew in space. Saugus High parent Tony Hernando, who works at Lockheed, was instrumental in bringing the program to Saugus.