State Distinguishes Bowman High as an Outstanding School
The California Department of Education named Bowman High School as a Model Continuation High School for their programs designed to help struggling students stay in school. Bowman is one of 27 schools selected out of 509 in California. Selected schools demonstrated exemplary program effectiveness in school management, curriculum, instructional strategies, educational climate, and guidance and counseling. Bowman was visited by a review team as part of the selection process. Principal Robin Geissler, District Superintendent Rob Challinor, District administrators, as well as Bowman’s staff and students all celebrated this honor with a cake on Jan. 14. This is the third consecutive time that Bowman has achieved this status; the first two were for six years each. This year, with a change in the system, the designation will be for three years. “This award validates Bowman’s core values,” Ms. Geissler said. “We believe that all students can learn and that every student deserves the opportunity to succeed.” Ms. Giessler also said that honoring diversity strengthens everyone and that failure is not an option. Mr. Challinor congratulated Ms. Giessler and her staff for their diligence and commitment. “Every Bowman administrator, teacher and staff member has a vested interest in their students’ success, and this award reflects their dedication.” Mr. Challinor said. “Bowman students and parents are very fortunate to be part of such a fantastic learning environment.”
Board Welcomes Student Trustee
The Hart District Governing Board welcomed newly elected Student Board Member Jade Lico, a senior at Valencia High School. Jade was elected by members of the Student Communications Council, which represents student leaders from all Hart District schools, this past fall. Jade has been active with Associated Student Body (student government) at Valencia, having recently served as ASB President. She is also part of the VHS Hip-Hop Team, Viking Nation, Christian Pathfinders and serves on the District Advisory Council. Jade has volunteered with Congressman McKeon’s office and is involved with community service for local organizations including the SCV Senior Center. She is looking forward to being accepted to college and is interested in a career in law and politics. Jade will present the student point of view at Governing Board meetings, casting an advisory vote on all issues before the Board. She will also carry Board issues back to the schools through her reports to the Student Communications Council.
Valencia High Students Support International Organization
What started as a textbook lesson in government for about 100 students in teacher Greg Hayes’ government classes turned into a very successful fundraising campaign directed toward Food for the Poor. Students stepped up and decided to put action to what they were learning and raised nearly $4,000 through various drives, recycling collections and donation requests. Ultimately, they raised enough funds to build a two-room home for a family of five in Haiti, displaced by the earthquake, and provided clothes, school supplies, food for a year, and helped the family start a business. Part of the funds went toward providing 20 chickens, three pigs and a goat to the family. The purpose of the assignment, in relation to the government class, was to experience what it meant to raise money for important causes that need support locally, nationally and globally. The students worked hard together on this project, exceeded their goals, enjoyed a huge sense of accomplishment and learned something about government along the way.
All-State Honor Band Selects 10 Junior High Students
Ten junior high students, including six from Rancho Pico, three from Placerita and one from Rio Norte, have been selected to the very prestigious California All-State Honor Band. Students must be an active participant in their school band program and audition by submitting a CD recording to the California Band Directors Association, to qualify as a candidate for consideration. The CBDA received more than 1,500 auditions this year. Students will perform a concert with guest conductors, usually university directors or well-known band composers, in conjunction with the annual CBDA conference at the Fresno Convention Center in February. Students selected for this honor include: Michael Brown, Katherine Noble, Rachel Park, Hannah Chong, Steven Griggs, and Ann Yoo from Rancho Pico; Alexio Cardia, William Freet, and Gilbert Bryce from Placerita, and Alex Kim from Rio Norte. Having six students selected from Rancho Pico is a high honor. Statewide, only seven other junior high schools had more than six students selected for the all-state band. District Honor Band, featuring top student musicians from District schools, will perform on March 5, at 7 pm, in the Hart High School Auditorium. Admission: $10. The high school students will perform under guest conductor Dr. Lawrence Stoffel from CSUN, and junior high students with conductor Jill Geist-Ruhnke.
Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Offers Forestry Class
Basics in Forestry and Trail Construction is being offered as a 10 credit class through the District’s Regional Occupational Training Program as a collaborative training venture between the Hart District, United States Forest Service, Pacific Crest Trail Association, and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. In addition to high school credit, participating students may be offered a paid work experience internship while gaining practical exposure to land management practices and career pathways related to conservation and resource management including trail maintenance and construction, wildlife conservation, backcountry navigation, environmental stewardship, and search and rescue response. Visit www.hartrop.com/forestry for more information.
Career Visions Assists Special Education Students
The Hart District’s Career Visions program has launched an intensive recruitment and community outreach campaign targeting local employers, special education students, and their families, to assist special education students with a desire to work. The launch of this campaign supports a renewed statewide interest to bring proven workforce preparation fundamentals into the classroom and offers the added incentive of a paid work training experience intent on embracing a direct hire and long term employment philosophy. The program helps student participants to become productive, gainfully employed members of the local community. Career Visions is seeking additional local companies that would like to provide a work training opportunity to special education high school students. For more information about participating in the Career Visions program visit www.cvworks.org. Photo: West Ranch High School’s Oscar Machorro, Career Visions newest “spokes” person participates in a CV sponsored work experience opportunity at Performance Cyclery.
Hart High Dance Team Show Raises Funds for Local Organization
The Hart High Dance Team hosted the Hart of the Holidays variety show in December, with proceeds supporting Help the Children of Santa Clarita. With the additional support from local dance studios, performers and the audience, the group presented the organization with a $1,000 donation. The Dance Team also offered free gift wrapping in front of Best Buy during the holiday season, encouraging donations that will be used toward covering 2011 competition season expenses. Dancers expressed appreciation for the great community support and attendance at their show.
Student Groups Go Green with E-Waste Recycling Events
Hart District students care about the environment and want to help protect it for future generations. Several Hart District schools have held free Electronic Waste Recycling events as school fundraisers and to support a reduction in E-Waste that is currently a major contributor to landfills. Several schools have events planned for the coming weeks, including Hart High on Jan. 22-23 and Golden Valley High on Jan. 22. Certified E-Waste recyclers have been contracted to assist students with the collection process. Electronic Waste is any consumer electronic equipment that has reached its “end-of-life” or “end-of-usage”, whether in full or non-working condition. It includes most electronics or electric appliances with a cord or circuit board such as listed above. Currently, 56% of American households have functional e-products that they no longer use. Seventy percent of heavy metals and 40% of lead and mercury contents found in today’s landfills come from E-Waste. Additionally, recent federal mandates require that television stations switch from analog format to digital format, which makes many televisions obsolete. With two E-Waste events scheduled in the next few weeks and more on the way, local residents have the opportunity to properly dispose of electronic waste, while supporting many excellent school programs.
Bowman Staff and Students Rally Around Student Who Lost His Bike
Bowman student Javier Sanchez relied on his precious bicycle to go back and forth to school every day. Unfortunately, it was stolen last year, off campus. Bowman staff members John McCarthy, Jose Rosales and Deanna Eldridge spearheaded a fundraising campaign for Javier and raised enough funds to present him a new bike, just in time for the holidays. The new bike is even better than his old bike! Additionally, he was presented with a new bike helmet and two locks. Javier is thrilled with his new bike and appreciates what everyone at Bowman did for him.
Golden Oak Adult School Offers Masonry Class
Students at Golden Oak have the option to add yet another skill to their repertoire: basic masonry. Skilled craftsmanship in a trade requires both instruction and practice, and this course is designed to provide both. It will cover basic techniques in masonry skills including history and origin, tools and equipment, safety, basic fundamentals of mortar preparation and application, and the use of various masonry products. It will prepare students for possible entry level positions as well as the personal use of these skills. Classes begin Feb. 1. Visit www.goldenoakadultschool.com for more information.
West Ranch Students Bring Holiday Cheer to SCV Senior Center
Local seniors enjoyed an afternoon of holiday cheer and camaraderie by West Ranch High School students. The students transformed the Senior Center into a Winter Wonderland, assisted serving lunch, interacted with the seniors and the jazz combo and choir performed. A bond was formed, and there are plans to integrate West Ranch musicians into the Senior Center’s swing jazz performances. A representative from the Senior Center noted that many in the audience commented that they now have a renewed faith in youth and that they were impressed to hear the level of talent demonstrated by the students. The Senior Center congratulated the school faculty on doing a wonderful job of instilling values and character into their students. Photo: Senior Center trumpet player with Shogi Hayes, West Ranch trumpet player.
Sierra Vista Dance Enjoyed by Students
Sierra Vista’s ASB coordinated a fantastic Winter Wonderland Dance, prior to winter break in December. As students arrived, they had their picture taken by the Yearbook staff in front of a balloon arch. Students enjoyed dancing, eating dinner catered by Stone Fire Grill, choosing between chocolate fountain goodies or Dippin’ Dots ice cream for dessert, or socializing in front of the holiday lighting in the back of the MPR. Finally, when the 8th grade King and Queen and 7th grade Prince and Princess were announced, a group of student musicians from Sierra Vista performed a song for them to dance to. All-in-all, the night was a memorable one.
Bowman High Celebrates Dr. King’s Accomplishments
Bowman High School recently celebrated the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with music and classroom activities. ASB students cut out hundreds of white doves and delivered them to each classroom, where students were encouraged to think about what freedom meant to them, and then write their thoughts on the paper doves. “There are events happening in the country and the world right now that are causing our students to consider how they define freedom, so this was a very meaningful activity for many of them,” Jenny Dermody, Bowman ASB Director, said. The doves were then displayed in the quad trees, where students were invited to read what their peers wrote while listening to clips of King’s speeches recorded with music playing in the background.
Transitional Learning Center Student Gains Employment with COC
Robert Betancourt, Telecom Coordinator for College of the Canyons, has been working with Chase Nalier, a student at Transitional Learning Charter Program at College of the Canyons (TLC/COC). Chase is majoring in Electrical Engineering and was introduced to Mr. Betancourt by TLC/COC teacher, Cathy Brown, after she learned there was a need for help in the Telecommunications Department. Chase enrolled in Cooperative Work Experience Education (CWEE), providing an internship allowing Chase to earn work experience and college credits simultaneously. Through the help of Mr. Betancourt and others at COC, Chase was enrolled in the Federal Work Study Program and is now working as a College Assistant at College of the Canyons, a paid position. Mr. Betancourt stated that he has been very impressed with the TLC/COC Program and has a desire to work with the students in this program. He knew upon meeting Chase that he would be a perfect fit in the Telecommunications Department. Mr. Betancourt has further stated that Chase has proven to be a valuable employee, has earned the respect of many at COC, and is well liked across campus. He continues to expand his knowledge and experience daily and has been an integral part of many upgrade and improvement projects to the Campus Voice and Data Infrastructure. TLC is a Hart District program that offers students opportunities to learn basic life skills, take classes, job training and pursue a college degree or certificate, in order to meet the challenges of the future as lifelong learners and responsible citizens.
Computer Basics Class for Limited English Speakers at Golden Oak
Staff and students at Golden Oak Adult School are very excited about this first-time class offering for limited English speaking adult students. Students will have the opportunity to learn the basics of computer operation and software applications such as Windows and Word, as well as learning to surf the web and manage email. Instructor Gerardo Nunez has taught English as a Second Language and computer classes at Golden Oak for the past four years, and teaches Math/Computer Applications to junior high school students in the L.A. Unified District. Classes will be held at Golden Oak on Saturday afternoons and certificates will be provided upon completion.
Retired Hart District Teacher Now an Award-Winning Novelist
After spending 33 years as a teacher, including 31 years with the Hart District, Eileen Granfors retired five years ago, immediately enrolling in UCLA’s Writer’s Program to learn to write fiction. Her first novel, “Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead,” has been published and is available online. In her few short years of retirement, Granfors has been named a finalist in the Writer’s Advice short fiction contest, has been awarded Honorable Mention by WOW Online in flash fiction, has published a tribute piece on Bark Online, and has written two short memoirs in the 2008 Cup of Anthology Series, and has published poems in several magazines. While at the Hart District, Granfors taught at Sierra Vista for two years, then moved to Saugus High for 28 years. She was the Yearbook advisor for 25 years, English Department Chair for five years, and taught a variety of English classes, including honors, AP, Shakespeare, Mythology, Reading Lab and English composition. Also, in her spare time, since retiring, she works for Columbia University as a judge for their scholastic yearbook competition, reviewing school yearbooks from across the nation. “I miss the daily laughs with students and staff,” Granfors said. “But, I’m enjoying having the time to follow my passion and continue learning!”
Students SOAR at Second Annual 13.1 LA Half Marathon
Students from Hart District Schools and COC tackled the 2nd annual 13.1 LA Half Marathon in Santa Monica, earlier this month, in preparation for the grueling 26.2 mile Los Angeles Marathon slated for March 20, 2011. Sponsored by Students Off And Running (SOAR), a division of the Santa Clarita Track Club, this program dedicates itself to offering SCV youth the opportunity to participate in a fully supported, 24-week, 350-mile marathon training program while challenging themselves to accomplish something truly extraordinary in a non-competitive arena. Results were nothing less than impressive, witnessing each of the team’s 38 registered participants crossing the finish with a smile, and three students placing for their age division in a field of close to 3,000 runners. SOAR is not about recruiting seasoned high school athletes; the program seeks any high school aged student who is willing to commit to a truly life changing experience. Join the team Sat. March 5, as the Santa Clarita Track Club and Bridgeport Marketplace presents “Mardi Gras Madness” at Bridgeport Marketplace in Valencia. This flat, fast, fun 5K and Mini 1K will be fun for the entire family! All proceeds from the event benefit the students of SOAR. Visit www.soar-sc.org or contact Event Chair Alan Bingham at 661-755-6197 for more information.
Bowman High – A Small School with a Big Heart
Bowman High students collected canned goods and personal care items, during December, and presented them to the SCV Food Pantry. The items collected were valued at $1,750 and filled a car to the roof! “Many of our students are feeling the pinch of the economy, and yet, they have generously donated to help less fortunate people in our community,” Principal Robin Geissler said. The three top collection classes were: Mary Gaskin’s 4th period class; Stacey Killinger’s 8th period class; and Kathleen Watson’s 8th period class. All three classes received a well-deserved pizza party hosted by Bowman’s ASB.