William S. Hart Union High School District

Santa Clarita, CA

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Archive for March, 2011

March 16, 2011 Vol. XI, No. 14

Friday, March 18th, 2011

COC Hosts High School Teacher and Student Art Exhibition
In a collaborative effort between art instructors at six Hart District high schools and College of the Canyons Valencia campus, the Art Gallery is showing nearly 100 pieces of art and creative media by Hart District students and teachers. A grand opening reception was held unveiling the artwork to educators, students and the community. Artwork in various mediums is displayed, including oil, acrylics, charcoal, pencil, mixed media and ceramics. The Exhibition continues through April 7. For additional info visit: www.canyons.edu/artgallery
Admission is free. $2 Visitor Parking Permit required, in Lot 15. Gallery hours: Mon – Thurs., 10:30 am – 5 pm.

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Talented Students Perform at 30th Annual Honor Band Concert
One hundred and eighty junior high and high school students showcased their amazing musical talents at the Hart School District Honor Band Concert, earlier this month. Students representing all Hart School District comprehensive schools, along with students from Castaic Middle School, performed to a packed house of parents and community supporters in the 800-seat Hart High School Auditorium. This program saw 900 highly talented students audition for one of the 85 junior high positions and 85 high school positions. Students had the unique opportunity to perform under the direction of guest conductors, who are highly regarded in their field. Both bands performed difficult musical pieces with precision, maturity and grace. Performing arts are an integral program in the District. Schools offer students the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of classes, including theater arts, choir, music appreciation, marching band, drum line, jazz band, orchestra, dance, color guard, cheerleading and more. The Governing Board recently approved building Performing Arts Centers at Saugus and Canyon High Schools, with Measure SA funds earmarked for these projects. 

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Shakespeare Festival Showcases Student Talent
Students from all six Hart District comprehensive high schools participated in the 8th Annual Theater Festival, in February. Two hundred students were involved in the festival, which featured two dramatic and hilarious days of costumes, scenes and monologues. The event, which brings students together from across the Santa Clarita Valley, is unique and has not been done in any other California school district. Students were judged by theater professionals from College of the Canyons and professional actors. Students enjoyed morning workshops in Shakespeare, fencing, movement and mask work. The festival took place at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at COC and Golden Valley High School.

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KHTS Upcoming Home and Garden Show Benefits Project Prom
Hart District Project Prom will receive a portion of every paid admission ticket to the KHTS Home and Garden Show, March 26-27 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. The event will feature more than 80 local home and garden businesses and organizations and will offer various demonstrations throughout the two days. The Hart District will have a booth at the show featuring Regional Occupation Programs (ROP) that fit the theme. ROP displays on plumbing, interior design, construction and culinary programs will be on hand at different times throughout the weekend. Project Prom’s Mandy Quinn and her entourage will be there to talk about this great program, and donations will be accepted at the booth. Coupons for $2 off the $5 general admission are available on the District’s website, on the Events / Fundraisers page: http://www.hartdistrict.org/index.php/events-fundraisers. Show hours: Sat., Mar. 26, 9 am – 5 pm and Sun., Mar. 27, 10 am – 4 pm. Shop local and support a great cause all at the same time!

West Ranch ASB Director Presented with Prestigious Award
Todd Arrowsmith, West Ranch High School Associated Student Body Director, received the prestigious Bob Burton Spirit Award, presented at the California Association of Directors of Activities (CADA) annual convention, earlier this month. The Bob Burton Spirit Award is presented to a person who makes Spirit Work, who makes a positive difference and who emphasizes inclusion with all students and members. The award is given in memory of Bob Burton, the Fallbrook High School Activities Director for 30 years, to the Activities Director who is considered to be one of the best in their area of the state. Arrowsmith received the award for Area E, which represents all of Los Angeles County.

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Youth Project Provides Interactive Assembly for Canyon Students
The Santa Clarita Youth Project took over Canyon High School’s gym and brought with them a veritable cornucopia of city resources. Each student that participated was assigned a mock scenario and had to navigate a labyrinth of choices before identifying the proper resource for their respective problems. The event included City of Santa Clarita, The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, The SCV Pregnancy Center, The Boys & Girls Club, and more. School counselors believe that it’s absolutely critical for students to be aware of the resources they have at their disposal, and events like this are a wonderful way of communicating that message.

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Bowman Students Tackle Societal Labeling Assignment
Bowman High School students in a Contemporary American Problems class completed a project called “The Labeled Body.” Students tackled the following questions: What constitutes normalcy in society? What deems an individual beautiful? What deems an individual ugly? What or who is accepted in society and what or who is unaccepted? How does society label an individual a “normate” (normal) or “the other” (abnormal)? Students were given a cardboard cut out of the “unlabeled body,” and through in-class discussions about advertising, media and by reading academic journals about high school identity and social clicks, students discovered ways in which individuals ostracize and marginalize the individual body. Students drew a line down the center of the body and labeled one side “normate” and the opposite side “the other.” Students then cut out words, pictures, and wrote poems that portrayed the societal labeling of each side. In addition, they looked at literary otherness, The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s Quasimodo, To Kill a Mockingbird’s Boo Radley & Scout, Of Mice and Men’s Lenny and Disney’s villains Scar, Captain Hook, Ursula, etc., who are all portrayed as deformed and/or grotesque individuals that have been “marked” or labeled “different” by society. A general consensus discovered by students found that it was easier to label “the other” than the “normate” side of the body. That negative opinion/perception dominated acceptance. They also found that what constitutes normalcy (plastic surgery, big muscles, flawless skin) were abnormal by products of “the other.” Ultimately, the students learned the idea that normalcy is in the eye of the beholder, and that everyone is equal.

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ROP Students Host Special Sheriff’s Department Visitors
Deputy Jonn Eidem from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department K-9 detail for the Custody Operations Division, visited the Regional Occupation Program’s Law Enforcement students, earlier this month.  Deputy Eidem’s partner, “Gunner,” a K-9 trained to detect drugs and alcohol, performed several demonstrations for the students. Students were able to see firsthand, not only how friendly these dogs are, but the importance of using specially trained dogs to better search persons and vehicles for contraband.

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West Ranch ASB Hosts Elementary School Leadership Day
West Ranch High School Associated Student Body hosted more than 120 elementary school student council members from Stevenson Ranch, Oak Hills, and Pico Canyon Elementary Schools. Students learned about reaching out and including all students on their campus and how to make all students feel a part of their school. Later, students participated in team building activities organized by West Ranch ASB students. After watching a live broadcast of West Ranch Television (WRTV), students were grouped by grade level and worked with West Ranch ASB students on coming up with lunch activities that could be organized by their student council leaders at their schools. The elementary students enjoyed spending time with the high school student leaders, and the high school students enjoyed sharing their knowledge with the future ASB leaders.

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SOAR Students Benefit from “Mardi Gras Madness” Fundraiser
Nearly 300 runners and walkers donned a battalion of beads in a dash to complete the inaugural Mardi Gras Madness 5K at Bridgeport Marketplace, earlier this month. Organized by members of the Santa Clarita Track Club, this annual race benefits Hart District students participating in the club’s Students Off And Running (SOAR) program, whose mission is to provide fully supported LA Marathon training experience to local youth in need at no cost to student participants or their families. SOAR students will participate in the LA Marathon on March 20, 2011 and have spent many months training and participating in shorter races to prepare for the big marathon. SOAR is not about recruiting seasoned high school athletes; the program seeks any high school student who is willing to commit to a truly life-changing experience. For more info on SOAR, visit www.soar-sc.org or contact Program Director Kevin Sarkissian at 661.877.7024.

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Placerita Students Ballroom Dance to First Place
Placerita Junior High School students competed at the High Desert Dance Classic in the Dancing Feet Youth Ballroom program held at Antelope Valley College, earlier this month.  The Placerita Ballroom Team placed 1st in the competition. The Dancing Feet Program is a youth ballroom program designed to teach 7th grade students ballroom and Latin dances. This was Placerita’s third year in the competition joining the group of Antelope Valley schools participating in the program and competition. Professional ballroom teachers provided dance instruction to the teachers at each participating school. The teachers were then responsible to teach their students the five ballroom and Latin dances. Teachers Tammi Sucheck and Kristin Burrill instructed the team of 12 students.  The team consisted of Sydney Allen and Corey Burrill dancing the Waltz, Megan Mekelburg and Evan Murray dancing the Tango, Kimberly Gonzalez and Luke Peckham dancing the Merengue, Paulina Lopez and Kris Walters dancing the Samba, and Claira Speight and Mauricio Ledesma dancing the Cha Cha; alternates were Kristiana Adrian and Ryan Shouldice.

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Television / Video Production Students Earn Top Honors at Convention
Students from West Ranch High School, Valencia High School and Placerita Junior High competed in the 8th Annual Student Television Network (STN) Convention, earlier this month. More than 1,400 students representing 128 schools from around the U.S. attended this year’s convention, held in Orlando FL. Students from all three Hart District schools came home with top honors and enjoyed the opportunity to compete against their peers. This year the 21 West Ranch students who participated did an amazing job, and according to TV / Video Production teacher Jennifer Overdevest, the students conducted themselves professionally and took the competition very seriously. West Ranch awards: 1st Place in Stand Up Broadcasting, Angelo Gepiga and Nathan Holdridge; 2nd Place in Convention Recap, Kalie Ihrig and Matt Love. Valencia High School awards: 3rd Place in Public Service Announcement; 4th place in Weather Reporting, Sports Highlight and Short Story. Valencia also earned film nominations for “Positive,” for Best Score and “Paper Dolls,” for Best Screenplay. Placerita competed in the junior high division and did well, placing 1st in the Middle School Hurley Commercial Contest. Students Luke Brody, Tanner Husman, Rachel Bates and Zoe Weiman each received a $250 Hurley gift certificate and their entry will be forwarded to the national level Hurley competition. Placerita students also competed in the Sweet 16, Anchoring and Movie Trailer contests. (Photos: Left, Placerita;  right, WRTV.)

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Local Restaurant Celebrates Anniversary with Donations to Rancho Pico
Jersey Mike’s in Stevenson Ranch recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. They offered a free sub to every customer that came into the store, with a request that a small donation be made. Rancho Pico Junior High School was chosen as the group to receive the donations. $1,775 was presented to Rancho Pico Junior High Principal Michele Krantz, for the school. “We are using the money for our emergency supplies,” Krantz said. “Jersey Mike’s has been extremely generous to the schools in our community, as well as the Hart School District.” Jersey Mike’s has been a past recipient of an annual “Business Super Star” recognition award and has been nominated again this year, with winners being announced in late April.

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Student Athletes Honored at Newsmaker Awards Gala
The Saugus High School Girls’ Cross Country Team earned the Sports Team of the Year Award at this annual event, held earlier this month. Team members and their parents, along with Principal Bill Bolde, attended and were excited to win this distinguished award. This team recently won its 5th consecutive CIF Championship. Other winners were Steven Manfro for Sports Male of the Year. Manfro played football for Valencia High School and has signed a National Letter of Intent with UCLA. The Sports Female of the Year award went to Taylor Lilley, a former Hart High School basketball record-setter and current WNBA Phoenix player. This 14th annual event also recognizes community leaders in the areas in the areas of Friend of the Press, Business Person of the Year, Behind the Scenes, Most Controversial, Community Service, Business of the Year, Organization of the Year and the Newsmaker of the Year, which went to Dr. Judy Fish, Superintendent of Saugus Union School District. The event also honors Randy Wicks, the nationally recognized cartoonist for The Signal, who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 41 in 1996. The awards dinner raises scholarship funds for college students in journalism, education and other First Amendment-related fields.

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La Mesa Student Selected as National Filmmaking Finalist
Eighth grade La Mesa Junior High student Alyssa Piper was selected as a finalist in the Teen Truth Film Festival, a nationwide contest. Alyssa and her family will be going to Stockton in mid-March to view her film at the Stockton Empire Theater. Teenagers from across the country have the chance to showcase their filmmaking talents as well as their strong beliefs in treating other people with respect. This gives students a rare and extraordinary opportunity to show their work at a distinguished film festival. La Mesa Junior High recently featured the Teen Truth assembly for all students to learn about anti-bullying and respect for differences.  Alyssa has also been awarded the Difference Maker Award for the 2010/11 school year from La Mesa Junior High and the Teen Truth Agency for her work as a valuable member of the Bully Prevention Club at La Mesa and other community service efforts. “Alyssa is someone who makes a difference and will continue to make a difference in people’s lives throughout her life,” stated Steve Patterson, La Mesa counselor. (Pictured on left, with Alyssa and Principal Pete Fries.)

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Rio Norte Student Earns 2nd Place in Art Exhibit
Megan Schneider from Rio Norte Junior High submitted two landscape photos to exhibit at the California Art Education Association Southern Area Youth Art Month Show. Students from all over Southern California participated in the show. Her photographs are landscapes and are very strong compositionally, according to Art Instructor Daryl Bibicoff. Included in the submission was an artist statement about the photograph. The winning photograph was is an ant’s view of a beautiful area of boulders and trees. The exhibit titled “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Art” was at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. The show ran from March 3rd through March 13th. Her photograph goes on to the next level which includes additional regions of the California Art Education Association.

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Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Community Liaison Officer, gpinsker@hartdistrict.org, 661.259.0033 x. 227
William S. Hart Union School District website: www.hartdistrict.org