Hart District Recognizes 20 Classified Employees of Year
Twenty classified employees from across the district have been recognized by the Hart School District at its annual Classified Employees of the Year luncheon at Robinson Ranch. The honorees were selected by their colleagues at each site and also received awards from the district’s Governing Board and local government leaders. Honorees include: Joe Garcia, Academy of the Canyons; Phil Rosas, Administrative Center; Kathie Loughlin, Arroyo Seco Junior High School; Heidi Levy, Bowman High School; Valerie Nelson, Canyon High School; Elaine Bingham, Career Visions; Randy Hurst, Golden Oak Adult School; Gilbert Castro, Golden Valley High School; Lorie Pecsi, Hart High School; Ana Valverde, La Mesa Junior High School; Peggy Zemansky, Learning Post; Janice Dennington, Placerita Junior High School; Mary Lively, Rancho Pico Junior High School; Carol Scholl, Rio Norte Junior High School; Linda Mehl, Saugus High School; Rebecca Cheever, Sequoia Charter School; Debbie Dunn, Sierra Vista Junior High School; Heidi Czerniakowski, Transition Learning Charter; Anne Carpenter, Valencia High School; Christine Smith, West Ranch High School. Classified staff members are non-credentialed employees who provide everyday support to the district’s students, teachers and administrators. They include secretaries and clerical staff, maintenance and custodial staff, computer technicians, campus supervisors, instructional assistants and more. “These honorees were selected by their school or department for their outstanding service, hard work and commitment to the community, students and staff of our district,” explained Terri Shiner, director of classified personnel. “Through their invaluable contributions and specialized services, they provide instructional, technical, and administrative support, as well as a safe and healthy environment in which to work and learn.” (Photos: Principals and Classified of the Year Honorees.)
College of the Canyons Honors Assistant Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht
Vicki Engbrecht, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, was inducted into the College of the Canyons Hall of Fame at a luncheon in October. Over the years, COC has recognized outstanding Alumni and Friends of the community college and included them in this Inaugural Induction Ceremony. The Hall of Fame Induction Wall will be displayed within a new building on campus currently under construction. Vicki was previously honored as a Friend in 2007 and joined 22 others as honorees recognized during this special ceremony. COC stated that “Vicki has been integral in enhancing the partnership between COC and the Hart School District. She is a lifetime member of the COC Alumni and Friends group and enjoys volunteering for a variety of organizations in the community.” Congratulations to Mrs. Engbrecht on this honor!
Hart District Teachers Participate in Educators in Industry Program
Nearly 80 teachers from Hart District schools participated in Educators in Industry, a collaborative program designed to provide teachers and staff with a view of how classroom curriculum can be used in real world applications. This event, held in October, was coordinated jointly by the Hart District and College of the Canyons. It provided the opportunity for teachers to spend time visiting local business and industry and to learn first hand about the skills students will need to be successful in the global economy. Four teachers from each Hart District school started the morning with a welcome and morning address by Ken Pulskamp, City Manager, City of Santa Clarita. Then they were assigned to shuttle buses in groups, for two visits each, to local participating businesses. This rigorous program will require the teachers to discuss their findings and create an action plan to share with their department when back at their school site, so that teaching strategies can be developed which incorporate skills and training that are necessary for the future workforce to master. This program is made possible through a collaborative community college district grant awarded to COC for Career and Technical Education training programs. Local companies and agencies that trained the teachers and provided workplace tours included: AMS Fulfillment, B&B Manufacturing, City of Santa Clarita, Boston Scientific, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, WayForward Technologies, Hyatt Valencia, Facey Medical, Poole & Shaffrey, AMG & Associates, Six Flags Magic Mountain, National Technical Systems, St. Jude Medical and Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Bowman Students Volunteer at Homes for Heroes Project
At the Habitat For Humanity SCV Homes for Heroes event, people from different parts of the community came together to help make improvements to the home belonging to an Iraqi war veteran who suffers from a debilitating case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as a multitude of life-altering injuries sustained in his tour of duty in Iraq. Eleven Bowman students came to help, passing out water, removing sod, and cleaning up after the project. “I was so proud of them,” exclaimed ASB Advisor Jenny Dermody, who commented on the chilly morning temperatures they encountered when they showed up just after sunrise. “Many of the students stuck around in the afternoon, too,” she added. “Helpers were needed to remove the sod in the front yard, and several of our students jumped right in and took charge of the project until the very end.” Still other Bowman students helped with the tear-down at the end, when all of the tools had to be put away, and the trash needed to be hauled to the dumpster. All in all, it was a rewarding experience for the students and a sobering reality check on the potential side effects of being a soldier. “Several of the kids commented that prior to this experience, they had no idea of the sacrifices that military families make when a mom or dad goes on active duty,” Dermody said.
ROP Virtual Enterprise Students Experience Business Building
Hart District Regional Occupation Program (ROP) Virtual Enterprise class has created a “company” called Acoustic Cakes and Apparel. The virtual business is run by students as part of their curriculum which includes use of “Cause Marketing” as a major marketing tool. The newest marketing plan to incorporate non-profit marketing is a smart way these students can spread the news about their company and its products as well as give back to their local community. Student Josh Year acting as Chief Financial Officer says, “Living in Santa Clarita where our company Acoustic Cakes and Apparel is located, it is important to volunteer and give our time, services and donations to those in need.” Students have named cupcakes after professional acoustic musicians who support charity groups. The newest cupcake style, a sugar free cupcake, is named after Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers, who is a diabetic. Acoustic Cakes and Apparel employees donated their time and money to the American Diabetes Step-Out Walk held in October at Bridgeport Park. They set up the event on Friday evening and worked, walked and tore down the event on Saturday. They helped raise over $450 for their team and contributed toward the $150,000 raised at the Valencia Step-Out event. The students gain valuable business and community experience through this ROP class.
Sierra Vista Students Raise Funds for Lee National Denim Day
SiViCS Club, Sierra Vista’s community service club, participated in Lee National Denim Day, on Oct. 7th, to raise funds and help find a cure for breast cancer. Many students and staff donated $5 each and wore denim jeans and pink breast cancer pins to school. Sierra Vista raised over $1,200 this year, and has participated for six years. They created a pink ribbon display on the outdoor stage made up of pink paper notes written in honor or in memory of many family and friends affected by breast cancer. Sierra Vista was one of more than 3,000 companies and organizations that supported the day, which was started by Lee Jeans in 1996 with the mantra: one day, one cause, one cure. More than $83 million has been raised since its first year for the fight against breast cancer, and Sierra Vista students are proud to be part of this campaign.
Academy of the Canyons Students Enjoy Halloween Activities
On Halloween, AOC students “got their spook on” as students of all grades celebrated the candy-filled holiday by donning the guises of everything from a giant hot dog to a gold colored dancing robot. During lunch, students participated in a pumpkin weight guessing contest, a candy corn in-a-jar guessing contest and a costume contest. The best costume was decided by the cheers of the student audience. Even the teachers joined in on the fun by dressing up and participating in their own costume contest, which held the centurion Mr. Walker as its victor. Meanwhile, ASB students passed out candy to those costumed characters who dared to utter the iconic Halloween phrase, “trick or treat.”
Golden Oak Adult School Offers Independent Study for Adult Students
Golden Oak Adult School is extremely excited about implementing the latest study option for students. Independent Study allows adult students working on their high school diploma both greater class-time flexibility and the potential to complete coursework at an accelerated rate with many students completing a five-credit class in as little as eight weeks. Students have the ability to spend as much or as little time in class as fits their personal schedules while still enjoying the benefit of on-site tutors and credentialed teachers. More importantly, this new option gives students the added plus of completing their required classes close to home with no need to commute outside the SCV for classes now offered through Golden Oak. More information will be posted on the website in December at www.goldenoakadultschool.com.
Golden Valley Students Beautify Campus on Make a Difference Day
A student group at Golden Valley High School joined in the efforts for the City of Santa Clarita Make a Difference Day last month by working on a school beautification project on their campus. Students with the Octagon Club coordinated the effort under the guidance of The Octagon Club student president, William Oh. More than 30 adults and students pulled weeds and replanted areas of the Golden Valley campus. The City shared a grant generously provided by Home Depot for the project that provided free soil amendments and plants. The Octagon Club is a junior Optimist Club and is chartered with the Santa Clarita Optimist Club. The student club donates time and effort toward numerous charity events.
Rancho Pico Goes Pink to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Pink here. Pink there. Pink everywhere. On Oct. 20th Rancho Pico Junior High students and staff wore the color pink to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They came together to remember all of those who have battled or passed away from this terrible disease. Mustangs wearing pink all met in the quad and formed a pink ribbon, the widely familiar breast cancer symbol. Staff supported this spirit day by hanging pink balloons and pink banners all around the campus.
La Mesa Students Take Over KHTS Radio Station for a Day
The La Mesa Junior High School 8th grade Career & College Club paid a visit to SCV’s hometown radio station, KHTS. As part of their curriculum, they were to visit a business of their choice. Over a three-day period, four students per day went to the radio station with their coach and school counselor Kathy Gorlick. The students sat in the booth with radio personality George Cummings. The students wore headphones and answered questions, gave the weather report, gave the traffic report and announced upcoming songs for the radio station. Jeri and Carl Goldman, owners of KHTS, welcomed the students and praised them for doing a good job. The students had a great time and were appreciative to everyone at the radio station for their hands-on experience! (Photo by Stephen K. Peeples / KHTS)
Hart Band Students Get in the Holiday Spirit
The Students from Hart High Schools’s award-winning marching band and colorguard, Hart Regiment, gathered to bring joy to the SCV Boys and Girls Club by decorating a tree for the Club’s annual Festival of Trees fundraising program. The tree is a four-foot table top tree decorated with musical instruments and is on display at the Westfield Valencia Town Center until the auction event in mid-November. It is adorned with unique decorations that are sure to capture the heart of any musician or colorguard. Also included is a CD from Hart’s Award Winning Wind Ensemble, an iPod Shuffle and iTunes gift card. Funds raised from the sale of dozens of decorated trees that have been donated support the local SCV Boys & Girls Club.
Placerita Drama Students Act Out as Part of Earthquake Drill
Placerita Junior High School Drama Club students served as “victims” for the Great California Shake Out Drill held on October 20th. Eighth grade drama students look forward to this activity every year. While they are preparing to look and act dead and injured, students discuss their family plan for an earthquake and review emergency plans at Placerita. Vicki Kennedy, drama director, responded to student questions of what a big earthquake feels like. “I realized that these kids were not even born yet when the Northridge quake hit our area in January 1994,” Kennedy said. All Hart District schools participated in the The Shake Out Drill and staff and students at Placerita had an extra element of realism added with the drama students acting as victims so that administrators could follow their emergency plans during the drill.
West Ranch Students Raise Awareness and Funds for Cancer Groups
West Ranch High School’s Wildcats Against Cancer student club participated in October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month in a variety of ways. In support of Lee Denim Day on October 7th, club members encouraged students and staff to wear denim and pink. In addition to decorating the campus pink, the club sold bright pink tee shirts, awareness ribbons and Circle of Hope bracelets at school and at the football game. All donations were proudly posted in the administration building. Circle of Hope, Lee Denim Day’s Entertainment Industry Foundation and Relay for Life will receive the donations. In November the club will be hosting a lung cancer vigil during the “Shine A Light On Lung Cancer” event and taking part in the Great American Smoke Out on Nov. 17th.
Bowman High Students Celebrate Constitution Day
Bowman High School students celebrated Constitution Day in September. All 18-year-old students were invited to register to vote. Other students lined up to get red, white and blue designs painted on heir faces. The main event was a game of Constitution Jeopardy, where students were asked to identify which constitutional amendments related to different situations. It became clear that all of the contestants were enrolled in American Government classes, based on the heated competition. In the end, the morning student who won Constitution Jeopardy was Mike Maness. He chose a Chipotle’s gift card for his prize. Enrique Miranda won the afternoon competition; he chose a Subway’s gift card for his prize. The questions focused on current events, for example, “Recently, citizens of San Francisco exercised which constitutional amendment, when they gathered to protest what they felt was excessive force on the part of BART security?” (Answer: First Amendment, Freedom of Assembly). It was gratifying to see so many teenagers who were well-educated on one of our country’s most cherished historic documents.
La Mesa Honored at Leukemia & Lymphoma Fundraiser
La Mesa Junior High School was recognized as a top fundraising group at the Light the Night event for participation in the Pennies for Patients program sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. La Mesa has held this fundraiser since 2004 and had raised a little more than $26,500 over that time. This past year, with a goal of raising $3,500, for an even collective total of $30,000, students raised $7,800, more than double the goal! The La Mesa ASB class conducted the fundraiser and in three weeks students rose to the occasion filling classroom jars with their own change and change collected from parents, relatives and neighbors. One student organized an event at a local restaurant to have 25% of the bill donated back to the fundraiser by the owner, which raised more than $300. Many school groups, as well as a Hart District Administrative Office team called the Hart Beats, participated in the event by forming a team and walking, fundraising or volunteering at the event.
Learning Post Students Hold Successful Food Drive
Learning Post families have once again showed generosity by participating in the annual food drive benefiting the SCV Food Pantry. During the month of October, Learning Post participated in the Food Pantry’s “Scare Away Hunger” food drive. During the three weeks of the food drive, more than 250 cans of food were collected. This year donations also included many items for infants and babies. Staff and students enjoy this food drive, because it directly benefits those in need in the local community.
Rancho Pico Programs Focus On Building Friendships and Anti-Bullyling
In September, all students at Rancho Pico Junior High attended gender and grade level assemblies that introduced Project Friendship in September. The assemblies were presented by Mary McGrath and Chris Jones of Dynamic Interventions. Project Friendship focuses on the bystanders. Every student has been a bystander. Bystanders vastly outnumber bullies and targets. Bystanders, by their shear numbers have all the power. If they would exercise that power, bullying could be a thing of the past. Project Friendship outlines seven bystander rules. These rules are strategies that any child can use to combat bullying. In addition, Rancho Pico is continuing the Safe School Ambassador program. Safe School Ambassadors are students identified as peer leaders from among the various peer groups on campus. These students are trained more intensively on how to properly intervene in bully situations. They discuss situations in regular meetings with adult advisors and how the situations were handled. Rancho Pico and all Hart District schools are safe places where ALL kids can learn and feel comfortable.
Sierra Vista Challenges Students with “Parts of Speech Olympics”
The English department at Sierra Vista Junior High School created the “Parts of Speech Olympics” to help students identify the various parts of speech in a fun and memorable way. The students were put into groups consisting of all the 7th grade English classes, and students worked together as a small team to find certain parts of speech. Each station asked for a different part of speech leading up to biggest and final challenge, diagraming sentences. All the different words the students collected were then used in a Mad Lib as a formative assessment for all of the teachers. The students worked well together to help each other find the answers. Some students excelled in one area but were able to learn from others at more difficult stations. The kids enjoyed using sentences they recognized from the radio and working and learning from each other, and they learned diagraming sentences is not as painful as they originally thought!
Golden Valley Awarded Walmart Foundation Grant
The Walmart Foundation recently selected Golden Valley High School to receive a grant through the Local Community Contribution/Hunger Outreach Grant Program in the amount of $750, to support the school’s Intramurals Program. The award read, “We believe that your organization is doing important work to the communities you serve, and we are proud that we are able to support you in your efforts.” The Golden Valley program, under the leadership of teacher Wesley Hester, provides activities at lunch that encourage students to engage with each other and be an active participant in the high school experience. The intramurals program, in conjunction with ASB activities, includes and encourages friendly competition between students, staff and sports teams and gives everyone the chance to interact outside the classroom. Special Education students are also included in the intramurals program which encourages all students to engage one another in a positive and unifying way. It is the unification of the campus community and the nurturing of interaction between students and staff that fostered the generous support of the Walmart Foundation. The funds will be used to purchase athletic equipment, a variety of games, awards and help to establish Intramurals as a key part of being a student and staff member at Golden Valley High School.
Career Visions Students Attend “Operation Motivation” Event
Career Visions recently offered a unique career awareness opportunity to Hart District special education students in support of National Disabilities Awareness Month. Heralded as “Operation Motivation,” the event offered participants a fully supported, no cost experience of a lifetime while attending the “Get Motivated! Business Seminar held in October at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The day’s lineup presented a veritable tour de force of motivation, perseverance and optimism including presentations from Actor/Comedian Bill Cosby, Former First Lady Laura Bush, Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Professional Football Legend Joe Montana and many more. “One of the toughest challenges facing young people today is being able to demonstrate resiliency in the face of failure. This dynamic group of presenters reinforces many of the core values taught in the Career Visions Workforce Preparation Program: self-advocacy, perseverance, motivation, leadership, self-direction, teamwork and personal pride. It was really a phenomenal opportunity for our students,” offered Career Visions’ Transition Advisor Tami Mueller. The mission of the Career Visions program is to provide workforce preparation services to students, with specific barriers to employment who are actively enrolled in the William S. Hart Union High School District. The Career Visions team also maintains an active role in workforce preparation and community job placement, leading to long term sustainable employment for the students they serve. Learn more about Career Visions at www.cvworks.org , or contact 661-251-3973.
Sierra Vista Students Sign Drug Free Pledge
Sierra Vista students kicked off Red Ribbon Week by pledging to be drug free. When students signed the pledge banner at brunch or lunch, they received a holographic bracelet to wear all week inscribed with, “It’s up to me to be drug free.” If ASB students or administrators saw a student on campus with the bracelet and/or wearing red all that week, the student was rewarded. The banner will be hung on the outdoor stage for a reminder of the drug free pledge.
Radio Personality Visits West Ranch Students During Lunchtime Contest
Fox Sports Radio Personality and USC Football legend Petros Papadakis visited West Ranch High School on Oct. 25th. Petros helped Coach Mike Kane with West Ranch’s Dip Contest that was held at lunch. Petros spoke to the students about the merits of doing dips, and he invited students up on stage to see who could do the most dips. One student completed 53 dips. Students had the opportunity to meet Petros and get their picture taken with him. Petros has a daily radio show from 3-7 pm on 570 AM, where he can be heard frequently bragging about his dipping ability. The dip is an exercise used in strength training for the upper body. To perform a dip, the exerciser hangs from a dip bar or from a set of rings with his arms straight and shoulders over his hands, then lowers his body until his arms are bent to a 90 degree angle, and then lifts his body up, returning to the starting position.
Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Community Liaison Officer, email@example.com, 661.259.0033 x. 227
William S. Hart Union School District website: www.hartdistrict.org