SCV Scholarship Foundation Serves Hart District Students
College-bound juniors and seniors in the Hart School District have numerous opportunities to earn scholarship funds for college with a large number of scholarships coming from the SCV Scholarship Foundation (SCVSF) each year. Since its filing as a non-profit organization in 1976, there have been 2,609 scholarship recipients who have shared a total of $2.4 million. Last school year, 2010/11, 141 recipients shared $175,000. For this current school year, Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation is once again contributing $120,000 to the SCVSF with funds from 30 other organizations rounding out the total. These scholarships are exclusive to students within the Hart School District and are not available to students in private or charter schools. Judy Riley is a retired teacher and the president of the SCVSF, which is a 100 percent volunteer driven organization with all donations going toward scholarships. “This organization is dedicated to students,” Riley said. “It is heartwarming to hear stories of former recipients and how grateful they were for the scholarship and how it helped them reach their goal of attending college.” For more info on SCVSF and applying for scholarships, please visit: www.scvsf.org.
New Student Member Selected to Hart District School Board
Melissa Morales, a senior at Saugus High School, has been elected as the 2011/12 Student Board Member. She is the school’s Student Body President and holds a 4.23 Grade Point Average. She is involved in various non-profit organizations: Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Diabetes Walk, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and her church. Her future plans include studying business management, and she is applying at Pepperdine, Syracuse, and UC Irvine. The Student Communications Council selects the student board member each year, per Board Bylaws. Miss Morales will serve as a non-voting member of the board and will serve through June 2012.
Local High Schools Compete in Annual Band Championships
The Hart School District is known for the quality of its music programs and this year is no exception. All six district comprehensive high schools competed in the Marching Band Championships hosted by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) earlier this month. Hart High School was going for its 10th straight gold medal in Division 4A, just falling short this year and earning the silver medal. Hart High School is the only school with nine gold medals and one silver. The bands are judged on their music, marching technique and general effectiveness of the music and show design. The Hart School District is the only district to have all of its schools qualify, and they have done so for two consecutive years. Other 2011 SCSBOA Championship results: Division 2A – Saugus High School, 7th place; Division 3A – Canyon High School, 5th place, Valencia High School, 6th place, Golden Valley High School, 7th place and Division 5A – West Ranch High School, 6th place. Congratulations to all student band members on a successful competition!
Academy of the Canyons Celebrates Excellent API Score of 941
Students at Academy of the Canyons were treated to a pizza and cookie party to celebrate the very high Academic Performance Index score of 941. AOC is the highest scoring high school in the Hart School District and this score places AOC in the top echelon of high performing schools in the state. Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Vicki Engbrecht was on hand for the festivities along with Principal Jill Shenberger, teachers and AOC PTSA members, who helped serve the food to students. AOC was previously designated as one of the U.S. News “America’s Best High Schools” in 2010. AOC is a middle college high school serving approximately 400 9th – 12th grade students on the College of the Canyon campus, who take college classes concurrently.
Local Business Leaders Share Knowledge with Students
The Hart School District is working with local businesses to enhance career development of students through internships and guest speaker presentations. Students in the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Virtual Enterprise class are required to complete internship hours at a local business according to their role in their virtual cupcake business. One student acting as the human resources director of the business completed 30 hours in the human resources department at Remo, Inc. while another student, acting as the marketing director, completed his hours in the marketing department at American Family Funding. Also, a couple of local business representatives came into the classroom to speak to students about careers in their industries. Maria Gutzeit, president of Compliance Plus, an environmental consulting company, spoke to Brandon Duran’s chemistry class at Hart High School about careers in chemical and environmental engineering. At the end, she offered to let a student shadow her when she is out in the field. Hillary Broadwater, president of QM Design Group, a graphic design company, spoke to the graphic design class at Canyon High School and showed samples of her work. The teachers liked having business people explain how students will use their class knowledge and skills in the work world.
Golden Valley Students Join Human Rights Organization
Golden Valley High School’s Human Rights Watch Student Task Force (STF) has joined the family of STF chapters in Santa Clarita this year in the Right to Education Campaign. This campaign is a year-long awareness effort to educate Santa Clarita teens about the lack of educational opportunities children face in either refugee camps or in Third World countries. Over the last couple of months, the Golden Valley STF Chapter has helped organize a film screening of an internationally acclaimed film, “The First Grader,” at Hart High School, attended a leadership conference at UCLA, developed English language lesson plans to be used by teachers and students within the Darfuri refugee camps of southeastern Chad, and were advocates for children’s right to education at the Human Rights Watch Annual Dinner held in Beverly Hills in November. The STF chapters in Santa Clarita hosted a Right to Education Awareness table and gift wrapping station at the Westfield Valencia Town Center earlier this month. All proceeds raised go to support the development of a mobile library for Darfuri refugee camps, Djabal and Goz Amer in Chad. Learn more about the work these young human rights leaders are doing by visiting the STF website at www.hrwstf.org.
Sequoia Students Participate in the Santa Clarita Literacy & Arts Festival
Students from Sequoia Charter School’s ASB were active participants in the SCV Arts and Literacy Festival earlier this month. Students decorated one of the four reading tents in the Storybook Village, ran the mask-making booth and ran the mosaic booth. The students spent weeks preparing the materials for the event. They cut out hundreds of masks, painted large murals of characters from various action and adventure books and downloaded and printed images of action and adventure book covers. On the morning of the event, students arrived at 7 am to decorate the Adventure tent and set up the mask making and mosaic booths. Students worked with children of all ages to help them create masquerade-style masks and tiles to add to the giant mosaic that was created throughout the day. It was a very exciting event promoting literacy and the arts. ASB students are already planning and looking forward to participating in next year’s event!
Artwork of Four Bowman Students Published in City Calendar
Winners of a calendar art contest were announced in conjunction with the Santa Clarita Literacy & Arts Festival, sponsored by the City of Santa Clarita and the SCV Education Foundation. Four Bowman High School students won a place in the City calendar and each received a check for $100. All Valley Credit Union is the sponsor of the calendar. Along with the $100 for each student, Bowman received a $400 check for its art department. The four Bowman artists are Sam Evans, Elizabeth Johnson, Charlotte Orlove and Katrice Smith. Congratulations to the Bowman students!
Sierra Vista Students Enjoy “Turkey Bowl” Events
Sierra Vista Junior High has a long-standing tradition of hosting a variety of events during “Turkey Week.” Activities include a tug-of-war between the green and white football teams at a kick-off pep rally, the Turkey Trot, where students and staff bring in canned goods for charity as entrance to the Turkey Trot race and the Turkey Bowl football game between the green and white teams. The top 7th and 8th grade students in the Turkey Trot will win a turkey for their families. Students also participate in a door decorating contest every year, and this year’s theme was “Turkey Dinner,” where a team can win $80 towards their team account for having the best decorated door. It’s always a lot of fun and students and staff alike look forward to it every year!
District Schools Participate in Library Snapshot Day
Hart District school libraries participated in Library Snapshot Day in October. The American Library Association encourages libraries of all types to accumulate data, showing all of the services they provide on any given day. These statistics show the value of libraries and in the case of the Hart District, how they support the curriculum. At the junior high level, an average of 39% of the students used the library on the day that the data was gathered and 21% to 50% of the high school students used their libraries. Amongst these patrons of the school libraries who responded to written surveys, more than half came to do homework. Others visited the library to read, check out books, use computers, get help from the teacher / librarian, or meet up with friends. According to a 2011 publication adopted by the California Department of Education, edited by Faye Ong, over 60 studies nationwide show that students in schools with good school libraries learn more, get better grades and score higher on standardized tests than their peers in schools without libraries. The Hart District’s strong school libraries contribute to students’ success.
Sequoia Charter Students Treated to Special Thanksgiving Celabration
Staff, teachers, administrators and local businesses stepped up to provide Sequoia students with a traditional Thanksgiving celebration that some students don’t experience with their own families during these tough economic times. Salt Creek Grill was kind enough to provide fully cooked turkeys and Wal-Mart generously donated mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits. Through the efforts of all those who were able to provide food, drink, decorations, and support, Sequoia was able to offer a day full of blessings and a reason to be thankful for all students. Through the combined efforts of all teachers, staff, administrators, and other service support providers, along with generous support from the community, all students at Sequoia experienced a special day of celebration.
Saugus High School Hosts Chinese Exchange Students
The seventh exchange group with five students and their teacher are approaching the end of their stay at Saugus High School as part of the Chinese Exchange Program. The five sophomores were selected from the best students at GaoXin No. 1 High School in Xi’an, China. This year they are earning Grade Point Averages of 4.0 in mostly Advanced Placement and Li, who is learning about American teaching methods and supervising her students when they travel. Mrs. Li also assists in teaching the Chinese classes and is offering a beginning Chinese class to Saugus High School staff after school. Each of the students and Mrs. Li live with an American host family who share their homes, their hearts, and their lives with them. The students and their host families are: “Keven” Pan Chang, Burgess Family; “Henry” Duohui Ji, Beaver Family; “Claudia” Xiwen Chen, Ratzky Family; “Jason” Chenyu Cui, Chorpash Family; “Wendy” Yiru Peng, Waschak Family and Mrs. Yanqiu Li has been hosted by the Batchelor Family. The students and host families received recognition, along with Principal Bill Bolde, at the November Board meeting.
Learning Post Student Enjoy Lab Sciences at AOC
Students at Learning Post enjoy the unique opportunity of having the flexibility independent study offers, as well as a structured classroom setting by concurrently enrolling in biology or chemistry at Academy of the Canyons. AOC Chemistry teacher, Michele Siner welcomes Learning Post students in her classroom and lab. She describes the students as “involved, engaged, and a delightful addition to my class.” If students choose biology for concurrent enrollment they will see a familiar Learning Post face in Don Musella. Musella divides his time between Learning Post and AOC where he teaches biology. “I enjoy this dual position because it offers the best of both worlds,” Musella said. “I have the ability to have a specific educational impact through the teaching of specialized classes filled with eager biology students, as well as the opportunity to work one-on-one with individual students covering a broad spectrum of different curriculums ranging from art to mathematics.” Principal, Jill Shenberger is an advocate of Learning Post students meeting A-G requirements which are required for four-year college admittance and was instrumental in offering this opportunity to students. This flexibility allows students the opportunity for a true lab science experience while meeting their educational goals.
ROP Students Gain Leadership Skills at Workshop
The Hart District Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Student Conference “Marketing YOU for Success” was held On Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 at the City’s Activities Center. Students from the ROP program were invited to earn class hours and walked away from this two-day event having learned skills about entrepreneurship and how to market themselves for their future. Business partner volunteers over the two days included Ted Rafalovich, Businessman; Dan Williams, Founder, DESTINY Leadership Foundation; Karen Hudson, Hollywood Film and Television Costumer; Jim Hoffman, Business Operations Manager, JPL/NASA; Allison Moore, Co-Owner, Moore & Associates; Alan Campos, Owner of SCV iRepair; Muris Mulalic, CEO, Assist My Business and Rob Hall, Human Resources Director, Advanced Bionics. Students from the Hart District Business Professionals of America (BPA) student organization teamed with the College of the Canyons’ TEACH Team and Future Educators to emcee the event as well as facilitate two break-out sessions: an interview simulation workshop and a team building activity. “We had our largest turn-out ever with 90 students participating in the workshop,” Jodie Hoffman, ROP instructor, said. “With the new format of BPA students coordinating and facilitating the workshop, we had double the turnout at the December conference.” Hoffman mentioned that this dynamic created a new energy and more students wanted to come back and also encouraged other students to attend. The Hart District ROP is a public education service that provides practical on-the-job training and career guidance to students in the Santa Clarita Valley who are in 11th and 12th grade.
Golden Oak Adult School is ‘Jazzed Up’
As part of continuing community enrichment and outreach, Golden Oak Adult School is proud to sponsor “Jazz in the Afternoon,” which comprises an 18-piece professional jazz band whose first public appearance was a bona fide hit as they took the stage at the West Ranch High School Theater on Saturday Dec. 10. Under the direction of Bob Babko, retired band director from several Hart District schools, the ensemble treated a crowd of nearly 250 to an eclectic musical array that included such varied hits as Norwegian Wood by Lennon & McCartney, How High the Moon made famous by Les Paul and Mary Ford, Superstition by Stevie Wonder, and Pick Up The Pieces by the Average White Band. Principal Ron Rudzinski and Director Bob Babko put in countless hours and worked tirelessly to make the Golden Oak Jazz Band a reality for the community. For more information about GO JAZZ and future performances, call 661-259-0033 ext. 444 or visit our website at www.goldenoakadultschool.com.
Placerita Students Preview Show at Santa Clarita Literacy & Arts Festival
The Placerita Drama Club performed a preview of Seussical, Jr. at the Santa Clarita Literacy & Arts Festival earlier this month. Fifty junior high drama students, under the direction of Vicki Kennedy, attended and performed throughout the day. Student Bradley Wood said it was a good day to play the “Grinch,” in the warmest costume of the cast, considering a chill in the air with 35-mile per hour winds. In the spirit of the holidays, the Placerita drama students always look forward to the Literacy Festival, which is a great time to serve the community while doing what the kids love and do best and that is to entertain.
Contact for more information: Gail Pinsker, Community Liaison Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 661.259.0033 x. 227
William S. Hart Union School District website: www.hartdistrict.org