District Solar Initiative Seeing the Light
Installation of solar arrays at seven Hart schools is underway and the projects are going well and are on schedule. This 60 – 90 day project is at zero cost to the District and will save the District $18-$20 million over 20 years. Rancho Pico, La Mesa and Rio Norte junior high schools are farthest along with carport solar structures and some ground mounted arrays set to be completed in February. Parents and staff have been very cooperative with the project that requires some parking lot closures for safety reasons. Canyon, Saugus, West Ranch and Valencia High Schools started work right before winter break and continue as school is back in session with parking lot closures, in phases, to minimize impact to students and staff attending school daily. Parents have been notified of the construction plans and have been asked to consider carpooling and to allow extra time and caution driving around and on campus parking lots. The District appreciates the patience of staff, parents and students during this short time period for a project that will tremendously benefit Hart District schools when completed. Solar energy captured through this initiative will be stored in the grid that serves all Hart District schools, ultimately providing for 75% - 85% of historical electricity consumption throughout the District. Golden Valley High School, which is serving as the project headquarters, and Sierra Vista Junior High School will be the final two schools with solar installation, planned to start in mid-February. All schools were considered for this project and due to orientation of the sun relative to buildings, heritage oak trees and shading issues, some schools did not qualify for the project. All schools benefit from the savings to the District. The District’s solar provider is PsomasFMG LLC. Photo: Rancho Pico Junior High School, early January 2012.
Hart High School Teacher Pete Pew Loses Battle with Cancer
Pete Pew, longtime social studies teacher at Hart High School, lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 6, 2012. According to Hart High School principal Dr. Collyn Nielson, Mr. Pew was not only one of the best teachers at Hart, he was one of the best teachers in the nation. He worked for the Hart School District for 34 years teaching U.S. history and government and was the social studies department chair at Hart. He taught all levels, but was most well-known for his work in Advanced Placement. He not only taught AP, but he was also involved in the writing and scoring of AP exams. He also trained other teachers around the country to help prepare them to be AP teachers. Mr. Pew had a tremendous impact on the culture of achievement at Hart High School. He was passionate about his subject and his students, and his idealism and work ethic made all staff and students work harder. He raised the bar for everyone, and he has left his mark on all who work at Hart and on all who attend. Hundreds gathered for his funeral, including many Hart High alumni who remembered Mr. Pew as their inspiration to excel in school and continue with their education in college. Many went to college and majored in history or political science after developing more interest while learning about it from Mr. Pew. He was named as Hart High School teacher of the year in 2004 and again in 2011. Mr. Pew was diagnosed with cancer in Jan. 2011 and left the classroom for treatment of Angiosarcoma, a very rare cancer. A website for more info is www.cureasc.org. Donations to this organization in Mr. Pew’s name are being accepted.
Canyon Seniors Participate in International Economic Summit
Canyon High School seniors enrolled in economics every semester participate in an International Economic Summit, as did the students pictured here last semester in Maria Cooper’s classes. Once a semester, under the direction of Ms. Cooper, the Canyon High gymnasium becomes a hub of world trading as costumed students represent different countries and share culture, food and interact as representatives from around the world. This program is a world trade simulation provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Students gear up for this event all semester, which culminates with interactive activities, including trading and buying resources for their country, making bank loans and participating in other interactive business activities. The program is a 13-lesson program designed around core high school economic content that focuses on the complexities of trade and globalization. The Federal Reserve in many states offers this program to high school seniors, under license from the International Economic Summit Institute at Boise State University. Economics is a required class for seniors in California. Cooper has coordinated this program at Canyon since 2007 and is always looking for supportive businesses to help finance and assist with the Summit program each semester. For more information on the Summit, please visit:
West Ranch Government Students Celebrate Bill of Rights Day
Students from Ron Ippolito’s government classes at West Ranch High School celebrated Bill of Rights Day (the anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791) in December. Three attorneys from the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office spoke to seniors from three different government classes. They tested students’ knowledge of the Bill of Rights, particularly the rights of the accused found in the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments and shared stories from their experiences in what has been called “the most dangerous job in the courtroom.” Public Defenders work for the County, at no cost to the client. Public defenders’ free services are promised to all Americans in the 6th Amendment’s guarantee “to have the Assistance of Counsel.” In their talk, the attorneys reminded seniors of the importance of the rule of law, that everyone has a responsibility to obey the law, but also that government and law enforcement have an obligation to uphold civil liberties. Students enjoyed the opportunity to learn from currently practicing public defenders.
Saugus Art Students Share Art Techniques with Arroyo Seco Kids
Saugus High School art students, Nick Potter and Kyle Swinehart gave a lesson in contour drawing and shading to the beginning art students at Arroyo Seco Junior High last October. The former Arroyo Seco students answered questions from the 7th and 8th graders about the various elective opportunities in the fine arts at Saugus High while Seco students drew several versions of pumpkins in charcoal.
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