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Mustangs celebrate state recognition

Posted: September 28, 2009 10:12 p.m.
Updated: September 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
On Sept. 10, Rancho Pico Junior High School held a ceremony that deserves great honor - recognition that we are a California Distinguished School!

The ceremony began with student Rosa Yoo leading the school in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then Mrs. Krantz, our principal, gave a heartwarming welcome speech explaining the award - what it was, the application involved, and how we achieved it.

Art teacher Mrs. Levy-Holm, Rancho Pico's Teacher of the Year, then thanked staff and students for many great experiences at Rancho Pico.

"Teaching is a privilege," Mrs. Levy-Holm said. "It is a gift I give myself. Teaching is humbling and also healing. It gives us a joy of sharing our passion!" She definitely touched many people at Rancho Pico with her wonderful words.

Music Director Mr. Gilpin then presented his advanced band with an amazing composition called "Conundrum."

Ed Masterson, a representative of Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, followed with a short speech on Rancho Pico's great accomplishments.

Eighth-grader Katie Arnold, our featured student speaker, explained about the great honor that Rancho Pico has achieved, and how this never would have happened without the amazing staff. She definitely is proud to attend this wonderful school.

PAC President Mrs. Deffenbaugh was proud to talk about the great qualities at Rancho Pico.

She said that from the beautiful campus to the caring staff, students are lucky to go to such a fantastic school. Hart District Assistant Superintendent Mrs. Neal followed.

She mentioned how lucky she was to be a part of the district, and what an amazing school Rancho Pico is. It was time for music again, this time performed by the beginning and advanced choir under the direction of Miss Peters. They performed "The Song that Nature Sings."

Hart School Board President Mr. Sturgeon also gave a speech. He praised all of the qualities of Rancho Pico. "I am so excited that the school reached this level," he said. "There are two other schools in the district with this achievement. But since the school is so new, it is harder to receive the award so quickly. This proves that Rancho Pico has done a lot in a little amount of time!"

Mrs. Krantz closed the ceremony with another few words. Everyone involved with Rancho Pico - staff, students, and administrators - are so thrilled to be part of this school. "I am so proud to go to a school with such high achievements. Rancho Pico is the best! " said eighth grader Kendall Myers.

One person who was exceptionally proud was Hart District Director of Curriculum Mr. LeBarron, the first principal of Rancho Pico. "It is so awesome for the school," he said. "I am so proud to say I was their principal, and to be a part of the school!"

Stevenson Ranch Elementary School Principal Mrs. Fleece was also in attendance. "I am thrilled to have my students going to this school," she said. "Rancho Pico promotes excellent education. There is now obviously evidence! Now the only thing is to become a Blue Ribbon school!"

Confirmation of how well Rancho Pico is doing came less than a week later, when we learned our latest Academic Performance Index score came in at 891 - 16 points higher than last year. We are all so lucky to be part of such a tremendous school!

Chance Stewart and Haley Onuscheck are students at Rancho Pico Junior High School.


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