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What's Good in Education, Jan. 19, 2011

Vol. XI, No. 10

Posted: January 21, 2011 1:44 p.m.
Updated: January 22, 2011 1:44 p.m.

More than 100 Valencia High School students raised enough funds to build a two-room home for a family of five in Haiti and supply them with clothing, school supplies and food for a year.

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State Distinguishes Bowman High School as an Outstanding School
The California Department of Education named Bowman High School as a Model Continuation High School for their programs designed to help struggling students stay in school.

Bowman is one of 27 schools selected out of 509 in California. Selected schools demonstrated exemplary program effectiveness in school management, curriculum, instructional strategies, educational climate, and guidance and counseling. Bowman was visited by a review team as part of the selection process.

Principal Robin Geissler, District Superintendent Rob Challinor, District administrators, as well as Bowman's staff and students, all celebrated this honor with a cake on Jan. 14. This is the third consecutive time that Bowman has achieved this status; the first two were for six years each. This year, with a change in the system, the designation will be for three years.

"This award validates Bowman's core values," said Ms. Geissler. "We believe that all students can learn and that every student deserves the opportunity to succeed."

Ms. Giessler also said that honoring diversity strengthens everyone and that failure is not an option.

Mr. Challinor congratulated Ms. Giessler and her staff for their diligence and commitment.

"Every Bowman administrator, teacher and staff member has a vested interest in their students' success, and this award reflects their dedication." said Mr. Challinor. "Bowman students and parents are very fortunate to be part of such a fantastic learning environment."

Board Welcomes Student Trustee
The Hart District Governing Board welcomed newly elected Student Board Member Jade Lico, a senior at Valencia High School. Jade was elected by members of the Student Communications Council, which represents student leaders from all Hart District schools, this past fall.

Jade has been active with Associated Student Body (student government) at Valencia, having recently served as ASB President. She is also part of the VHS Hip-Hop Team, Viking Nation, Christian Pathfinders and serves on the District Advisory Council. Jade has volunteered with Congressman McKeon's office and is involved with community service for local organizations including the SCV Senior Center. She is looking forward to being accepted to college and is interested in a career in law and politics.

Jade will present the student point of view at Governing Board meetings, casting an advisory vote on all issues before the Board. She will also carry Board issues back to the schools through her reports to the Student Communications Council.

Valencia High Students Support International Organization
What started as a textbook lesson in government for about 100 students in teacher Greg Hayes' government classes turned into a very successful fundraising campaign directed toward Food for the Poor.

Students stepped up and decided to put action to what they were learning and raised nearly $4,000 through various drives, recycling collections and donation requests. Ultimately, they raised enough funds to build a two-room home for a family of five in Haiti, displaced by the earthquake, and provided clothes, school supplies, food for a year, and helped the family start a business. Part of the funds went toward providing 20 chickens, three pigs and a goat to the family.

The purpose of the assignment, in relation to the government class, was to experience what it meant to raise money for important causes that need support locally, nationally and globally. The students worked hard together on this project, exceeded their goals, enjoyed a huge sense of accomplishment and learned something about government along the way.

All-State Honor Band Selects 10 Junior High Students
Ten junior high students, including six from Rancho Pico, three from Placerita and one from Rio Norte, have been selected to the very prestigious California All-State Honor Band.

Students must be an active participant in their school band program and audition by submitting a CD recording to the California Band Directors Association. The CBDA received more than 1,500 auditions this year.

Students will perform a concert with guest conductors, usually university directors or well-known band composers, in conjunction with the annual CBDA conference at the Fresno Convention Center in February.

Students selected for this honor include: Michael Brown, Katherine Noble, Rachel Park, Hannah Chong, Steven Griggs, and Ann Yoo from Rancho Pico; Alexio Cardia, William Freet, and Gilbert Bryce from Placerita, and Alex Kim from Rio Norte.

Having six students selected from Rancho Pico is a high honor. Statewide, only seven other junior high schools had more than six students selected for the all-state band.

The District Honor Band, featuring top student musicians from District schools, will perform on March 5, at 7 p.m., in the Hart High School Auditorium. Admission is $10. The high school students will perform under guest conductor Dr. Lawrence Stoffel from CSUN, and junior high students with conductor Jill Geist-Ruhnke.

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