Andrea Mills

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Feb 14

Orange Unified School District students’ drug awareness videos win awards

Orange Elks Lodge 1475 announed that a video by Cerro Villa Middle School’s Ryann White, “Erase Your Mistakes,” was selected as the Best Middle School Drug Awareness Video for 2017-18 at both the lodge and district level. The video will continue to state competition.

At the high school lovel, “Love Letter” by Abigail Dooley of Canyon High School was named Best High School Drug Awareness Video in the lodge and district competition. It will continue on to state competition.

Check out the videos on YouTube.

  • Chelsea Tsai, a VPHS student, was elected 2017-18 lieutenant governor-elect of Key Club Division 4 East. (Courtesy Patricia van Voorst)

    Chelsea Tsai, a VPHS student, was elected 2017-18 lieutenant governor-elect of Key Club Division 4 East. (Courtesy Patricia van Voorst)

  • Josephine Pham, left, recently served as the 2016-17 Key Club lieutenant governor; Chelsea Tsai, right, is the 2017-18 lieutenant governor-elect. Both are Villa Park High students. (Courtesy Patricia van Voorst)

    Josephine Pham, left, recently served as the 2016-17 Key Club lieutenant governor; Chelsea Tsai, right, is the 2017-18 lieutenant governor-elect. Both are Villa Park High students. (Courtesy Patricia van Voorst)

  • Orange High School Marine Corps JROTC cadets, Second Lt. Angelica Alvarez, Cadet Capt. Kelly Banderas, Cadet Sgt. Natali Flores, and Cadet Sgt. Reyna Sanchez, presented the colors at the Anaheim Ducks hockey game; the singer was Dawn Wright. (Courtesy of Courtesy MCJROTC)

    Orange High School Marine Corps JROTC cadets, Second Lt. Angelica Alvarez, Cadet Capt. Kelly Banderas, Cadet Sgt. Natali Flores, and Cadet Sgt. Reyna Sanchez, presented the colors at the Anaheim Ducks hockey game; the singer was Dawn Wright. (Courtesy of Courtesy MCJROTC)

  • The Orange High School Marine Corps JROTC Honor Guard at the Nixon Library. (Courtesy of MCJROTC)

    The Orange High School Marine Corps JROTC Honor Guard at the Nixon Library. (Courtesy of MCJROTC)

  • The OHS Marine Corps JROTC drill team, dressed, before the competition.(Courtesy MCJROTC)

    The OHS Marine Corps JROTC drill team, dressed, before the competition.(Courtesy MCJROTC)

  • The Orange High School JROTC drill team, winners of the Commanders Cup. (Courtesy MCJROTC)

    The Orange High School JROTC drill team, winners of the Commanders Cup. (Courtesy MCJROTC)

  • The El Modena Showcase featured information on numerous classes and programs. Here, teacher Pratibha Pathak displays her students’ graphic design work. (Courtesy El Modena)

    The El Modena Showcase featured information on numerous classes and programs. Here, teacher Pratibha Pathak displays her students’ graphic design work. (Courtesy El Modena)

  • A student in the Engineering Pathway shows his solar cell project. (Courtesy El Modena)

    A student in the Engineering Pathway shows his solar cell project. (Courtesy El Modena)

  • El Modena students in the Education and Child Development career pathway show off their “babies” at the annual El Modena Showcase. (Courtesy El Modena)

    El Modena students in the Education and Child Development career pathway show off their “babies” at the annual El Modena Showcase. (Courtesy El Modena)

  • Science Dept. Chair Lori Rivera and her students display a few of the items from the school science curriculum. (Courtesy El Modena)

    Science Dept. Chair Lori Rivera and her students display a few of the items from the school science curriculum. (Courtesy El Modena)

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VPHS student chosen as Key Club lieutenant governor

Chelsea Tsai, a Villa Park High School student, is the 2017-18 lieutenant governor-elect of the Key Club Division 4 East. Her position is responsible for the oversight of more than 300 Key Club members from 12 area high schools.

Villa Park High has produced a large number of lieutenant governors, and at a least one governor for the oldest and largest student-led service program for high school students. Josephine Pham from Villa Park, recently served as  the 2016-17 lieutenant governor.

Orange High School JROTC active with competitions, events

The Orange High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC team had a busy January participating in competitions and ceremonies.

The team brought home 11 awards, including the coveted Commanders Cup, presented to the top performing school at the annual Coachella Valley Drill Meet, held at Desert Hot Springs High School. The OHS JROTC also competed at the Ramona High School Drill Meet.

The OHS cadets also proudly presented the colors and provided an honor guard at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum wreath-laying ceremony for the president’s birthday commemoration, and presented the colors at an Anaheim Ducks hockey game.

El Modena showcases its offerings

El Modena High School held its annual showcase, in lieu of an open house, to give current, new and prospective students and their families greater insights into the school’s many course, program and career pathways offerings.

Students displayed their works from advanced video, science, culinary, graphic design and other classes and were available to answer questions. Information was also provided abut AP and honors classes, athletics, counseling and the Career Technical Education Pathways.

Yoga Mat supports students

Local business The Yoga Mat teaches de-stressing and relaxation techniques to El Modena High School students during Wednesday lunch hours. The Yoga Mat provides the lessons on the campus free of charge, as part of its commitment to give back to the local community.

Science fair open to all

The 13th annual Community Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) night will, for the first time, be open to the public.

Budding student scientists and their families are invited to explore and have fun with more than 50 hands-on activities, such as creating catapults, making lava lamps, viewing cool bugs, plants and gems, racing snails and more. There will also be a Robotics Showcase, a Digital Tech Festival and Inquiry Investigations. The Maker’s Challenge will feature student-designed inventions. Food trucks and music will up the fun quotient.

The event will be held from 5:30  to 8:30 p.m. on March 23 at Santiago Canyon College, 8045 E. Chapman Ave., in Orange. The event is sponsored by Santiago Canyon College and the Orange Unified School District.

Canyon High School 2018 Hall of Fame

Canyon High will induct Lance Eddy, Dr. Eric Lin and Mike Weinkauf into the 2018 Comanche Hall of Fame at the annual gala March 24 at the Yorba Linda Country Club.

Lance Eddy was CHS’s girls athletic director and a physical education teacher, math teacher and softball coach, taking Canyon to eight Century League titles. Lin, a Canyon alum and three-time league tennis champion, is an orthopedic surgeon, focusing on spinal conditions. Weinkauf was part of CHS’s inaugural staff, and taught English, history and speech, coached football and wrestling; he was an early adapter of video technology and incorporated video production into the curriculum.

In addition to the Hall of Fame induction, live and silent auctions, cocktails, dinner and dancing will benefit Canyon High School and the Canyon High School Foundation Gymnasium renovation project. Early bird tickets, purchased prior to Feb. 24, are $70; standard tickets are $80 a person, with tables of 10 available for $650. For sponsorship or donation information, see canyonhs.foundation/halloffame or call Minika Oza at 310-729-7704 or Jane Pappas at 714-333-5505.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/14/orange-unified-school-district-students-drug-awareness-videos-win-awards/

Feb 05

Villa Park students host inaugural Serve-A-Thon

Spartan Serve-A-Thon

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Inspired by King’s commitment to service, students at Villa Park High School decided to honor his legacy by creating the VPHS Serve-A-Thon.

  • Villa Park High School student Ellie Wilson, left, and Preslee Burke, right, enjoyed visiting and making fleece blankets with seniors at the Kirkwood Assisted Living home in Orange during the Serve-A-Thon organized to give back to the community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. (Courtesy of VPHS)

    Villa Park High School student Ellie Wilson, left, and Preslee Burke, right, enjoyed visiting and making fleece blankets with seniors at the Kirkwood Assisted Living home in Orange during the Serve-A-Thon organized to give back to the community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. (Courtesy of VPHS)

  • VPHS Spartans Jacob Vlasin, Olivia Martian, Joanna Enriquez, Alexis Schulenz, Aliana Huerta, Jackie Vu, Grace Koussa, Stacy Arriaga, Charolette Bengry and Aaron Duyan collected and organized more than 100 bags of clothing for the Salvation Army, as part of the VPHS Serve-A-Thon. (Courtesy of VPHS)

    VPHS Spartans Jacob Vlasin, Olivia Martian, Joanna Enriquez, Alexis Schulenz, Aliana Huerta, Jackie Vu, Grace Koussa, Stacy Arriaga, Charolette Bengry and Aaron Duyan collected and organized more than 100 bags of clothing for the Salvation Army, as part of the VPHS Serve-A-Thon. (Courtesy of VPHS)

  • Villa Park High School students Natalie Venegas, Benji Martinez, Giovanni Camponovo, Gladys Garcia, Alexis Aguilar, Evianna Elizarranas and Jason Ravalo gave back to their community and honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving food at Mary’s Kitchen during the Serve-A-Thon. (Courtesy of VPHS)

    Villa Park High School students Natalie Venegas, Benji Martinez, Giovanni Camponovo, Gladys Garcia, Alexis Aguilar, Evianna Elizarranas and Jason Ravalo gave back to their community and honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving food at Mary’s Kitchen during the Serve-A-Thon. (Courtesy of VPHS)

  • VPHS students participated in the school’s first Serve-A-Thon by cleaning at the Orange Ronald McDonald House. From left, are Brenda Reyes, Daisy Dominguez, Arturo Ochoa, Elizabeth Cortez, Andrew Carrera, Sophia Galindo, Alex Luna and Eduardo Vasquez. (Courtesy of VPHS)

    VPHS students participated in the school’s first Serve-A-Thon by cleaning at the Orange Ronald McDonald House. From left, are Brenda Reyes, Daisy Dominguez, Arturo Ochoa, Elizabeth Cortez, Andrew Carrera, Sophia Galindo, Alex Luna and Eduardo Vasquez. (Courtesy of VPHS)

  • Melanie Neller, an eighth grade student at El Rancho Charter Middle School, en route to weekend practice to perform with the SCSBOA. (Courtesy of Lisa Neller)

    Melanie Neller, an eighth grade student at El Rancho Charter Middle School, en route to weekend practice to perform with the SCSBOA. (Courtesy of Lisa Neller)

  • Melanie Neller, shown here at the Musco Center for the Arts before her performance, is an eighth grade student at El Rancho Charter Middle School. She auditioned and won first chair for cello at the performance of the Southern California School band and Orchestra Association. (Courtesy of Lisa Neller)

    Melanie Neller, shown here at the Musco Center for the Arts before her performance, is an eighth grade student at El Rancho Charter Middle School. She auditioned and won first chair for cello at the performance of the Southern California School band and Orchestra Association. (Courtesy of Lisa Neller)

  • Cub Schout Troop 850 Webelos Ben Brown, Charles Schroeder, David Razon, Sean Halperin, Brodie Davis, and Gavin Cevallos visited with Trustee Andrea Yamasaki in the Orange Unified School District board Room to learn about community involvement. (Courtesy of Jodi Halperin)

    Cub Schout Troop 850 Webelos Ben Brown, Charles Schroeder, David Razon, Sean Halperin, Brodie Davis, and Gavin Cevallos visited with Trustee Andrea Yamasaki in the Orange Unified School District board Room to learn about community involvement. (Courtesy of Jodi Halperin)

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On Jan.  15, King’s birthday and a school and national holiday, dozens of VPHS Spartans from Link Crew, National Honor Society, Operation Package Club, plus the Cerro Villa Middle School WEB class gave up their day off to go out into the community to serve others.

Serve-A-Thon students assisted five local community organizations.

At Mary’s Kitchen, an all-volunteer group in Orange that provides that breakfast, lunch and showers for disadvantaged individuals six days per week, the students prepped and served more than 200 meals and 200 sack lunches. The students collected and organize more than 100 bags of clothing that were donated to the local Salvation Army.

At the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County, a temporary home for parents and families of critically ill children undergoing treatment at CHOC, the Spartans cleaned the house and all of the toys. At Kirkwood Assisted Living and Memory Care, Villa Park High students spent time with the senior citizens, enjoying “amazing conversations” while making fleece blankets. For the Friendly Center in Orange, which serves low-income families, the Spartans created more than 100 hygiene bags to give out.

Student leaders spent months contacting community leaders and organizations, preparing and coordinating before the first Serve-A-Thon. Principal Kenneth Miller commended the students for choosing to make a difference in the lives of others by participating and giving back to their community.

El Rancho celloist earns first chair

Eighth-grade El Rancho Charter Middle School student Melanie Neller was selected to play with the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) in the Middle School Honors String Orchestra at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University.

Neller, who is first chair cello in the El Rancho orchestra, auditioned and competed against hundreds of other applicants from throughout Southern California to earn First Chair Cello for the SCSBOA orchestra.

Neller started playing the cello only two years ago, during sixth grade. Her love of the instrument and music have inspired her to take private lessons, as well as to practice to achieve this level of expertise.

Film screening will address teens in digital age

The El Modena High PTSA will sponsor a free showing of the movie “Screenagers,” focusing on teens’ use of smartphones, tablets and computers for everything from classwork to gaming to social media. The one-hour movie will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 22 in the El Modena Cafeteria, 3920 Spring St.

The movie was created by a physician, and will offer information and strategies for parents to deal with device use today as students grow up in the digital age. A brief panel discussion will follow the screening. The event is free and open to the community.

CHS Grad Night

There’s no need to cook today, Feb. 7, when you can dine with family and friends, or get to-go orders, from BJ’s, and support the Canyon High School Grad Night. Between noon and 9 p.m., the CHS Grad Night Committee, striving for a safe celebration for all Canyon 2018 grads, will receive 20 percent of the sales. BJ’s is at 8188 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road in Anaheim Hills; phone 714-787-3580 for take-out orders.

El Rancho open enrollment

Students and families considering middle school at El Rancho Charter Middle School may tour the campus at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, or 3:30 p.m. on March 6. Phone the office, 714-997-6238, for a reservation. Open enrollment for the 2018-19 school year will begin on March 5 and close at 5 p.m. on March 16.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/02/05/villa-park-students-host-inaugural-serve-a-thon/

Jan 31

Science Olympiad team powered by dedication of students, coaches

Parent volunteers may make a significant contribution at school – even when their own students are no longer attending.

Five Canyon High School parent coaches, plus two teachers, are instrumental in the on-going success of the Canyon Science Olympiad Team. It is their involvement that, for more than a decade, has inspired the students to reach the state competition level every year.

Head Coach Rob Lewis, whose daughter graduated from Canyon in 2014, has been involved in Science Olympiad since Briley first participated on the Cerro Villa Middle School Olympiad team.

  • The dedicated Canyon High School Science Olympiad coaches at 9 a.m. on a Saturday: parent Chris Chen; teacher Abe Cassis; parent Gordon Itow; parent and Head Coach Rob Lewis: teacher Hanh Nguyen; parent Eddie Huab; and parent Rob Barretto. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The dedicated Canyon High School Science Olympiad coaches at 9 a.m. on a Saturday: parent Chris Chen; teacher Abe Cassis; parent Gordon Itow; parent and Head Coach Rob Lewis: teacher Hanh Nguyen; parent Eddie Huab; and parent Rob Barretto. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Austin Nguyen and Tyler Sanchez fine-tune their Hovercraft for Science Olympiad competition during a Friday evening workshop. (Courtesy of Rob Lewis)

    Austin Nguyen and Tyler Sanchez fine-tune their Hovercraft for Science Olympiad competition during a Friday evening workshop. (Courtesy of Rob Lewis)

  • Nazanim Iranzamini and Conner V.O., far right, are ready to test the accuracy of their Mousetrap, powered by two mousetraps and engineered to push a paper cup, reverse, then go forward, stopping accurately. John Tran, center, will time the actions at a very respectable 16 seconds. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Nazanim Iranzamini and Conner V.O., far right, are ready to test the accuracy of their Mousetrap, powered by two mousetraps and engineered to push a paper cup, reverse, then go forward, stopping accurately. John Tran, center, will time the actions at a very respectable 16 seconds. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Canyon students Austin Nguyen and Tyler Sanchez work on their Mission Possible Rube Goldberg-like device on a Friday night at Coach Lewis’ workshop. (Courtesy of Rob Lewis)

    Canyon students Austin Nguyen and Tyler Sanchez work on their Mission Possible Rube Goldberg-like device on a Friday night at Coach Lewis’ workshop. (Courtesy of Rob Lewis)

  • Austin Nguyen, a senior at Canyon High, practices in the chemistry laboratory for the Forensics competition. He will compete in five categories. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Austin Nguyen, a senior at Canyon High, practices in the chemistry laboratory for the Forensics competition. He will compete in five categories. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Bridget Long, a junior, works with Coach Chris Chen, calculating the temperature of water after it sits in an insulated box for the thermodynamics competition. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Bridget Long, a junior, works with Coach Chris Chen, calculating the temperature of water after it sits in an insulated box for the thermodynamics competition. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • El Modena students Emma Timmermans, a freshman, and Landon Jacobs, a junior, launched the first El Modena Mountain Bike Team. (Courtesy of Danielle Jacobs)

    El Modena students Emma Timmermans, a freshman, and Landon Jacobs, a junior, launched the first El Modena Mountain Bike Team. (Courtesy of Danielle Jacobs)

  • El Modena students Emma Timmermans and Landon Jacobs, founders of the first El Modena Mountain Bike Team lead out on the trails. (Courtesy of Danielle Jacobs)

    El Modena students Emma Timmermans and Landon Jacobs, founders of the first El Modena Mountain Bike Team lead out on the trails. (Courtesy of Danielle Jacobs)

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He has watched numerous students, even his own daughter, find their niche and their passion because of the broad categories and hands-on learning Science Olympiad offered outside the classroom. Briley was always interested in astronomy, but during her years competing in the Olympiad, she discovered astrophysics and planetary science. She will graduate this spring from Columbia University with a degree in astrophysics and two successful NASA internships, looking forward to graduate school.

The coaching staff also includes dads Rob Barretto, Chris Chen, Eddie Huab and Gordon Itow, and teachers Hanh Nguyen and Abe Cassis. Collectively, the coaches have 38 years of Olympiad knowledge and experience to share with their students.

The coaches also share their hard-earned knowledge of the rules, procedures, materials and equipment with other schools and teams. Tammy Draughon, an AP physics teacher and Olympiad coach from Great Oak High School, commended the CHS coaching staff for their helpful and supportive assistance at the Great Oak Invitational.

“The Canyon coaches helped all the students – not just their own team – to have a good opportunity to compete and succeed” at an optimum level. They also, she shared, stepped in to help new coaches run the competitions correctly, within the precise national parameters. “They were truly unselfish.”

Draughon said she believes there is a direct correlation between the top-ranked teams and their coaching staff: “The better teams have involved, present coaches, supportive adults that are invested in the students and the program.”

The Canyon coaches spend a minimum of three hours every Saturday morning with the students, plus Wednesday nights in a garage and Friday nights engineering in a workshop, from September through April. And, there is travel to all-day competitions. “It is,” joked Lewis, “the longest season of any sport.”

At the beginning of the year, interested students test for acumen in diverse topics such as herpetology, remote sensing, optics, rocks and minerals – there are 23. Those students interested in engineering work together, until the coaches assign them to specific partners and projects. Two teams of 15 students each compete at invitational meets until, before the regional meet, the CHS Olympiad team is culled to 15 students, with three alternates. As each of the 23 events requires a team of two, the students must compete in multiple events. (Austin Nguyen, a senior, is competing in five events: forensics, chemistry lab, materials science, optics, and dynamic planet.)

In addition to their normal homework, the students study five to eight hours on their own each week, learning about in-depth subjects not covered in their classes, such as severe storms, ecology, astronomy, microbes, anatomy and physiology, in order to quickly answer questions, solve problems and analyze data. They study for Fermi Questions, which covers a wide range of obtuse topics, such as: how many grains of sand can fit in a basketball? They take practice labs for forensics and thermodynamics. They practice coding for Game On, which required the coding of a game in 50 minutes.  They practice technical writing for the Write It/Do It category, which requires one partner to write a description of a contraption for another student, who must attempt to recreate it using only that written description.

They hone their engineering skills, building a fragile tower of balsa wood, weighing only 9 grams that can support 15 kilograms of sand. They designed and built a delicate-looking helicopter with balsa, Mylar and powered by a rubber band and hovercraft that propels itself.

Canyon recently took eighth place out of 30 teams at an invitational meet, and is on-track, prepping for the regional competition on Feb.10, when 31 Orange County teams will compete at UCI. Lewis and the coaches are looking for another opportunity to take their hard-working team to state – and beyond. But mostly, he and the other Science Olympiad coaches are justifiably proud of their students, and the impact their experience and knowledge, as volunteers, has made on the lives of so many students and parents.

El Modena’s mountain bike team

It was kismet.

Landon Jacobs, a junior at El Modena High, found team sports to be anxiety-inducing because of Asperger’s, so he turned to more individual sports.  He enjoyed playing golf and other solo sports, but found mountain biking to be his passion.

Mountain biking is also a dangerous sport. Jacobs, a teen, was allowed to join Linked Cycling, a men’s cycling group, to safely bike with others.

Wearing a Linked T-shirt to a pool party was the serendipitous prompt for an introduction to another mountain biking enthusiast, Emma Timmermans. Emma was, coincidentally, an incoming freshman at El Modena.

The two joined forces and, in a few short months, founded the El Modena High School Vanguard Mountain Bike Team, under the auspices of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.

They collaborated to find a sponsor and coaches — and now have a team of 11 bikers. They practice on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week, under the direction of their very supportive coaches, Roscoe and Robin Litchard. They are currently prepping for their first association race, “Beach to Boulders,” at Lake Perris on Feb. 24. The team will participate in the association’s five-race series, traveling to Vail Lake, Lake Isabella and Tehachapi before, hopefully, being invited to participate in the state championship at Petaluma.

The team has worked to raise money for equipment, fees and costs. They hosted a bike swap meet, and, last weekend, held their first El Modena MTB Bike-A-Thon fundraiser. Donations for the fledgling club continue to be accepted; contact elmodenamtb@gmail.com.

Landon said he plans to seek scholarships at a college with mountain cycling teams, his goal being a degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in cycling studies – and later developing and riding the ultimate bike.  Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/31/science-olympiad-team-powered-by-dedication-of-students-coaches/

Jan 24

Canyon student takes to skies alone

While some students were lazing over the winter holiday break, Mia Kuyumjian reached a milestone:  the Canyon High School junior completed her first solo flight at Fullerton Airport.

Mia is part of the CHS Aviation Program headed by Steve Smith, and completed Aviation I and II classes at Canyon before passing her FAA private pilot written exam last spring.

  • After the first solo flight, a flight training tradition is to cut the back of the new pilot’s shirt, and mark it to commemorate the event. Mia Kuyumjian proudly holds her commemorative shirt. (Courtesy of Canyon Aviation)

    After the first solo flight, a flight training tradition is to cut the back of the new pilot’s shirt, and mark it to commemorate the event. Mia Kuyumjian proudly holds her commemorative shirt. (Courtesy of Canyon Aviation)

  • Vincent Cho, Panorama Elementary, was a winner in the Visual Arts – Primary Division. (Courtesy of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program)

    Vincent Cho, Panorama Elementary, was a winner in the Visual Arts – Primary Division. (Courtesy of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program)

  • Elizabeth Teng, from Crescent Elementary, won in the Middle School Division for Visual Arts. (Courtesy of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program)

    Elizabeth Teng, from Crescent Elementary, won in the Middle School Division for Visual Arts. (Courtesy of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program)

  • Zachary Yuan, of Canyon High School, won in the Visual Arts – High School Division. (Courtesy of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program)

    Zachary Yuan, of Canyon High School, won in the Visual Arts – High School Division. (Courtesy of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program)

  • A Prospect Elementary student is excited about the robot’s capabilities at the El Modena High Hour of Code event. (Courtesy of El Modena High)

    A Prospect Elementary student is excited about the robot’s capabilities at the El Modena High Hour of Code event. (Courtesy of El Modena High)

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After the written exam, she completed hours of flight training with an instructor, and earned the instructor’s endorsement for a solo flight.  After additional training with an instructor, the aviatrix was ready to take a ride with an FAA-approved examiner, consisting of a multiple-hour oral exam and a flight test.

Mia passed with flying colors, and is on track to be a licensed pilot before beginning her senior year.

She said she will continue to pursue her pilot’s license, with the goal of a career as an aerospace engineer.

Reflections on display

The 26 talented Orange Unified School District students who received an Award of Excellence in the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program, and advanced to the Fourth District PTA level competition, will be celebrated at a art gallery and award ceremony from 1 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Orange County Department of Education offices, 200 Kalmus Drive, in Costa Mesa.

The students’ work will be showcased, and each will learn if their artwork will be advanced to the state level competition.

The National PTA Reflections Program offers students the opportunity to creatively express themselves in a variety of art forms, including dance, literature, photography, film, music and the visual arts. The art is judged within five grade-level categories, including a Special Artists category, and, each year, has a theme. This year, the assigned theme was “Within Reach.”

Hour of Code

El Modena High School computer science students, under the direction of teacher Chris Warrior, recently hosted 65 fourth-grade students from Prospect Elementary School for an Hour of Code.

The worldwide Hour of Code is designed to demystify code-writing and provide an introduction to computer science, emphasizing its accessibility to every student.  Guided by the high school students, the elementary students explored the robots and used “Scratch to Code.”

Galas planned by schools

Lancer alumni, parents and supporters are invited to the 15th annual Power of the Dream Gala, “Saved by Grace,” celebrating 45 year of ministry at Orange Lutheran High School.

The glamorous event will commence at 5p.m. on March 3, and will include a gourmet dinner, performances and auctions.

Tickets are $150 per guest prior to Feb. 15, $175 after. Sponsorships are also available. See weareolu.org/gala for information.

The “Anchored in Hope” gala, sponsored by Salem Lutheran School is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. on March 9 at the Cultural Center of Christ Cathedral, 13280 Chapman Ave.,in Garden Grove.

Alumni, supporters and families are invited to enjoy auctions and dinner, in support of the school.  See salemorange.com for ticket and sponsorship information.

Register for the 2018-19 school year

Registration for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten programs starting in the fall in Orange Unified School District will open on March 7.  Parents may register at the student’s home school, or – new this year – register online, and provide the necessary documentation at the home school later.

Students with birthdates between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2013 may only attend transitional kindergarten. Students with birthdates between July 1 and Sept. 1, 2013 may attend kindergarten or TK.

Open enrollment for all students, kindergarten through high school, will be held March 5 through March 16.

Registration for McPherson Magnet School Feb. 8 at the school.

Pancake breakfast time

There is no better way to start your day than hot-off-the griddle pancakes, carefully flipped by City Council members, Rotarians and the school principal.

The Spartan Pancake Breakfast, open to the community, will be 7 to 11 a.m. on Feb. 3 at the Villa Park High School campus. Coordinated by the VPHS PFSO, and sponsored by Colleary’s Bistro, with music by the instrumental music students, the proceeds will fund school programs.

Tickets are $8, and may be purchased in the office, or from a participating student.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/24/canyon-student-takes-to-skies-alone/

Jan 17

Handy Elementary students are “owning” their science learning

A supplemental science program, Project Lead the Way, is being tested and embraced in local classrooms.

California science curriculum standards are changing, and the project-based learning, on top of the current classroom curriculum, will benefit the students in the future, officials say.

Handy Elementary School Principal Michelle Owen is a proponent of the hands-on learning. Though Handy has a large English-learner population, the students have embraced the project, and comfortably – and correctly – use the high-level academic vocabulary learned in Project Lead the Way. The students share information about their projects, understand the definitions of the terminology (such as phenotype, kinetic), successfully translate those words into their everyday vocabulary, and apply them to other situations.

  • Ms. Housky, a kindergarten teacher at Handy Elementary, shows Anderson Rodriguez and his classmates a model of an arm, and how it moves. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Ms. Housky, a kindergarten teacher at Handy Elementary, shows Anderson Rodriguez and his classmates a model of an arm, and how it moves. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Melody Salazar tries to pick up a marble using only a spoon and straw as Jared Luna watches. The first graders were learning about the adaptation of a bird’s beak in Ms. Fry’s first grade class. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Melody Salazar tries to pick up a marble using only a spoon and straw as Jared Luna watches. The first graders were learning about the adaptation of a bird’s beak in Ms. Fry’s first grade class. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Third graders Luis Ramos, Marco Valente, Jancarlo Cruz and Edwin Romero work together, using pipettes and Petri dishes to research plant genotypes. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Third graders Luis Ramos, Marco Valente, Jancarlo Cruz and Edwin Romero work together, using pipettes and Petri dishes to research plant genotypes. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Mr. William’s fifth- and sixth-grade combo class are learning coding to make their drone do acrobatics. From left are, Francesco Ferrara, Kailey Dinh, Emely Martinez, Teresa Ruiz, and Yamileth De Leon. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Mr. William’s fifth- and sixth-grade combo class are learning coding to make their drone do acrobatics. From left are, Francesco Ferrara, Kailey Dinh, Emely Martinez, Teresa Ruiz, and Yamileth De Leon. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • “Femineers” Adeline Chavez, Fernanda Trujillo, and Evelyn Moreno, fifth-grade students of Ms. Dobson, researched three different types of sensors and are creating a robot to move hazardous waste. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    “Femineers” Adeline Chavez, Fernanda Trujillo, and Evelyn Moreno, fifth-grade students of Ms. Dobson, researched three different types of sensors and are creating a robot to move hazardous waste. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • “Femineers” Diana Miranda and Valeria Gonzalez, sixth graders working under the direction of Ms. Mariano, engineer manual gears for a robot. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    “Femineers” Diana Miranda and Valeria Gonzalez, sixth graders working under the direction of Ms. Mariano, engineer manual gears for a robot. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

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The program has been successfully embraced equally by both boys and girls; the girls enthusiastically calling themselves “femineers,” a mash-up of female engineers.

Each grade level at Handy, kindergarten through sixth grade, completes two of four possible Project Lead the Way modules during the school year. Each 10-hour module is broken down to include three activities, a project and a problem to be solved, incorporating the scientific inquiry process. Kits were purchased for third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students. Instructional materials and logs, where students record their information, experiments and conclusions are used throughout.

In the kindergarten biomedical project, students studied the human body, analyzing the form and function of each part, researching how the structure of their own arm allows it to function, and investigating movement with hinged models.

First graders learned concepts of engineering while researching what would best block UV rays, and using sundials to check for lengthening shadows to determine the best type of shade structure for kids, like themselves, who would want to play outside. In the Biomedical Animal Adaptations module, other first graders used simple tools – a plastic spoon, a straw and marbles – to experiment and learn how a bird’s beak is adapted to help it grasp.

Engineering form and function, such as pollination and seed dispersal, is made relatable to second graders, as they used a pipe-cleaner “bee” on a flower to transfer pollen.

Using tablets, third graders in computer science learned basic coding functions and commands, creating command patters to solve a physical challenge.

A group of fifth- and sixth-grade combo class students, in the computer science module, were learning coding. They were working to create the proper coding to control drones, allowing them to take off and land safely, as well as hover, do flips and other aerobatic stunts. California Elementary students also work with the drones, and the two schools plan a competition to determine the best drone coding in March.

During a biomedical infection detection module created for fifth-grade learners, the students designed their own experiments to find patient zero, tracing the path of communicable diseases back to the original source and learning, along the way, the most effective hand-washing methods to prevent the transfer of organisms.

Principal Owen has worked with school district officials to share with others the value of this program, which supports the STEM initiative and gives students the opportunity to “own” the concepts presented. Handy will be seeking grants to fund the program again in the future.

To properly implement the new program, the teachers also needed to be trained. Five launch-trained teachers taught the other teachers during professional development release days, including about seven hours of training for the first module, and three hours for the second.

Villa Park High grad night

Villa Park High School Grad Night 2018 is sponsoring a clothing, linen and shoe drive fundraiser from 7 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, in the campus parking lot, 18042 Taft Ave., in Villa Park.

The group is working with Angel Bins, and will accept clothing, blankets, sheets, towels, curtains, comforters, hats and paired shoes. Funds will be used to provide a safe and sane night of celebration for the 2018 graduates.

Mandarin immersion update

Parents interested in enrolling their students in the Mandarin Immersion program at Fletcher Elementary, please note the informational meeting will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Fletcher Elementary, 515 W. Fletcher Ave., in Orange.

Civics essay contest

The Federal Bar Association is holding its second annual national civics essay contest, reflecting the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment.

High school students may submit essays or videos addressing, “What does equal protection mean to students?” First place essay and video winners will receive $1,000; second place winners win $500; and third place winners receive $100 each. Submissions are due Feb. 28. See www.fedbar.org for more information.

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/17/handy-elementary-students-are-owning-their-science-learning/

Jan 10

Orange Unified students can get immersed in Mandarin or Spanish learning

Orange Unified offers language immersion programs for elementary school students at two campuses: Mandarin at Fletcher Elementary, and Spanish at California Elementary.

The Fletcher Elementary Mandarin Immersion Program is available to students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Students are taught by a trained teacher, with equal parts Mandarin Chinese and English used each day.

An orientation for parents interested in the program will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 24 at the Orange Unified School District office in Board Room 3, 1406 N. Handy St., Orange Parents are encouraged to contact the school for information, and visit the classrooms for a tour on any Wednesday in February, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Parents are invited to learn about the highly-acclaimed Spanish Dual Immersion Program at California Elementary School at an informational meeting at 5 p.m. on Jan. 25 at the school, 1080 N. California St.

The program is open to both English- and Spanish-speaking families within the district. Students learn to be bilingual and biliterate in both English and Spanish, beginning in kindergarten. A one-to-one iPad program integrates technology into a Spanish immersion curriculum. Looking ahead, students may earn college credits by taking AP Spanish classes in high school, and receive biliteracy accreditation on their diploma and college transcripts.

Tours are available between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and March 2; or between 2 and 3 p.m. on Feb. 2 or 23.  Enrollment applications for the program must be submitted prior to 4 p.m. on March 9 to be considered for the first-round lottery for kindergarten. The program is limited to 30 students. For more information, contact Principal John Albert at the school, or see the school website.

El Modena Open House

New and returning Vanguards are invited to the El Modena Open House Showcase, slated for 7 to  9 p.m. on Jan. 17. Students and families will have an opportunity to learn more about the class offerings, including those in the CTE Career Pathways Program.

Old electronics can help musicians

Get rid of unused or broken electronics, reduce your carbon footprint and keep trash out of the landfill by bringing old and unwanted items to the e-waste collection hosted by the Villa Park High Instrumental Music Program from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 13.

AES Electronics Recycling will accept most electronic equipment with a cord or circuit board, including televisions, computers, DVD and VCR players and cell phones. Refrigerators, ovens, light bulbs and household batteries will not be accepted. There is a $5 fee per unit for printers, scanners or faxes.

Proceeds will benefit the music program.  The collection will be held in the school parking lot, 18042 Taft Ave., Villa Park.

Car wash benefits basketball program

After dropping off your e-waste, get your vehicle cleaned up at the El Modena High girls basketball car wash from 9 a.m. to 1: p.m. on Saturday, Jan.13. The car wash will be held at the Ace Hardware at 4516 East Chapman in Orange; enter through the alley behind Albertsons.

Mini competition cheer camp

The award-winning El Modena High competition cheerleaders will hold a mini cheer camp for students in kindergarten through eighth grade from 4 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the campus cafeteria.

Students will learn stunts, jumps, cheers and dances, then perform a routine at the El Modena Cheer Showcase at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27. The fee is $40; register at https://goo.gl/n4bnVD, or contact adviser Vicki Mull at vmull@orangeusd.org.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/10/orange-unified-students-can-get-immersed-in-mandarin-or-spanish-learning/

Jan 03

El Modena High students studying biomedical sciences, diagnosing illnesses

At El Modena High School, students interested in medical or biotech careers have the opportunity to explore options and gain a foundation in the study of anatomy and physiology of the human body.

Students may enroll in a Project Lead the Way biomedical science course. It is not your typical lecture-homework-test class. The class provides case-based scenarios and real-world, hands-on student learning, including all of the necessary supplies.

  • Caitlyn Mahoney, an El Modena High student who plans to go into a teaching career, carefully tests a “urine sample”. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Caitlyn Mahoney, an El Modena High student who plans to go into a teaching career, carefully tests a “urine sample”. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Sarah Martin, left, said she plans to study equine science; she and Millie Montoya check their testing results in a biomedical sciences class at El Modena High. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Sarah Martin, left, said she plans to study equine science; she and Millie Montoya check their testing results in a biomedical sciences class at El Modena High. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Michelle Soto and Tim Tran look closely to analyze their sample strips in a biomedical sciences class at El Modena High. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Michelle Soto and Tim Tran look closely to analyze their sample strips in a biomedical sciences class at El Modena High. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

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Science Department Chair Lori Rivera is in her second year teaching the biomedical science classes, and notes interest in the class has grown – enrollment ihas almost tripled from a year ago. Students come from diverse groups, and have varied career goals. There are English learners, AP students and special education students; one student wants to go into equine science, another wants to become a doctor and one is planning to become a radiologist.

Recently, the class was provided “urine samples” from a 9-year-old boy, who had a constant thirst; a cross-country runner; an overweight pregnant woman with a low-grade fever; a 15-year-old teen who was losing hair and had lost weight; and a 60-year-old in for an annual physical, who presented dark urine.

Students were tasked with testing the urine for glucose or other particles, researching and analyzing each of the samples to determine what was found, or not found, and carefully documenting each step in the process. They were also expected to use the proper safety equipment and procedures throughout the lab work.

Students must understand the scientific process, problem-solve and apply the technological skills to their learning. And, as in the workplace, students must communicate effectively and work together with a team. The students were intrigued and enthusiastic, interested in each scenario challenge, consulting laptops to find resources for each analysis, and double-checking their procedures as Rivera provided recommendations and guidance.

Project Lead the Way is a supplemental science program, with limited offerings, currently funded by the Orange Unified School District. In order to teach the course, Rivera completed a two-week, out-of-state training course. She is hoping to expand the school’s biomedical program, and is writing grants to add a third class.

Play some ball

Students ages 3 to 6 are invited to a free T-ball open house from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 6. The children will run the bases, bat, field, make new friends and get a free snack at the snack bar. The event is hosted by South Sunrise Little League, and will be held at the McPherson Athletic Facility. Equipment is not required, but tennis shoes and long pants are recommended.

Registration is open for South Sunrise baseball programs, including T-ball for ages 4 to 6; baseball for ages 6 to 12; juniors, ages 13 to 14; and the challenger league for children with special needs ages 4 to 18.

Mandatory spring tryouts for athletes 7 and older will be held on Jan. 13 at the McPherson Athletic Facility. See southsunrise.com for registration and tryout information, as well as the new bat standard applicable in 2018.

El Modena fundraiser

School will resume on Monday, Jan. 8. It will be a busy day, as students and parents re-adapt to the school schedule. Make the day go a little bit smoother – and support the El Modena girls basketball program – by ordering from, picking up from or visiting Round Table Pizza at 1737 E. Katella in Orange. Mention the team, and the Vanguards will receive a portion of the proceeds.

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/01/03/el-modena-high-students-studying-biomedical-sciences-diagnosing-illnesses/

Dec 27

Orange High JROTC cadets drill down for success

Orange High School has a popular Marine Corps JROTC program, with more than 100 students participating each year since its inception in 1997.

This year, the OHS cadets – under instructors Major Ian Santos and Major Sgt. Ed Aguilar, both are retired Marines – have won numerous awards at competitive drill meets.

  • The combined OHS Marine Corps JROTC Drill Teams at the Southwest Regional Drill Meet: Major Ian Santos, Lance Cpl. Donald Vu, Staff Sgt. Patrick Raras, Lance Cpl. Michael Woodland, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Cruz, PFC Erwin Ramirez, Cpl. Jacob Lorenzo, 2nd Lt. Alinne Rivera, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Honore, Capt. Kelly Banderas, Pvt. Danny De La Cruz, 1st Lt. Vanessa Flores, Sgt. Natali Flores, Pvt. Alexandra Arcelles, 1st Lt. Arianna Mejia, 2nd Lt. Angelica Alvarez, Pvt. Mya Moreno, 2nd Lt. Samuel Wilson, Pvt. Amy Castillo, Pvt. Alondra Granillo, Sgt. Reyna Sanchez, Cpl. Tanya Azpeita, and 1st Lt. Kaila Saole. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

    The combined OHS Marine Corps JROTC Drill Teams at the Southwest Regional Drill Meet: Major Ian Santos, Lance Cpl. Donald Vu, Staff Sgt. Patrick Raras, Lance Cpl. Michael Woodland, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Cruz, PFC Erwin Ramirez, Cpl. Jacob Lorenzo, 2nd Lt. Alinne Rivera, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Honore, Capt. Kelly Banderas, Pvt. Danny De La Cruz, 1st Lt. Vanessa Flores, Sgt. Natali Flores, Pvt. Alexandra Arcelles, 1st Lt. Arianna Mejia, 2nd Lt. Angelica Alvarez, Pvt. Mya Moreno, 2nd Lt. Samuel Wilson, Pvt. Amy Castillo, Pvt. Alondra Granillo, Sgt. Reyna Sanchez, Cpl. Tanya Azpeita, and 1st Lt. Kaila Saole. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

  • The Orange High Marine Corps JROTC Unarmed Drill Team won the championship at the Southwest Regional Drill Meet, from left: Lance Cpl. Donald Vu, Lance Cpl Michael Woodland, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Cruz, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Honore, Capt. Kely Baneras, Cpl. Jacob Lorenzo, Sgt. Natali Flores, 1stLt. Arianna Mejia, Pvt. Danny De La cruz, 2nd Lt. Agelica Alvarez, 2nd Lt. Alinne Rivera and Sgt. Reyna Sanchez. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

    The Orange High Marine Corps JROTC Unarmed Drill Team won the championship at the Southwest Regional Drill Meet, from left: Lance Cpl. Donald Vu, Lance Cpl Michael Woodland, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Cruz, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Honore, Capt. Kely Baneras, Cpl. Jacob Lorenzo, Sgt. Natali Flores, 1stLt. Arianna Mejia, Pvt. Danny De La cruz, 2nd Lt. Agelica Alvarez, 2nd Lt. Alinne Rivera and Sgt. Reyna Sanchez. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

  • The OHS Marine Corps JROTC Southwest Regional Drill Meet Championship Color Guard includes: Sgt. Reyna Sanchez, Sgt. Natali Flores, Capt. Kelly Banderas, and 2nd Lt. Angelica Alvarez. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

    The OHS Marine Corps JROTC Southwest Regional Drill Meet Championship Color Guard includes: Sgt. Reyna Sanchez, Sgt. Natali Flores, Capt. Kelly Banderas, and 2nd Lt. Angelica Alvarez. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

  • The third place Orange High Marine Corps JROTC Armed Drill Team pose with their trophy at the Southwest Regional Drill Meet: Lance Cpl. Donald Vu, Lance Cpl. Micahel Woodland, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Cruz, PFC. Erwin Ramirez, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Honore, Staff Sgt. Patrick Raras, Cpl. Jacob Lorenzo, 1stLt. Arianna Mejia, 1stLt. Vanessa Flores, Pvt. Danny De La Cruz, 2nd Lt. Alinne Rivera, 2nd Lt. Samuel Wilson, 1st Lt. Kaila Saole. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

    The third place Orange High Marine Corps JROTC Armed Drill Team pose with their trophy at the Southwest Regional Drill Meet: Lance Cpl. Donald Vu, Lance Cpl. Micahel Woodland, 1st Sgt. Jeremy Cruz, PFC. Erwin Ramirez, 2nd Lt. Gabriel Honore, Staff Sgt. Patrick Raras, Cpl. Jacob Lorenzo, 1stLt. Arianna Mejia, 1stLt. Vanessa Flores, Pvt. Danny De La Cruz, 2nd Lt. Alinne Rivera, 2nd Lt. Samuel Wilson, 1st Lt. Kaila Saole. (Courtesy of OHS JROTC)

  • Katie Thomas, as “Sally” and Dallas Johnson as “Jack” were the leads in the Villa Park High School musical performance of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” (Courtesy fo VPHS)

    Katie Thomas, as “Sally” and Dallas Johnson as “Jack” were the leads in the Villa Park High School musical performance of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” (Courtesy fo VPHS)

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At the Southwest Regional JROTC Drill Meet in Henderson, Nevada, one of the two Color Guards, commanded by Cadet Sgt. Natali Flores took first place overall, and the OHS Unarmed Team, commanded by Cadet Capt. Kelly Banderas, received first place. The Armed Team, under the command of Cadet Staff Sgt. Patrick Raras, received a third place for Regulation Drill.

At the Sweetwater High School Drill Meet for JROTC units throughout Southern California, the Orange High team took first place trophies for Color Guard, Individual Drill and the highly-coveted Armed Regulation Drill. The teams also earned second place trophies for Unarmed Inspection, its second Color Guard unit, and a third place trophy for Unarmed Regulation Drill.

Students in the JROTC program receive not only exposure to the military, but develop leadership skills, character and self-discipline. Ethics, responsibility, self-reliance, teamwork and discipline are emphasized. OHS cadets also participate in community service activities throughout the year. Students learn rappelling, marksmanship, physical fitness and problem-solving techniques.

The elective program provides credits, a higher rank for cadets who enlist in the armed forces after graduation, the opportunity for college ROTC scholarships or ROTC credit at colleges, and possible nomination for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy for outstanding cadets. The Marine Corps provides basic funding for the OHS program, but relies on donations to fund drill meets and field trips.

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Villa Park High School Performing Arts Academy staged the popular “The Nightmare Before Christmas” just before the winter break. Katie Thomas played the lead role of “Sally” with Dallas Johnson and Aidan Fowler alternating the lead role of “Jack” during performances.

The cast included Luke Urroz as The Mayor; Jake Pooley as Dr. Finkelstein; Victor Callahan as Igor; Abigail Garica as Oogie Boogie; Haysam Gavino as Zero; Ben Griffithe as Lock, Paige Horton as Shock; Pauline Clarinval and Angel Fierro trading off performances as Barrel; and Cricket Sorcia playing Sandy Claws and the Gardener.

The ensemble included Maxine Bridges, Dani Bush, Madison Hembree, Paige Heredia, Brian Packer, Miguel Samson and AJ Torres, with set design by Katie Bush and Savannah Jones.

Checking in with themselves

Former students in Jeannie Krever’s 2007-08 second grade class at Villa Park Elementary found a sweet surprise in the mail this week: a letter from their younger self.

The students, now all seniors at local high schools, had filled out the topics “Me Now,” “My World,” “What I Do” and “My Future,” describing their life and who they were at the time, and their dreams for the future. Hannah Montana seemed to have a big influence at that time.

Baseball Golf Tournament

The El Modena High baseball boosters will host the program’s 14th annual baseball golf tournament on Jan. 29 at the Yorba Linda Country Club.

This event, which includes a golf ball drop, silent and live auctions and an awards dinner, is the primary fundraiser for the baseball program. Corporate and private sponsors are needed; contact Booster President Chris Esperanza at president@elmobaseball.org. Golfers may register at www.elmobaseball.org/golf-tournament.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/27/orange-high-jrotc-cadets-drill-down-for-success/

Dec 22

Inca Challenge raises $3,151 for Mary’s Kitchen

Fathers and daughters in the Indian Princess Inca Tribe issued a bold Inca Challenge.

They requested the 700 families who are part of the Orange Longhouse of the Orange Skies Indian Princess and Indian Guides program contribute funds to help Mary’s Kitchen in its efforts to feed the homeless. Thanks to Inca dad Dan Hughes, who walked from campsite to campsite during the annual all-tribe Yucaipa campout, they succeeded in raising $3,151.

The group of fathers and daughters, led by Inca Chief Brendan Timpane, presented Gloria Suess, Mary’s Kitchen CEO and board president, with a check for $3,151 from the Longhouse. The Incas also brought new shoes, hats, pants and shirts, donated by a major clothing company, and helped distribute them to clients at Mary’s Kitchen.

Helping deliver the Inca's donation to Mary's Kitchen are, in back, Inca Indian Princess dads Norman McGrane, George Garcia, John Sommer, Norbert Lippert, Dan Hughes, Inca Chief Brendan Timpane, and Steve Peery; Gloria Suess, CEO/President of Mary's Kitchen, and Indian Princess daughters  Gaige McGrane, Gia Garcia, Ava Peery, Olivia Garcia, Ava Garcia, and Claire Hughes. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)
Helping deliver the Inca’s donation to Mary’s Kitchen are, in back, Inca Indian Princess dads Norman McGrane, George Garcia, John Sommer, Norbert Lippert, Dan Hughes, Inca Chief Brendan Timpane, and Steve Peery; Gloria Suess, CEO/President of Mary’s Kitchen, and Indian Princess daughters Gaige McGrane, Gia Garcia, Ava Peery, Olivia Garcia, Ava Garcia, and Claire Hughes. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

Suess took the time to thank the group, and shared a touching letter from a former client’s daughter extolling the efforts of Mary’s Kitchen. It said, in part, that “while people may not change their behavior, with each meal you serve, shower you offer and clean shirt you give, you are keeping people connected to their own humanity, and keeping people alive for miracles to happen.”

The Incas are a part of the 40 tribes in 10 nations that comprise the Longhouse of the Orange Skies Indian Princess and Indian Guides Program. The nonprofit provides opportunities for bonding and memory-making with fun activities, such as camping, hiking, fishing, a pinewood derby, pancake breakfast, a daddy-daughter dance, service projects, and monthly events for dads, uncles or grandfathers to share with their son, daughter, nephew, niece or grandchildren. Children as young as 5 may be registered; see wwworangeskieslonghouse.org.

The Incas are one of the original tribes in the Longhouse, and are seeking to connect with former members. They ask that alumni email them at OrangeIncas@hotmail.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/22/inca-challenge-raises-3151-for-marys-kitchen/

Dec 20

California Elementary wins two special awards; campuses fundraise

Local public schools are closed until Jan. 8 for the three-week winter break.

Elementary and middle schoolers have been jubilant, planning parties and fun. High school students, though, are less enthusiastic, as they face deadlines for papers and projects, in preparation for January final exams.

  • John Albert, principal of California Elementary School, shows the program from the California School Boards Association event, where his school was awarded the Golden Bell Award. Behind him is the Apple Distinguished School Award, recently given to California Elementary. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    John Albert, principal of California Elementary School, shows the program from the California School Boards Association event, where his school was awarded the Golden Bell Award. Behind him is the Apple Distinguished School Award, recently given to California Elementary. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Spanish teacher Mireya Rodriguez let each student in her bilingual Spanish Immersion class at California Elementary School ring the Golden Bell, recently awarded to the school. These students are now second graders, and were the inaugural class in the Spanish Immersion program. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Spanish teacher Mireya Rodriguez let each student in her bilingual Spanish Immersion class at California Elementary School ring the Golden Bell, recently awarded to the school. These students are now second graders, and were the inaugural class in the Spanish Immersion program. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Canyon students Michael Ramirez, Liam Woodrum, Ryan Whitaker, Maddox Berkson, Cody Jones participated in the Week of Giving Campaign to raise money to renovate the school’s 44-year-old gymnasium. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Canyon students Michael Ramirez, Liam Woodrum, Ryan Whitaker, Maddox Berkson, Cody Jones participated in the Week of Giving Campaign to raise money to renovate the school’s 44-year-old gymnasium. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • The cheer team, with Joey Sparacino, Lim Woodrum, Ryan Whitaker, Ryan Gardner, Maddox Berkson; Alli Chu, Sabrina Ahrendt, Mckenzi Leasure, Deandra Gonzales, Molly Fershin, Faith Fackiner, Gabriela Edmiston; Michael Ramirez, Katharine Cameron, Arianna Neeki, Paige Munro, Jillian Morris, worked to raise money to renovate the gym at Canyon High School. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    The cheer team, with Joey Sparacino, Lim Woodrum, Ryan Whitaker, Ryan Gardner, Maddox Berkson; Alli Chu, Sabrina Ahrendt, Mckenzi Leasure, Deandra Gonzales, Molly Fershin, Faith Fackiner, Gabriela Edmiston; Michael Ramirez, Katharine Cameron, Arianna Neeki, Paige Munro, Jillian Morris, worked to raise money to renovate the gym at Canyon High School. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • Aiden Holden, a Canyon High student, was part of the Week of Giving team. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Aiden Holden, a Canyon High student, was part of the Week of Giving team. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • The Villa Park High March N Spartans recently led the floats in the 20th Annual Villa Park Dry Land Boat Parade. (Courtesy of Dan Dyk)

    The Villa Park High March N Spartans recently led the floats in the 20th Annual Villa Park Dry Land Boat Parade. (Courtesy of Dan Dyk)

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California Elementary recognized

Principal John Albert, students, teachers and staff at California Elementary School are justifiably proud of two awards recently bestowed on the school.

California Elementary was presented the prestigious Golden Bell Award by the California School Boards Association, one of only seven Orange County programs, and the only Orange Unified School District school, to receive this honor.

The Golden Bell, in its 38th year, is considered one of the state’s leading education honors.  The Golden Bell was awarded to only 56 schools in 19 categories, from a pool of 250 entrants. The campus won in the technology category, citing the take-home iPad program, which is utilized by students in kindergarten through fifth grade to collaboratively master the writing process, while helping individualized fluency for English learners and producing a higher level of oral and reading comprehension.

The award was celebrated throughout the school. The bell was toured through the campus, allowing students in every class an opportunity to enthusiastically ring the heavy, beautiful bell. After custodians, office and support staff ring the bell, a ringing ceremony will be held at the parent ELAC meeting, before the Golden Bell continues to the OUSD offices for a day.

California Elementary was also awarded the Apple Distinguished School Award for 2017-19, one of only 400 schools in the nation to receive this highly coveted award. The school was recognized for continuous innovation in learning, teaching and the school environment, using Apple technology.

It should be noted the campus is the only elementary school in the district with a Spanish Immersion Academy. Kindergarten students – both English-learners and those from English-language-only homes – are enrolled in this innovative program, spending half of each day being taught in Spanish, and using English during the remainder of the day.

The inaugural class of 29 is now in second grade, and the students are capably thinking, speaking and writing bilingually.

Each year a bilingual class will be added, so students may continue into middle and high school, bi-literate and bilingual. In high school, they may take Advanced Placement language classes for college course credit, and receive a special Seal of Bi-literacy on their diplomas.

Foundation fundraising for gym reno

“The 1970s called. They want their gym back.”

The clever fundraiser campaign slogan was dreamed up by the Canyon High School Foundation, working to raise some $800,000 to renovate the 44-year-old gymnasium. The slogan is also, unfortunately, apt. The gym needs new bleachers to replace the worn ones that are missing large sections of wood. The bleachers will be ADA-compliant and wheelchair accessible. Also planned is new flooring to replace the damaged and warped floors that cannot be refinished, new lighting, paint and other interior upgrades.

The gym is in constant use, for sports such as basketball, volleyball, wrestling, cheer and soccer; for physical education and dance classes; as a testing center for all students; for vocal and instrumental music performances, school events, assemblies, club meetings and for special events, such as Science Olympiad, Back to School Night and fairs. The CHS gym is also used for community youth programs.

Most recently, the gym was used as the designated evacuation site during the recent Canyon fires. Students from out-lying Orange Unified elementary schools were bused to Canyon High School, where, in an impromptu gesture of good will, CHS song team members held up welcoming signs for the young students.

The Measure S bond funds are earmarked for educational facilities, and the priorities at CHS are science labs and classrooms. So, the Canyon High School Foundation has pulled together a grassroots fundraiser to repair the gym. Students participated in a Week of Giving campaign, raising about $75,000 of the estimated $800,000 needed. The Foundation is seeking corporate and community sponsors. Donations of $333 or more may receive special recognition on a donor wall to be created in the renovated gym. See canyonhs.foundation for more information.

March N Spartans fundraising

The Villa Park High School March N Spartans, the highly-acclaimed marching band component of the Instrumental Music Program, will hold its second annual golf tournament and dinner on Jan. 30 at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine.

As enrollment in the music program increases each year, funding for additional uniforms, transportation, sheet music and equipment is needed. Sponsors opportunities are available; contact Brandi Smith at brandiesmith6@yahoo.com. The event will include breakfast, buckets of beer, a buffet dinner, silent auction, raffles and  live music. To register, contact cjay@orangeusd.org.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/20/california-elementary-wins-two-special-awards-campuses-fundraise/

Dec 13

El Rancho opens new $14 million gym and science center

It was a “dream come true” for so many.

El Rancho Charter Middle School recently held a formal grand opening for its new gymnasium and science center, after only 13 months of construction, followed by four months of landscaping and site work.

The student drum line welcomed visitors outside, while the band played during the ceremony, and the orchestra performed during the reception; all music was under the direction of Sandy Streeter.

  • The El Rancho Coyote emblem is emblazoned over the doorway of the new gymnasium. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The El Rancho Coyote emblem is emblazoned over the doorway of the new gymnasium. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The El Rancho Charter Middle School drum line welcomed visitors to the grand opening of its new Athletics and Science Center (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The El Rancho Charter Middle School drum line welcomed visitors to the grand opening of its new Athletics and Science Center (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The ceremonial red ribbon was cut by, from left, Latisha Lorenz, El Rancho board member and teacher; Ryan Lane, charter board member; John Besta, former principal; Jennifer Berkson, charter board member and parent; Michele Walker, principal; Fran Loeffler, business manager; Jennifer Carrillo,charter board member and parent; Mandana Nowroozi, charter board member and parent; Craig Floerke, charter board member. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The ceremonial red ribbon was cut by, from left, Latisha Lorenz, El Rancho board member and teacher; Ryan Lane, charter board member; John Besta, former principal; Jennifer Berkson, charter board member and parent; Michele Walker, principal; Fran Loeffler, business manager; Jennifer Carrillo,charter board member and parent; Mandana Nowroozi, charter board member and parent; Craig Floerke, charter board member. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • El Rancho Charter Middle School’s new facility includes five state-of-the-art science labs. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    El Rancho Charter Middle School’s new facility includes five state-of-the-art science labs. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The El Modena High Competition Cheer Squad claims its championship trophy at the USA Cheer Holiday Classic. (Courtesy of El Modena)

    The El Modena High Competition Cheer Squad claims its championship trophy at the USA Cheer Holiday Classic. (Courtesy of El Modena)

  • The El Modena High Competition Cheer Squad led a rally at their school, prior to the football play-offs. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The El Modena High Competition Cheer Squad led a rally at their school, prior to the football play-offs. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The Villa Park High School Combined Choirs were conducted by Stacy Oh at their Winter Festival Concert. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The Villa Park High School Combined Choirs were conducted by Stacy Oh at their Winter Festival Concert. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

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The contemporary, stream-lined Athletics and Science Center is situated north of the school, where tennis courts and outside basketball courts once stood. It is across the parking lot, opposite the office, completing a U-shaped campus.

Five state-of-the-art science labs, each with new, modern furnishings, face the campus. The labs are approximately 1,300 square feet. A prep room, with extensive storage and equipment, runs the length behind the five labs.

A long hallway connects the gym, a small office, a concession stand and a dance studio. Sports aficionados will enter the 9,094-square-foot gym beneath the sculptural El Rancho Coyote emblem. The bleachers will seat more than 700 fans for either basketball or volleyball; the gym is fully automated, and equipped for both sports.

The dance studio, at 1,731 square feet, has a sprung floor and Marley surface for dance and musical theater students. All rooms are equipped with a sound system, and visitors commented that even the restrooms are spacious and modern. The outdoor courts and field were also revamped.

The dream, said former Principal John Besta, was under consideration for 10 years, and the swift construction was a testament to the benefits of being a charter school, the good will of neighbors, and the flexibility of the physical education teachers who worked around the construction.

The architect for the project was Jim DiCamillo with WLC, and Bernard Construction was the builder. Construction costs totaled about $14 million. El Rancho contributed about $4 million of its savings, and then funded a construction loan through the Orange Unified School District for the balance.

The gym and the dance studio are available for rental after school, and on weekends. Contact the school office, (714) 997-6238 for rates and information.

La Purisima is fundraising with fashion

La Purisima Catholic School is offering opportunity tickets for a chance to win a luxe Louis Vuitton Pallas Chain Purse, which retails at $2,260.

The gold chain on this versatile, stylish leather bag may be adjusted for short-shoulder, long-shoulder or cross-body drop.

Tickets are $20, and may be purchased in the school office between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The winner will be announced on Dec. 20. The winner need not be present to win. For further information, contact the school at 714-633-5411.

Students keeping busy

With only a few days remaining before winter break, students and faculty have been busy with end-of-the-year projects, papers, performances and competitions.

Orange and El Modena have also hosted spirit rallies to pump up the players and students for the challenging playoff games. OHS held an evening event at the Hart Park band shell, with Mayor Tita Smith, council members and alumni on hand to wish Coach Robert Pedroza and his team well. The Orange High School Panthers have enjoyed many victory laps around the Orange Plaza, as the football team continues to advance to the state finals.

While the El Modena High School football team was winning the CIF-SS Championship, the Vanguards competition cheer squad competed in, and won, the USA Cheer Holiday Classic. The squad, under Faculty Advisor Vicki Mull, qualified for the national competition.

Across town, Villa Park High School Vocal Music students, under Choral Director Stacy Oh, performed their   Winter Festival, with accompaniment by the VPHS concert band Ensemble. The VPHS Combined Choirs began the program with “Joyeux Noel,” followed by holiday selections from around the world by the Men’s Choir, Bella Voce, West Coast Blues Ensemble, Treble Choir, and Madrigals, with solos by Aidan Fowler, Madison Hembree, Raychel Perez, Abigail Garcia, Dayna Sherwin, Autumn Hawkins, and a duet by Paige Heredia and Mia Hawkins.

Register for Little League

Will Santa be bringing a new ball and glove? It’s time to register your player for a Villa Park Little League team.

Registration is open until Jan. 3. Tryouts are required for the Majors, AAA and AA, and will be held on Jan. 6 at the Cerro Villa Middle School fields. Get details at vplittleleague.net.

Practices will commence Jan. 20, with opening day slated for Feb. 24. For information and registration, see the website.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/13/el-rancho-opens-new-14-million-gym-and-science-center/

Dec 07

Orange Unified students express creative in Reflections entries

Students at 13 Orange Unified School District campuses participated in the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program, designed to encourage creative expression in the arts.

Students attending Anaheim Hills, Chapman Hills, Crescent, Fletcher, Imperial, La Veta, Linda Vista, Panorama and Sycamore elementary schools, Santiago Charter Middle School, Yorba Middle School and Canyon and El Modena high schools were encouraged to submit original artwork around the theme “Within Reach.”

  • Honored at Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Art Program in music were Zoe Althoen, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Tristan Hernandez, Honorable Mention, Intermediate; Russell Boyer, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Taylor Rogers, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Jasmina Shah, Award of Excellence, Primary; Timothy Cunningham, Award of Excellence, High; Diego Aichelman, Honorable Mention, Primary; and Emmet Althoen, Award of Merit, Primary. (Courtesy of Agnes Tu)

    Honored at Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Art Program in music were Zoe Althoen, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Tristan Hernandez, Honorable Mention, Intermediate; Russell Boyer, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Taylor Rogers, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Jasmina Shah, Award of Excellence, Primary; Timothy Cunningham, Award of Excellence, High; Diego Aichelman, Honorable Mention, Primary; and Emmet Althoen, Award of Merit, Primary. (Courtesy of Agnes Tu)

  • Awardees in the Dance division of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program included Myla Schneider, Award of Excellence, Primary; Phinny Kim, Honorable Mention, Intermediate; Kylie McMahon, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Michelle Hernandez (Reflections Chairperson) and Chantel Rodriguez, Award of Merit, Middle. (Courtesy of Anges Tu)

    Awardees in the Dance division of the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program included Myla Schneider, Award of Excellence, Primary; Phinny Kim, Honorable Mention, Intermediate; Kylie McMahon, Award of Merit, Intermediate; Michelle Hernandez (Reflections Chairperson) and Chantel Rodriguez, Award of Merit, Middle. (Courtesy of Anges Tu)

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The categories for the submissions included dance/choreography, literature, photography, film production, music composition or visual arts categories. Artwork was judged in five grade-level divisions: primary, for kindergarten through second grade; intermediate, for third to fifth grade; middle, for sixth to eighth grade; and high school. There was also a Special Artists category.

In all, 93 students created nearly 100 works of art for the competition, and were honored at a formal reception and awards ceremony. Students who received Awards of Excellence for their works will advance to the 4th District PTA level, to be judged in February. Those winners may continue to be judged at the state and national level.

The Awards of Excellence winners include

– Dance: Myla Schneider, Fletcher Elementary, Primary Division; Delaney Bojorquez, Crescent Elementary, Intermediate Division; Kylie Seppala, Santiago Charter Middle School, Middle Division

– Film: Brando Borja, Crescent Elementary, Intermediate; Cooper Adams, Linda Vista Elementary, Middle; Michelangelo Gutierrez, El Modena High School, High

– Literature: Pia Odhkani, Crescent Elementary, Primary Division; Phoebe Yates, Panorama Elementary, Intermediate; Anh-Thu Doan, Santiago Charter Middle School,  Middle; Alejandra Hernandez, El Modena High School, High Division

– Music: Jasmina Shah, Anaheim Hills, Primary; Russell Boyer, Fletcher, Intermediate; Taylor Rogers, Anaheim Hills, Intermediate; Timothy Cunningham, Canyon High, High

– Photography, Myla Schneider, Fletcher, Primary; Samuel Putterman, Linda Vista, Primary Division; Parker Wellman, Linda Vista, Intermediate; Jared Jackson, Linda Vista, Intermediate; Nolan Wright, Sycamore, Middle; Ryan Villarreal, El Modena High, High Division;

– Visual Arts: Vincent Cho, Panorama, Primary; Kimberly Navarro, Linda Vista, Primary; Suriah Auerswald, Linda Vista, Intermediate; Gavin Church, Linda Vista, Intermediate; Elizabeth Teng, Crescent, Middle; Zachary Yuan, Canyon High, High Division.

Additional awards were given, as follows:

– Dance: In Intermediate Division, an Award of Merit to Kylie McMahon, Linda Vista; and Honorable Mention to Phinny Kim, Fletcher; in Middle Division, an Award of Merit to Chantel Rodriguez, Linda Vista

– Film: In Intermediate, an Award of Merit to Nixon Wright, Sycamore; and Honorable Mention to Natalia Sanaryan, Anaheim Hills, and Michael Tu, Chapman Hills; in Middle Division, an Award of Merit to Kasey Ayres, Santiago Charter Middle School

– Literature: In Primary Division, an Award of Merit to Jason Buckley, Linda Vista; in Intermediate, an Award of Merit to Sophia Kim, La Veta; and Honorable Mention to Kara Florez, Anaheim Hills and Misha Hansuvadha, Chapman Hills; in Middle Division, an Award of Merit to Nicole Kuwahara, Crescent, and Honorable Mention to Joana Thomas, La Veta, and and Grace Uriostegui, Yorba Middle School; in High Division, an Award of Merit to Megan Beehler, Canyon

– Music: In Primary Division, an Award of Merit to Emmet Althoen, Chapman Hills, and Honorable Mention to Diego Aichelman, Fletcher; in Intermediate, an Award of Merit to Zoe Althoen, La Veta, and Honorable Mention to Tristan Hernandez, Linda Vista; in High, an Award of Merit to Moohyun Kim, El Modena

– Photography: In Primary Division, an Award of Merit to Leila Inman, Linda Vista, and Honorable Mention to Claire Calderon, Anaheim Hills; in Intermediate, an Award of Merit to Colin Mai, La Veta, and Honorable Mention to Brett Erikson, Anaheim Hills; in Middle Division, an Award of Merit to Arpita Patel, Santiago Charter Middle School, and Honorable Mention to Michelle Bae, La Veta,  and Chloe Schurter, Anaheim Hills; in High, an Award of Merit to Mitchell Polk, Canyon

– Visual Arts: In Primary Division, an Award of Merit to Natasha Puzon, Linda Vista, and Honorable Mention to Eliah Kim, Fletcher; in Primary, an Award of Merit was given to Joseph Gonzalez, Sycamore, and Honorable Mention to Jasmine Davis, La Veta; in Intermediate, an Award of Merit to Isabella Lopez, Crescent, and Honorable Mention to Ella Long, Panorama,  and Kaielo Truong, Fletcher; in Intermediate, an Award of Merit went to Alexander Hays, La Veta; in Middle, an Award of Merit to Michelle Bae, La Veta, and Leila Yamak, Linda Vista, and Honorable Mention to Cameron Lamberson, Santiago Charter Middle School; in High Division, an Award of Merit went to Angie Sustaeta, El Modena High School.

These students were recognized for their participation:

Primary Division: Anaiya Brown, Madailyn Fireston, La Veta;  Megan DeBoer, Chapman Hills; Kiersten Elkins, Hayden Tischer, Imperial; Leah Hutt, Anaheim Hills;  Madelyn Huynh, Crescent; and Nevin Wright, Sycamore;

Intermediate Division: Jolie Applegate, Jeff Christianson, Candice Lam, Chapman Hills; Hope Bradley, Keira Low, Crescent; Keeva Cole, Panorama;  Madeline Doll, La Veta; Kaitlynn Elkins, Imperial; Eirian Esguerra, Fletcher; Adrienne Madrigal, Linda Vista; JC Overpeck, Sycamore; Camille Ta-Perez, Laina Yasumura, Anaheim Hills

Middle Division: Arely Arriago, Yorba; Finley Hill, Panorama; Alisha Jimenez, Yorba; Emma Johan, Linda Vista ; Sam Mason, Chapman Hills; Josselyne Navarrete, Sycamore; Daniel Oh, Chapman Hills.

The theme for the 2018-19 Reflections Art Program will be “Heroes Around Me.”

Baseball camp planned

It’s never too early for baseball. Register now for Villa Park High School Winter Youth Baseball Camp, and be ready for the spring season.

The camp is open for students ages 5 to 13, and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 19 and Dec. 20.  Players will  practice ground balls, base running, catching, pitching and sliding, working under VPHS coaches and players.

The cost is $60 per student; register at vphsbaseball.com prior to Dec. 15. Players will receive a camp T-shirt and lunch on the second day.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/06/orange-unified-students-express-creative-in-reflections-entries/

Nov 15

Linda Vista students learn what Veterans Day means for their families

For Linda Vista Elementary School students, Veterans Day is more than a holiday from school. The students learned, first-hand, about the sacrifices and conditions encountered by those fighting for our country in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Europe, Korea and throughout the world, during conflicts as far back as World War I.

Every student in Kellie Vella’s fifth-grade class was asked to speak to, or learn about, a family member who had served in a branch of the military. They then shared a photo, and the personal stories, of those veterans with the other students and families.

  • Linda Vista Elementary students Indica Laster, Ava Howar, Ashley Busby , Tristan Hernandez and Bryson Castillo presented a brief biography about a veteran in their respective families. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Linda Vista Elementary students Indica Laster, Ava Howar, Ashley Busby , Tristan Hernandez and Bryson Castillo presented a brief biography about a veteran in their respective families. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The color guard, including Elvis Arellano, Brooke Gonzalez and Lorenzo Luevano, began the Veterans Day ceremony at Linda Vista Elementary. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The color guard, including Elvis Arellano, Brooke Gonzalez and Lorenzo Luevano, began the Veterans Day ceremony at Linda Vista Elementary. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Linda Vista Elementary School students, with their respective veterans at the Veterans Day ceremony: Braden Roczey with Grandpa Hal Williams Jr.; Tessa Yardumian with Uncle David Carpenter; Orion Markovitz with Grandma Phyllis Hall; Zach Harlan with Dad Jonathan Harlan; Tristan Hernandez with Grandpa Edwin Deziel; Reese Hewitt with Grandpa Tom Schmitz; and Erin Rodriguez with Dad Ruben Rodriguez; seated, Curren Huckabey with Grandpa Darrell; and Mia Murrietta with Grandpa Rudy. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Linda Vista Elementary School students, with their respective veterans at the Veterans Day ceremony: Braden Roczey with Grandpa Hal Williams Jr.; Tessa Yardumian with Uncle David Carpenter; Orion Markovitz with Grandma Phyllis Hall; Zach Harlan with Dad Jonathan Harlan; Tristan Hernandez with Grandpa Edwin Deziel; Reese Hewitt with Grandpa Tom Schmitz; and Erin Rodriguez with Dad Ruben Rodriguez; seated, Curren Huckabey with Grandpa Darrell; and Mia Murrietta with Grandpa Rudy. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Following the Veterans Day ceremony, Kellie Vella’s fifth-grade class at Linda Vista posed proudly with the photos of their veterans. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Following the Veterans Day ceremony, Kellie Vella’s fifth-grade class at Linda Vista posed proudly with the photos of their veterans. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The Villa Park High School symphonic band, under the direction of Major Charles Jay, a retired Marine, played at the Veterans Day Commemoration at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The Villa Park High School symphonic band, under the direction of Major Charles Jay, a retired Marine, played at the Veterans Day Commemoration at the Richard Nixon Library and Museum. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Santiago Charter Middle School Principal Jim D’Agostino posed with student Santiago Solano at the school’s McTeacher Night at McDonald’s. (Courtesy Santiago Charter Middle School)

    Santiago Charter Middle School Principal Jim D’Agostino posed with student Santiago Solano at the school’s McTeacher Night at McDonald’s. (Courtesy Santiago Charter Middle School)

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The stories were brief, but poignant: about a great-great-uncle in Normandy in World War II; a  Navy veteran on a ship just off the coast during Pearl Harbor; a great-uncle who served as an Army surgeon in Korea; a great-grandfather who was a co-pilot in an Air Force bomber; a grandfather in the Navy, stationed in the Philippines; a grandmother, a helicopter medic in Vietnam; an uncle, a Marine, who was a surgeon in Iraq; an aunt, a Marine who served in the Middle East.

They shared personal vignettes – about the importance of dry, healthy feet in the jungles of Vietnam, marrying the day before shipping out, the excitement of receiving a care package, trying to smuggle a bottle inside a hollowed-out loaf of bread, the quality of the rations – as well as the proud moments – starting schools for women, providing glasses to an old man who cried because he could finally see for the first time in his life – and the sad moments – about high school friends and relatives who suffered paralysis or did not return home.

Some students were lucky enough to have their veterans in the audience, wearing a special red poppy pin, the symbol of remembrance, so that they might be personally thanked. The ceremony included heartfelt renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” In a final salute to our veterans, U.S. Marine Tom Schmitz, retired, grandfather of student Reese Hewitt, played “Taps” by the half-staff flag.

Linda McCausland, Linda Vista Elementary School librarian, is the emcee, coordinator and impetus behind the school’s patriotic celebrations, after having family members serve our country.

High school musicians support vets

High school students from Orange High and Villa Park High spent a portion of their Veterans Day performing at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in a ceremony honoring veterans and active military.

The Orange High School Chamber Singers, under the direction of Michael Short, and the Villa Park High School band, under the direction of U.S. Marine Charles Jay, retired, filled the East Wing with the rousing, patriotic song “Salute to the Armed Forces.” Veterans stood proudly, and were enthusiastically applauded, when the theme song from their respective branch of service was played.

Capt. Jerry Yellin stood at attention for both the Army and Air Force segments, as he had fought during World War II in the Army Air Corps, the precursor to the Air Force. At age 93, Yellin was one of only three WWII veterans in the audience, and was the featured speaker, sharing a slice of history. Students and the audience were fascinated by his first-hand recollection of flying the last combat mission of the war (also recounted in his book, “The Last Fighter Pilot”), as well as personal stories about his suffering of “battle fatigue,” love of flying, the dedication of each man to “protecting his buddies,” and his pride in wearing the uniform.

After a standing ovation, OHS and VPHS musicians joined together for a moving “Battle Hymn of the Republic” for the veterans, numerous dignitaries and guests.

McTeacher Night

Students and families from Santiago Charter Middle School enjoyed a special evening, watching their teachers work behind the counter, delivering burgers, fries and cookies at the McTeacher Night fundraiser at the local McDonald’s restaurant. Principal Jim D’ Agostino was all-in, wearing the McDonald’s French fries logo to help raise $1,400.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/15/linda-vista-students-learn-what-veterans-day-means-for-their-families/

Oct 30

20 years celebrated by Canyon Rim

Canyon Rim Elementary began its celebration of 20 years of education with a school-wide ceremony attended by faculty, PTA members and Orange Unified School District dignitaries.

Principal Erika Krohn recognized founding principal Maggie Van Eck and retired principal David Appling, as well as teachers who have been on campus since the opening two decades ago: Cindy Augustine, Colleen Botts, Heather Coulter, Wendy Johnson, Dee Mar and Tammy Pinkerton.

The students were the focus, however, as they chronicled the school’s opening with 560 students in kindergarten through fourth grade and 23 teachers in 1997, and opened a time capsule buried on the 10th anniversary in 2007. Student council officers revealed a scrapbook, work problems, the school’s first California Distinguished School medal and that the original school colors had been green and grey before changing to the current red and blue.

Each of the 665 current Roadrunners, in transitional kindergarten through sixth grade, wrote an essay entitled “Why I Love Canyon Rim,” and grade-level winners read their works before the large and enthusiastic audience. The youngest TK students said they like school because they “love to sing,” “like to water the garden” and enjoy it “when Mrs. Krohn visits the classroom.” The older students reflected on a love of learning, “though it may not always be fun,” math, recess, fractions, art and chess masters, reading “so I can wander out of my mind” and “make my brain bigger” and extolled Canyon Rim as a place to “learn to be kind” and the “awesomest place to be.”

The student council officers, Charlie Abatangelo, Karissa Berg, William Ciriza, Nathan Daileda, Vincent Herner, Leeland Keith and Rolls Royce Paschal, led by President Emma McGinnis, filled a new time capsule with items representing Canyon Rim as it is today – with music, mascot Speedy the Roadrunner, transitional kindergarten, STEM learning, and more – for future students to open in the next decade.

The celebration continued, with a PTA Carnival in the evening.

The “wow” factor

When Canyon High School Principal Craig Abercrombie gave students Nancy Nguyen and Petrina Kan, then sophomores, the OK to design the new STEM Lab walls, he mentioned his hope the design would have a “wow” factor.

They delivered.

“Wow!” was the first word from guests as they entered the door to the STEM Lab Showcase. It took more than a year, but Nguyen and Kan transformed the cavernous white room –it had been the automotive shop with ceilings more than 20-feet high. Their colorful designs arc and flow across the walls, providing visual cohesion, yet defining each of the seven STEM areas with color and appropriate symbols.

They chose a design element featuring hexagons and honeycombs, signifying molecular structure and collaboration, as with bees. The vibrant colors – varying shades of blue, purple and green, with a soothing gray interspersed throughout – were chosen to spark creativity, inspire and empower students. To allow for future changes, the Kan-Nguyen team elected to have the hexagons and vector images made into wall decals that may readily be moved about.

The students, now juniors, began working together on the yearbook staff, under Christopher Anderson and coordinated with Kristi McDougall. Though neither Nancy nor Petrina plan on a career in design or art, they already have their next joint project in mind – a table for the CHS library.

Drug free and living healthy

As schools nationwide observed Red Ribbon Week, a week of drug prevention education, Serrano Elementary expanded the theme to incorporate the larger twin vision of establishing a healthy lifestyle and building strong character traits to enable students to make good choices.

Principal Katherine Rizzo, aided by staff and parent volunteers, emphasized the Six Pillars of Character throughout the week, culminating in a memorable and colorful photo encompassing the entire school. Students in kindergarten and fourth grade wore purple, for Citizenship; first graders wore green for the Responsibility Pillar; second graders donned yellow for Respect; third graders wore orange, representing Fairness; fifth graders wore blue, as Trustworthiness; and sixth graders were dressed in red, for Caring.

Upcoming performances

The Canyon High School theater department will stage “Little Women the Musical,” the timeless, classic story of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved March family. The performances is beginning at 7  p.m. nightly through Friday, Nov. 3 in the Canyon Cafeteria. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for students, and $10 for adults.

Across town, at Orange High School, the Panther theater arts department will stage “Halloween Screams” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Thursday, Nov. 2, and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3. Tickets may be purchased at the door. They are $5 for students with an ASB card, $8 for other students, and $10 for adults.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, Orange High’s Vocal Music Department will present ”Masquerade”  featuring solos and small ensembles performing music from a variety of musicals in a coffee-house setting. The event will be held at First United Methodist Church of Orange, at 161 S. Orange St. Food and beverage are included in the ticket price of $10; phone 714-997-6211 to purchase tickets.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/30/20-years-celebrated-by-canyon-rim/

Oct 25

Anaheim Hills Elementary plants the roots of kindness

Anaheim Hills Elementary celebrated its 40th anniversary with a ribbon cutting for the opening of its Panther Place, a “garden of kindness” created by and for its most important people: the students.

Inside the formal entryway, students will find a peaceful setting, adjacent to the hubbub of the playground.  A newly-paved path wends around the perimeter, past raised beds filled with colorful succulent plantings and the rock garden. There, each student hand-painted smooth stones to become the “seeds of kindness’’ in the garden; new and future students will be asked to add to the collection.

  • The sign on the pergola reads “Friends — It isn’t a big thing. It’s a million little things.” Beneath the pergola is a table and benches for play and conversation, and a place for friends to be made. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    The sign on the pergola reads “Friends — It isn’t a big thing. It’s a million little things.” Beneath the pergola is a table and benches for play and conversation, and a place for friends to be made. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Anaheim Hills Elementary Principal Fayroze Mostafa shows the “seeds of kindness” painted by each student. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Anaheim Hills Elementary Principal Fayroze Mostafa shows the “seeds of kindness” painted by each student. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Custodian Jesus Osuna, Principal Fayroze Mostafa, Jacque Dixon, Pam Verdone, Karen Lampe, Amy Martin and Christine Rotsios at the entryway to Panth Place. (Courtesy of Suzan Grab)

    Custodian Jesus Osuna, Principal Fayroze Mostafa, Jacque Dixon, Pam Verdone, Karen Lampe, Amy Martin and Christine Rotsios at the entryway to Panth Place. (Courtesy of Suzan Grab)

  • Fifth-grade student teacher Maggie Gallardo helps lead the Flash Mob Friday. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Fifth-grade student teacher Maggie Gallardo helps lead the Flash Mob Friday. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • Sixth-grader leaders Katherine Newman and Caradyn Stock enthusiastically lead the Flash Mob Friday dance. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Sixth-grader leaders Katherine Newman and Caradyn Stock enthusiastically lead the Flash Mob Friday dance. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The El Modena High School 2017 Homecoming Court included princesses Petra Azar and Camryn Stein, Queen Hannah Habibi, and princesses Makenna Malone and Gwen Wodark. Courtesy of Courtesy El Modena)

    The El Modena High School 2017 Homecoming Court included princesses Petra Azar and Camryn Stein, Queen Hannah Habibi, and princesses Makenna Malone and Gwen Wodark. Courtesy of Courtesy El Modena)

  • The El Modena High School 2017 Homecoming Court included the princes Caleb Vander Wall and JP Walker, King Michael Pham, and princes Jason Bae and Lukas Finn, posing with their mothers. (Courtesy El Modena)

    The El Modena High School 2017 Homecoming Court included the princes Caleb Vander Wall and JP Walker, King Michael Pham, and princes Jason Bae and Lukas Finn, posing with their mothers. (Courtesy El Modena)

  • El Modena Water Polo players Cole Scarry, a sophomore, Max Granados, a freshman, and Diego Mornes, also a freshman, worked at the Silverado Canyon Country Fair to raise funds for their sport. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    El Modena Water Polo players Cole Scarry, a sophomore, Max Granados, a freshman, and Diego Mornes, also a freshman, worked at the Silverado Canyon Country Fair to raise funds for their sport. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

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In the center of the garden, under a pergola, is a table and benches, perfect for games and conversation. In addition, several “buddy benches,” are positioned about the garden, a place where a student may sit, waiting to be invited to join in a game or conversation.

The garden area, formerly a neglected portion of the school yard, was cleaned of old tires and debris and revitalized. Principal Fayroze Mostafa had the vision, and worked long hours and weekends to make this a reality for the students, because “I know the students will really enjoy it.”

Former students, as well as Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, assisted in the creation of the garden: Anthony Karam, Princeton Nguyen, Vishwa Reddy, Max Reta and Noah Tristen from El Rancho Charter Middle School; Matthew Bayshore, Jason Bauman, Matthew Cheng, Mason Cook, Matthew Dolby, Nikolas Dutmers, Nathan Johnson, Josh MacGuire and Ryan Welker from Canyon High School.

To impart the important message of “kindness,” and the meaning behind the Garden of Kindness, Principal Mostafa made time to go into each campus classroom to read the students “Only One You,” the inspirational book by Linda Kranz.

Kindness is emphasized daily at the school, in keeping with the Peer Assistance and Leadership (PAL) program practiced at Anaheim Hills Elementary, as well as the City of Kindness initiative of the city of Anaheim. AHE is only one of four schools in the Orange Unified School District to train staff and implement the nationally recognized PAL program. Mostafa has been recognized by Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait for her work to instill kindness in the future citizens.

Dancing to start the day

Each week, Anaheim Hills Elementary students and staff start off the final day of the week with a fun Friday Flash Mob. All 580 students and teachers meet on the playground to dance and rev up for the day. Everyone moved to “Cotton-Eye Joe” and “Cupid Shuffle,” the two dances of the month. The music and dances change each month. On the other school days, the students begin their day with 20 minutes of exercises, with sixth graders leading the circuit training for the younger students.

El Modena homecoming court

Bei ricordi!

El Modena High School students held “A Night in Italy,” their 2017 Homecoming Dance on Oct. 7.

Hannah Habibi was crowned 2017 Homecoming Queen, and Michael Pham was the Homecoming King. Their court included princesses Petra Azar, Makenna Malone, Camryn Stein and Gwen Wodark; and princes Jason Bae, Lukas Finn, Caleb Vander Wall and JP Walker.

El Modena hosts Fall Festival

The El Modena High School Visual and Performing Arts Departments will present their second annual Fall Festival of the Arts on Oct.  27 in the El Modena Nature Center. The autumnal event open to students during the school day and to families and the community between 4 and 6 p.m.

Vocal and instrumental music program students will be located among the trees and along the rock-lined path, performing songs of the autumnal season. Drama students will stage “Shuddersome: Tales from Poe.” Dance students will perform fall and Halloween-themed dances. Student art work will be strategically exhibited throughout the Nature Center.

And, it is rumored that ghouls and creepy creatures may be encountered, plus a few fun Halloween riddles.

Helping raise money

Fundraising is a constant for many sports and activities.

The El Modena High School boys water polo team erected a carnival booth at the Silverado Country Fair, held each year in Silverado Canyon. Freshmen Max Granados and Diego Morones, and sophomore Cole Scarry manned the booth, enticing kids of all ages to play.

Speaking of fundraisers, Santiago Charter Middle School PTSA supporters may enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner on both Oct. 25 and Oct. 27 at Johnny Rebs, 2940 E. Chapman in Orange, and 20 percent of the tab will be donated to the PTSA.

Villa Park High School baseball is holding its annual Christmas tree, wreath and garland Sale. It offers fresh Douglas and Noble Firs in various sizes, delivered within 48 to 72 hours, and ready for pickup on Dec. 2.

Supporters may elect to purchase “Trees for Troops” a 5-to 6-foot Douglas Fir for a military family at Camp Pendleton for only $45. The VPHS Baseball Spartans will deliver the trees to the troops during the first weekend of December. Orders for all greenery are due by Nov. 15. The order form may be found at vphsbaseball.com.

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/25/anaheim-hills-elementary-plants-the-roots-of-kindness/

Sep 27

Linda Vista Elementary students bring Revolutionary history to life

History comes alive each year when Linda Vista Elementary School’s fifth-grade class presents “The Making of the Constitution” for fellow students and families.

Librarian Linda McCausland, whose father, husband, son and father-in-law served in the armed forces, is the principle director, sharing her enthusiastic, patriotic spirit with the entire school.

The cast of 22 students was garbed in the breeches, tri-cornered hats, long skirts and ruffled caps, appropriate to the time period and their character’s station in life. Each shared their person’s role in the Revolutionary War, adding colorful anecdotes to make our nation’s history even more memorable for the audience.

  • Linda Vista Elementary School fifth-graders Nathan Cordero, Jimmy White and Rylee Tinsman carried in the flag, in the opening act of “The Making of the Constitution.” (Courtesy of Rosina Meredith)

    Linda Vista Elementary School fifth-graders Nathan Cordero, Jimmy White and Rylee Tinsman carried in the flag, in the opening act of “The Making of the Constitution.” (Courtesy of Rosina Meredith)

  • Linda Vista students Kelle Kennedy as George Washington and Kevin Serrano show an original 13-star flag, as part of the performance, “The Making of the Constitution.” (Courtesy of Rosina Meredith)

    Linda Vista students Kelle Kennedy as George Washington and Kevin Serrano show an original 13-star flag, as part of the performance, “The Making of the Constitution.” (Courtesy of Rosina Meredith)

  • Portraying Revolutionary War heroes are fifth-grade students Grace Connor, Anjali Clinton and Hayley Romero.(Courtesy of Rosina Meredith)

    Portraying Revolutionary War heroes are fifth-grade students Grace Connor, Anjali Clinton and Hayley Romero.(Courtesy of Rosina Meredith)

  • McPherson Magnet School unveiled a new mural emphasizing pedestrian safety, sponsored by State Farm Insurance and Operation Clean Slate. Principal Joe Erven, left, with Assemblyman Steven Choi, State Farm representative Ron Esparza, and Michael Howard of Operation Clean Slate unveiled the mural. Students, front, helped design and paint the mural: Alex Espinoza, Matthew Estrada, Sophia Andrews, Erin McBratney, Georgi Kosakowski, Jocelyn Perez, Megan Kim, Tahlia Munoz, Mia Henry and Angela Wang. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    McPherson Magnet School unveiled a new mural emphasizing pedestrian safety, sponsored by State Farm Insurance and Operation Clean Slate. Principal Joe Erven, left, with Assemblyman Steven Choi, State Farm representative Ron Esparza, and Michael Howard of Operation Clean Slate unveiled the mural. Students, front, helped design and paint the mural: Alex Espinoza, Matthew Estrada, Sophia Andrews, Erin McBratney, Georgi Kosakowski, Jocelyn Perez, Megan Kim, Tahlia Munoz, Mia Henry and Angela Wang. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

  • The Rowdy Rooters, El Modena High School’s spirit club, had a huge presence at their home game against cross-town rival Villa Park HIgh. (Courtesy of El Modena High)

    The Rowdy Rooters, El Modena High School’s spirit club, had a huge presence at their home game against cross-town rival Villa Park HIgh. (Courtesy of El Modena High)

  • Sixth-graders Tiffany Evans and Sandra Mejia represented Peru during the Crescent Elementary School GATE Cultural Luncheon celebrating the school’s diverse student body. (Courtesy of Crescent Elementary)

    Sixth-graders Tiffany Evans and Sandra Mejia represented Peru during the Crescent Elementary School GATE Cultural Luncheon celebrating the school’s diverse student body. (Courtesy of Crescent Elementary)

  • Fourth-grade students Jonathan Thomas and Blake Hartfelder enjoyed the various foods at the Crescent Elementary GATE Cultural Luncheon. (Courtesy of Crescent Elementary)

    Fourth-grade students Jonathan Thomas and Blake Hartfelder enjoyed the various foods at the Crescent Elementary GATE Cultural Luncheon. (Courtesy of Crescent Elementary)

  • Crescent Elementary PTA collected donations of school supplies for Houston schools hit by Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy of Crescent Elementary)

    Crescent Elementary PTA collected donations of school supplies for Houston schools hit by Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy of Crescent Elementary)

  • Villa Park High SChool National Honor Society students, from left, Valentin Lagunes, Liem Nguyen, Dominic Heim, Alexandra Lai, An Vu, Karlo Lapuz, and Christian Caparroso helped clean up Grijalva Park during the Coastal Cleanup Day. (Courtesy of VPHS)

    Villa Park High SChool National Honor Society students, from left, Valentin Lagunes, Liem Nguyen, Dominic Heim, Alexandra Lai, An Vu, Karlo Lapuz, and Christian Caparroso helped clean up Grijalva Park during the Coastal Cleanup Day. (Courtesy of VPHS)

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The performance began with the entrance of  flag bearer Jimmy White, accompanied by color guards Nathan Cardero and Rylee Tinsman. Town crier Dylan Marshall described the scene, followed by King George, portrayed by JT Meredith, and a red coat, played by Jimmy Beck, shared England’s view of the colonists.

The colonist, enacted by Keane De La Cruz, and minuteman, played by Shane Whitehall, shared the colonists’ view of tyranny. Courtney Andrews, as mother of the Tea Party Sarah Fulton, described the patriots’ brave act of dumping the British tea into the harbor. Silversmith Paul Revere, played by Tanner Byrnes, noted that he supplemented his income by learning to make false teeth, thanks to fellow patriot Dr. Joseph Warren, played by Kobe Oliva. Student Jack Flath shared the little-known fact that Dr. Samuel Prescott also participated in the Midnight Ride, warning the citizens that the Redcoats were coming.

Many of the lesser-known Revolutionary War heroes were women. Sisters Grace and Rachel Martin, played by Grace Connor and Anjali Clinton, were daring patriots. They dressed in their husbands’ clothing to intercept a British courier, then returned home to find the British dining at their table. Student Jenna Gonzalez performed the part of Esther Reed, famous for creating the Ladies Association of Philadelphia, which crossed class barriers to raise funds for the Continental Army and sewed more than 2,000 shirts for the men. Polly Cooper, portrayed by Hailey Parness, was an Oneida Indian woman who traveled with tribe to deliver 600 baskets of corn to George Washington’s starving soldiers wintering in Valley Forge. She voluntarily stayed to nurse the soldiers with medicinal plants, and taught them to make a nutritious corn soup; her only payment was a black shawl.

Tucker Fuchs starred as the affable Ben Franklin, Kelle Kennedy was a charismatic George Washington, and Kira Hix was the famous seamstress, Betsy Ross. Students from other Linda Vista classes joined in the enactment, holding posters and proclaiming their constitutional rights, thanks to the brave colonists in the Revolutionary War.  The finale was a rousing rendition of the patriotic song “Yankee Doodle” led by Dylan Marshall.

***Mural unveiled at McPherson Magnet School

McPherson Magnet School, in collaboration with State Farm Insurance and Operation Clean Slate, unveiled a colorful mural emphasizing pedestrian safety.

Students from the 2016-17 fourth-grade class submitted design suggestions and helped Operation Clean Slate muralists with painting. Those students included Sophia Andres, Jaden Esparza, Alex Espinoza, Mathew Estrada, Mia Henry, Megan Kim, Georgi Kosakowski, Erin McBratney, Tahlia Munoz, Jocelyn Perez, Owen Smith and Angela Wang. The mural includes a meteor, the school mascot, and is easily visible from the parking lot and traffic on Prospect Street, serving as a reminder of safe travel.

Local State Farm Insurance representative Ron Esparza and Michael Howard of Operation Clean Slate emphasized that good, safe pedestrians will one day make good, safe drivers, and encouraged students to always be alert and safe.  Assemblyman Steven Choi, 68th District, spoke to the students, and recognized the collaboration and emphasis on safety. Murals have been previously painted at Santiago Charter Middle School and El Modena High School campuses by the State Farm/Operation Clean Slate team.

***Richland High additions

This year, a AP Spanish language and culture class is available to students at Richland High. Upon completion of the course, students may elect to take the AP exam in May. In addition, Richland, in partnership with Santiago Canyon College, offers the dual enrollment course, Mass Media and Society. The evening college course is open to any district student, and may earn college and high school credits.

***Villa Park High School choir

Tickets are on sale for the third annual Villa Café Vocal Showcase, to be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the school’s Performing Arts Center. The event is sponsored by the Villa Park High School choir. Tickets are $5 for students with a student ID, and $10 for general admission. For tickets, check with any choir member or in the school office. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

***Canyon Football fundraiser

Want a new car for $20? Canyon High Football Boosters will raffle a new 2017 Jeep Cherokee, with vehicle, tax and license included, thanks to JStar Auto Group. The winner will be selected on Oct. 20. Tickets are $20 each, and the winner need not be present. See canyonhighfootball.org for information.

***VPE to hold “Spooky Sprint”

Villa Park Elementary will hold its annual jog-a-thon, dubbed “Spooky Sprint,” on Oct. 31.

The jog-a-thon is a popular and very successful annual event, and may be the only school fundraiser this year. All students have the opportunity to walk or run to raise money for their school, and may be supported using the pledgestar.com/villapark site. The funds are earmarked for enhancements of the new quad area, as well as existing programs providing music, art and physical education for the student body.

Local businesses and community families are invited to have their business or name emblazoned on the 2017 event shirts provided to every student. Sponsorship levels include the basic $100 “Dracula” level, with the name on the back of the T-shirts; “Frankenstein” level, $200, including recognition in the VPE Bobcat News; “Zombie” level, $300, with a banner on the school fence; and “Wicked Witch”, $500, with the name and logo on all materials.  Contact the school office for more information.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/27/linda-vista-elementary-students-bring-revolutionary-history-to-life/

Sep 20

Students stepping up to help in so many ways

After the devastation wrought by fires, floods and hurricanes, it is refreshing to see local students, the future leaders of our country, display empathy, concern for our environment, and patriotism.

At Villa Park Elementary, fifth-grader Emma Lara Thompson initiated a letter-writing campaign, collecting an amazing 302 hand-written letters from her fellow students to send to Houston, thanking those firefighters, police and dispatchers for their selfless service during the recent Hurricane Harvey and following flooding.

At Crescent Elementary, donations were gathered for displaced Houston families.

  • Emma Lara Thompson, a fifth-grade student at Villa Park Elementary, began a letter-writing campaign to thank Houston police, firefighters and dispatchers for their selfless service during Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy Amber Lara)

    Emma Lara Thompson, a fifth-grade student at Villa Park Elementary, began a letter-writing campaign to thank Houston police, firefighters and dispatchers for their selfless service during Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy Amber Lara)

  • Some of the 302 hand-written letters destined for Houston, thanks to Amber Lara. (Courtesy Amber Lara)

    Some of the 302 hand-written letters destined for Houston, thanks to Amber Lara. (Courtesy Amber Lara)

  • Linda Vista’s Sept. 11 remembrance included several students in the ceremony. (Courtesy Linda McCausland)

    Linda Vista’s Sept. 11 remembrance included several students in the ceremony. (Courtesy Linda McCausland)

  • Michael Short directing the Orange High School Chamber Singers at the 9-11 Commemoration at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library East Wing. (Courtesy of Orange High)

    Michael Short directing the Orange High School Chamber Singers at the 9-11 Commemoration at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library East Wing. (Courtesy of Orange High)

  • Villa Park High School vocalists Miguel Samson and Abigail Garcia, performing at the Sept. 11 commemoration at the Nixon Library. (Courtesy of Villa Park High)

    Villa Park High School vocalists Miguel Samson and Abigail Garcia, performing at the Sept. 11 commemoration at the Nixon Library. (Courtesy of Villa Park High)

  • The first team of volunteers from the Orange Lutheran High Mission Program working in Houston, after Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy of Orange Lutheran High)

    The first team of volunteers from the Orange Lutheran High Mission Program working in Houston, after Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy of Orange Lutheran High)

  • Alissa Fernandez, left, a 2017 graduate of Canyon High School, cut the ribbon dedicating an aquaponics system, and its produce, to local military families. Katie Fernandez, her sister and the 2017-18 president of the CHS Future Business Leaders of America, sponsored the event, and will help maintain the system. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

    Alissa Fernandez, left, a 2017 graduate of Canyon High School, cut the ribbon dedicating an aquaponics system, and its produce, to local military families. Katie Fernandez, her sister and the 2017-18 president of the CHS Future Business Leaders of America, sponsored the event, and will help maintain the system. (Courtesy of Andrea Mills)

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Last weekend, between homework, sports and activities, students from numerous schools and clubs, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, National Honor Society, Key Club and more, found time to join other volunteers to help the environment and clear trash from the beaches, local parks and waterways on Coastal Cleanup Day.

Although the students at Linda Vista Elementary were born many years after the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, the entire student body assembled for a simple, but moving ceremony. Teachers and students, most all wearing patriotic red, white and blue, gathered around the flagpole as an honor guard from Girl Scouts  Troop 2788 raised the flag. Cub Scouts, Boys Scouts, Brownies, Indian Princesses and Indian Guides and 4-H Club members, all in their official uniforms, accompanied them. Librarian Linda McCausland, whose son, husband, father and father-in-law served in the armed forces, shared a message of freedom, spirit and patriotism. The students recited the Pledge of Allegiance with solemn fervor, and enthusiastically sang the national anthem and “America, the Beautiful.”

The Orange High School Chamber Singers and the Orange Community Master Chorale, under the direction of Michael Short, and the Villa Park High School Academy of the Performing Arts super band, led by retired Marine Corps Major Charles Jay, combined their considerable talents for the Sept. 11 commemorative ceremony held at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. First responder and retired NYPD Sgt. John Curtis shared vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds and emotions of that unforgettable day. Spirits soared upon hearing the beautiful renditions of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Homeland,” “America, the Beautiful” and “Our America”. (View the moving performances via YouTube.)

At Orange Lutheran High School, students marked the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by placing 2,799 flags – one for each person who died – in front of the school, as a reminder to all to “never forget.”

In response to the need in Texas, Orange Lutheran High diverted two Missions Program teams to provide assistance in Houston. The first team, comprised of 10 alumni, was in Texas from Sept. 12 to 17. The second Missions Program group, which will include 79 students and 30 chaperones, will depart  Sept. 28 and return Oct. 2. The groups are working in conjunction with Trinity Klein Lutheran Church in Spring, Texas.

The students will stay at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas, and help residents by working with them to clear out their damaged homes, ripping out drywall, trashing water-ruined items and ministering and praying with them. A Relief Support and Services Fund has been set up, with all of the money designated for supplies or services for the victims. Cleaning supplies, especially disinfectants, Home Depot gift cards and cordless reciprocating saws are need, in addition to monetary donations. For more information about Harvey relief, see www.trinityklein.org.

At Canyon High School, alumna Alissa Fernandez formally unveiled an aquaponics system, dedicating it to the local military. The aquaponics pond, purchased with donations and a grant from the military, will provide produce for local military families. The CHS Future Business Leaders of America is entrusted with the care and upkeep of the unit. The Deep Water Raft Aquaponic System contains tilapia fish in the water. Their waste is used as fertilizer for the plants, which then grow quickly.  Fernandez anticipates that seeing the system in operation each day will impact CHS students, and inspire conversations about food sustainability, resource depletion and encourage conservation of natural resources.

Indian Princesses and Guides

Registration for the Indian Princess and Indian Guides program is now open. Fathers and daughters, or fathers and sons, will create lasting memories and lifetime friendships around the campfire, sharing activities, competing in the Pinewood Indian 500, and at meetings. The highly-anticipated fall campouts for Indian Princesses are slated for Oct. 13 to 15, and Indian Guides, Oct. 20-22, in Yucaipa. For information about the many fun activities available for dads (or uncles, or grandfathers) and students in kindergarten through sixth grade, see www.Orangeskieslonghouse.org.

The Big Read

Join Anaheim Libraries in reading “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea. The month-long celebration of reading during Hispanic Heritage Month, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, includes book groups at each branch; performances; crafting of Papel Picado/paper fiesta flags,  piñatas and paper doll; tortilla-making; a “sugar” skulls craft; Loteria play; and a youth writing workshop. Participants can also help paint a community mural with artist Byron Adams.

Latino history displays, including the “Memories of Migration” art exhibit, chronicling migrations stories of Orange County residents, as well as Mexican Cinema costume paintings and 1950s travel brochures may be viewed at the Central Library.

For dates, times and locations of these many offerings, see the calendar at www.anaheim.net/library. October 14 will be Indie Author Day where participants will be able to connect with 30 local authors between 1 and 4  p.m. at the Central Library.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/20/students-stepping-up-to-help-in-so-many-ways/

Sep 13

Volunteers work hard at Orange’s Street Fair

Students, representing many schools, sports and activities, volunteered for at booths during the Orange International Street Fair.

In the heat they spent long hours serving such delicacies as Italian sausages, Philly cheese steaks and chocolate-covered frozen bananas, or working at corralling bikes or parking cars.

Committed coaches, teachers and parent volunteers were also working in the heat, overseeing the operations and handling the shifts when alcohol was involved.

The Street Fair is a major fundraiser for a lot of groups in town.

  • Orange High School football player Joseph Martinez gets ready to prep a pineapple for the OHS Football Booster pineapple smoothies. (Courtesy OHS Football Boosters)

    Orange High School football player Joseph Martinez gets ready to prep a pineapple for the OHS Football Booster pineapple smoothies. (Courtesy OHS Football Boosters)

  • The Orange Lutheran High School softball team, under Coach Jennifer Miklos, worked a booth at the Orange International Street Fair. From left, Kira La Scola, senior; Gianna Nicoletti, senior; Ciara Briggs, junior; Taryn Lennon, sophomore; Nicole Murphy, senior, Sarah Taylor, junior; and Paloma Usguiano, junior. (Courtesy of OLu)

    The Orange Lutheran High School softball team, under Coach Jennifer Miklos, worked a booth at the Orange International Street Fair. From left, Kira La Scola, senior; Gianna Nicoletti, senior; Ciara Briggs, junior; Taryn Lennon, sophomore; Nicole Murphy, senior, Sarah Taylor, junior; and Paloma Usguiano, junior. (Courtesy of OLu)

  • Students from area schools, all members of Assisteens Auxiliary of Assistance League of Orange, hawked chocolate-dipped frozen bananas to raise money for their philanthropic endeavors. From left, Sydney Lacy, Canyon High School; Alexis Lacy, Yorba Linda High; bananas Eden Haymond, Canyon High, and Katherine Chrystie, Villa Park High; Elizabeth Chrystie, Villa Park High; and Danielle Wolfe, Orange Lutheran High. (Courtesy Assisteens Auxiliary)

    Students from area schools, all members of Assisteens Auxiliary of Assistance League of Orange, hawked chocolate-dipped frozen bananas to raise money for their philanthropic endeavors. From left, Sydney Lacy, Canyon High School; Alexis Lacy, Yorba Linda High; bananas Eden Haymond, Canyon High, and Katherine Chrystie, Villa Park High; Elizabeth Chrystie, Villa Park High; and Danielle Wolfe, Orange Lutheran High. (Courtesy Assisteens Auxiliary)

  • Canyon High School student and new pilot Jake Nowicki. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Canyon High School student and new pilot Jake Nowicki. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • Andrew Belk was one of three Canyon High aviation students to earn a scholarship to the annual fly-in in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and fly in both plans and, here, a helicopter. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Andrew Belk was one of three Canyon High aviation students to earn a scholarship to the annual fly-in in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and fly in both plans and, here, a helicopter. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • Canyon High student J.P. Wright, right, went to the annual Oshkosh fly-in. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Canyon High student J.P. Wright, right, went to the annual Oshkosh fly-in. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • Canyon aviation student Charles Redick took his first flight lesson over the summer, after receiving a scholarship from the Orange County Ninety-Nines women pilots group. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Canyon aviation student Charles Redick took his first flight lesson over the summer, after receiving a scholarship from the Orange County Ninety-Nines women pilots group. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

  • Mia Kuyumjian, a Canyon High School aviation program student, is all smiles during her first flight lesson. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

    Mia Kuyumjian, a Canyon High School aviation program student, is all smiles during her first flight lesson. (Courtesy of Canyon High)

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Aviation enrollment soars

Enrollment in Canyon High School’s aviation program is soaring, with enrollment almost doubled from the prior year.

There are now 76 students in the program, up from 40 last school year. The program, the only such high school aviation course in Orange County, was initiated and is taught by Steve Smith, a former commercial pilot.

After hours of instructional flight time and preparation, students Jake Nowicki and Zach Marshall successfully completed their individual FAA Private Pilot check rides, and now hold their official licenses.

Ryan Li accomplished an aviator milestone: He completed his first solo flight without an instructor beside him, taking off, flying and landing, all the while navigating, checking weather conditions and flying in accordance with air traffic instructions.

Three students, J.P. Wright, Andrew Belk and Keegan Johnson, spent an all-expenses-paid week in Oshkosh, Wisc. Oshkosh is known for its annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in, when aviation enthusiasts from all over the world gather for a week-long celebration of all things flight, including air shows, aerobatics, vintage planes, forums, workshops and demonstrations. There, at the association’s Air Academy, the Canyon High students learned hands-on skills and enjoyed flights in an airplane and a helicopter. The three scholarships were courtesy of the association’s Orange County chapter.

CHS student Jonathan Low volunteered at the association’s Airventure in Oshkosh, as a member of the Aviation Explorers Post 445 program. Aviation Explorers is a career-based program for ages 14 and 21 that is based out of the Fullerton airport.

During his summer, aviation student Michael LaBroad worked at Sky Thrills!, an aeronautical company at the Fullerton airport specializing in providing thrill rides and teaching extreme aerobatic flying in specialized crafts.

Four Canyon Comanches began their aviation adventure. The Orange County Ninety-Nines, a local chapter of women pilots based out of John Wayne Airport, provided First Flight scholarships to Charles Redick and Asher Parra. The students were excited to begin their first flight lessons out of John Wayne Airport. In addition, Mia Kuyumjian and Jackson Hoeller also went up for their first flight lessons over the summer.

Students in the program spend the school year in one of three levels of aviation classes, learning about the industry and covering the content required for procuring a pilot’s license. During the freshman year, aviation students receive a broad overview of the many career opportunities available in the industry, including design and engineering, aviation mechanics, navigation, airport operations, air traffic control, military, and pilot.

The second and third year of classes include learning maneuvers on the six classroom flight simulators and learning the content, taught to strict FAA standards, required for a pilot’s license. There is no age restriction for ground school, and students may procure a pilot’s license at 17, allowing them the flexibility to work in the industry as they pursue additional career or college goals. CHS courses may count as credits toward a college aviation program.

The Canyon aviation program is seeking individuals with the expertise to help lead a building project on campus.  A Cessna 150, sans engine or prop, and a Wittman Tailwind kit were donated to the program. If you would like to help rebuild the plane, or donate to the efforts, contact Steve Smith at stsmith@orangeusd.org.

VPHS Cheer hosts shopping fundraiser

There are only 103 days until Christmas, and the Villa Park High School Cheer Squad can help.

The team is one of the many charities hosting a shopping extravaganza at the Citadel Outlets from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 23.

Purchase tickets for $35 from any member of the VPHS Cheer Team, or at citadelshopx.com. The ticket price not only benefits the cheer program, but it includes exclusive discounts, complimentary baggage check, lunch catered by Ruby’s Diner, entertainment, raffles and prizes totaling $90,000, wine tasting, and massage therapists available during a shopping break.

Cheer clinic for Spartans

Registration is open for the 2017 annual Spartan Cheer Clinic, sponsored by the Villa Park High cheer and pom squads. The clinic, which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 30, is open to boys and girls in kindergarten through eighth grade, and will be taught by the co-ed varsity squad.

Participants will learn the latest cheers and dances, and be invited to cheer in front of a packed Fred Kelly Stadium crowd at the home game against El Dorado at 6:30 p.m. that night. Registration of $40 includes a bow, T-shirt, treat bag and admittance to the game. See villaparkcheer.com to register.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/13/volunteers-work-hard-at-oranges-street-fair/

Aug 23

Classes are back in session at Orange Unified School District

Today is the first day of school for Orange Unified students.  There are bright, nervous smiles and hopes for new friends, good grades and for a fun, good year.

Drivers, please exercise patience as families navigate new routes to school, and struggle to find parking so they may, in the time-honored tradition, walk their students in to meet their new teacher in the new classroom. (Don’t forget to send your cute First Day of School Photo to OCSchoolNews@aol.com.)

Orange Lutheran High School Principal Todd Eklund, and Head of School Leslie Smith, plus mascot Ollie welcome 1,300 students on their opening day of school. (Courtesy OLu)
Orange Lutheran High School Principal Todd Eklund, and Head of School Leslie Smith, plus mascot Ollie welcome 1,300 students on their opening day of school. (Courtesy OLu)

***Back to School Nights

Back to School Night are a terrific opportunity for parents to meet the teachers, learn about classroom expectations, connect with other parents (playdates!), and hear from the administrators about the school culture.

Parents may also have the opportunity to volunteer at the school, either in the classroom, from home or with the parent-teacher organization. Studies have shown students do better when parents are involved in the education process, whether it be helping in the classroom with a project, or cutting out 30 construction paper circles after work.

A number of elementary schools will open their doors to welcome families on Tuesday, Aug. 29:

Anaheim Hills: 6  to 7  p.m.

Canyon Rim: 6  to 7  p.m. for kindergarten through third, and 7 to 8 p.m. for fourth through sixth grades

Chapman Hills: 4 to 5 p.m. for kindergarten

Imperial: 6  to 7:30  p.m. for first through sixth

Jordan: 5:30 to 7 p.m. for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten

Linda Vista: 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Panorama: 6 to 7:30 for  first through sixth grades

Prospect: 6 to 7:30 for  first through sixth grades

Serrano: 5:30 to 8 p.m. for first through sixth

Villa Park: 6:30 to 8 p.m.

McPherson Magnet:  5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for first through eighth grades

El Rancho Charter Middle School will hold a Back to School event for seventh-grade families from 6 to 7  p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31.

***Finding supplies for school?

Instead of guess-timating the size of binders, number of notebooks or type of calculator your student will need, parents have a new option that is quick and easy. The Walmart website now includes TeacherLists for a number of local schools,walmart.com/classroomsupplies.

***Friendly Center offers homework help

Education is key to helping disadvantaged families achieve long-term goals, with each generation realizing greater success than the previous generation. The Friendly Center has been a resource for families since 1924, providing food, counseling and emergency assistance.

About 20 years ago, Executive Director Cathy Seelig initiated an after-school tutoring program, titled Success for All. There are now six tutoring locations, four of which are in Orange: the main office at 147 W. Rose; Friendly Center North, at Tustin and Meats; El Camino Park; and Grijalva Park. The six locations served 463 students last year.

The Success for All program will start with the first day of school. Elementary students will attend Mondays through Thursdays each week, between 3 and 5 p.m.; Friday sessions are optional.

Friendly Center volunteer tutor Maddie Cuevas works with a student in the Success for All after-school tutoring program. (Courtesy Friendly Center)
Friendly Center volunteer tutor Maddie Cuevas works with a student in the Success for All after-school tutoring program. (Courtesy Friendly Center)

A separate program, teen tutoring, is offered for junior high and high school students. The older students may attend, as needed, between the hours of 6 and 8 p.m. weekdays. Computer labs are available at the north and main offices, with 10 and 20 workstations, respectively.

Students enroll through their schools, or may learn of the program via word of mouth. The program is offered free of charge, thanks in part to the cadre of volunteers who work to make the students and program successful. There are about 75 volunteer tutors and work/study students, who help keep the ratio of tutors to students low, at 1:4, allowing each student more individualized attention. Two staff members are on-site at each location, and the volunteers or work/study students are carefully screened. Each week, volunteers provide science enrichment programs and offer hands-on activities.

Additional volunteer tutors are always welcomed, as are donations of school supplies and computers. Information: FriendlyCenter.org or 714-771-5300.

***Canyon artist highlighted in show

Canyon High School student Phoebe Kim was awarded a medal for her artwork “Yesteryear.”

This piece by Canyon High School student Phoebe Kim, titled "Yesteryear," won second place at the annual Festival of Arts. (Courtesy Tom Lamb, Festival of Arts)
This piece by Canyon High School student Phoebe Kim, titled “Yesteryear,” won second place at the annual Festival of Arts. (Courtesy Tom Lamb, Festival of Arts)

The piece won second place in the 11th grade, 2-D category at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach, and was used on cards sold in the gift shop. More than 300 students throughout Orange County submitted works for the junior art exhibit.

***Aloha Spartans

About 80 members of the Villa Park High School Spartan football team, plus coaches, Head Coach Dusan Ancich and Principal Ken Miller, recently kicked off the season in Honolulu.

The Villa Park Spartan Football team enjoys a Hawaiian sunset, and a victory in the first game against Damien Memorial on Oahu. (Courtesy of Spartan Football)
The Villa Park Spartan Football team enjoys a Hawaiian sunset, and a victory in the first game against Damien Memorial on Oahu. (Courtesy of Spartan Football)

The seven-day camp gave the athletes time for practices, as well as fun and team bonding, culminating in the Spartans winning their first game of the season against Damien Memorial School in Honolulu.

The athletes had spent almost a year fundraising for the memory-making trip.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/23/classes-are-back-in-session-at-orange-unified-school-district/

Aug 16

Canyon High grad spent senior year planting roots for lasting project

It’s a myth that all high school seniors drop difficult courses and cruise through the remainder of their high school career … you know, the Senior Slump.

Katherine “Katie” Zerbst, a 2017 graduate of Canyon High School, was no slouch during her senior year. She spent many of her after-school hours working to complete her Gold Award, the highest possible honor within the Girl Scouts of USA. The Gold Award is achieved by less than 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts, often because of the time commitment and scope of the project: the Girl Scout is required to plan and implement a project that provides a sustainable, lasting benefit to the community, personally devoting a minimum of 80 hours.

Katie identified the Australian Yard space at the Santa Ana Zoo as a potential project site, and approached Zoo Educational Specialist Lauren Bergh about opening a plant propagation facility. She had previously worked with the zoo, creating a butterfly garden for her Girl Scout Silver Award.

Katie Zerbst, a Canyon High School senior, created a plant propagation facility at the Santa Ana Zoo for her Girl Scout Gold Award. (Courtesy of Jackie Zerbst)
Katie Zerbst, a Canyon High School senior, created a plant propagation facility at the Santa Ana Zoo for her Girl Scout Gold Award. (Courtesy of Jackie Zerbst)

This project would be on a much larger scale. A plant propagation facility would provide a lovely, peaceful garden, with the added benefits of an educational component about plant facts and conservation for young zoo visitors. Katie designed a brochure with puzzles and zoo facts as part of the facility education. In addition, the facility would provide  useful materials for the zoo animals.

The project took more than six months, including research and design. More than 240 volunteer hours were expended, with Katie leading a team of up to nine volunteers on-site at any one time, assisting in cleaning the lot, building planters, painting, planting and more.

There were challenges along the way. Originally, it was planned that an existing tree stump be removed, but it was later designed into the space as a work table. Katie repurposed an old patio table she scrounged from the trash to use as a tabletop. She then had to design and build work benches to cover the big tree roots that remained above ground.

Katie Zerbst, a Canyon High School senior, created a plant propagation facility at the Santa Ana Zoo for her Girl Scout Gold Award. (Courtesy of Jackie Zerbst)
Katie Zerbst, a Canyon High School senior, created a plant propagation facility at the Santa Ana Zoo for her Girl Scout Gold Award. (Courtesy of Jackie Zerbst)

In all, 20 varieties of plants from three different plant families – California natives, Mediterranean and Rainforest – were incorporated into the design in six planters; three different nurseries were sourced. A whopping 4,620 pounds of mulch and 2.5 tons of gravel were used. Community sponsor RJ Noble Company representatives were surprised, “It’s not often we get an inquiry from a Girl Scout seeking literally tons of gravel for a volunteer project … (and we were) happy to be involved in a great community project like this.”

Costs for the project totaled more than $3,500.  About $1,000 was donated by family members; Katie paid the balance of the costs from her own savings. The challenge and learning with a project of this size and scope, though, were priceless, said Katie: “I learned time management, communication, and flexibility. There is room for flexibility in a project like this, and I just rolled with it, worked when team members were available, made the design fit the space, and worked with available plants.”

New leader at La Purisima

Rosa Ramirez, formerly a student and teacher at La Purisima Catholic School, was named principal for the new 2017-18 school year. (Courtesy of La Purisima Catholic School)
Rosa Ramirez, formerly a student and teacher at La Purisima Catholic School, was named principal for the new 2017-18 school year. (Courtesy of La Purisima Catholic School)

Rosa Ramirez has been named principal of La Purisima Catholic School.

Ramirez has deep roots within the La Purisima community, her family has been a part of the church since the 1950s. Her grandfather, Roberto Soto, came to Orange as a migrant worker, and later brought his wife, Solidad, and family. Roberto was one of the parishioners who helped build the “old church,” the 450-seat structure erected in 1962. (The “new church” was dedicated in 2005, and seats 1,200.)

Ramirez is an alumnus of the school, as are her twins, who graduated this spring. She taught third grade on campus for 13 years, served on the administrative team, and was vice-principal during the prior school year.

The school incorporates spiritual growth, and emphasizes service for all students. A new three-year scholarship program, was recently unveiled for the 2017-18 school year. Sponsorships allow the school to offer 20 scholarships for new students.

Students will be welcomed back on Monday, Aug. 28. Information: www.lpcs.net.

El Modena cheer clinic planned

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to learn cheers, jumps, stunts and dances at the El Modena Cheerleading Mini Cheer and Pom Camp, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept.16 at the high school campus. The ElMo Cheer and Pom Squad leaders will teach the Vanguard cheers and songs, plus provide pom-poms, a hair bow and camp-T-shirt for each participant.

The mini cheer and pom campers will perform for parents at 2 p.m., and receive free admission to the Sept. 22 varsity football game at Fred Kelly Stadium to cheer at halftime with the El Modena teams. The fee is $70 per camper, and $65 for each sibling when registering before Sept.4; pre-register online at tinyurl.com/ElModenaMiniCheerCamp.  Snacks and lunch are included in the fee.

Taste of OLu

Save the date for the inaugural Taste of OLu, slated for 5  to 8 p.m. on Oct. 14 on the school campus. The event is a combined celebration of the 45th anniversary of the school, and the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation.

Casey Overton, Class of 2001, and former executive sous chef at the Montage-Laguna Beach, will be the featured culinary guest, and will be joined by additional food sponsors, brewmasters and wineries. Cooking demonstrations, live entertainment and pub games are planned. For sponsorship and ticket information, see weareolu.org/tasteofolu.

 

Send your photos and school news to Andrea Mills at OCSchoolNews@aol.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/16/canyon-high-grad-spent-senior-year-planting-roots-for-lasting-project/