Saugus Flag on Loan in Afghanistan
The American flag in the display case in the front lobby of Saugus High School, which once flew proudly in the Apache helicopter of Saugus graduate Captain Aaron Schilleci in more than 100 missions over Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, has now been sent to Afghanistan. Captain Schilleci recently contacted Saugus High Principal Bill Bolde, asking to keep tradition alive by flying the same flag in the Afghani Theater of Operations where his unit is now deployed. When the flag is returned to Saugus, the high school will then be one of the few entities to have an American flag that has flown over both Iraq and Afghanistan during combat operations. The empty case will remain on display until the flag returns.
Rancho Pico Donates 2700 Items to Food Pantry
The food drive at Rancho Pico Junior High School continues to grow each year, with more than 2,700 items donated by students and staff for the SCV Food Pantry this year. Canned food and other items were collected in a holiday campaign coordinated by the Library Book Club and the library staff. The Pantry is grateful for Rancho Pico’s annual drive and each year sends a thank-you letter asking the school to repeat its generous food drive.
Viking Seniors Explore Potential Careers
Seniors at Valencia High School wrapped up a semester-long Exploring Careers class by presenting information they gleaned from on-the-job internships they were required to perform as part of the class. Students in the class pick a career in which they are interested, then seek an opportunity to work with a mentor in that field for 45 or more hours of on-the-job internship. As a final project, students must present an oral report on their experience for a panel of teachers and community volunteers. The experience is rewarding, with many students discovering a real affinity for their chosen career and others learning that their original choice is not as desirable as they originally thought.
Saugus High Band Performs at Police Academy
The weather was perfect, the setting was perfect and the music was perfect when 13 members of the Saugus High School Band traveled in December to the Los Angeles Police Academy. Donning their Christmas gear, the group performed a medley of holiday melodies for an appreciative audience comprised of members of the California Public Safety Radio Association. Band Director Robert Gibson arranged for the group’s appearance and booster parent Vince Callier was on hand to videotape the concert.
Beanie Babies Are Unexpected Math Incentives
A collection of Beanie Baby stuffed animals purchased at a garage sale have turned into a novel, but successful, incentive program in Jenny Dermody’s math class at Bowman High School. When students complete a chapter or earn a credit in Dermody’s class, they are allowed to select an animal, and the rewards soon became a visible and much sought-out symbol on campus. The colorful animals became so popular that Dermody started posting photos of students with their rewards, and even welcomed new students who enrolled in her early morning math class in order to earn their own animals. Garage sale entrepreneurs have been known to discount their stuffed animals when they hear Dermody’s story, and the toughest of boys have been known to get highly competitive over a cuddly bunny!
Chinese Receive Recognition, Head for Home
Marking the successful completion of their semester at Saugus High School, five Chinese exchange students and their teacher received special certificates from the Hart Governing Board, presented by Hart District Superintendent Jaime Castellanos. The Chinese teacher, Yanjun Wu, gave Castellanos unique Chinese paper cuttings suitable for framing for each board member. World Language Chair Patty Stephenson has been at the helm of the Saugus High Chinese exchange program for the past five years.
Workshop Helps Career Search
Twenty-five students from the Hart District’s Regional Occupational Program got some help in seeking careers through a six-hour Saturday workshop sponsored by Junior Achievement and the College of the Canyons TEACH program. Dan Williams, founder of Your Life Matters, was keynote speaker and several community business leaders visited throughout the day to speak. Program facilitators were members of COC’s Future Educators Club, presenting Junior Achievement workshop materials covering business ethics, personal finance, team building and career search skills. Volunteer business leaders added real-world experience and advice.
Raku Firing Concludes Class
Students in Lori Ann Levy-Holm’s ceramics class at Rancho Pico Junior High School enjoyed an ancient form of Japanese firing called raku as a final project in the semester-long class. The process results in beautiful pots by introducing carbon, a reduction environment created by burning newspaper at a high temperature in a steel drum. Variations in temperature and timing result in a truly unique result for each pot. After the pots were fired, the class enjoyed roasting marshmallows over the kiln on skewers attached to broom handles!
Bowman Students Visit Museum of Tolerance
Students from Bowman High School are more attuned to genocide past and present after a visit to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Tour guide Gloria (Gitta) Nagel impressed the students when she pulled up her sleeve to reveal her tattoo, identifying her as one of the “lucky ones” who was not marked for immediate extermination when she arrived at Auschwitz. The tour was an emotional experience for the students as it showed not only the history of the Holocaust but also current hate crimes around the world. Students were amazed at how much hatred still exists, such as the genocide in Darfur.
Two Local Teams Make Girls’ Soccer Finals
It was an all Santa Clarita Valley girls’ soccer final at the Frosh Girls’ Buena Holiday Tournament in December. The finals were played between Hart and Canyon high schools, where both earned spots by winning three previous games. In a well played match, Michelle Hogan of Canyon scored the only and winning goal for Canyon to take first place, while Hart finished second.
Poe Scholar Introduces Poet to Valencia Classes
Paul Day Clemens, an actor, author and Edgar Allan Poe scholar, visited five of Dean Perl’s English classes at Valencia High School to share his knowledge of the famed poet. He brought Poe collector’s items such as clothing, paintings, first edition books and other interesting items. He did dramatic readings of Poe’s poetry and stories and also performed a bit from his play, “Once Upon a Midnight,” which he wrote and performed on the stage for several years. Perl’s students were introduced to Clemens in the show, “Biography,” where he appeared as one of the commentators on Poe.
State Assemblyman Raises Student Awareness
State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth spoke with two Senior English classes at Golden Valley High School recently as part of a visit to the state’s schools to raise student awareness of the state’s current economic situation. The students were impressed with the Assemblyman’s boy-next-door demeanor (he’s a graduate of Hart High School and two-term former mayor of the Santa Clarita Valley). He spoke to them about his opposition to new taxes as a way to solve the state’s current $20 billion deficit and his displeasure with the way the state is currently being run.
Students Join Job Shadow Panel
Students from Saugus and Canyon high schools joined a recent roundtable discussion on the upcoming Groundhog Job Shadow Day during a live broadcast on KHTS Radio. Saugus sophomore Hunter Leggett and Canyon student Ruby Lawler were joined on the panel by Adriana Estrada, executive director of the SCV School & Business Alliance; Jay Thomas, president of Six Flags; Jim Schmitt, from Sweetwater Veterinary Clinic; and Diane Hamburger, Saugus assistant principal. They shared job shadowing experiences with KHTS listeners on “Something to Talk About,” hosted by KHTS News Director Carol Rock. This year’s National Groundhog Job Shadow Day is scheduled on February 2.
Performance Cyclery’s Newest “Spokes Man”
To say that West Ranch senior Oscar Machorro knows a thing or two about pedals and metals would be an understatement. After expressing an interest in bike repair, Oscar began training with Performance Cyclery in January 2009, an opportunity made possible through a community work training partnership forged between the Hart District’s Tami Mueller of the Career Visions WorkAbility I and Transition Partnership Program and store manager Emmanual Garcia. Successfully completing his initial Career Visions-sponsored training, Oscar was hired as a regular employee in February 2009 and has been cruising ever since. Machorro plans to attend college next fall in ultimate pursuit of a career as a firefighter.
Getty Museum Welcomes Arroyo Seco English Learners
Juliet Fine’s English Language Development class from Arroyo Seco Junior High School took a field trip to the Getty Museum recently to get a first-hand look at some of the world’s great art. The day also included a tour of the gardens and the Ancient Art exhibits. Student mentors from California Institute of the Arts joined the junior high students on the visit.
Roadtrip Nation Starts Bowman Journey
The Roadtrip Nation experience arrived at Bowman High School with an after school training session for 35 staff members and students. Bowman is one of only three continuation schools in the state chosen to pilot the Roadtrip Nation Educational Program, which will launch on a school-wide basis in February. The program encourages students to “define your own road in life” and reach out for fulfilling experiences outside their comfort zones. The program comes to Bowman in partnership with College of the Canyons in the form of a grant for flip cameras, editing software and staff development training, allowing students to explore career opportunities through an interactive curriculum.
Hart ASB Serves Dinner for Needy
Volunteers in Hart High School’s Associated Student Body student government class will host the 11th annual Holiday Dinner for the Needy this evening in the school’s cafeteria. The school expects to serve some 150 people with a dinner of turkey, ham and side dishes donated by the community. The school invited some 60 homeless students from Hart High and distributed additional flyers to needy students. After dinner, each family will receive a bag of donated canned foods and clothing. Each child will receive a gift and picture with Santa Claus.
Saugus Class Explains the Laws of Physics
Interest ran high in Habir Kaur’s physics classes at Saugus High School as every student conducted an experiment or demonstration proving one of the laws of physics. Experiments ran the gambit from cars hitting brick walls to centrifugal force being exerted on simple objects. At the conclusion of each demonstration Kaur challenged students to come up with a practical application of the theory explained.
Bowman Donates Food for Children, Families
Bowman students kicked off the holiday season with a collection of canned foods and toiletry items for the non-profit agency, Feed the Children. ASB students went from class to class reminding students to bring canned fruit and vegetables, rice, beans, soup packets, dried milk, deodorant, toothbrushes, lotion and other personal items. Students wanted to make sure that every child has a full stomach for the holiday season–or as student Richard Sanchez put it: “to help a tummy say yummy.”