Saugus Artist Wins Congressional Contest
Congratulations to Darryl Naito, a senior at Saugus High School, who has been named local winner of this year’s Congressional Art Contest for Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon’s 25th Congressional District. Naito’s woodblock print of hands in various positions will be placed on display for one year in the Cannon Tunnel leading to the U.S. Capitol and will appear on the cover of next year’s AT&T local phone directory. Darryl and a guest will be invited to Washington, D.C., in June for a reception celebrating unveiling of the exhibit. Hart District runners-up in this year’s contest included Tyler Recchia, Valencia High; Rachel Poleman, Hart High; and Jessica DaBovich, Valencia. Theme for this year’s contest was “An Artistic Discovery.”
Health Students Trained in CPR, AED Response
More than 500 students at Golden Valley and West Ranch high schools completed CPR and AED certification by the American Heart Association this spring, as part of a pilot program to ensure that all high school students master life-saving skills. The two-week program also was completed by 40 staff members and the entire Golden Valley administrative team. The program, which offers both online and hands-on training, is expected to expand to health classes at all Hart District high schools next year. The program is conducted by the non-profit National HART Foundation and is being offered to Hart District schools at no cost to the district. An additional 3600 Hart District students are expected to received training in both CPR and the use of automated external defibrillator (AED) devices in the coming year.
Canyon Student Named ROP Outstanding Student of the Year
Rachel Ward from Canyon High School has been named Outstanding Student of the Year by the Hart District’s Regional Occupational Program. She was one of seven gold medalists selected on the basis of personal interviews by a panel of industry professionals. A total of 94 students were selected by their ROP teachers as outstanding students in their classes, who were then eligible to advance to district honors. All gold medalists then took part in a second interview to determine the District Hall of Fame recipient. Other gold medalists include Dalton Bond, Saugus High School; Michael Wright, Saugus; Jasmin Robles, West Ranch; Austyn Walline, Saugus; and Edger España, Advanced Fire Technology Academy.
ROTC Unit Receives Distinguished Unit Award
The JROTC unit at Golden Valley High School has been selected as one of the 230 units to receive the 2009-10 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit Award. The award recognizes units that have performed above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America. This is the second consecutive year the CA-20063rd has won this award. Air Force Junior ROTC is located in 884 high schools across the U.S., and the Hart District hosts two such units.
AVID Students Visit Pepperdine University
Students in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program at Saugus High School visited prestigious Pepperdine University in Malibu this spring. The students were able to tour the campus with current Pepperdine students, visit classrooms and attend the Pepperdine/USC baseball game. “The tour was entertaining and adventurous,” reports AVID student Brianna Cuadra. “We even went through the science labs and passed the cadaver lab.” As a bonus, the Waves baseball team, including Saugus alumni Zach Vincej and Tyler Brubaker, greeted the students at their home game.
Wildcats Host ‘Super Jazz at the Ranch’
More than 35 jazz bands from Southern California middle and high schools attended Super Jazz at the Ranch, hosted by the West Ranch Jazz Band Boosters. Local bands which participated included Rancho Pico Junior High (third place) and La Mesa Junior High (second place). Competitors in the Intermediate Morning category included Saugus High School (first), Hart High (second) and Canyon (third). Intermediate Afternoon participants included Valencia High (first) and Golden Valley (third). Valencia’s combo also placed first in the Novice Combo division. Super Jazz also featured the debut of the Hart District All-Stars. Members from all Hart District jazz bands auditioned for a place in the band, which was directed by arranger Tom Kubis. The day also included a performance by an exhibition band of professional musicians, and a special performance by the CSUN Latin Jazz Band.
West Ranch Jazz Musicians Also Earn Honors
Because it was the host school, the West Ranch Lab Jazz Band and Studio A Jazz Band did not compete in the Super Jazz at the Ranch event. However, the Studio A band earned first place in the Heavy (highest) Division at the Workman High School competition on May 15, and both bands have won awards in jazz festivals this spring.
Riverhawks Clean Campus for Earth Day
The Resourceful Riverhawks at Rio Norte Junior High celebrated Earth Day by cleaning up the campus. Students worked with campus custodians to pick up trash and help separate recyclables. Students advertised Earth Day by displaying posters around the campus. In addition, Emilie Parkin made a video clip that was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency’s national Earth Day Awareness Project.
Placerita Explores the Civil War
Placerita Junior High School welcomed re-enactments of Civil War infantry from the New York 5th Voluntary Regiment to bring new insight to their history lessons. Re-enactors demonstrated techniques in marching, firing their weapons and hand-to-hand combat with bayonet and rifle hilts. Some were dressed in the uniform of the Zouaves infantry unit. Two women introduced students to the role of women in the Civil War, showing how the Red Cross distributed care packages to soldiers and how women sent many important items that the army did not supply. Women even disguised themselves as men and fought in the war. The women demonstrated the dress of common ladies and upper class belles of the period, and the Pederson family played authentic Civil War music using such instruments as the hammer dulcimer, fiddle and guitar.
Valencia ASB Hosts Prom for Special Needs Students
Special needs students from across the Hart District were invited to attend the fourth annual Special Education Prom hosted by Valencia High School’s Associated Student Body. The “Under the Sea” themed event featured delicious food and great music. Approximately 50 special needs students dressed in formal attire for the event. Four years ago Katya Ortiz, a Valencia High School student, started the prom in an effort to provide a fun-filled night for students with special needs. The event has been a huge success and is a tradition both Katya, a graduating senior, and Valencia High School hope to continue in years to come.
Students Get Taste of Farm Life
English Language Development classes from Rio Norte and Rancho Pico junior high schools recently took a field trip to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark. The students are currently reading “Esperanza Rising,” the story of a wealthy Mexican girl who is forced to come to America and work on a farm, along with expository articles entitles “An Overview of Farming” and “Migrant Farmworkers.” The students, their teachers and instructional assistants spent the day learning about farm life. The owner of the farm spoke to the group about the realities of owning a medium sized farm in California and the challenges of being a farm worker. The students then got the opportunity to pick different vegetables, which they took home to share with their families.
Golden Valley Hosts District Film Fest
The third annual Hart District 12 Hour Film Fest at Golden Valley High School drew introductory and advanced video production students from Golden Valley, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon, West Ranch and Hart high schools. The teams were given the challenge of producing an original short film in only 12 hours, drawing their genre of film from a hat before production started. All teams had to submit their completed films by 8 p.m. by the movie theatre at the Valencia Town Center. Professionals from the entertainment industry were the judges for this year’s event. Honors went to the Saugus High School’s gold team for their movie, “The Time Traveler” and to the Valencia High School’s silver team for their movie, “Finding Life.” The 12 Hour Film Fest was created in 2008 by Charles Deuschle, video teacher at Golden Valley, as a way for video students to practice their craft in a short period of time and get their work viewed by professionals in the industry.
AOC Wins Six-Year Accreditation
Academy of the Canyons Middle College High School has been awarded a six-year term of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, based on a year-long self-study conducted by teachers, students and parents. The “Focus on Learning” document covered every aspect of the school, from curriculum to culture. A four-member WASC committee spent three and a half days on campus to validate data in the document and meet with focus groups. AOC was commended for 12 schoolwide areas of strength, including high academic expectations, significant collaboration, interventions for academic support, a focused and nurturing environment, communication between staff, parents and students and consistently high test scores.
Breakfast Supports High School Exit Exam
More than 100 hungry students at Bowman High School went on to take their California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) with full stomachs, thanks to efforts of the school’s ASB student government. Generous donations from Keyes Toyota, Western Bagel, Vons, Sam’s Clubs, and even the grandfather of one student helped provide a nutritious head start to test takers. The school also works to boost CAHSEE results by providing intervention programs to hone math and English skills and limiting classroom disruptions during test days.
Saugus Students Heading for China
Next stop China! Three Saugus High School students are preparing to set off for Xi’an, China as soon as they are finished with final exams in June. Sam Johnson, Aida Vargas and Katie Waschak will spend six weeks in China, attending classes at Gao Xin No. 1 High School, visiting famous sights around Xi’an and living with Chinese host families. They will take regular Chinese classes as well as special classes in intensive Chinese. At the end of their stay they will spend four days in Beijing where they will tour the Forbidden City and climb on the Great Wall. China Exchange Coordinator Patty Stephenson will be the teacher/chaperone during the trip.
AOC Student Wins Art/Essay Contest
Academy of the Canyons student Lakshan Fonseka was a winner of the 2010 Student Art and Essay Contest sponsored by the Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation and Anthem Blue Cross Foundation. Students who participated in the “Lakers School of Champions” Los Angeles Times in Education program were asked to create art and write essays that helped to promote a healthy, active lifestyle. Lakshan was honored at an awards luncheon and presentation at the L.A. Times Chandler Auditorium this spring.
Hart Cheerleaders Win National Competition
Cheer squads from Hart High School brought home three top awards from the USA National competition in Anaheim, competing against 247 high schools from the western United States and Canada. The squads won first place in Large JV Show Cheer Intermediate division and third place in the Large Varsity Advanced division. The Hart varsity stunt team won the Group Stunt Advanced Division and was invited to perform the last day of Nationals. The stunt group (Tiana Coleman, Mia Davis, Danielle Galdos, Andrea Harvey and Katie Knutsen) won every competition in which they participated this year.
JROTC Unit Earns Medals at Drill Meet
The CA-782nd Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) which meets at Valencia High School brought home 10 trophies from the National Invitation Drill Meet at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The unit’s Rifle Team brought home trophies in Exhibition Drill, Inspection and a Sweepstakes Trophy for overall performance in the three combined phases of competition. Sean Gorman also received a third place Commander’s Trophy for his leadership. The Unarmed Drill Team earned trophies in Inspection, Regulation, and a third place Commander’s Trophy for Jacob Adler. The Saber Team placed third in Regulation Military Drill, and the Four-Man and Two-Man rifle teams earned second and third place trophies. The CA-782nd includes students from West Ranch, Saugus and Valencia high schools.