Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1, 2017

We have four Gold Ribbon Schools!  On Wednesday night, State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson hosted a gala dinner at the Hilton Ball Room to recognize the award winning schools in our region.  Oakmont High School, Granite Bay High School, Roseville High School and Antelope High School were all selected for demonstrating growth and academic excellence.  This is a tremendous honor for our district and our community.  Woodcreek High School chose not to participate this year because they were engaged in the WASC accreditation process. 

Congratulations go to the Roseville High School boy’s volleyball team.  After an undefeated league season, they swept the section championship.  They were seeded fourth in the Nor Cal championships.  They defeated three Bay Area power houses, De La Salle, #1 seed St. Francis of Mountain View, and #2 seed Bellarmine to claim the Nor Cal Championship!  This has been an amazing journey for a group of young men, many of whom began playing at the varsity level as Freshmen.  In a cool side note, their Coach, Marco Salcedo, was attending his daughter’s wedding last Saturday in Southern California when the finals were being played at Bellarmine.  Oakmont High School varsity coach, Devon Quok volunteered to help out and joined their assistant coach, Anthony Medlin on the bench.  Undeterred, the team captain, Neal Reilly, acted as a player coach, calling timeouts, encouraging and admonishing his teammates.  They did not miss a beat, playing one of their best matches of the season. 

The Antelope High School boy’s track team 4x400 relay team is headed to the State Track finals tomorrow.  They won the section title last weekend in amazing fashion.  Anchor man Myles Ellis, took the baton for the final lap and was over 50 meters behind.  Check out the video of his last lap! It is one of the most amazing finishes I have ever seen! 

Independence High School and Adelante High School both enjoyed awesome graduation ceremonies this week.  We have perfect weather for the four ceremonies tomorrow and for the Granite Bay High School and Roseville Adult School graduations on Saturday. 

Oakmont High School girls' swim team finished the year as CVC section champions! Coach Cornilsen and Savine lead the team in an amazing season! Way to go!

Finally, what an amazing year!  We passed Measure D in November, and construction projects will be in full swing all summer.  We just hired the contractor for the Performing Arts building at Antelope High School.  We should be breaking ground on that project as well as the 6th high school next April! We have seen amazing performances in Athletics, CTE and the Arts that galvanized our schools and that have brought pride to the whole community.  More students than ever have the choice of pursuing a college education and we are sending students to the best schools in the world.  I am so proud of the effort of our teachers, administrators, counselors and all of the support staff.  We started the year talking about relationships and mindfulness.  That conversation has grown to include a real focus on equity.  I can’t wait to get started next August!  I hope you all find time to get some rest, recharge, and enjoy your family and friends over the summer.  Thanks for an awesome year!

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017

Antelope High School boy’s Track team won the Division 2 Section Title last weekend.  They have several athletes competing in the Masters meet.   Roseville High School track star James Jones is the section champion in discus at 144.08. The Roseville Boy’s volleyball team completed an undefeated league season and then blasted their way to the Division 1 Section Title last Saturday, defeating league rival Whitney in three straight sets.  Tuesday night, they opened the NorCal Championships with a dominant win over De La Salle.  They defeated number 1 seed St. Francis of Mountain View on Thursday in four sets. They are advancing to the NorCal Regional Championship game on Saturday against Bellarmine at Dublin High School, 5:30 P.M.! 

On Tuesday morning Woodcreek High School hosted their department awards at 6:45 A.M.! The cafeteria was filled with parents and underclassmen as the school staff presented awards for excellence in each of the subject areas.  Breakfast was awesome and photographer Lennie Salerno took photos of each award winner. 

Last Thursday, Woodcreek High School hosted the Unified track event for students with special needs.  It was a wonderful event involving students from seven area high schools.  Many of our athletes volunteered their time to make it happen!

International Baccalaureate tests are complete! Oakmont High School had 111 students take an outstanding 781 tests! These students earned a total of $1,275,000 in scholarships! The list of colleges and universities this population of students have been accepted to is remarkable! Check out the list here!

Granite Bay High School girls swimmer Chloe Clark is the state champion in the 200 Individual Medley. Congratulations to Chloe as she continues on to swim at Texas Christian University! The Granite Bay boys’ swim team claimed 5th in  the State for the 200 Yard Medley with a time that places them  20th in the Nation! Congratulations to Coach Sherman and the teams!

I was blown away by the talent at the Roseville High School Guitar Showcase!  Our guitar programs are producing high quality musicians who are producing everything from punk rock to country ballads.  Granite Bay High School guitar teacher Terry Stafford took the stage to play and sing with his students at their show! Roseville High School's Eye of the Tiger Livestream YouTube Channel broadcast Roseville's guitar show each night.

Tuesday night, the Board of Trustees approved our first ever solar project!  This summer, solar panels will be installed in the parking lot at Granite Bay High School, similar to what you may have seen at Whitney High School or at Sierra College.  Over time, the savings will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Granite Bay is on PG&E, our most costly power provider.  This project is a pilot we hope to replicate across the district.

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017

Dana Duncan was selected as Placer County Secondary Teacher of the Year!  Gi Warren named Placer County Bus Driver of the Year!  On Monday evening, we celebrated all of the terrific certificated and classified employees nominated by their school districts for the county awards.  On Wednesday, we were thrilled to learn we have two who have been selected to represent all of Placer County at the State level.  Congratulations to Dana and Gi both will be considered now for State honors.  County Superintendent Gayle Garbolino-Mojica presented the awards in person.   

On Tuesday evening, Mr. Stinson's PLTW Engineering students presented their final projects. I was once again amazed at the quality of the presentations and the complex array of skills the students have accrued through their participation in this pathway.

This spring Woodcreek High School Nature students have hosted several elementary school field trips.  The high school students teach to specific standards depending on what grade level is visiting that day. This is an amazing program and thousands of students have benefited from it. Many of our current high school students who were presenting were once the elementary school visitors!

Wednesday morning, the Granite Bay High School Business Program of Study hosted their annual Granite Bay Chevy Dealership simulation in partnership with Folsom Chevrolet. Folsom Chevrolet owner, Marshal Crossan has been a proud supporter of the program, dedicated to educating high school students about the wide array of career in the automotive field.  His son Drew, a former GB student is now in upper level management for the company.   Students work with the dealership to prepare and setup the quad at the high school as an actual dealership. Other students are then given the opportunity to experience all aspects of financing and insurance, and gain a deep understanding of the business environment in the auto industry. Personally, I fell in love with the restored 1968 Chevy Camaro that was one of the top muscle cars of my youth!

Antelope High School seniors traveled to Antelope Crossing Middle School to give thanks and read letters to their former teachers. This has become a tradition for Antelope High School seniors. The letters are often times really touching bringing tears to the recipent as well as those in the room.

I was really sad to learn that Press Tribune sports reporter Steven J. Wilson has taken a new position as the Public Information Officer at CalVet.  Steven has done an amazing job promoting our high school teams through great newspaper stories, real time scores posted on twitter, and the amazing pictures and videos he has posted from events.  He has been a true friend to our district.  We wish him well! My favorite moment….at the end of the Woodcreek section final basketball victory over Sheldon, there was a foul called with seconds to go that sent Jordan Brown to the line.  After Jordan made the free throws to win the game, there were a number of posts on social media questioning the call.  Steven had captured the whole thing on video.  Once that got posted on twitter, everybody settled down. We will miss him!

Friday, May 12, 2017

May 12, 2017

Last Thursday our Board of Trustees  honored over 20 retirees who have spent their careers making a difference in the lives of teenagers.  Steve Williams and Brad Basham did a spectacular job telling the stories of these retirees.  It was a humble reminder that so much of the culture of this district is due to the incredible hard work of those who have served before us and with us.  In my enthusiasm, I posted a picture on my Facebook page of Mr. Williams and a couple of the retirees.  Steve started getting congratulatory notes almost immediately.  I frantically posted a note the next morning clarifying that he was the Master of Ceremonies, not a retiree!  Gotta love social media! Here is a slide show from the event!

Roseville High School Alum, Neilson Powless, Member of the USA Men’s Cycling development team had a huge win recently as he took first place in Verona, Italy in the under 23 age group. Powless is setting his sights for the  professional ranks next year.

Roseville High School Varsity boys golf team placed 2nd in the league tournament last week. The team placed 3rd overall in CVC. This is the first time a Roseville High School team has qualified for the playoffs! Senior golfer, Jake Littlejohn, tied for second place and qualified as an individual for the Masters tournament on Monday! Congratulations to Coach Fukuman and his team!

Antelope High School’s STUNT team not only won the section title, but claimed the State title.  These girls have been tearing it up all year!

Shane Waggoner was recently selected as the Director of Career Technical Education and Assessment and Accountability. Mr. Waggoner has served as Assistant Principal of Woodcreek High School since 2007, last week students and staff at Woodcreek decorated his office door.

Roseville High School science teacher Mike Purvines has been selected as our NGSS Lead Teacher. This is the most significant transition in science instruction since the 60’s.  We are glad to have Mr. Purvines helping to guide our path.

The Roseville High School literary magazine is a book!  Mrs. Handling's creative writing class produced some amazing poetry and short stories and art students complemented the writing with some awesome art work.  Art student Zoe Stephens was also recognized.
Granite Bay High School boy’s golf team completed an undefeated season in the always tough Sierra Foothill League.  Here is a link by the Roseville Press Tribune to a nice article on the season. 

The Oakmont High School baseball team claimed the SVC championship last week and they are headed to the playoffs.  Congratulations to Coach Martinez and his team.

The Roseville High School boy’s volleyball team completed an undefeated season in the SVC and are poised for another run at the Section Title. 

Roseville was named as the number one city in the State in a ranking of the best places to raise a family.  Note the impact of our high schools on the ranking! 

Finally, long time former RJUHSD Assistant Superintendent John Montgomery was in town this week to help celebrate Joyce Lude’s retirement.  Retirement is treating him well!

Friday, May 5, 2017

May 5, 2017

On Monday evening, ACSA honored several of our teachers at their annual Teachers who make a Difference awards.  Recognized this year were:

Allie Snyder               Adelante High School
Tyler Patten                  Antelope High School
Ritchey Hodge             Antelope High School
Kay Bacharach             Granite Bay High
Tim Healy                     Granite Bay High
Danny Schauberger      Independence High
Kelly Bohren                 Oakmont High School
Michelle John                Oakmont High School
Ruth Bartlett                  Oakmont High School
Megan Hoppes             Roseville Adult School
Keshila Jones               Roseville High School
Scott Brink                    Roseville High School
Emily Dodds                 Roseville High School
Nancy Holt                   Woodcreek High School
Natasha Schaefer        Woodcreek High School
Congratulations go to former Roseville Tiger Jordan Carrell, who was drafted in the 7th round by the Dallas Cowboys.  It is a terrific honor for Jordan Carrell, the school and for Coach Cunha and the other coaches who worked with Carrell in high school. Jerry Jones secret audio.

Some of the Roseville High front office team stepped up to support one of their own last week.  Assistant Principal Stephanie Malia shed her hair as a result of medical treatment she is receiving.  Principal Dave Byrd and their team shaved their heads to show support!  As Mr. Byrd pleaded, no Breaking Bad jokes please.  The whole school wore blue on Friday (her favorite color) to encourage her as well. Pretty cool to have colleagues and a whole school community who care so much!

The Antelope Dance show last weekend was amazing.  With a cast of over 200 dancers, the crowds came away awestruck at the quality and variety of the performances.  Here are a couple of clips to show you what you missed! 

Here is an interesting statistic 30 of the 32 college players selected in the first round of the NFL draft were multi-sport athletes in high school.  The notion that athletes need to focus on one just sport in order to make it big is just not true!

We have had another banner year in having students achieve the State Seal of Bi-literacy.  We had 377 students earn this honor and 99 of them were former English Learner students.  In a competitive global economy, workers who are bilingual are more competitive and sought after than ever before.  Congratulations to our EL teachers, World Language teachers and support staff who made this possible.

We were all sad to hear this week that long time Woodcreek High Drama teacher Tom Fearon had passed away after a long battle with cancer.  Tom was a talented, caring, committed teacher who was a great colleague as well.  He will be sorely missed.

Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017

Congratulations go to Granite Bay High School.  US News and World Report awarded the school a gold medal and ranked them 76th in State and 423 nationally.  The rankings are based on State tests, AP/IB participation and college readiness.  Granite Bay is the only public non-charter school in the region to receive the gold medal!

It is Academic Merit Award season and it is always a treat to see how many of our students are achieving at really high levels.  I was at the Woodcreek High School AMA’s Monday night and they had over 70 seniors who have a GPA of 4.0 or higher!  It is also interesting to see how many students are choosing colleges from all across the country.  At Oakmont High School, over 60% of the junior class earned recognition!

The Antelope High School Stunt team not only won the CVC League title, they went on to claim the first Sac Joaquin Section title for the sport!  Great job!

Granite Bay High School hosted a screening for FREE – A SURF DOCUMENTARY, on Wednesday night.  The film was produced by a group of students as part of teacher Zach Weidkamp's film production class. I was so impressed with the quality of the film.  It is the story of a Santa Cruz surfing legend, Nathan Acker.  Nathan is now a parent at Granite Bay High School and his daughter was part of the production team.  This project is another example of the power of project based learning.  As the students described their experiences in completing the project, you could see the pride, level of engagement and the mastery of so many work and life skills.  It was awesome!
The impact of Measure D is being felt everywhere.  On Tuesday, the board approved 10 different construction projects, including replacement turf and tracks for the stadiums at Granite Bay High School and Antelope High School,  softball field refurbishing at Oakmont High School and Granite Bay High School, a new roof for Woodcreek High, and a new security system for Roseville High.  The plans for the 6th high school are at the Division of State Architects and we are working on identifying a builder for the new performing arts center at Antelope High School. 

Finally, today is Director of Classified Personnel Sherie Surwillo’s last day of work.  Sherie is retiring after 23 years in our district.  She started at Oakmont High School as an attendance clerk in the early 90’s and moved over to the District Office as the Superintendents Secretary in 1998.  As a new principal to the district in 1995, she provided wise counsel and support to me on countless occasions as I was learning to navigate the district.  She moved over to her current position in 2010.  Sherie is a tireless worker who handles extremely complex and sometimes emotional personnel issues with tact and grace.  She will be sorely missed! We had a very cool celebration on Thursday that brought back Bob Tomasini, Tony Monetti, Larry Brubaker, Larry Peterson and a host of other legends of the district.  Everyone wanted to pay their respects to Mrs. Surwillo!

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21, 2017

Recognition and awards have been arriving almost daily for the past few weeks! 

Gold Ribbon – Oakmont High School, Antelope High School, Granite Bay High School and Roseville High School have been selected as State Gold Ribbon Schools.  This program replaced the old California Distinguished School program.  The schools were recognized for academic excellence and for their work in promoting equity with our partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS).  Woodcreek High School qualified to compete for the award but chose not to participate this year as they were in the middle of their WASC accreditation process.  The CTE programs at Granite Bay and Antelope were recognized as well as the Performing Arts program at Granite Bay.  Check out the link to see the other schools around the State who received recognition.  The site validation committees who visited each campus were blown away by the work being done in our schools!

Honor Roll Schools – Antelope High School and Granite Bay High School received notification this week that they have been selected as State Honor Roll Schools.  The 2016 California Honor Roll is presented by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE). Honor Roll schools will receive recognition in the press as a leader in student achievement and will be provided with a free banner to display on campus.
The 2016 Honor Roll recognizes public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps. For high schools, Honor Roll recognition includes high college readiness in students. This year, the California Honor Roll recognized 1,866 higher performing, higher poverty schools that are distinguished for their academic achievement and for closing achievement gaps.

Sac Bee article by Joe Davidson
Athletics – Woodcreek High School Coach Paul Hayes was selected as the NorCal Coach of the Year for Boy’s Basketball!  Paul, Joe Mazucca and the rest of their staff did an amazing job leading Woodcreek to the State Finals.  Junior Jordan Brown was named the NorCal player of the year and was selected to the All-State first team.  The team had a magnificent season, but I was most proud of the character and class the coaches and players exhibited at the Golden One Center as they came up just a little short in the State Finals.  How we deal with adversity is the real test of character.  The sportsmanship this team demonstrated all season should be celebrated.

I am sad to announce the passing of a great friend to our school district, Rob Maxey.  Rob worked with Campus Life and was instrumental in bringing PointBreak anti-bullying assemblies to our schools.  He was one of the most selfless people I have ever known and he impacted the lives of thousands of high school students. 

(EQ)2 was a huge success!  Thanks go to keynote speaker John Eich and to the scores of people who set up, presented, managed technology and managed the event.  Building trust and strengthening relationships have always been the keys to great schools.  We are discovering that our work around equity is complex and emotional.  But, it is also critical if we are going to prepare every student for success. 

Our AP signups for next year are remarkable.  As one example, AP Human Geography was introduced as a new course just a few years ago.  In 2014-15, we had 93 students take the course.  Next year, there are 739 students signed up!  Amazing!