Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016

Our enrollment is way up!   We have almost 240 more students now than we projected last June.  A surprising number of them are new move ins, people who relocated here in July and early August.  It has created a little havoc with class sizes, but our principals have been madly adding new staff to account for the changes.   

The district welcomed over 25 new certificated employees at the PDC on Monday afternoon’s orientation session. It is exciting and amazing to see the new talent that we have added to our district! 

Adelante High School had a great turnout as they hosted the 2nd annual Alternative Education Open House Mixer on Monday evening. Over 150 people enjoyed a BBQ, awards presentations, informational booths and raffle prizes! Staff from Adelante, Independence, and the Adult School worked together to create a memorable event.  

The South Placer County Women’s Leadership Coalition invited us to their monthly meeting to provide information about Measure D on the November ballot. For those interested, information can be found online at

Roseville Adult School was featured on OTAN for student success story based on Margarito Contreras-Chavez who came to the United States not understanding any English, he wanted to understand English and find a better job. While working to support his family he enrolled in Roseville Adult School’s ESL classes. Through his own effort and perseverance with the help and guidance from RAS staff, he completed the GED preparation program and received his GED. His message to others is that it is never too late to learn English, anything is possible. 

click to play video

This week our architects (DLR Group) presented the renderings for our next comprehensive high school.  They are working to finish all of the construction documents by December.   The renderings are amazing! More information about the 6th High School can be found on our website.

This year we have 17 new teachers throughout the district here’s what we learned this week about Mike Handling, GBHS English Teacher.

Q:           Why did you come to this district and/or area?
A:            I retired from the Army in 2006 and stayed to teach as a civilian for the Army at Ft Huachuca, AZ. In 2012, Jamie and I decided to move back to California so our kids, Amber (13) and Nathan (11) would be closer to family. 

Q:           What do you love to do when you aren’t teaching?
A:            I enjoy playing video games with my son, watching Harry Potter with my daughter, and walking the dogs with my wife while discussing school. Jamie teaches English at Roseville High School.

Q:            Tell us a fun fact about you!
A:             I have slept in Sadam’s Palace after the Thunder Runs into Baghdad in 2003. I have lifted landmines in Bosnia in 1999.

I am so excited to be part of the RJUHSD family. GBHS has been particularly welcoming. I love teaching English as I learned in the Army, as part of Military Intelligence, how important clear written communication is in life. In addition, I am very excited to be able to share my passion for video gaming at GBHS with the creation of the EASports club. Students will be competing on teams of six in online tournaments to show off their skills. –Mike Handling

Favorite Quotes: “Maximum Effort” Deadpool and 
“No one ever drowns in sweat” unknown soldier

Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19, 2016

Anna Marie Clark was selected as a new assistant principal at Roseville High last spring.  She finished her teaching career in style.  First, she was named one of five recipients of the AVID Teacher Advocacy Award this year. It comes with a $10,000 award for our school’s AVID program (see attached)
Second, Anna Marie was asked to speak at the AVID Summer Institute in Sacramento.  The speech is linked here: It’s a pretty powerful story.
Former Assistant Superintendent John Montgomery is still making an impact, even in retirement.  John sold his Rocklin home this summer.  The realtor who sold the property donated part of her commission to the RHS Avid program!  What a great gesture!

Back to School Nights were held at all five comprehensive campuses this week.  I am always impressed at the huge turnout and the energy that vibrates as parents hear and get to meet their student’s teachers.

The Bill Santucci Memorial Golf Tournament is coming up on September 23rd.  All of the money raised by this tournament goes to scholarships for our high school seniors.  Last year, 25 seniors received $1,000 scholarships! Check out the website for more information
Woodcreek junior Jordan Brown is featured in Roseville Magazine and the Roseville Press Tribune, highlighting his recent experience playing internationally with the USA Men's Basketball Under 17 World Championship Team.  Jordan was a key player as the team won the gold medal.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

August 12, 2016

We are back!

We kicked off the year with a rousing day of Professional Development.  Steve Williams and Brad Basham did a sterling job of recognizing our new employees and celebrating a long list of award winners from the 2015-16 school year.  I had the privilege of sharing the district vision and highlighting some of the incredible learning going on in our classrooms.  Guest speaker Roni Habib provided a fantastic keynote where he outlined the brain research that supports the need to play and practice mindfulness.  The breakouts were excellent, a real tribute to our CCAT team.  Special thanks go to Suzanne Laughrea and her team for organizing another great event. 

What started out as a few retirees taunting me as they went out for breakfast on the first day of school has become a cool tradition.  Some legendary teachers, counselors and support staff who really shaped the whole culture of our district, still gather together regularly to tell war stories and to keep in touch. 

The football season has not even started yet, but we already have great news.  Roseville High School senior tight end Jimmy Jaggers, after considering hundreds of offers, has verbally committed to UCLA. It will be fun watching him on television as he competes for the Bruins. 

Give a hug to our technology folks.  During the summer “break”, they installed a brand new district-wide phone system, converted a ton of classrooms over to Chrome Boxes and giant monitors, and also managed the normal flow of new computers and new software.  They are amazing! Also, each of our campuses look amazing due to the hard work of the maintenance and grounds crews.  Thanks for making sure our kids and staff came back to beautiful campuses.

We have experienced a surge of new enrollments over the summer.  We are not sure exactly why, but each of our schools have had an unusually large number of new students arrive.  It will take a few weeks to get additional teachers on board so we can ease the load on classes.  Please be patient as everyone is working at warp speed to respond. 

The first day of school was electric!  Senior Sunrise celebrations, rallies, guest speakers, colorful class shirts and even a teacher welcome back dance production made for an amazing, welcoming, start to our school year.  We are off and running!

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

We have just completed an amazing school year.  More students in the class of 2016 are college and career ready than at any time in our history.  It has been a memorable year of incredible achievement in athletics, the arts, and in Career Technical Education.  We are using more technology to accelerate learning than ever before and we have made incredible strides in transitioning to the Common Core.  Most importantly, we have done this together!  Thank you all for the incredible hard work, commitment and passion you bring every day to make a difference in the lives of our teenagers. 

Project Lead the Way at Antelope High School continues to push the envelope on making learning “real”.  For the first time, an engineering team was invited to pitch their invention to real venture capitalists.  The invention, a hospital wristband that monitors the patients vitals in real time, is amazing.  The chance to pitch the idea and to get feedback from the real money people in the business world is priceless.  Congrats!

Antelope High School Seniors went the extra mile to say thank you this year.  In caps and gowns, seniors traveled to their old elementary  and middle schools to thank their teachers and to provide some hope and motivation to young students.  They also made some surprise visits around Antelope High School to share thank you notes they had written to their own teachers who helped them along their path.  Good Day Sacramento provided great coverage of this and it was featured on their evening news programs as well. Click here to watch.

Oakmont High School athletes shined at the section track meet.  Oakmont High School won the Division 2 section title for the first time.  Isiah Holmes was the star of the meet, winning the long jump, triple jump and high jump. 

As mentioned last week, several of our employees were recognized at the  Placer County Employee of the Year awards last week.  Here is a slide show featuring some of our stellar folks. 
Click to watch
County Superintendent and Roseville High School grad Gayle Garbolino-Mojica stopped by to present the county awards to Teacher of the year Dean Gadway of Roseville High School and Antleope Custodian George Beltran.  
Click to watch
About a month ago, we sent an informational pamphlet to every household in the district to let folks know how we are doing and to seek some input on important projects the district is considering as part of a possible bond.  A second mailer went out this week, sharing the results of the surveys we received and notifying voters that the board will be considering the bond proposal at the June 14th board meeting.  
Click picture to expand

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016

On Monday evening, we celebrated all of the terrific employees nominated by their districts for classified employees of the year and the teacher of the year.  On Friday, we were thrilled to learn we have two who have been selected to represent all of Placer County at the State level.  Congratulations go to Roseville High’s Dean Gadway who was selected as the Placer County Secondary Teacher of the Year.  Antelope High School Custodian George Beltran was selected as the Maintenance/Custodial Classified Employee of the year.  Both gentlemen will be considered now for State honors.  Antelope High School students made this video for George

Tuesday morning, Granite Bay High School Business program of study hosted their annual Granite Bay Chevy in partnership with Folsom Chevrolet. Twenty years ago, Folsom Chevrolet owner, Marshal Crossan approached Instructor Jeanne Sampson with program dedicated to educating high school students. Originally funded by General Motors as the recession hit that funding went away. Having seen the success and impact on students Marshal Crossan teamed up with Granite Bay Teachers to make sure that the program continues to educate students on real-life car buying and selling experience. Students work with the dealership to prepare and setup Granite Bay Chevrolet in the quad at the high school. 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. 

The AMGEN Tour of California cycling race is being conducted this week.  Some of the elite professionals in the sport started with the first leg in San Diego on Monday, continuing with daily events and participating in an 18 mile leg Friday in Folsom.  We are really proud that 2015 Roseville High graduate Neilson Powless is competing!  On Wednesday, he received the Best Young Rider jersey for the least amount of time elapsed to that point in the race. A distance runner in high School, Powless has achieved great notoriety and reached the professional level on his bike. 

Where did this year go?  That seems to be a regular sentiment as the spring has flown by and we are a week from graduation!  The past week has seen a steady parade of end of the year concerts, dance shows, AMA’s and other award events.  Get ready for graduation!

It has been an amazing spring season for our athletic teams. Here is a quick run down.

Boy’s Volleyball – In an unbelievable finish to the season, Roseville played Granite Bay in the Division 1 section finals Thursday night.  GB won the first two sets.  Facing elimination, Roseville won the third set and came back to claim the fourth set 27-25. Granite Bay prevailed 15-13 in the final game to claim the title.  It was everything one can ever hope for in a great athletic contest.  We are so proud of both programs.  Great season!

Baseball – Oakmont advanced to the second round in Division 2.  In Division 1,  Woodcreek advanced to the third round in the winners bracket with a huge 8-3 win over Sheldon and one of the top pitching prospects in the nation.  GB is still alive in the losers bracket after a tough 3-2 loss to Elk Grove.

Softball – Woodcreek is seeded 2nd in Division 1 and Roseville is the 2nd seed in Division 2. Both teams are playing in the second round this weekend.

Girl’s Soccer – Woodcreek advanced to the second round in Division 1 and Granite Bay lost 1-0 against Del Oro who took the Division 2 section title on Saturday.

Boy’s Tennis – Granite Bay advanced to the semi-finals in Division one and Oakmont made the playoffs in Division 2.

Boy’s Golf – Granite Bay claimed second In Division 1.

Swimming and Diving – Granite Bay claimed their third straight girl’s varsity championship with Woodcreek finishing 6th.  The Granite Bay Boy’s team finished second, with Antelope 9th  and Woodcreek 12th

Track and Field  Oakmont Boys won their first ever Section Championship yesterday, with individual Sections winners in the High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump and 3200 Meters!

It has indeed been a stellar year! Check out updates and pictures on our Twitter Feed

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

Last Thursday, the district held our annual retirement celebration out at Woodcreek Oaks.  Steve Williams, Brad Basham and Sherie Surwillo did a spectacular job chronicling the amazing careers of our retiring certificated and classified staff.  Thanks and congratulations go to: 

John Montgomery, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction
Gary Stevens, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services
Chris Grimes, Director of Facilities
Tom Fearon, Teacher, Woodcreek High School
Gary Casagrande, Teacher, Roseville High School
Lynn Shelley, Teacher, Roseville High School
Cynthia Clark, Speech Therapist, Challenge High School
Joni King, Teacher, Woodcreek High School
Stacy Mogensen, Paraeducator, Oakmont High School
Helen Guzenski, Administrative Assistant, Granite Bay High School
Paula Neves, Teacher, Roseville Adult School
Cynthia Kendall-Smith, Vocational Placement Specialist, Roseville High School
Rosemary Monroe Lutz, Teacher, Roseville Adult School
Angela Sutton, Accounting Technician, District Office

After a State-wide search, we were pleased to announce that, Assistant Principal Becky Rood has been selected as the new Principal at Woodcreek High School.  She was the overwhelming choice of both panels.  Becky started at Woodcreek in 2002 as a math teacher and in 2006 was appointed as an Assistant Principal.  She has been a pivotal member of the Woodcreek Leadership team for over a decade as the school has become one of the top schools in Northern California.  She brings great expertise in every element of school leadership, years of quality experience, and most importantly, a genuine passion and love for the Woodcreek staff, students and community.  She will be an outstanding principal!

The annual AVID Senior Celebration was a spectacular event.  As a special feature this year, retiring Assistant Superintendent John Montgomery was recognized for his contributions to AVID over the years.  John was responsible for bringing AVID to Roseville High School when he was the principal there and oversaw the growth and development of the program, eventually leading to RHS being selected as an AVID National Demonstration Site.  

Our spring sports teams have had amazing finishes to their league seasons.  We will have a playoff update next week as our teams are surging into the playoffs.

Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

The Granite Bay High SchoolRobotics Team competed recently in the FIRST Robotics Las Vegas Regional. At this regional,  there were 50 teams from China, Brazil, Germany, Denmark, Mexico and teams from Nevada, Arizona, California, and Colorado. The Granite Bay Robotics Team finished the qualifying matches in 27th place. The team then went on the most epic run through the quarterfinals, semifinals, and into the finals to come up just a bit short and finished 2nd. The Team qualified for their 3rd World Championships in the last four years. They competed in St. Louis last week with over 6000 teams from across the globe.  Amazing!

On Monday night, teachers from across the region were recognized at the ACSA Teachers who Make a Difference celebration. Congratulations go to RJUHSD teachers:

Antelope High School: Lisa Stanley, Kristen Williams and Nicki Mitchell
Adelante High School: Zenia Treto
Granite Bay High School: Andrea Rothman, Jeff Evans, Robert Pritchard
Independence High School: Karen Marazzo
Oakmont High School: Alex Wurden, Janette Snyder and Breanna Hutchinson 
Roseville Adult School: Cami Cordell
Roseville High School: Erin Granucci, KC Wachs and Denise Weis
Woodcreek High School: Scott Jackson, Keith Rogers and Connie Sutliff

These fine educators make a difference every day in the lives of their students.  It was awesome to see them recognized for all of their hard work!

Congratulations go to our outstanding media, journalism and yearbook programs!  Antelope and Granite Bay have recently been recognized by both State and National organizations for excellence.  The Roseville Journalism program has collected some impressive recognition this year as well.  We are blessed with gifted teachers/advisors who challenge their students to produce work that is professional in quality. 

Periscope!  Talk about cool new technology!   On Thursday, I was tied up at the office last week and could not get over to Roseville High School to see the student 20% presentations.  So, Shannon Blockton set up a camera and linked it to Periscope.  With this app, I was able to watch the presentations from my office and from the boardroom (on my phone).  Very cool tool.  Parents could check in and see their kids performance, speech, etc.

Congratulations to Antelope High School PLTW Biomedical students Seth McCann, Kelly Hongkam and Jane Miller for placing in the top three at the UC Davis Biotechnology challenge. Check out the amazing websites they developed!

Kelly and Jane’s website:

California has produced the most NFL Draft picks over the past 10 years. A total of 319 picks played their high school ball in California.
Among the traditional football powers, those with the most draftees:
  • Long Beach Poly (7)
  • Crenshaw of Los Angeles (6)
  • De La Salle of Concord (6)
  • Granite Bay (5)
  • Mission Viejo (4)
  • Grant of Sacramento (3)
  • Mater Dei of Santa Ana (3)
  • Centennial of Corona (2)
  • St. John Bosco of Bellflower (1)
Read more cool facts and see a full list of the players drafted: