Friday, September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016

Roseville Adult School is a pivotal part of the community. Over the past several years many English Learners have successfully learned English, taken Citizenship classes and completed their G.E.D. Just last week a new course was launch in collaboration with Sierra College, ESL Bridge to Sierra College. This free 8-week course is designed to prepare English Learner students for ESL college programs as well as an orientation to the college and financial aid options. The students and teachers have built great relationships through this journey!

District Learning Support Specialist Toni Marquez was honored last week by the Latino Leadership Council with their Quetzal award.  She was recognized for her outstanding contributions in education.  Toni works with parents, students, teachers and a wide array of community groups to help students overcome a wide array of obstacles and hurdles on their way to success.  She is a change-maker and it was awesome to see her recognized for her hard work.  

On Wednesday evening Woodcreek High School hosted the annual district-wide College Fair. The event brought over 140 colleges and universities from across the nation! Thousands of families had the opportunity to learn about NCAA, check out a wide array of career industries and get all of their questions answered! For the first time, food and smoothies were sold in the quad, it was a hit! College Reps said that this is one of their favorite College Fairs to attend! The College and Career Center Technicians did a fantastic job planning and organizing this event!

Veronica Davalos, Roseville High School Spanish Teacher
   Q:           Why did you come to this district and/or area?
A:            I was ready for a change and I’d heard lots of wonderful things about RJUHSD that I wanted to be part of this team.

Q:           What do you love to do when you aren’t teaching?
A:           I like to hike and kayak.  I have 3 siblings, all of which live in Bakersfield, CA.  In fact, my whole family lives there.  I love to collect stainglassed lanterns, enjoy baking and cooking (not for myself, as much, but I do enjoy entertaining.)

Q:           Favorite Quote
A:           “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” (Einstein)

I do consider myself an amateur linguist and, when time allows, on Duolingo or out in public attempting to strike up a conversation with random people (in the foreign language).  If I had the means and time, I’d love to be a full-time student….I guess that’s why I’ve gravitated towards working at a high school. I was an elementary teacher for 10 years of my teaching career but was curious to see how kids progressed throughout their educational experience(s). I am fluent in 3 languages: English, Spanish and Italian.  If anyone would like to practice Italian, I’m over in P-20.

Cristina Dobon-Claveau, PBIS Coordinator
Q:        Why did you come to this district and/or area?
 A:         We moved to the Sacramento area 3 years ago from Minnesota for my husband’s job and to get away from the Minnesota winters.  I was a school social worker and PBIS lead for 8 years and since moving to Sacramento, I have been a PBIS Coach and mental health counselor.  I am so excited to work for RJUHSD, one of the only high school districts implementing PBIS district wide, which shows the value this district has for not only premier academics, but for the social and emotional student supports as well! 

Q:           Fun Fact.
A:            I speak fluent Spanish and Italian

Q:           What do you love to do when you aren’t working?
A:           I have 2 little girls and we love to travel and take in all that California has to offer!  I love to cook, play golf and go wine tasting

Q:           Favorite Quote
A:           "Collaborate with people you can learn from" -Pharrell

I’m so excited at the opportunity of working for RJUHSD a district that values the social and emotional side of student life along with the academic!

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016

Several of our students have qualified for recognition as National Merit Semifinalists!  The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognizes these students based on their high scores on the PSAT.  Details about the program can be found here. Among the academic elite in the nation are:
Antelope HS - Morgan Wasler
Granite Bay HS - Younes Mahmoudieh, Emma Petersen, Michaela Wara
Oakmont HS - Nicholas Mecklenberg, Justin Pahkim, Kristen Stefanescu

Roseville High Advanced Culinary & Hospitality students had an amazing day last week where they prepared recipes they developed using Gopal Kapur's "Bags of Life" nutritionally dense starter packets for sampling at Sac Food Bank. They toured the state of the art 120,000 sq. ft. facility which distributes tons of fresh food to over 100 smaller distributors who help feed our local hungry.  Students learned about the background and the career path the General Manager, marketing/communications manager and logistics manager followed. Fox 40 interviewed our students as part of a story they were doing for National Hunger Action Month, it was an exciting day!

Special thanks go to all of the school and community people who came out last Sunday morning for interviews and a photo shoot to help with our Measure D bond effort.  Supervisor Jack Duran, Mayor Carol Garcia, County Superintendent of Schools Gayle Garbolino Mojica, Mel and Carol Hammel are ardent supporters of our district and took time from their busy schedules to help out.  It was a fun event!

I am sad to announce that retired Roseville High teacher Gene Domek  passed away yesterday.  Gene provided 28 years of service at Roseville High School and 42  years of teaching in his career.  He was a local boy who was part of the Christian Brothers high school graduating class of 1967.  After graduating from college, Gene worked at Christian Brothers High School for 13 years before coming to Roseville High School in 1985.  Gene taught everything except physics in the science program at Roseville and coached soccer football and rugby.  Gene was a stellar teacher who made a difference in the lives of thousands of teenagers. One of Gene’s favorite stories was in his first year of coaching at RHS.  In a  football game against Jesuit,  Roseville had the ball and a 6 pt. lead with less than a minute to go.  He called a timeout and subbed in his second and third stringers so they could enjoy being part of the game.  On the first play, the quarterback threw an interception that Jesuit ran back to the 5-yard line.  His defense held Jesuit at the goal line on four consecutive plays to save the game…..and his coaching reputation!  He still chuckled about that game 28 years later.   Many people are unaware that Gene was a true Boy Scout.  He  served as a counselor for  Boy Scout Troop One for 26 years and was still serving as a badge counselor and running summer camps in his retirement.  He lived the boy scout law his entire life.  A scout is; trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave clean and reverent.  So was Gene.  He will be sorely missed.

CaringBridge site:

Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016

I was waiting for a meeting at Granite Bay this week and was wandering down the hallway.  I stumbled across a display of student photo artwork that was breathtaking.  Teacher Amelie Rider’s students are producing amazing work after 4 weeks of instruction.  Very cool!

Oakmont High’s second annual Hall of Fame weekend was amazing.  Here are some pictures from the various events.  Kudo’s go to Dean Perkins, Sondra Myles, the Hall of Fame selection Committee, and OHS faculty members.
Oakmont, Roseville and Antelope football teams are all 2-0 heading into tonight’s games.  Oakmont has won two nail biters, while Roseville and Antelope have dominated in their victories.  Our football games are truly community events with incredible cheer performances, marching bands, dance teams, and a host of other activities going on.  This is really a fun time of year!
The annual Bill Santucci Memorial Golf tournament is just around the corner.  This tournament raises over $20,0000 annually for student scholarships.  100% of the proceeds go to students.  Last year, 25 of our seniors received $1,000 scholarships to help them with their college expenses.  The flyer is attached here if you know anyone who golfs or who would like to contribute to an awesome cause.
I was giving a presentation to the principals of the Roseville City School District on Tuesday and suddenly realized I recognized some familiar faces.  Brandon Blom (Stoneridge Elementary) and Erin Peterson (Blue Oaks Elementary) are former students of mine at Granite Bay High School and they are both principals now!  Made me feel proud (and really, really old)!
Joe Landon, our Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, is at it again.  Joe has worked with our financial consultants to take advantage of historically low-interest rates to refinance some of our old bonds.  This process has saved our taxpayers millions of dollars.  None of this money goes to the school district.  It simply reduces the taxpayer property tax bill for homeowners. Press Release can be viewed here

Friday, September 2, 2016

September 2, 2016

Congratulations to our yearbook, journalism and media programs for their selection as finalists for the prestigious Pacemaker Awards.  These awards are the high school version of the Pulitzer Prize.  Congratulations go to:

Ursus                        - Granite Bay Yearbook, Advisor Bernadette Cranmer
Eye of the Tiger        - Roseville Newspaper, Advisor Bobby Ritter
The Titan Times        - Antelope Magazine, Advisor Pete LeBlanc

As I reported out last week we are a little more crowded than last year, our enrollment across the district took a significant jump over the summer.  We have almost 250 more students on campus today than we anticipated last spring.  The numbers outpace the demographers projections, and the late summer push was something we have not experienced in over a decade.  Improvements in the economy, the natural changeover of neighborhoods, some new construction projects that finished sooner than expected....those are just a few of  a multitude of reasons for the surge of students.  We have added staffing at most of our sites.  In some cases, in order to avoid massive disruption, it will be spring before we can truly balance class loads.  Our demographers are working right now to try to get a better handle on this for next year. 

Oakmont will be hosting their second Hall of Fame induction class this weekend.  The honorees will be recognized at a reception and the Football game on Friday night and will be honored at a luncheon on Saturday. For more information and biographies on the induction class click here information  We will have photos of an amazing group of former Vikings next week! 

The district’s schools had a pretty exciting start to the football season last week! Live scores can be found on our Twitter Feeds! To participate use #RJUHSD

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We are very thankful for our Youth Services Officers (YSO) on our campuses. They have a great rapor with students and staff on campus.  Whenever a serious incident is reported, we have trained law enforcement professionals who spring into action to ensure the safety of our campuses. Thanks to Roseville PD, the Placer County Sheriffs, and the Sacramento County Sheriffs Departments!

Monday September 5th is Labor Day, school will not be in session. 

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!