Monday, April 30, 2012

Pacific Grove Middle schoolers continue working for orphans in Rwanda

Members of the Children 2 Children Club of Pacific Grove Middle School remain hard at work raising funds for the Remera Mbogo orphanage in Rwanda. Last week, the students had the opportunity to participate in a video conference with their adopted "brothers and sisters" and get an update on the difference their making in the Rwandan orphans lives.

Moira Mahr, Children 2 Children club advisor, gave me an update about the students efforts. 

Students this year "took it upon themselves to raise money ... specifically for mattresses," she wrote in an email. "The orphans sleep on foam (pads) that barely exists because they are so old.  Also, kids sleep 3-4 to a bed, sharing one blanket.  When my students heard this from Lori Leyden, they decided this would be their focus for the year -- $40 per mattress, 100 mattresses hoping for $4000."

I visited the Pacific Grove Middle School last year (read the story here), and since then, they've held several bake sales that netted about $1,500; they've collected bottled and cans to be recycled, and they've also hosted a "penny drive" that got them $1,300.

In sum, they're raising a lot of money for the Rwandan youth. They're also getting to know them: the club sent T-shirt to Rwanda and the local students are learning to sing Happy Birthday in Kinyarwandan. 

"Because of the efforts of the C2C club, the government of Rwanda has now recognized the orphanage," Mahr said. " Because the kids supplied electricity, computers and Internet, they were put on the map!  Rev. Thoms (the orphanage's director) has applied to create a vocational school, and now a community center to teach vocational skills to local residents.

"Finally, my 8th grade AVID students have committed to raising money to send one student from the orphanage to college.  The cost will be $1500 which includes room and board, books, tuition, and even money for his family to survive without him.  The student, Matthieu, graduated from the orphanage first in his class, but is the poorest of the poor.  His mother was killed in the genocide, and his father became mentally incapacitated by the atrocities.  Matthieu is the youngest of five, but as the only son, so is expected to support the family.  He walked 2 hours, each way to the orphanage, tutored to supply his family with food, and then did homework.  Hearing this incredible story, my students have decided to raise the initial $1,500, and now we will be working with PGHS AVID classes to continue.  Whew!  I am totally excited and totally exhausted too!"

When I saw Pacific Grove students communicate with their Rwandan siblings I got the goosebumps. It was very touching. So I wanted to give you an update of what these students are doing, along with their teacher, to improve the lives of some special children on the other side of the world.

If you want to contribute to their efforts, contact Moira Mahr at or 646-6568 x343

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Of CSTs, dead frogs, and instant communication

So, a 13-year-old girl who I love more than life itself posed next to a dead frog she and her classmates had presumably just dissected in biology class. This wonderful child is smiling broadly, like she does in all the photos everyone takes of her (she's very popular) giving a thumbs up, right next to the eviscerated amphibian.

Maybe it's because I'm a vegetarian (have been for the last 20 years). Or maybe it's because I'm an adult, and adults don't know the fun they're missing. But something about that photo doesn't sit right with me.

I'm sure my wonderful 13-year-old didn't think any of this: she was having a great time in school with her friends (hey, I love it that she likes school, gets good grades, she's brilliant, what can I say). But I'm afraid that this seemingly innocent past time -- documenting every single moment of your life -- can get out of hand when left unchecked.

Yeah, maybe it's a leap, but think of U.S. soldiers posing with Afghan corpses. Is it a stretch to think that, when we don't teach our children what's OK and what's not, they'll be snapping completely inappropriate photos next? And uploading them on tumbler?

When do we intervene?

We're in completely uncharted territory here. When I was growing up, we only had one camera at home -- a very fancy one I was forbidden to touch. Not only that, but film was extremely expensive to buy and develop, so you could not waste it child's play.

These days, photos are like pollution, you can't escape them. But because we were not raised with them, we don't now how to deal with them. We don't know how to make sure our children have a good sense of what's appropriate and what's not when it comes to documenting their lives for public consumption.

Just this week, the California Department of Education discovered that at least 100 students from 34 school districts were taking pictures of the CSTs and posting them up on social media sites. A big testing nono. Not surprisingly, the CDE is an uproar. For the students, it's just an Instagram moment. For CDE, is a security breach. (My colleague John Fensterwald wrote a good story about it here).

The moral of the story? Follow your young ones on Faceme, Tweetme, Instagratificateme. Question their taste. If you're not sure, ask them, do you think this is appropriate? It's not just about scolding them, it's about having them develop a sense of what's right and what's wrong. We don't want to do the thinking for them. We just want them to learn to question that cool photo before it goes public to the world.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Could a Hartnell president be named Wednesday?

Hartnell trustees will discuss the presidential search at a special meeting Wednesday, May 2. I'm wondering if they'll be ready to announce the next president. 

Sources tell me trustees have visited at least two campuses in the process to vet their candidates -- Berkeley and West Hills -- and "the board plans to make an announcement of the selected candidate to assume the President/Superintendent position in early May," Hartnell Board President Erica Padilla-Chavez told me last week via an email message.

The three finalists are Willard Lewallen, president of West Hills College; Betty Inclan, president of Berkeley City College, and Christopher Villa, vice president of Student Services of Fresno City College.

Marina high set to launch new academies

Administrators with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District are inviting community members to become "partners" in the development of their three SAILS academies: The Marina Academy of Sustainable Science and Technology (MASST), the Marina Academy of Scholarly Arts, Innovation and Creativity (MoSAIC)and the Marina Academy of Applied Technology and Engineering (MAATE).

A parent information meeting will take place after the "community partners" meeting.

 • The Marina Academy of Sustainable Science and Technology (MASST) will offer a sustainable science and technology program of study for students ready for Geometry in their freshman year, or Algebra II in their sophomore year. The program will offer a capstone during the junior/senior years through a partnership with Moss Landing Marine Labs.

 • The Marina Academy of Scholarly Arts, Innovation and Creativity (MoSAIC) will offer students a program of study focused on the visual, performing and media arts.

 • The Marina Academy of Applied Technology and Engineering (MAATE) will offer students a program of study focused on science, technology, engineering and math.

The Community Partners meeting is an invitation to local business, industry and educational institutions to become involved in the design and development of learning experiences that will help students connect the classroom to the real world.

For more information about the Marina SAILS Academies, please visit their webpage here.  Or attend the community partners meeting: Wednesday, May 2, from 5:30 to 6:30 The parent information meeting: Wednesday, May 2, a 7 p.m. At Marina High, 298 Patton Parkway, Marina.

Open house for Hartnell's diesel technology program

Curious about diesel engines? The Hartnell heavy duty diesel program will have an open house Saturday to show potential students what interesting skills they could learn in just 18 months. Get an overview of Hartnell’s Heavy Duty Diesel Program, meet the instructors, current students, and graduates, and enjoy classroom presentations, displays of equipment, and hands-on demonstrations of equipment and tools. Students in the Heavy Duty Diesel Technology Program can earn a certificate in just three semesters and be ready to work in this high-demand industry. Students are employed by farm equipment dealers, independent equipment repair shops, construction firms, diesel injection equipment repair shops, truck dealerships, truck fleets, and bus lines. A Heavy Duty Diesel Technology career often leads to positions in equipment and part sales, as well as in management positions throughout these industries. Open house takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Center for Advanced Technology at the Alisal Campus, 1725 E. Alisal St., Salinas. For more information, please contact Hartnell instructor Valentin Rodriquez, Center for Advanced Technology, 831-595-2707,

More Gates Millennium scholars from Monterey County

Three students attending student outreach programs at Cal State Monterey Bay have been named Gates Millenium scholars, according to CSUMB. Guillermo Alcauter was born in Michoacan, Mexico, and his family migrated to the United States when he was seven years old. He is the youngest of 10 siblings. His father works in the fields picking lettuce. Guillermo attended Soledad High School and will be the first to go to a four-year university. He will double major in Architecture and Civil Engineering at UC Berkeley. Edgar Garcia was born in Mexico, his family migrated to the US when he was 9 years old. He is the oldest of 3 siblings. He attends Watsonville High School. Edgar plans to do eight years at Brown University and enter the Liberal Medical Education (PLME) Program that allows him to combine liberal and medical studies. He hopes to return to Watsonville as a Family Doctor.. Daniel Dasilva was born in Watsonville and attends Watsonville High School. He was raised by his mother after his father passed away when he was very young. He will be attending UCLA and major in Political Science. Employees from CSUMB's TRIO programs have worked with these students throughout their high school careers and helped them realize their academic goals. Four students from Monterey County have been named Gates Millennium scholars so far, including Magaly Zagal, a senior at Alisal High. I'll find out if there's more once I get the Gates people call me back....

York and Santa Catalina students to Vienna for nonproliferation conference

Students from Santa Catalina High School and York High School in Monterey are among those chosen to attend the Spring 2012 Student-Teacher Conference of the Critical Issues Forum, April 30-May 2 in Vienna. The Critical Issues Forum is an educational program managed by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Students from five U.S. high schools, five Russian high schools in closed nuclear cities, and one school from Bosnia & Herzegovina, along with nearly a dozen Austrian high school students, are scheduled to present their findings on this year’s topic of “Nuclear Safety and Security.” The conference is being held as a side event to the 2012 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee, giving students the opportunity to experience international diplomacy firsthand. The conference culminates a year-long program designed to increase high school students’ awareness of nonproliferation and disarmament issues and enhance critical thinking skills. During this conference, students will provide creative presentations on their research and solutions for enhancing nuclear safety and security. I've had the opportunity to attend the conference in the past, and it's truly remarkable to see these young people at work, so passionately engaged in such important topics. To watch a video of the program, click here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hartnell and its budget process

Budget season is upon us (did it ever leave?????) and Hartnell held one forum Monday and a budget study session Tuesday to begin looking at what's in store for them financially. It's not going to be pretty. Administrators have been dipping into reserves for a few years now to keep a steady number of classes, but that may be harder to pull off in the future. And if Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed tax measure fails, forget about it. At Tuesday's budget session, Trustee Bill Freeman repeatedly shouted that he's not going to allow classes for students to be cut. Well, that's precisely what the chancellor of the Community College System is proposing. So how will Hartnell (or any college, for that matter) balance the budget without reducing the number of classes they offer when they get less money for classes, is going to be mighty interesting. Stay tuned.

Magaly Zagal, a senior at Alisal High, a Gates Millennium scholar

Magaly Zagal, a senior from Alisal High, is the first Gates Millennium Scholar to be chosen from her alma mater. Magaly, way to go!

Every year the Gates Millennium Scholars program selects 1,000 outstanding students, and this year, the program received 24,000 applications, making it the largest and most competitive group of the candidates in the program's history. Out of those 24,000 applicants, Magaly Zagal, became the first ever recipient of the Millennium Gates Scholarship for Alisal High School.

Students selected are eligible for fellowship funding for their education through the master’s and doctoral levels at the colleges of their choice.

Magaly Zagal is graduating in three years with great accomplishments.

“We are very excited to see that she is completing high school in three years and with such accomplishments” said Dan Burns, Alisal High School principal.

Speaking of poetry, Monterey County high school poets to be honored

Student poets from throughout Monterey County will be honored Saturday April 28 at 2 p.m. at the Monterey Public Library, where they will receive diplomas, cash awards, and books of potry. And of course, the honorees will regale the audience with their poetry.

Additionally, an anthology celebrating the work of contributing students will be published by the Cherry Center For the Arts, which co-presents the program. The poetry awards are held in conjunction with the Cherry Center’s annual high school art exhibit, Thinking Out Loud. The poetry awards have been established to recognize and promote excellence in high school poets and to develop an interest in creative expression through language. The awards are open to the public.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Attacking the boogiemath head on

So you're going into college and are afraid of the big math hairy monster? Well, I've heard the monster is actually as sweet as a pussycat, and that Hartnell teachers do wonders to help you tame it -- or your fears, which is just the same.

Enrollment is now open for the two-week Hartnell College Math Academy, and you only have about two weeks left! For more information, call 770-6162. Here here for their flyer.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pacific Grove High earns national distinction for its yearbook

Sea Urchin yearbook, Pacific Grove High School, has been recognized for excellence and featured in the 2012 Gotcha Covered Look Book produced by Jostens, Minnesota-based company of all things school memorabilia.

The Sea Urchin was created by the 2011-2012 Pacific Grove Yearbook Staff under the direction of Kenny Ottmar, Pacific Grove High School’s yearbook adviser. The book was recognized for its design, photos, and creativity.

“The achievement is reflective of all the hard work that the yearbook class puts in on a daily basis. Their creative minds continually amaze me,” said Kenny Ottmar, Pacific Grove Yearbook Adviser.

The Pacific Grove Sea Urchin was one of only 400 yearbooks selected from approximately 3,000.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MPUSD solar suitcases find a home

The "solar suitcase" project led by Alan Jensen of the Central Coast High school is shinning so brightly, shades are in order. Jensen and his team of high schoolers have enlisted three volunteers to deliver the suitcases to Africa -- or maybe one to Haiti.

The group will have a special graduation ceremony May 20 at Spanish Bay -- courtesy of the Pebble Beach Company, Jensen said. He's hoping Dr. Laura Stachel, co-founder of We Care Solar, the company who designed the solar suitcases, will be part of the celebration!

Seaside High is looking for volunteers for "A Night of Giving"

On May 18, Seaside High supporters will host a prime rib dinner and silent auction fundraiser at the Monterey Elks Lodge. Proceeds will support students with extra-curricular activities such as sports. Tickets are already being sold at $30 at the school's office.

A volunteer meeting has already taken place, but when you're planning such a big event, I'm sure more will be coming. Help is needed with selling tickets, the silent auction, decorating & set up, and entertainment.

For more information, contact Hilary York or Lori Miller at or at the school's counseling office.

Eyeing more taxes in Carmel and Salinas

** UPDATE. I stand corrected. The Carmel Unified special meeting is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 19. Thanks to alert reader Marry3000 for the correction.

Administrators with the Carmel Unified School district will host a special meeting THURSDAY to explain how the proceeds from their 2005 bond have been used. They'll also have a cost/benefit analysis of the remaining projects -- some of which are yet to be built. All these eyeing a potential bond to complete some improvements officials still would like to see. And perhaps convince voters their projects are worthwhile.

The special meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Carmel Middle School library, 4380 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. While some people seem

I detect increased eagerness from administrators and public officials to ask the voters to tax themselves in benefit of schools and students. Both the Monterey Peninsula Unified and the Salinas Union High school districts are exploring possibilities of tax measures. And there's already signs voters are not excited about the idea.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Volunteering for the environment and young people

I had no idea I was going to become a "crew leader" when I showed up to volunteer to clean up Cesar Chavez park in Salinas on Saturday. But there I was, bleary eyed -- 8 a.m. is very early for a reporter -- and practically one of the few adults to "lead" about a dozen high school students, who needed to log the hours for the community service.

It was a beautiful morning. A bit chilly, overcast, but pleasant enough for the task at hand. No rain, thank heavens.

Two things became immediately apparent. Young people need all the guidance they can get, from willing, caring adults. The second thing: by the time teenagers reach certain age -- when they're too cool, too hip -- they're beyond guidance. They're either on a good path already, or it's going to take gigantic efforts to steer them back.

So this is my advice for the week: go clean a park. It's earth day, we're lucky we have tons of open space in our beautiful county, and these parks need all the TLC they can get. Take advantage of Monterey County Clean Up day, coming up Saturday, April 21. More information here.

Our young people also need lots of TLC. It's never too late to set a good example for them.

To parcel tax or not

Salinas High Union School District will be studying tonight the possibility of placing a parcel tax in their ballot. It really isn't a surprising development: with state funds drying up, school districts are looking for a way to make up shrinking sources of money.

Monterey Peninsula Unified officials are also studying the issue. And contrary to one of my reader's beliefs, I'm not for or against parcel taxes. I'm just cognizant of the crunch schools are in, along with the increased demands by parents and public. Something's gotta give, so what will?

If you're interested in the presentation about the Salinas Union parcel tax, the meeting will begin at 5:30 pm. at the district's office, 431 W. Alisal, Salinas.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Washington Middle School in Salinas turns 75!

There will be an open house, band and choir performances, and students from the 1936 class at the 75th anniversary celebration of Washington Middle School (formerly Washington Junior High)

The celebrations on April 19 will also include student-led tours at 10am and 12pm. The students will celebrate with an after noon carnival and field day.

There will be a no-host Spaghetti Dinner in the Cafeteria from 4:30pm – 6:30pm, proceeds support student activities. Music performances will begin at 5:30pm. Beginning at 6:15pm, in the auditorium, Superintendent Jim Earhart and Principal Judith Peterson will welcome all former, current, and future Broncos, parents and community members. Those in the community who attended Washington Middle School will be able to visit classrooms that will showcase school archives that will hopefully allow alumni to relive the Washington experience and reconnect with the past as we show off our future.

For more information about the event, click here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Seaside honors their high achievers

Fresh from spring break, Seaside feted their honor students at a mid-year achievement ceremony on April 2: students in the honor roll, students who earned second honors, students who've made a turnaround. The school also recognized Mel Mason for his contributions to the school and the community in general.

"It’s part of the shifting of the culture of Seaside High," said Principal Mary White. "We have a strong community, great kids, and we're putting focus on what this is all about, which is having success in school."

Students in the "Imagine College" program, which guarantees them $4,000 for their college education if they meet a slew of conditions, also were recognized. In total, about 300 students were honored at the much-talked about ceremony.

"It’s one big great day, the kids love it, kids now now it's possible" to go to college, White said.

PGUSD Ralph Porras, superintendent of the year

The Small School Districts Association has awarded Ralph Porras, superintendent of the Pacific Grove Unified School District, the Charlie Binderup Small District Superintendent of the Year Award.

Porras has served the students and families of Pacific Grove USD for more than five years and has become a well-respected leader in the community. He is a man of his word, demonstrated even in difficult situations. He is admired countywide and treats all people - students, parents, community leaders and colleagues - with dignity and respect.

At Monterey County Superintendents Council meetings, Ralph provides valuable and insightful information on current statewide issues. He enhances cross-district planning and volunteers frequently to provide assistance to other school district leaders.

Ralph has also become well known statewide, serving in several capacities with the Association of California School Administrators. He serves as a representative to ACSA's Region 10 and on the statewide ACSA Board of Directors, where he works collaboratively to support Monterey County and California's educational leaders, and ensures all students have the essential skills and knowledge needed to excel.

-- Linda Irving, superintendent/principal
San Antonio Union Elementary School District
Executive board member of the Small Schools Districts Association

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Seaside, Carmel, winners in FIRST Robotics competition!

The First Robotics Competition of Silicon Valley took place March 29-31 at San Jose State University, and two Monterey County teams earned top honors for their creativity and cooperative spirit.

The Seaside High Auto Tech class earned the "coopertition" award. Check their photos here.

Carmel High School students received the most creative award. Here's their photos.

Students from schools around the region competed in the Rebound Rumble. Robots were built and programmed by the students to move, pick-up a basketball, and shoot baskets. If you've never attended one, robotics competition offer students a chance to go wacky, very much in the spirit of the area and Steve Jobs!

We have so much talent and creativity in our midst, I would not be surprised if more teams from the area received awards. Let me know who they are so I can add them to my list.

All the going ons at CSUMB -- and student scholars!

There's film, there's theater, there's provocative speakers, there's just so much going on at CSUMB!

And no, I'm not getting paid to do PR for them. I'm just genuinely impressed.

This month is jam packed. Not only are they hosting lots of activities related to "Sexual Awareness Month" -- addressing sexual assault stereotype, prevention, and a slew of other related topics -- but they're also hosting a series of films that celebrate organized labor. It's Reel Work, and it has some stories that promise to be very interesting. Occupy, anybody?

In between all that, students do have time to do research!

Five student projects will represent the university at the 26th annual CSU Student Research Competition at Long Beach State May 4 and 5.

In Long Beach, the chosen students will make 10-minute oral presentations before juries of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, colleges and universities in California. The judges also review each student’s research paper.

The purpose of the competition is to focus attention on the accomplishments of students engaged in significant research and creative activity in all academic disciplines across the 23-campus CSU system.

The students selected to represent CSUMB are:

Graduate student:
• Bart Kowalski, Coastal and Watershed Science & Policy, “Effects of landscape covariates on the distribution of mammalian carnivores on Fort Ord," faculty adviser Dr. Fred Watson


• Sara Banco, psychology, “Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors of Serious Juvenile Offenders from Parental Substance Using Homes," faculty adviser Dr. Jill Yamashita

• Melissa Powell, psychology, "Familistic and Individualistic Values of Emerging Adults Across Cultures," faculty adviser Dr. Jennifer Dyer-Seymour

• Emily Roncase, biology, "Directed mutagenisis for the identification of regulatory phosphate-binding sites on the auxin transport protein ABCB19 in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana," faculty adviser Dr. Henrik Kibak

• Sarah Whiteford, kinesiology, "Effects of Isometric Squats on Vertical Jump in Male Recreational Club Athletes," faculty adviser Dr. Kent Adam

Good luck to the student scholars. You're making Monterey proud!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

History day winners advancing to state finals

Yes, Monterey County History day took place a few weeks ago, but the winners are yet to go to the state finals in Riverside at the end of April, so the story's still quite relevant.

Plus, the student winners worked so hard, they deserve the recognition.

More than 158 participants took part in Monterey County History Day on March 17. The event, co-sponsored the Lyceum of Monterey County and the Monterey County Office of Education, was held at All Saints Day School.

Student participants demonstrated their individual interests and research skills in creating exhibits, websites, performances and documentaries on the theme Revolution, Reaction and Reform in History. The event was judged by over 30 volunteers from throughout Monterey County.

Here's the winners:

Group Exhibit:
Justin Quario and Raynard Palting, “IPad, the Third Category”
Ben Uslar, Summer Ingham and Hanna Montasser, “Women’s Suffrage”

Individual Exhibit:
Molly Herro, “Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary”
Julia Hwang, “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire”

Group Documentary:
Alex Rodriguez, Evan Simpson and Cruzie Hernandez, “The Cuban Revolution”
Audrey Hungridge, Akila Rajesh and Anjali Hariday, “War of Peace”

Individual Documentaries:
Amelia Rider, “CGI: Digital Special Effects””
Cassidy Hausmann–Mason, “Fighting Fire with Knowledge”

Historical Paper:
Kapil Sinha, “The Sepoy Rebellion, the First Independence Movement in India”

Emilia Siletto, “Revolution in the Fields”

Individual Website:
Ben Weber, “McDonald’s and the Fast Food Revolution”
Alyssa Anderson, “ Harlem Renaissance”
Honorable Mention: Grace Baker, “Rogers and Hammerstein”

Special awards were given in the following categories:

Women in History:
Betsy Sugar, “Zaha Hadid”
Audrey Grace Phillips, Cameron Deisroth, Annalysse Servin, Sierra Strutz and Austin Adessa: “Women in the Military”
Ben Uslar, “Women’s Suffrage”

History of Europe Award:
Nicole Granat, “The Polish Revolution”
Junie Min and Charlotte Bairey, “Valkerie”

Primary Source Award:
Alex Rodriguez, Evan Simpson and Cruzie Hernandez, “The Cuban Revolution”
Sofia Brown de Lopez, “The National Parks”
Amelia Rider, “CGI Digital Special Effects”
Molly Herro, “Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary”

Popular Culture Award:
Fionna Jensen, Dominique Se’Va’Aetasi, Kaelene Jensen, Kaleb Pattawi and Alexander Labindalaua, “One Burger at a Time”
Ben Weber, “McDonald’s and the Fast Food Revolution”
Madeleine Fontenay, “Hollywood and the Depression”

Monterey County Historical Advisory Commission:
Molly Herro, “Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary”

Family History Award:
Nicole Granat, “The Polish Revolution”
Tyler Boylan, “The Mexican Revolution”
Will Lansbury, “George Lansbury: English Labour Movement”

French Culture Award:
Kevin Matsumoto, “Vive la France”

Professor Barry Fell Memorial , Historical Controversies Award:
Savannah Foster and Sarah Arnow, “Evolution”
Shalaya Sierra, Erin Thompson and Daisy Valdez, “From the Dark into the Light”
Emily Heuck, “The Parthenon Marbles”

Medical History Award:
Maddie Casper, “Germ Theory
Madeleine Powley, “Hand Washing”

African American History:
Henri Pratt, “Jackie Robinson”
Alyssa Anderson, “The Harlem Renaissance”

Asian American History:
Genevieve Leedy, “Japanese Internment”

Latin American History Award:
Kevin Barnard, “Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution”
Tyler Boylan, “The Mexican Revolution”
Drew Sharek, “The Cuban Missile Crisis”

Military History Award:
Emily Latchford, “Old English Castles”
Matthew Luch, “The V2 Rocket”

Individual in History Award:
Kevin Barnard, “Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution”
Elise Cricchio, “Balanchine’s Revolution”
Eliza Garcia, “Coco Chanel”

The Arts in History Award:
Grace Baker, “Rogers and Hammerstein”
Samantha Garner and Destiny Horne, “String Instruments”
Alyssa Anderson, “The Harlem Renaissance”

Civil Rights Award:
Emilia Siletto, “Revolution in the Fields”
Julia Hwang, “The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire”

Technology in History Award:
Alexander Davies, “The Hubble”
Devin Pruthi, “The Apple Revolution”
Amelia Rider, “CGI Digital Special Effects”
Raynard Palting and Justin Quario, “IPad”

Turning Points in History:
William Wilson, “Nuclear”
Parker Olin, “D-Day”
Akila Rajesh, Anjali Haridas, and Audrey Hungridge, “The War of Peace”
Kapil Sinha, “The Sepoy Rebellion”

Environmental History Award:
Lily Congo, “The Organics Revolution”
Sofia Brown de Lopez, The National Parks”
Alex Michel,” Industrialization of Commercial Fishing”
Molly Herro, “The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary”

Sports in History Award:
Caroline Hendricks, “Revolution of the Tennis Racket”

Monday, April 9, 2012

MPC prepares for its education master plan

Administrators with the Monterey Peninsula College invite the public to participate in two town hall study sessions as a part of the process for crafting the next five-year Education Master Plan. The sessions will be held Monday, April 16, 2012 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm and Tuesday, April 17, 2012 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Both sessions will be held on the MPC campus in the Sam Karas Room of the Library and Technology Center.

The Education Master Plan serves as a map to help everyone understand the direction of the college. The plan establishes criteria to make decisions and plan for expenses. It helps set a path for the college to meet its mission and goals, while maintaining its institutional values, in service of the students. In setting this path, the strategic goals created will take into account state, county, and local influences to clarify the direction of the college.

To view a draft of the MPC 2012 Education Master Plan, click here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Marina high parents will host fundraiser, silent auction

One of these days I'll get to my masterpiece on Marina High, but one thing I've learned from talking to folks over there is that they don't like very much to sit idle. Hosting a silent auction and fundraising event is the type of stuff they'd do to help their school.

So check out the Facebook page for Twilight in Paris, the first evening they've organized to bring some funds to the school. Organizers are also looking for items to auction, so if you have something to contribute -- a massage, a weekend getaway -- send it their way!

Here's the Facebook page for the event. The fundraiser will take place April 13 at the American Legion Post 694. Items for the silent auction will be accepted until April 10.

CSUMB announces commencement speaker for 2012 graduation

Alice Rivlin, a member of President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will deliver the keynote address at CSU Monterey Bay’s commencement ceremony on May 19.

As part of the ceremony, Dr. Rivlin will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Rivlin served as the first director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1975 to 1983. During the Clinton administration, she was director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1996, becoming the first woman to hold the Cabinet-level position.

She served as governor and vice chairwoman of the Federal Reserve from 1996 to 1999.

“CSU Monterey Bay is very pleased to have a commencement speaker of such national prominence,” President Dianne Harrison said.

“She has played an important role in some of the most important economic decisions affecting our country," Dr. Harrison said.

“Given the current economic conditions, I cannot imagine better timing for our students to hear from Dr. Rivlin. I am confident that our faculty and students will come away with a better understanding of the forces shaping our future economic outlook."

At the ceremony, CSU Monterey Bay President Dianne Harrison will confer degrees on approximately 1,200 undergraduates and graduate students. In addition, 250 teaching credentials will be conferred.It will be Harrison's last commencement, as she's heading to CSU Northridge in the fall.

For more information about commencement, click here.