The commencement of the 2014-15 academic school years is just around the corner. The explosion of enrollment growth has resulted in 80 new teaching hires for the Dublin Unified School District. Additionally, there are new employees in leadership roles. OneDublin.org recently had the opportunity to sit down with the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Mr. Keith Rogenski.
Keith’s predecessor, Val Williams, recently accepted the role of Superintendent of the Albany Unified School District. With the aforementioned increase in student headcount in this district, this particular role has gained added importance. Keith is a Bay Area product and was educated in Pinole from primary through secondary education. He cited that at an early age, he was inspired by the subject of mathematics and envisioned that he would someday teach it – perhaps to high school students. Upon graduation from Pinole Valley High School, Mr. Rogenski enrolled at the University of California Berkeley for undergraduate studies. After 1.5 years, he was somewhat shocked and dismayed that the math major that he was pursuing was being dissolved due to lack of enrollment. He quickly shifted to the subject of Economics where math was still an essential element.
Careers can be a funny thing. While it seems that some people are almost “preordained” to become physicians, architects or attorneys, for many (or most) their career finds them. Under that subtext, OneDublin.org recently had the opportunity to sit down with the newly minted Principal at John Green Elementary School, Joe Romagna. Mr. Romangna’s name should ring with familiarity as he had previously taught 5th grade at Green and also served as a Vice Principal at Dublin Elementary School. But the journey to his destination is fascinating and is filled some twists and turns. Further, it is an illustration of how difficult it is to be a classroom teacher – regardless of how well you perform your duties.
Joe grew up in the South Bay and graduated from Homestead High School. Subsequently, he enrolled at the College of San Mateo where he attained his A.A. in Radio Broadcasting. However, his educational path was largely influenced by his grandparents. They were immigrants from Italy and had completed only a minimal level of education. However, through hard work, they chiseled out successful lives in the United States. But, they impressed upon Joe the importance of education. Thus, he became the first person in his expanded family to graduate from a four-year university.
Subsequent to CSM, he completed a B.A. in Broadcasting and Electronic Communications at San Francisco State University. While he may have dreamed of leading/working with students someday, the lure to broadcasting was irresistible. Through his passion and guile, he landed as an On Air Talent at 960 AM KABL/San Francisco in 1997. During this time, he worked with some Bay Area radio legends Jim Lange and Carter B. Smith and then ultimately landed his own time slot – spinning classics and swing tunes. It was almost surreal. But, as in many media industries, the station was sold and the format was changed. He quickly followed his heart and managed special events for the Humane Society Silicon Valley for two years. All the while, the teaching bug was still tugging. Without hesitation, he attained a Multiple Subject Teaching credential from California State University East Bay (CSUEB) in 2006.
In 2012, OneDublin.org shared the launch of a new program – the Summer Enrichment Academy (SEA) at Dublin High School. This summer program was made possible by the collaboration between DUSD and the Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE). This initiative was prompted by several factors: the newly approved three distinct diploma destinations, the massive economic downturn in 2008 which impacted school funding and the desire to allow students the option to complete coursework in the summer months that would allow them to enroll in other elective classes during the regular school year.
The program has been fee-based and enrollment has increased for the second consecutive year. As with any new initiative, the program has been evaluated and tweaked to help meet the needs of both students and certificated staff members. In the first year, one of the primary concerns was how to “level out” the number of students per section of coursework. Conversely, if there were to be a lack of interest for a particular subject, a threshold would need to be established to determine if a course can be offered. The SEA will conclude this coming Friday.
So, while active construction is currently occurring at DHS to unify the quad area, students have been attending classes over the past six weeks.
The Brian Beasley Memorial Foundation was created in 2012 to honor the memory of Brian Beasley. Brian was the father of Elizabeth and Rebecca, both graduates of Dublin High School. Rebecca, now attending the US Air Force Academy, was recently profiled as part of OneDublin.org’s Life in College series. The next fundraiser will be held on August 16 (details below) in Dublin. The cost is $100, which includes dinner, drinks and poker. For non-poker players, $25 includes dinner and drinks. Prices are $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd and $200 for 3rd. Donations are welcomed for those unable to attend.
Brian was an avid sportsman as well as an active participant in the Dublin community and Dublin High School. The mission of the Foundation is to help student athletes achieve their dream of playing collegiate sports as well as to provide mental health resources for all students. The first part of the mission, which helps student athletes reach a collegiate level, is a complicated process and many athletes get lost in the journey.
Just over two years ago, OneDublin.org spoke with Dublin High School Class of 2012 graduate Rebecca Beasley about her acceptance into the United States Air Force Academy, just weeks before she was required to report for Basic Cadet Training. Fast forward to today and Rebecca is about to start her junior year, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Management. We caught up with Rebecca during a rare moment of downtime to learn more about the first two years of her Air Force Academy experience.
OneDublin.org: Looking back to the Air Force Academy’s Basic Cadet Training, what were your expectations vs. the reality?
Rebecca Beasley: “I completed Basic Training the summer before starting my freshman year, and we were led by Air Force Academy upperclassmen. It’s a cadet-run program, which is different from Basic Training for enlisted soldiers who are led by master sergeants. Basic Training was physical and very mental, but I felt very prepared. I had asked a lot of questions about what to expect, and got through the experience without much difficulty.
“What I wasn’t expecting, and wasn’t as prepared for, was the grind of freshman year. At the Air Force Academy freshman are treated as outcasts. We weren’t allowed to speak with upperclassman, we could only wear our uniforms, we even had to walk on one side of the hallway going from class to class. This lasted through March of my freshman year, when we were formally ‘recognized’.
“Recognition in March lasted three days and was the most rewarding experience I’ve ever gone through. After being recognized I got my freedom back, was allowed to wear civilian clothes and could talk to people. They say the philosophy behind this approach is to break you down to build you all up together. Looking back it was cool how all the freshman were broken down together, and how we worked really hard to get what we’d lost back. We learned to work together as a team and our place in military life because rank is very important.”
After high school I went to Hamline University. At Hamline I played football for all 4 years as I worked towards my degree. I graduated May 24 this year with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice. Being a student athlete for all 4 years at Hamline really taught me an important life skill: time management. I was able to balance taking 4 classes every fall semester on top of morning football meetings/workouts and afternoon and evening meetings and practices. My average football season daily schedule went from 6am-7pm with an hour break somewhere in between. I managed to not only remain dedicated and motivated on the football field but I also managed to keep my studies up and maintain passing scores in class.
Football has been a part of my life for a long time. I’ve been playing the game since I was 8 years old. I played all the way through high school at Dublin High, and into college at Hamline. It was really sad having my football career end. My mom and dad flew up to see my last home game on senior day and again two weeks later to see my last college game. I have met many people in my years playing football at Hamline, people I would have not otherwise met. We all became good friends outside the field. In addition to time management, football also helped me develop useful skills like teamwork, the ability to work under stress, leadership, and a strong work ethic.
In October 2010, Dublin High School Class of 2010 graduate Kevin Cappa shared his first impressions of life in UC Davis in the Life in College Series. Fast forward to 2014 and Kevin is a UC Davis College of Engineering graduate, having majored in the emerging field of bioengineering. OneDublin.org caught up with Kevin to learn more about his college experience. As with his first article, Kevin shared valuable insights about how to thrive and succeed in college.
OneDublin.org: Looking back on your original article, and the advice you provided to incoming freshman, what have you learned since then?
Kevin Cappa: “Four years ago I wrote an article about my early impressions of heading off to college at UC Davis starting to pursue my degree in Biomedical Engineering. Looking back on it now, I am actually impressed by my younger self, and all of the stuff that I caught on to so early. I also laugh a little about how easy freshman year was and how naïve I was about some things.
“Unlike the student average of 2 major changes, I stuck with Biomedical Engineering the whole way through. It was not an easy major, but luckily for me my major advisor was extremely helpful. The UC Davis College of Engineering requires students to meet with their advisor at least once per year, and I was in touch with mine much more than that. She helped me make sure I was in all the right classes and was staying on track with my major. With a few summer school sessions I was able to stay on track, take some extra classes, and free up my schedule during the year to make sure I had time to work my job and work in a lab.
“This lighter load was really important, because fall of my junior year I started working in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office as a peer advisor. This is when my statement about ‘having more time to yourself’ became much less true. Not only did I add ~10 hours to my schedule with work, but I was also making the transition to taking all upper division classes, which require far more work to stay on top of. This made all of the time management I had learned become even more important. During spring I also started working as an undergraduate researcher, and my time went away even more.”
OneDublin.org: In layman’s terms, what is biomedical engineering and what courses did you most enjoy during your time at UC Davis?