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Dublin School District Looking Above and Below Ground to Tackle Overcrowding

April 1, 2015

Two Story Portable Classroom

Dublin was recently listed as the second fastest growing city in California. In an interview last year Dublin’s School District superintendent noted that “growth does come with challenges”. During the City of Dublin Mayoral race last year managing growth was a major theme. With a seemingly endless demand for new homes, Dublin’s school district is looking for innovative solutions to the resulting classroom crunch.

Building more schools will address some of the capacity crunch: Dublin’s latest school addition, Amador Elementary School, with a capacity for 950 students, opens this fall, and the City of Dublin and the Dublin School District recently announced a partnership to build two additional schools.

While many school districts have struggled with declining enrollment, program cuts and school closures, Dublin has faced the opposite challenge. To completely address the capacity issue the District is looking both above and below ground for solutions. Some of the options being explored according to a leaked report:

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Meet Albert Lee – Green Elementary School Site Council Member and Difference Maker

March 30, 2015
Difference Maker Albert Lee

Difference Maker Albert Lee

In our continuing series highlighting Dublin Unified School District adult volunteers, reached out to Green Elementary School Principal Joe Romagna. He quickly offered up Mr. Albert Lee as a worthy individual to profile. Albert is a true transplant to California. He was born in Texas, lived in Pittsburgh and for a period of time in CT before coming to the Bay Area in 2008. Along the way, he attained an undergraduate degree from Caltech and an M.S. from University of California Berkeley. While Albert, his wife Jina and three children reside in Dublin, Mr. Lee operates a tutoring service in the Lamorinda area.

His clients are generally middle and high school students so he meets with them Sunday through Thursday between 3:00 – 10:30 PM. He provides this large window as some of the older students participate in sports and other activities. In addition to ACT and SAT preparation, Albert has subject matter expertise in the areas of physics, mathematics and chemistry. He notes that it is difficult to succeed in this industry without a solid foundation in math skills.

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Dublin High School ROP Photojournalists Capture Talent Show, Honors Night

March 29, 2015

Dublin High School Tri-Valley ROP students Marcus Dotson, Aaron Johal, Adrian Tamayo, and Nick Wagner teamed up to capture two terrific events showcasing student achievement at Dublin High, the annual student Talent Show and annual Honors Night.

Dublin High School Honors Night 2015 Photo Credit Aaron Johal 10ROP photojournalist Adrian Tamayo, “Many smart and great students were awarded for all their hard work that night, for all the dedication they had put into school to succeed. Hearing the speeches from the awarded students was quite a motivator and very encouraging. It’s a good feeling to hear from a fellow high school scholar and not only see them rewarded for their achievements, but also they leave their wise words of advice to other junior classmates so you can hear their experiences and their struggles. Though I was not given an award at the ceremony, I still had a great time at Honors Night.”

Dublin High School Talent Show Nick Wagner 24ROP photojournalist Marcus Dotson, “Of the many impressive acts that night, a couple of my favorites were Kevin Sun, Noah McMoyler and Joonie Jong, Darrion Carion, Kat Cordero and Jocelyn Deleon. Kevin Sun’s B-boy dancing was very entertaining to watch, he kept me interested and amped up. Noah McMoyler gave me goose bumps when his voice hit certain notes, something that only happens to me when I listen to new music and new sounds that I appreciate. Joonie Jong, Darrion Carion, Kat Cordero and Jocelyn Deleon had a great sound together. The way all of their instruments and voices went together was very pleasing. Over all the talent show was very good and I’m happy I went.”

Photo collages from both events:

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Tri-Valley ROP Digital Media Students Capture St. Patrick’s Day 2015

March 27, 2015

Tri-Valley ROP teacher Chris Meyer reached out to recently looking for a platform for his students to share their visual communications skills. was happy to partner. Here is the first set of photos from several Tri-Valley ROP Digital Media students. ROP Digital Media includes practical training in Visual Communications, Animation, and Game Design. The Tri-Valley ROP program “provides engaging learning opportunities for high school students eager to acquire career training and technical skills essential for business and industry employment.”

Marissa Medeiros, Granada High School Senior:

“While at the festival taking photos, we walked around some of the booths to check out all the different jewelry and clothes. If only I had the money, I would’ve bought a ton of sundresses there! There were many rides that I wish that I would’ve gone on while I was there, but unfortunately I had to go to work in the late afternoon. There was so much food and the parade was really nice. This was my first time at the City of Dublin Saint Patrick’s Day Festival, and it was a great experience. If I have the time when I’m in college, I’ll definitely come back out next year to experience it again!”

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Meet Fallon 8th Grader Bailey Morita and her Battle with a Rare Kidney Disease

March 25, 2015
Bailey Morita with Origami Crane

Bailey Morita with Origami Crane

With just a few days remaining in March, and National Kidney Month, we introduce you to Fallon Middle School 8th grader Bailey Morita. Bailey has been fighting a rare kidney disorder, end stage renal disease, that requires her to endure 3-hour dialysis treatments at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco three days a week. Bailey’s journey began a year ago, late on a Friday afternoon, when her parents rushed her to a local clinic with labored breathing and fatigue. There was no warning that their lives would be forever transformed.

Emblematic of Bailey’s quiet determination is the tiny but precisely crafted origami crane that Bailey made for me while I spoke with her, and her parents, this past weekend. These tiny cranes have become her trademarked calling card, gifted to doctors, nurses and others who have helped her over the past year. Having just met Bailey, her mother Jennifer, father Keith and brother Trevor, I was humbled to receive this gift. Remarkably, and likely because of her focused determination, Bailey has maintained her standing on Fallon’s Honor Roll this past year despite spending more time away from school than in class.

After a year of battling kidney disease largely in private, Bailey decided it was time to share her story with the community, to help shine a light on a disease currently impacting millions of adults, and more rarely children like Bailey, across the country and the world.

James Morehead: How did you learn about the severity of Bailey’s condition?

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Meet Fallon Middle School Volunteer and Difference Maker Chan Fonseka

March 24, 2015
Difference Maker Chan Fonseka Difference Maker Chan Fonseka

The adult volunteers that tirelessly offer their energy and time at all 10 Dublin public school sites are as diverse as our community. There are many that fulfill key roles in Parent Faculty Clubs (PFC) or School Site Councils (SSC). Even more parents/guardians help out in individual or multiple classrooms. Others simply read to students or re-stack books in the library. And some are leading new initiatives that never existed until this year.

On April 28th, the Dublin Unified School District will host their District Recognition Awards at the District Boardroom. For those that may be unfamiliar, this is an annual event that honors Certificated, Classified and District staff members. Additionally, adult volunteers are recognized. The honorees are there by virtue of nomination letters that may be submitted by anyone. That said, there are countless others that deserve equal praise. has initiated the process of approaching each site Principal to solicit the names of volunteers that are truly making a positive impact at their respective school sites. This ongoing series will run up through the actual District Recognition Awards. We are taking this opportunity to salute some of the many unsung heroes that are making their schools an even better place, and our proud to introduce our first Difference Maker, parent Chan Fonseka, and how he championed bringing the Math Olympiads program to Fallon Middle School.

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Life at San Diego State University and Majoring in Hospitality and Tourism Management

March 23, 2015

by Jenny Lutz (Dublin High School Class of 2012 and San Diego State University junior)

Jenny Lutz at Sunset Cliffs

Jenny Lutz at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego

Deciding to go to San Diego State University was one of the best decisions of my life. Rewind back to 2012, my senior year at Dublin High School. I knew I wanted to go to SDSU, but my next choice was Chico State. In March when the admission letters were sent out, I was unfortunately denied admission to SDSU. As crushed as I was not getting into my dream school, I decided to go to Chico and was still excited for college. One of my teachers at DHS (Ms. Briggs) suggested I write a letter of appeal to get into SDSU; I was doubtful of this idea because I did not fit any of the qualifications to send a letter of appeal, but I did so anyways. Once again, I was denied admission. I knew I was definitely going to Chico, no doubt about it. On May 2 (day after decision day) I received an email from SDSU informing me that I was being offered admittance for the fall semester, and that I had 48 hours to decide if I was going to accept the offer. Not even blinking twice, I knew I was going to attend SDSU if it was the last thing I did.

Although I did not think leaving home and moving to the southern tip of California was that huge of a deal, it ended up rocking my world. I had a difficult time adjusting to my new surroundings and finding where I belong at SDSU. Rest assured this happens to all college freshman in their first semester. Let me tell you it does get much better. I found friends who wanted to explore San Diego just like I did, who enjoyed their daily Starbucks stops along campus, and who binge-watch The Bachelor.

A little bit about SDSU: we are a NCAA Division 1 school and are part of the Mountain West Conference. The basketball team is out of this world and going to the games is one of the highlights of my college experience. We have a student section called “The Show” and there is an endless amount of chants and hype. In addition, the coldest it has ever been since I’ve been on campus is 65 degrees, but it’s usually 70-75 degrees. If that doesn’t sound like enough of a persuasion, then I’ll also tell you we are a 15-minute drive from the beach, have two concert venues on campus, a brand new beautiful student union, and an endless supply of authentic Mexican food. Go Aztecs!

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