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Meet Michelle McDonald – The Ultimate Dublin Public Education Difference Maker

May 22, 2015
Difference Maker Michelle McDonald

Difference Maker Michelle McDonald

Throughout this series, it has been our goal to shine a light on a myriad of adult volunteers that have made significant contributions at their respective schools and to the efforts of the Dublin Unified School District. As we move this project towards its conclusion, we are pleased to devote a post that will focus on a singular force of nature, Michelle McDonald.

All of our featured Difference Makers are making significant and relevant contributions to their respective school sites. However, it is somewhat unusual to meet an individual that has virtually “done it all” throughout her 15 year tenure as a parent volunteer. She and her husband, Jerry, have raised two children that have traversed through the DUSD ladder – Annie is presently matriculating through Santa Clara University (and was featured in a Life in College article) and Matthew is a current Dublin High School senior that will advance to Linfield College in Oregon. For those that may be unfamiliar, their family’s contributions to the advancement of this school district cannot be completely summarized or simply articulated.

Ms. McDonald attained a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from San Jose State University. Subsequently, she was able to match her passion for sports and journalism and over time has worked as a Writer for the Oakland Tribune, the San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle. The latter assignment featured a focus on the Stanford Women’s Basketball beat that followed the Lady Cardinal through much of their NCAA successes. Since 2011, she has been a Contributing Writer to – frequently reporting on global women’s sports. Read more…

Dublin High School Senior Awards Night Class of 2015: “I am Dublin High”

May 21, 2015
Harvard Bound Dublin High Senior

Harvard Bound Dublin High Senior

Dublin High School’s annual Senior Awards Night filled the Dublin High Student Union with students, parents, educators and members of the community. Over $2.3 million in scholarships and awards were presented to Dublin High School Class of 2015 students for their academic achievements, including over 45 merit scholarships for colleges nationwide and a U.S. Air Force ROTC Scholarship awarded to senior Calvin Loebrich valued at $180,000.

Included in the event was the traditional passing of the gavel ceremony where outgoing senior and student body president Tatiana Bouri (attending UCLA) introduced incoming student body president Nicholas Padnos.

Students were recognized for academic achievements across a wide variety of subjects and interests (full list below) and two students, seniors Frankie Lin and Sahithi Narla, received the Best Attendance Award for not missing a single day of school throughout all four years of high school. The Dublin High School Class of 2015 also featured seven National Merit Scholarship finalists. prepared the sixth annual edition of the popular “I am Dublin High” video (see below) featuring over 130 Dublin High School Class of 2015 seniors sharing their post-high school plans.

Dublin High Senior Awards Night 2015 Full Results

Read more…

Dublin High School Class of 2015 College Acceptance Results

May 20, 2015
Dublin High School Commencement

Dublin High School Commencement

Every year college acceptance gets more competitive and the pressure on our students more intense. Yet despite that pressure, Dublin High School‘s Class of 2015 seniors have been rewarded with acceptance letters and emails, and scholarships, from across the country and beyond.

A complete list of colleges acceptance Dublin High School seniors is listed below, including Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, every University of California (UC), every CSU campus and many more. The success of this year’s graduating class builds on the achievements of the Dublin High Class of 2014 (last year’s Dublin High School college acceptance results are available here).

In addition, seven seniors in Dublin High School’s Class of 2015 have chosen to serve their country by enlisting in the military, along with several students entering vocational schools, joining the workforce and even playing junior hockey.

Over forty Dublin High School alumni have contributed articles to’s Life in College series, with more still contributing to the Life After College series. This unique series of articles by former Dublin High School students covers life at colleges across the country including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia / JTS, UC Berkeley, Chapman UC Davis, UCLA, UCSD, West Point, St. Mary’s, Pace, University of Chicago, UNR, Santa Clara, University of Arizona, Carroll College, Georgetown, Penn State, Sonoma State, Syracuse, Santa Barbara City College and more.

Dublin High School Class of 2015 students are also taking advantage of cost-effective Community College Transfer Programs into 4-year colleges.  According to Dublin High School Counseling, 98% of Dublin High School students destined for a local community college are intending to transfer into a 4-year college for their junior year.  More information on Community College Transfer Programs is available here.

Kimberli Zhong

Kimberli Zhong (DHS Class of ’14 and MIT freshman)

All told 97.7% of the Dublin High School Class of 2015 reported plans to attend college this Fall.  Dublin High School was recently awarded a Silver Medal in the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools report, was is included in Newsweek’s list of America’s Best High Schools and received a statewide rank of 10 (out of 10) and a similar schools rank of 10 (out of 10) from the California Department of Education for its 2013 API of 877 (full results available here).

Congratulations Dublin High School Class of 2015 and good luck on your finals!

The full list of colleges that extended offers of admission to Dublin High School Class of 2014 seniors is provided below (source: Dublin High School Counseling’s Senior Exit Survey 2015). Dublin High School Counseling has made available a wide variety of resources for parents (available here…).
Read more…

Dublin High School Alum Ariel Graykowski Accepted into UCLA’s Space Physics PhD Program

May 19, 2015

Dublin High School Alum Ariel GraykowskiThe latest entry in’s popular Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) series profiles Dublin High School Class of 2011 alum and UC Davis Class of 2014 graduate Ariel Graykowski. Ms. Graykowski talks about her love of physics and how her college journey will be continuing in UCLA’s PhD program for Space Physics. What triggered your interest in science?

Ariel Graykowski: “I was part of 4H in middle school and one of the available classes was astronomy, which I took for a few years. In high school I ended up really liking all of my math and physics classes, which is why I ended up pursuing physics in college. Discovering how things work in a science class made me curious how other things work, which led to taking more science classes to find out! One of my favorite classes at Dublin High School was Ms. Lewis’ physics class.” Did you enter UC Davis knowing you’d be majoring in astrophysics or did that happen later?

Graykowski: “I entered as a physics major and along the way took an astronomy class which reminded me of my time in 4H. I didn’t realize astrophysics was an option; I spoke with my college counselor and learned there was a physics major with an emphasis in astrophysics. Astrophysics is the study of space – from how planets rotate, to the birth of stars, to what happened right after the Big Bang and the cosmos were formed. It’s also the math behind the dynamics of the planets.”

Read more…

Meet DUSD Difference Makers and Passionate Volunteers Gloria Gregory and Deborah Yamasaki

May 15, 2015

The series on “Difference Makers” continues by highlighting a pair of individuals that are making their presence felt in completely different ways. This should come as no surprise as the ongoing series of profiles has been an eye-opening experience. We will start at one end of the spectrum and then travel to another. Both individuals are worthy of a spotlight and their contributions are note worthy.

We will begin with a spotlight on Ms. Gloria Gregory. Gloria is the Executive Director of the community/faith based organization, CityServe. This group serves a multitude of civic and school organizations throughout the Tri-Valley. met with Ms. Gregory in 2014 to discuss her “adoption” of Valley High School – DUSD’s continuation high school. This adoption took shape in many forms – including the establishment of a bi-monthly “Breakfast Club”, the support of a special screening of the film “When the Game Stands Tall” and the support of a Thanksgiving lunch for its students. The relationship established by Gloria and her colleagues at CityServe is special and demands to be recognized. We recently had the opportunity to discuss the nature of this connection between the two groups.

Read more…

Dublin High School Drama’s “12 Angry Men” Captured by ROP Photojournalists

May 14, 2015

Dublin High School Tri-Valley ROP students Miguel Alvarado, Jonny Barnett, Jordan Bluford, and Aaron Johal teamed up to capture the recent run of the Dublin High Drama Club production of the classic play “12 Angry Men”. Each student photographer shares their answer to three questions along with a selection of photographers from the production.

ROP Photojournalist Miguel Alvarado:

  • What was your favorite scene? “I enjoyed the scene where they dramatically pause right before intermission, holding up the fight between two characters on stage.”
  • Who was your favorite actor? “Savannah”
  • Who was your favorite character? “I picked Savannah because of the one scene in which she stares at the wall because she’s supposed to be looking out a window. It was just super funny.”

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ROP Photojournalist Jordan Bluford: Read more…

Dublin High School 7 Period Schedule Approved for 2015-16 by Dublin School Board

May 13, 2015

Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees Meeting May 12 2015One of the most hotly debated and yet most intriguing subjects that have been publicly discussed over the past four weeks came to a head at the regularly scheduled DUSD Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night. This discussion spanned over two community town hall presentations, a special work study session by the Board and at this evening’s meeting.

At stake was the continuation and expansion of the College and Career Readiness Program (CCRP) at Dublin High. The initial implementation of the CCRP was evident in this current academic year. It resulted in a 55 minute daily lunch period. This expansion allowed the formation of the Freshmen Mentoring Program (FMP) which dedicated a 25-30 minute space of time for 9th graders to experience a variety of counseling/mentoring/enrichment programs.

For the proponents of the CCRP, the initiative would not be complete without ultimately incorporating a seventh period into the existing school day. The proposal including shortening the passing period from six to five minutes, maintaining the expanded lunch period, reducing instructional class time from 55 to 51 minutes and instituting a mandatory seventh period – also known as the “Gael Period.”

Read more…


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