In the words of Assistant Superintendent Keith Rogenski, Monday was a “big” night for the Dublin Unified School District. A special meeting of the board of trustees was established – primary to address these new leadership appointments for their respective school sites.
Over the years, we have witnessed the fluid nature of leadership within this district and Monday was no different. Specifically, Mr. Rogenski was offered the opportunity to speak on behalf of several candidates for four existing vacancies. Upon which, he would turn the mantle over to Superintendent Steve Hanke to make the recommendation to the board of trustees. Subsequently, the board would entertain a motion to appoint with a following second of motion and then a vote by the entire board.
In order, let us review the actions of the board tonight:
For senior Cindy Won, the cello’s rich and brilliant notes are like a second language—one she has been studying since the age of five. In the past twelve years, Won has been an cellist for several organizations, including the Del Sol Quartet, the Young People’s Symphony Orchestra, and now, starting her fourth year, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO).
“I remember having practiced the same excerpts, scales, and solo piece for nine months straight through two auditions,” says Won, as she relates her journey to earn a coveted spot in the SFSYO. “I’ve actually wanted to join this orchestra since seventh grade, when I first saw them live at the Bay Area Youth Orchestra Festival (BAYOF Hope). There was something incredibly special about this orchestra in comparison to the orchestra I had previously been in and the other ones at the festival; anyone could noticeably see the passion in how the musicians played.”
Passion is something not unfamiliar to Cindy Won, who allows music to be a “personal companion,” whether it be through her cello practices, or the whistling and singing she is known by her friends to do on a regular basis.
“Music is definitely something that I am able to connect with and be able to express the inexpressible…on a personal note, there is a beauty and intimacy about music that one cannot just snatch away,” Won says. “Music really allows people, especially our youth who will transcend into the next generation, to comprehend the environment in which they live in.”
Dublin High School’s new Center for Performing Arts and Education welcomed a full house of theatre lovers last night for the opening performance of the StarStruck Theatre’s production of Mary Poppins. The production runs Friday-Sunday each weekend through August 9. Tickets are on sale now by calling the StarStruck box office: 510-659-1319, or ordering online.
The Disney stage version of Mary Poppins, which premiered in the U.K. in 2004, expanded on the classic movie musical with additional songs. For those most familiar with the movie, the added music (by George Stiles and Anthony Drew) complements the brilliance of the Sherman Brothers original score. Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman are responsible for some of the most unforgettable melodies of the 20th century, including “It’s a Small, Small World”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Winnie the Pooh” and of course Mary Poppins classics including “Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)”, “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
Given the extraordinary Sherman Brothers score, and the beloved film featuring the debut on-screen performance of Julie Andrews, mounting a production of Mary Poppins comes with considerable risk. Can a stage production capture the movie magic of Mary Poppins? Can the actress performing Mary Poppins step out of Julie Andrews’ long shadow? The good news for the StarStruck production is a practically perfect “yes”. From the strong vocal performances, led by Callie Garrett as Mary Poppins (a recent Simpson University graduate with a B.A. in Music), to the richly colorful costumes, fanciful set design and even performers flying on wires, Mary Poppins was a feast for the eyes and ears.
With a Canon EOS 600D camera in her hands, and an army green backpack slung over her shoulders, Vivian Jiang walks through Dublin High’s campus, looking for people, plants, or places to add to her photography portfolio. Whether it be the flashes of moving cars, the variations in a dancer’s routine, or her best friends at a birthday party, nothing intimidates this well-seasoned photographer on her goal to make art.
“It documents the world in a different way than words do,” says Jiang. As a photographer, her role is “bringing attention to what’s beautiful about our world, such as landscapes or individuals.”
Jiang first started her passion of photography when she was eight and received her first camera. Since then, she has taken this art to new places such as the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). There, she attended a precollege program for five weeks, learning about photography and editing, and gaining an impressive and diverse skillset as a photographer.
“I learned about the rule of thirds and to be more open with showing others my work,” says Jiang, who also discovered that risk-taking was a key element to photography while studying at the SFAI.
“Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone,” she recommends. “Try different types of photography or do something you normally wouldn’t.”
We last spoke with Dublin High School Class of 2011 graduate Summer Benavidez as she was completing her freshman year at the University of Nevada, Reno (read more…). Fast forward to the summer of 2015 and Summer spoke with us from Turin, Italy where she is completing the final requirements for a degree in economics and business management at the Università degli Studi di Torino. Summer’s story adds to the portfolio of Life in College and Life After College series of articles profiling the journeys of Dublin High grads.
OneDublin.org: What led you to major in economics, and how does economics at the college level differ from your experience back in high school taking AP Microeconomics?
Summer Benavidez: “I think it was a surprise to everyone who knew me that I decided to major in economics. AP Microeconomics was the hardest class I had taken up to that point and I actually struggled to get a C in that class! Luckily my teacher, Ms. Carhart, was always there to help me and pushed me to keep trying and it was those moments when it finally clicked that I realized I liked economics. I liked the challenge that it presented so when I started excelling at it in college I felt really accomplished. At the college level, economics definitely gets more complex and complicated, but taking AP Micro helped prepare me for those late nights and the times I felt like I would never understand the material.”
OneDublin.org: How did your college experience change as you transitioned to upper level courses?
Benavidez: “I enjoyed college much more as an upperclassman for many reasons, but mainly because my courses became more applicable. Once I started taking classes that I felt I could use towards a career, and taking them with people who had similar interests, I liked college even more. On top of that, I felt more motivated to understand the material I was learning.
“As a lowerclassman, you’re taking general ed classes that might not apply to your major so it kind of goes in one ear and out the other, but once I started applying for internships and eventually relevant jobs, I realized the importance of what I was learning. I also picked up a second major as an upperclassman. As much as I love dealing with data and putting together reports, I also love working with people and in teams, so I decided to pick up a business management major. It was the best decision I made because I’m blending my analytical nature with my love for working with people.”
“Guard your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A diamond of any value, possess many facets. So, it would be logical to attach this analogy to one that has been successful in life. At the final Superintendent’s Council luncheon in June at the District Office, parent and long time community volunteer, Chris Bennett, was awarded with what will become an annual recognition – the Superintendent’s Volunteer Award. According to Dr. Stephen Hanke, this will likely become an annual recognition and it seeks to acknowledge significant contributions made over many years of service to the district and community. Subsequently, she was honored at a Board of Trustees meeting.
So, within this theme, there are many sides to Ms. Bennett. She is a mother, author, businesswoman, wife, singer, volunteer, avid world traveler and a leader of people. The objective of this profile was not to compile a list of her accolades – and there are many. Rather, it is an attempt to help others to understand her journey; how she became a parent volunteer and an opportunity to allow her to thank her peers.
Every university student that has ever lived in a dorm has had the shared experience of living under the watch of a residence advisor. With the thousands of residence advisors around the world, comes the many, and often hilarious, misconceptions about what it means to be a residence advisor. A couple years ago, a friend posted a picture of her residence advisor’s room on Instagram and exclaimed in horror that she had moved into the room across the hall. During my past year as a residence advisor, a few of my residents seemed surprised when they realized I had a life outside my job.
From the outside, the job of a residence advisor can seem like a mystery. Is there more to the job than enforcing residence rules? Do residence advisors have normal lives like other students? During my freshman year I shared many of these questions and misconceptions, and I never would have imagined that I would apply to be a residence advisor. Not only did I apply to be one, but I will be starting my second year as a residence advisor this coming fall. And fortunately, I not only have a life, but a very fulfilling one!
At the beginning of my freshman year, I thought that being a residence advisor was primarily about enforcing residence standards. On the contrary, my role consists of so much more. As a residence advisor, my most important responsibility is to build and maintain a happy and healthy living community for my residents. To achieve this, I assume a variety of roles, such as an event planner and supporter.