Dublin High School Class of 2014 graduate and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo freshman Luke Legins sat down with OneDublin.org to share his experiences as Dublin High School’s ASB President, and the leadership experience that will benefit him in college and beyond. Legins is planning to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business (“agribusiness“) at Cal Poly. Legins was the Dublin Rotary Student of the Month for May, the Dublin Lions Club Student of the Month for September and is a California Scholarship Federation Life Member.
OneDublin.org: What was your approach as Dublin High School student body president last year?
Luke Legins: “I was on ASB for two years, as vice president in my junior year and president in my senior year. My main focus was trying to involve everyone in the Leadership class, rather than focusing on one person running the whole thing. I wanted to find the individual strengths of each person. For example, if one person is good at art have them make the posters, if another person is good at delegating, have them organize volunteers, or if someone is good at public speaking have them represent the ASB at events.”
OneDublin.org: What role does the Dublin High School ASB play in student life?
Legins: “In the beginning of the year Leadership is focused on Homecoming. We put on everything, the parade, the carnival, setup for the dance, promotion of the event. We go to elementary schools and hand out flyers for the carnival and coordinate involvement of the Dublin High clubs. We also put on all of the dances throughout the year, and anything that is focused on the students including lunch time activities, rallies, and the powder puff fundraising event.
“ASB is also the voice of the students. The Dublin High Administration will come to the Leadership class to ask our opinion on different situations.”
OneDublin.org: How did direct access to the administration change your view of running a high school?
E-4. It is not a new car model from Tesla, nor is it a spot on Bingo. Instead, E-4 is the code acronym for the newest school site in the Dublin Unified School District. Like its predecessor, E-3 was the term for Kolb Elementary School before it was granted its formal name. OneDublin.org was granted an exclusive tour this week of the JM Amador Elementary School site by Senior Director of Facilities Kim McNeely and Project Manager John Hansen.
The explosive housing growth over the past several years in East Dublin prompted the need for another new elementary campus. The urgency was created based upon enrollment projections based upon the number of new housing units in this vicinity. Needless to say, the planning for this type of enterprise began many years earlier. When Kolb Elementary opened in 2011, it immediately served over 900 students. Fortunately, by then, the blueprints and general concepts for Amador were already in motion. Today, the overall project is well on its way towards completion. Most of the physical structures are standing and are awaiting finishing touches. The large Multi-Purpose structure will be the last to experience final framing and finishing. The elementary campus is slated to open in August, 2015 and will be capable of facilitating 950 students at completion.
In order to understand the scope and breadth of this type of project, OneDublin.org reached out to DUSD Senior Director of Facilities, Kim McNeely to help us understand what it takes to build a brand new school site. Ms. McNeely attained a B.A. in Economics from California State University Hayward. Subsequently, she completed a Master in Public Administration from the same institution. While she began her career with a large retailer in inventory costing, she then shifted to the public sector with the Lodi Unified School District. After a stint in Livermore, she joined DUSD 11 years ago. The time invested in her MPA convinced her to support public education. Our visit was on Wednesday and it was a very enlightening.
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.”