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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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Dublin Distance Fiesta 2015 Sets a California Record With 2,200 Runners, 66 Schools

March 22, 2015

Dublin High School Distance Fiesta 112,200 student athletes from 66 high schools from across the Bay Area and beyond met at Dublin High School’s Gaels Stadium for 12 hours yesterday for back-t0-back-to-back distance races. Event Director Chris Williams and an army of student and parent volunteers executed the event flawlessly, slightly ahead of scheduled despite over 100 heats of boys and girls distant events including the 800, 1600, 3200 and Distance Medley Relay.

Remarkably, this event has become the largest of its kind in California history. The event combined fierce competition with a party atmosphere courtesy of a DJ spinning pop hits. The winner of each event is rewarded with a hand-decorated sombrero and the top four receive piñata t-shirts, and a few boys and girls also earn 3200 meter Arcadia automatic qualifiers.

More details with results available at the event website. If you missed the event this year, we’ve included a photo essay to give you a taste of the action. Mark your calendar for next year’s fiesta – March 19, 2016.

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Dublin City Council and School Board Collaborate to Develop Two New School Sites

March 21, 2015

Dublin Unified School District E5 and E5-Alt SitesFor parents and educators rapid growth in Dublin schools has been a double-edged sword, complicated by the State of California’s stance on school construction funding. By now, most Dublin Unified School District families have read the statement issued by Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke relative to the projected development of two new school sites in East Dublin – E-5 and E-6. The press release was issued on Thursday through direct email communications, social media and other channels. Without question, this is a dramatic and positive shift towards achieving site construction goals.

As recently as August 2014, it became clear that Governor Jerry Brown and some of his colleagues in Sacramento would prevent school construction measures to be placed on a statewide ballot in order to prevent assuming more long term debt for the state of California – even for a high growth/performing district like Dublin. With continued housing construction and increased enrollment, this would be a significant problem. While Amador Elementary School will open later this year, this new school will only temporarily mitigate the overcrowding problems that this district will face over the next ten years.

DUSD has receiving ongoing consultation on enrollment projections for years. And the projections clearly point to higher student populations for several years to come. The E-5 Project at Jordan Ranch and E-6 at Dublin Crossing within Camp Parks have been on the planning board for years. However, the pronouncement from Sacramento prompted some “out of the box” thinking for all interested parties. Historically, the funding formula for school construction in California resembled a three-legged stool. It was a combination of dollars supplied by the state, developer fees and local funding. With the first and most significant leg removed, the burden was then moved to the local municipality.

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A Full Week at Valley High School is Highlighted by Students Taking Flight

March 11, 2015
Valley High School Family BBQ 2015

Valley High School Family BBQ 2015

A lot can happen in a single week. We see it at each and every school site within the Dublin Unified School District. It was no different at Valley High School as the staff managed to make it a very memorable seven days for their students.

Working in reverse order, the national movement of Women of Aviation Week occurred from March 2 – 8. was invited to attend an event at the Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK) on Wednesday. The event was part of the 6th Annual “Fly It Forward” campaign. Worldwide, there are over one million pilots. However, there are only 50,000 female pilots – according to a 2013 report from the FAA Aeronautical Center. Further, the increase of female commercial pilots has truly stagnated. The number in 2005 was 6.06%. And, it modified to 6.39 in 2013.

Women of Aviation Week 2015

Women of Aviation Week 2015

The event at LVK was an opportunity for students/community to consider the possibilities that exist in this industry. There were options to speak with women that are currently working in this craft – whether in the air or on the ground. Tours were presented on the field and to the control tower. A highlight was the opportunity to take flight in a four-seat Cirrus SR 225 Turbo craft. And, many took advantage. Six students from VHS took this journey to Livermore and it undoubtedly had a lasting impression.

On the previous Friday, Valley High hosted their annual Family BBQ. The event capped their Spirit Week and offered an invitation for current and past students/staff to join in the festivities. The lunch featured hamburgers, hot dogs and several other offerings. It was also a valuable chance for students and staff to mingle in a relaxed environment. Of course, the campus/enrollment size of VHS makes this to be a very viable option.

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