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Graduating from UC San Diego and Landing a Silicon Valley Software Job in Four Years

June 30, 2014

by Kirsten Koa (Dublin High School Class of 2010 and UC San Diego Class of 2014)

Kirsten Koa and her family at UCSD graduation

Kirsten and family at graduation

If someone had told me when I left Dublin to study Computer Science at UC San Diego that I’d later land a job at Google and get offers from multiple other companies as a Software Engineer, I probably would have just smiled and thanked them for the compliment.

Four years ago, I chose to major in computer science because I loved playing video games growing up and I thought it would be cool to learn how to make some. Even though I took a variety of AP courses at Dublin High, I went into college with pretty much zero programming experience. The most “coding” I had ever done was messing with some HTML/CSS code to make my MySpace profile look better in middle school. (Do high schoolers today even know what MySpace is?)

Anyway, I started out in the moderate-paced introductory class where we pretty much learned how to code photos filters similar to the ones you’d find on Instagram. It was a really cool and well-taught introductory class, but the transition from:

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Dublin High School Alum Emily Edlund Finds Magic in the Disney College Program

June 27, 2014
Emily Edlund outside EPCOT

Emily outside EPCOT

It’s a safe bet that you’ve visited one or more of the Walt Disney Company’s theme parks and are an experienced guest. It’s also likely that you’ve interacted with many Disney Cast Members, who are universally adorned with distinctive Disney Cast Member name tags. You may even have dreamed of working in a Disney park one day. For a select group of college students that dream becomes a reality, courtesy of the Disney College Program which provides students a unique opportunity to learn valuable skills in customer service and professionalism.

Dublin High School graduate and University of Arizona rising senior Emily Edlund is currently completing the Disney College Program in Walt Disney World, Florida. She graciously agreed to sit down with during her day off and share her experiences since joining the program earlier this year. It’s been a couple of years since you wrote your Life in College article about the University of Arizona; before talking about the Disney College Program, how are things going at school?

Emily Edlund: “The University of Arizona has been great. I’m currently completing a political science major with a pre-law minor.

“Taking six classes per semester, which was necessary because I changed my major and I wanted to stay on track to graduate in four years, has been difficult. A life-changer for me was buying a desk calendar. Right before classes start I read all of the class syllabuses and I write down the due dates for everything. That organizational step boosted my grades and makes me feel better – when I come home from school I know what I have to focus on and how to prioritize my time.” How did you find out about the Disney College Program?

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Life at Georgetown University – A Dublin High School Gael Meets Jack the Bulldog

June 26, 2014
Ina (left) with friend Adriana

Ina (left) with friend Adriana

by Ina Deljkic (Dublin High School Class of 2012)

On a regular December morning  two years ago, I was sitting at my desk, studying for my Microeconomics exam, when my mom walked in with a very thin envelope in hand and a serious expression. I tore open the deceptively small envelope and sighed, fearing the worst: a rejection letter from Georgetown University, my dream school. As I pulled out the folded white letter, I pictured myself walking through the historic front gates of campus like I had every day since I first set my eyes on the campus, a short year before.

My hands were shaking and my heart was beating as I read the letter, over and over again, in disbelief.

“Congratulations!” it read.

“Ecstatic” doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt. I was relieved to know that my four years of hard work in high school paid off. Weeks of anxious anticipation regarding the status of my application all culminated in this one moment. I was honored—honored that I landed on the right side of a 13% early action acceptance rate to Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business!

McDonough School of Business

McDonough School of Business

Not a day goes by where I do not look back on my past two years at Georgetown and feel incredibly lucky. I am lucky not only to be receiving such a fantastic undergraduate business education (Georgetown’s undergraduate program in Finance was recently ranked #1 in the nation by BusinessWeek), but also lucky to be living in nation’s capital, enjoying all that “the Hilltop” has to offer. I absolutely love it here. I love the constant aura of rewarding positivity that balances the challenging coursework, the unmatched energy at the Verizon Center after a 61-39 win against Syracuse, bumping into Vice President Joe Biden on the way to my Financial Accounting class,  receiving life advice from Warren Buffett and attending a lecture by none other than President Bill Clinton, a Georgetown alum! In addition, during my freshman year, I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending inauguration with my friends. Even though I felt like a sardine pushed against thousands of other people on Constitution Ave. as I walked toward Congressman Eric Swalwell’s constituent gathering, it was a day I will never forget.

“Why Georgetown? Why leave California?”

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Dublin School Board Approves Hybrid Dublin High Bell Schedule Change for ’14-15

June 25, 2014

Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees Debates Dublin High School Schedule ChangeWith the end of the fiscal calendar quickly approaching at the end of June, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees convened on Tuesday evening to conduct their final meeting of the year. One of the highlights was the appointments to several positions, including the new Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and the new Assistant Principals at Frederiksen, Dublin and Green Elementary schools.

However, agenda item J5 loomed as the most significant issue as it relates to the Dublin High School bell schedule. As we previously reported in multiple stories in June, the DUSD was contemplating a rather dramatic change to the way in which the school day is constructed. This potential change was driven by two major factors. For years, the District has been examining ways to mitigate the number of “D’s” and “F’s” that have been sustained by a significant percentage of the general student population. While DUSD has accomplished a ten-year record run of API improvement across the board, an achievement gap does exist for a sub-section of its students. Like most all school districts in California, DUSD has been researching ways to reduce or eliminate this gap. The movement gained further momentum with a site visit by several of its members to Aldai Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. By weaving a Professional Learning Community (PLC) into its culture and furthermore, embedding intervention periods within the body of the school day, Stevenson experienced very positive results. Twenty years ago, approximately 60% of the students at Stevenson had achieved either a D or F – or both. Today, that number has been reduced into single digits. It was not a quick turn and one that required multiple changes to their overall strategy and philosophy.

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Dublin High School Freshman Abigale Kim Rallies Teens to Stop Social Media Negativity

June 23, 2014

by Abigale Kim (Dublin High School incoming freshman)

One day in my Fallon Middle School Leadership Class was particularly exciting. Chairs were in the center, and a big screen stood in front. Inspirational pop music was playing loudly. Normally in Fallon Pride Team (FPT), we would conduct games for students during lunch time activities, or make birthday cards for students. It was a quiet atmosphere where we would “have fun, but get it done” and be “flat-paper”, or efficient, as teacher Mrs. Young likes to say. I take a seat in and look at the screen. Typed up in big letters is the Twitter hashtag #iCANHELP.

During this two hour leadership class, we learned about deleting negativity off social media. We played the compliment game with a megaphone, where you compliment another person in the crowd. We also discussed tips such as putting your phones in the center of the table while hanging out.

So you may ask, what is #iCANHELP? It’s a program designed to delete negativity off social media, and promote positivity. For example, the main account, @icanhelpdeletenegativity on Instagram, is centered on Excelisor Middle School. It posts “Happy Help Day” instead of “Hump Day” (teenagers know that “hump day” is Wednesday”), and other inspirational posts.

Teens can do a lot to promote #iCANHELP. They can follow my new account @icanhelpdublin on Instagram, and the main one @icanhelpdeletenegativity. The new account @icanhelpdublin centers on Dublin, CA and spreading the word of #iCANHELP. Teens can also follow tips about deleting negativity off social media. #iCANHELP was profiled by KPIX 5 reporter Juliette Goodrich late last year:

Read more… Honored by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA)

June 20, 2014

ACSA ProgramWe are pleased to share that has been awarded with the Partners in Educational Excellence Award from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 6, and is now moving forward to the California State round of competition.

Established in 2009, has served only one purpose, to celebrate education excellence for all public school sites within the Dublin Unified School District. The site began with humble beginnings, but in subsequent years has yielded numerous high profile features, always with a focus on education. Some of these have included long-form interviews with the principals of the television program “Mythbusters”, GoldieBlox CEO Debbie Sterling, Disney Imagineer Molly Rinke, DUSD Superintendent Stephen Hanke and even musician Thomas Dolby. has also highlighted scores of students that are matriculating through Top-100 universities throughout the country in the popular Life in College Series of articles..

Additionally, has focused on equally compelling profiles, including DUSD Teacher of Year, Keira Andresen, who helped to create a “Sensory Lab” for all Dublin Elementary students to experience what it is like to live within the Autism spectrum, or Shobha Tejwani, ELL Instructor who helped to guide a 3rd grade immigrant from Vietnam to proficiency in ELA or to a small group of students that are preparing for a career in Cosmetology through the Tri-Valley ROP Program.

We have been blessed to have this opportunity. Perhaps what has been most gratifying is that close to 40 staff members, family and student writers have contributed content to The platform is truly community-based and is grassroots in its nature.

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Dublin Beauty College Provides ROP Students with Real-World Experience and the Path to a Recession-Proof Career

June 16, 2014
Students Lexie Winter and Lupe Garcia

Students Lexie Winter and Lupe Garcia

The last time you had your hair cut & styled or nails done you were likely pleased with the service, and may even have a long standing relationship with your service provider. You may take for granted the quality of service you received. But what led to that individual acquiring the skills to deliver such a personal service? You’d likely be surprised to learn that 1,600 hours of practical experience and study are required just to be licensed. Features Writer Michael Utsumi dives into the world of cosmetology and the lives of several Valley High School ROP students in his latest feature article.

In the wake of the widely covered graduation ceremonies at Dublin High School, a rather quiet, yet equally important activity was happening right down the street on Village Parkway. Located in a non-descript shopping plaza sits the Dublin Beauty College, which continues on as one of the older businesses in town and is one of two Arnold Beauty College locations. More than forty students were completing their daily afternoon of study and hands-on training in cosmetology.

The opportunity to enroll in a cosmetology program exists for high school students and adults and is an element of the Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program (ROP). ROP provides learning opportunities in multiple industries/disciplines. Further, students are welcome to take an ROP class on any campus or industry site in Dublin, Pleasanton or Livermore.

As it specifically relates to beauty colleges in the Bay Area, there are many choices. However, students enrolled in ROP are eligible to participate at a zero or reduced tuition rate. From a practical matter, the students are striving to accumulate 1,600 hours of total course study and hands-on experience. Thereupon, the student is eligible to take the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology exam. The program is not completely free to students. They are expected to initially purchase a “kit” that includes vital tools and a textbook. The cost is roughly $900.00. However, tuition and learning comes at no cost once enrolled.

In order to understand more specifics, arranged a visit with Dublin Beauty College Supervisor, Mr. Jim Miles. Jim has been employed at the Dublin site since 2002 where he was promoted to Supervisor in 2007. Today, he oversees the work of staff and students at a salon that operates five days a week.

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