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Valley High School Graduate Follows Her Pageant Dreams and Serves as an Ambassador

January 28, 2016

Aliyah Martin 1DUBLIN, CA–Amid all of the events that occurred last December, a rather innocuous contest gained immediate and worldwide attention. The event was the annual Miss Universe competition. This televised program gained instant notoriety when host Steve Harvey incorrectly awarded the crown to Miss Columbia. The mantle was then correctly presented to Miss Philippines and the aftermath was internet history.

Online, the reaction was swift and many surmised that this was a calculated attempt by the organizers to bring attention to this telecast. For at least the next couple of weeks, the subject was trending highly and it sparked much discussion about the veracity of these endeavors. While this temporary firestorm eventually died down, it also gave us an opportunity to explore the experiences of a recent Valley High School graduate. Counselor Liz Buckley introduced to Ms. Aliyah Martin last fall. Aliyah attained her diploma from VHS in June 2015 and is now a student at Diablo Valley College where she is continuing her studies in Early Childhood Education/Development. She hopes to someday become a teacher.

What separates Ms. Martin from her colleagues is that she is actually competed in pageants. The initial inspiration came from a friend that had previously participated and a simply flyer in the mail encouraged Aliyah to ultimately take the leap. Subsequently, she entered into her first National American Miss Pageant in San Jose in 2014.

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Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Hanke Announces Retirement

January 26, 2016
Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dr Stephen Hanke

Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke

DUBLIN, CA — Dr. Stephen Hanke, who has served as Superintendent of the Dublin Unified School District for the past 10 years, announced his retirement Tuesday night at the Board of Trustees meeting.

Hanke’s retirement from the position will be effective June 30, 2016.

The Board of Trustees will immediately begin the process of preparing the search for Dr. Hanke’s “I have had the wonderful opportunity to serve the Dublin community for the past 10 years, and am especially proud to be a part of an amazing team of leaders and teachers who have worked very hard to build our school district into what it is today, a highly sought-after, strong organization focused on what really matters, student learning,” Dr. Hanke said. “This decision is a difficult one for me to make and has been on my mind for a time. After much discussion with my family, we have decided the time is right to take this step.”

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Dublin School District Publishes Answers to Questions Regarding Growth, Overcrowding

January 21, 2016
Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dr Stephen Hanke

Superintendent Dr. Hanke

DUBLIN, CA–Dublin Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke sent an email and FAQ to parents and community members Wednesday regarding rapid growth and overcrowding impacting multiple schools. Dr. Hanke also announced a “School Facilities Academy” to be held on Monday February 1 (6:30 – 8:30pm) in the Dublin High School Performing Arts and Education Center. As per the invitation, “a panel of experts in school construction financing, real estate and legal counsel will be providing relevant, current information on issues related to Dublin’s growth challenges and the impact on our schools.”

Below is the text of the email and FAQ that were issued earlier today. Have questions that were not answered by the District FAQ? Leave your questions as comments and we’ll forward to the District.

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Dublin 2016-17 School Year to Start Aug 15, Union Agreement Reached

January 15, 2016

DUSD proposed calendar 2016-17The Dublin Unified School District has reached an agreement with the Dublin Teachers Association covering the next two school years. For teachers, the agreement includes one-time and ongoing salary increases. For students and parents, the agreement adjusts the 2016-17 school year to start earlier – on August 15, 2016 – and end early – on June 2, 2017. The adjusted schedule allows high school students to complete finals before the winter break and provides more days in the classroom for AP students before the standardized AP exams scheduled by the College Board. The updated agreement including the school calendar was approved by the Dublin School Board earlier this week at the regularly scheduled Board Meeting.

Press release from the Dublin Unified School District released yesterday afternoon:

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Life at UC Santa Barbara – from a Dublin Gael to a Seaside Gaucho

January 14, 2016

by Katie Somerville (Dublin High School Class of 2012 and UC Santa Barbara Class of 2016)


Katie Somerville

It is surreal to think, as I sit here writing from my ocean front house listening to the sound of the waves crashing, that I only have two quarters left at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rewind three and half years to freshman move in day: getting dropped off at my dorm and watching my mom drive away without me was a weird, terrifying, and exciting experience. I was forced to share a room with a stranger, surrounded by thousands of people I had never met and was now solely responsible for myself for the first time in my life!


My house, five minutes from campus

Thankfully, this daunting feeling lasted about five minutes before I was swept away with the exhilaration of becoming a college student. Santa Barbara is not the hardest place to call home. With 283 days of sunshine a year, spectacular ocean views, and unbeatable good vibes, you could say that going to UCSB is very close to living in paradise.

The fears I had that first day were definitely not realized. That randomly assigned stranger turned out to be my roommate for the next four years (I guess the compatibility survey worked pretty well). I chose to be on the outdoor adventure floor so, for the most part, everyone was very active and you could always find someone to go with on a hike, to the beach, or get a game of volleyball going on the sand courts. My floor became the source of some of my best friends at UCSB. With the dining commons an elevator ride away, I never had to worry about a meal (freshman, you may complain now, but I promise you’ll miss it when you have to go grocery shopping, cook every meal, and do dishes!).

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Dublin High School Hosts VEX Robotics “Gael Force Battle of the Bay”

January 11, 2016

DSC04258After six years of competing in VEX competitions throughout the country, the Dublin High School Gael Force Robotics Club hosted their first competition this past Saturday–Gael Force Battle of the Bay.

Starting at 7am., twenty-eight teams from almost fifteen Bay area schools crowded into the old gym to set up their robots and work out any last minute glitches in the practice arena. Although there was only one practice area for all the teams to share, the atmosphere was friendly and everyone seemed excited, but nervous, for the day-long competition to start.

Similar to organizations such as Destination Imagination and Odyssey, the FIRST and VEX create a challenge for robotics teams all over the world. This year’s was to create a robot that can play a game called “Nothing But Net”, or a type of robotic game of basketball. To play the game students form an “alliance” with a randomly-paired team from a different school. Two alliances, or four teams, compete at once. The alliances change from round to round, however they are always called the “red alliance” and the “blue alliance”.

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Congressman Swalwell Brings Congressional App Challenge to Dublin High School

January 10, 2016

DSC04225Dublin High School is home to two STEM events this weekend – a VEX Robotics Competition (which we’ll be writing about separately) and an app hackathon for the second annual Congressional App Challenge. Participating students have an opportunity to participate in coding workshops and work in teams to develop an app. The hackathon is being held in coordination with knodemy, a mentor-based coding academy located in Livermore. The winning CA-15 app will be selected at the conclusion of the hackathon (later today) by a panel of judges and displayed in the United States Capitol and on the House of Representatives website.

We caught up with Congressman Eric Swalwell, who is hosting the event: Tell me a bit about this event and what you’re trying to accomplish.



Congressman Eric Swalwell

Congressman Eric Swalwell: “We’re here for the second annual Congressional App Challenge, which is in the spirit of the Congressional Art Competition which we also hold every year. This event reflects the changing innovation economy which is going to need bright, young, talented minds, and Congress has a role to play. We’ve invited everyone in the District to come out and work in a collaborative environment over 48 hours, with experts in technology, and hopefully walk away with something that makes life easier, healthier or a little more fun.” 

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