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Town Hall on Dublin School District Growth Packs Fallon Middle School with Parents and Passion

June 2, 2015

DSC_1124Monday evening at Fallon Middle School served as the time and venue for community members in East Dublin to convene with DUSD staff, the Board of Trustees and members of the District Optimization Committee (DOC). The point of the meeting had two purposes. A primary reason was for the Dublin Unified School District and the DOC to publicly share some options to effectively manage growth as enrolment continues to rise at an accelerated rate in this portion of town. The second element would allow district families to voice their opinions/concerns relative to the changes that are being proposed.

The DOC will reconvene on June 15th – for the last time in this academic calendar year. Their desire is to find consensus of a growth plan option that can then be recommended to the Board of Trustees for consideration at their June 23rd meeting. The issue is highly complex and there exists the potential push back from large members of this vicinity if a school boundary change is adopted.

DSC_1137At the outset, Superintendent Stephen Hanke went to great lengths to explain why the District has arrived at this point. The incredible rate of new housing construction in the last decade has appeared to outstrip facility capabilities that were approved in the Eastern Dublin General Plan of 1994. Planning and development for any potential new school is a three to four year proposition. Additionally, there is the question of paying for land and construction. While Amador Elementary School – adjacent to the Positano subdivision will open in a mere three months, it will operate at nearly 75% capacity in its first year of operation. So, with a fourth elementary school coming online for the 2015-16 academic year, the obvious impact will be felt at Fallon Middle School for years to come.

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Dublin High School Alum Emily Edlund: From the University of Arizona to a Los Angeles Law Firm

June 1, 2015

Emily Edlund University of Arizona graduationDublin High School Class of 2011 alum Emily Edlund has been profiled twice during her journey through college. We first caught up with Emily back in 2011 during her first year at the University of Arizona (she wrote for the Life in College Series – Becoming a University of Arizona Wildcat – From Dublin to Tucson). Next we spoke with Emily about her experiences in the Disney College Program (Dublin High School Alum Emily Edlund Finds Magic in the Disney College Program). Now we close the loop: Emily recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in Political Science and Government, and secured a full-time position with a prestigious law firm in Los Angeles, to start her post-college “real world” journey. How did you manage to graduate on time while spending eight months in the Disney College Program?

Emily Edlund: “I took six classes per semester, as well as summer classes, which allowed me to take a semester off and still graduate on time. I also took two online classes while in the Disney College Program in Walt Disney World. I kept in contact with my advisor which helped a lot; he was awesome and made sure I knew what I had to do in order to graduate on time.” Did you hit a wall at any point, where you’d had enough of school?

Emily Disney Badge Dublin CaliforniaEdlund: “That’s why I went to Disney! At the end of my sophomore year I was done. I’m the type of person that’s adventurous, and after two years in Tucson I was ready for something new. The Disney College Program was a refreshing experience, a new city, new people, along with time off from writing papers and taking exams.

“When I went back to school I was a new person, I was refreshed and excited to go back to school. I was on the Dean’s List after returning from Disney and was on the Dean’s List again this semester. Disney sets a really high bar for the work they expect and that experience helped me when I returned to school and in securing my first full-time job. The Disney expectation of quality definitely had an impact on my school work in my junior and senior years of college.”

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Assemblywoman Catherine Baker and DPIE Recognize Dublin High School Students Promoting Composting

May 31, 2015

Dublin Partners in Education Poster Content Winners and PresentersWith the blizzard of activities occurring at the end of the academic school year, it might be easy to miss a small, yet very powerful event. On Friday, a few luminaries, students and members of the Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE) convened at the Teacher Lounge adjacent in the Dublin High School Student Union.

The purpose was to recognize students that had received high achievement in a Poster Contest under the theme of “Be Loyal to Your Soil – Compost.” This competition represented a collaboration that included DPIE, Stop Waste, Amador Valley Industries and 16th District Representative Catharine Baker. Their intent was to place a spotlight on the importance of composting and to allow the Dublin High students to present a visual representation of what this movement means to them. A rating system was devised to measure elements such as Marketability, Creativity and Overall Impact.

As the students filed into the lounge, they were also joined by City Council Member Don Biddle, DUSD Board President Amy Miller, Representative Baker, DPIE Executive Director Susan Campbell and other members of the DPIE board. One by one, each student was provided an opportunity to speak about their artistic inspiration:

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Dublin High School Alum Vivian Huang: Graduating San Diego State University and Entering the Real World

May 29, 2015
Vivian Huang Dublin High School and San Diego State University Graduate

DHS Alum Vivian Huang

Dublin High School Class of 2011 and San Diego State University Class of 2014 alum Vivian Huang shares her story as the latest entry in’s Life After College Series. Vivian managed to graduate early, land multiple internships and a job after graduating, while enjoying a full college experience. What led you to select San Diego State University for college? What is life like going to school in San Diego?

Vivian Huang: “Originally, my plan was to go out of state for school. But at 18, despite wanting independence and freedom, I came to realize that I wasn’t completely ready to be thousands of miles away from family, specifically my younger sister, whom I’m very close with.

“Once I decided to stay in California for school, the decision was easy. San Diego was the perfect culmination of great weather, beaches and academics. Plus, it was far enough for me to embark on my journey of self-discovery but close enough for me to go home on a whim. Between UCSD and SDSU, I ended up choosing SDSU because they offered a broader range of studies and I wanted to have a fully immersive educational experience.” There are many stories of students who struggle to complete their degrees in four years. What advice do you have to stay on track?

Huang: “Like most things in life, it’s important to go to college with a plan. I’m lucky, I guess, to have always been a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to organizing my life. I went into school determined to graduate in just 3 years so that I could have ample time getting some work experience in before applying to grad school. In order to achieve this goal, I mapped out my semesters over the course of 3 years and adjusted as needed.

“While it’s unrealistic for everyone to be that prepared, it’s still good to have a general idea of what classes you want to take and when they are offered. For students going in undeclared, you can still plan out your GE schedules and pre-rec’s. For students who have trouble getting the classes that they need, become an expert at crashing courses. Email the professor early or talk to them after class. Show up every day because people are guaranteed to drop courses within the first couples of weeks.

“Contrary to popular belief, it’s definitely possible to graduate early or on time and still have a thriving social life and college experience.”

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Dublin High School Student Film Festival Celebrated by Overflow Crowd

May 28, 2015
Dublin High Student Filmmakers

Dublin High Student Filmmakers

The Center for the Performing Arts & Education was filled beyond capacity on Wednesday evening as the first annual 2015 Dublin High School Film Festival was screened before a wildly enthusiastic crowd. After the 500-seat theatre filled to capacity, additional moviegoers were re-directed to watch the production from the adjacent Green Room.

This is a tremendous accomplishment achieved by Video Production instructor Michael D’Ambrosio. This first-year program has generated a tremendous amount of momentum that will carry over into the 2015-16 academic year with the addition of an Advanced Video Production course. In addition to showing the “Best of the Video Bulletins” from this year, four original student directed films were screened to an enthusiastic audience.

The evening opening with a personal and moving perspective on depression through the first person stories of local teens and their battles with the disease. Two students followed with an uplifting film that provided their perspective on being kind – including surprising complete strangers with gifts and goodwill. A shift into fiction followed with the tale of a teen suffering from hallucinations that take him to harrowing climax. The final film was a moving documentary capturing Dublin teen Camille Chabot’s battle against Hodgkins Lymphoma, crafted by her sister Juliette.

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Dublin High School Senior Grace Li on the Freshman Mentor Program (FMP)

May 27, 2015

by Grace Li (Dublin High School Class of 2015)

Dublin High School Freshman Mentor Program FMP 1 - Photo credit Dublin Shield

Photo credit: Dublin Shield

Earlier this year, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to apply to be freshman mentors for Dublin High School’s first ever, Freshman Mentor Program (FMP). For those of you who aren’t familiar with FMP, FMP is a 24-minute period at the beginning of lunch, during which freshmen head to their assigned teachers and engage in activities with their mentors, which consist of upperclassmen. FMP was started by Dublin High staff Ms. Angel-Diaz and Ms. Byrne, and is held Monday through Thursday.

According to the FMP website, “The Freshman Mentor Program provides each freshman with a supportive environment that helps ease their adjustment from middle school to high school.” Freshmen are placed in “an ongoing orientation that includes information about school policies, procedures and programs, academic and social counseling and relationship building through upperclassmen mentors.”

I really wanted to apply, but finally decided against it in fear that college applications plus FMP mentoring would make me too stressed. However, curiosity finally got the better of me. What went on in FMP? What were all my friends doing during the FMP period as I did homework in the library? Was FMP fun? Was it hard? What was FMP?

I decided to visit two FMPs to find out exactly what happened. And after spending over a week in these sessions, I really regret not signing up to be a mentor when I still had the chance.

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Dublin High School Alum Kaylee Moser Discovers Computer Science and Silicon Valley Success

May 26, 2015

Kaylee Moser

Kaylee Moser

Our latest entry in the Life in College and Women in STEM series profiles Dublin High School Class of 2010 and Santa Clara University Class of 2014 computer science major Kaylee Moser. Kaylee’s story highlights that there are many paths to landing a job at a Silicon Valley tech company in the hot field of software engineering. Kaylee shares her experiences switching majors (and colleges) to follow her passion while still staying on track to graduate in four years, and offers advice to students managing the transition from high school to college, and from college to the “real world”. When sparked your interest in computer science?

Kaylee Moser: “My interest started in college. I was really into filmmaking in high school and was actually a film major for my first year and a half of college. I decided to switch into computer science when I started doing a lot of editing, 3D animation and visual effects. I realized how much I missed math when I began using the software that editors use, and learning more about the math behind the software. Even though I thought I hated math in high school, I really missed math in college! I left the 4-year college I was attending and enrolled in Chabot Community College for one semester where I took a Python course, and loved it – the logic that was involved, the challenging fun of the course, and the feeling of making things with code. And from that point out I was a computer science major and ultimately graduated from Santa Clara University.”

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