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Dublin High School’s Principal Carol Shimizu on Hiring Amazing Teachers

October 19, 2015
Dublin High School Principal Carol Shimizu

Dublin High School Principal Carol Shimizu

Dublin High School, and most schools in the Dublin Unified School District, are experiencing explosive growth. Not surprisingly, that means school sites are under pressure to hire new teachers while maintaining the quality of education that has, in part, driven the growth. recently met with Principal Carol Shimizu to better understand the hiring process for Dublin High School.

Mary Morehead: How and when do you identify staffing needs?

Carol Shimizu: “Staffing needs are determined in the springtime after counselors go to the middle schools to find out how many students are coming to the freshman class, and then working within each grade level of the high school to find out how many students will be returning.”

Morehead: Have you noticed a change in the calibre of teachers applying for positions at Dublin High School, and the number of candidates, given the positive press about the accomplishments of the school in recent years?

Shimizu: “We’re overwhelmed with candidates. This is a destination district, the word is out, teachers come here because they know the schools are high calibre, they love the Dublin community and they see evidence of parent support such as the new facilities and involvement in school events. We have our pick of really strong applicants. We’re very fortunate.”

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Dublin’s New Teachers Get 1:1 Coaching and Professional Development through TVTIP

October 16, 2015

DSC_0132It is one thing to make a personal commitment to achieve a teaching credential and to devote oneself to the profession. It is a different experience altogether to be responsible for 25 or more students every day for nearly ten months.

For this and many other reasons, the Tri-Valley Teacher Induction Project (TVTIP) was created in 2002. TVTIP represents a collaborative organization that supports early career educators in Castro Valley, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol. This program was developed to support eligible teachers as they transition from university preparation into their career as well as out-of-state trained teachers who possess a California single or multiple subject preliminary credential. The purpose of the organization was to create the pathway for these professionals to obtain their Level II Professional Clear Credential.

The goal was clear. Research has suggested that knowledge of teaching practices, understanding student learning outcomes and the ability to reflect upon one’s own practice would lead to superior student achievement and to personal professional growth.

So, how does this work? Newly minted teachers are frequently assigned to TVTIP Instructional coaches. These coaches partner with the teachers in-class and make observations and assessments. The goal is to share feedback in real time and to open an open dialogue with the instructor and coach. Keep in mind that the relationship between classroom teacher and coach is singular. The coaches do not report back to the site administrator. At its most basic level, this is a peer-to-peer bond. In some ways it resembles a Yoda to Jedi Knight relationship.

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Dublin High School Athletic Director Peter Scarpelli on Developing Student Athletes

October 14, 2015

IMG_1712Dublin High School recently announced the arrival of Peter Scarpelli to lead Dublin High athletics. Scarpelli joins from Amador Valley High School where he spent 15 years leading Amador’s successful Track and Field team. As head track coach (including six years as the cross country coach), Scarpelli led the program to East Bay Athletic League titles in 2012, 2013 and 2015, NCS Area Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and NCS Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Scarpelli graduated from Terra Linda High in 1986 and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Sacramento State University.’s Mary Morehead recently caught up with Scarpelli to learn more about his approach to leading student athletes.

Mary Morehead: How did you get your start in education and coaching?

Peter Scarpelli: “I started my journey in education at Clayton Valley High School as an assistant track coach for the long and triple jumps specifically. I was in the business world at the time and when I started coaching I was already thinking of making a career change. I fell in love with working with kids in an athletic arena. My background in college was criminal justice and my career at the time was in printing and engraving, so it was a major change to become an educator.”

Morehead: Why are you passionate about athletics?

Scarpelli: “I believe athletics has so many far-reaching impacts in terms of life virtues that help you, and those around you, succeed. Athletics can help you inspire others. Athletics is a source of key life lessons including time management. It’s not easy balancing academics, sports, extracurricular activities, friends and everything else that comes up.

“I’ve found that most students, once they involve themselves in something such as athletics and have multiple things to do, are more efficient with their time.”

Morehead: Being a coach means investing a lot of time after school and on weekends. What is the ultimate reward for that investment?

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Alex Cappa at the Line of Scrimmage with the Humboldt State University Jacks

October 9, 2015
Alex with Dublin High Asst. Principal Bill Branca

Alex (right) with DHS Asst. Principal Bill Branca

Our latest entry in the popular Life in College Series profiles Dublin High School Class of 2013 graduate Alex Cappa, now attending Humboldt State University on a football scholarship. While at Dublin High School, Alex played varsity baseball and football, and performed in multiple Drama Club productions, including taking 3rd place at the 2013 Ohlone College High School Theatre Festival. In 2014, Alex was a unanimous First Team All-GNAC selection and was named the GNAC Offensive Lineman of the Year. You were successful in high school both in baseball and football, what led you to pursue football for college?

Alex Cappa: “Baseball was the first sport I ever played and it was the thing I loved to do more than anything since I was five years old. Sports has always been a way for me to identify myself and I always thought I was a ‘baseball player’. When I was going into high school my dad really encouraged me to play football. As a freshman our team was extremely successful and didn’t lose a game. It was one of the most fun years of my life and I was immediately hooked on football.

During my sophomore year, around the third week of football season, I was called up to varsity which was an eye-opening experience for me and an experience that boosted my confidence in myself as a ‘football player’. That year my coach told me if I worked hard and did well in school I could play college football; this was the first time I can remember someone telling me this. The next couple years it became clear to me that I was better at football than baseball. I started to identify myself more as a ‘football player’ who also played baseball. I never remember making a choice that I would play football instead of baseball in college, that was just the way everyone talked to me and I was naturally guided down the path to becoming a college football player.” That path to college for athletes is different in many ways; what was your path to signing with Humboldt College and Jacks football? Read more…

Dublin High Homecoming Skit Rally HD Video Journal 2015

October 8, 2015

Dublin High School Skit RallyDublin High School’s Sports Complex was standing-room only Wednesday evening for the 2015 edition of the annual Homecoming Skit Rally.  For the families, friends, alumni and curious  community members who were unable to attend is pleased to present all four skits and the spirit squad performance in HD video, with a time lapse movie of the skits (if you only have two minutes to spare) as an added bonus. Photos from the event are available on’s Facebook page (available here…).

Dublin High School Freshman Skit

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Fallon Middle School Students Dance and Swing for Physical Education

October 4, 2015

DSC_0088Upon walking onto the Fallon Middle School campus during the 8th grade lunch period, it was an uncommon experience to hear music blaring from the MP. What could be heard was Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Upon signing in at the front office and returning to the MP, “Rock the Town” by the Stray Cats was playing. At least for one week, this was the norm at FMS. The purpose was to conduct the first annual Swing Dance Competition. The event began on Tuesday for all participants, moved to cut-downs on Wednesday and then culminated in a final presentation on Thursday.

While the introduction of swing dance was not a new phenomenon at Fallon, the construction of a formal competition was. This concept was introduced as a way to ease some of the students into the school year when the weather in late August/early September was still very warm. But what was fascinating to observe was the sheer enthusiasm of the 7th and 8th graders that elected to participate. It was obvious to us that the students embraced this as school-wide event vs. an actual competition. Further, they seemed to enjoy the activity and readily supported their fellow students.

On Tuesday, all participants were invited to perform in different shifts – to provide ample room to perform and to allow the judges an opportunity to view their performances. At the end of each lunch period, all dancers performed en masse followed by an enthusiastic cheer from other students and parents. Wednesday provided a bit more competitive spirit, as the general group needed to be whittled down. The entire competition culminated in final performances on Thursday by both the 7th and 8th grade students.

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Dougherty Elementary School Named National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Dept of Education

September 30, 2015

DUBLIN, CA — Dougherty Elementary School has become the first school in the history of the Dublin Unified School District to earn recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday.

Dougherty was one of 29 California public schools to receive the honor this year, 285 schools were honored nationally. The recognized schools are required to be performing in the top 15 percent of schools statewide as measured by state assessments. Three Alameda County schools were recognized.

James Dougherty Elementary School

2015 National Blue Ribbon School Profile

“We are very proud and honored that Dougherty Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School,” Superintendent Stephen Hanke said. “Clearly, the district commitment to student learning and the dedication and hard work of our teachers, staff, leadership and parents is reflected in this important award. Congratulations to the Dougherty community on receiving this much deserved recognition.”

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