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Dublin, California is Becoming a Norcal Chess Powerhouse

February 23, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Youth chess is thriving in Dublin, with a plethora of clubs for elementary school-aged beginners, highly-competitive school-based teams, and two nationally-ranked individual players.

Long dominated by Fremont, Saratoga, Cupertino, and other affluent, high-performing school districts, Dublin chess teams are starting to make their mark in the Bay Area, racking up team and individual trophies.

At the Scholastic section of the recent U.S. Amateur Team West tournament, Fallon Middle School sent five teams, with two taking home hardware: a mixed team of 7th and 8th-graders tied for first overall with an unblemished 5-0 record, while another team took first in its lower division category. Fallon players Abhinav Koka, Anish Kasam and Anish Kataria won 1st or 2nd-place for their undefeated individual records.


Fallon’s chess club has already won 9 regional and national team trophies this fall, adding to the nine it won last year. The club has almost 90 players, of whom almost two-thirds are competing – and winning – in U.S. Chess-rated tournaments, including 6th grader Evan Ai, who has been ranked in the top 30 in the country for his age for the past 5 years, and 8th-grader Koka, who recently took second among all 14-year-olds at a national tournament. Read more…


Dublin High School Students on Witnessing an Historic Inauguration and March

February 22, 2017

It occurs once every four years in the United States. It is either the peaceful transfer or continuation of power vested in the White House. 2017 was no different in that Donald J. Trump accepted the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States and succeeded Barack Obama on Friday, January 20th. The event was witnessed by thousands of people and was viewed my millions more on broadcast television throughout the globe. However, there is a local angle worth noting.

On the preceding Sunday, 15 Dublin High School students gathered at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and boarded a flight to the Washington Dulles Airport. This excursion was organized through the Close Up organization. Since its founding the mission of the group has been to offer a “living classroom” experience in the nation’s capitol. This is largely achieved through an experiential process – both on the ground and in seminar settings. As in previous years, the program includes students from across the entire country. Through DHS, the program has been led by faculty members Jennifer McCort and Kelly Beck.


While the trip occurs annually, this January trip was made even more significant in that the attendees would have the rare opportunity to witness a Presidential Inauguration ceremony. The daily schedule for the students included a mixture of memorial site visits and classroom workshops/seminars. Some of the notable sites visited were those that included Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Jefferson and the Korea & Vietnam Memorials. Additionally, the group made visits to the Newseum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Museum and to the Iwo Jima Memorial. Meals were hosted at their hotel in Arlington and Good Night/Room Check occurred between 10:00 – 11:00 PM.

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Dublin High School Senior Derick Louie Leads Gael Force Robotics to the World Stage

February 21, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School senior Derick Louie has successfully led the 5327C Senior Team to win numerous accolades in various tournaments in the 2016-2017 school year — a milestone achievement for Gael Force Robotics. This year, Derick is the Vice President of Gael Force Robotics; he joined the club in his freshman year in 2013, and captained his first team in 2015. Among his many achievements, Derick and his team have qualified for the World Championships for the past 3 years, and also received the following awards:

  • 2013-2014:
    • 1x Design Award – Dougherty Valley High School VEX Robotics Tournament
    • 1x Excellence Award – California HS VRC State Championship
  • 2015-2016:
    • 1x Design Award – Bellarmine Bay Area VEX Robotics Tournament
    • 1x Think Award – Dougherty Valley High School VEX Robotics Tournament
  • 2016-2017:
    • 2x Tournament Champions – Dougherty Valley High School VEX Robotics Tournament, Google VEX Starstruck Tournament
    • 1x Build Award – Tracy Triangle VEX Robotics Tournament



Here, Derick shares more about how his passion for robotics is leading him to pursue mechanical engineering at the college level, and reflects on everything he has learned along the way.

Neha Harpanhalli: Can you describe what VEX Robotics is, for those not familiar with it?

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Meet Dublin Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa Gonzales

February 15, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–The Dublin Unified School District has gone through significant leadership changes over the past year, while experiencing continued rapid growth. Building on our series of interviews with the new leadership team, recently met with DUSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa Gonzales. Dr. Gonzales earned her Ed.D. at the University of La Verne, was most recently the Interim Superintendent at the Lakeside Joint School District and is currently the President Elect of the Association of California School Administrators.


Mary Morehead: What is the role of assistant superintendent?

Dr. Lisa Gonzales: “I see myself as a leader of leaders. I work with many different directors in different departments, who have staff under them, who support teachers, classified staff and instructional programs all working together for students. Programs include curriculum and instruction, assessment, special  education, ROP/CTE, student services, educational technology, and adult education.”

Morehead: What are the biggest challenges facing California public education?

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Women in STEM: Dublin High School’s Katina Lewis on 25 Years of Bringing Physics to Life

February 6, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–2017 marks Ms. Katina Lewis’ 25th year teaching physics at Dublin High School. She joined Dublin High in February 1992, when a Physics teacher was needed in the middle of the school year, and the student body has been fortunate enough to have her here ever since.

Ms. Lewis grew up in Washington State, and earned a double major in math and science with a minor in German at the University of Puget Sound. She was a recipient of the Crystal Apple Award in 2015, along with Dublin High chemistry teacher Mrs. Jeanne Morgan.

I was thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to sit down with this extraordinary teacher, who continues to share her passion for physics with students and bring her remarkable energy to the classroom everyday.


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BREAKING: Dublin School Board Approves Negotiations to Acquire Land for Second Comprehensive High School at Special Meeting

February 2, 2017

Dublin, CA–Cutting to the headline, after six hours of public and closed door deliberations last night, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees has approved moving forward with negotiations to acquire land for a second comprehensive high school. In closed session four sites were eliminated (“Croak”, “Chen”, “Fallon” and “Camp Parks”) and six left on the table (“Di Manto A/B”, “Fallon”, “Murray/Nielsen”, “Promenade”, “SAP”, “Ziess Property”).


On Wednesday evening, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees convened at the District Office to hold a Special Meeting on the myriad of issues that revolve around the subject of constructing a potential second high school campus within the city limits of Dublin. The desire/demand for this project is simply driven by two factors: current enrollment at Dublin High School and the continued residential development and corresponding increase in student enrollment in the foreseeable future. The six hour meeting, which included public and closed door sessions, was lightly attended with only two speakers from the public.


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Life as a Computer Engineer at San Jose State University – Zoie MacDougall’s Coding Journey

February 1, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School Class of 2015 alum and San Jose State University Class of 2019 sophomore Zoie MacDougall, now pursuing a degree in computer engineering, is our next Life in College and Women in STEM profile. Zoie was a member of the Dublin High School Gael Force Robotics Team which competed in tournaments including the VEX World Championships. How would you describe coding to a middle school student?

Zoie MacDougall: “Coding is using a computer to create things and solve problems. I started coding in 4th grade on Neopets, a site where you can modify pages using HTML. At the time I never thought of that as coding, it was just a way to make my page look nice. I ended up Googling ‘how do you make your page look pretty’ and learned how to code in HTML. I would learn how other people’s code worked and then write my own code.

“At first coding was a way to make a computer do fun and cool things. As you get more into coding  you learn it’s is a powerful tool for self-expression. Coding can be really helpful in solving math problems. In robotics, code is a way to bring a hunk of metal to life. Coding is so many things – you can do whatever you want with coding.”


me-today-at-sjsu What experiences at Dublin High School helped prepare you for computer engineering at San Jose State University?

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