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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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Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” Starts Run at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center

January 29, 2017

Pleasanton, CA–This weekend welcomed the opening performances of the Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre’s production of Cole Porter’s classic musical Anything Goes, now playing through February 12 at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton.

This rousing, big dance musical spectacular is an amusing story wrapped around one of Cole Porter’s magical scores. Terrific Cole Porter songs include: It’s De-Lovely, Friendship, I Get A Kick Out Of You, All Through The Night, Anything Goes, You’re The Top and Blow, Gabriel, Blow. Critically acclaimed, professional Director/Actor, David Judson directs the production and is supported by acclaimed Music Director, Brett Strader and Choreographer, Suzanne Brandt.



Judson – “I am absolutely thrilled to work with this big, professional cast. Anything Goes features incredible Cole Porter music and fantastic dancing, including tap. This show is sure to have our audience humming the famous tunes and tapping their feet as they watch this spectacle. I’m equally thrilled to work with such an incredible creative team including the critically acclaimed Music Director Brett Strader and Choreographer Suzanne Brandt.

“This show features Broadway National Touring actors and amazing professional dancers. Our pro orchestra will be playing their hearts out. Join us for a truly upbeat, fun, entertaining, joyful, and invigorating time.”

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Meals Packed at Frederiksen Elementary School Will Feed Hungry Children in Haiti

January 27, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–It is estimated that 10.9 million children under the age of five die in developing countries each year. Specifically, under nutrition contributes to 53 percent of the deaths. Fortunately, an organization was incorporated in 1999 to help provide solutions – that group is Kids Against Hunger. The foundation has nearly 55 satellite locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Kids Against Hunger’s meals offer all nine of the essential amino acids required for complete nutrition. The initial challenge was to devise a food formulation made from dry ingredients that would not require special storage needs. Ultimately, the formula consisted of long grain rice, crushed soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamin powder. The other clear advantage was that only boiling water would be needed to prepare the meals.


On Friday, the second through fifth graders at Frederiksen Elementary School streamed through the MP in half hour shifts to construct these meal bags. Multiple assembly lines were established to create a smooth flow. Of course in handling food, the students were instructed in sanitation and all participants were required to wear hair nets. It was a fascinating scene. However, it was clear that the students were working with purpose. We checked in with Principal Claire Mognaga to understand how this all came about.

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