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Dublin High School Alum Camille Chabot Defeats Cancer Twice, Graduates on Time from Cal Poly SLO

June 22, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School Class of ’13 graduate Camille Chabot and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Class of ’17 alum walked the stage on Father’s Day to receive her BS in Liberal Studies. What is remarkable is she walked with her class, graduating on time in four years, despite battling stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma cancer not once, but twice. Camille endured surgery, a dozen chemotherapy sessions, a relapse, and a bone marrow transplant. Camille continued her studies through a local community college, even working on a laptop computer during chemo sessions. She missed three quarters in the classroom at Cal Poly, but remained on track academically with the help of professors and advisors.

We most recently spoke to Camille after her first round of treatments, when she hoped cancer would be behind her. We circle back now with both cancer defeated and undergrad completed to learn more about how she stayed on track despite extraordinary challenges.

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James Morehead: Describe the feeling of graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on Father’s Day, on-time with the rest of your class, after everything you’ve been through battling cancer.

Read more…

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Dublin High School Principal Maureen Byrne Reflects on her First Year at the Helm

June 16, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–The Rotary Club of Dublin hosts weekly meetings on Tuesdays. The most recent guest speaker was Maureen Byrne, Principal at Dublin High School. As an Assistant Principal for many years, she was elevated to the position of Principal in 2016 upon the retirement of Carol Shimizu.

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At the Rotary meeting, Ms. Byrne’s presentation was a focused look at how the now three-year old Freshman Mentoring Program (FMP) at Dublin High School is faring. This concept was modeled after several members of the District staff made visits to Stevenson High School in the Chicagoland area. This is a high school with an enrollment in excess of 4,000 students. The reason why this institution has been hailed is two-fold: as a public school, the leadership of Stevenson had made a concerted effort to reduce the number of “D’s” and “F’s” attained by a portion of their students. One of the vehicles that provided this opportunity was a dedicated period throughout the day to prepare freshmen students with a mentoring program that directed their focus on how to successfully navigate high school. Further, this period could also be utilized to provide subject-specific tutoring to help ensure that student success goals could be clearly identified and achieved. While the overall program continues to be refined, it is clear that it is making a positive impact.

We sat down with Principal Bryne and to reflect on the significance of this past year.

OneDublin.org: Describe your tenure at Dublin High School and evaluate your first year as Principal.

Maureen Byrne: “This was my 13th year at DHS. I was Assistant Principal for the previous 12 years, which did a lot to prepare me. I know the culture. I have relationships with the students, staff and community. I love the school and the stakeholders. I knew the transition would be hard work but I have been working hard since I started. So, I think I was as prepared as I could have been. That said, I do not think anything quite prepares you. While the volume of work may not have changed the type of work that I did, I am not used to being in the center stage so that was a hard adjustment. I prefer to be a behind the scenes person but this job asks for a different skill set. It is both challenging and exciting to have to learn those skills. The emotional aspect and responsibility to be the site head for the students, staff and community was harder than anticipated and I am still learning that.

“I think this year had a number of wins and losses. The losses have been centered around my learning curve in having difficult conversations in a way that allows all parties to feel heard and understood, even if they are not happy with the answer. I think timing and communication also can be improved. Having lived through a year, my admin team and I spent time last week calendaring out different reminders. In the win column are: our Gold Ribbon declaration, the continued positive feedback regarding the GAEL period and of course the energy and character of our students. We continue to have a special and unique school while we grow. This says a lot about our staff and their commitment and dedication. It also speaks to our students and parental support.”

OneDublin.org: Your presentation to the Rotary Club largely centered upon the Freshman Mentoring Program (FMP). You demonstrated how the program has evolved in three short years. How do you project how the program will further evolve as the student population increases over the next few years?

Byrne: “I see the Freshman Mentoring Program as our primary structure for training students to be GAELs. As we grow, this becomes more and more critical. We want to have a common message that students receive not only about rules expectations but the social emotional/ connection as well. Key to this program is training of our mentors and the monitoring piece. Jennifer Angel-Diaz, our teacher in charge of FMP, has done amazing work with this and she is constantly improving upon the program.”

OneDublin.org: Please specify how portable classrooms that are being currently installed will help to alleviate the enrollment increase at DHS in the upcoming year.

Byrne: “We have 13 new portables in the back of our school being outfitted to be first day ready. This will be more than enough to address the growth for next year. We will receive 12 more portables the following summer. In deciding which classes to move to the portable, we concentrated on groups of teachers who teach primarily upperclassmen. Our juniors and seniors can navigate the campus with ease and this was a factor in deciding. We want to put a fun spin on the portables, and will be finding names for our ‘back campus’.”

OneDublin.org: While the last school calendar year just concluded, 2017-18 will be upon us shortly. What message would you like to share with your leadership, certificated and classified staff as we prepare for the next school year?

Byrne: “As an admin team, we live the growth mindset. We do this because we love the challenge and the learning that occurs. We want to improve every year and are grateful for the opportunity to have a new year before us. I know there is a good amount of uncertainty about the future, in terms of growth and other aspects and I do believe that as a community we are going to figure this out. We have intelligent creative minds that put kids first and seek solutions and are not afraid to work hard for students. That is what you need.”

OneDublin.org: There have been staff changes – particularly in the performing arts. However, it would seem that we have capable replacements that are eager to get started. Care to comment on some of these folks?

Byrne: “We are so grateful for Band Director Paul Evert’s years of service. He grew the program and leaves it in a good place as he moves on. Due in part to his success, we attracted a number of qualified candidates from all over the country. The interview process consisted in a screening, an interview and in a sample lesson. We chose Melissa Williams, from New York City as our new director. Melissa is a successful, experienced director, an excellent musician and a strong teacher. I think the kids are going to love her.

“We followed a similar process for our Choir Director. Allie Lopiano had made a powerful impact on our students and helped them grow in their craft and we feel our new ​Director, Adam Serpa will bring a sense of expertise, experience and excellence. Melissa and Adam join a great department with Kat DeLapp, Sharlene Sabonis and Michael D’Ambrosio. We are going to see great things from them all.”

OneDublin.org: Anything else that you would like to add?

Byrne: “I know in the upcoming year there is a concern with overcrowding, yet that is not the reality we experience. The campus, in large part I think due to the schedule, has a calm feel to it and our students are doing great. I will be having Quarterly Principal’s Coffees​ and invite the community to come and ask questions and see us in action. One of our biggest issues is of course, traffic. We want to help shift the mindset that in order to help the problem, carpooling and using public transportation will help. I am getting a letter out to families next week with a few changes to our parking permit program. The biggest change is we are going to have Carpool Parking Spots. This will give priority and incentive for students to bring two other students with them in the morning. If we work together, we can help the traffic challenge.

“Finally, I love feedback. I try to have the mindset that all data gives information and I try to use feedback to grow as a leader and as a school. I welcome comments, even if they are not positive.”

Based upon her presentation to the Dublin Rotary and our recent interview, the immediate future of Dublin High School appears to be in steady hands. The challenge of enrollment growth and where to house these incoming high school students will exist as an “evergreen” issue. But for those that will continue to matriculate through and for those that will enroll as incoming freshman in August, Dublin High School will continue to foster a positive environment and one that is built upon student success. OneDublin.org would like to thank Principal Maureen Byrne for sharing her thoughts for this profile. As is stated on the school marquee, “Enjoy a fun and safe summer.”

School Overcrowding Protests Planned at Dublin Crossing “Boulevard” Development this Sunday

June 10, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–Local activist group “Dubliners United” has announced a second weekend of protests in front of the Dublin Crossing Boulevard development this Sunday June 11 from 1pm – 4pm. According to the organizers, “developers have been mitigating their financial responsibilities to the city and the school district to practically nothing” and that “developers must pay their fair share for Dublin schools – the schools that help significantly to sell their homes.” By protesting at the entrance to Dublin Crossing the group hopes to “bring awareness to potential buyers regarding the current state of our schools, how they are crowded and that there is no pathway to date for a second high school.”

The protests, organized through social media and a Nextdoor event posting, build on a large turnout at a recent Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting where the proposed (and controversial) Zeiss location for a second comprehensive high school was defeated in a narrow 3-2 vote.

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Entrance to Boulevard at Dublin Crossing (planned protest location)

According to Dublin resident and activist Kerrie Chabot, “We are protesting to get the attention of developers, the City and the School District, in order to establish a multi-developer agreement that funds the true growth resulting from new housing construction. Dublin residents will continue these protests at developer sites, and raising awareness in the community and with potential home buyers, until the Dublin Unified School District, the City of Dublin Council and developers commit to a timeline and plan to allocate funds. We believe a second comprehensive high school should be first priority in this agreement. It is a win-win opportunity: our great schools help sell developers homes.”

A key point of contention is the $283M school bond (Measure H) Dublin residents passed in June 2016. The bond statement included the following language: “Dublin schools provide an outstanding education and families move here specifically for our schools. As a result, student enrollment has increased significantly. We need Measure H to prevent overcrowding so all students have a modern, high quality education. Measure H will ensure that developers pay their fair share to fund school construction costs. Plus, Measure H will construct the initial phase of a second high school to prevent overcrowding at Dublin High School. In addition, some of our schools are 50 years old and need updates to meet current safety codes. Improvements to science labs, science equipment and instructional technology are needed to provide modern classrooms for students.”

Read more…

Ravali Reddy’s Medical School Journey – from Dublin High School to Stanford to USC

June 9, 2017

Dublin High School Class of 2010 and Stanford Class of 2014 alum Ravali Reddy has contributed multiple stories to OneDublin.org, going right back to our founding in late 2009. She wrote about her first semester at Stanford in one of our very first Life in College articles (there are over 70 now!). After graduating from Stanford she shared her story again, in a Life After College profile. Three years later Ravali has completed her first year at the Keck School of Medicine of USC so once again we (virtually) sat down with Ravali to learn about what it takes to get into medical school – and thrive once you get there.

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OneDublin.org: Medical school is a multi-year commitment; at what point did you know it was the right path for you?

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Dublin High School Class of 2017 Celebrates 47th DHS Commencement

June 1, 2017

DUBLIN, CA–With recent weather that has been both unseasonably cold and hot, it was timely that Dublin High School’s Class of 2017 were able to enjoy the 47th DHS commencement ceremony in perfect weather. This year’s ceremony used words of Eleanor Roosevelt for inspiration, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Principal Maureen Byrne and Superintendent Dr. Leslie Boozer both enjoyed their first commencement in their respective roles, while experienced volunteers and retiring teachers were recognized with awards. OneDublin.org took 500 photos during the event that are freely available for downloading and sharing (available here, please credit to OneDublin.org).

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As was the case last year, Dublin High seniors were able to graduate at home, in Gaels Stadium. The growth in enrollment at DHS brings increased energy and excitement for each graduating class, with stands packed with grandparents, parents, siblings and friends. Each name read brings a burst of cheers from across the stadium building to the moment every student waits for – the turning of the tassels and flinging of mortar boards into a cloudless sky. Over 470 seniors crossed the stage this year, with more to come in future years.

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Dublin High School Class of ’10 Alum Deanna Hong Lands Emmy with NBC Rio Olympics Team

June 1, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA–Since we last spoke to Dublin High School Class of ’10 and UCLA Class of ’14 alum Deanna Hong, she was on the Emmy-winning NBC Rio Olympics team and produced a short documentary on Gold Medal Gymnast Jordyn Wieber that has been viewed over one million times. We caught up with Deanna to learn more about her Emmy-winning experience and building a career in video production.

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OneDublin.org: What did it feel like to hear that the team you were on had won an Emmy?

Deanna Hong: “We found out we were nominated a few months ago. I worked for NBC Olympics, covering the Rio 2016 Games, and didn’t learn until after the winners were announced that we’d won. NBC hadn’t won this particular category since 2008.

“I was at home, in my living room, and I had forgotten it was the day of the ceremony! Several friends, a colleague, and my boss at UCLA Gymnastics texted me that the team I was on had won an Emmy. It was exciting; we opened up a bottle of champagne and spilled it all over the living room!”

OneDublin.org: Tell me more about the work the team did that led to the Emmy. Read more…

Dublin High School Class of 2017 College Acceptance Results

May 31, 2017

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DUBLIN, CA–It’s that time once again, the virtual envelopes have been opened and our students know where they are going after high school! Here are your Dublin High School Class of 2017 college acceptance results. This year’s seniors found their post-high school fit in 2-year and 4-year college from coast-to-coast, across the Pacific and north of the border. Consistent with prior years, 99% of Dublin High seniors are attending a 2 or 4-year college.

A complete list of college acceptance results from 474 Dublin High School seniors is listed below, including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Purdue, USC, every University of California (UC), every CSU campus and many more. The success of this year’s graduating class builds on the achievements of the Dublin High Class of 2016 (last year’s Dublin High School college acceptance results are available here).

In addition, four seniors in Dublin High School’s Class of 2017 have chosen to serve their country by enlisting in the military, along with several students taking a gap year, joining the workforce and even traveling for a Mission.

Over sixty Dublin High School alumni have contributed articles to OneDublin.org’s Life in College series, with more still contributing to the Life After College series. This unique series of articles by former Dublin High School students covers life at colleges across the country including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia / JTS, UC Berkeley, Chapman UC Davis, UCLA, UCSD, West Point, St. Mary’s, Pace, University of Chicago, UNR, Santa Clara, University of Arizona, Carroll College, Georgetown, Penn State, Sonoma State, Syracuse, Santa Barbara City College, Las Positas College, University of British Columbia and more.

Dublin High School Class of 2017 students are also taking advantage of cost-effective Community College Transfer Programs into 4-year colleges.  According to Dublin High School Counseling, 98% of Dublin High School students destined for a local community college are intending to transfer into a 4-year college for their junior year.  More information on Community College Transfer Programs is available here. Read more…