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Karl Wente Explores Winemaking at TEDxEmeraldGlenPark: Wine, Wisdom, and What’s Next

April 25, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–As I recently shared, our theme for this year’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark event is “Future.” When we think of the future, we look forward. But the past can also guide us. How do you look at the future when you have a lot of history and tradition behind you? How does can you grow with the times yet remain true to where you comes from?

During his TEDxEmeraldGlenPark talk, Karl Wente, fifth generation winemaker, will explore the intersection of old and new, technology and culture, past and present, tradition and innovation, mind and body, science and art, family and self, and business and society. He will challenge you to see the complexity and simplicity of winemaking and wine enjoying in a way you haven’t appreciated before. By the end of his talk, you will appreciate the complex interdependency between past, present and future, both in the context of winemaking and in everyday life.

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Celebrating Retiring Teacher Carla Huntzinger’s Four Decades in the Classroom

April 24, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years for a salaried worker with their current employers is 4.2 years in January 2016 – which is down from 4.6 years in January 2014. This somewhat limited tenure is understandable in the era of start-ups, technology, mergers and acquisitions. This is what makes these numbers almost impossible to comprehend: 41/31. As in, 41 years in the same profession and 31 years with one employer.

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For many, June 1st will represent the end of another school year. For Carla Huntzinger, it will define the end of a teacher era. Ms. Huntzinger attained a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Subsequently, she secured her Teaching Credential from California State University Hayward. Carla began her teaching career at Valley Christian School and remained for 10 years. At the time, the Dublin Unified School District was becoming more stable after enduring a period of declining enrollment. When the opportunity arose at Frederiksen Elementary School to teach Kindergarten, she seized the opportunity – 31 years ago. We thought it would be appropriate to tap into her legacy and to examine how teaching has changed in a rapidly growing town like Dublin. Read more…

Dubliners for Change Questions Whether Measure H is On Track (OPINION)

April 22, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–It has been almost two years since voters entrusted the Dublin School Board with $283,000,000 to, among other things, construct the initial phase of a second high school to prevent overcrowding at Dublin High School. This voter approval of Measure H was a substantial investment in Dublin schools amounting to approximately $1,000 from each Dublin taxpayer per year for next 40 years. The official argument in favor of Measure H stated that “Measure H will construct the initial phase of a second high school to prevent overcrowding at Dublin High School”. Months earlier in February 2016, the Dublin School Trustees unanimously approved a recommendation for the initial phase of a 2,500 student capacity school with the completion date of the first phase targeted for the fall of 2021.


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TEDxEmeraldGlenPark Spotlight: Dublin High School’s Eugene Chou Explores the Future of Education

April 20, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–As I recently shared, our theme for this year’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark event is “Future.” This is an exciting topic with so many different interpretations. One major question is how parts of society that we take for granted evolve in the future. For example, how will education change in our future? What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the student? What does it take to prepare students for the future, full of new technology and a transformed society? How do we educate them in a way that inspires them to participate and co-create, instead of struggling to fit in?

Eugene Chou, Dublin High School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) educator, has been eagerly pondering these questions – and she is excited to share her thoughts at TEDxEmeraldGlenPark! Eugene is an engineering and math teacher passionate about STEM education. Since 2011, she has been the program coordinator for the Dublin Engineering and Design Academy (DEDA), expanding and improving the quality of education for her students through community partnerships, an engaging curriculum, and student enrichment opportunities. She currently teaches Project Lead the Way, Principles of Engineering, and Digital Electronics, and runs the DEDA Mentor Program. Read more…

TEDxEmeraldGlenPark Spotlight: East Bay Jazz Explores Personality and Creativity in “Jazz Personified”

April 18, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–As I recently shared, our theme for this year’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark event is “Future.” This is an exciting topic with so many different interpretations. After all, does the future have to be one size fits all? How do we design our future to help us and our children discover their unique and special selves? How can we draw inspiration from the people before us, without limiting our dreams to what has been proven possible?  

At TEDxEmeraldGlenPark, the East Bay Jazz High School All-Stars will explore these questions in their one of a kind performance-talk hybrid, titled “Jazz Personified.” East Bay Jazz is an after-school program for high-caliber musical performance and education, specifically for high school jazz musicians. East Bay Jazz’s two ensembles, big band and combo, rehearse on a weekly basis and frequently perform between January to June. In East Bay Jazz, students develop their skills within the jazz idiom, gain real-world performance experience, and share their love of music with the East Bay community and beyond. East Bay Jazz’s educational programs are fully supported by the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center.

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Top 10 Reasons for Celebrating Graduation at Disney Parks Coast to Coast

April 16, 2018

For high school seniors across the Bay Area exams are fast approaching. For Dublin Unified School District students that magical last day of high school, including the annual Commencement ceremony, lands on the last day of May. With most Dublin High graduating seniors heading to a two-year or four-year college, military enlistment or the workforce, the upcoming summer vacation presents a chance to celebrate a major achievement en route to adulthood.

Like the iconic “I’m going to Disney World” post-Super Bowl slogan, many families head to Disney parks to celebrate graduation. With that we present our top 10 reasons for celebrating graduation at Disney Parks in California (Disneyland Resort) and Florida (Walt Disney World Resort).

This isn’t the first time we’ve talked Disney on Our Women in STEM series features a profile of a Disney Imagineer, we featured Dublin High School alum Emily Edlund’s Disney College Program experience, and we recently shared how to prepare for and succeed in a Walt Disney Company internship.

With that we present our top ten reasons for Bay Area grads to celebrate at a Disney park:

10. Beat the East Coast summer scramble

Parents dreaming of possibly shorter lines and a trek East to Walt Disney World? You can beat the East coast and Canadian summer rush because many East Coast schools wrap the year weeks later than Bay Area schools. The Dublin Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District and San Jose Unified School District all wrap the year by the end of May or early June. New York Public Schools aren’t done educating until June 26 and the last day in of classes north of the border in Toronto Public Schools is June 27.


9. Celebrate Pixar Fest at the Disneyland Resort

This first-ever Pixar Fest presents some of the beloved stories from Pixar Animation Studios in new ways at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks. There’s a new nighttime spectacular, the return of two favorite parades with fresh new Pixar surprises, new décor, atmosphere entertainment, creatively themed food and beverage and exclusive event merchandise.



8. (If you can wait) Join the ribbon-cuttings at Pixar Pier (June 23) or Toy Story Land (June 30)

Pixar-themed updates and expansions are hitting Disney parks on both coasts. Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier is being re-themed to Pixar Pier (opening June 23) and Disney’s Hollywood Studios expands with Toy Story Land (opening June 30).

A highlight of Pixar Pier is the re-imagining of California Screamin’ into the Incredicoaster – a new experience featuring characters from “The Incredibles.” The new storyline features the Parr family racing alongside you in an attempt to catch baby Jack-Jack (see the video below for a behind-the-scenes look).

Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (an 11 acre addition) also features a roller coaster – the brand new Slinky Dog Dash – one of several new attractions in the new area styled as Andy’s backyard. The coaster features tracks and supports in bright colors of red, orange, yellow and blue put together according to Andy’s hand-drawn plans, with Rex and Jessie lending a hand. Unlike the Tesla insane mode kick of Incredicoaster, Slinky Dog Dash will be suitable for riders of all ages. Toy Story Land also features Alien Swirling Saucers, new themed dining options and an expanded Toy Story Mania.

7. Watch Incredibles 2 at a Disney Resort

You can watch the long-awaited Incredibles sequel, Incredibles 2, at AMC theaters in Downtown Disney (Disneyland) or Disney Springs (Walt Disney World) starting June 15, 2018.

6. Enjoy an “Incredible Summer” at Walt Disney World

djhkfjy8789706At Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, favorite Disney•Pixar super heroes will take over Tomorrowland. Guests will party with The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone and for the first time Edna Mode (the greatest superhero costume designer). The incredible festivities culminate with a “SUPER” dance party on the Rocket Tower Stage.  The Incredibles taking over Tomorrowland is just one of the “Incredible Summer” special events in all four Walt Disney World theme parks and Disney Springs, kicking off May 25.

5. Celebrate the return of the “Paint the Night” parade

The popular “Paint the Night” parade just returned to Disney California Adventure featuring more than 1 million LED lights and scenes from “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars.” In June a new Incredibles inspired float is added to the mix, coming to life through a series of dazzling LED lights, new music elements and high-tech, pop-art effects inspired by the mid-century-modern style of the films.


4. Explore the Pandora – The World of Avatar

If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World in the past year (or ever!) you can now explore Pandora – The World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom. And if you can only ride one ride… that ride would be Flight of Passage. According to Insider: “Flight of Passage’s success as the greatest Disney ride mostly lays in the combination of special effects that are all stretched to their most immersive.” You’ll definitely want to take advantage of FastPass+ to book a ride in advance or you’ll likely find yourself in a multi-hour line-up.

3. And there is always something Frozen…

If you haven’t had your fill of Frozen by now, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World provide opportunities to ‘Let It Go’. Disney California Adventure’s Hyperion theater features “Frozen – Live” and Epcot’s Norway pavilion features the Frozen Ever After ride and an Anna + Queen Elsa meet and greet.

2. Enjoy new fireworks shows

A new fireworks show, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” will celebrate the heart of Pixar as it lights up the sky over Disneyland. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. The grand tradition of Tinker Bell flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle also gets a Pixar twist, with a special flyover by none other than Buzz Lightyear and the house from Up.

“Much like a composer would write a symphony for an orchestra, our team was inspired to create a show that brings together all the different elements – fireworks, projections, music, surround sound, lasers, lighting and special effects. The end result is truly remarkable!”,  Susana Tubert, creative director, Walt Disney Company

Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom recently launched “Happily Ever After“, their latest fireworks spectacular.


1. Sport a pair Mickey Mouse Graduation Ears

And to close out our top ten list, celebrate graduation with iconic Mickey ears – you EARned it!




But there’s one more thing!

And one more thought – consider donating to Make-A-Wish America who have long partnered with the Walt Disney Company to grant wishes to children diagnosed with a critical illness.

Local High School Students Calling on Governor Jerry Brown for Sane Gun Safety Legislation

April 11, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–Local Tri-Valley high school students are rallying with their peers from across the country in support of sane gun safety legislation, as part of the #NationalSchoolWalkout (led by Connecticut student Lane Murdock), planned on April 20, 2018, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. As has been the case for earlier protests, teens are using social media to meet virtually and organize real-world protests.

Dublin High School seniors are currently leading a letter-writing campaign to Governor Jerry Brown demanding sane gun safety legislation, and are calling for support from the broader community. Here is how you can help with just a few minutes of your time:

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