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“Educate” is Final Piece Screened at Annual Dublin High School Film Festival

May 21, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–In four short years, the Video Production Program at DHS has risen to heights not foreseen. Under the direction of teacher Michael D’Ambrosio, this endeavor has risen from two daily sections to five. In 2018-19, Video Production 3 will be added that will include an enhanced/focused group of only 16 students that will prioritize on a singular film project that will be up to 45 minutes.

How did this happen? It was simply the synergy of a devoted instructor and the quick adoption by numerous students that saw the potential and challenge of a subject that is largely not offered at this level to high school students in the local area. With the full embrace from the DHS administration, this program has expanded beyond a video daily bulletin into live-streaming capabilities of sports events, the in-sourcing of filming “Every 15 Minutes” to a live /daily broadcast received on campus. The vision for next year is to provide a 24-hour radio broadcast which would the first of its kind in Northern California.

However, the relative centerpiece of Video Production at Dublin High School has been the presentation of the annual Film Festival. From somewhat modest beginnings, the event has morphed into a very large undertaking. Case in point: This year there were 77 separate submissions. From this group, 32 pieces were screened by a separate panel in order to whittle down the group to ten that would be screened on Thursday evening. Year over year, the quality of submission has increased as well as the diversity in content. Last week was no different. While this is not a competition, the honor of being screened last is reserved for the piece that is judged to be superior. The film “Educate” was created by Writer & Director Faith Rynda and Cinematographer Chris Thach. It was a successful collaboration by two students that shared a vision for a story that was sure to touch many nerves and to awaken a community on the topic of race relations. The subject is real and so very relevant. sat down with both to gain greater insights into how they crafted this vision – one that would leave us to ask more questions. How did you come up with the concept for “Educate”?

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Dublin High School Senior Awards Night Class of 2018: “I am Dublin High”

May 20, 2018

Dublin High School Senior Allison Loo

DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School’s campus was buzzing Saturday morning with the NCS Tri-Valley Track & Field Championship taking over Gaels Stadium, the Tri-Valley Youth Expo Hackathon filling the old gym, and Dublin High School’s annual Senior Awards Night filling the Athletic Complex with students, parents, educators and members of the community. Over $4.8 million in scholarships and awards were presented to Dublin High School Class of 2018 students for their academic achievements, including over 14 athletic scholarships and 57 merit scholarships for colleges nationwide.


Included in the event was the traditional passing of the gavel ceremony where outgoing senior and student body president Liliana Ogden introduced incoming student body president Brittany Brunckhorst.

Students were recognized for academic achievements across a wide variety of subjects and interests (full list below) and two seniors received the Best Attendance Award for not missing a single day of school throughout all four years of high school (including one student who didn’t miss a single day from kindergarten through 12th grade!). The Dublin High School Class of 2018 also featured eleven National Merit Scholarship finalists and two National Merit Scholarship winner.


Outgoing Dublin High School Student Body President Liliana Ogden prepared the eighth annual edition of the popular “I am Dublin High” video (see below) featuring nearly 200 Dublin High School Class of 2018 seniors sharing their post-high school plans.

Photos and video: James Morehead and Michael Utsumi for

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Tri-Valley Youth Exposition Coming Saturday to Emerald Glen Park After Three Years of Planning

May 15, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–In this era of instant gratification, sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. Case in point: Dublin High School senior Nikolai Peram had a vision three years ago that would showcase the talents of young people in the local region. But what would this event look like and what would be the purpose of it all? Like many great ambitions, it would take time to formulate the vision. Nikolai and his colleagues eventually formed an idea that would highlight two areas – a hackathon and the arts. While these topics are very diverse and seem to be at polar opposition, it does make a lot of sense. The 2018 Tri-Valley Youth Expo will be held on Saturday, May 19th.


Broken into parts, this event will occur at two locations. The Hackathon will take place in the Dublin High School gym between 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM. Participants will work in groups of up to four to create projects relating to the environment, social impact or art. A panel will judge the work and award up to three teams that will receive various awards. The hackathon is free of cost and lunch and dinner will be provided. To round out the event, guest speakers will be on hand to assist the participants and attendees. Read more…

Cottonwood Creek School to Offer a Unique K-8 Education Experience

May 13, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–If one has been traveling in the vicinity of Fallon Road and Central Parkway, the evidence of progress in unmistakable. Nestled adjacent to the Jordan Ranch neighborhood, construction on the new school has continued since the summer of 2016. In three short months, the doors will open for the 2018-19 academic year. But the development plan for Cottonwood Creek School began many years before. The design element was accelerated by replicated some of the plans from Amador Elementary School – the first primary school built with multiple stories. Secondly, the program space was expanded due to a K-8 configuration as Cottonwood will be approximately 20% larger than Amador.

We met Principal Brett Nelson in 2012 when he was employed to lead Dougherty Elementary School. He has been tabbed to build a staff from scratch. Equally important is that Mr. Nelson must deliver a standard and vision that can be embraced by the entire school community. We recently sat down with him to gain his insights.

DSC_1110 - Edited Cottonwood Creek will open in about three months.  Both personally and professionally, how do you feel about the opportunity to usher in a brand-new school site? Read more…

Dublin’s First TEDx Event Coming This Sunday to the Shannon Center

May 4, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–TED Talks are synonymous with thought-provoking. TEDx provides a vehicle for regional TED events, and thanks to Dublin resident Olga Mack TEDx is coming to Dublin (locally branded TEDxEmeraldGlenPark). The event will be held at the Shannon Community Center, this Sunday May 6 at 1pm. Limited tickets are on sale here.

The heart of the event is a series of talks all focused on the theme “Future” (read more…) as well as exhibits and performances. The speakers include:

  • “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.” (read more….)
  • “Eugene Chou will will discuss her journey to becoming a better teacher, one who is inspired to get up every morning to solve hard problems and build challenging devices that have not been built before.” (read more…)
  • “Children’s author and illustrator Elisa Kleven will explore the power of magic for all – children and adults.” (read more…)
  • “Ken Wolter, oncology chaplain, will focus on the importance of effective communication in critical or crisis situations.” (read more…)
  • “Suzanne Henricksen, entrepreneur, will explore the power of true passion and what she calls ‘happy in my soul’ moments.” (read more…)

Limited tickets are available here.

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Suzanne Henricksen Explores Shaping a Passionate Future at TEDxEmeraldGlenPark

May 3, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–As I recently shared, our theme for this year’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark event is “Future.” Suzanne Henricksen, entrepreneur, will explore the power of true passion and what she calls “happy in my soul” moments. Suzanne will share how these moments can shape our future. According to her, “It is in those moments that we are authentic and capable of building and shaping an exciting version of the future.”

While most people believe they are “passionate” about some activities, Suzanne’s TEDxEmeraldGlenPark talk will challenge us to think deeper about what is means to be passionate. “Many of us use the word passion as a way to describe things that we’re, well, passionate about… but is your passion truly cycling if all you do is get on your bike once a week? Is your passion truly food and alcohol if you just enjoy eating and drinking every day?” asks Suzanne. “This is a call to action to all of us who have passions to really and truly develop them. Develop them from hobbies and things you love and wish you had more time for to true passions that you prioritize as a critical key to your own happiness, success and growth.”suzanne-henricksen-768x768 Read more…

Fallon Middle School Mentoring Program Creates Bonds and Confidence

May 2, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–For some sixth graders, the shift from primary to secondary education can be a significant challenge. Gone are the days of remaining in one classroom with one teacher. The new middle school reality offers a six-period day followed by an academic preparation period. Many students adjust well to this new schedule and some find it to be a challenge.

After many years of serving as the solitary counselor at Valley High School, Liz Buckley was installed as a sixth-grade counselor at Fallon Middle School last fall. She, too was making an adjustment. Upon receiving the first quarter report for her grade level, she identified a collection of students that were struggling in either single or multiple subjects. Ms. Buckley could tap into support techniques that she had previously employed. Or, she could leverage the fact that she had access to a group of highly motivated and successful students already housed on the Fallon campus. Thus, the Mustang Mentors program was born.

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