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Balancing Student Wellness and Achievement to Make a Lifelong Learner

June 21, 2016

The Dublin Unified School District’s mission is to foster “lifelong learners” by maximizing student learning and achievement, and “providing a rigorous and relevant 21st century education that builds resilience.” While this has led to tremendous academic achievement in the district, with more and more students taking AP and Honors courses each year, the obsessive achievement culture being generated has led student wellness to deteriorate.

As said by Vicki Abeles, director of Race to Nowhere and Beyond Measure, students “race against each other to have constantly higher grades, better test scores, and more AP courses than their classmates” and are “irreparably damaging their mental and physical health.” Unfortunately, this statement now applies to Dublin High School, partially facilitated by the accelerated courses offered over the summer by DPIE.

The purpose of DPIE is to “assist students with their academic goals and needs through accelerated courses for high school credit and enrichment courses for middle school.” These summer courses provide an excellent opportunity for students working towards credit recovery and fulfilling a-g requirements. However, the focus seems to have shifted to getting ahead and making room for extra AP courses during the school year.

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Dublin High School and PACE University Alum Chris Harral on Life as an Actor

June 16, 2016

DUBLIN, CA–The last time we spoke with Dublin High School Class of 2012 alum Chris Harral he had just begun his journey to completing a BFA at PACE University in New York City. We recently caught up with Chris, now a graduate of PACE, to learn more about his college experience.

From not even knowing that being an actor as a living was a possibility to just recently graduating from PACE University in New York City with a BFA in acting, Chris Harral has gone on an incredible journey of hard work, learning, and growth in his pursuit for a career in theatre. With his mother’s encouragement, Harral tried out for a Dublin High School drama production in his Freshman year and discovered that theatre was his calling. After performing in numerous productions with Dublin High drama and nabbing some roles in community theatre, Harral made the decision to seek out further training in his passion and to pursue a life in the arts.

Legit warmer

Over the past four years at PACE, Harral has intensively trained to improve himself as an actor, which has included classes focusing on physical and movement training, improv, speech and dialect, and courses on acting specific to television and film. Outside of the classroom, Harral has acted both for the university and in theatre companies around New York City, which has included Harral’s favorite and most challenging role as Orlando in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and more recently, his role as Kenneth Day in Veritas, which is a play about the secret trials of gay men held by Harvard during the 1920’s.

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Dublin School Board Appoints Dr. Leslie Boozer New Superintendent

June 15, 2016

Dr. Leslie Boozer, who has served as the Superintendent of the Fontana Unified School District since 2013, was appointed the new Superintendent of Dublin Schools on Tuesday night by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. Twenty candidates were considered and five shortlisted before Dr. Boozer was brought to last night’s Board of Trustees meeting for a final unanimous vote. Below is additional information provided by the Dublin Unified School District:

Dr. Boozer succeeds Dr. Stephen Hanke who has served as Dublin Superintendent since 2006. Dr. Boozer will begin her tenure before the start of the 2016-17 on a date still to be determined. Dr. Hanke’s last day is June 30. She becomes the 5th Superintendent to serve Dublin students since the District was unified on July 1, 1988, and just the third in the last two decades.



“I am deeply honored to be joining the Dublin Unified School District,” Dr. Boozer said. “I look forward to partnering with the students, staff, families and community as we continue to ensure that all students receive the best preparation for college and career.”

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Dublin High School’s Austin Ginn: From Gaels Baseball to the Oakland A’s Locker Room

June 14, 2016

DUBLIN, CA–Little did Dublin High School Class of 2011 alum Austin Ginn know that his 2011 summer job at Rockin’ Jump would open the door to incredible opportunities in the business of sports. After forming a relationship with two kids who frequently attended the trampoline park, Ginn got the chance to meet their father who just so happened to be the visiting Clubhouse Manager for the Oakland A’s. By expressing interest in the Oakland A’s, asking what it was like working in the clubhouse, and by providing his email, Ginn got the job to work with the A’s that summer.

Bat Boy Austin Ginn with bat

Oakland A’s Bat Boy Austin Ginn

Five years later, Ginn is currently a Clubhouse Attendant for the Oakland A’s and has worked with multiple other sport teams in the Bay Area. As a Clubhouse Attendant, Ginn is responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly on and off the field. During games, Ginn picks up bats for the players, provide the umpires with baseballs, and keeps an eye out in case anything goes wrong or missing. Inside the clubhouse, Ginn is in charge of keeping the locker room in order, which includes doing the players’ laundry and packing the players’ bags for travel.

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Dublin High School Class of 2016 Commencement: “All the World’s a Stage”

June 10, 2016

DUBLIN, CA–Hot, cold, wind, rain (choose one) – for this year’s commencement Mother Nature chose Dublin winds to rule the day! Dublin High School’s Class of 2016 commencement ceremony borrowed from Shakespeare, choosing the theme “All’s the world’s a stage” from As You Like It, appropriate for the setting and to recognize retiring Principal Carol Shimizu who started her career as an English teacher. Also recognized as he heads into retirement is Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke. Both had tenures in the Dublin Unified School District that far exceed the national average. took over 400 photos during the event that are freely available for downloading and sharing if credited to (available here).

Dublin High School Commencement 2016 Collage

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 450 seniors crossed the stage this year, with more to come in future years.

The event included speeches and presentations by Dublin High School Gael Scholar Sean Fukamaki, City of Dublin Mayor David Haubert, Principal Carol Shimizu and Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hanke, School Board Trustee Greg Tomlinson, Senior Class President Rachel Tomlinson, Senior Class Vice President Xenia Perea and Senior Class Treasurer Evonne Nguyen. The Dublin High Color Guard and Band, the Dublin High Choir, bagpiper Jeff Campbell and members of the Air Force Color Guard added fanfare to the ceremony. Former Dublin High School teacher Tim Sbranti was the Master of Ceremonies. had the honor and privilege to attend the event, capturing highlights on video including a time-lapse movie of the diploma presentations (compressing two hours down to under 4 minutes):

The Class of 2016 has a lot to celebrate: 98% of Dublin High’s Class of 2016 will be attending college this Fall, including Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Brown, every University of California (UC), every CSU campus and and many more.

For those who couldn’t attend (and for those that want to relive some of the highlights) here is more from the memorable event:

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Dublin High School Class of 2016 College Acceptance Results

June 9, 2016

Dublin High School Commencement

Every year this is one of our favorite articles to pull together – your Dublin High School Class of 2016 college acceptance results! This year’s seniors found their post-high school fit in 2-year and 4-year college across from coast-to-coast, across the Pacific and north of the border. Consistent with prior years, 98% of Dublin High seniors are attending a 2 or 4-year college.

A complete list of college acceptance results from 450 Dublin High School seniors is listed below, including Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, USC, Brown, 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 2015 (last year’s Dublin High School college acceptance results are available here).

In addition, three seniors in Dublin High School’s Class of 2015 have chosen to serve their country by enlisting in the military, along with several students taking a gap year, completing an ROP program, joining the workforce and even traveling for a Mission.

Over sixty Dublin High School alumni have contributed articles to’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 2016 students are also taking advantage of cost-effective Community College Transfer Programs into 4-year colleges.  According to Dublin High School Counseling, 99% 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.

Congratulations Dublin High School Class of 2016 – have a terrific summer!

The full list of colleges that extended offers of admission to Dublin High School Class of 2016 seniors was provided by Dublin High School Counseling.

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Life in Harvard University: Savannah Wieser Pole Vaults East from Dublin High School

June 5, 2016

DUBLIN, CA–Our next Life in College Series profile pulls together multiple themes related to the stress faced by today’s students, and what it takes to pursue athletics at the college level. Today we feature Dublin High School Class of 2015 alum Savannah Wieser, who just completed her first year at Harvard University where she was awarded an athletic scholarship as a member of the Harvard Crimson Track & Field Pole Vault team.

DSC02983 To the observer pole vaulting looks, well, crazy! How did you get introduced to the sport?

Savannah Wieser: “I started in track as a 400m and 800m runner in Dublin High School and to be competitive in those events takes a certain amount of training and my body couldn’t take it. I kept getting stress fractures and strains so Dublin High Coach Chris Williams suggested I try pole vaulting. I wasn’t happy to stop running so it was a struggle for the first few months but I was lucky enough to have the sport click. I trained super hard over the summer between my junior and senior year and from there caught the attention of several schools.”

IMG_4945_combined When vaulting are you able to enjoy the thrill of the sport, or are you so focused on technique that you aren’t able to enjoy the moment?

Wieser: “I’ve participated in a lot of different sports and pole vaulting is the most technical and by far the most fun. I view vaulting as an equation you can break down: the faster you run, the taller you are, the bigger the pole, the higher you’re going to fly. During a vault I’m very focused on technique and being strong up until clearing the bar, but when I let go of the top of the pole and am falling I can enjoy the jump, and see how high I’ve jumped. The moment your fingertips leave the pole you enjoy the ride down.” Describe the training regimen for vaulters.

IMG_4219Wieser: “I started training halfway through my junior year and learned the basics. My Dublin High School vault coach recommended I do a camp with Stacy Dragila up in Sacramento over the summer. I never imagined how hard I’d be training, it was just a weeklong camp. That’s where I met Coach Steve Thomas who offered to train me for free over the summer. We were out on the track for 5-6 hours every day: weight training, speed training, jumping, and gymnastics. We didn’t jump more than three days per week, to reduce impact on the body.

“While at Dublin High School I PR’ed at 12 feet and shortly after tore my shoulder for the first time and instead of going to NCS I elected to get surgery for the injury and focus on being healthy for my first collegiate season. That initial tear healed really well and I made it through physical therapy quickly. I came back to vaulting and was on big poles really soon, to compete at the collegiate level, and had some bad luck – re-tearing the same tendon in a different spot. I was able to jump for about a month and now will be rehabbing through my sophomore year so I can return to competing when I’m a junior.” What advice do you have for serious student athletes to minimize the risk of injury?

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