Dublin High School Teacher Michael Ruegg on the Relevance of History and Navigating the Pressures of High School
DUBLIN, CA–With more than a decade of teaching experience in the Dublin Unified School District at both the middle school and high school levels, this is Mr. Michael Ruegg’s first year teaching AP European History at Dublin High School. In addition to teaching AP Euro, Mr. Ruegg also teaches World History and Freshman Seminar.
He has a degree in Communication and Politics from Saint Mary’s College of California, where he graduated cum laude, as well as a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration from Santa Clara University. Mr. Ruegg started his career as a banker at Wells Fargo, but after working there for a year, did a “bit of soul-searching” and fully realized his passion for education. He cites his own mother, an educator, as well as his wife, Ms. Sara Hollison (who teaches Sophomore Advanced English at Dublin High) as people who influenced his decision to become a teacher.
Mr. Ruegg began his teaching career as a history teacher at a high school in Livermore, and moved on to teach Accelerated Core at Fallon Middle School, where he eventually became the English Department Chair.
This past week, I had the honor and privilege to sit down with Mr. Ruegg, who shared more about his love for education, his teaching philosophy, as well as his sincere advice for students on how to navigate through the pressures of high school.
DUBLIN, CA–Last week Dublin united to honor the career of retiring Dublin Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tim McCarty. The gathering included Dublin Unified School District administrators, teachers and friends, and was held in the Sorrento Clubhouse. The mood of the event was light and airy as several in attendance volunteered to share some favorite memories. Of course, the evening was entirely appropriate and a fitting way to recognize 44 years in the education industry.
While both of his parents were educators, Tim didn’t necessarily see himself following that particular career path. However, upon graduating college, he had the experience of working with students with severe emotional and learning disabilities. That literally cemented his commitment to education. Subsequently, he attained a Masters in Special Education from Vanderbilt University and then completed a Doctorate of Organizational Development through LaVerne University. Along the way, Dr. McCarty served in many different roles including classroom teacher, site principal and administrator. His initial stint in Dublin was in the role of Director of Educational Technology. Subsequently, he accepted the position of Superintendent with a smaller K-8 school district near Sacramento. Ultimately, he returned to DUSD as an Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services.
OneDublin.org had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. McCarty in the days leading up to his departure. We collected his thoughts on some of his experiences. And, we asked him about his thoughts on the future of classroom education.
OneDublin.org: Given your two combined tenures in support of DUSD, please articulate what accomplishments that you are most proud of as an administrator.
DUBLIN, CA–Students in the Dublin High School Video Production Program have produced a public service advertisement for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that will be distributed nationally in October. The 30-second video is part of M.A.D.D.’s national “No More Victims” campaign.
“It really drives home the message of the work we do,” said Natasha Thomas, Program Director of M.A.D.D. San Francisco Bay Area.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving participated last spring in Dublin’s “Every 15 Minutes” program, an anti-drunk driving event staged at Dublin High School every four years. Thomas said she was very impressed with the student-produced video that was part of the program. “I assumed, like the other videos we’ve seen at this event, that it was made by a professional video team,” Thomas said. “When I heard that students had filmed the entire video, I was floored and I knew we had to work with them.”
DUBLIN, CA–A year ago, we were fortunate enough to observe a “Swing Dance” competition at Fallon Middle School that involved students from each grade. The genesis of this Physical Education section was the result of a successful relationship with colleagues from Thomas Hart Middle School in Pleasanton. At Hart, a fully employed swing dance program had been in place for over a decade. In the true spirit of collaboration, P.E. teachers from Dublin extended the reach out to learn about this program. As a result, staff from Hart MS offered their guidance and expertise to help implement a baseline instructional guide to help get this off the ground in Dublin Unified School District.
In what represents a true uplift, the Fallon Middle School P.E. staff imbedded this section into the first portion of the academic calendar. The results were clearly successful and obvious. In a year over year comparison, the level of participation essentially doubled. While the side benefit of a competition yields competition, the over arching goal was to increase engagement. To a great degree, this endeavor was accomplished. Over a three day period, students from the 6th to 8th grade were encouraged to participate and to perhaps take the crown of king/queen of the dance.
This year, we engaged with Physical Education teacher, Amy Jones to solicit her thoughts on this event. Amy is in her fifth year as a teacher at Fallon and her feedback was invaluable in understanding how this program has positively impacted the school site.
OneDublin.org: There were significantly more dancers participating versus a year ago. To what do you attribute this increase? Read more…
DUBLIN, CA–Dublin High School‘s popular Health Science and Medical Technology (Biomedical) Academy is seeking adult professional mentors to help our junior Academy students navigate their way toward college and career. Being a Biomedical Academy mentor requires a year-long commitment to attend a monthly meeting with your matched student on set dates (to be announced soon). The first meeting date will be Thursday, October 6th from 12:44-1:35 in the Dublin High School library. The curriculum is already written – mentors are mainly required to provide one-on-one advice, guidance, and feedback for students as they move toward applying for college and exploring careers. The mentoring experience has proven to be rewarding for both students and mentors.
For volunteers interested in supporting the Academy, but who are not able to commit to a monthly meeting, please refer to this flyer and submit your information to this Opportunities for Involvement with Biomedical Academy form.
Mentoring is a wonderful opportunity to help our next generation, and mentors report that they are given renewed enthusiasm and inspiration through working with Dublin students.
Dublin High School Teacher Priyanka Dadlani on Students Taking Responsibility for Chemistry Education
DUBLIN, CA–Ms. Priyanka Dadlani is the new Chemistry and Honors Chemistry teacher at Dublin High School. However, this is not her first year teaching at the high school level: she taught AP Chemistry and regular Chemistry at Half Moon Bay High School last year. Ms. Dadlani also has been teaching Honors Chemistry over the past few summers as a part of the DPIE STEM Enrichment Academy. According to her, she “really enjoyed the experience, overall vibe, and community here”, which prompted her to move to Dublin High School.
Ms. Dadlani was born in India, but grew up and went to school in Sacramento. She attended UC Berkeley, where she majored in Chemistry and received her Bachelor’s of Science, and obtained her teaching credential there as well. She also taught for a year at Berkeley High School as a student teacher before moving to Half Moon Bay.
She credits her AP Chemistry teacher from high school for getting her interested in majoring in Chemistry. “Back in high school, my AP Chem teacher really made the subject exciting and interesting,” she says, “which was different from my other classes, which were so textbook-oriented and not really as engaging.”
DUBLIN, CA–OneDublin.org, a volunteer organization committed to celebrating education excellence, will be holding a Dublin Unified School District Candidates Forum on Wednesday October 5 at 7pm (doors open 6:30pm). Question suggestions can be submitted here.
The Forum, which will provide Dublin School Board candidates an opportunity to debate issues important to Dublin public education, will be held in the Dublin Unified School District Board Room (7471 Larkdale Ave., Dublin). The public and media are welcome.
All seven candidates vying for the three full-term (four years) and one short-term (two years) school board seats have agreed to participate in the Forum:
- Gabrielle Blackman – Parent (full-term candidate)
- Dan Cherrier – Civil Engineer (short-term candidate)
- Dan Cunningham – Incumbent (full-term candidate)
- Joe Giannini – Parent/Police Officer (full-term candidate)
- Sameer Hakim – Appointed Incumbent (short-term candidate)
- Amy Miller – Incumbent (full-term candidate)
- Xiaozhao Zhuang – Registered Nurse/Parent (full-term candidate)
Note: This event is not sponsored or endorsed by the Dublin Unified School District.