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Dublin High School Cross Country Teams Emerge as Jewels in the Athletic Crown

December 21, 2021

“You can’t build a reputation on what you intend to do.” – Liz Smith, English Actress

The successful rise of an athletic program is usually a gradual and constant process. It takes the combination of commitment, innovation, athletes that compete for each other and sometimes a bit of good fortune. What Coach Chris Williams has accomplished with the cross country program at DHS has been nothing short of remarkable. This has not been an overnight sensation. It’s an accomplishment that has been built over a number of years. Roughly 75 students compose the boys and girls teams.

Prior to Thanksgiving, the team had been preparing to compete in the CIF North Coast Section Championship to be held at Hayward High School and hosted by Campolindo. Based upon previous successes and their training schedule, Williams felt that the athletes were poised for both team and individual success. However, the meet results may have exceeded even the most optimistic projections. Scores of students compete across five different divisions in the three-mile distance – Dublin High competes in Division 1. The girls team captured 2nd place and became the first girls team in school history to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship. The boys team etched their place in the annals by winning their fifth consecutive NCS title. This achievement was further embellished by the fact that the finishers recorded the first ever perfect score (15-point performance) in history. To decipher: the first five finishers in this event of 53 elite runners were from Dublin High School. In sum, this is the first time that both teams have qualified to compete at the State Championships.

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DECA Offers Business-Minded Students an Active Platform at Dublin High School

November 30, 2021

Dublin Unified School District (“DUSD”) students have returned from their traditional Thanksgiving break on the academic calendar. However, a reflection of the diversity of our students also includes other fall festivals including Moon Festival, Diwali and Chuseok. While they differ in purpose, each includes and element of gratitude and the hope for future prosperity/happiness. With that, would like to express our thanks to the many Certificated and Paraprofessionals that literally go the extra mile to support our students in various extra-curricular activities. We elected to spotlight an organization that functions in both High School and Collegiate divisions.

Members of The Dublin DECA Chapter at the Dublin DECA’s Leadership Conference 2021. Photo by: Michael Utsumi
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“Gallery” by Dublin Poet Laureate James Morehead and Composer Deon Nielsen Price World Premiere at The Presidio Chapel Sun Nov 14

October 27, 2021

DUBLIN, CA–“Gallery” for baritone and piano, composed by Deon Nielsen Price, with words by Dublin, CA Poet Laureate James Morehead (from his poem of the same name), will be world premiered Sunday November 14 – 4pm PST, as part of the free ICP Sunday Concert series. “gallery” will be performed by Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, accompanied by Paula Fan on piano. James Morehead (Poet Laureate – Dublin, California and author of “canvas: poems”) will recite his poem “Gallery” before the performance. The program also features pieces set to poems by Dana Gioia (Poet Laureate – State of California), Charlene Derby and E. E. Cummings, and songs by Welsh and American composers. Free tickets are available.

Signed copies of “Gallery” and Morehead’s book “canvas: poems” will be available for sale at the event with a portion of each sale being donated to the Interfaith Center at the Presidio.

Interior of The Presidio Chapel

“I’m thrilled that my poem ‘Gallery’ has been set to music by Dr. Price”, said James Morehead, “Both my poem and Deon’s music will premiere, together, at the Presidio Chapel. The acoustics, the location with the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco National Cemetery in view, is spectacular. ‘Gallery’ was the most challenging poems I’ve written this year, requiring multiple revisions and edits. I look forward to being in the audience and hearing ‘Gallery’ performed by two wonderful musicians, baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan.”

The ICP Sunday Concert series, in its 5th year, recently returned to in-person performances after transitioning to virtual concerts during the pandemic. “We love to have people come in person,” said Deon Price, “We do them as a service to the community, we’d built up a nice audience and then the pandemic it. We have just completed 15 concerts online, and that has spread our audience geographically, and our artists geographically. We had one concert that came to us from Japan, another one from Boston, and that was really quite exciting. We had, overall, successful productions. We’re back in person in the Chapel, but we’re also streaming the concerts.”

Event details:

The program includes:

More on the performers, composers, and poets:

In over 100 recitals together since 2013, baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and pianist Paula Fan have engaged audiences in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, India and the Far East with their creative and communicative presentations of classical song. Together they have recorded 10 CDs.

Baritone Jeremy Huw Williams and Pianist Paula Fan

Deon Nielsen Price, (BA Brigham Young University; MM University of Michigan; DMA University of Southern California) is an internationally recognized composer, award-winning pianist, recording artist, conductor, author, church musician, veteran educator, and advocate for women in music and for living composers. James Morehead is Poet Laureate of Dublin, California. “canvas: poems” is his debut collection, and he hosts The Viewless Wings Poetry Podcast. James’ poem “tethered” was transformed into an award-winning hand drawn animated short film, and his poems have appeared in Wingless Dreamer and Prometheus Dreaming.

The music of Morten Johannes Lauridsen, composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994–2001 and professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than thirty years, occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the twentieth century. Michael Dana Gioia, born December 24, 1950) is an American poet, literary critic, literary translator, and essayist. Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and writer. Former California Poet laureate and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia was born in Los Angeles of Italian and Mexican descent.

Richard Derby has a Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California Santa Barbara. In 1977-78 he held a Fulbright Fellowship to study composition with Justin Connolly at the Royal College of Music in London. “All Saints Day” was written for the prominent Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams in January 2021. It sets a poem by the composer’s wife, Charlene Derby, in which she remembers her deceased mother on All Saints Day.

Welsh-born composer, Hilary Tann, lives in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York where she is the John Howard Payne Professor of Music Emerita at Union College, Schenectady. Her compositions have been widely performed and recorded by ensembles such as the European Women’s Orchestra, Tenebrae, Lontano, Marsyas Trio, Thai Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. e e cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays. He is often regarded as one of the most important American poets of the 20th century.

Grace Mary Williams (19 February 1906 – 10 February 1977) was a Welsh composer, generally regarded as Wales’s most notable female composer, and the first British woman to score a feature film. During and after World War II, Williams experienced depression and other stress-related health problems. Grace Williams died at the age of 70 in February 1977, in Barry.

The Presidio Chapel

Life as an MIT Engineering Student – from Dublin High School to East Coast Boston

October 24, 2021

DUBLIN, CA–All I can remember from MIT’s visit weekend was the following brief phone call with my mom.

“There is absolutely no way that I can go here.”

It seemed so blatantly obvious. I had spent my entire childhood fantasizing about college tailgates and beach volleyball. MIT seemed to offer neither. It’s a small, intense school with DIII athletics and a relatively specialized student body. Engineering students with a goal of changing the world for the better. Impressive, to say the least, but as someone who never took AP Chemistry or AP Physics (purely out of fear), the prospect of surrounding myself with a community of technical geniuses was terrifying.

Malika (middle) with friends
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Retiring DHS Staffer Shepherded Thousands of Students to Chart Their Next Course

October 13, 2021

As we know, life is a journey. For Leann Nobida that odyssey began as a youth in Michigan, then to personal and professional success in California and will now shift to Washington state by the end of October. While employed at Dublin High School as a College & Career Specialist, she has had the rare opportunity to guide students – regardless of where their post-high school path might take them. As an active parent volunteer that supported her two children at DHS, a professional opportunity emerged that would allow her to impact many more students.

To appreciate the College & Career Center, one must appreciate its evolution. With the confidence granted to her by the school administration, Ms. Nobida created a vibrant environment that transcended the mere name of the space. Among other things, the center served as a temporary meeting place for clubs, a quiet space for those that needed it, a central repository for scholarship opportunities, a location to host “First Friday” discussions and even a place to see a friendly face. Throughout the past seven years a countless number of students have gained resources that have impacted their post-DHS route. We recently sat down with Leann to reflect on her experiences and accomplishments.

Ms. Leann Nobida, retired Dublin High School College & Career Specialist. Photo by: Michael Utsumi
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Dublin Family Joins Forces to Share Stories and to Inspire Young Readers

September 15, 2021

Recently, a rare trifecta was formed in our midst. It had nothing to do with horse racing. Rather, it was a cross-generational collaboration of love. Three siblings contributed their personal writings with the guidance of their maternal grandfather. Some of these stories are a decade old and they were carefully edited and then embellished with original artwork. The result of this collaboration yielded the now published and available book “Rishi’s Jungle Safari.”

Rijuta, Ritama and Ribhav Vallishayee have either matriculated or continue to progress through the Dublin Unified School District. Rijuta is in her second year at Rice University in Houston TX, Ritama is a junior and Ribhav a freshman at Dublin High School. Their proud grandfather, Sadhan Kumar De is a retired professor from the Indian Institute of Technology. He currently resides in Kolkata – the capital of the Indian State of West Bengal. Sadhan is a published author and one of his titles is “Two Beautiful Minds”: Untold Story of IVF Invention. He continues to create stories and the family will concede that he lit the spark that inspired his grandchildren to follow in his footsteps. “Rishi’s Jungle Safari” is a compilation of short stories from all three siblings and the senior De. To understand this journey, we were blessed to sit down with a segment of the family and they shared their thoughts.

Authors and Dublin High School Students, Ribhav (9th Grade) and Ritama (11th Grade) Vallishayee. Photo by: Michael Utsumi
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Fellow Gaels Take Similar Journey That Is Connected Through Early Child Care

August 24, 2021

“You can’t go home again” – Thomas Wolfe

With all due respect to this brilliant author, many do but we’ll touch upon this later. The education business is no different than any other industry. Enterprises generally focus on their core competencies – in the case of Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) it is providing educational opportunities for all in a safe environment. But the mission is truly accomplished when partnerships are created that benefit both sides.

This profile is about two Dublin High School (DHS) graduates that are separated in age by six years. While they both attended Frederiksen Elementary School, they would not know each other until they became adults. What links them is that they are currently enrolled college students, and both are employed by Extended Day Child Care Center (EDCC). EDCC operates at all eight elementary school sites in Dublin and at Walnut Grove Elementary School in Pleasanton.

EDCC Site at Cottonwod Creek School K-8. Photo by: Michael Utsumi
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Arrival of Superintendent Chris Funk Marks a Pivotal Moment for DUSD

July 22, 2021

After a comprehensive search process, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees confirmed the appointment of Chris Funk as its new Superintendent. While his actual employment commenced on July 1, 2021, he invested time in June to meet with key personnel and stakeholders to facilitate his transition. This hire could not be more critical as DUSD is entering into both a dynamic phase and one that could benefit from greater stability from the superintendent’s office.

Dublin Unified School District Superintendent, Chris Funk. Photo by: Michael Utsumi

To be frank, the district has experienced a fair amount of turmoil in leadership over the past few years. After the abrogated tenure of Dr. Leslie Boozer in 2019, DUSD was fortunate to tap into a known quantity in Dr. Dave Marken. He came out of retirement after serving as superintendent of schools in Newark Unified. However, he elected to depart suddenly and Dr. Daniel Moirao agreed to serve as the interim superintendent for the 2020-21 academic year. To gain some perspective, it is interesting to consider some employment data from the academic world. As two references, we cite a study conducted by the Council of the Great City Schools and a post from the American Association of School Administrators. Between the two sources, the average tenure of a superintendent varies from 3.2 to 5.5 years. One of the explanations for the variance is that some surveys only account for large/urban school districts vs. treating all of them in the same manner. Regardless, the district has been led by three different leaders over the past three years.

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Inaugural Poetry and Pizza Open Mic to be Held at Patxi’s Pizza (Dublin)

July 8, 2021

DUBLIN, CA–In his first event as Dublin, California’s new Poet Laureate, James Morehead is teaming up with Patxi’s Pizza (Dublin) for the inaugural Poetry and Pizza Open Mic, to take place on Wednesday, Aug 18 6pm – 8pm, with the intent of creating a monthly space for East Bay poets to share their original work. The free event will be hosted by Morehead, feature local poets (adults and students, sign-up details below) including Poet Laureates from the Tri-Valley area.

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Superintendent Dr. Daniel Moirao Bids Farewell After Weathering Challenging School Year

June 29, 2021

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” – Walt Disney

The conclusion of this academic calendar will include changes at the Dublin Unified School District (“DUSD”) Office. Dr. Daniel Moirao has successfully concluded his interim contract and helped the district to navigate its most challenging year in recent memory. After the unexpected departure by Interim Superintendent Dave Marken in June,2020, the district sought out an interim replacement. The second interim would serve the 2020/21 year while a concurrent process would continue through a search firm to identify a permanent superintendent.

For anyone familiar with Dr. Moirao, they know that he is both fascinated and inspired by all things Disney. In June, he led the process of recognizing “Imagineers” throughout the district for staff members that led beyond expectations. However, the aforementioned quote becomes far more relevant when we consider what has actually occurred during his tenure. First, DUSD was facing the prospect of a full year of distance learning while COVID-19 remained the nation’s primary health threat. Second, a set of unforeseen and tragic circumstances within three months could have derailed all the progress that had been made. We recently sat down with Daniel and he graced us with an enlightening and very candid visit.

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