West Ranch Students Earn High Scores in CA Academic Decathlon
The 2011 West Ranch High School Academic Decathlon Team earned third place and 15 medals in the state championships, Division III, becoming the first school in the Distrtict to compete at this level. The school has competed for three years. It earned Rookie School of the Year in its first year in the Los Angeles regional competition and had the highest initial score for a first-year team in LA County history. Under the direction of advisor Tracy Kane, a West Ranch English teacher, this year’s team spent nine months studying for the theme, The Great Depression. The members of the team are: Ami Alaniz, Heejae Chang, Liana Chavez, Harmonie Lee, Mina Matsumoto, Sarah Park, Johathan Tjan, Varsha Venkatasubramanian and Stephanie Yom.
Special Education Students Compete and Enjoy Hart Games 2011
Nearly 300 Hart District students with special needs competed in the 2nd Annual Hart Games last month at Valencia High School. Throughout the track and field area, calls of “On your mark, get ready, set, go!” could be heard as students participated in a variety of events including 4 x 100 relay, 200 meter dash, 100 yard dash, long jump, high jump, shot put and softball throw. The event started with a traditional Olympic-style opening ceremony and the students enjoyed receiving ribbons for their efforts during the awards ceremony for each event. The clouds lingered on what later became a very rainy afternoon, but all during the events the beautiful weather matched the beautiful smiles on the faces of the participants. Cheers of “Go, go, go!” echoed from the stands as volunteers and family members ran alongside athletes, cheering them to victory. Proud athletes shouted “Did you see me?” as they crossed the finish line and high fives were ongoing in support of each other. Special Olympics provided athletics with T-Shirts in each student’s school colors, as these students basked in the attention usually reserved for the physically gifted. Hart District Adaptive Physical Education Department coordinated the event, and had tremendous help and support by family members, volunteers and students from the schools involved.
Golden Valley Students Attend National College Fair
Golden Valley High School Freshman and Sophomores had the unique opportunity to visit a national college fair held in Pasadena last month. One hundred and forty students were able to speak to admission representatives from more than 300 colleges, ask questions and pick up information on various programs available. Under the supervision of Kimberly Jimenez, Patrick Geary and Elizabeth Flynn, the students strolled up and down the rows of booths set up at the Pasadena Convention Center and asked questions about GPA, the significance of weighted and unweighted averages, tuition, financial aid and student housing. Several workshops were available on topics: Getting ready for the ACT and SAT, writing the college application essay and how to find the right college. As the students boarded the buses for the ride home, they were very enthusiastic about their bags full of college brochures and promotional items. Some had found the college they want to attend and others had additional questions to research on certain schools. Students could be heard chattering the next few days at school about their college goals and what was needed to achieve them.
Bowman Students Explore COC Medical Lab Tech Program
More than 100 Bowman High School students had the opportunity to meet with the Program Director for the new COC Medical Laboratory Technology Program to learn about different career paths students have open to them following completion of the program. Program Director Hanzel Salva-Cruz outlined the two-year program which results in an Associate in Sciences Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. The program prepares students for employment in clinical labs, industry and biotechnology. Salva-Cruz explained that this new job area is experiencing increasing demand in both hospitals and biotechnical labs, particularly pharmaceutical labs conducting research studies. The Bowman students were excited to learn that graduates can expect to earn approximately $40,000 a year to start.
Arroyo Seco Students Participate in America’s Battle of the Books
Twenty-five students at Arroyo Seco Junior High participated in the America’s Battle of the Books competition last month. The program began in the fall under former Seco librarian Lori Hermelin and concluded in March with new Seco librarian Sarah Goodwin. The students formed teams of five to seven and, throughout the year, read from a list of 30 books. At the competition the teams were quizzed on the books and worked together to answer the questions and compete for points. There were five rounds of questions, a lunch provided by Jersey Mike’s, and a Grand Battle between the two highest scoring teams. The competition was neck- in-neck for several rounds and a mere three points separated the two final teams. The participating teams were: the Beast Book Buddies, the Book Warriors, the Death Eaters (finalists) and the Page Turners (champions). The Page Turners enjoyed a Big Papa’s pizza donated by Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizza. Parents and teachers came out to volunteer and watch the competition. It was a fun day full of students being excited about books and reading! Congratulations to all participants!
Placerita Students Welcome Guest Speakers for Career Day
All Placerita Junior High students had the opportunity to each select six different guest speakers of 50 distinguished guests participating in Career Day last month. Students heard 30 minute presentations on movie production, journalism, animation, medical doctor, marine biology, fitness, aerospace, law, law enforcement, armed forces and more. Placerita alumni and California State Assemblyman Cameron Smyth was on hand to talk about his career in local politics as a City of Santa Clarita City Council member to his current position as an Assemblyman. Students enjoyed the visual presentation by Pixar Animator Teddy Newton and learned about the importance of attending a good college for certain careers. Following each presentation, students were able to ask the guests questions and learn more about specific career paths. School administrators were pleased with the list of presenters, many who were contacted and arranged by teachers and staff.
Hart High School Dance Team Captures National Title
The Hart Dance Team earned its first National Championship Dance Title at the USA National Dance and Cheer Championship on March 26th in Anaheim. The 16-member team was awarded the prize for Character Dance, a Broadway style performance which earned them high marks throughout their dance season. Hart shared top honors with other outstanding Hart District school dance teams. Valencia, Saugus, West Ranch, and Canyon, each took home prestigious awards in multiple categories. Local pride was evident with signs and buttons that read “SCV dancers support each other.” Local dance teams and studio performances will be included in Hart’s upcoming show. Hart looks forward to performing the Championship dance and more in its Spring Show, “Moulin Rouge” in mid-April.
Golden Oak Students Test English Skills Aboard Air Force One
Recently, 18 Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) students put to practice what they have learned in their ESL class aboard Air Force One. José E. Malavé, ESL instructor and Gerardo Nuñez, Computer Science instructor at Golden Oak Adult School, decided to give their students a unique experience by taking them to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley. This was the first time most of these students had been out of Santa Clarita after arriving in the United States. After learning and researching about the presidents of the United States, specifically former President Ronald Reagan, students decided to go and see first hand how much English they have acquired as well as learning about the history of the United States and its landmarks. The field trip was a huge success as students used their new-found English skills in a public setting.
Los Angeles Kings Hockey Players Visit Sierra Vista
The LA Kings visited Sierra Vista Junior High PE classes one day in March to teach students the fundamentals of hockey, and to talk about the importance of maintaining a healthy life style everyday. The Kings crew brought their “chariot” filled with hockey equipment, and students were given time to play a quick game and ask questions about hockey and professional sports in general. Kings Alumni player, Daryl Evans, who is now the radio broadcaster, stopped by to answer questions, sign autographs, and speak to students about how the choices one makes now can effect his/her future. This program is just another way in which the LA Kings reach out to local communities, and the students had a truly wonderful experience.
SOAR Takes Flight at Los Angeles Marathon
Enduring one of the worst winter storms in recent memory, 17 students, many from the Hart District, successfully completed the grueling 26.2 mile “Stadium to Sea” Los Angeles Marathon last month. Sponsored by Students Off And Running (SOAR), a division of the Santa Clarita Track Club, this program dedicates itself to offering Santa Clarita Valley youth the opportunity to participate in a fully supported, 24-week 380-mile marathon training program while challenging themselves to accomplish something truly extraordinary in a non-competitive arena. Smiling and looking more than a little soggy, team co-founder and Head Coach Kevin Sarkissian reflected on the day’s events, “I couldn’t be more proud of the level of determination these kids showed today.” Less than 1% of Americans ever complete a full marathon. SOAR is not about recruiting seasoned high school athletes, the program looks for any kid with heart, kids that are willing to commit to a truly life changing experience. Now completing its fourth year of operation, the results continue to be impressive. Parents, teachers, and participating students alike report better focus in school, increased positive social interaction, and dramatic improvement in overall physical health. Donations of new running equipment, gift cards to athletic retailers, and monetary donations are appreciated. Donors should visit www.soar-sc.org or contact Kevin Sarkissian at 661-877-7024 for more information.