Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Message to the Class of 2014

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The slideshow above shows the graduation ceremony at Royal High School in Simi Valley, held on May 29, 2014 at the school’s stadium. As two other Simi high schools held their respective graduations on the same night, we had to pick one to feature for this slideshow. We will make sure to cover different schools’ ceremonies in the years to come. We are very proud of ALL of our graduates for their accomplishments! 

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A letter from Dr. Kathryn Scroggin, Superintendent of the Simi Valley Unified School District

Dear Class of 2014:

As of June 9, 2014, all qualified seniors in the Simi Valley Unified School District can officially be called “graduates.” With the sigh of relief that follows reaching this important milestone there is also the happy realization that so many possibilities lie ahead, no matter what path you choose. Every door is open, and every dream has an opportunity to become a reality.

The title of “graduate” also carries a great responsibility for the Class of 2014. Each one of you is charged with the responsibility of not only charting your own path and making a life for yourself but also with the responsibility of blazing a path for those who will follow you and making a life – a better life- for the world.

The graduates who came before you followed mostly similar paths. All of us went to school, graduated, went to college or started a job, became teachers, accountants, mechanics, lawyers or doctors, started families and settled into a mostly comfortable routine. Most of you will follow a similar path, but what you may not realize is that this path is undergoing a major overhaul which will take you in directions you never dreamed of and lead you to careers that have yet to be created. What an exciting future lies ahead of you!

You will compete not only in a local and national economy but also in a global economy. You will have an impact not only on your community, your state and your country but also on the world. You will chart the path that so many who come after you will follow. You will help design a future for a world that welcomes you and all of the possibilities you see for tomorrow.

All of the teachers, support staff and administrators who have touched your lives on your educational journey in the Simi Valley Unified School District feel privileged to have been able to guide you toward the end of that journey – graduation. We have taught you to be thinkers, problem solvers, communicators and collaborators. These are all skills you will need to compete in the global economy. You are ready to not just face but rather to create the future.

John Lennon said, “The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all have. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.” Class of 2014, in you we see the possibilities for the future. We know that you will take the responsibility for finding the answers. 

-Dr. Kathryn Scroggin

Superintendent, Simi Valley Unified School District

More New Positions Announced

Group student with notebook isolated.

The Simi Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees met in a special session on Tuesday, May 27 to discuss appointments of several additional administrative positions throughout the District. Coming out of closed session, Board President Rob Collins confirmed the following new hires. They will be formally confirmed at the June 3 Regular Board Meeting. 

  • Ron Todo, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services
  • Dr. Jason Peplinski, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services
  • Deborah Salgado, Director of Secondary Education
  • Kathy Roth, Director of Elementary Education
  • Keith Derrick, Principal of Royal High School
  • Jamie Snodgrass (Teacher on Special Assignment), Erin Taggart (teacher from Crestview Elementary) and Nora Kuntz (Dean of Students at Hillside Middle School) have all been named as elementary principals, but which school that are each assigned to has not yet been decided.

Mr. Derrick comes from the San Marino Unified School District where he serves as the principal of San Marino High School.

Congratulations!

Preserved History Lives at Madera Elementary

 

Fourth Grader Sadie DuBois meets Walt Disney (played by Noah Iverson).

Fourth Grader Sadie DuBois meets Walt Disney (played by Noah Iverson).

 

It started with an idea to “capture” an electrical charge.

Benjamin Franklin, and his son, William, waited for a rainy day and after tying a key to the end of a kite string, found out what a shocking event really means.

“It almost killed me,” Franklin said. “I’m glad I’m alive.”

Franklin shared his story with schoolmates from Madera Elementary School last Thursday, as part of the school’s second annual Wax Museum event. Played by fifth-grader Zachary, Franklin sat in the play yard, armed with a posterboard outlining his life story and a “press” button. Passing students would press the button, Franklin would stand and history would be shared.

 

Florence Nightingale (AKA Paige Millet) shares her life story with a young listener.

Florence Nightingale (AKA Paige Millet) shares her life story with a young listener.

Altogether, more than 90 fifth-grade students participated in the event. Teachers Michelle Nicolas, Susan Cadwell and Rosalie Cruzan spent the last couple of weeks helping their students select a person who was important in American History. Student were offered some choices, but we free to select their own subjects. From there, they researched and wrote about their subject and developed the costumes and props used for the event. Most of the work was done at home, Nicolas said.

“They did a great job!” she said.

"I got my nickname because of how I carried the pitchers of water to the men," Molly PItcher (played by Pamela Herrera) said. She shared her life with First Graders Summer Rainey, Liyah Reguerra and Samantha Enriquez (left to right).

“I got my nickname because of how I carried the pitchers of water to the men,” Molly PItcher (played by Pamela Herrera) said. She shared her life with First Graders Summer Rainey, Liyah Reguerra and Samantha Enriquez (left to right).

Ava Romerosa plays Molly Brown. The students created their own costumes at home.

Ava Romerosa plays Molly Brown. The students created their own costumes at home.

Throughout the morning, students from other grades visited the wax museum and learned about as many historical characters as possible.

Rebecca Rojas’ fourth-graders came armed with notebooks and pencils. They will share the notes on the people they met when they go back class later in the day.

“I wanted them to meet as many people as possible,” she said.

Some of the figures included Betsey Ross, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Molly Pitcher, John Lennon, Robert E. Lee, Ronald Reagan, Molly Brown, Walt Disney, Florence Nightingale and Pocahontas.

Principal Michael Hall looked proudly around the play yard at the kids.

“Of all the things we do, this is my favorite,” he said.

 

Simi Valley Unified Needs Your Thoughts!

 

Education and learn concept: pixelated words knowledge is power

Dear Simi Valley Unified School District Community,

As part of the new funding formula for public education in California, school districts must develop, adopt, and annually update a three-year plan called the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The LCAP describes the school district’s overall vision for learning and creates goals for all students for each of eight state educational priorities.

The process for developing and approving the LCAP requires school districts to consult with all stakeholders involved in public education, including parents, students and community members. The state has clearly established the importance of stakeholder input in creating and evaluating the LCAP.

From Feb. 25 to March 17, 2014, the Simi Valley Unified School District promoted a survey to all SVUSD stakeholders. It was from this survey’s results that the district identified needs and created goals shown in the LCAP.

We invite you to visit the SVUSD’s LCAP web page. On the site, there is more information on the LCAP, the current SVUSD LCAP draft, and a form for public comment. The link below will guide you to the site. PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON THIS BLOG FOR THE LCAP! All comments must be gathered from the form for public comment. Thank you for your participation.

http://www.simivalleyusd.org/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1391070378436

New Positions Announced

Large Group of Children

The Simi Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees met in a special session on Tuesday, May 20 to discuss appointments of several administrative positions throughout the District. Coming out of closed session, Board President Rob Collins confirmed the hiring of Jerry Block, the current principal of Malibu High School (which is actually a grade 6 to 12 school) as the new principal of Hillside Middle School.

On Wednesday, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Dan Houghton announced some of the changes in administrative leadership at some of the District’s campuses. The following is the current list of administrative assignments:

As the 2013-2014 school year nears its end, it is normal to welcome personnel changes throughout the Simi Valley Unified School District. This year, we proudly announce the appointments of the following administrators for the 2014-2015 school year.

  • Cheri Toyen, the coordinator for the Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program, will become a counselor at Hillside Middle School.
  • Kate Snowden, currently the principal of Simi Elementary School, will replace Laura Tyre as the principal of Wood Ranch Elementary School. Laura Tyre is retiring.
  • Michael Hall, currently the principal of Madera Elementary School, will replace Terry Webb as the principal of Valley View Middle School. Terry Webb is retiring.
  • Debora Palmer, currently the principal of Justin Elementary School, will replace Michael Hall as the principal of Madera Elementary School.
  • Anthony Karch, currently the principal of Park View Elementary School, will replace Dr. Sherrill Knox as the principal of White Oak Elementary School. Dr. Knox has accepted a position with the Ojai Unified School District.
  • Laura Wellington, currently the principal of Hillside Middle School, will become principal at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.
  • Jerry Block has been hired from outside the SVUSD to become principal at Hillside Middle School.
  • Theresa Garner, currently the principal at Crestview Elementary School, has accepted a position with the Moorpark Unified School District.
  • Principals at Crestview, Justin and Park View elementary schools are still to be determined. Announcements will be made as soon as the decisions are final.

Jerry Block has served as the principal for Malibu High School, which includes grades 6 through 12, since 2012. A former assistant principal at Oak Park High School, Mr. Block is a Newbury Park resident. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Linguistics from University of California-Los Angeles in 1998, his single-subject credentials in Spanish from California State University-Northridge in 2001, and then his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 2004, also from CSUN.

We wish to congratulate all of our new positions, thank those who are leaving for their many years of excellent service to our students, and welcome our newest member to the district.

There is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch for Simi Kids!

Students Outdoors Eating Lunch (Selective Focus)

Having our kids eat healthy this summer just got easier with the Summer Food Rocks! Food, Fun & Sun! program.

In partnership with the Rancho Simi Parks & Recreation District, the Simi Valley Unified School District will offer free lunch to children 18 and younger at Rancho Simi Community Park, 1765 Royal Ave (near Erringer Road).

Beginning June 9 and running through Aug. 1, lunch will be served at 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday. Each nutritious lunch will include a fruit and vegetable, choice of milk, chocolate milk or water, and a rotating choice of sandwiches, pizza, corn dogs and burgers.

Lunch will not be available on July 4 due to the Independence Day holiday.

For more information, call 8805-306-4500, ext. 4702 or email montserrat.padilla@simivalleyusd.org.

Our Kids do Amazing Things!

On April 26, a team of 10 students from Hillside Middle School battled high schoolers at the annual Clay Day competition at California State University-Northridge and emerged victorious!

With two first-place finishes, two second place and three third-place finishes, Hillside’s pottery team stood proud in the face of many area high schoolers.

Josh Franco and Jerry Butler team up for the Twin Throw.

Josh Franco and Jerry Butler team up for the Twin Throw.

Clay Day is a pottery competition that challenges students in teams and individually to throw the tallest, or widest pots. Other contests include smallest wheel thrown pot, a pot thrown by a blindfolded potter and the potter who throws eight pots fastest. Still other young potters face off to build the tallest hand-built structure, create a fantastic sculpture, fabricate the most imaginative vehicle and in the final task, pull the longest handle.

From left to right: Front row: Justin Hibbit, Coach Galvin, Zalma Quezada. Back row: William M., Mrs. Malone, Scott Dodge, Josh Franco, Hayley Williams, Taylor Blomquist and Amanda Adams.

From left to right: Front row: Justin Hibbit, Coach Galvin, Zalma Quezada. Back row: William Malone, Mrs. Judi Malone, Scott Dodge, Josh Franco, Hayley Williams, Taylor Blomquist and Amanda Adams.

The students included eighth graders Amanda Adams, Jerry Butler, Scott Dodge, Josh Franco, Justin Hibbits, Joey Kraige, Wiliam Malone and Zalma Quezada. Seventh grader Haley Williams and sixth grader Taylor Bloomquist finished off the team.

The wins were:

  • First place: Tallest Hand-Built Structure. (Team of Scott Dodge, Josh Franco and Justin Hibbits)
  • First place: Most Imaginative Vehicle. (Team of Amanda Abrams, Josh Franco and Justin Hibbits)
  • Second place: Fence Post Sculpture. (Joey Kraige)
  • Second place: Twin Throw. (Team William Malone and Zalma Quezada)
  • Third place: Fastest Throw. (Jerry Butler)
  • Third place: Tallest Thrown Pot. (Zalma Quezada)
  • Third place: Longest Pulled Handle. (Scott Dodge and Joey Kraige)
Zalma Quezada throws her entry for the Tallest Wheel Thrown Pot contest.

Zalma Quezada throws her entry for the Tallest Wheel Thrown Pot contest.

Teams from Hillside have competed in the past, and surprisingly come away with some first place awards.

“The younger potters do not know that there are some things too difficult to do. They fearlessly plunge ahead and achieve great things, not knowing they have done the impossible,” said Coach Stephen Galvin, Hillside’s art teacher.

We are proud of ALL of our Clay Day competitors! Throw on, guys.

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