March 24, 2017
Concord Pioneer • www.concordpioneer.com
Serendipity students take high honors JOHN T. MILLER Correspondent
Five students from Serendipity Restaurant, the vocational training program at Mt. Diablo High School, brought home honors at the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) regional competition at Mission College in Santa Clara. Competing in the Culinary Display category, all the students qualified to attend the state FCCLA meeting in Riverside in April. Awards and accolades are nothing new for Serendipity, which has been at MDHS since 1976. The restaurant has been a nurturing home to thousands of students since opening in a refurbished machine shop on East Street, across from what is now John Muir Hospital. Run by chefs Debbie Allen
an instructor for 23 years. Fuller graduated from the San Francisco Culinary Institute and worked in the restaurant business for 15 years before coming to the program 21 years ago. They look after their students much like parents would, giving them tools to succeed in life, then watching them grow up and leave the nest. “A lot of them return to check in,” Fuller says. “We learn who’s getting married or having kids, and what they’re doing with their careers.” Serendipity students who won honors at the Culinary DisFuller explains that a play contest include, back row from left, Tyler Cooks, 1st restaurant, by its nature, creplace and Best of Show in patisserie; Donovin Caldwell, ates a family atmosphere. “You 2nd place appetizers; Remigio Gallegos, 1st place breads; become close to the people front row from left, Nathaly Balcazar, 1st place advanced you work with. You survive presentation cakes; and Evelyn Baldoza, 1st place decoordeals every day, and you have rated wedding cakes. to count on others and they and Kevin Fuller, the culinary tality and Tourism Academy. count on you.” program is the heart of the Allen is a graduate of MDHS See Serendipity, pg. 19 school’s International Hospi- and the program and has been
Mt. Diablo academies driven to success The Mount Diashowcasing their blo High School projects: EggXpress, academies have a civil structures, lot to celebrate. Rube Goldberg and The ACME balsawood gliders. (Architecture, ConCongratulations to struction, ManufacYohe Akuaku, Corituring and Engina Magdaleno and neering) Academy Justin Gonzales for celebrated the first taking second place Liane Cismowski group of MESA with their Rube MDHS PRINCIPAL (Math, EngineerGoldberg machine. ing, Science Other students parAchievement) students, who ticipating were Rasheed Harris, dedicated March 4 as MESA Joanna Hinojosa, Adilene Day. Lopez, Diego Soto, Juan Soto, Students competed with Alan Thompson and Igmer peers from the Bay Area by Castillo. Their teacher is Karen taking the PSAT in math and Lowande.
The Medical Biotechnical Academy (MBTA) and HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) are a strong academic group. The Future Health Professionals club now has monthly activities with guest speakers to introduce students to allied health-care careers. HOSA invited Edi Birsan, vice-mayor of Concord, to be the guest of honor at the launching campaign of these events. He is involved in the HOSA mission as is Carolyn Obringer, Concord newest City Council member. Kloyd Ganancial, a student in the DSA (Digital Safari
Academy), won the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Award for his art. He submitted six 18 by 24 pen and ink art pieces in the December contest. He uses unconventional tools to create these posters, for example, Gelly Roll pens, highlighters and Bristol boards. He does not purchase expensive art supplies. Two of his pieces won gold keys, two won silver keys and the other two received honorable mentions. The two gold key winners will move to the national awards. Kloyd hopes to attend the
Northgate as we try to grow. High School just WASC’s visiting finished up its committee of eduWestern Associacators from around tion of Schools California was comand Colleges plimentary of the (WASC) accreditaschool. tion process, in It was a powerful which the entire process to examine school community what we do well. It completes a self- Michael McAlister came up repeatedly NORTHGATE study. that students feel like PRINCIPAL Teachers, they each have a administrators, students and place at Northgate. There is a parents examined what we do niche for every kid as long as as a school: our goals, what they explore a little. This conan ideal graduate should look nection matters as it ultimatelike and the gaps we may have ly plays a vital part in any
school’s culture. Teachers feel connected, both in their work as well as with the students they teach. We have some of the most talented educators I’ve seen in my many years in education, and I’m proud to serve with them. Northgate has established goals for its students that are meaningful. We look to see that every student can integrate our 5 Cs – communication, critical thought, creativity, collaboration and connection – into the daily experience. From the freshman year
on, the 5 Cs help focus and prepare students to deliver upon our capstone senior activities: Mock Congress and the Senior Project. The WASC visiting committee mentioned that this kind of approach to educational outcomes is present in only the best institutions. This comment made all of us proud and serves as a testament to our continued efforts of offering excellence to, and expecting it from, all the students.
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Carondelet introduces Lenten Project on human trafficking in Bay Area JAY BEDECARRÉ Concord Pioneer
Carondelet High School kicked off this year’s Lenten Project with an all-school assembly featuring Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, a Concord native and alumna of Carondelet, and Tiffany LaVoie of 3Strands Global Foundation, who spoke about human trafficking and its prevalence in the Bay Area and throughout America. “The young women of our Spiritual Life Council selected the topic of human trafficking because they recognize this issue as a tragic injustice that must be addressed,” said Lacy Matthews, Carondelet’s director of campus ministry. “Our faith teaches us that all people have dignity and deserve
the right to live safe and flourishing lives.” “Human trafficking is modern-day slavery,” said LaVoie, director of education for 3Strands, whose mission is to mobilize communities to combat human trafficking through prevention education and reintegration programs. “We want to raise modern-day abolitionists.” O’Malley described the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Watch program that her office launched to combat human trafficking by raising community awareness, training law enforcement, prosecuting offenders, coordinating victim services and changing legislative policy. The program’s public awareness campaign, which won an award for being the most innovative with “in-yourface” messaging, features billboards throughout the county
with headlines like: “Buying a teen for sex is child abuse. Turning a blind eye is neglect.” and “There’s no such thing as a child prostitute.” Tying the issue back to Catholic social justice, O’Malley shared how her office has worked with the Oakland Diocese and Catholic Charities of the East Bay to create safe houses where rescued victims can receive wrap-around services, education and compassionate support. The first of several planned houses is expected to open in September. It will be dubbed “Claire’s House,” for O’Malley’s mother who raised nine children in Concord and cared for countless others. Both speakers also urged Carondelet students to stay vigilant in looking out for themselves and others. They warned them to be wary of connecting with strangers
online and leaving a dangerous “digital footprint.” “Who’s following you and who’s friending you whom you don’t actually know?” asked LaVoie, suggesting that all students review their social media accounts to block or remove anyone they don’t know personally. Students are collecting new and gently used bras to send to Free the Girls, an international organization that helps rescued human trafficking victims get their lives back through economic freedom. Bras are highly sought after and command good money in the secondhand marketplace. They are also selling bracelets to benefit 3Strands Global Foundation to help raise awareness about human trafficking. Survivors make the bracelets, teaching them a trade and selling them through the foundation.
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