A SWEETWATER UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLICATION
SWEETWATER CURRENTS Commencement Ceremonies The Class of 2013
2013 Translation & Interpretation Academy Begins Tuesday, July 30th
Stress-Relief Tips from Risk Management
Eastlake High Lacrosse Makes the News
GRANGER GETS THE GOLD! Granger Named Gold Medal School in NCUST Award
PLUS! TEACHER APPRECIATION www.sweetwaterschools.org
DAYS AT JUNE THE2013 FAIR! P.6 CURRENTS SWEETWATER
SWEETWATER CURRENTS JUNE 2013
03 GRANGER GETS THE GOLD!
04 SOPHIA HEREDIA
03 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES
08 SAMANTHA GARDNER
The Class of 2013 Graduates
Community Service Recognition
05 MONTH OF JUNE
10 MAAC COMMUNITY CHARTER
Student Safety Month
Earns Accreditation from WASC
07 EASTLAKE HIGH LACROSSE
12 NICOLE SANDEZ MEYER
First Playoff Makes the News
Sweetwater Alumni Spotlight
13 MARIACHI CHULA VISTA
Tips from Risk Management
Wins 1st Place in Battle of the Mariachis
10 NEW CCSS RESOURCES
14 MARIA CATALINA
From The California Department of Education
MVM - 2013 Outstanding Educator
16 SUPERINTENDENT’S COLUMN
14 JESSICA HERNANDEZ
Gold Medal School in NCUST Award
The Class of 2013
CPM - 2013 Award of Excellence
Special Congressional Recognition
Board of Trustees Jim Cartmill • Bertha J. López • John McCann • Pearl Quiñones • Arlie N. Ricasa Dr. Edward M. Brand Superintendent
Produced by: Grants & Communications
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2013 Commencement Ceremonies It’s that time of year again! Join us as we celebrate each and every graduating Sweetwater student at our graduation and promotion ceremonies. “There is so much to celebrate with this group of graduates,” says Dr. Edward Brand, Superintendent of Sweetwater Schools. Guests should plan to arrive early to cheer on graduates. A full list of times and locations can be found here. *Dates and locations are subject to change,
Granger Gets The Gold! Granger Junior High Named one of the best Urban Schools in the Nation. Sweetwater’s own Granger Junior High (GJH) School was awarded top honors for Excellence in Urban Education from San Diego State University’s National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST). GJH was one of only four schools to receive the NCUST gold medal award. Earlier this year, Granger was awarded one of 17 national bronze medals. Each of the bronze medalists were then visited and further evaluated for strength in four areas: curricular rigor, instructional effectiveness, relational quality, and continuous improvement efforts. The awards were announced May 23rd in Houston during a special ceremony at the NCUST Symposium. The NCUST spotlights the nation’s top urban schools that achieve exceptional academic results. Through the National Excellence in Urban Education Award, NCUST rewards outstanding schools and studies their successes. Read more at the SDSU news center or at http://www.ncust.org/wp/.
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2013 Translation and Interpretation Academy
Attention all Sweetwater Staff: Are you bilingual, bicultural and proficient in a second language? Have you thought about becoming a trained interpreter and translator for our district? If you answered “yes,” then you’re in luck! The 2013 Translation and Interpretation Academy will begin on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. The Academy consists of a series of eight sessions from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Our goal is to prepare the most capable district and school staff to become proficient in translation etiquette, common educational terms, and specific skills in consecutive and simultaneous interpretation as well as to create a network of support from a group of trained interpreters and translators. The series was developed to train and recruit bilingual employees from different departments and schools to provide on-site translation and interpretation services. If you are bilingual, bicultural and proficient in a second language, and you are interested in attending the academy please call or email Ana Bojorquez at the SUHSD Translation and Interpretation Unit at (619) 934-8615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KUDOS! Sophia Heredia
Congratulations to Sophia Heredia, 7th Grade English teacher at Castle Park Middle School, for being selected as the district honoree to receive the 2013 Award of Excellence from the Greater San Diego Reading Association. Ms. Heredia is recognized for her superior contributions to the teaching of reading and language arts. www.sweetwaterschools.org JUNE 2013 SWEETWATER CURRENTS 4
JUNE 2013 Student Safety Month
School Board Meeting
THE SWEETWATER SPOTLIGHT Eight Sweetwater Students Named Gates-Millennium Scholars AS SEEN IN
The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program announced the selection of this year’s cohort of 1,000 new students, and eight of Sweetwater District’s best and brightest were named as recipients. Read the full story in the Sweetwater Spotlight here.
NEWS & VIEWS • See the latest Sweetwater Spotlight • Read the latest Budget Updates here • Keep up with the latest Board Updates and recent minutes
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Community Opportunities Teacher Appreciation Days at the Fair! The San Diego County Fair would like to offer all teachers two free admissions to the Fair on Friday, June 14 and Friday, June 21. Any employee of a public or private school, K-12 and colleges and universities are eligible no matter where they are located. Just show your employee ID and photo ID at the Will Call window at our main Fair entrance (Oâ€™Brien gate) and receive two free tickets. Click Here for Flyer.
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Community Opportunities Free Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers Teachers are invited to attend a free workshop from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Wednesday, June 26 at the Chula Vista High School Performing Arts Center (820 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista 91911). The session will be on “Creating a Flipped Classroom” and how teachers can create a more “student-centered” classroom. The presenter will be Cherie Stafford, EDS Specialist. Participants will receive a certificate for two hours of professional development. The workshop is free and being sponsored by the Educational Development and Support Enrichment Series at Grand Canyon University. For more information and to RSVP see the attached flyer or go to http://gcu.edu/EDSSeries
Eastlake High Lacrosse Makes The News Coach Robert Blas is now in his fifth year of coaching girls La Crosse at Eastlake High. And they are on a roll. In their first playoff appearance ever, the girls beat Monte Vista, 10-8 at Eastlake’s Stan Canaris Stadium. Their story was featured in the Union Tribune as was junior Alexyss McClellan when she was selected as “Athlete of the Week.”
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See the great
things that ha ppening acro ss Sweetwate Sign up to rec r School Cam eive the Swee puses. twater Spotlig ht in your inbo www.s x at
THE SWEETWATER SPOTLIGHT First-Ever Sweetwater STEAM Summit Attracts Hundreds
AS SEEN IN
The first-ever Sweetwater Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Summit was held last week at Otay Ranch High school. Attracting over 150 educators and community members, the summit was part of a technology initiative which includes an unprecedented amount of digital access for Sweetwater Students and teachers. Read the full story in the Sweetwater Spotlight here.
KUDOS! Samantha Gardener
Congratulations to Chula Vista High School student Samantha Gardner, who was recognized as this yearâ€™s exemplary student community volunteer at the 2013 Community Service Student Recognition for the 51st Congressional District of California. Congressman Juan Vargas presented Miss Gardner with a certificate at the recognition ceremony in May.
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Stress-Relief Tips from Risk Management With the closing out of this school year and the 24/7 demands of daily life, this can be a busy and demanding time for all of us. Stress is a normal reaction to our accelerated pace of life. To better help deal with the common types of stress that we may encounter, please consider the following simple stress relief tips offered by the Mayo clinic and Sharp Rees Stealy Occupational Health.
Do Something That Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment Choose a goal and work on it, step-by-step, i.e., losing weight, taking time to read books that interest you, starting a new hobby.
Practice Stress Management Techniques - Some simple techniques are: practicing deep, slow breathing; meditating; listening to music; taking a short walk; working in the garden—doing activities that are relaxing to you.
Journal Your Thoughts - Writing about your stressors can provide an emotional outlet for you. Read your previous entries to refresh your memory of how you’ve dealt with problems in the past.
Talk With Supportive Friends and Family - Discuss your stress and open up to family and friends. Your social network can help support you and lift your spirits. Some of them may have experienced what you are feeling.
Consider Speaking With A Health Professional - If you feel you’re not making progress, speak with your doctor or call the EASE (Employee Assistance Service for Education) Program. They are a free, confidential resource of licensed professionals (mentioned in our February safety tip) who offer services to all SUHSD employees and their dependents. Their toll-free phone number is 1-800-722-3273.
Have a safe and happy summer break and watch for the next safety tip when schools resume for the new school year.
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NEW CCSS RESOURCES
Common COREner SBAC Launches Practice Tests on Public Website As of May 29 2013, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) has launched a set or Practice Tests for grades three through eight and grade eleven. The tests will be available in both English Language Arts and mathematics at www.smarterbalanced.org and will provide an opportunity to experience the basic functionality or the SBAC test administration system. Read the full news release for the CDE here.
KUDOS! MAAC Community Charter School
MAAC Community Charter School earned initial accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Congratulations to the MAAC staff and community for your hard work and dedication!
THE SWEETWATER SPOTLIGHT Sweetwater District Recognized by SDG&E as Energy Champion AS SEEN IN
On May 8 at the 8th Annual San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) Energy Showcase event, The Sweetwater Union High School District was honored by SDG&E as an Energy Champion for its outstanding results in energy efficiency and conservation. Read the full story in the Sweetwater Spotlight here.
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Student Leadership Series Comes to Southwest High The United States Hispanic Leadership Institute came to Southwest High on May 23rd & 24th bringing their inspirational message to students that they can accomplish their personal and academic goals. Speaker Jimmy Cabrera â€œwas in the houseâ€? and told students about his own story and how he overcame adversity to become successful. Ninth and 10th grade students were captivated by his story telling and motivational message. We look forward to seeing them again next year!
THE SWEETWATER SPOTLIGHT Sweetwater Seniors Prep for Prom with Paul Mitchell AS SEEN IN
The name Paul Mitchell is synonymous with hair and makeup style. So when Sweetwater High teacher Kristina Campbell wrote the San Diego Paul Mitchell School five years ago asking for help in styling for some of her students, she never expected such a generous response. Read the full story here.
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SWEETWATER ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT ORH TEACHER Nicole Sandez-Meyer It’s no secret that Sweetwater schools are filled with talented educators and staff, many of which are also alumni of Sweetwater Schools. Otay Ranch High School mathematics teacher Nicole Sandez-Meyer is one of those people. A class of 1989 graduate of Mar Vista High, Nicole was one of MVH’s standout softball players. She went on to play at Southwestern College for two years and she played one year at San Diego State. Later, SandezMeyer played in two ISF World Tournaments: her first was in Normal, Illinois when she was just 19 years old. At 41, she recently played her second ISF World Tournament in Whitehorse Canada. Sandez-Meyers’ success extends to her career as well. She is chair of the ORH Mathematics department and serves as the ORH district representative on the Mathematics Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment team. She is admired by her students, who actively seek to be enrolled in her classes. Never one to idle, this softball star/educator also played in 2 Central American games: one in Venezuela and one in Guatemala. Mrs. Sandez-Meyer also played in the PanAmerican games hosted by Guadalajara in 2011. She has represented the State of Baja California since she was 16 years old in numerous state and national tournaments. She has also played in the open division since she was 16yrs old and counting! Why? According to her husband, “she just loves it too much to let it go.” As if that were not enough, Nicole has also played in the 30 and over state and national tournaments winning multiple MVP's and Best Pitcher of the tournaments in each of those divisions. She was inducted into the Mexican Hall of Fame on November 16th 2012. When we asked her husband exactly how many awards she has received for softball, her husband said, “We don't have an exact number of awards she's won because- you know Nicole- she's never wanted to keep track of individual awards. I practically had to force her to put up a few of her plaques and trophies at home. The rest she has boxed up somewhere." Well, we noticed how stellar you are Nicole. And Sweetwater couldn’t be prouder. Superintendent Dr. Edward Brand says “Mrs. Sandez-Meyers represents everything that is great about the people of Sweetwater: students, staff, and community. We’re lucky to have her on our team.”
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KUDOS! Ciara Ceniceros & Amber Montoya Congratulations to students Ciara Ceniceros and Amber Montoya. Both auditioned with over 130 other San Diego County students and made Semi-Finals for The Old Globe Theater’s “Globe Honors” competition!
KUDOS! Chula Vista High Mariachi & Mariachi Juvenil Azteca from Montgomery High
Congratulations to Chula Vista High Mariachi and Director Mark Fogelquist who took 1st Place at the Ninth Annual Battle of the Mariachis. Also receiving the Honorable Mention award was Mariachi Juvenil Azteca (Director Guadalupe Gonzales) from Montgomery High School.
1st Place Mariachi Chula Vista (Director Mark Fogelquist) San Diego, CA Photo courtesy of InGrace Photography
Honorable Mention Mariachi Juvenil Azteca (Director Guadalupe Gonzales) San Diego, Ca Photo courtesy of InGrace Photography
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VAPA EVENTS CALENDAR Visual & Performing Arts Department
Sweetwater Summer Arts Academy
KUDOS! Maria Catalina
Maria Catalina, teacher at Mar Vista Middle School, received a 2013 Outstanding Educator on behalf of the Award American Institute for Aeronautics for her extensive activities and commitment as a STEM educator.
KUDOS! Jessica Hernandez
Jessica Hernandez, Mar Vista High School student, received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Juan Vargas for her outstanding and invaluable service to the community. Congratulations!
THE SWEETWATER SPOTLIGHT Acclaimed Documentary “Bully” Screens at Sweetwater High Schools AS SEEN IN
If you haven’t heard about the incredibly powerful and criticallyacclaimed documentary, Bully, chances are a teenager you know has. Students at many Sweetwater high schools are seeing Bully as part of a unit of study developed in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Directed by Lee Hirsch, Bully is a documentary about peer-to-peer bullying in schools across America. Screening Bully is part of the collaboration between the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego and the Sweetwater Union High School District. Read the full story here.
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KUDOS! Principal Robert Bleisch & Castle Park Middle
Kudos to Principal Robert Bleisch and Castle Park Middle School on the success of their Community Carnival. It was well attended and provided much-needed resources for parents and students. See more photos here!
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Superintendent | Dr. Edward M. Brand
SUPERINTENDENT’S COLUMN The Class of 2013 Last July it seemed like the end of the school year was so far away. Today, we are on the eve of graduating over 6,000 students from the Sweetwater District and promoting several thousand more from middle school to high school. With over 6,000 high school graduates and promotions at middle schools, we will host nearly 30 ceremonies in the next week. With friends and family in attendance, we believe that a population nearly the size of the City of Chula Vista – approximately 250,000 people will be in attendance at these ceremonies. We hope that these individuals will become advocates for the great things that they see and the numerous accomplishments that they will hear about in the Sweetwater District. With the end of the year so close, it’s once again time to reflect and look back at the great things that we all accomplished. It’s time to look forward to new opportunity and it’s time to take a few moments to rest and recharge for another year that will soon be upon us. Our graduates will be taking with them skills and experiences that they learned thanks to our teachers, counselors, classified staff members, administrators and everyone else that they were able to interact with in their years with us. Thanks to all of you, we have prepared them to not only move on to the next phase in their lives, but to succeed in whatever they choose to do. On behalf of myself and the entire Board of Trustees, I want to thank the entire Sweetwater staff – teachers, administrators, counselors, classified employees – for all that you do to prepare our students for success. We are all here for the students and each year you demonstrate this in your work and in your passion for what you do. Like a true team, every member of the Sweetwater District has a role to play. Your role this year has made a direct impact on students. www.sweetwaterschools.org
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We are proud to see that Sweetwater District graduates are moving on to a list of impressive schools across the nation - Harvard, Yale, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, San Diego State and countless other schools. We are proud of the fact that there are 8 Gates Millennium Scholars in the district this year – representing the best of the best in the nation. We also have many students who will be entering the workforce prepared for their trade thanks to their high school course and other work experiences that they gained while in school. I could spend countless hours talking about the great accomplishments that each of our schools had this year alone, but instead I will say that we have once again raised the bar in academics, athletics, community participation and numerous extracurricular activities. The accolades from around the county, the state and at the national level continue to name Sweetwater schools, Sweetwater staff and Sweetwater students as among the best of the best. As summer approaches, take some time to think back and appreciate the year that was. We’ve faced challenges, but we continue to overcome them. Let’s come back in 2013-2014 even better and stronger than we were this year. Let’s continue to focus on making the Sweetwater District the best it can be. Thank you again and enjoy the summer!
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Published on May 31, 2013