Two Sweetwater School Principals Recognized as Outstanding Leaders
Two Sweetwater District principals, Mary Rose Peralta of Granger Junior High and Jose Brosz of Otay Ranch High,
have been named 2012 Administrators of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.
Each year, a handful of educators are honored for outstanding job performance based on their experience,
demonstrated leadership and success in promoting student achievement.
"Both Mary Rose Peralta and Jose Brosz are standout school leaders who are making a difference in children's
lives every day," said Dr. Edward Brand, superintendent. "They each have channeled their passion and vision to
create dynamic school environments where students are challenged to achieve their potential."
National City Middle Wins National Urban Education Award
National City Middle has been named among four middle schools in the U.S. as a winner of the Excellence in Urban Education
Award presented by the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST).
After an extensive site visit, National City Middle was cited as having a strong step-by-step strategy to improve curriculum
and instruction. They were also recognized for doubling the number of students that score "proficient" or above on CSTs over
the past five years.
To be considered for an NCUST Excellence in Urban Education Award schools must meet very rigorous selection criteria that
includes higher than average test scores, high daily attendance rates, low numbers of suspension and expulsions and a
low-income student population.
Rancho del Rey Middle Music Teacher Named Outstanding Jazz Educator
Developing the talent of budding young musicians has been Fred Lee's life work. As an instrumental music director
in Sweetwater Schools for 21 years, he's led his students to earn the highest ratings as district, local and
regional music festivals.
Now it's Mr. Lee's turn to be honored. He has been recognized with the 2012
State Outstanding Jazz Educator Award by the California Association for Music
Education for his exceptional teaching and work with student music ensembles.
Under his direction, Lee's student groups have performed at Walt Disney World,
Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knott's Berry Farm. In 2003, his students were
invited to perform at the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival.
"Fred Lee is a world-class music instructor," said School Board President Pearl Quiñones.
"He has inspired hundreds of students through music and because of their involvement
in the music program, increased their commitment to school and spurred their achievement."
Prom Dress Giveaways
The Princess Project, a local volunteer-run nonprofit agency, gives away free prom dresses
and accessories to high school teens. They will be having a giveaway event from April 18-28 at
Horton Plaza. A valid school ID is required.
Girls can sign up for an appointment online at www.mysignup.com/freedress
Chula Vista High Physics Club Simulates Space Technology
When a satellite is launched into space, there are several factors that have to be considered. One is how
to protect the satellite from the intense cold and heat that it will encounter. Local aerospace contractor,
Northrup Grumman asked local high school students to consider this and design and construct a device that would solve this issue.
With a $500 budget donated by Northrup Grumman, the Chula Vista High Spartans
Physics Force (SPF) team set out to create a device that would block the maximum
amount of sunlight. Their only parameters were that they had to stay
under budget, launch the device remotely and the device couldn't be more than six
cubic inches in size.
From the beginning of the spring semester, the SPF went through a design phase
where students could provide their ideas and then present them to their classmates.
The group voted on the designs and then, with the guidance of physics teachers Patrick
Malory and Steven Streifer, they began construction.
"We learned a lot," said Junior Enrique Estrella. "We learned about the electrical
systems and how to work as a team."
Although the team narrowly missed the top honors in their first year of competition,
their second-place finish ensures a donation of nearly $1,000 to the Chula Vista High
"We are all very proud of the scientific innovation that the Chula Vista High students
displayed," said Board President Pearl Quiñones. "We're seeing the aerospace scientists
and engineers of the future right in our own classrooms."
Free Citizenship Assistance
The San Diego Naturalization Collaborative, in association with Southwestern College,
will be hosting a free event to assist with U.S. citizenship applications. The event will be
held on Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
For more information about the event and a list of required documents and information
to bring go to www.youareamerica.org or call (760) 239-7959
New Courts Donated to Chula Vista High School
When Rocky Halfon and his family emigrated from Mexico to Chula Vista, he immersed himself into the
culture of Chula Vista High and learned tennis along the way. After graduating in 1968, Halfon went on
to become an attorney and his passion for tennis continued.
At a recent ceremony Halfon and the Greater San Diego Tennis Council gave back to the school that
gave him "great warmth" by donating new, state-of-the-art tennis courts to the school. The new courts,
done in Spartan Blue, provide a facility that will be used not only by the boys' and girls' tennis teams,
but by the entire school through the physical education program.
Halfon, along with Greater San Diego Tennis Council President Ben Press, were able to acquire the funds through a special program of
the council that refurbishes courts for schools and other youth servicing organizations.
"When I approached the school about this donation they didn't believe we were going to do this," said Halfon. "Tennis is not just about
playing, but teaching and giving something back."
Youth and Family Forum on Dangers of Underage Drinking
The South Bay Community Change Project will be hosting public forum on the
dangers of teen and underage drinking on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 from 6:00 PM to
8:00 PM at Hilltop Middle School. A light dinner will be provided.
Topics will include ways to have safe quinceañeras, graduations and
information about social hosting laws. For more information call (619) 476-9100.
Sweetwater District Wins College Board Award
Since 2000, the Compact for Success program has not only opened the door for Sweetwater District
students to attend college, but it has gained numerous local, state and national recognitions. At the
most recent Western Regional meeting of the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center, the Compact
for Success was honored for its innovative efforts in preparing students for college.
The CollegeKeys Compact Innovation Awards are given in the categories of "Getting Ready,"
"Getting In," and "Getting Through." Only one award is given per category in each region. Sweetwater
was honored under the "Getting Ready" category and was among 16 national winners for 2012.
Superintendent Dr. Edward M. Brand received the award on behalf of the Sweetwater District and said that the award
represented the efforts of the entire district.
"When we created the Compact for Success we knew that it wasn't going to be an easy road," said Brand. "The students,
teachers, administrators and the entire Sweetwater team have stepped up to ensure that not only are our students ready for
college, but that they are enrolling and succeeding beyond their high school careers."
New Library Opening
You are invited to the grand opening of the Otay Ranch branch library on
Saturday, April 14 from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Otay Ranch Town
Center Food Pavilion.
The event is free and open to the public and will feature music, games,
prizes, refreshments and tours of the new library. For more information go
Little Shop of Horrors On Stage
The Montgomery High Masquerade Players will be performing the timeless musical comedy,
Little Shop of Horrors, April 18th through the 21st at 7 p.m. in the Montgomery High Masquerade
Theatre. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults.
Olympian High Sets Records at California Academic Decathlon
Coming off a win at the San Diego County Academic Decathlon Championships, the Olympian High School Eagles set several records
California State competition held in March.
With a total of 15 medals, the Eagles were the highest scoring team from San Diego County in Division I, the highest division
of competition. They finished fourth out of 65 competing teams statewide, the highest placement for a San Diego County team in
state competition history.
Senior Andrew Valenciano, 16, earned the highest score in competition to emerge as California's top decathlete in the Scholastic
Division. He also became the first student from San Diego County to earn the Coaches' Scholarship Award.
Additional medalists included:
- Kristine Tolentino - 2 Medals (Silver - Music; Bronze - Art)
- Kyle Doria - 4 Medals (Gold - Art; Silver - Economics, Literature; Bronze - Interview)
- Ben Mendler - 4 Medals (Gold - Literature, Science; Bronze - Math, Music)
- Andrew Valenciano 5 Medals (Gold - Essay, Music; Silver - Art; Bronze - Economics, Science)
Volleyball Summer Camps
The 212 Volleyball Academy will be putting on volleyball
clinics July 9th - 21st for youth ages 10-18 sponsored by
the Gonzales Sports Academy.
The academy will offer physical training, college consulting and provide volleyball
knowledge to each player. For more information and for Summer Camp
Registration go to www.212vba.com.
Sweetwater District Educator Wins National Fellowship
Abraham Lincoln has been acknowledged as one of the greatest presidents in the history of our nation. Today,
the values and work of Abraham Lincoln continue to inspire many, including Rancho del Rey Middle School teacher-librarian Alejandro Picazo,
who was recently named as a 2012 Horace Mann-Abraham Lincoln Fellow.
Since 2006, Horace Mann Insurance Company, a sponsor of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, IL, has also sponsored the Horace Mann-Abraham
Lincoln Fellowship. The fellowship selects 50 educators from around the U.S. to travel to Springfield, IL over the summer.
Fellows spend a week of their summer walking in Abe's footsteps by touring various historical sites in Illinois, including the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, Lincoln's home, Lincoln's tomb and the Old State Capitol State Historic Site.
"This is an amazing opportunity and I am truly honored," said Picazo. "I look forward to coming back from this experience and sharing
some very valuable information with my colleagues at Rancho del Rey Middle."
Barnes & Noble Celebrates Educators Appreciation Week April 14-22
Join Barnes & Noble in celebrating everything that educators do for our communities. From April 14th through April 22nd, we
will be offering special discounts for pre-K through grade 12 teachers and administrators, including up to 20% off of our award
winning line of NOOK readers.
In addition to special discounts, Barnes & Noble Mira Mesa will be sponsoring a series of events, author & illustrator signings,
panel presentations, and more. These events are free and open to the public.