Vanden celebrates 11 student-athletes signing letters of intent – Daily Republic

By Marcus Lomtong

There were 11 Vanden High student-athletes honored for signing a letter of intent inside the school’s small theater, Wednesday.

On the surface it was a normal signing ceremony with the athletes being honored for getting the opportunity to play at the next level, but this class wasn’t as normal as it may have seemed.

Being honored were Korie Corral, Aryel Moreland, Andrea Walker, Kaelee Campbell, Julie Blackshell-Fair, Clarissa Sanchez, Lauryn Zabat, Phoenix Shackelford, Hope Brandner, James Ballard Jr. and Kiera Connelly.

Source: Vanden celebrates 11 student-athletes signing letters of intent

Armijo’s Jordan Terrell signs letter of intent to George Fox – Daily Republic

By Marcus Lomtong

It’s not that often a student-athlete can play just three games of his senior season and still get the opportunity to play baseball at the next level.

That ‘s the case for Armijo High baseball player Jordan “JoJo” Terrell, who signed a national letter of intent, Friday, to play baseball at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

Source: Armijo’s Jordan Terrell signs letter of intent to George Fox

Brendan Erwin to run for University of St. Mary after career at Armijo – Daily Republic

By Marcus Lomtong

Running long distances is Brendan Erwin’s specialty for the Armijo High cross country and track teams.

He won’t have to run a long distance to go to college, but he will have to travel a long distance, having signed a national letter of intent inside E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium, Friday, to the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kan., on a full-ride scholarship.

Erwin didn’t choose the Spires because the campus is more than 1,700 miles away, though. In fact, he chose them because life after athletics is just as important as being a student-athlete.

Source: Brendan Erwin to run for University of St. Mary after career at Armijo

Papa Roach Day will be declared Saturday in Vacaville – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Wednesday will be declared Papa Roach Day for the world-touring, Grammy-nominated, triple-platinum rock band with members who originally hail from Vacaville.

Papa Roach will come home Wednesday to deliver a message to Solano County children: Be fearless, dream big, aim high to develop your full creative potential, a statement released about the event said.

Papa Roach, formed in 1993 with members Jacoby Shaddix, a student at Vacaville High, Jerry Horton, of Vanden High, Tobin Esperance and Tony Palermo – has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, the release added.

Source: Papa Roach Day will be declared Saturday in Vacaville

Vanden JROTC honored for service – The Reporter

By Kelli Germeraad

On Saturday, April 8, the Vacaville Veterans Organizations and Auxiliaries hosted a “Celebration of Service” to honor fifteen years of community service excellence by the Vanden High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) to the Vacaville veteran’s community.

It was an event that included cadets and their parents currently in the program; past alumni of the program; instructors Lt. Colonel Billy Lakes, Major Marian Collins and MSgt. Hollis Huvar, as well as some special invited guests.

The veteran’s hall was a sea of green and gold, fifteen years of pictures, posters and memorabilia. Volunteers on the committee scanned some 400 plus photos of the past in order to highlight a continued service to area veterans and their families. You could not walk in to the main hall at the veterans building and not be overwhelmed by the veteran’s gratitude to this group of young people who may have set out to earn ribbons and medals for community service, and instead provided life changing support to a community.

Source: Vanden JROTC honored for service – The Reporter

 

Benicia High grad treats orthopedic injuries in East Bay – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Ten years ago, BASS (Bay Area Surgical Specialists) Medical Group was formed to provide state-of-the-art medical care through a variety of offices and doctors located throughout Northern California. One of its more than 150 surgeons is Dr. Benjamin Busfield, an orthopedic surgeon with offices in Antioch, Brentwood and Walnut Creek, but it was Benicia that he originally called home.

Busfield grew up in Benicia, having attended its schools and even delivered the Benicia Herald on his Rose Drive route from the age of 10 to the age of 18. Busfield graduated from Benicia High School in 1992 and credited then-physiology teacher Brian Kelly with giving him a love for sports medicine.

“He just got me to love physiology, which has direct applications to medicine,” Busfield said.Busfield went on to get a bachelor’s degree in physiology at the University of California, Davis; a masters in physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University where he also got his medical degree. He also did a year of sports medicine fellowship training at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, where he provided orthopedic assistance to several of the area’s professional sports teams, including the L.A. Dodgers, Lakers, Kings and Sparks and the Anaheim Ducks.

Source: Benicia High grad treats orthopedic injuries in East Bay

Vanden grad making waves in roots music – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

She is Nell Robinson now.

Vanden High School staff and students, circa 1976-80, knew her as Hilary Perkins.

She is heralded today as a “modern day Patsy Cline” and “one of the freshest voices in roots music.

”Robinson, who graduated from Vanden in 1979, grew up loving music. Her parents listened to many styles and Robinson sang in church choirs, played the flute and other instruments.

Source: Vanden grad making waves in roots music

Will C. Wood grad, former DR reporter, on team that won Pulitzer Prize – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Daily Republic staff writer David DeBolt is on the team of reporters who earned a Pulitzer Prize for their work on the Ghost Ship Fire in Oakland.

DeBolt, a 2003 graduate of Will C. Wood High School, joined the Contra Costa Times in July 2012, after spending a year at the Daily Republic.

He now covers crime and public safety for the Oakland Tribune, which, along with the Times, is part of the Bay Area News Group.

Source: Will C. Wood grad, former DR reporter, on team that won Pulitzer Prize

BMS creative thinking team advances to World Finals – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

As part of the Odyssey of the Mind competition, seven Benicia Middle Schoolers have been working to think outside the box. That type of thinking will take them outside the state when they participate in the World Finals in May.

Odyssey of the Mind is an internationally sponsored competition for students ranging from kindergarteners to college pupils that blends academic education with creative, out-of-the-box thinking. The goal is to bring students together through teamwork as they solve problems.This year, two teams from Benicia participated but only one from BMS— consisting of seventh-grader Aidan Schultz and eighth-graders Aidan Torres, Aly Diaw, Blake Harris, Michael Cerna, Jacob Knott and Jonah Tillotson and coached by Amy Cerna and Carrie Todd— will be advancing to the World Finals at Michigan State University. It all began with the Regional Competition, which was held March 4 at Concord High School and El Dorado Middle School in Concord. From there, they were able to advance to the State Competition at Heritage High School in Brentwood on March 25 and then finally to the World Finals, which Todd said had never happened before.

Source: BMS creative thinking team advances to World Finals

Vanden senior bound for West Point – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

His hair freshly cut, clad perhaps a slightly ill-fitting uniform, Vanden High senior Cameron Castillo on July 3 will raise his right hand and take the Oath of Allegiance, entering the West Point class of 2021.

He will be among some 1,250 plebes, or freshman as they are known at the United States Military Academy, who will recite the oath on the sprawling parade grounds, on the granite bluffs above the Hudson River, about an hour’s drive north of New York City, where he will begin the grueling seven-week Cadet Basic Training, commonly called “Beast Barracks.”

In an interview last week, Castillo, who will turn 18 in June, told The Reporter he had just recently received his acceptance letter into the storied co-educational federal service academy, with its long list of graduates who are household names: Grant, Lee, Sherman, Pershing, Patton, Eisenhower, Bradley, Westmoreland, Aldrin, and Schwarzkopf.

 

Source: Vanden senior bound for West Point

Vacaville Unified School District Teacher of the Year ‘a leader on campus’ – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The paving of her road to being named the Vacaville Unified 2017 Teacher of the Year may have begun in the San Francisco Giants’ dugout.

In summer 2014, Tracy Ruiz, a 10th-grade Wood High English teacher, was one of 30 teachers nationwide named a Major League Baseball All-Star Teacher, an honor accorded by the Giants, following a Northern California competition, that included tickets to that year’s All-Star Game at Target Field in Minnesota.

As part of their nominating statement to the professional baseball team’s award program, teaching colleagues Lili Fisher and Brenda Hensley wrote “… to truly understand Tracy is to witness what she does for others.” And, they added, “From individual interactions to large-scale rallies and events, Tracy has been the driving force for culture change at school.”

Source: Vacaville Unified School District Teacher of the Year ‘a leader on campus’ – The Reporter

Solano schools chief receives national honor – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson has received a 2017 AASA Women in School Leadership Award.

The American Association of School Administrators recently announced the national honor, which recognizes such qualities as talent, creativity and vision of outstanding women educational administrators in public schools.

Source: Solano schools chief receives national honor

SCC Dean receives “Patriot Award” – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Solano Community College and Department of Defense officials recently honored an SCC leader for supporting school employees who serve in the National Guard and U.S. military reserve units, it has been announced.

Shirley Lewis, a dean at the SCC Vallejo Center, was recognized by the college’s governing board during its March 1 meeting.

She also received the Patriot Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for, according to the citation, “Contributing to the National Security and Protecting Liberty and Freedom by Supporting Employee Participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.”

“It is truly an honor to receive this award and to work for a college whose employees not only work with dedication for our students, but many are also Guard and Reserve service members and veterans,” Lewis, who earned a doctoral degree, said in a press release.

 

Lady Vikes three-peat for Section title, defeat Sacramento 56-47 – The Reporter

By Michael Morris

They knew it would be a tall order.

But for the undefeated Lady Vikes, Friday night’s game reached newfound heights.

Without its Solano Athletic Conference MVP and undoubted team-leader, Julia Blackshell-Fair, Vanden (26-5) relied upon an unconventional cast of characters en route to back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championships, defeating No. 3 Sacramento (22-9) 56-47 at the Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton.

Vanden’s Blackshell-Fair, who played the entire semifinal against Elk Grove, was held to just 12 minutes Friday as she picked up three fouls in the first seven minutes of the opening quarter and then fouled out in the third after a charge that was followed up with a technical. However, the University of Houston commit was just happy that the team didn’t let her mistakes get in the way of the team’s objective.

Source: Lady Vikes three-peat for Section title, defeat Sacramento 56-47

Benicia High grad among runners-up in international marketing competition – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

A Benicia High School graduate was among 20 Cal Poly students honored by state lawmakers on the floors of the Assembly and State Senate recently for taking second place in an international business simulation competition.

“I am humbled to have been recognized by the university and the state for my achievements, and I sincerely appreciate all of the individuals who have helped me get to where I am today,” Marshall Zia said.

Zia graduated from Benicia High in 2013 and initially began taking classes at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the field of quantitative economics, which he said he did not enjoy at all.

“At that time, I was performing extremely poorly in school, and was desperately trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.

Source: Benicia High grad among runners-up in international marketing competition

Solano’s top educator receives women’s leadership award – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella Henderson has been named the regional winner of the 2017 Outstanding Women Leader Award by the Association of California School Administrators.

Her selection was announced Tuesday.

Henderson took over as the county’s top educator at the start of the new year.

Two others were honored by the group: Darrien Johnson, director of Human Resources for Rescue Union Elementary School District in El Dorado County, and Deborah Bettencourt, superintendent of the Folsom-Cordova School District near Sacramento.

Source: Solano’s top educator receives women’s leadership award

2 Fairfield-Suisun musicians earn all-state honors, perform for music educators – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Two local high school students have earned all-state honors and will perform this weekend at the California All-State Music Education Conference in San Jose.

They competed, via auditions, with other high school students across the state.

Quinn Weaver, a Rodriguez High School senior, was selected to be one of 17 members of the high school vocal jazz group.

His musical education began when he was 6 and started with piano. Weaver also plays the tuba and trombone. He studies vocals with Jay Trottier, who brings Handel’s “Messiah” to life every Christmas.

Source: 2 Fairfield-Suisun musicians earn all-state honors, perform for music educators

SCOE taps employees of the year – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several people who work for the Solano County Office of Education have been named employees of the year, it has been announced.

Superintendent Lisette Estrella-Henderson tapped Judith Waelbrock as Teacher of the Year, writing in a prepared statement that “Judy creates positive relationships with staff, parents, and students. She is supportive of new teachers, volunteers at the Rush Ranch Preservation/Nature Center, and has secured grants for a middle school garden project.”

Tammie Knott, senior payroll and retirement services analyst, is SCOE’s Classified Employee of the Year in the office/technical category. She was nominated for “her strong work ethic, attention to detail, and high standards of performance,” noted Estrella-Henderson. “She had an integral role in the conversion of SCOE’s new financial system.”

Source: SCOE taps employees of the year

Fairfield-Suisun School District selects Lederer as teacher of year – Daily Republic

By Ryan McCarthy

Cindy Lederer, who has worked for 28 years in the Fairfield-Suisun School District, was named teacher of the year at the Thursday school board meeting.

Lederer thanked people including her younger brothers, who she said had no choice when as children they played school and she was the teacher.

“They went to kindergarten able to write their name,” Lederer said.

Source: Fairfield-Suisun School District selects Lederer as teacher of year

Benicia Unified ranked as one of 100 best districts in state – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Benicia Unified School District was ranked as one of the 100 best school districts in California, according to ranking site Niche.com.

Niche– formerly known as College Prowler– is a company that publishes rankings and reviews of K-12 schools, colleges and neighborhoods. Its 2017 list of the best school districts is based on analysis of statistics and reviews from parents and students utilizing data from the U.S. Department of Education. School districts are ranked using a variety of factors, including state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, the quality of teachers and public school district ratings.

Benicia Unified clocked in at No. 95 on the list with an overall grade of B-plus. The district received an A grade in culture and diversity (based on racial and economic diversity as well as survey responses on school culture and diversity from students and parents), A-minus grades for academics and teachers, and a B-minus grade for health and safety. However, the district also received grades in the C range for sports, clubs and activities, and resources and facilities.Nonetheless, Benicia Unified ranked higher than any other district in Solano County– and was the only one to rank in the top 100– and was ranked No. 21 among districts in the Bay Area.

Source: Benicia Unified ranked as one of 100 best districts in state