Unopposed, county school supe Estrella-Henderson is officially elected – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

For Lisette Estrella-Henderson of Vacaville, her race to gain the job she now holds, superintendent of the Solano County Office of Education, was never in doubt: She was unopposed, had been so for months, but she is now officially elected.

By 11 p.m. Tuesday night, her total vote count, with 77 of 167 percent of county precincts reporting, was 36,278.

(As expected for a midterm election year, voter turnout was relatively light. Some 220,000 Solano County residents are registered voters, and John Gardner, assistant registrar of voters, predicted 50,000 to 60,000 would cast ballots.)

Source: Unopposed, county school supe Estrella-Henderson is officially elected to post she holds

Benicia High School senior ready for Eagle Scout rank – Benicia Herald

By George Johnston

Next month, 10 years of work will pay off for Benicia High School senior Jason Own. On June 23, Own will be awarded the status of Eagle Scout and achieve one of his lifelong dreams.

Own, 17, was born in Vallejo. He was enrolled in Boy Scouts in the third grade after his mother signed him up for the program, believing it would help her son make friends. He stuck with the Boy Scouts through the years because of the impact it had in his life. He joined Troop 7064, which is chartered by First United Methodist Church in Vallejo, six years ago. In his troop, he has served as patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, senior patrol leader, scribe, instructor and quartermaster. Additionally, he volunteered as a Cub Scout camp counselor for two summers and was a member of the Order of the Arrow, a national Boy Scouts honor society.

Source: Benicia High School senior ready for Eagle Scout rank

Fairfield High grad finds his way in Big Apple music scene – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Nate Hernandez took a big leap of faith in October 2014.

The gamble appears to be paying off for the Fairfield native who attended local schools and the University of California, Davis, before pursuing a music career in New York City.

Recording under the moniker Kisos, Hernandez recently released an alt-pop, rhythm and blues-inspired EP of five songs he wrote, composed, mixed and performed – on his own.

“Voices” is the result of hard work, heartbreak and sleeping on a hammock in Harlem to save money.

Source: Fairfield High grad finds his way in Big Apple music scene

Benicia High grad appears as guest on Carol Burnett Netflix series – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

On May 4, comedy legend Carol Burnett debuted her new Netflix talk show “A Little Help with Carol Burnett,” in which the comedic icon leads a panel of children ages 5 to 9 provide unscripted advice to regular people and celebrities in front of a live audience. One of those people to receive advice was 2012 Benicia High School graduate Nicholas Bustamante.

Bustamante began acting in Solano Youth Theatre, which he said inspired his current path.

“It was really nice having a lot of people come to those shows,” he said. “It really inspired me and made me think I could go further with what I was doing and at the time, that was musical theater.”

Source: Benicia High grad appears as guest on Carol Burnett Netflix series

Nicola Parr Honored As Solano Co. Behavioral Health School Hero | Benicia, CA Patch

The Solano County Department of Health and Social Services nominated Solano County Office of Education’s Director of Student and Program Support Nicola Parr for their Behavioral Health School Provider Hero Award. She will be recognized during the 4th Annual Mental Health Month Celebration on Saturday, May 12th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 1234 Empire Street in Fairfield, California. “We are thrilled that our very own Nicola Parr is receiving this well-deserved recognition. Nicola exemplifies our guiding principles of leadership, collaboration, and support. She is a true advocate for putting students’ needs first. The Solano County Office of Education is student centered in our efforts and we take great pride in providing a variety of services based on the needs of our students and their families,” says Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson.

Source: Nicola Parr Honored As Solano Co. Behavioral Health School Hero | Benicia, CA Patch

2 from Dan O. Root win state, head to national invention convention – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Several fourth-graders at Dan O. Root Health & Wellness Academy took the expression “necessity is the mother of invention” to heart April 14 as they came up with ideas to compete at their school and the state’s invention convention.

Two of the students are heading off to the National Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo, May 31 through June 2 at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Aiden Buffa created the Curb Hopper after watching an adult try to maneuver a wheelchair up a curb with a passenger in the seat. He saw it a second time and the fourth-grader wanted to do something about it.

Source: 2 from Dan O. Root win state, head to national invention convention

Laurel Creek kindergartner to appear on ‘Little Big Shots’ – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Trent Fuller, 5, a Golden State Warriors superfan and sports reporter for Warriors media day, will be on “Little Big Shots” airing at 8 p.m. Sunday on NBC, Xfinity Channel 3.

The Laurel Creek kindergartner caught the public’s eye with his super dribbling skills (and likeness to Steph Curry) that were featured on “Sportscenter.”

On “Little Big Shots,” he puts on the charm, talking about his young sports broadcasting abilities (and dance moves) and chats with host Steve Harvey about his favorite sport and team.

Source: Laurel Creek kindergartner to appear on ‘Little Big Shots’

Armijo grad featured in Broadway-bound ‘Head Over Heels’ opening in San Francisco – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

Taylor Iman Jones graced many local stages before heading off to work with Bay Area theater companies.

The 2009 Armijo High School graduate set her sights on Broadway about 18 months ago and left for New York.

Within two months, Jones made her Broadway debut in “Groundhog Day.”

Broadway is calling again as Jones is cast in “Head Over Heels,” opening next week at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. The musical comedy is directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer and features tunes from the Go-Gos.

Source: Armijo grad featured in Broadway-bound ‘Head Over Heels’ opening in San Francisco

Buckingham High School sophomore wins local essay competition – The Reporter

By Kimberly K. Fu

She’s a history buff, piano player, track runner and National Honor Society member.

Now Buckingham Charter sophomore Sariah Carson can add Optimist of Solano County essay contest winner to her growing list of accomplishments.

Next up for the 15-year-old Vacaville teen — the district competition and choosing a college.

“I was really excited when I got the phone call,” Sariah shared last week, a day before visiting the campuses of Spellman College and Brown University, among others. “It really made me feel proud of myself. It boosted my confidence.”

With encouragement from her mom, Sariah entered the competition with a two-page answer to the question “Can society function without respect?”

Source: Buckingham High School sophomore wins local essay competition, heads to district

Rodriguez junior earns Violet Richardson Award – Daily Republic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey

It’s not an understatement when Rodriguez High School junior Olivia Frenkel tells you she’s busy.

The longtime Fairfield resident is on the school’s varsity swim team, active in Suisun Valley 4-H, spends her summers as a swim coach and lifeguard and helps out in the community – all while maintaining a 4.1 grade-point average.

Frenkel is the recipient of this year’s Violet Richardson Award given by Soroptimist International of Central Solano County. It honors a young woman, ages 14-17, who is engaged in volunteer activities within her community or school.

Source: Women Making a Difference: Rodriguez junior earns Violet Richardson Award

BHS grad acts in Vancouver production of ‘The Crucible’ – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

When audiences in Vancouver go to see the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” in a week, they will see a Benician in the cast. Jed Weiss, a 2013 graduate of Benicia High School, will be portraying the pious but vulnerable Rev. John Hale.

Weiss was first approached with the opportunity to act prior to starting sixth grade at Benicia Middle School. His parents were signing him up for classes and asked if he wanted to take band or drama as an elective. He opted for band, playing tenor and baritone saxophone for three years. When high school rolled around, Weiss decided he would take John Baker’s beginning drama class.

“I loved it immediately and was complete garbage at it, so thus began my slow climb to becoming competent at acting,” he said.

Source: BHS grad acts in Vancouver production of ‘The Crucible’

Four Vikings sign to play football in college – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Sometime this summer Monmouth, Oregon, will be invaded by Vikings.

Three, in fact.

In a backyard National Letter of Intent signing ceremony Wednesday, Vanden High football players Matt Casner, Luis Vicino and Israel White signed to play for the Western Oregon Wolves, while teammate Armon Bailey committed to play for the Hornets of Sacramento State.

“It’s amazing to see four move on to the next level,” Vikings football coach Sean Murphy said. “They’re all great young men. To watch them grow into the men they’ve become is amazing. It’s just exciting to see what they’ll do in their journey. I’m excited for their future.”

So are the four.

Bailey, the 2017 Solano County Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, said he chose Sacramento State because “I’m more comfortable there. I have a lot of connections, that it’s close to home and I get to play football”

Source: Four Vikings sign to play football in college

4 Armijo athletes ink college letters of intent – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Nadiah Martinez of the Armijo HIgh girls soccer team battled older sister Jazmine Carranza, who played for Rodriguez, for two years, but starting next fall they’ll be college teammates.

In a lunchtime National Letter of Intent signing ceremony at Armijo’s E. Gary Vaughn Gymnasium, Martinez and teammates Mikeila Martinez and Abby Wolf, along with Jesse Mercado of the Indians football team, in committing to whom they’ll play for in college.

Nadiah Martinez, no relation to Mikeila, signed to play for Chico State, for whom Carranza started at defender as a freshman for the Wildcats last fall.

Martinez said she chose Chico State because “I went to a few camps there and I fell in love with the campus. It’s a very green campus. That’s what I love.”

Source: 4 Armijo athletes ink college letters of intent

Benicia High School grad scores lead role in ‘Hamilton’ – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

Austin Scott has had an incredible acting journey. The 2011 Benicia High School graduate has gone from starring in advertisements at the age of 8 to being cast in the title role in “Hamilton” for the smash hit musical’s national tour.

“It’s a dream come true,” Scott said of his role.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning hip-hop musical about the life of America’s first treasury secretary debuted on Broadway in 2015 and began its first national tour last year. Scott is succeeding Michael Luwoye, who starred in the original touring production and is now playing the same role in the Broadway version.

Scott first caught the acting bug at a young age when he and his mother passed by a John Robert Powers performance academy which was offering acting classes.“I just kind of looked up at her and said ‘I want to do that,’” he said. “She took me in, and that day we signed up for acting classes.”

Source: Benicia High School grad scores lead role in ‘Hamilton’

Supervisors recognize Vacaville student videographers for ‘Kindness’ – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Brooke Parker sees a lot of videos online, but she said many have negative messages or are about negative subjects.

So given a chance to make a video that was positive, the junior at Buckingham Charter High School and three of her schoolmates produced a video about the power of kindness.

“I just wanted to turn it into something positive because there are so many videos online today of people holding up signs when it’s negative, saying they are suicidal and everything, so we just wanted to turn it into something positive like ‘you got this,’ ‘you’re strong,’ you’re beautiful,’ ” Parker said.

Source: Supervisors recognize Vacaville student videographers for ‘Kindness’

Vanden Robotics Team prepare to visit China to share STEM Robotics Curriculum – Daily Republic

Sixteen students from Vanden High School in Fairfield, CA, will be traveling to Beijing, Shanghai, and Ningbo this November 18-26, 2017. The students will conduct presentations and demonstrations to Beijing Economic Management High School and Jiaxing Sichuan Vocational College in Jiaxing, with the goal of building up a competitive and sustainable robotics curriculum programs in their respective communities.

These local robotics students will not only put their robot building and programming knowledge to the test but will also employ unique presentation skills, tying together academic language in English with elements of the Mandarin language. The support will not end with their visit, but will continue during the following year, providing support and resources by email and Skype. While in China, the students will also tour the sites of Shanghai, Terracotta Soldiers in Xi’an, and Beijing including the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

Source: Local High School Robotics Team prepare to visit China to share STEM Robotics Curriculum

Sparking dreams, pathways – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Buckingham High senior Cole Reiner, his hands on a video control pad, operated a small white drone inside the school’s multipurpose room during the Career Fair Friday.

With his eyes locked on the tablet computer, the slightly built, blond-haired teen appeared to be a budding entrepreneur.

He was, indeed.

Standing in a corner, away from nearly 200 students filing into the room, where they were met by more than 30 vendors, Reiner has, with his father, started a business: R6 Systems, an aerial photography firm.

Source: Sparking dreams, pathways

Providing stellar support – ACSA EdCal v48.7

Exceptional leadership doesn’t require having a job title at the top of the organization.  It isn’t about publicity, nor does it need to be widely seen to make a wide and powerful impact.  Many times, those creating lasting change, ensuring the smooth day to day function of a district, and leading beyond limits are those in supporting roles.

One such leader is Laryn Bishop, Chief Assistant to the Superintendent at Solano County Office of Education.

Source: EdCal EdCal v48.7

BHS senior spends summer doing medical research at UC Davis – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

How did you spend your summer? Did you go to the pool? Did you go on a trip? Did you spend some much-needed relaxation around the house?

You probably did any combination of the above plus some additional summer activities, but you probably did not spend your summer doing research at UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine. However, Benicia High School senior Jason Own certainly did.This summer, UC Davis put on its Young Scholars Program where academically inclined sophomores and juniors take part in research in the fields of biological and natural sciences. The program is more than 50 years old and only accepts up to 40 advanced high schoolers. This year, Own was among them.

Own has had an interest in the medical field since a child, when he frequently visited hospitals as he was afflicted with iron deficiency anemia. Despite being a very difficult experience, Own took away from it a love of medicine.

Source: BHS senior spends summer doing medical research at UC Davis

Benicia High grad earns Gold Award for efforts to refurbish Mare Island center – Benicia Herald

By Nick Sestanovich

After 13 years as a Girl Scout, Emily Radtke of Troop 20640 received the highest honor she possibly could: a Gold Award. The award was a culmination of more than 8 months of work to address Vallejo’s homeless problem.

Radtke, an 18-year-old recent Benicia High School graduate, joined the Girl Scouts at the age of 5 at the Daisy level. She continued with the organization until she recently graduated at the Ambassador level. As one of her final tasks Radtke, chose to work toward a Gold Award, which is no easy task. A scout has to put in a minimum of 80 hours completing an individual service project that address in issue in their community.

Radtke decided to help the homeless population in Vallejo and did so by partnering with the Global Center for Success on Mare Island, a nonprofit organization that aims to help the homeless and lower-income members of Vallejo’s population through such services as life skills counseling, financial and computer literacy classes, GED training, and health and wellness education. Radtke learned about the Global Center for Success after visiting Vallejo’s Christian Help Center, a partner of the center. She decided she would focus her project on helping out there.

Source: Girl Scout, Benicia High grad earns Gold Award for efforts to refurbish Mare Island center