By Jessica Rogness
Fairfield’s Sister City Exchange Program is hosting a fundraiser next month with Japanese music, dance, crafts and food for all ages.
The fifth annual Japan Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Fairfield Community Center, 1000 Kentucky St.
Japan Fest is held the same weekend as the Tomato Festival, just three blocks away.
This year’s performers include Ensohza, a Japanese folk dance group, as well as the Wesley Ukulele Band from San Jose.
The Sacramento Kendo Club will give demonstrations of Japanese martial arts on stage.
Source: Japan Fest fundraiser returns to Fairfield for fifth year
By Daily Republic Staff
Travis Unified School District will host a registration day for TK-12 students new to the district on July 31 at the Vanden High School library.
Two sessions will be held: 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Vanden is located at 2951 Markeley Lane, in Fairfield.
Prospective students and parents can complete the registration on site and turn in all required documents. Required documents include two proofs of residence, birth certificate, immunization records and school records from the prior year. If applicable, a current 504 Plan or IEP is also required.
Source: New Travis district students can register July 31
By Ryan McCarthy
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation by Assemblyman Jim Frazier allowing school districts to pay for student field trips to other states – a measure spurred by Fairfield-Suisun School District students competing in a robotics event in Kentucky.
“I thank Fairfield-Suisun School District for bringing the need for this legislation to my attention,” Frazier said in a press release.
“School districts have been explicitly prohibited from using funds to help students participate in field trips or educational excursions out of state,” said Frazier, D-Discovery Bay. “AB 341 changes this, allowing schools to use district funds to enhance educational opportunities by increasing access to student resources.”
Source: Fairfield-Suisun schools spur state law to pay for student field trips
Summer vacation is underway, but a new school year is right around the corner.
Consider that classes begin Aug. 9 in Dixon Unified, Aug. 17 for Vacaville Unified, Aug. 21 for Vacaville Christian Schools, and Aug. 23 for Travis Unified.
But for local foster children who might be headed to a new school, this time of year can bring concern about fitting in and keeping up academically. Having the necessary school supplies can help ease their worry and allow them to focus on learning.
To that end, Mattress Firm, the mattress chain store with two outlets in Vacaville, is hosting, through Aug. 27, its School Supply Drive for Foster Kids, offering a simple template for the community to donate, a corporate spokesman said in a press release.
Source: Mattress company begins school supplies drive for foster youth
By Richard Bammer
A formal Facilities Master Plan for Travis Unified will be on the desks of the five-member governing board shortly after the new academic year begins in August at the earliest but possibly in September.
In the works for more than two years, it will lay out the “capacity needs” for the Fairfield district for many years to come, Superintendent Pam Conklin noted Tuesday during a governing board meeting.
Speaking in the Travis Education Center, she said construction work, which will be gradual, “needs to begin next year.”
Her comments came after an hourlong presentation by two employees of Capitol PFG, a Sacramento-based financial advisory firm that provides consulting services exclusively to public agencies. And it came before the board voted unanimously to approve more than $13 million in construction contracts related to the ongoing Scandia Elementary School modernization project on Travis Air Force Base.
Source: Travis school district trustees hear details of Facilities Master Plan
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified leaders have approved three new appointments to the district management team, it has been announced.
Hired from within were Clay McAllester, as director of human resources, and Saundra Rushford, incoming Center Elementary principal, replacing McAllester in that post.
McAllester’s appointment comes four months after his serving as interim human resources director. He has been a district employee for three of his 30 years as an educator, serving in a variety of jobs, from teacher to vice principal to principal, before his latest post.
Rushford has held the interim principal position at Center Elementary, at 3101 Markeley Lane, since February.
Source: Travis school district leaders hire two from within and a new CBO
By Richard Bammer
Several public hearings, senior manager employment contracts, and a proposed hike in developer fees are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.
The first public hearing concerns the district’s school facilities needs analysis and a resolution, set for a vote later in the meeting, on Level 2 developer fees.
Likely to pass muster among the five-member governing board, the resolution calls for a hike in developer fees from $5.42 to $5.49 per square foot for new housing, with the exception of any residential development subject to mitigation agreement or a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District (CFD) special tax.
Trustees also will hear any public comments about the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, the document that guides virtually all of a school district’s spending under Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula.
Source: Several public hearings, manager contracts, developer fees on TUSD agenda
By Susan Hiland
Ashley Young – Valedictorian
Highlights: Community service through my church and the National Honor Society, of which I was both an activities chair and a historian. The music program, captain of the Color Guard and Winter Guard teams during my senior year. I attended both the Rotary Youth Leadership Award Conference and the California Leadership Academy. Scholarships, awards: Valedictorian; Rotary Scholarship for Arts, Athletics; a Sandy Montana Memorial Scholarship (provided by the California Color Guard Circuit); Fairfield Community Services Foundation Scholarship; grant money to attend UCLA. Plans next year: Attend the University of California, Los Angeles, and double major in Political Science and Global Studies. Career goals: Hope to work as a diplomat in the Foreign Service, but am also interested in roles concerning foreign relations within the United Nations and the Central Intelligence Agency. In 10 years: I would like to be experiencing the vast intricacies and perspectives of the world, either by continuing my pursuit of higher education, immersing myself in an effort such as the Peace Corps, or living out an ambitious career in global affairs.
Source: Vanden High School Top Students: 2017
By Kimberly K. Fu
At turns humorous and inspiring, Friday’s graduation of 46 Travis Education Center seniors tipped a cap to a new page in the students’ lives.
Giggly and excited, the blue-clad celebrants waved to loved ones from the stage at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre.
Supporters responded with cheerful yells, air horn squawks and the continuous flash of smartphone cameras.
At one point, students grabbed miniature plush teddy bears from under their seats and flowed out into the audience, gifting someone special with a memento of their care.
Source: Travis Education Center sees “family” graduate – The Reporter
By Mack Drake
“You wish you were a Viking.”
It was a familiar phrase that could often be heard echoing on the field and on the court this year at Vanden High School sporting events.
It was also how valedictorian Rachel Carr began her graduation speech Friday night in front of a packed crowd at George A. Gammon Field, all of whom were on hand to watch the Class of 2017 — estimated to be around 345 students — stride across the stage and accept a well-deserved high school diploma.
“You wish you were a Viking,” Carr began. “We’ve said this over and over in sports competitions over the years. We have Viking pride. No matter where we go in life, there will always be a part of us that is a Viking. We will take that identity with us.”
Source: Viking Pride: Vanden High School salutes a unique and impressive Class of 2017
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
By Mayrene Bates
There are so many sad and terrible things happening at home and around the world that it brings tears to one’s eyes from time to time, but it’s also the time of the year that I get the opportunity to attend wonderful events that honor the successes of our schools, parents and business community partners.
Throughout history there have been few events of significance that have occurred purely by accident, someone once said. And, this time of the year, educators, parents, students, volunteers and business partners come together at many sites around Solano County to honor and celebrate educator and student accomplishments.
I try to attend as many events as I can and even for the ones that I do attend, this space would not come anywhere near covering all of them. This is, indeed, a great thing that there are so many accomplishments to celebrate.
Source: End-of-year events honor Solano successes
By Matt Miller
In 1990, The Reporter launched a community engagement program designed to showcase the talent budding of young journalists and ad designers in our local elementary, middle and high schools.
Today, the newspaper publishes its 27th edition. The Reporter and hundreds of local students, their families, teachers and sponsors will celebrate the outstanding work of these young writers, artists and photographers from schools across the region at a reception tonight. For the first time in the program’s history, the ceremony will take place in the Travis Unified School District at Foxboro Elementary.
Each year The Reporter encourages students at all area schools to participate. This year, there were close to 400 entries.
The work is on display in our special section. Campus Star is a newspaper published inside The Reporter each year and is of, by and for local students. Once again, readers will find themselves engaged, inspired and entertained by this collection of outstanding work by the participating students.
Source: Student journalism shines again in Campus Star
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified trustees Tuesday voted to approve a three-year, $200,000 contract for newly named Superintendent Pamela Conklin, who oversees a 5,500-student district, one-third of them military dependents on nearby Travis Air Force Base.
Governing board president Angela Weinzinger signed the contract after a closed-session meeting and before the regularly scheduled trustee meeting in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.
A longtime educator, Conklin, who as interim superintendent replaced the retiring Kate Wren Gavlak on Feb. 1, was named superintendent last month.
Her contract calls for her to work 221 days annually and submit to a yearly review by the five-member governing board.
Source: New Travis Unified supe Conklin inks three-year, $200K contract
By Ian Thompson
Golden Hills Education Center Teacher Judith Waelbrock was announced Tuesday as Solano County’s 2017-18 teacher of the year.
Angela Porter, Benicia Middle School campus monitor, was chosen as the county’s classified school employee of the year.
“You promote collaboration and teamwork, and you step up to the challenges,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said to Waelbrock, Porter and the 11 other candidates who had earlier been named by their school districts.
Source: Waelbrock, Porter, Solano County’s educators of the year
By Richard Bammer
Support for all students and their families, rather than overt protests of a political nature, prompted Vacaville-area school teachers to turn out by the dozens Monday morning, as part of nationwide May Day demonstrations against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and perceived threats to public education.
In Vacaville, teachers who are members of Vacaville Teachers Association began preparing for the statewide Day of Action, organized by the California Teachers Association, some six weeks ago, said Tracy Begley, president of the 680-member VTA.
Teachers and educators at more than a dozen Vacaville Unified school sites participated, she said, adding that teachers, staff, administrators and, in some cases, students wore red, black, a “school spirit” shirt or a VTA button.
In an interview and in a press release issue late in the day, Begley said the demonstrations were a way for the rank and file to say they supported district schools and all students.
Source: Support for students, not divisive politics, prompts area teachers unions actions on May Day
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
By Richard Bammer
Vacaville-area high school robotics teams posted mixed results but gained immeasurable experience at the 2017 FIRST Robotics World Championships, The Reporter has learned.
Held in Houston last week, Wednesday through Saturday, the competition yielded the final tallies, with the RoboVikes from Vanden High, in the 67-team Galileo division, in 13th place; the RoboKnights from Buckingham Charter High in 43rd in the Hopper division; and the Armijo High Robotics squad in 66th, also in the Galileo division.
Long a robotics powerhouse and mentor to other robotics teams, the RoboVikes, veterans of several world championship runs, ended up in first place after the first day of competition, Thursday, in the George Brown Convention Center, for essentially a STEM face-off that attracted 400 teams (in five divisions) from the West and South and from several foreign countries, including Australia, China and Turkey. (Because the championship has grown in popularity, another round of championship matches is this coming weekend in St. Louis.)
Source: Area high school robotics teams tally mixed results at world championships
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
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
David Avina aspires to a career in psychology after taking an advanced placement course on the subject.
Kamari Spires wants to study nursing, with the goal of working in obstetrics and gynecology.
The two high school seniors, Rodriguez and Fairfield, respectively, are among the more than 270 applicants hoping to garner some of the approximate $130,000 in Assist-A-Grad scholarships.
Spires and Avina plan to start their studies at Napa Valley Community College before transferring to four-year colleges. Both said securing funds toward college would be a great help.
Source: Assist-A-Grad continues to help high school seniors realize college dream