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
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
By Todd R. Hansen
Gabby Hansen found her calling because she and her friends wanted something to do after school.
That journey started five years earlier, in eighth grade, and now the Vanden High senior is looking at a future in the cutting-edge robotics field.
“I don’t think any of us realized how much it would impact our futures,” Hansen said.
“The robotics program is a lot more than robotics,” Hansen said.
Her personal and leadership skills have been enhanced by her time in the program, she said.Hansen was joined by other students from Vanden and Armijo high schools, as well as students from Grange Middle School who demonstrated their robot skills Tuesday before the Board of Supervisors.
Source: Vanden, Armijo, Grange students show off their ‘bots’
By Bill Hicks
Veterans groups of all types understand well the expression, “serving your country.” In the minds of many, that expression means donning a military uniform and doing some type of duty in locations scattered across the globe.
Vacaville Veterans Organizations, a collection of different veterans groups, hosted an event, Saturday, as a thank you for that service – but not for veterans or active duty military members, for members of the Vanden High Junior ROTC program – past and present.
The veterans organizations honored the Vanden JROTC program for 15 years of community volunteer service in Vacaville. Although situated a stone’s throw from Travis Air Force Base, Vanden High – due to its small size – did not have an ROTC program until 2001.
Source: Stars earn Stripes: Veterans groups thank JROTC program
By Daily Republic Staff
Eight Vanden High School students will tour a variety of Ivy League campuses as part of the first Solano Ivy League Project.
The trip will be from April 15-22 and includes participation in student panels, networking and meeting admissions officers from universities such as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Wesleyan and Columbia. The tour is led by Martin Mares, who is the founder of Ivy League Project.
Organizers are hoping to add students in the years to come.
Source: Vanden students get Ivy League look
Warmer spring days mean area high school and community college graduations are being noted on calendars in central and eastern Solano County.
By chronological date, here is a list of local high school and the Solano Community College graduation times, dates and locations:
- Solano Community College — 6 p.m. May 25 in the football stadium, 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield.
- Vacaville Christian High School — 7 p.m. May 25, Falcon Field, 821 Marshall Road, Vacaville.
- Vacaville Unified Adult Education — 7 p.m. May 30, Catwalk Theatre, Will C. Wood High, 998 Marshall Road, Vacaville.
- Maine Prairie High School — 6 p.m. May 31, Dixon High School Theater, 555 College Way, Dixon
Source: SCC, area high schools set graduation dates
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
By Richard Bammer
Houston, we do not have a problem, because the Vanden and Armijo high school robotics teams have qualified for world high school robotics championship April 19 to 22 in Houston, Texas.
The RoboVikes and the Armijo Robotics squads earned enough points during the Sacramento Regional Robotics Competition Saturday at the University of California, Davis, to make the trip to the George Brown Convention Center in the Lone Star State’s largest city.
Doug Green, the longtime RoboVikes adviser, was clearly elated during an interview Monday, as he and the students prepared for still more competition this weekend at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.
Source: Vanden, Armijo robotics squads qualify for world championship
By Dom Pruett
Four local high school robotics teams were among the 56 represented at the 15th Annual FIRST Robotics Competition Sacramento Regional Saturday at UC Davis.
The field of 56, which was comprised of teams from high schools in California, Hawaii, and Nevada, included Vanden’s RoboVikes, Vacaville’s RoboDogs, the Robo Knights of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School, and Armijo Robotics from Armijo High School.
The FIRST, short for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” Robotics Competition placed three teams together, dubbed an “adventure club,” and pitted them against another trio of teams during a match referred to this year as FIRST STEAMWORKS. The objective: accumulate as many points as possible with your team’s robot.
Source: Local teams battle it out at regional Robotics competition
By Daily Republic Staff
Travis School District begins priority registration this week for kindergarten and transitional kindergarten.
Registration will occur Monday at Foxboro Elementary, 600 Morning Glory Drive, Vacaville; Tuesday at Cambridge Elementary, 100 Cambridge Drive, Vacaville; and Wednesday at Center Elementary, 3101 Markeley Lane, Fairfield.
The time is set by the first letter of the child’s last name: A-G at 5 p.m.; H-L at 5:30 p.m.; and M-Z at 6 p.m.
Source: Travis district offers kindergarten, transitional kindergarten registration
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified’s 2016-17 second interim budget report Tuesday was good news for a district that, in relatively recent years past, filed a series of negative or qualified budgets — generally regarded as troubling designations — with the county and state.
During a governing board meeting, Anna Pimentel, director of fiscal services, told trustees that she anticipates a “positive” budget certification, meaning the district will be able to pay its bills for the current fiscal year and the next two, for which she showed, in a slide presentations, budget projections for the 2017-18 and 18-19 years.
In a 20-minute presentation, Pimentel, as expected, noted minor changes to revenues, expenses and the beginning and ending fund balances.
Source: Travis Unified on solid financial footing