By Richard Bammer
The two men sat quietly in the front row of chairs arranged in a second-floor meeting room at the Solano County Office of Education offices in Fairfield. One was 70 years old and dressed in a beige short-sleeved silk shirt, while the other, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and camouflage hat, with the words “Vietnam Veteran” spelled out, was 76 and walked with a cane. Family members, SCOE employees, and a small contingent of media crowded into the room, too.
All were there midafternoon Friday, as Lisette Estrella-Henderson, superintendent of county schools, said in her opening remarks, “for a really important” occasion for the two men, Wayne Hill and Conrad Montuya Sr.: SCOE’s annual Operation Recognition, honoring military service members who were unable to complete their high school education due to their military service.
Source: A high school diploma, at long last, after military service – The Vacaville Reporter
The 2023 Solano County Science and Engineering Fair will be open to community members Thursday in McCormack Hall on the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo.
The event celebrates students’ achievements in science and engineering projects, work that can prove to be pathways into careers.
Solano County students in third through 12th grades were encouraged to enter this competition. Top middle and high school winners will be eligible to enter the California State Science and Engineering Fair in April.
Source: Officials invite public to Office of Education science, engineering fair
By Susan Hiland
Members of Soroptimist International of Solano County shared smiles, laughter and a few tears Tuesday at the 2023 Women Making a Difference Awards luncheon.
“There were so many qualified candidates it was extremely difficult to choose,” said Cathy Hall, Awards Committee chairwoman.
Hall has been a Soroptimist for years and spoke of getting to know these young woman who applied for the awards.
Source: Soroptimist awards come complete with a few tears, lots of smiles
By Kimberly K. Fu
The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts wrought much change in Vacaville, as well as reflection.
As Mayor John Carli eloquently explained Wednesday during the State of the City address: “It was a time of renaissance. … But this year is really about building a foundation for a vibrant tomorrow.”
The address was the highlight of the Movers and Shakers Breakfast Summit hosted by the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce at the Vacaville Opera House.
Source: Vacaville is “building a foundation for a vibrant tomorrow” – The Vacaville Reporter
By Susan Hiland
Schools across the area are looking to fill multiple types of position, so the Solano County Office of Education hosted a job fair Saturday for people to seek jobs in a single setting.
“This is targeting the communities in Solano County,” said Mike Minahen, associate superintendent of Human Resources. “The goal for today is to provide an opportunity to recruit locally.”
Nearly all school districts in Solano County came out on a rainy Saturday.
Source: Job fair sheds light on vacancies in Solano school districts
Students of all ages are encouraged to showcase their artistic talents in performance or physical arts at the third annual Solano Student Art Showcase.
The Solano County Office of Education hosts the event, which can include singer/songwriters, poets, jugglers, comedians, magicians, musicians, dancers, cheerleaders, painters, photographers, sculptors and others.
“We are grateful to our community partners for their continued support of Solano students through our art showcase,” Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson said in a statement. “Art not only helps students build skills and creativity, it provides students an outlet for expression, drawing upon their own unique experiences. I cannot wait to see our dynamic performers on stage and our talented artists’ work on display in this year’s exhibit.”
Source: Students encouraged to show off skills at 3rd annual Art Showcase
The Solano County Office of Education has partnered with Solano County Public Health, Campus Safety Consultations, Vibe Solano and NorthBay Health to host a forum for educators and community members focusing on Naloxone – or NARCAN – and strategies for opioid and fentanyl awareness and prevention.
The event will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive in Fairfield.
Source: Solano County Office of Education schedules opioids, fentanyl forum
Nominations are being accepted for the 17th annual Community Advisory Committee Recognition Awards for those who go above and beyond in the service of students with disabilities.
The CAC Awards are presented to educators, youth and community members for outstanding service who go above and beyond in service of students with disabilities.
Award recipients are from each school district within the Solano County Special Education Local Plan Area: Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield-Suisun, Travis and Vacaville, as well as the Solano County Office of Education.
Source: Nominations open to recognize those who help students with disabilities
By Heather Waldman
In a science classroom, nothing beats hands-on learning. That’s especially true when students can work to solve a problem that affects their own community.
Last fall, the Solano County Office of Education was awarded a grant to help bring some of that real-world science experience to its students.
Under the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant, students are helping researchers with UC Davis and NOAA explore the mystery of “spinning salmon”.
Source: Solano County high schoolers try to solve ‘spinning salmon’ mystery
By Richard Bammer
Call them intellectual champions.
The eight-member Vanden High Academic Decathlon team triumphed Sunday at the North Bay region competition, besting 16 other Bay Area teams.
With a first-place finish, the Travis Unified students have been invited to go on to another test of wits, memory and know-how by representing Solano County at the state competition March 24 to 26 in Santa Clara.
Their latest winning performance at Solano Community College in Fairfield was a no-surprise effort. After all, Vanden squads have won the county competition 22 times in as many years and the California championship during three of those years.
Source: Vanden Academic Decathlon winners: ‘High-caliber kids,’ adviser says – The Vacaville Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Student scholars at Fairfield’s Vanden High walked away Sunday with bragging rights and medals around their necks for their triumph at the Academic Decathlon for the North Bay region.
Winning first place overall, the Travis Unified students have been invited to go on to compete and represent Solano County at the state competition. Campolindo High School took second and also can proceed to represent Contra Costa County at state. Third place was awarded to Basis Independent Silicon Valley Charter from Santa Clara County.
Source: Vanden whiz kids triumph at Academic Decathlon for North Bay region – The Vacaville Reporter
Solano County Office of Education has received a $4 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The grant’s focus is to advance healing and improve social determinants of health among youth and families in communities that have experienced community violence, disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and other significant collective trauma over the past 24 months.
Source: $4M SCOE grant to support mental health, wellness
The Solano County Office of Education was awarded a $4,000,000 federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The aim, according to a press statement, is to “advance healing and improve social determinants of health among youth and families in communities that have experienced community violence, disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other significant collective trauma over the past 24 months.”
“SCOE is honored and well-positioned to be entrusted with such an important grant that will support building capacity for increased mental health supports in our school communities,” said Solano County Superintendent of Schools Lisette Estrella-Henderson in the statement. “Schools across Solano County have seen an increase in student mental health and wellness needs, and we will use this grant to continue to be a conduit and leader in this work for students and families.”
Source: SCOE awarded $4 million grant for mental health, wellness – The Vacaville Reporter
U.S. military veterans and Japanese-American citizens who were unable to finish high school due to wartime circumstances can now get their diplomas. The Solano County Office of Education is again hosting the “Operation Recognition” event, scheduled March 24, and is accepting applications from eligible individuals or from families of someone who is eligible.
Source: HS diplomas available for Solano vets who left school for war
U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-04) and John Garamendi (CA-08) presented a $2 million check to officials from Solano County Transit (SolTrans) for the 100 percent Battery Electric Commuter Coaches project. This funding was secured in the Fiscal Year 2023 government funding bill.
“Climate change is an ever-pressing issue that demands our immediate attention, and any step we can take to reduce emissions is a good one,” said Thompson. “The electrification of public transit is a big step in the right direction that will help SolTrans reduce pollution and provide a cleaner transportation option for the people of Solano County who rely on public transit. I was proud to work with SolTrans to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing these electric buses in action soon.”
Source: January 26 Vallejo/Vacaville Arts and Entertainment Source: Faces and Places – Times-Herald
By Nick Sestanovich
Mayrene Bates — a longtime Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) educator, trustee with the Solano Board of Education and active community supporter — died Jan. 6. She was 88.
“It’s a community loss,” longtime friend and retired Solano Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Snedeker said.
Bates was born April 15, 1934 in the small town of Liberty, Tenn. At the time, the South was in the midst of segregation, and Bates had to take a bus to attend a high school that was twice as far away as the school that was designated for white students.
Source: Mayrene Bates, longtime educator and Solano Board of Education trustee, dies at 88 – The Vacaville Reporter
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan heralded 2023 as a year of change, but as the adage goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Wanda Williams on Tuesday took her seat for the first time on the Board of Supervisors, the first elected Black woman to sit at the dais. And by doing so, the county board for the first time had a female majority.
She replaces Jim Spering as the 3rd District representative.
Source: Vasquez will serve as Board of Supervisor chair for 3rd straight year
By Richard Bammer
Attention Solano County public school students: Get your thinking and science caps on.
Solano County Office of Education will host the 10th Annual Solano County Science and Engineering Fair in March at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo.
SCOE officials encourage area students in grades 3 to 12 to enter this year’s competition.
Source: Sign-ups begin for 2023 county science and engineering fair – The Vacaville Reporter
Registration has opened for the 10th annual Solano County Science and Engineering Fair.
The event “aspires to provide an opportunity for students to develop inquiry and problem-solving skills, ignite a passion for science and engineering and explore STEM-related fields. Careers in science, technology, engineering and math have grown substantially since 2010, creating a STEM worker shortage in the U.S,” the Solano County Office of Education said in a statement.
SCOE said the fair competition is open to students in third through 12th grades. Applications are due by 3 p.m. Feb. 24. Visit www.solanocoe.net/sciencefair to apply.
Source: Solano STEM fair registration open through Feb. 24
The World Cup is happening right now, but there is another more local championship happening in January: an Olympics of the mind, if you will.
Solano County Office of Education is hosting its Academic Decathlon at Solano Community College’s Fairfield campus. A total of 17 high schools from throughout Solano, Contra Costa, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Yolo counties will be sending students to put their academic skills to the test and compete for a trophy.
Volunteers are being sought for the roles of interview judge, room monitor, Super Quiz proctor, Super Quiz assistant, speech judge and runner/escort. More information on what each portion entails as well as a link to register can be found at Docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfBw-5n26-VjBaXCEkF-9mjuygKJuA-Y2Ad1yeHbbX6feFiEQ/viewform.
Source: SCOE calling upon volunteers for Academic Decathlon – The Vacaville Reporter