Vallejo Police Department says ‘no’ to schools at 2 X 2 commission meeting – Times-Herald

By Sharon Pearce

Despite safety remaining an issue at Vallejo schools, the Vallejo 2 X 2 Commission was told at its Wednesday meeting there would be no additional staff or funding coming from the city or the police department.

The 2 X 2 Commission — composed of two representatives from the city and two from the school district tasked to find answers within the city’s school system — heard directly from the school district. Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent William Spalding explained that he had heard concern over safety issues from the public on a number of occasions. He offered suggestions such as closing Nebraska Street between Amador and Broadway streets near Vallejo High School during the day to help the school deal with gunfire and infrastructure problems.

Source: Vallejo Police Department says ‘no’ to schools at 2 X 2 commission meeting – Times-Herald

Schools election picture coming into focus after Day 2 of count – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Jack Flynn held a majority lead over incumbent Jonathan Richardson for the Trustee Area 5 seat on the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District board.

As of Wednesday, Flynn had tallied 963 votes, representing 51.5% of the ballots cast, while Richardson had 907 votes (48.5%), the Solano County Registrar of Voters Office reported.

The unofficial result is with all 10 precincts counted, but with mail-in and provisional ballots left to count.

Source: Schools election picture coming into focus after Day 2 of count

Citizens committee recommends renaming school to Vallejo Adult School – Vallejo Sun

By John Glidden

A special citizens advisory committee recommended that the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education rename a school catering to adult learners as the Vallejo Adult School, 10 years after the district changed the name.

The five-person committee appointed by the district to recommend a new name formally presented its recommendation during the Nov. 2 Vallejo school board meeting. The school was previously called the Vallejo Adult School until the district changed the name to the Vallejo Regional Education Center a decade ago. But school board trustees and administrators expressed an interest in renaming the school again in 2021.

Source: Citizens committee recommends renaming school to Vallejo Adult School

Vallejo students learn about healthy career choices – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

It’s not hard to imagine: The person who finally cures cancer could be from Vallejo.

Or the person who rehabilitates you through a tough injury or conducts a successful surgery on your friend could be from Vallejo.

Now, more than ever, people are being sought for positions in the field of health care. On Tuesday and Wednesday representatives and workers from Kaiser Permanente partnered with schools in the Bay Area for Youth Career Day 2022 to let students know that job opportunities in the health care industry are there for them if they choose to pursue them.

Source: Vallejo students learn about healthy career choices – Times-Herald

Vallejo native Rear Adm. Dollaga visits Mare Island, Vanden High – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Navy Rear Admiral Leonard “Butch” Dollaga on Wednesday took a tour of the Mare Island shipyard, and visited some Junior ROTC students at Vanden High School.

Dollaga, chief of Legislative Affairs for the Navy, grew up in Vallejo and graduated from Hogan High School.

“The more you interface with your people, the more you train them, the more effective they will be. Just trust those people,” Dollaga told the nearly two dozen cadets of the Vanden Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training program.

Source: Vallejo native Rear Adm. Dollaga visits Mare Island, Vanden High

Loma Vista Farms harvests fun family time in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Per usual, Loma Vista Farms in Vallejo was full of animals, apple cider, train rides and puppet shows on Saturday. However, when Loma Vista Farms Events Chair Jennifer Shinar was asked what her favorite part about the farm’s annual Harvest Festival was, she didn’t hesitate.

“Oh, the kids. No doubt. Seeing their faces light up when they see everything here,” Shinar said. “That’s what keeps me coming back year after year. I especially like seeing them with the old-school cider house. I love watching the kids crank it up and then crush it and then taste it. We do it every year and I love watching the kids’ reaction to it.”

Source: Loma Vista Farms harvests fun family time in Vallejo – Times-Herald

Griffin Technology Academies has new MOU with VCUSD – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Griffin Technology Academies and the Vallejo City Unified School District announced a memorandum of understanding in response to the school district’s notice of violation issued to the academy last spring.

According to GTA news release, this provides “benchmark remedies to guarantee transparency, accountability and a strong academic program.”

Last spring the district sent out draft Notices of Violations and Opportunity to Cure to GTA last month. A Notice of Violations is the first step in initiating charter revocation proceedings against the four charter schools.

Source: Griffin Technology Academies has new memorandum of understanding with Vallejo City Unified School District – Times-Herald

Fund-raising effort begins for Joe Pastrana, Vallejo High coach who was shot – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

A gofundme account has been set up for Joe Pastrana, the Vallejo High School football coach shot Tuesday afternoon outside the school after he helped break up a fight.

Pastrana has been released from a hospital and is in stable condition at home with his family. According to his sister, Jocilee Pastrana, “proceeds donated will go directly to Coach Joe, his wife, son Joey, as well as his daughter on the way to help support and cover all legal/medical expenses being occurred as we’re faced with the aftermath.”

The gofundme page has already received more than $3,000 of its $15,000 goal. As of 4 p.m. on Friday, 55 people had made donations to the page. The site is www.gofundme.com/f/wrongful-shooting-at-vhs-of-coach-joe.

Source: Fund-raising effort begins for Joe Pastrana, Vallejo High coach who was shot – Times-Herald

Painting a welcoming picture – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Instead of welcoming returning classmates back from summer break with a handshake or a quick “hello,” students at Vallejo Charter instead created a mural, “Our Message of Self Discovery.”

The mural project, from Vallejo Teaching Artists in partnership with the Vallejo City Unified School District Expanded Learning Program, introduces students to public art through the collaborative process of creating a mural with a professional muralist — in this instance Leah Tumerman, a muralist for years who was inspired by the work of the five students behind the greeting.

Source: Painting a welcoming picture – Times-Herald

Damon Wright ready to lead Benicia Unified School District – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Dr. Charles Young may not be the Benicia Unified School District superintendent, but the city still believes it has the “Wright” stuff.

Damon Wright is the new superintendent of BUSD. After a series of interviews and “meet and greet” events in May, Wright was offered the position on June 9 at the Governing Board meeting. Young retired from the position on June 30.

“The interview process was rigorous, and I grappled with a rollercoaster of emotions throughout it,” Wright said on Tuesday. “I rushed home and shared the news with my family. I was excited about the opportunity to return and lead the District. I am very fond of BUSD.”

Source: Damon Wright ready to lead Benicia Unified School District – Times-Herald

Vallejo classes back in session – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Temperatures may have soared into the high 80s on Monday, but kids in Vallejo were hitting books, not waves.

Class was back in session — and summer was unofficially over — for the first day of school in the Vallejo City Unified School District. Benicia Unified began last week.

Although students and teachers are still required to wear masks indoors, the mood on campus suggested that a return to the pre-pandemic days of school wasn’t far off.

Source: Vallejo classes back in session – Times-Herald

The Hill Vallejo helps kids ‘get back’ to school – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Six-year-old Mahdi Hawkins was already excited to get a new backpack Saturday morning, but it was the contents that took his excitement to another level.

Well, officially a first-grade level.

“Oh my God, there is stuff in here!” Hawkins shouted, gawking at new folders, crayons, pens, pencils and the like, his eyes growing as wide as the Grand Canyon as he jumped up and down“

Whoah!”

Source: The Hill Vallejo helps kids ‘get back’ to school – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board to consider new agreement with charter network – Vallejo Sun

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board will be asked to approve a tolling agreement with Griffin Technology Academies (GTA) on Wednesday as the charter network works to fix several alleged violations levied by the school district.

The Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education voted on April 28 to send a notice of violations to each of the four charter schools operated by GTA alleging the charter network mismanaged its finances, allowed mold to flourish inside school facilities, and violated the state’s open meeting law.

Source: Vallejo school board to consider new agreement with charter network

Vallejo City Unified School District holding job fair on Tuesday – Times-Herald

The Vallejo City Unified School District (VCUSD) is hosting a job fair from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday at the District offices located at 665 Walnut Ave. in Vallejo.

Prospective employees can apply, interview, and get hired that day at the event.

Interested applicants are invited to fill out an application before the event. Certificated jobs, which require an applicant to have a certification or licensure, can fill out an application. Classified positions, which do not require credentials, can fill out an application.

Source: Vallejo City Unified School District holding job fair on Tuesday – Times-Herald

Citizens get acquainted with the kitchen with month-long class in Vallejo – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a missing ingredient at your local restaurant.

People.

According to Mare Island Brewing Company’s founder Kent Fortner, the decline in jobs — including ones for line cooks and prep cooks — is approximately 50 percent.

“The demand for employees in the restaurant business is there, but a lot of people have moved on for various reasons,” Fortner said. “I think in the end people were just too tired of waiting for restaurants to reopen, so they moved on,” Fortner said, adding that many people wanted to get into the restaurant business, but the problem was they had no experience.

Source: Citizens get acquainted with the kitchen with month-long class in Vallejo – Times-Herald

Griffin Technology Academies announces new members to accountability team – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Continuing with its remedy for being served with a Notice of Violation by the city’s school district, Griffin Technology Academies is appointing new members to its accountability team this week.

Nick Driver, the Vallejo City Unified School District’s new superintendent, named Brent Zionic — an educator and technology expert with a deep background in workflow and compliance processes — as GTA’s new Chief Accountability Officer.

Driver also named Jane Henzerling, charter school founder and educational systems and measurement expert, as a second key member of the new team.

Source: Griffin Technology Academies announces new members to accountability team – Times-Herald

Vallejo charter network names Nick Driver as new superintendent – Vallejo Sun

The Griffin Technology Academies Board of Directors announced this week that Nick Driver, who has been serving as acting superintendent since March, will fill the position permanently starting July 1. The board voted to approve his three-year contract during its June 14 meeting.

Driver’s base salary is set at $196,720 for the upcoming 2022-23 school year. He will lead the charter school network, which operates two middle and two high schools. Originally known as Mare Island Technology Academy, GTA became the first to operate as a charter school within the boundaries of the Vallejo City Unified School District in 1999. The network has since expanded and currently has about 1,300 enrolled students.

GTA also announced that Shawna Gilroy was elevated to board chair, while Vivian Wesley was made the board’s vice-chair. The network also announced that Alex Insaurralde will return as chief academic officer.

Source: Vallejo charter network names Nick Driver as new superintendent

Griffin Technology Academies announces new board officers – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

The Griffin Technology Academies Board of Directors announced several new leadership positions on Wednesday, including new Board Chair Shawna Gilroy, Board Vice-Chair Vivian Wesley and the appointment of Nick Driver as permanent superintendent.

Driver has spent nearly two decades in a variety of roles serving students and the charter school community. As a founding staff member at the California Charter Schools Association, he supported GTA and its schools beginning in 2004.

“I’m very excited about the future of GTA and our new school leadership,” Driver said in a news release. “I’m incredibly honored to be selected as permanent Superintendent and entrusted to lead our schools forward. Ms. Gilroy and Ms. Wesley are committed leaders, and also strongly believe in supporting the Vallejo community through activism, volunteerism, and resilience — and I’m convinced they will continue to bring that same commitment to their new board roles.”

Source: Griffin Technology Academies announces new board officers – Times-Herald

Griffin Technology Academies hope to move forward after getting ‘wake up call’ – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Griffin Technology Academies says it agrees with school district issues with its four charter schools and is acting in good faith to resolve the concerns.

The Vallejo City Unified School District sent out draft Notices of Violations and Opportunity to Cure to GTA last month. A Notice of Violations is the first step in initiating charter revocation proceedings against the four charter schools. If not corrected, the VCUSD Board can consider the action of sending a Notice of Intent to Revoke to one or more of the four schools — Mare Island Technology Academy middle and high schools as well as Griffin Academy middle and high schools.

Source: Griffin Technology Academies hope to move forward after getting ‘wake up call’ – Times-Herald

Mare Island Technology Academy uses ‘resilence’ to graduate – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

When keynote speaker and former Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan addressed the crowd at Beverly Hills Elementary School in Vallejo, he began by reciting the definition of the world “resilient.” Someone who is resilient is someone able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

Or in this case the 2022 graduating class at Mare Island Technology Academy in Vallejo.

Family and friends cheered on 104 students receiving their diplomas on Wednesday night after four years of studying during difficult times in the world.

Source: Mare Island Technology Academy uses ‘resilence’ to graduate – Times-Herald