2016-17 school year in review: Celebrating the accomplishments of our students and employees

e-Connections Post

The Sacramento City Unified School District is incredibly proud of all of our students, teachers and staff for completing another school year. With so many accomplishments and achievements to celebrate, we asked principals to share some of their most memorable moments from the 2016-17 school year. Below are highlights from our schools and a picture slideshow. Please note that some items that were recently published were not republished in this edition.

K-8 and Elementary Schools

Abraham Lincoln Elementary

  • Students with perfect attendance (no absences and no tardies) had their names placed in a drawing to receive a bicycle donated by the Rancho Cordova Police Department. Third grader Bradley Merino won the bike. 

Genevieve Didion Elementary

  • Didion 6th graders held a Greek Day. It was a culminating task adapted from GATE teachers, Julie Wharton and Valerie Alens from Camellia Basic Elementary School. Students researched Ancient Civilizations over three weeks during social studies with Tina Nowack, 6th grade social studies/math teacher, and worked on the informational text and writing structure with Elizabeth Nakagawa, 6th grade GATE ELA/art teacher.  They also presented their work to second graders and included a fun fact activity sheet so their younger peers could attend Greek Day with little background information.

Golden Empire Elementary

  • Golden Empire Elementary’s 4th grade teacher, Robert Snider, won the California Association of the Gifted (CAG) Capitol Region Distinguished Service Award. The Capitol Region includes 20 California counties, from Alpine County to San Joaquin County to Marin. Mr. Snider is a GATE certificated teacher who has taught the GATE cluster class since its inception at Golden Empire. He received the award at the annual San Diego CAG conference in San Diego earlier this year.

Hollywood Park Elementary

  • Senator Richard Pan recognized Madilyn Whitefleet and Krystal Flores-Orozco for their academic achievements.

John Sloat Elementary

  • Sloat staffer Julian Luna was recognized as a district classified champion.

Nicholas Elementary

  • Nicholas students were honored with a Principal’s Award at a special lunch for Outstanding Attendance, Citizenship and Academic Scholarship/ Honor roll in all core areas. This occurs each trimester.  This trimester Nicholas honored 149 students.  Students were recognized at an awards assembly and then enjoyed lunch with the principal and their parents on another day.  (Note principal’s Rachel Lane’s request: Please only use the 2 pics of me with the students and parents.  Let me know if you need more information)

Pacific Elementary

  • Fourth through sixth grade female students participated in the SHINE program at Pacific Elementary.  The six-week program fosters empowerment, self-worth, strength and helps students build positive relationships with other students on campus. 
  • Male fourth through sixth grade students participated in the Pacific Boys Club this year. Students developed skills in how to foster positive relationships, good decision-making, and building self-esteem over a 10-week program. 
  • Lisa Bettencourt, a 4th grade teacher at Pacific Elementary organized a Farm to School event at Pacific and provided all the decorations. Pacific cafeteria staff, and SCUSD Nutritional Services in collaboration with the Food Literacy project hosted a feast for students to enjoy. 
  • Mario Martin, a 5th grade teacher hosted the schools’s  All Pro Dads Monthly Meetings all year long.  The meetings offered great opportunities to meet with fathers on campus and discuss relevant family topics that foster and strengthen family relationships.  

Parkway Elementary

  • Parkway Elementary wanted the pictures to tell their story.

Middle Schools

California Middle School

  • Ezekiel Burnett ran an 11.84 100 meter dash on May 13 and from all records, it appears to be the fastest time logged in California by a 7th grader – this year. Cal student Joe Wiley also earned a state ranking in the two-mile race, and Cal Middle’s 4 X 100 8th grade relay is ranked fourth in California.   
  • Cal Middle earned a California Department of Education Gold Ribbon this year.

Fern Bacon Middle School

  • Fern Bacon Middle School held their first Battle of the Books this year.
  • After school clubs are an important part of Fern Bacon.
  • The Sacramento Kings honored Marion Hill for his work at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Sacramento with an all-expense paid trip to New York.
  •  Teachers participated in the BARD Writing Institute this August.
  • Supervisor Patrick Kennedy hosted a community meeting at Fern Bacon.

Sutter Middle School

  • Adam Wadhwani was a top 4 finalist in the Fox TV show Master Chef Junior.
  • Nathan Smith was named Outstanding Student in the Capital Recognition Event by Assemblymember Richard Pan. Nathan also placed second in the energy category at the Calif. State Science Fair competition.
  • Amya Castro was named Most Improved Student by Assemblymember Pan in the – Capital Recognition Event.  
  • Zuriel Joven, Nathan Smith, Luke Torre and Hayden Glasgow who form the MESA prosthetic arm team qualified to compete in the state championship at the University of California, Irvine. Nathan also won first place in the “Energy and Transportation” category  and Zuriel earned first place in the “Engineering” category in the Sacramento Regional STEM fair.  Nathan built turbines to compare their energy output to find what is most efficient for the urban consumer.  Zuriel built eye-writers to see what the most cost-effective design would be
  • Jacob Pluckebaum won the, “My story, my impact” photo contest.
  • Sutter’s Debate team recently won the top school honors at the Northwest Regionals of the National Debate Tournament. The team of John Hawley, Daniel Baradat, and Tom Cordero went undefeated in the tournament taking third place overall and just missed the grand debate by a few speaker points. Sutter’s top individual speaker was Vivian White who took fifth place out of the 250 debaters. The Debate Team is the 2017 Capitol Region Champions. 
  • Eden Getahun won the District Optimist Speech Competition.
  • At the Public Speaking contest at Churchill, Daniel Baradat was in a duo that won first place in Humorous Interpretation and Ashley Jun took first place in Poetic Interpretation.
  • Mathletes team successfully defended their title and are once again, city champions.  Three students, Maddie Bennett-Wells, Sarah Cloninger, and Isabel Dixon, won the Eleanor J. Marks Holocaust essay contest.
  • Sutter Middle School won three Student Educational Video Awards (SEVA) recently.  Sutter Middle School’s news broadcast crew, The Pick, won a SEVA for school news.  This news production crew creates professional weekly reports on student clubs, sports, community and Sutter events.  The Pick crew member Chloe Parker-Caruso received a SEVA for her documentary on the Front Street Animal Shelter.  Sutter’s third SEVA was awarded to Adam Wadhwani and Andrew Morissy for their video on fencing in the category of Creative Expression.  

High School and Multiple Grades

American Legion High School

  • Students participated in the City of Refuge’s Shine Program.
  • Students participated in the school’s Women’s Leadership Academy.
  • A dozen students completed the Hawk Institute Leadership Academy.
  • Twenty-six American Legion students attended the 18th Legislative Open House at the State Capitol.

Health Professions High School

  • Health Professions High School Senior Amanda Vue earned a $1,000 Linked Learning Scholarship based on her academic achievement and accomplishments. Students were nominated by a teacher and a supervisor from their work-based learning experience.  
  • Senior Alma Rodriguez was honored at the SCUSD Board of Education meeting for earning the State Seal of Biliteracy award. 
  • The Health Professions High School Action Civics Team received the 2017 Civic Learning Award from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson for its commitment to teaching civic learning. (picture #3)

Hiram Johnson High School

  • Lisa Do is graduating at the top of her class with a 4.15 GPA. She has taken six AP classes while also taking on significant leadership roles on campus. She has served as President of the National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, and Key Club, as well as other officer roles and membership in several other clubs. Lisa was accepted to UC Berkeley and other major universities and is a recipient of George Clark Memorial Scholarship.
  • Alondra Contreras personifies persistence and leadership. At the beginning of her high school academic career, she struggled because English was her second language. Despite the challenge, Alondra pursued her educational goals and was determined to gain the English skills necessary to move out of English Learner classes and advance.  Each challenge created more drive not only to graduate from high school, but to graduate with honors and go to college. Alondra also “gives back.” She coordinates the school’s blood drives and facilitates events and fundraisers for our Parent Center.  Alondra will continue her studies at Sacramento City College in the fall and plans on transferring to Sac State or UC Davis as she works toward becoming a pediatric oncologist.
  • Adrian Morales came to Hiram Johnson high school in his junior year and is interested in becoming a law-enforcement officer.  His interest developed as he observed loved ones run into trouble with law-enforcement.  He lost his mother in 2010 and his father is absent. Adrian joined the Sacramento Police Department magnet academy at Hiram Johnson high school in 2016 and has never looked back. He quickly made an impact by winning a gold medal in the regional skills USA competition in 2016 held in Sacramento. In April of 2017 he attended the state competition and in his typical fashion, won a gold medal.  Adrian has professional goals and is steadfastly working to accomplish those goals. In late June he will be competing on the national stage against students across the country in the field of criminal justice. He proudly represents Hiram Johnson high school, the Sacramento City Unified School District, as well as the Sacramento Police Department. He is on the path to a successful future.

Kit Carson, An International Baccalaureate World School

  • Kit Carson Junior Carrie Vue was named Outstanding Editor by the Sacramento Journalism Network for her excellence as an editor for the Sac County Breeze, a county-wide newspaper written exclusively by junior high and high school students. She worked with students from McClatchy, Kennedy, Davis and other high schools.

C.K. McClatchy High School

  • Rosario Cruz Cervantes from CKM’s LPPA Academy won first place and a $1,000 check in the State Bar Council on Access & Fairness Law Academy Essay Contest. The essays are selected from the top submissions from every LPPA site in the state of California. She also received special recognition from Assemblymember Kevin McCarty.
  • Senior Ariana Maryland is the 2017 winner of the East Sacramento Preservation Scholarship. She pushes herself to achieve both academically and physically. She is a varsity cheerleader and participated in the Criminal Justice Academy and completed 375 hours of community service.
  • Criminal Justice Academy students held their graduation ceremony recently. Special thanks to Dave Allen and Officer Graham.
  • C.K. McClatchy AFJROTC won (for an unprecedented 7th consecutive year) the Distinguished Unit Award and was designated as one of the top AFJROTC Units Worldwide.

Rosemont High School

  • Rosemont senior Joey Zhuang was a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Merit Scholars are among the top one percent of students in the nation.
  • Sheila Santos’ Art of Compassion painting was selected to hang in Assemblymen Kevin McCarty’s office.
  • Artwork by seniors Emily Converse and Sheila Santos will hang in the Crocker Art Museum.
  • The Rosemont girls’ varsity softball took second place in the Sierra Valley Conference with a league record of 12-3 and an overall record of 18-6.
  • For the third straight year, Rosemont’s tennis team won the league championship.
  • Jordan Blackmon, Jaedan Blackmon and Eddie Reddiccs, who play varsity basketball were were voted to the all-league basketball team team. Coach Marcus Bray was voted coach of the year.
  • Rosemont Students, Christine Daniels and Kyron Mahan were recognized by Assemblymember Richard Pan at the Capitol’s Outstanding Student event.
  • Rosemont Culinary students catered SMUD’s “Take your child to work “day.
  • Rosemont’s wrestling team was 5-0 during the season in league duals to win the team league championship outright. At the league invitational meet, it had six wrestlers win their respected division and had 3 runner ups: Johnny Luna, Jordan Mckay, Telman  Gevorkyan, Anthony Sosa, Laurenz Fedelduces and Isaac Thomas. For the first time in Rosemont’s history, one of the team’s wrestlers took a section title!
  • A Rosemont teacher – for the second consecutive year – was named a SCUSD Teacher-of-the-Year. Math teacher Daniel Crenshaw took the honors in 2016-17, and English teacher Rebecca Siegert won for 2017-18.

John F. Kennedy High School

  • Matthew Lin, Valedictorian: 4.5 GPA, AP Scholar with 25 AP Points, Score of 35 on ACT and 800 on SAT Math and Physics tests. Tennis section champion.
  • Erinn Wong, Salutatorian: 4.53 GPA, AP Scholar with 20 AP Points, state competitor in Speech and Debate, Founder of the Club H.E.R.O.
  • Sydney Hosokawa, an exceptional student who served as ASB president and director of the Every 15 Minutes event, which made us all cry and think about the choices we make.
  • Autumn Luna, who co-captained the Robotics team, competed as a Finalist at the MESA Engineering competition, and spent her summers interning at Aerojet. Autumn was accepted at Stanford and her acceptance letter from Stanford notes her impressive advocacy for public schools in engineering related programs.
  • Evelyn Morgan, who overcame adversity by working two jobs and caring for her siblings while maintaining her grades and her infectious smile. These young women will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Stanford University, and UC Santa Barbara, respectively, in the fall.
  • Outstanding Athlete:  Allie Umamoto, lettered in two sports. She was all-city for Girls’ basketball, and a section qualifier in 4 events for swimming. She will swim on scholarship at Scripps in the fall.

School of Engineering and Science High School

  • Uyen Do-Tran: Engineering has played an important role in her life. Robotics introduced her to the engineering and technology community and taught her the need to constantly update her knowledge. That, she said, is the motivation to continue her higher education at the University of California, Davis as an Electrical Engineering major. She also stressed that as a young immigrant, she is thankful for the kindness and support of her mentor, teachers, co-workers, and friends. Uyen said she will continue her passion for engineering and sciences because it is an opportunity for her to give back to the community.
  • Peter Milam: Peter will also study Mechanical Engineering at UC Davis. He received a full ride scholarship, which will pay for tuition and books. He hopes to join a few engineering clubs that will challenge his “book smarts” and provide hands-on opportunities, such as the Formula SAE team. It is a team is similar to the high school club that he led this year. That opportunity exposed to skills that included Computer Aided Design (CAD), different machining processes, leadership and perseverance. He was especially thankful to his mentor and coach, Ken Davis.
  • Jacquelyn Davila: Jacquelyn will attend Princeton University in the fall. She said getting into Princeton was almost easy because she never expected to get there in the first place. She is the eldest daughter of Mexican immigrants, and her first language isn’t English. Jacquelyn credits the “incredible support” she received from family, teachers, mentors, counselor and QuestBridge (a non-profit organization that connects high-achieving, financially disadvantaged students with educational and scholarship opportunities at leading universities) for helping her. Jacquelyn said, “All I had to do in high school, was work hard, follow my passions and interests, and dare to dream big.”

West Campus High School

  • Emily Kim: National Merit Scholarship Finalist who will attend the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Elena Torres-Pepito: National Merit Scholarship Finalist who will attend the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Three Association of California School Administrators award winners: Jacquline Tejada who will attend the University of California, Merced; Gizzel Yanez who will attend San Francisco State University; and Destiny Stallings who will attend American River College.
  • 100 participation in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system.
  • Emiliano Gomez is one of 13 students in the nation accepted to the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y).  He will study in South Korea. The NSLI-Y program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and was launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among American youth. NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships and prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world.