It’s not new-news that a number of our students participated in academic competitions locally and at the state level in the 06-07 school year. But their results may be news to you. In the spirit of celebrating our students and their accomplishments, we’re revisiting a few highlights.
Santa Cruz City Schools elementary students (up to 6th grade) participated in school bees in March. The winners from each school went on to the County Spelling Bee, held annually at UCSC. SCCS winners at the county level were:
First place: Mia Thacker, 6th grade, Mission Hill Middle School
Third place: Claire Grishaw-Jones, 6th Grade, Mission Hill Middle School (first place 2006).
Ms. Thacker advanced to the Northern California State Bee held in May at Sonoma State University and placed 13th of the 60 students who qualified.
Two-time county winner Santa Cruz High sent yet another team to the state championships last March. Team members were Kendra Peterson, Casey Mathews, Blake Chiao, Smita Mascharak, Aaron Haifley, Chandan Lodha, Emily Stover, Natallya Munishkina, Vanessa Silverstein, Jessica Silverstein, Carnira Powell, Dorrina Hunt, Becky Deutsch, Page Taylor, Marisela Chavez, Rebecca Clark, Sequoia Rosewood, Will Bass, Simone Fine and Zina Brar. They were advised by Stephen LaBerge, a local attorney, along with Michele Vague, Stacey Falls and Stuart Kumaishi.
Chandan Lodha received the Hon. J. Skelly Wright Constitutional Advocacy award for his Defense Pretrial Motion.
Santa Cruz County sent local winners to the State Science Fair, hosted at the University of Southern California in May. Winners of the state competition from Santa Cruz City Schools were Gabrielle Corbett and Alice Mintz, 8th graders at Mission Hill Middle School. They received an Honorable Mention in the Junior Microbiology Division for their entry, “How to Keep your Jack-O from Turning Wacko.” Ms. Corbett and Ms. Mintz advised that a bleach solution is the key to slowing rot in a carved pumpkin.
Every spring the County Office of Education hosts a math competition for elementary and middle school students competing individually and in teams. 2007 individual winners from Santa Cruz City Schools were Jason Ismail, 5th grade, Westlake Elementary, and Kevin Dong, 6th grade, Mission Hill Middle School.
High school bibliophiles from Soquel High were acknowledged by Friends of UCSC Library for their essays and bibliographies depicting their book collections. Winners included Ollin Soto, who won first place for “My Love for Nature: Aztec Culture in my Life”; tied for second were Forrest Hoffman for “Walking on Water: My Love for Surfing”; and Laine Elliot, with “Teen Pregnancy: The Ongoing Controversy on Abortion.” Honorable mentions included Andrea Cardenas and Kevin Moore.
Education news is often dominated by No Child Left Behind, slipping graduation rates, falling test scores and other grim topics. Now and then, it’s good to take a step back and ponder some good news. Consider this list of colleges that admitted students who graduated in 2007 from Harbor, Santa Cruz or Soquel High Schools:
Albertson College of Idaho, Amherst, Arizona State, Babson, Barnard, Bentley, Boston College, Boston University, Brown, Cabrillo, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California Culinary Academy, Chico State, Claremont McKenna, Clark, College of the Atlantic, Colorado, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, DePaul, Dominguez Hills State, Eastman School of Music, Emerson, Emory, Evergreen, Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing (SF), Fullerton State, Gonzaga, Grinnell, Hampshire, Harvard, Harvey Mudd, Humboldt State, Johns Hopkins, Loyola Marymount, Marshall, MIT, New York University, Northwestern, Northeastern, Oberlin, Occidental, Pomona, Princeton, Puget Sound, Redlands, Sacramento State, San Diego State, San Francisco State, San Jose State, Santa Clara, Sonoma State, Stanford, Stanislaus State, Stonybrook, Swarthmore, Syracuse, Tufts Emory, University of Arizona, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, University of Chicago, University of Colorado, University of Hawaii Manoa, University of Idaho, University of Massachusetts, University of Montana, University of Oregon, University of Pennsylvania, University of San Diego, University of Southern California, University of Washington, US Coast Guard Academy, Warren Wilson, Whitter.
A round of applause, please.