‘Tis the season of gratitude. I am so grateful to have children back on campus, to have learning happening in classrooms and to see our staff doing what they do best, teach. I have seen acts of kindness and patience with one another as students, staff and families work together. I hope everyone will enjoy their time this holiday break engaged in family activities like cooking together, crafting and family game nights. Often it’s the simple things that children remember the most.
I wish to share a special thank you to the Antelope Lion’s Club. For over 30 years the Lion’s Club has generously extended support to students and families in our district. This November the Lions provided Thanksgiving feasts to six families at each of our seven school sites. In December they will once again make the holidays a little brighter for selected Antelope families through the Christmas Giving project. But the Lion’s commitment to community service is not limited by the holiday season. Their projects, such as Coats for Kids, Fired Up for Reading and Dictionaries for 3rd Graders, continue throughout the year. I am so grateful that our Center families benefit from the kindness the Lion’s Club continues to extend into our community.
CJUSD PROFILE of EXCELLENCE
I am excited to shine the spotlight on Center High School Teacher, Larry Davenport, and the CHS Dual Enrollment program. Larry comes to CJUSD with incredible life experiences that enhance the courses he teaches and the post-high school guidance he offers his students. Larry enlisted in the USMC, became a team leader of the USMC Force Reconnaissance Unit (Special Forces), and served in Desert Storm. He graduated from St. Mary’s with a BS in Management, earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from UOP, and earned a CASBO (Chief Business Officer certification) from USC. He previously owned a beverage company and sold that to an industry giant. Larry’s extensive education and vast industry knowledge make him a tremendous resource for students exploring opportunities after high school.
The Dual Enrollment program is an integral part of the college and career offerings at CHS. The partnership between Center High and Sierra Community College started 5 years ago and through this, more than 1,500 CHS students have graduated high school with a diploma and college credits on their transcript. Dual enrollment is founded on the community college principles of “open access” which means all students are encouraged to enroll.
What started as a single course has ballooned. In its initial phase, the Dual Enrollment program began with a Personal Finance course. Five years later, there are 4 blocks of Personal Finance, 3 blocks of starting a small business, and 3 blocks of managing a small business, all taught by Mr, Davenport on the CHS campus. Upon completion of a single dual enrollment course, students receive credit toward high school graduation requirements as well as college credits. Students interested in dual enrollment courses outside of the field of business may explore Astronomy and Introduction to Allied Health.
Next fall, the dual enrollment business program is set to expand again. All Personal Finance classes will be dual enrollment courses and students will see the addition of a Pathway Capstone Dual Enrollment Business course. Ultimately, CHS students will have the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and 15 units of transferrable business credit toward a college degree. Taking college credits in high school saves time, money and prepares students for college expectations.
Each year Larry has his students complete a personality test that identifies the environment in which they best learn. Empowering a student with this awareness helps them excel academically and discover a pathway that fits. Larry loves knowing he is helping students succeed in a college learning environment. He explains, “the more we can prepare students for college the greater their chances of success will be. Additionally, the more college credits a student can earn in high school the less college debt they will incur.” Larry uses his own children as examples. Both earned significant dual enrollment credit while in high school, allowing them to graduate college in 3 years.
Once students get to a community college, the Promise Program provides free tuition to everyone for two years. This initiative has been a huge step in reducing student debt and has encouraged many students to attend a community college before transferring to a 4-year college or university.
Larry and his wife, Dr. Erin Davenport, are both educators and parents. Their son Cade is a recent graduate of Boise State and he is now studying Intelligence in a Master’s program at Georgetown. Their daughter, Delaney, is a senior at San Diego State with her focus on graduate programs in nursing. The Davenports enjoy boating, paddleboarding, hiking, tennis, and golf. Most date night conversations between them circle back to talks about education. Larry’s advice to parents raising high schoolers is to help their children “find a direction that will bring them joy in life.” He explains that when a student is passionate about the direction they are pursuing, they often transition very quickly from an average student to an exceptional one.
Advancements in education are recognizing that students learn differently and CJUSD is continuing to explore more avenues to support students prepare for college and career. I commend Larry for his excellence in education. It is through his passion that CHS students are excelling and our Dual Enrollment program continues to expand.
A New Look for CJUSD
The Center Joint Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. School and district programs, activities and services shall be free from unlawful discrimination based on actual or perceived sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, ancestry, ethnic group identification, gender, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or sexual harassment in any district service, program and/or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance. The district shall promote programs, which ensure that unlawful discriminatory practices are eliminated in all school and district activities.