On April 7, 2022, the CJUSD Board of Trustees, district staff, building partners, local officials, and the Fortune family honored the significant educational contributions made by former CJUSD Superintendent, Dr. Rex Fortune, breaking ground on our newest school, Rex Fortune Elementary.
The Center High School Jazz Band set the tone for the ceremony and speakers included: Gayle Garbolino-Mojica, Placer County Superintendent; Bonne Gore, Placer County Board of Supervisors; Nancy Anderson, CJUSD Trustee; Jan Adams, former CJUSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Fortune addressed the crowd before taking up a shovel and officially breaking ground.
Dr. Fortune began his educational career in 1964 as a science teacher. He became a school site administrator and then spent more than 10 years as Associate Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State Department of Education. After leaving the State Department of Education, Dr. Fortune spent five years as the Superintendent of Inglewood Unified School District. In 1988, Dr. Fortune moved his family north to begin his 15-year tenure as Superintendent of Center Joint Unified School District.
As Superintendent, Dr. Fortune initiated and passed the first GO Bond measure in Sacramento County for 59.2 million dollars. The proceeds were used to construct two new elementary schools, expand Center High facilities and renovate other existing schools. Dr. Fortune provided direction to establish high-quality fiscal operations and controls. His vision created cutting-edge technology infrastructure that created internet access at all schools and an award-winning media lab at Center High School. Dr. Fortune obtained public and private funding to establish a research-based reading program to serve our K-6 students. He brought the MESA program and Center Scholars program to CJUSD. Dr. Fortune championed Center programs that supported and encouraged students to explore higher education and career options in a variety of venues.
On September 4, 2002, a Resolution was signed by the CJUSD Board of Trustees naming a newly proposed school for Dr. Rex Fortune. I am honored to be part of this celebration as I have witnessed Dr. Fortune’s dedication to and countless contributions to the field of education. His work has touched thousands of lives, reaching far beyond the boundaries of CJUSD.
We are proud to honor Dr. Fortune’s commitment, dedication, and numerous contributions to education. The construction of Rex Fortune Elementary, our first school in the northern region of our district, will increase our presence in Placer County. We look forward to being a more active partner in this region and appreciate the continued support and warm welcome we have always received from our Placer County friends.
CJUSD Profile of Excellence
This month I am proud to showcase Laura Davis, Nutrition Services Supervisor. and the tremendous role Nutrition Services plays in the health and academic success of all CJUSD children. Laura and her team, Jeannene Jew, Nutrition Specialist, and Michelle Swett, Nutrition Staff Secretary, run the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs at all seven Center school sites. Their efforts, along with those of the cafeteria staff and warehouse workers, ensure our students have healthy meals to feed their bodies and minds.
Long before some of us are awake Laura’s cafeteria staff are on-site preparing breakfast and lunch for the children. When asked to explain the positive impact Nutrition Services has on students. When asked to explain the positive impact Nutrition Services has on students Laura shared that her staff is among the few who get to SEE all the children every day. The cafeteria staff develops relationships with students and is proud to serve them good, healthy food.
Laura proudly shared that CJUSD school food is healthier than most 5-star restaurants. Our high-quality menus feature clean ingredients, whole grain, low fat, low sodium, low sugar, and no trans-fat. The foods featured on the school menus are kid-friendly but are formulated to meet California nutritional guidelines, which are the strictest in the nation. All K-8 schools are peanut-free.
Menus are determined by what the student’s like. This year the most requested items are pizza and chicken sandwiches. Yogurt parfaits are popular at the high school and every school site loves the salad bar. Taste Tests are a great way for Nutrition Services to gauge favorites and try out new options before adding them to the menu. Before Covid, vendors did product testing with students allowing them to sample new food options and give their feedback. Nutrition Services staff conducts similar taste tests randomly walking new items around on trays, offering samples, and asking for the kids’ opinions.
During lockdown and quarantine, Nutrition Services played an essential role in supporting students and families. They knew school shutdowns would be an extreme hardship for families and wanted to make sure food was one thing families didn’t have to worry about. Like everyone else, the staff was concerned about the pandemic. Together they collaborated with other districts and created a plan to safely prepare and distribute daily, drive-up Grab & Go meals ensuring Center students had breakfast and lunch.
Laura has a unique history with CJUSD. As a child of an Air Force family, Laura moved every two years but two of those years she spent as a 5th grader at Spinelli and a 6th grader at Dudley. During that time, Laura’s mother was a member of the Board of Trustees and her name is on a plaque at Spinelli. In Laura’s free time she treasures making memories with her family at the ocean, lakes, and rivers that surround us. Most of all Laura appreciates just having her family together in the backyard explaining, “the simple pleasures really are the best.”
Laura and her Nutrition Services team make a tremendous impact on students and families every single day. I appreciate their commitment to providing nourishing meals to Center’s children and their courage to put our students and families first despite the stress, fear, and uncertainty of Covid-19.
SUMMER FREE LUNCH PROGRAM
All children, 18 years and younger, can receive a free lunch May 31st-June 30th.
· Meals are served Monday- Thursday. No meals served on June 20th.
· Meals must be eaten in the cafeteria. Drive-up Grab & Go meals are no longer available.
For more information on locations and times, check the Nutrition Services page at www.centerusd.org.
USDA is an equal opportunity employer.
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.