MAY 2017

Center Aim

It feels like just yesterday teachers and staff welcomed children back to campus to start a new school year of learning and growing. It’s difficult to believe that the end of the 2016-17 school year is now upon us. School sites throughout the district are planning their traditional end-of-the-year events. There are spirit days, field days, class celebrations, the States Parades, academic recognitions, Open House, Jr. & Sr. Proms, the CHS Moving-Up Rally, promotion ceremonies and high school commencement activities. Every CJUSD staff member is doing their part to ensure a smooth conclusion to the 2016-17 school year and at the same time, gearing up for the 2017-18 year to begin.

Congratulations to Center High School’s 2016 Top Ten seniors for their academic excellence: Joseph Chao, Vincent Ma, Satjyot Atwal, Melanie Wilson, Michael Grey, Ruby Vo, Rebecca Willey, Kevin Nguyen, Erika Morales and Justin Falk. All ten scholars were honored at a celebratory dinner on April 5th surrounded by their families, honored guests and Center High School and district administration.

Congratulations to the CHS seniors who have been accepted into 4 year colleges and universities. On April 28th, college bound seniors were honored for their academic achievements at the annual Purple Cord Dinner. Each will wear a Purple Cord at the graduation ceremony to signify their acceptance into a 4 year college or university.

Congratulations to the Center High School seniors who have earned the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is a statement of accomplishment for gaining competency in two or more languages. In April the recipients were recognized at a ceremony at the Sacramento County Office of Education and will again be recognized at Sr. Awards Night in May. At graduation each will be given a diploma affixed with the Seal of Biliteracy. Additionally, the recipients of the Seal of Biliteracy will wear an orange cord at graduation.

May is Staff appreciation. Every position in the district plays a vital role in providing a positive learning environment for children. Teachers, office staff, groundskeepers, counselors, instructional assistants, campus monitors, bus drivers, noon duty staff, maintenance department, custodial staff, nutrition services, library services, nurses, psychologists and administrators all contribute to the academic achievement and the social and emotional growth of students. We appreciate the work each staff member does every day to educate the children of Antelope. Take a moment to thank a CJUSD staff member today.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR for additional events throughout CJUSD you don’t want to miss:

CHS Talent Show: May 11th

CHS Sports-O-Rama: May 12th

CHS Senior Awards Night: May 16th

CHS Senior Sunset: May 18th

CHS Moving Up Rally: May 19th

CHS Finals Week: May 22nd-25th

CHS Graduation Ceremony: May 25th

WCR Music Concert: May 2nd

WCR Track Finals: May 3rd @ CHS

WCR Drama Production: May 11th

WCR Movin’ Up Party: May 12th

WCR 8th graders @ Sunsplash: May 23rd

WCR 8th grade Celebration Ceremony: May 25th

NORTH COUNTRY Bikers & Books fundraiser ride and children’s book drive: August 26th

Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten registration: If you have a student who will be a kindergartener or in the Transitional Kindergarten program in the fall, please refer to the registration schedule listed on the website for your home school. All school sites can be found at

No Paperwork! No ID! No Cost! Center Joint Unified will offer Free Summer Meals Monday - Friday at the following locations:

  • Center High School May 26 - July 28, 11:30-12:30 3111 Center Court Ln
  • Spinelli Elementary May 26 - July 28, 11:00-12:00 3401 Scotland Drive
  • Dudley Elementary May 26 - July 14, 11:00-12:00 8000 Aztec Way
  • Danbury Park Apartments June 8 - July 28, 11:00-11:45 7840 Walerga Rd

The summer food service program serves healthy, free meals to all children and teens, 18 years and younger. No meal service May 29th or July 4th. For more information call: (916) 338-6416

Stay connected to CJUSD through Facebook at Center Joint Unified School District.


CHS REcognizes Top Scholars

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The Top Ten Dinner is an academic recognition steeped in tradition at Center High School. It’s an honor bestowed upon seniors whose grade point average (gpa) is the top ten of their graduating class. First held in 1989, The Top Ten was the vision of former CHS Principal, Claude Brock.

District and school administrators, teaching staff and proud families attended the Top Ten Dinner on April 5th to recognize the Top Ten Honorees for the Class of 2017. Each Top Ten student was introduced by a selected teacher or staff member that has had an impact on the student’s high school experience. Students were invited to give a speech, reflecting on their time at Center High School and their post high school goals and aspirations. Each was awarded a $100 scholarship.

The Top Ten Dinner has become one of the most valued and long standing traditions at Center High School. Congratulations to the following 2017 Center High School graduates for their academic excellence.

Joseph Chao

Vincent Ma

Satjyot Atwal

Melanie Wilson

Michael Grey

Ruby Vo

Rebecca Willey

Kevin Nguyen

Erika Morales

Justin Falk


CHS Honors Academic Honors

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The image of the purple cord adorning the necks of Center High School graduating seniors is a tradition that began in 2001 to recognize those who have been accepted to four-year colleges and universities. This year the honor of wearing the purple cord was bestowed to members of the Center High School graduating class of 2017 in a Purple Cord Ceremony attended by the students’ family members, CHS staff and members of the Antelope community.

Congratulations to the following Center High School scholars for their commitment to educational excellence. We wish you continued success on your path to higher education.

Abdul Samad, Khadija : University of the Pacific, Sacramento State, San Francisco State University, UC Santa Cruz

Abebe, Hami: Sac State, San Jose University

Almazan, Janelle: UOP, San Jose, San Francisco, UNR, Sacramento State

Arreola, Maricela: Art Institute

Atwal, Satjyot: Sac State

Bachinsky, Sulamita: Sac State

Bergman, Derek: CSU Chico

Bernard, Jade: Mercer University , Georgia State, Notre Dame of

Maryland, Oglethorpe University , Clark Atlanta University , Queens University of Charlotte

Camerino, Aaron: Sacramento State

Carey, Carine: Grand Canyon

Carter-Gonzalez, Ryan : Sacramento State

Chao Joseph: Stanford, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Irvine

Chappelle, Marcela: Sacramento State, San Diego State, San Jose State, University of Utah, Chico State, Brigham Young University, Idaho

Chavez, Jose: Sac State, CSU Stan, Sonoma State, Chico State, San Fran State

Clayton, Jennifer: University of Portland

Coker, Eric: Sac State , Chico State, Humboldt

Dela Cruz, Rocelyn: UNR , Sac State , Chico State , Sonoma

Dhaliwal, Hanna: CSU Northridge, Sac State , UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara

Edrees, Muhanad: Sac State , UC Davis

Edwards, Alyssa: CSU, Bakersfield, Vanguard University , Saint Scholastica University , UOP, UNR, UC Merced, CSU Chico, Sac State, Sonoma State, CSU Stanislaus

Escutia, Arianna: UOP, Sacramento State, UC Merced

Falk, Justin: Sac State, UC Irvine, UC San Diego

Feigenbaum, Carrie: Northridge, Sac State, CSU Long Beach

Getahun, Nebiyu: UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UC Merced,

UC Santa Barbara

Grey, Michael: UC Davis, UOP, UC Merced, Sacramento State,

UC San Diego

Harris, James: Cal Maritime

Hernandez, Nathan: Sacramento State

Hixon, Julia: Chico State, Montana State University

Huebner, Emma: Sac State

Ionica, Gabriel: CSU, Northridge, CSU, Chico, CSU, Sacramento, San Francisco State University

Jarvis, Roxanna: UC Davis, San Diego State, Sonoma State, Cal Poly, Sacramento State, UC Irvine

Jbeily, Edmond: Michigan State, ASU, Sacramento State, Boise State, UNR

Jurgensen, Maryjane: San Francisco State, CSU East Bay, CSU Chico

Kaneyuki, Brent: Sac State

Kashchenko, Dmytro: Chico State

Kostyshak, Paul: Sac State , Chico State, Humboldt State, Saginaw Valley State University

Lam, Vivi: Sac State

Le, Lisa: San Francisco State, Sacramento State

Le, Nicole: UC Davis

LeBlanc Joyce: UC Irvine

Ma, Vincent: Sac State, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UCLA, Cal Poly SLO

McCord, Kylie: UC Riverside, Fresno State, Sacramento State, UNR, Chico State, San Francisco State

Mills, Kelly: Humboldt State, Sac State , Utah Valley University , CSU Chico

Morales, Adrianna: UCSB, Sac State , CSULB, UC Davis

Morales, Erika: Sacramento State, CSU Long Beach, UC Davis,

UC Santa Barbara

Moreno Cardenas, Niza: Chico State, Sacramento State,

Humboldt State

Nguyen, Kevin Q: UC Riverside, CSU Long Beach , UOP, Sac State

Nolan, Kevin: UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara

Oill, Juliet: Hofstra

Oudeh, Mustafa: Sacramento State, Fresno State

Pacheco, Andrew: University of Wyoming , California Maritime Academy, Oregon Institute of Technology

Pattison, Nathan: Sac State , Chico State

Pope, Austin: Chico State, Humboldt State

Rashid, Khadijeh: San Jose State

Samoilich, Sofia: Sac State

Saucedo, Juan: Sac State

Seals-Belton, Derrick: Sac State

Sompura, Ankit: UOP

Stover, Andrew: Sacramento State, UNR, Menlo College, Simson

Sulaiman, Ahmed: UC Davis , Sac State

Valenzuela, Antonio: Sac State

Vang, Chynna: Sacramento State, Stan State

Vang, Ti Lee: Sac State

Vo, Ruby: UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, Sac State, CSU, Long Beach, San Jose State, San Diego State

Warren, Taylor: Cal Poly Pomona

Willey, Rebecca: CSU Monterey, Cal Poly San L, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barb

Wilson, Melanie: Berkeley, UC San Diego, Humboldt, UC Davis,

UC Irvine

Wright, Kiyah: UOP

Yegorov, Kristina: Sac State, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Riverside

Zagurskaya, Diana: Sac State


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Congratulations to Wilson C. Riles Middle School staff and students. Their site was selected by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) as one of 1,866 public schools in California to receive the title of 2016 Honor Roll school. The Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and highlight successful practices that improve outcomes for students. Schools receiving this distinction from leaders in the California academic and business communities have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. Their site was awarded as a "Star School". Star Schools are those with significant populations of socio-economically disadvantaged students that have shown a significant increase in grade-level proficiency over time.


SEVA Honors Vern Bisho

CONGRATULATIONS to CHS teacher Vernon Bisho for his dedication to students throughout CJUSD.

The SEVA Community voted Mr. Bisho to receive the Alan Hinderstein award for excellence in media teaching. This is for teaching not only the students at Center High School, but also helping those at the middle school and elementary levels, guiding students to become future filmmakers.

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CJUSD Shines at the SEVA Awards

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Congratulations to CJUSD students from Oak Hill Elementary, North Country Elementary and Center High School for taking home seven Honorable Mentions at the 2017 Student Educational Video Awards (SEVA).

Center High School
Documentary 9-12 Honorable Mention: Morning Sunrise Symbolizes the Senior Class of '17…/seva-2017-documentary-9-12-honorab…/

Oak Hill Elementary School
Instructional 4-6 Honorable Mention: How to Make a California Salt Dough Map…/seva-2017-instructional-4-6-honora…/

Oak Hill Elementary School
Instructional 4-6 Honorable Mention: How to Swim the Butterfly Stroke…/seva-2017-instructional-4-6-honora…/

North Country Elementary School
PSA K-3 Honorable Mention: Think Win-Win…/seva-2017-psa-k-3-honorable-mentio…/

North Country Elementary School
School News K-3 Honorable Mention: North Country's Walk-a-thon…/seva-2017-school-news-k-3-north-co…/

Center High School
School News 9-12 Honorable Mention: Video Gamers Club Promo…/seva-2017-school-news-9-12-honorab…/

Center High School
School News 9-12 Honorable Mention: Oak Hill GATE Story Juliet Honsal…/seva-2017-school-news-9-12-honorab…/



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On Monday, May 1st, the CJUSD Board of Trustees honored staff and students at the annual Special Board Meeting. CJUSD retirees were recognized for the dedication to and years of service with our district. Students from all 7 sites were celebrated for academic and athletic achievements throughout the 2016-17 school year.

Congratulations to the following staff on their retirement from CJUSD:

Carol Surryhne, DO Administrative Assistant

Lyudmila Nelipovich, Oak Hill Bilingual Asst

Barbette Druliner, Speech

Edward Graef, CHS Teacher

Harvey McLeod, CHS Teacher

Terry Karas, Spinelli Custodian

Jane Purdy , CHS Teacher

Thelma Wall-Butler, Speech

Rebecca Smith-Lehmann, Speech

Cheryl Williams, Riles MS Counselor

Lura Anderson, North Country Teacher

Cynthia Hahn, Oak Hill Teacher

David Myers, Riles MS Teacher

Jeanne Bess, Director of Fiscal Services

Wayne Crowley, District Courier

Phyllis Hicks , CHS College & Career Coordinator

Jennie Miller, Oak Hill Office Assistant

Gina Oswalt, Oak Hill Teacher

Efron Tongol, Dudley Custodian

Julie Walker, CHS Instructional Specialist

Marc Allaman, CHS Teacher

Timothy Liegerot, CHS Teacher

Junella Barnes, Oak Hill Food Services

Sylvia Leger, CHS Library Tech

Chris Miyazaki, Oak Hill Secretary

Robert Jones, North Country Instructional Specialist

Cecelia Linder, Riles Instructional Assistant

Hannah Sashko, Oak Hill Custodian


St. Baldrick's, a Spinelli Tradition

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On Monday, March 27, Spinelli Elementary hosted its fourth annual St. Baldrick’s event. A total of fifty-three individuals shaved their heads in an effort to support childhood cancer research. Participants included Spinelli Elementary students & staff as well as other community members including Center Unified’s superintendent, Mr. Scott Loehr and assistant superintendent, Mr. Craig Deason. This year’s Spinelli St. Baldrick’s event raised over $21,500 for childhood cancer research. An amazing accomplishment! Because of these brave individuals and all of the people that supported them, more children with cancer have access to clinical trials and chances for a cure. Together we are making a difference in the world of childhood cancer.


Jazmin P. was a special guest at our event. Jazmin is three years old and she was diagnosed with Wilm’s tumor last year. She has undergone treatment and is doing well.

Jazmin helped recognize our St. Baldrick’s participants that have shaved for three or more years.

Another highlight at the event was watching the Magnificent Six shave their heads. This is a group of six very brave girls that shaved their heads in an effort to help kids fighting cancer.

Jean and Perry Luigi shaved their heads to celebrate their son being fifteen years cancer free.

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PLTW Heads to the State Finals

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Congratulations to our students, from Mr. Klatt's class at Center High School, who competed against 18 teams in the Sacramento Regional "Project Lead the Way Chevron Design Challenge" on April 22, 2017. This year the challenge was to design a storage container for Duplo (Lego for young kids) sets that met certain criteria.

Center's Team, consisting of Freshmen Julane Johnson, Matt Burdick, and Peter Cao, took 3rd place, which qualifies them to compete at the State Finals at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego on May 6. They will be competing against the top three teams from six regions.

We are wishing the best of luck to our team that will be heading to San Diego!

You can find more info about the competition at:


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Thanks to the hard work of the students and teachers at Center High School, it has been chosen by Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) as a 2016 California Honor Roll recipient! Our school stood above other schools in the state because of our success in getting students to grade level achievement and beyond. This is a testament to the relentless focus on results that our school has shown over the years and to the hard work of our entire school community. Congratulations to Center High School!


CJUSD Wellness Spotlilght

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“Few things are harder to put up with than the

annoyance of a good example.” -- Mark Twain

Poor Mark Twain. Obviously, he never got the chance to meet Lacey Lopez, a Resource Teacher at North Country Elementary School. It was nine years ago that Lacey gradually transformed herself from a walker into a runner, but I sensed no judgment on her part just because my wife and I are still very much in the semi-regular walking phase. From our hour-long conversation I surmised that Lacey is an ascendant being, as most teachers are. Lacey certainly knows the first rule of healthy living.

Rule #1: You have to walk before you can run and we’re all on our way to becoming better versions of ourselves (hopefully).

Being around so many ascendant beings is definitely a huge fringe benefit of teaching. Since most teachers don’t have enough time to schedule, much less see, a therapist, the teaching system heals itself by having lots of ascendant beings on campus. They don’t make a big deal about it, but they’re always there to lend a therapeutic quote, comment or smile whenever you need it. For example, when Lacey’s children attended Folsom Lake Lifeguard Camp she learned and embraced a quote we can ALL take to heart: “Pain is weakness leaving your body.” Lacey also told me that she thinks running on a treadmill is punishment. She prefers to exercise in ways that aren’t so humdrum. That’s why I have adapted her quote to become the second rule of healthy living.

Rule #2: Teachers may be zen masters at positivity in the face of stress, but the “free time” they spend exercising must be marinated with FUN.

I’m not sure why the obvious benefits of a healthy lifestyle (i.e. feeling and looking better) aren’t enough motivation for taking action. However, if Lacey isn’t losing any sleep over that puzzle, neither should you. Instead, she uses the Mary Poppins approach to exercise: find the fun, and, snap, the job’s a game. That’s why when allergy season rears its ugly head, Lacey merely pivots from running out in nature to other fun alternatives like hot yoga, the gym, or even dance classes. Even when pollen is not a problem, she uses digital apps to up the fun quotient, like the one my wife and I use to document how many steps we’re getting when we go for a walk. That overactive counting gene is more than happy to help us do the right thing.

When I googled apps related to running I found this non-intimidating website: Lacey also uses the old fashioned approach of running with friends. “If there’s a chance for talk, that just makes running more enjoyable.” The most reliable option, though, are her two canine running companions, Addie and CeCe. They love motivating their mistress to get up and out. No matter what perk you conjure up to make being healthy a bigger part of your life, let Lacey be part of your inspiration.

I asked Lacey if there was a turning point when having a healthier lifestyle took root. She talked about her first pregnancy and how she began focusing on eating more fiber, vegetables and fruits. Wanting her first child to get off to a good start helped Lacey take that step, but at some point she also realized that “clearly I needed to keep this up.” Over time she has seen how much more focus and energy these healthy habits have stimulated in her life. That brings us to the most selfish of the three rules for healthy living.

Rule #3: You being the best version of yourself helps ME make it through another day of teaching.

I’m not kidding. My coping ability depends heavily upon every single funny, insightful and encouraging comment or look I get from my fellow staff members. And I’m absolutely convinced that much of their collective energy comes from a source beyond these people being naturally great human beings. It’s time we all gave credit to the apple we eat instead of anything that comes out of a package. I contend that each healthy snack gives us a little something extra that keeps this whole teaching ship afloat. The same applies for every additional minute you spend walking, running, biking, and paddling instead of driving.

But before you place the inspiration provided by Lacey’s healthy lifestyle in the pantheon of gods, she’d be the first to tell you that she’s only human. In her quest for more career challenges she is now a rookie Resource Teacher after 23 years of teaching, most of it in the general education setting. What happens when the rigors of inclusion and the mysteries of learning how to use SEIS (the website special education teachers use to track their students) demand more time than you have to give? Sadly, Lacey reports, sometimes even Addie and CeCe can’t get her out running more than three days per week, when five to seven days per week is her optimum. She also still has one of her three children living at home. He’s a soccer loving high school junior who takes up lots of her discretionary time, too.

We all have a million demands upon our time, but I’m rooting for Lacey to get moving every chance she gets. Because each weekday evening she goes running or weekend morning she’s out jogging through Secret Ravine Trail I know Lacey’s empowering herself to meet a challenging student with the right response. Also, when I see her at the next district support staff meeting (I, too, am a rookie Resource Teacher), she’ll probably have something extra to give me.

Now that this article is written I’m going to ask my wife if she’ll join me in a walk around the neighborhood. Who knows? When I see Lacey I just might be feeling good enough to motivate her as well.

Written by Robert Smith a member of Center Unified School District’s Wellness Committee and a RSP teacher at Dudley Elementary.


Bikers & Books Fundraiser for North Country

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North Country Elementary School, in conjunction with the North Country PAWS PTO are hosting the first Bikers & Books motorcycle fundraiser ride and children's book drive on August 26, 2017. All proceeds go to support the students at North Country. This event is open to all bikes.

Additional information can be found on the website link below.