PHS Parent Update

April 20th, 2015

Fifth Grading Period in the Books

Well, the fifth grading period wrapped up last Thursday, and we are now very definitely in the home stretch for the school year. This week, we begin the CAASSP test for juniors, welcome our FFA students back from state, get ready for ASB elections, and move on with preparations for those taking AP exams in early May.

The Spring play this year is a production of Cinderella. Please support all the students and staff who have worked so hard to create this production by coming and enjoying the show! (Opening night: April 30th)

Beyond that, we look forward to Choral and Band concerts, our Senior recognitions and awards, Prom on May 24th, and graduation in June. More on that later!

We would also like to congratulate our next superintendent, Gary Callahan, who was recently hired by PCS to take over our district effective July 1st. He comes with a wealth of experience and is ready to continue our school and district's progress.

Enjoy the spring-summer weather...

PHS Suffers Huge Loss

Doug Richardson, husband to Assistant Principal Debi Richardson, passed away peacefully at his home last week. Doug had quickly become a favorite on our campus; he was a fixture at many PHS sporting events, rooting on the home boys and girls in purple. His smile and glowing spirit will be remembered for a long time. All the staff at PHS have rallied to support the Richardson's and we will continue to remember Doug's remarkable spirit. Doug enjoyed his family, attending sporting events and concerts and helping to supervise countless high school events with Debi at Pioneer and Petaluma High School. Doug loved living in Petaluma. His friends and relationships were so important to him, including the people at First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma, New Life, Sunrise Rotary, and Petaluma High School. Our school and greater community have lost a fine man.

A tribute page has been established at

Arrangements are being handled by Parent-Sorensen Mortuary and Crematory of Petaluma.

FFA Strong at Regional Competition

Some great news from early April about our FFA students! Take a look below at the accomplishments of our students:

State FFA Degrees:

Carly Olufs, Alyssa McClure, Connie Jones, Robby Tunzi, Dalton Ruzick, Cole Petersen, Nick McCloskey and Matt Vosseler

North Coast Region Proficiency Winners:

Carly Olufs - Dairy Production, entrepreneurship;

Melanie Hanlon - Poultry Production, entrepreneurship;

Cole Petersen - Ag Mechanics Repair & Maintenance - placement;

Steven Pozzi - Sheep Production, Beef Production & Ag Mechanics Design and Fabrication - all entrepreneurship;

Robby Tunzi - Forage Production - entrepreneurship;

Courtney King - Swine Production - entrepreneurship.

Cole Petersen, Carly Olufs and Steven Pozzi (sheep) are state finalists in their respective areas and competed this weekend in the state contest!

Entrepreneurship projects are student owned and financed and placement projects are outside work experience based.

Also, Steven Pozzi was selected as the North Coast Region Star Farmer. He will compete against five other students in April and the winners of these categories (proficiency & star) will be announced at the State FFA Convention.

Way to go, FFA (kudos to Kim, Jake, and Heidi!)

Olufs State Champion; Pozzi in the running for state office

And on to state were...the students are doing very well! The Ag Mechanics team was 11th in a very strong field; the Dairy Judging team finished 4th with Clayton Arntz 7th individual. Steven Pozzi is still in the running for state office though the results won't be in until Monday. And Carly Olufs is the state champion in Dairy Production Entrepreneurship! Way to go everyone!!!

Mentor Me Event at Cavanugh - April 22nd

If you have thought about mentoring and meant to do that one day, maybe now is the time. An informational meeting is set for April 22nd at the new Mentor Me Cavanagh Recreation Center (426 8th Street) at 5PM. Click on the link below...

Softball Has Strong Showing in Napa Tourney

The Trojan Varsity Softball squad had a strong weekend in the Napa Tournament. The team took four out of five games, including a semi-final victory over host Napa, before dropping the final to Granada Hills in a close game. Highlights included Emily O'Keefe's pitching throughout the tournament and Brie Gerhardt, who is heading for Lehigh University, going 9 for 17.

Softball heads into the heart of the league schedule now, and looks set for a continued strong season.

UPDATE: Behind Krist and Gerhardt, PHS Softball is Clicking on All Cylinders!

The hot bats of Joelle Krist and Brie Gerhardt, and some excellent starting pitching, have lead the Trojans to a strong 14-2 record just past halfway through the season. Joelle and Brie are both batting over .500, and Joelle is slugging 1.069 and leads the league with 21 batted in; Brie leads the league with 23 runs scored and sports an on-base percentage over .600. Way to go girls, and Coach Jastrow!


Please click on the links below for information about State Testing coming up this week...


April 20th - ASB Election Assembly

- Athletic Booster Meeting

April 21st - CAASSP Testing Begins for 11th graders

April 23rd - Community Achievement Awards

April 28th - Powder Puff Begins

April 30th - Cinderella Opening Night

May 4th - PTSA Meeting @6PM

Trojans Baseball On a Roll

The Trojan Varsity squad has enjoyed a strong few weeks, going 7-2 over a three week stretch. First, they upended Piner 10-0. Then they got by a highly ranked St. Mary's squad, giving up only three hits en route to a 4-2 win. They wrapped up that week at the second annual Wayne Douglas Memorial game, coming back with a 5 run sixth inning to avenge an earlier loss to league rival Analy. Ben Sanderson's 3-run triple highlighted the uprising. Fittingly, Logan Douglas went 2 for 3 and drove in a run, behind Will Nevin's solid pitching outing.

The following week, they got by Healdsburg 8-0, before suffering a one run loss at Sonoma. They dropped a game to San Lorenzo, but roared back with convincing league wins over Elsie Allen and El Molino. This past Saturday, they crushed Dougherty Valley on the road 13-1 to improve to 6-3 on the road and 11-7 overall.

This week, they start the second half of the league schedule. There is a lot of hope for this group with the bats coming alive to support some excellent starting pitching. Come on out to support them as they head for the playoffs.

AP Computer Science and TEALS Grant - Parents Needed!

We have a wonderful opportunity to team up with TEALS, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, to enhance the student experience in our new computer science courses at Petaluma High. TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) is a grassroots program which recruits, mentors, and places, passionate high-tech professionals into high school classes as part-time teachers. The professional brings his or her subject knowledge and will join Doug Cox in a team-teaching model.

TEALS provides training for both parties, as well as course outlines based on successful college courses. Petaluma High School applied and was accepted to this program for the 2015 - 2016 school year, and we will offer Advanced Placement Computer Science (APCS). This course will prepare students to take the College Board’s AP Computer Science A exam in May 2016. As part of working with TEALS, we need to demonstrate our ability to recruit volunteers from the Computer Science or Software Engineering fields to team-teach these courses. Petaluma High would hold the courses 1st and 4th periods (done by 10 am) to permit the volunteers to get to their regular jobs. If you, or someone you know, works in the Computer Science or Software Engineering field and would be willing to work with Petaluma High to build a successful Computer Science program, please contact me at, or Doug Cox at

You can read more about TEALS on their website at We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to hearing from many of you.

Hadley Deardorff Sonoma County Youth Service Award winner (from PD)

Petaluma High's Hadley Deardorff was one of ten high school seniors from seven Sonoma County schools honored last Wednesday for their leadership and civic contributions in the 27th annual Community Youth Service Awards.

The event, sponsored by The Press Democrat, recognizes students who go beyond the volunteer commitments sometimes required of high school seniors to create, organize, run and inspire programs that support a community good.

Hadley is co-president of the Tri-M: Music Honor Society, the Drama Club and the Gay-Straight Alliance at Petaluma High School, but also finds time to volunteer outside of school by singing at local assisted-living centers, the Petaluma People Services Senior Day Center, as well as local elementary schools and food pantries.

A four-year member of the Petaluma High School Chamber choir, Deardorff was given the Maestro Award for Outstanding Solo Performance at the 2012 Anaheim Heritage Festival.

“Music is a very personal, yet very public expression,” Deardorff said. “In high school, many individuals are trying to understand their peers (while) trying to understand themselves. Music, for me, is a way that softens the blow, it’s a catalyst to becoming the person you want to be.”

Deardorff is active in her church and through the St. Bernard Program took a trip to New Orleans and worked with Americorps volunteers to build houses in New Orleans.

Deardorff’s accolades “are evidence of her exemplary musicianship, responsibility and leadership qualities,” said Elizabeth Robertson, choral director at Petaluma High. “They also represent the confidence and respect of her peers.”

Congratulations, Hadley! (photo: Crista Jeremiason/The Press Democrat)

Science Career Fair A Sparkling Opportunity to Learn

Science and tech professionals from all over Sonoma County and beyond brought their expertise to Petaluma High's science students this past Thursday and Friday. Pictured below are experts from the fire department, Xandex, and the Vector Control District. There were also pros from other industries, since science touches almost all industry sectors. Thank you to Lee Boyes and the entire science department, and thank you from afar to our former Petaluma High French teacher Madame Wadsworth whose vision started the Career Fair years ago.

Success in Disney with the Band and Choir!

The PHS music program journeyed to Anaheim and Disneyland for the World Heritage Music Festival last week, and brought back medal loot, honors, and life long memories. Performing at Fullerton College, the combined band, varsity ensemble, and choir all took silver medals. And to cap the awards, Sofia Gokcebay was chosen from 1700 competitors as the Wish Upon a Star representative for 2015. Congratulations to all and to the leadership of Cliff Eveland and Elizabeth Robertson, as well as all the parent chaperones!


A couple of Saturdays ago, the North Bay Dairywomen hosted the 59th annual Dairy Princess Ball. The Dairy Princess Program is part of the California Milk Advisory Board’s (CMAB) communications effort. Recent highlights of the communications effort includes a partnership with the NFL's Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign!

Three of the four candidates are PHS seniors and members of the Petaluma FFA. This years candidates were, from left to right, Alex Gambonini, Connie Jones, Alyssa McClure, and Hailey Hankins. Connie was crowned Dairy Princess and Alex will serve as her 1st Alternate.

Congratulations to all! FFA rolls on.

Bleachers going in...!!!

Big image