Late Spring 2017

Message from Your County Superintendent of Schools

The end of the school year is here, which means graduations and celebrations abound around the county. I wish to congratulate each of our students and staff members for their accomplishments over the 2016-17 school year.

In this edition of MCOE News, we celebrate our student, staff, district and county events and successes, along with special thanks to many employees for their years of service to MCOE.

As we all know though, work doesn't stop during the summer! Be on the lookout for recaps of all our summer activities in out next newsletter.

I hope you have a wonderful summer and will enjoy reading these stories, and more, in this edition of MCOE News.


Nancy Kotowski, Ph.D.

Monterey County Superintendent of Schools

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Dr. Kotowski and Sherwood Elementary students watch videos students created on the topic of improving school climate.

Monterey County Honors Classified Employees of the Year and Teachers of the Year at Red Carpet Event

The red carpet was rolled out on May 22nd at 201 Main Street in Salinas for teachers, classified staff members and their colleagues, family, and friends, for the MCOE Teacher of the Year and Classified Employees of the Year Awards Ceremony.

Winners in each category are pictured below.

For a complete listing of nominees and award winners, please click here.

Congratulations to all!

Monterey County Teacher of the Year

Monterey County Classified Employees of the Year

MCOE Bids a Fond Farewell to Retirees

On May 16th, seven 2016-2017 retirees were celebrated with a Board of Education resolution and special words of thanks.

We wish each of you a happy retirement ahead!

Not present, but recognized for their service were:

Norma Alvarado, Special Education

Teresa Bermudez, Special Education

Elizabeth Cornwell, Alternative Education

Alice Fields, Special Education

Eva Gutierrez, General Services

Vickie O'Hara, Special Education

Maria Placido, Migrant Education

Matthew Shoemaker, Alternative Education

Maria Torres, Transportation

Sylvia WInsby, Special Education

Celebrating Our Districts' Successes

South Monterey County Joint Union High School District Rakes in Awards

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South Monterey County Joint Union High School District (SMCJUHSD) has received notable awards during the 2016-17 school year. They are as follows:

• SMCJUHSD is one of 433 school districts in the United States and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 7th Annual AP District Honor Roll. To be included on the 7th Annual Honor Roll, SMCJUHSD had to, since 2014, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals demonstrates the district has successfully identified motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for AP.

• SMCJUHSD also made the Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) Honor Rolls for consistently improving in achievement and the reduction in achievement gaps.

Congratulations on these outstanding achievements!

North Monterey County Unified School District Students Win Tech Challenge

Kudos to a team of students from Elkhorn Elementary School (Starbucks Squad Team #112) who received the 2017 Outstanding Device Performance Award from the Tech Challenge, held April 29th and 30th.

The Tech Challenge invites teams of students in Grades 4-12 to use the engineering design process to solve a real-world problem. Participants spend months collaborating and becoming deeply engaged in the challenge while documenting their progress and designs. The program culminates in a thrilling two-day showcase when teams put their solutions to the test in front of judges.

The Tech Challenge 2017 theme "Rock the Ravine," challenged students to design and build a device to help explorers cross an ice field with multiple ravines.

The Tech Challenge is hosted by the Tech Museum of Innovation, a family-friendly interactive science and technology center located in the heart of downtown San Jose.

To learn more about The Tech Challenge, visit its website here.

MCOE Celebrates Teachers and Classified Staff Members

49th Annual Mathletics Competition

On a day designed for sharp pencils and even sharper minds, Emma Cushing of York School was awarded the $1,250 Richard Morgantini Scholarship for being the top-scoring student taking the advanced calculus exam. The 49th annual Mathletics Competition was held Saturday May 13 at Hartnell College.

This year, an additional top award category, the Robert P. Balles Scholarship, awarded $1500 to the highest scoring Advanced Calculus team of Audrey Bennett, Jayne Oentoro and Chloe Zhao of Santa Catalina Upper School.

First, second, and third place winners in each level received gift cards, gift certificates and an Olympic-sized first, second or third place medal.

Over 300 upper elementary, middle and high school students from Monterey County public and private schools participated in the event, which tests students in one of eleven levels.

Mathletics is a math contest held each May to encourage excellence in math and recognize the achievements of individual students and the schools they represent. The Monterey County Office of Education and California State University, Monterey Bay Mathematics Department sponsor the event.

Very Special Field Day for Very Special Students

Nearly 200 Monterey County Office of Education special education students from locations throughout Monterey County in grades 1 through 12 participated in field day events themed “If I Had Fun, I Won!” in Salinas on May 12th at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas.

The ball throw, turbo javelin, standing long jump, and multiple wheel chair races and running events filled the morning specifically designed for moderately to severely disabled students. High school students from Carmel High School served as outstanding volunteers assisting our MCOE Adapted Physical Education teachers who coordinated all of the games and festivities.

“Field Day is a unique opportunity for our special education students to enjoy a variety of physical activities with their peers,” said Dr. Nancy Kotowski, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools. “The joy they express is contagious. Carmel High School students also find serving at Field Day a great experience.”

Monterey County Students Win at International Science Fair

Three top Monterey County science students attended the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair May 14th-19th in Los Angeles and headed home with special awards and recognitions. These students had Monterey County’s three top projects at the 2017 Monterey County Science & Engineering Fair.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Winners from Intel ISEF 2017 can be found here.

The Monterey County Science & Engineering Fair is a collaborative effort affiliated with the Society for Science & the Public that is sponsored by the Monterey County Office of Education, the Naval Postgraduate School, California State University Monterey Bay, and many community partners.

PBIS Successes Showcased

On May 15th, Monterey County Office of Education showcased the efforts and successes of various school climate programs in place across Monterey County during our second annual Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support (PBIS) & School Climate Transformation Initiatives Showcase.

These programs are showing improved impacts on children and youth including:
• Higher attendance rates
• Lower suspension and expulsion rates
• Reduced office discipline referrals

This annual showcase provides opportunities for schools, local organizations and community members to view the successful work being done to improve school climate for children and youth in Monterey County.

Awards were also presented to schools, staff members, and community partners. Awards presented were as follows:

Awardees, School Staff
• Salinas UHSD
Jill Camron, Administrator of the Year
Seth Tanner, PBIS Champion

• Salinas City ESD
Victor Marinelli, Administrator of the Year
Allison Gribben, PBIS Champion

• Alisal USD
Esteban Hernandez, Administrator of the Year
Roberto Nunez, PBIS Champion

• Monterey Peninsula USD
Sarah Hudson, Administrator of the Year
PK Diffenbaugh, PBIS Champion

• Soledad USD
Rosalinda Silvia, Administrator of the Year

Other Awards
• Overall Sustainability Award: Mission Park School

• Greatest Growth Award: Tier 1, Seaside Middle, University Park

• Greatest Growth Award: Tier 2, Mt. Toro

• Most Self Assessment Surveys (SAS) Completed: Alisal High (Secondary), Sherwood (Elementary)

• Best Use of Video Technology Award: Salinas High

• Best Lesson Planning Award: El Sausal, Washington Middle

• Valued Community Partners, Individuals
Jason Cook, Cooks Photography
Chris Shake, Old Fisherman's Grotto

• Valued Community Partners, Community Agency

Monterey County Behavioral Health
Restorative Justice Partners, Inc.

Congratulations and thank you to all!

Summer Matters!

Summer Learning Programs show fantastic results. Results like:

• 84% of students report improved ability and motivation in school

• 93% of teachers report better relationships with students

• 83% of students say the program helps them like school

Board members, superintendents, staff, elected officials and parents are invited to attend Summer Matters showcase events this summer, and one is featuring an outstanding program in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. On July 14th, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., visitors can see successful practices in action, and share their perspectives on how a blend of academics and enrichment helps mitigate summer learning loss.

To RSVP to attend, click here.

To learn about other opportunities in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, click here.

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Human Resources Staff Members Recognized for Years of Service to MCOE

On May 10th, Ruby Martinez was recognized for her years of service.

Not present, but recognized for service, was Melissa Luna-Hinds, Human Resources Technician, for 20 years of service.

Thank you for your dedicated years of service to MCOE.

Transportation Staff Members Recognized for Years of Service to MCOE

On May 19th, nine Transportation Department employees were recognized for their years of service.

Thank you for your dedicated years of service to MCOE.

Alternative Education Staff Members Recognized for Years of Service to MCOE

On May 26th, six Alternative Education Department employees were recognized for their years of service.

Not present, but recognized for their years of service were:

Kathleen Elizabeth Mason, Teacher, Community School, 10 years of service

Stacy Gomes, Student Program Data Analyst I, 15 years of service

Gabriela Quintero, Community Liaison Translator/Interpreter, 15 years of service

Thank you for your dedicated years of service to MCOE.

Head Start Staff Members Recognized for Years of Service to MCOE

On May 26th, 23 Head Start employees were recognized for their years of service.

Not present, but recognized for their years of service were:

Susan Gonzales, Food Service Delivery Assistant, 10 years of service

Frederick Meech, Food Service Lead Cook, 10 years of service

Ana Bertha Valencia, Early Head Start Educator, 10 years of service

Vanessa Delgado, Family Service Advocate ,15 years of service

Jose Rodriguez, Custodian, 15 years of service

Rocio Silva, Preschool Teacher, 15 years of service

Delfina Torres Vega, Family Service Advocate, 15 years of service

Teresa Benitez, Associate Teacher, 20 years of service

Maria Tellez, Preschool Teacher, 20 years of service

Maricela Alonzo, Family Service Advocate, 25 years of service

Sally Gonzales, Health and Family Services Specialist, 25 years of service

Thank you for your dedicated years of service to MCOE.

Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success