Duveneck Connections

Home of the Dragons, February 11, 2022


In February, we celebrate Black History Month, a time to honor the essential contributions of Black people in the story of America.

According to the Library of Congress, Black History Month or African American History Month, originated in 1915 by historian and founder of the Study of Negro Life and History, Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The organization is known today as the Association for the Study of African Life and History (ASALH). Dr. Woodson enacted the first Negro History Week in February of 1926 to coincide with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass's birthdays.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1975. He sent a message to the public saying, "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." Since then, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. This year's theme is "Black People's Health and Wellness." This focus will celebrate the contributions and breakthroughs of Black professionals as well as speaking to the cultural richness of those “non-traditional” health and wellness practitioners (e.g., doulas, midwives, etc.). This theme will be collectively celebrated by focusing on familiar “rituals” and practices that many in the Black community perform to improve wellness.

Celebrating Black History is not just an acknowledgement of the past, but a commitment to the future. Black history is American history. Understanding past barriers to progress for marginalized individuals, specifically people of color helps us better recognize systems that still produce discriminatory practices and disparate outcomes. Knowing Black History not only helps us recognize these systems, it also makes clear that these systems affect more than just the marginalized and people of color. Systems of racism and oppression hurt us all.

Meet Our New Night Custodian: Mr. Pampilo (Junior) Bayquen!

We are so excited to have Junior Bayquen join our staff as the new Night Custodian starting Monday, February 14. Junior has work in the Palo Alto School District for the past 4 years. He is currently working a mid day shift between two schools, Ohlone and Duveneck so we, as a staff, are very familiar with him. Over the years in our district he has worked at Hoover, Palo Alto High School, Gunn High School, and Briones as a substitute custodian. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Junior this week to learn more about him.

What are you excited about working at Duveneck School? The students and the teachers. This is a good work environment and all the people are so nice. He is also very familiar with our campus so keeping it clean and tidy will not be an issue. He takes great pride in his work.

Outside of work, what do you like to do? First and foremost, his family is the most important to him. He loves spending time with his family. When he is not with them, he enjoys playing golf, bicycling, hiking and fishing.

Finally, what are your favorite foods? He loves to eat Thai, Filipino and Mexican food.

Welcome to our school Junior - we are so happy to have you be a part of our community!!

Happy Valentine's Day, Monday, February 14❤️

On Monday, February 14, our teachers and students will be celebrating Valentine's day in their classrooms. Everyone is looking forward to this celebration. Thank you parents and families for your help to make this a special day for our school.

President's Day Weekend, Friday, February 18 - 21, 2022 - NO SCHOOL!

As a reminder, there is no school on Friday, February 18 - 21, 2022 in honor of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington's Birthdays.

On a side note, our family took a trip to Mount Rushmore National Memorial when Carter and Wyatt were young and it was so amazing to see the four presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) carved into the mountain. We were there over the summer to celebrate the 4th of July. We also visited the Crazy Horse Memorial and his image is also carved into a mountain which was just incredible to see because they were literally working on it when we were there. This was a very memorable trip for our family and if you have never been, I highly recommend it.

Big picture

Duveneck School's 1st Ever Tie Dye Activity!!

Friday's Tie Dye Spirit Day - We made these shirts!!

Duveneck Elementary School

At Duveneck, we work together as an inclusive community to inspire a passion for learning. We commit to the academic success of each student and to the emotional well-being of all our students, families and staff.