Drake Direct

Welcome 2019-2020 Community Newsletter

2019-2020 Greets Drake with Exciting Change and a Chance to Dream

We want to welcome the class of 2023 to the Pirate Ship! We also want to welcome all our new students and families who are starting Drake this year regardless of what grade you are, we are excited to have YOU here! Our theme this year is D-Nice…Say “hi”! In other words, we are asking our students to take the first step to build relationships, show empathy, and create a caring community by just saying “hi”. The values of relationships, empathy and community are the cornerstones of Drake, with the final cornerstone for 2019-20…. DREAM. While recent events may make us wonder how far away we are from the values of relationships and community; at Drake, we believe we need to build these values strong with our students. We need to provide them all the opportunities to DREAM of a better future for themselves, our community, and our world.


To this end, we are in the middle of a redesign, re-imagine, and restructure process regarding our Small Learning Communities (SLCs) for our 9th/10th grades. Last year, our Drake Direct focused on this change and you are invited to explore the articles on this topic in those editions (linked here). This year the staff will begin the year considering the purpose for these communities and developing outcomes for 9/10th grade. These will be developed and built to be a stepping stone to meet the TUHSD Graduation Profile. From this work, we will embark on our redesign effort to develop the programs we will need to launch a new approach to meet our vision for the SLCs in 2020-21. This is ambitious but we are committed to bringing SLCs that provide equitable opportunities for all, maintain consistency, and meet common school-wide outcomes that prepare all students for a successful future.


This is our vision for this project and we invite you to learn more and get involved in this work. We are holding an informational and input session meeting on Wednesday October 2, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center for the Pirate Community. We then will spend the first half of our Parent Coffees updating our community on progress we are making and continue to take input on this progress. Our Coffee dates for the fall are set for October 30th and December 4th. They take place at 10:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in our Main Office, Staff Lounge. Please read the previous Drake Directs for more information (linked here) and plan to come on October 2nd for more information. Innovation is another key value at Drake that we pride ourselves on. To be innovative, we must start with the freedom to DREAM….please email Liz Seabury (lseabury@tamdistrict.org) with any dreams you would like to see for Drake and we will see what we can do to create a better school, better community and a better world for our students.

COUNSELING TIMES for Scheduling Concerns

All freshmen schedules will be available for pick up on Thursday at 10:00 in front of the main office. Students will need to be registered and have all current immunizations in order to receive their schedule.


All students with errors or a “hole” in their schedule should contact their counselor. The can do so via email or they can come to the counseling office at the following days/times:


· Thursday, 8/15: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

· Tuesday, 8/20: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


We will not consider any other reasons for a schedule change. Students were given ample opportunities to change their course selections in the spring. Due to budget constraints, we cannot allow students to change classes because the classes were built based on their course registration in February and then again in May. Students will not be allowed into the counseling office at the above days/times unless there is an error in their schedule or they are missing a class. THE COUNSELING OFFICE IS CLOSED AUGUST 21, 22 and 23. Any schedule concerns MUST be raised before AUGUST 21st.

D-High WELCOMES THIRTEEN New Staff Members!

We are excited to have the following new staff members join the Pirate Ship this year! In Social Studies we are thrilled to welcome Taber Watson and Mike Keleman from Redwood. Mr. Watson will also be our new Varsity Baseball coach. Mr. Keleman started his education career as a part time teacher and coach at Drake in the mid-90s and has strong roots in the community. Over the years, he has greatly enjoyed teaching nearly every Social Studies class at one time or another as well as holding various leadership positions and coaching several sports. He will be teaching AP US History, AP Economics and Government/Economics this year

Also teaching one section of Social Studies AND our new Athletic Director, please welcome Alex Chapman! This school year will be his tenth year in education. Before coming to Drake, he taught at Davidson Middle School as a History and English teacher. Most recently, he served as Davidson's Instructional Coach. He also finished his 2nd Master’s program in Administrative Leadership. In his free time he loves playing basketball, reading, trying new restaurants, and traveling to see different baseball stadiums.


Science is staying quiet this year but Math is happy to welcome Adrianna Perez from Redwood! Adrianna will also serve as a 0.2 district librarian. Welcome Ms. Perez.


The Art folks are thrilled to welcome Nikki Mortham and Peter Parish- also from Redwood! Both Peter and Nikki bring terrific energy to this already excited team. Ms. Mortham attended UC Santa Cruz for her fine arts degree and received her teaching credential from CSU Sacramento. She has been teaching art around northern California for 10 years, the last 5 at Redwood. In her free time she loves painting and traveling with her fiancé, Joe. Mr. Parish has been teaching in the Tam District since 1996, starting as the ROCK Drama/Art teacher, then again as a guest artist or teacher at Tam, Drake, San Andreas and Redwood He is also a professional designer for a few theater companies around the Bay Area, designing sets, lights, masks and puppets. He is extremely excited to take on the theater and video production courses, as well as introducing Stagecraft into the world of Drake High School.


English has one new Pirate transferring from our sister school, Tam. Welcome to Lani Wolf who is joining Mr. Watson and Mr. Bugbee with a new group of frosh. We also have two NEW to our district English folks. A big welcome to Beth Freedman! Beth is coming to us from White Hill and will be working with Kathleen McCormick with the TLC E students. Before teaching, Beth practiced law for some ten plus years, primarily focusing on employment litigation. Also new is Zane Boehlke. Zane is not new to teaching and is Raquel Nelson's new partner in TLC South.


Joining the PE Department is Casey Citek. Casey is coming to us from Santa Rosa schools and is excited to kick off her career at Drake!


Our Engineering program/ Computer technology classes are going to be moving in an exciting directions with Alex Gauna. Alex is a Drake dad and is so excited to jump into Engineering teaching and helping Rod Milstead with teaching the popular computer classes.


We are also so excited to welcome Nate Severin to the administrative team! Mr. Severin was our Athletic Director and is thrilled to be stepping into the big shoes of Liz Chacón, who took a job as Assistant Superintendent in Petaluma.


New in classified position are Matt Achen. As our IT systems specialist. Matt is super excited to Join the Drake staff as our new IT Systems Specialist! He comes with a variety of IT experience including working for Uber, Apple and San Rafael City schools, to name a few. We are also thrilled to welcome Jimly Thelusma as our new library specialist!

Drake Communication: Where to find the what...

Drake sends out various bulletins and information to our community which can be accessed by clinking on the link “PIRATE NEWS” on the homepage of our website. See summary of each news item below.

THE COMMUNITY COMPASS: A weekly bulletin sent out every Monday during the school year. This weekly email highlights all the important information you need to know about what is happening at Drake including upcoming events, community news, athletics and more.

DRAKE DIRECT: A community newsletter from our Principal, Liz Seabury, providing information about larger school wide programs, policies and ways to get involved. These are quarterly.

PIRATE TV: An every other week video shown during Crew, created by students, for students, that highlights various student achievements, upcoming events and other student driven announcements.

JOLLY ROGER: Our school newspaper/magazine that includes stories, editorials, opinions and more all written, edited and organized by our student journalism class.

CREW ANNOUNCEMENTS: A weekly announcement read out loud during Crew by Crew Leaders with information relating to all things Drake for our students!

Driving at Drake: Throughs about Transportation

We are hoping that both our students and their families are aware of the carbon footprint they put on this planet. With that, we would like to promote alternative means of transportation, including walking, riding a bike and carpooling. We have 1,300 students on our campus with limited parking spots and also heavy traffic. With that, there are some things regarding transportation we would like you to be aware of:

1) We have two bike rack locations on campus, one on the side of the main office and one on the back side of the gym by our six-plex classroom building. The one behind the gym is a locking caged in area. There have been many bikes stolen over the years at Drake by outside bike thieves who target schools (for they know there will be many bikes there). We highly suggest bikes be locked in the bike cage to keep them even more safe.

2) If you drive your student to school, please stay in the designated “drop-off” lanes in both the main and Saunders parking lots. The right lane is for drop-off and the left lane is for thru traffic.


We also ask that we ALL drivers watch our speed on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Please be cautious around all crosswalks and of bikes who share the road way. We want the Ross Valley and Drake High to be safe, environmentally friendly, and supportive of alternative transportation!