Trojan Update

March 7th, 2018

Spring is on the Way!

Yes, the season of spring is almost upon us. This week, the sounds of spring - softball and baseball debuting at home, tennis on the court, track athletes trying out the new track, swimmers splashing, golf balls thwacking, and lacrosse sticks clashing - came alive all over campus. So did the practice sounds of our drumline groups, and the voices of PHS grads at Career Days (see article below). It's a great time to be at PHS!

On a more serious note, we would like to invite parents and students to a community conversation about student choices and behavior after school and on weekends. There was a recent incident that raised concern for staff and administration. It specifically involved a gathering of high school students, many of them from PHS, at a weekend event. We would like to talk about the gathering in general and discuss ways our community might avoid similar occurrences in the future. Please come to the PHS Library on Wednesday, March 14th at 6:30pm. We will describe our perspective and likely have a few parents and students as speakers. We highly encourage your attendance!

This week, we have our Site Council meeting on Thursday. Hope to see you in F6 at 3:20pm.

  • Please turn in signed AP/Honors agreements by March 9th to the counseling office (see article below).

  • If you are taking an AP exam this May, be sure your student has submitted payment. AP forms were given directly to students so please check with him or her. These are also due by March 9th.

  • Don't forget Spring Break, coming up from March 19-23rd.

Please read on! Have a great week!

Mr. Tacata, Sonoma County Educator of the Year, at CLHS State Ceremony

This weekend, I had the pleasure of joining Phil Tacata and his wife, Denise, at the California League of High Schools Annual Conference in Sacramento. Aside from some inspirational keynote speeches and workshops, we were also there to recognize and celebrate educators all over California who had been nominated by their individual schools as Educators of the Year for elementary, middle and high schools, and then been further recognized as the County Educators of the Year. In Phil's case, he is the Sonoma County Educator of the Year for 2018. Phil delivered a remarkable speech to the convention, outlining his time at Lee Mathson Middle School in the early years of his career and the powerful moment when he observed the teaching of one of his former students.

It was a joy to see many people come up to Phil afterwards to say hello and congratulations, almost reverently, knowing this was a fine teacher. There were many powerful stories from the other nominees too, reminding Phil, Denise and me how many tremendous teachers and staff there are all over California, all over Sonoma County, and all over Petaluma High School. Though Phil didn't win the state award (a fabulous teacher from SoCal named Denny with a remarkable story was recognized as this year's winner), I know he feels validated for the recognition. It is that recognition that all educators deserve. I hope you'll take some time to reflect personally on all the remarkable things you do everyday for students. Below is a video of Phil's speech.

We are all proud of you, Phil! Thanks for representing our school.

PPAD Event: Ray Lozano to Speak to Freshmen March 7th in Multi

A reminder to freshman teachers (see previous emails on this subject). Ray Lozano will be speaking at PHS in the Multi starting at 9:30am on Wednesday, March 7th. Teachers of Wednesday first period, please exit class at 9:20am. Ray should be finished by 10:15am. Thank you, PPAD, for putting this event together!

Career Days March 5th and 6th!

Over the last two days, our counselors have been showcasing a terrific series of speakers and panelists from a wide variety of career fields. Sophomores from different classes attended and asked excellent questions. (see video loop below). The program included talks by graduates of Petaluma High who have gone on to successful careers in various fields, including Events/Media, Construction/Electrical, Real Estate, Wealth Management, Financial Services, Vineyards/Winery, Recruiting, Broadcasting and Psychology/Crisis.

This is a great way for our current students to imagine their futures as well as some how-to's and roadmaps to careers. Thank you to our remarkable counselors for putting this event together.

FFA Doubles Up at State FFA Field Day

The Petaluma FFA had a double banner showing at the second statewide FFA field day of the year hosted by the University of California at Davis.

Teams competed in Farm Business Management, Dairy Cattle Evaluation, Agricultural Mechanics and Light Horse Evaluation.

Our Farm Business Management team anchored by two time state champion Kelsey Martin was named first high team with all four members placing in the top ten. Amanda King sixth, Ben Forney third, Matt Forney second and Kelsey Martin first.

Our Dairy Cattle Evaluation team also claimed first high team honors led by sophomore Audrey Arntz in first, Jack Sullivan fifth, Olivia Poncia placing tenth and Logan Pomi in thirteenth.

In his first outing, senior True Overton led our Agricultural Mechanics team to a strong second place finish with his fourth place individual rank. Senior Max Poncia placed twelfth, sophomore Joe Yerion 32nd and junior Derrick Pomi placed 33 in his first contest after competing on the Reserve National Champion Dairy team last year.

Our Light Horse Evaluation team composed of all freshmen: Emily Cooper, Madalyn Elliott and Butch Aguiar placed 15 out of 32 teams in only their second contest. They continue to improve and are working hard.

Our season continues with contests every Saturday until May! Wish us luck and continued success!

Varsity Baseball Ends Up in Tie with Redwood

Darkness won the day at the PHS diamond Tuesday evening. After visiting Redwood rang up three runs in the first three innings, the Trojans stormed back in the bottom of the 3rd and 4th, putting 5 runs on the board. But Redwood managed to push across a single run in the 6th and drove home the tying run in the 7th. The Trojans couldn't answer in the bottom half, and both teams were stymied in the 8th. Umpires called the game at that point.

A good outing for the Trojans versus a solid Redwood squad, though I imagine the boys will think they had this one. More great games to come for these boys!

Aja and Jackson Expand the ASB Universe at CADA

Messrs. Aja, Jackson, and Stirrat attended the CADA conference last week, picking up new strategies on building connections with students. For example, we are excited to potentially work with 5 Star, a company that helps track student participation in school life. We think this software will help us identify students who are or are not involved more readily.

Mr. Aja also showed off his stuff by giving a presentation entitled "Efficient Fundraising: Using Economics to Maximize Fundraising." After checking my nerd alert, I found Andrew to be engaging and interesting. He did a fine job helping other ASB advisors get better at their job. Way to go, Andrew and Kevin!

Softball Starts off With Dominating Win

The varsity girls are off, running, hitting, fielding, and pitching their way to a convincing win over powerhouse Marin Catholic on Tuesday afternoon at PHS. The Trojans pushed across two runs in the 4th inning to break the deadlock, then added single runs in the 5th and 6th. Meanwhile, Petaluma pitching limited the Marin Catholic lineup, scattering four hits.

Go Trojans!

Voices 4 Down Syndrome Raises $

The 4th Annual Voices 4 Down Syndrome benefit last Saturday night at the Elks Lodge raised significant dollars for families. With a goal of $150,000 and an amazing turnout, I imagine they met their goal! The evening was a benefit for Down Syndrome Association North Bay, whose mission is to promote self-advocacy, raise awareness, support inclusion and enrich the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.

The event was put together by John and Angie Busick. Their son, Jack, is a great example of a terrific kid who happens to have Down Syndrome. The spirit of all the parents and families in attendance is a reminder of great communities like ours that come together to support one another.

I've known John since his days as a Casa student in ASB. He and Angie have done some amazing things! You might have read about John and his work supporting the creation of a Miracle Field in the North Bay. (see website below). Great to be a part of such a terrific caring community.

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Important Upcoming Dates

Don't forget the following dates:

  • March 5th-and 6th - CAREER FAIR!!!

  • March 7th - FFA Meeting in Multi @ 6:30pm

  • March 7th: Staff: Department Wednesday

  • March 8th - Site Council

  • March 9th - School Tour

  • March 10th - SAT Test

  • March 13th - PAC

  • March 14th - Staff: PLN/PLC Wednesday

  • March 14th - Ashland Spring Trip departs; Drama Club Feld Trip

  • March 14th - Parent/Student Community Meeting @ 6:30pm in the Library

  • March 15th - APES Field Trip; MarS Field Trip

  • March 19th-23rd - SPRING BREAK

  • March 26th - Athletic Booster Meeting

  • March 28th - Staff Meeting

  • March 30th - Spanish 3 Field Trip to Loma Vista


Rather than copy and paste from our website as I've done in the past, let's use our website as the main form of reminder as to what is coming up. Click the link below and check out what's coming up from the calendar. (The link is now correct!)