With the season of gratitude upon us, I find this year, despite the tragic and destructive fires to our north and negativity that seems to make headlines daily, that there is so much to be grateful for here in our Mt. Diablo community. What I'm seeing is such enormous capacity for kindness and empathy, and how easy it is for all of us to be part of.

Even holding the door for someone at school, work, or the grocery store seems to have a cascading effect on the next person who feels compelled to do the same. We're lucky to live in a community where our friends and neighbors feel an imperative to put others in greater need first. It's a form of giving and service that makes our community so special.

I'm reminded after the recent Veteran's Day observation how fortunate we are to have so many veterans continue their service to the community by becoming part of the Mt. Diablo School District. Former veterans are now serving our students as classroom teachers, bus drivers, IT technicians, maintenance and operations professionals, and more. We recently reached out to our schools and departments to learn more about our veterans, and are grateful to those who were willing to be recognized in this newsletter. You'll learn more about some of these exemplary educators in profiles below - and thanks to those who were willing to share their powerful and inspiring stories.

December is often the time of year when people focus even more so on the joy of giving, and I'm proud of our students and staff for finding meaningful ways to give and do good for others. Your time is a gift that pays forward in so many ways.

Warm regards,

Dr. Nellie E. Meyer




We are so very grateful to our community for its resounding support of Measure J - the Safe, Quality Local Schools Act - which allows the District to issue up to $150 million in bonds at an estimated rate of $0.15 per $100 of assessed property value to fund safety and facility upgrades. Supporters of Measure J included volunteers, donors, and endorsers from Bay Point, Clayton, Concord, Lafayette, Martinez, Pacheco, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek.

The measure, which required a 55% majority vote, was approved by more than 70% of the voters. This could not have happened without the dedication and hard work of countless volunteers, including the "Yes on J" committee. We'd like extend our deepest appreciation to the committee's leadership team:

  • Co-Chairs: Kathryn Durham Hammer and John Ferrante
  • Endorsements Lead: Amy Hines-Shaikh
  • Fundraising Lead: Guy Moore
  • School Site Leads: Laney Cline King and Natalie Ivankovich
  • Precinct Walk Lead: Rachel Del Carlo Levy
  • Voters Circle Lead: Anna Halverson
  • Sign Lead: Jessica Clark

We are grateful to our Board of Education members, Debra Mason, Cheryl Hansen, Joanne Durkee, Brian Lawrence, Linda Mayo, and newly elected member Cherise Khaund for their support and work with the committee.

Special thanks as well to the tireless team of Measure J volunteers made up of MDUSD staff, students, families, community and business leaders, board members and others and who marked some impressive "by the numbers" benchmarks, providing information on the measure by:

  • Knocking on 4,584 doors
  • Making 1,627 phone calls
  • Sending 15,207 text messages
  • Planting 900 lawn signs

#ThankYouVoters #TeamMDUSD #BuildingForOurFuture!


Mt. Diablo Unified is pleased to welcome back Debra Mason and Linda Mayo for new four-year terms serving the Board of Education. Mrs. Mason has been on the Mt. Diablo Unified Board since November 2014 and has been serving as this year's Board's President. Mrs. Mayo has served the District since 1997. We thank both of these members for their continued commitment and service to the Mt. Diablo community.

We would also like to welcome Cherise Khaund as a new member to the Board. Mrs. Khaund and her husband have two daughters, both attending MDUSD schools, and are residents of Walnut Creek. Welcome Mrs. Khaund!


We are very pleased with the continued progress with our districtwide Facility Master Plan (FMP) and invite you to spend some time on our FMP website getting to know the process, the schedule, and see which schools have had our teams come to perform Facility Condition Assessments. These reports will be posted to the FMP website as they become available. Thanks to all of the staff and community members who participated in the initial stakeholder meetings to help identify facility priorities - this work was incredibly essential to the overall process.

Phase II is now getting underway, and will include 'town hall' type meetings to solicit input and priorities from the community, work with focus groups, and design "charettes," collaborative sessions with designers and users to promote solutions to design issues or concerns.


Experts say young people view social media through the lens of their own lives. If they’re struggling to stay on top of things or suffering from low self-esteem, they’re more likely to interpret images of peers having fun as confirmation that they’re doing badly compared to their friends.

Please join us on Tuesday, January 22, starting at 6 p.m. at Mt. Diablo High School, as we welcome back Speaker Series favorite, Thomas Dodson with Above the Fray to give families the tools they need to begin meaningful dialogues about the digital lives of young people, the pitfalls and the positives. Spanish translation will be provided!


U.S. Veterans Continue to Serve at MDUSD

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District is indebted to our nation's team of veterans. There are an estimated 51,446 veterans residing here in Contra Costa County, and we are grateful that - after their service to our country - they continue to provide an important public service: being part of our MDUSD school community.

We recently reached out to our schools and various programs and departments, asking about teachers and staff who may have come to MDUSD from a military career, and were delighted to learn of nearly 30 employee veterans, serving as classroom teachers, program coordinators, bus drivers, and maintenance and operations team members. Those who gave us permission to share their names are listed here. There are a few others who graciously consented to sharing their stories:

  • Bill Godinez, U.S. Army Veteran, Computer Technology Teacher at Olympic Continuation HS
  • Jason Haley, U.S. Army Veteran, English Teacher at Ygnacio Valley HS
  • Spencer Smith, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran, U.S. History Teacher at Mt. Diablo HS
  • Dorann "Dodi" Zotigh, U.S. Army Reserves, Mt. Diablo Adult Education Program Coordinator


Mt. Diablo HS Awarded $5K Grant in "Step Up To The Plate" program

Mt. Diablo High School was among 28 Bay Area schools awarded grant funding last week through the KNBR radio's "Step Up to the Plate For Education" program, funded by Wells Fargo.

Through the open community nominations process, the school applied for a grant to establish a construction program to provide students with hands-on skills and to buy materials. San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was on hand to present the awards at AT&T Park. (Photo credit: Read more!

MDUSD Students Honored by Pleasant Hill City Council

Several MDUSD students were honored by the Pleasant Hill City Council at its December 3 meeting as part of the annual President's Volunteer Service Award. The awards were presented by Mary Gray, Chair of the Pleasant Hill Education Commission. Honored students and service award levels are as follows:


  • George Kadavil, College Park High School
  • Steven Kadavil, College Park High School
  • Kasey Kelly, College Park High School
  • Zachary Taylor, College Park High School


  • Kate Kadavil, Valley View MIddle School
  • Jillian Richards, College Park High School


  • Josie Thomas, College Park High School

In the photo above, from left to right: Rear row: Mary Gray, Chair, Pleasant Hill Education Commission (PHEC); Kelly St. Germain, PHEC; Laima Haider, PHEC and College Park High School teacher; Zachary Taylor, College Park High School. Front row: Steve Kadavil, College Park High School; Kasey Kelly, College Park High School; Kate Kadavil, Valley View Middle School; Jillian Richards, College Park High School; Joann Jacobs, PHEC; Jose Thomas, College Park High School.

Congratulations to all students and thank you for your service to the Pleasant Hill community! Thanks as well to the City Council for making a point of recognizing these outstanding young civic leaders!

MDUSD Students Honored for Community Service by City of Concord

Concord Mayor Edi Birsan presented his annual Mayor's Community Service Award December 4, this year honoring all third-grade students within the City of Concord. This included students from the following elementary schools:

  • Ayers Elementary
  • Cambridge Elementary
  • El Monte Elementary
  • Highlands Elementary
  • Holbrook Language Academy
  • Meadow Homes Elementary
  • Monte Gardens Elementary
  • Mountain View Elementary
  • Silverwood Elementary
  • Sun Terrace Elementary
  • Westwood Elementary
  • Woodside Elementary
  • Wren Ave. Elementary School of the Arts
  • Ygnacio Valley Elementary

Congratulations to all students and schools, and thank you to Mayor Birsan and the Concord City Council for recognizing these young civic leaders!


Walnut Creek Half-Marathon Benefits MDUSD student Ryan Joseph

The community's support is unwavering for College Park High School sophomore Ryan Joseph, a student-athlete who suffered a life-changing C4 spinal cord injury in a wrestling match in January. A number of fundraisers have been held to raise funds to cover the ongoing costs for Ryan's care at a specialty rehabilitation hospital in Colorado, along with therapy to regain the use of his hands and begin to walk again. The latest is via the Walnut Creek half-marathon on Saturday, December 8. The annual event traditionally benefits MDUSD high school sports programs. This year, race directors are also including an opportunity for participants to contribute 40% of their entry fee to be dedicated to supporting Ryan's recovery.

For additional details, contact Mike Halket at Registration for the event is at

HOPE For The Holidays

Mt. Diablo's Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE) provides educational and related services for more than 300 homeless students in preschool through 12th grade, including meals, transportation to school, and community resource support.

This year's annual HOPE Winter Holiday Donation Drive is intended to help support Mt. Diablo's homeless students who often struggle to have enough to eat, stable housing, or parents in their lives. Additionally, the donation drive will benefit MDUSD students who are in foster care or are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Community members interested in supporting these students over the holidays can do any of the following:

  • Buy gift cards that enable caregivers and youth to have access to transportation and to stores where they can pick out their own items.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to Mt. Diablo HOPE, with 100% of proceeds going to support homeless youth
  • Donate new hoodies or sweatshirts for homeless youth

For address information and other details, download this flyer!


Wren Elementary students to perform National Anthem at Harlem Globetrotters

Students from Wren Avenue School of the Arts have been invited by the Harlem Globetrotters to perform the National Anthem at their game on Saturday, January 12, 2019, at 2 p.m.

A special section of seats has been set aside for Wren Ave. Elementary supporters, at a cost of $19.75 per person (a discount of about 40%). Download the flyer here. Those interested in attending may email Wren's office manager, Kimber Trombley, or call (925) 685-7002.


Mt. Diablo Unified is always looking for potential team members. Please check our Human Resources website and our LinkedIn page for updated classroom positions and other positions we’re looking to fill, such as Special Education Assistants, Instructional Assistants, Campus Supervisors, and a variety of administrative and clerical positions.

Right now, we’re also looking to hire a Vice Principal for Concord High School, a Dean of Students for Horizons/Gateway Independent Study, and a Math Intervention teacher at Walnut Acres Elementary. We're also looking to hire more school counselors, elementary school noon duty supervisors, Physical Education teachers and coaches, along with Special Education teachers, and credentialed school nurses! And we are always recruiting for Custodian Trainees, School Bus Driver Trainees, and Clerical Substitutes A $5,000 signing bonus is offered for Speech Language Pathologists.

Come join #TeamMDUSD! Together, we make a difference!



Now through December 17, 2018

Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE) Holiday Drive Benefiting MDUSD's Homeless and Foster Youth

Mt. Diablo HOPE Office

2730 Salvio St., Concord, CA 94519

December 17, 2018

Regular Meeting - Board of Education

1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord, CA 94519 (Get Directions)


January 22, 2018

Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Community Speaker Series - "Social Media's Impact on Young People's Self Image"

Mt. Diablo High School

2450 Grant St., Concord, 94520