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DUSD Newsletter May 2018


Terry Metzger Hired as New Superintendent of Denair Unified School District

We welcome Terry Metzger as our new superintendent.

Metzger has been the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa since 2012, but she is no stranger to Stanislaus County or the Central Valley.

She has two degrees from CSU Stanislaus– a master’s in education administration as well as a doctorate in educational leadership. She also has taught classes there as an adjunct faculty member.

Before she moved to Santa Rosa, Metzger was a teacher and elementary school principal in Galt. She also taught various grade levels in Lodi and Stockton, and has served as a principal coach for the Education Leadership Institute in Sacramento.

She is thrilled to be coming to Denair. Continue reading “Terry Metzger Hired as New Superintendent of Denair Unified School District” »


Denair School Trustees Honor Outgoing Superintendent, Reward Teachers and Refinance Long-Term Debt

The Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees said goodbye to its popular superintendent, approved a one-time salary increase for teachers and agreed to refinance its debt to save money at a busy meeting Thursday night.

Superintendent Aaron Rosander – who inherited a district threatened with state takeover in 2014 – leaves it in much better financial shape than we he arrived. Enrollment has stabilized, new programs and an energetic leadership team are in place, and employee morale is definitely on the rise.

“Mr. Rosander, you changed the face and name of Denair. We were down and out and almost taken over. Thank you,” said Trustee Kathi Dunham-Filson.

Echoed Board President Ray Prock Jr.: “We wouldn’t be here today without you. … We are forever grateful.”

Rosander, whose daughter recently graduated from Denair High School, intends to move to the Bay Area to be closer to his elderly parents. He called educators “dream builders” who provide inspiration and guidance to students.

“It’s been a nice ride the last 4½ years,” he said. “Denair has been very good to my daughter and I. … It has been my honor and pleasure to work with you.”

Before the tributes to Rosander, trustees unanimously approved a one-time 4.31% payout to teachers based on their 2017-18 salaries. It is not a raise in their base pay, but “continues to show the board’s commitment to and respect for our teachers,” Rosander said.

Prock, Dunham-Filson and John Plett supported the proposal. Trustees Crystal Sousa and Regina Gomes were not at Thursday’s meeting.

Teachers took an 8% salary cut in 2013 when the district was in financial crisis. Some of that money since has been restored, with permanent increases tied to specific gains in enrollment. Thursday’s action will cost the district $207,500.

Earlier this year, trustees agreed to a similar one-time payout to non-teaching staff. Continue reading “Denair School Trustees Honor Outgoing Superintendent, Reward Teachers and Refinance Long-Term Debt” »

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Defending World Champion Drum and Bugle Corps Returns to Denair for Weeklong Camp

It has become a rite of summer for the Vanguard Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps of Santa Clara. If it’s June, it must be time to pack up the brass instruments and the colorful flags and the gear and head for sunny Denair.

Any why not? The formula keeps working. In 2017, the Bay Area group captured Drum Corps International Open Class Championship for the fifth time (and third since they’ve been training in the valley heat).

In the mind of Steve Barnhill, the corps’ longtime director, there is no reason to mess with success.

“Our time in Denair is always one of our favorite things to do,” he said. “We always enjoy our time there. We’re excited. Last year’s heat was brutal, but I hear this year’s forecast is much better.”

Indeed. Temperatures in the low to mid-90s are expected to greet Barnhill’s 150-member corps and their 30 adult coaches and chaperones when they arrive early Thursday evening. Last year, Vanguard endured a heat wave, with daily highs well above 100 degrees.

This is the ninth year in a row that the Santa Clara contingent has kicked off its competition season in Denair. Essentially, the week in the valley is the equivalent of spring training in baseball or summer camp in football.

Though they’ve been practicing at their headquarters, this is where serious details are perfected.

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Denair’s Blake Davis Named to Two Football All-Star Teams

Denair wide receiver Blake Davis has been selected to play in two upcoming football all-star games – the 45thannual Lions Club contest on June 16 in Tracy and the 33rdannual North-South Rotary game on June 23 in Merced.

Davis is believed to be the first Denair player since lineman Joel Huber in 2003 to be chosen for either game.

“I was pretty surprised,” said Davis, who just returned from a graduation trip to Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. “I knew that coach (Anthony) Armas nominated me, but I was waiting quite a while. Then I got the text and said, ‘Sweet.’

“It’s kind of crazy to think I’m the first one from Denair in so long.”

Like most Denair players, Davis played offense and defense the past few seasons with the Coyotes. But when Lions training camp begins June 11 at CSU Stanislaus, his focus will be strictly on offense. Last year, Davis caught 20 passes for 508 yards with eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder averaged 25.4 yards per catch, which reflected his speed and toughness, his coaches say.

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Free Summer Meals for Kids in Denair

Free Summer Meal Service Program Featuring Breakfast and Lunch at Denair Elementary Charter Academy Cafeteria and Supper at Denair High School Cafeteria! (Please see flyer for details, also available in Spanish)

Children do not have to attend Denair schools but must be 18 or younger to participate and there are no income or other eligibility restrictions.

Just show up and we’ll feed you a delicious, nutritional meal! The menu will change daily.

The program is a collaboration of the Denair Unified School District and the California Department of Education, using federal grant money.

DUSD helping to ensure that NO child goes hungry this summer!

For more information about our Food Service Department, please visit www.culinarycoyote.com

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Sports Camps and First-Ever Drone Camp Coming to Denair High

School may be out, but summer will be a busy time around the Denair High School campus. Between mid-June and late July, there will be four sports camps as well as a first-of-its-kind drone camp.

Here is a complete list of the camps and costs, the age range of those eligible to enroll, and contact information. Registration payments can be made at the high school office through Thursday, June 7. After that, payments can be dropped off at the district office across the street.

Softball Camp

  • Dates:June 14-15
  • Time:9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cost:$20
  • Grades:5-10
  • Coach:Katy Johnston kjohnston@dusd.k12.ca.us
  • Details:Instruction on basic skills and fundamentals related to offense, defense and pitching. Players should bring water and snacks; lunch will be provided each day. Players should wear appropriate clothing and provide their own gloves.

Volleyball Camp and Volleyball Kids Camp

  • Dates:June 18-20
  • Time:9 a.m. to noon
  • Cost:$10 per day or $15 for all three days (paid in advance)
  • Grades:4-5, boys and girls
  • Coaches:Christy North, Courtney Lira, Yuli Tafolla
  • Details:Beginners will learn basic skills and techniques, along with introductory team strategies and conditioning. All athletes must bring their Denair IDs the first day and wear appropriate clothing (T-shirts, athletic shorts, socks, court shoes, hair clips, etc.) Parents may attend, but should bring their own chairs.

Football Camp

  • Dates:July 2-3
  • Time:8-11:30 a.m.
  • Cost:$20
  • Ages:8-13
  • Coach:Anthony Armas aarmas@dusd.k12.ca.usor (209) 620-1985
  • Details:Players will learn general football skills on offense and defense, separated by position. The focus will be on proper techniques. There will be no contact. Players should wear shorts, T-shirts and cleats.

Basketball Camp

  • Dates:July 18-19
  • Time:8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Cost:$10 per day
  • Grades:3-8, boys and girls
  • Coach:Ezcally Lopez elopez43@csustan.eduand Patty Valverde pvalerde@dusd.k12.ca.us
  • Details:Focus will be on improving skills in shooting, passing, dribbling, rebounding and defense. Players should wear shorts, T-shirts and appropriate shoes. Snacks, water and a certificate of completion will be provided.

Drone Camp

  • Dates:July 23-27
  • Time:8 a.m. to noon or 1-5 p.m.
  • Cost:Free (space is limited however)
  • Ages:9-15
  • Coach:Darrin Allen dallen@dusd.k12.ca.usor dronecamp.org
  • Details:This is about hands-on learning, innovation and adventure. Students will take to the skies and become an honorary junior drone pilot. Three free meals will be available for all students.

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Denair Retirees Honored for Combined 128 years of Service

An account technician, the longtime director of technology, two popular maintenance workers and a special education assistant and have announced their retirements from the Denair Unified School District at the end of this school year. Combined, they have 128 years of service in schools.

Those retiring are:

  • Ana Rush, Account Technician
  • Mark Ranes, Director of Technology
  • Maria Gomes, Custodian
  • Genaro “Willie” Lugo, Utility Worker
  • Sue Patterson, Special Education Paraeducator

The five retirees were honored with gifts and testimonials May 10 at an emotional Board of Trustees meeting. There were smiles, hugs and more than a few tears – of gratitude and happy memories, and from close friends who won’t be seen quite as frequently.

Also acknowledged and congratulated on a job well done was Superintendent Aaron Rosander, who is leaving after 4½ years and moving to the Bay Area to be closer to his elderly parents.

Continue reading “Denair Retirees Honored for Combined 128 years of Service” »

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Top Denair High Students Lopez, Knox Reflect on Quality of Education, Academic Success

Daisy Lopez is the Denair High School Class of 2018 valedictorian thanks to her 4.16 grade-point average. The salutatorian will be Hannah Knox, who compiled a 4.11 GPA in her four years. Both young women aspire to become veterinarians.

The graduation ceremony will be Friday, May 25 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are not required.

After students receive their diplomas, there will be a Sober Grad Night party in the gym.

Lopez and Knox recently took time to answer 10 questions about their high school experiences.

Question: What are the key things other students should know about your academic success and how you achieved it?

Lopez: Keeping myself motivated and aware of the goals I wanted to achieve helped me continue working hard throughout my academic years at Denair High School. Also, enrolling in honors and AP classes really helped expose me to new and challenging material.

Knox:Always try to push yourself, but know your breaking point. I pushed myself too hard and it ended up backfiring for me. Also, good grades just don’t happen for most, so if you want a good grade, you have to go that extra mile in every assignment and every test. It’s always better to do more. I made this my philosophy when I came into high school and it really prepared me for honors and AP classes.

Q: How much time outside of class did you spend studying or doing homework?

Knox: I have never been a big studier, so I learned to cram right before a test, such as the night before or literally minutes before a test, which seemed to work pretty well for me. Maybe I’ll take a night off once in a while if I know I have time before the assignment is due.

Lopez: Outside of class, I spend about three to four hours every day doing school work.

Continue reading “Top Denair High Students Lopez, Knox Reflect on Quality of Education, Academic Success” »

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Documentary Team Following 3 Denair Students for a Week

The Cannes Film Festival is an international showcase each year for the best films and documentaries. Many of the world’s most famous actors, directors and producers are gathered this week along the French Riviera to celebrate their work.

Could tiny Denair be represented next spring? It’s possible.

A team of documentarians will spend this week in Denair following three students from their homes through their days at school and back again. The idea is to create a 10- to 15-minute documentary – and perhaps a longer film version – that captures teen life in a typical rural American town.

The idea was the brainchild of Denair High Principal Kara Backman, whose goal is to shine a positive light on the community as well as her campus.

“We want to show the public how we open the doors of opportunity to all kids,” she said.

Backman hired GoodCity Concepts from Cleveland to produce the documentary. She is familiar with their work, having seen videos they’ve created during her time as a national education consultant.

Videographer Henry Ortlip and production assistant Kaytie Leonard arrived last weekend from the Midwest and began work Monday. They will be in Denair through May 20.

Their mission? To portray eighth-grader Connor Prock, junior Adrianna Snyder and senior Alex Flores as authentic representatives of the broader student body and community. The students were selected with the blessings of their families.

“What we’re trying tell is the worth of Denair via some inspiring story lines,” Leonard explained.

For instance, Prock comes from a prominent farming family with generational roots in Denair. His parents, Joe and Danielle, are both Denair High graduates. His grandfather and uncle both have served on the school board. They operate a dairy with thousands of cows. Connor raises beef cattle, which affords a glimpse into agricultural life. Continue reading “Documentary Team Following 3 Denair Students for a Week” »


Silva Hired as Next Principal at Denair Middle School

The Denair Unified School District didn’t have to look very far to find its next principal for Denair Middle School. Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to hire Amanda Silva, who currently serves as the district’s assistant director of special education.

“She’s dedicated to Denair. She empowers others. She’s forward thinking. She’s passionate about kids,” said Kara Backman, the district’s director of secondary education and high school principal. She served on the hiring committee will be Silva’s direct supervisor.

Backman said Silva stood out among the seven internal and external candidates who were interviewed. Silva will become the middle school campus’ fifth principal in the past four years, a trend she intends to do her best to end.

“The biggest thing is building culture and pride in community, school and students,” she said. “We need to be positive, think positive and work hard.”

Silva has been with the district since February 2016 and has worked with staff and students across all four campuses to develop special education programs. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and an administrative credential and master’s degree from College of San Joaquin. Continue reading “Silva Hired as Next Principal at Denair Middle School” »


Terry Metzger Hired as New Superintendent of Denair Unified School District

The Denair Unified School District announced Thursday night that it has hired Terry Metzger as its new superintendent.

Metzger has been the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa since 2012, but she is no stranger to Stanislaus County or the Central Valley.

She has two degrees from CSU Stanislaus – a master’s in education administration as well as a doctorate in educational leadership. She also has taught classes there as an adjunct faculty member.

Before she moved to Santa Rosa, Metzger was a teacher and elementary school principal in Galt. She also taught various grade levels in Lodi and Stockton, and has served as a principal coach for the Education Leadership Institute in Sacramento.

She is thrilled to be coming to Denair. Continue reading “Terry Metzger Hired as New Superintendent of Denair Unified School District” »


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

The California Department of Education (CDE) is currently engaged in litigation with two non-profit associations comprised of parents and guardians of children with disabilities. The plaintiffs in that litigation have requested numerous documents, as well as student data collected and stored by CDE, which may include personally identifiable student information.

To comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), CDE has been ordered, among other things, to inform parents and students of the disclosure of such information. CDE has requested that school districts and SELPAs post the following link to CDE’s website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/morganhillcase. The link provides a Notice and Objection Form to allow parents to object, by April 1, 2016, to the disclosure of personally identifiable information related to their children.

 

Please understand that the district is not a party to the litigation and is not required to disclose any student information, nor does it intend to do so. For more information, please contact CDE directly at (916) 319-0800.


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