Hayward chamber to honor persons of the year

From the Hayward Chamber of Commerce:

Hayward will honor recipients of the Educator, Firefighter, Police Officer and Business Person of the Year Award at the 68th Annual Hayward Chamber of Commerce Awards Celebration Gala on Jan. 28, 2012.

“This is one of Hayward’s great traditions, and a reflection of the esteem that this city has for those that make community service their priority,” said Kim Huggett, president and CEO of the chamber. “The fact that this event sells out every year says a lot about Hayward.”

Those to be honored are:

Julie McKillop, Business Person of the Year

Julie McKillop, owner and executive chef of Neumanali Restaurant and principal of McKillop Accountancy, will receive the Business Person of the Year Award. A lifelong Hayward resident and graduate of Cal State East Bay, she and husband Tim began a major redevelopment project in 2000 that became the upscale wine-centric Victorian-style restaurant Neumanali. Both her restaurant and accountancy business are located downtown, across from city hall. Her long record of public service includes serving on the boards of directors of Spectrum Community Services, the Hayward Historical Society, St. Rose Hospital and the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. She also served on the Hayward Planning Commission, the city’s Small Business Revolving Loan Committee, and she worked with the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment.

Hector Garcia, Educator of the Year

Hector Garcia has been an educational leader for 16 years, most recently as principal of Harder Elementary School. At Harder, he has worked with universities, public health and safety agencies in Hayward and Alameda County to leverage support, tutoring and professional development resources to transform Harder into a model school.  He initiated an arts program in Hayward in 1998 for elementary and middle school students called Mariachi Juvenil de Hayward, which serves students and families throughout the East Bay. He served as director of curriculum and instruction at Alameda County Office of Education for five years, focusing on the needs of underachieving student populations and organized parent education forums throughout the county, utilizing parents as facilitators, leaders and advocates.

Captain Joe Stilwell, Firefighter of the Year

Hayward Fire Capt. Joe Stilwell discovered his love for the fire service as a young man when he joined the volunteer fire department in Chico. He became a paramedic, then a firefighter and joined the Hayward Fire Department in 2005. Early in his career with HFD, he noticed that the department’s ventilation saws were stalling during operations due to tar build-up. On his own time, he fabricated a metal guard to protect the motor, a feature now used throughout the fire service. He also developed new hose rollers for HFD equipment, saving the city considerable cost in maintenance and equipment. Embracing the HFD commitment to community service, he has worked on the annual Toys for Kids Program and the charity golf tournament. He has responsibility for the HFD’s popular 1923 Seagrave fire engine that is exhibited at community functions and which is representative of Hayward’s appreciation for its fire service and city history.

Faye Thomas, Police Officer of the Year

Officer Faye Thomas began her law enforcement career at 16, when she began volunteering at the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and, in 1999, was hired there as an administrative assistant. She later became a dispatcher and in 2009 became an officer with the Hayward Police Department. Over her two years in the HPD, she has consistently been a leader among her peers in arrests, citations and DUI suppression. In July 2010 she initiated a project  that led to an investigation of human exploitation and trafficking that involved nine Bay Area municipalities and three countries. Largely as a result of her work, 15 suspects were taken into custody and three victims rescued from human trafficking. Officer Thomas put herself through a Drug Abuse Recognition Course and Narcotic Investigators School and has taught coursework in drug trends and investigation to more than 100 HPD officers. She also is in demand as a speaker on child abduction issues and is a participant in Susan Komen Cancer Society fund-raisers. Her next goal is to obtain a law degree and earn a doctorate in international relations.


Today’s story on HUSD supt. appointment

If you are lucky enough to have picked up a newspaper today, consider it a collector’s edition, similar to that stamp with the biplane flying upside down. Ok, so maybe it’s not so rare and certainly will never be valuable, but the page 3 stories unfortunately end at the jump because of a production error. So here’s the story about the board being divided on the matter of soon-to-be-Supt. Donald Evans’ contract.


Compton Unified admin selected to lead Hayward schools

UPDATE: Here’s the story.

In a unanimous vote, Hayward Unified trustees voted Tuesday to appoint Donald Evans as the new superintendent of schools, subject to contract negotiations. Evans’ previous post was as associate superintendent of middle schools for the Compton Unified School District.

Story in the works for tomorrow, but here’s the announcement

Evans earlier this year with Compton students in a free throw-contest for scholarship money.

from board President Lisa Brunner:

This evening , Tuesday, October 4th, a motion was made by Board Member, Ms Maribel Heredia, to “appoint Dr Donald E Evans as Superintendent of HUSD pending contract negotiations”. The motion was seconded by Vice President, William McGee, and was approved unanimously by the HUSD Board, 5-0-0.

After having completed an extensive search for the candidate that best fits the challenges facingHaywardUnifiedSchool District, we are very pleased to announce Dr Donald E Evans as our choice for Superintendent. We the Members of the Board respect and admire Dr Evans’ professional skills, focus and energy, and dedication to education. We have faith in his ability to articulate and carry out the goals set by the Board to make HUSD a school District everyone can be proud of. We look forward to a long and successful future in preparing all of our students for the 21st Century.



Third round of interviews for HUSD superintendent

UPDATE 10/3: While they are not releasing names because of privacy concerns, Hayward trustees are making a trip to Compton tomorrow to interview people in regards to one of two final candidates for the superintendent post. The other candidate is employed by a Northern California district, said Board President Lisa Brunner. She said they’re “two very different candidates, with different strengths.”

Hayward Unified announced a pair of special, closed-session meetings on Saturday and Monday to interview superintendent candidates. Board President Lisa Brunner said they have five people lined up, but of course names are confidential at this point. Here’s the previous info on how that supt. search has been going.


API links. Hayward story in the works

UPDATE, 9/6: Here’s the story that came out yesterday

We had an overview story about the API scores coming out, with emphasis on No Child Left Behind. Oakland education reporter Katy Murphy also blogged about it, asking readers what they think of NCLB and whether it should be revamped.

There was a full chart on all schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in today’s paper. You can find a link to the results in the above story, or find the state’s API report for Hayward here.

I spoke with the principal at Longwood for a while yesterday, will be talking with district regarding HUSD results for a Hayward-specific story slated to run over the weekend. Notables: Longwood, Burbank and Harder, which all underwent a transformation, made significant improvements, with Burbank being the biggest gainer at 79 points. Longwood rose by 75, Harder by 50. New to the Program Improvement list this year are Fairview and Strobridge Elementary and Ochoa Middle schools, although all made their API improvement goals, Strobridge and Ochoa for all subgroups. Ochoa, in fact, saw a gain of 46 API points. Compare that to the district as a whole, which rose by 8 (still making target). Faith Ringgold has the highest score in the district, while Leadership Public Schools – Hayward is tops for all schools within the city, including charters.

Dept. of Ed press release is after the jump, with more links to data.  Continue Reading


This week’s HUSD meeting: Tech status, achievement gap

Had a story in today’s paper related to the effort to close the achievement gap for black kids at Hayward schools. There’s a difference in opinion regarding who should spearhead the effort: COR, which has been studying the issue for some time now, or the district, because it’s ultimately the responsibility of HUSD. The COR representative I spoke with would like the district to take a step back until they have further discussions but the district still plans on having the late Sept. summit and will likely consider approving the creation of the task force at its next meeting. COR and board members are in agreement on a main point, however — that it’s crucial for parents to get involved if the program is to be successful.

Other items: New Associate Supt. of Business Services Stanley Dobbs had two presentations. The first was an update on the state budget. A particular concerning aspect is the possibility for the state to trigger further reductions come December should the economy be flagging. That would mean a $6 million hit for the district, which is already deficit spending to the tune of $5 million, Dobbs said.

Dobbs also talked about the state of technology at Hayward schools. He said it was awful, and that he’s “never seen anything like it before.” He said there’s no leadership in the tech office and in terms of equipment, things have been allowed to degrade to the point where substantial investment would be required to bring it up to speed. He said teachers that do have access to new technology aren’t being properly trained how to use it.

“It’s no good to buy a SmartBoard if it’s just going to be used as a dry-erase board with a socket in the back,” he said.

Former Commander Stanley “Data” Dobbs has a very strong background in tech, and said he’d like to see the district become one where kids are acquainted with technology at an early age, so by the time they’re in high school they’re exploring robotics, web design and the like.

Trustees were excited about the ideas, though some wary of past plans to improve technology in schools that weren’t well thought out. Dobbs was asked to come back with more information regarding implementation and financing of the plan. There are grants out there, including a hefty Microsoft reimbursement plan for nearly $1M.

“We all agree we need to update, and it should be done quickly, but we do need to be diligent,” said Board President Lisa Brunner.

Also, additional assistant principals were approved for Hayward High and Mt. Eden High schools to improve campus safety.

Then came the achievement gap item, but I missed the rest of the meeting, which included an item on the district’s fingerprinting policy. Looks like the video is available but I haven’t watched it yet. Anyone else?

Looking ahead, API scores come out next week. Brunner gave me a bit of a sneak peek and there’s some interesting numbers in there. Burbank Elementary as a whole went up a lot of points, but the African-American student subpopulation saw an incredible increase, I’m talking triple-digit. Scores available Aug. 31 on the state Department of Education website.


Mt. Eden student’s work on display in Washington D.C.

Jared Gochuico, a senior at Mt. Eden High School, earned high honors over the summer when his mixed-media work titled “Examination” was selected as winner of the 30th Annual Congressional Arts Competition. The piece is on display at the Capitol, along with other winners from across the nation.

Jared Gochuico said his work, "Examination," represents adolescence (done in grayscale) combined with the "childish, playful" colors of a Rubik's cube.

“As you can imagine, winning this award was no small accomplishment,” wrote his art teacher, Carrie King, in an email. “The competition was intense with only the very best work from the students from all over the East Bay on display. I’ve taught art at Mt. Eden for the past 19 years and I know that in that time no student from Mt. Eden has won this award. I am unaware of the last time (if ever) a student from HUSD has won. I’m very proud to be his teacher.”

She said on Tuesday that Jared is extremely talented but is also very disciplined and doesn’t coast on his skills. “He absolutely works harder than any other student I have had,” she said. “He won’t just put in partial effort and still get an A. So much of it is sweat.”

Jared and his family were flown to Washington DC courtesy of Southwest airlines in late June to view his artwork, which will remain on display in the Cannon Tunnel in the capitol building for the next year. Jared and over 430 winners from other districts, about 50 from CA, were in Washington DC to celebrate this national competition.

Read Rep. Pete Stark’s release after the jump. Continue Reading


Shop Hayward this weekend, get a gift bag

From the “better late than never” file, if you are planning on having a spendy weekend, do it in Hayward. There are some kickbacks:

The first 100 shoppers who spend a total of $100 or more at Hayward retailers or restaurants from Monday, 15th to Sunday, August 21st can claim a free sports pack of gifts consisting of a Back to School Hayward sports pack along with two free movie tickets to the Cinemark Theatre in Downtown Hayward, a $10 Gift Certificate from Southland Mall, a $5 Gift Certificate from Bijou in Downtown Hayward, and a $5 Gift Certificate from Shark Shack, in addition to some other gifts.

Click here for more information.



Million Father March on first day of school

Hayward Unified is asking parents, guardians and just about anyone involved in a child’s life to accompany them to class on the first day of school, which is Tuesday for those not on the year round schedule. It’s part of the Million Father March, which organizer Black Star Project expects will see that number of people take place this year in 700 cities across the nation. According to Trustee William McGee, Hayward is the only city in the area he knows of that is taking part in the effort this year, although he said they plan to do some brainstorming and hopefully get Alameda County and the Tri-City area involved next year.