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MDUSD Hometown Hero James Wogan thanks staff and teachers for their work with students

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 8:16 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district.

James Wogan (right) with staff member at Olympic High in Concord.

After a Hometown Hero story about James Wogan was published in the Times on Tuesday, he sent out an e-mail to let the community know about it and thank those who work directly with students in the Mt. Diablo school district, where he oversees programs for foster youth, homeless students and those who are struggling.

Here is his messsage:

“I’ve been nominated as a ‘Hometown Hero.’ This is a great honor, but it’s truly a team effort. I’m grateful to the staff with Mt. Diablo School Linked Services who work tirelessly to support vulnerable students. I appreciate our teachers, our amazing teachers, and all of the district staff and community partners who are dedicated to seeing all children feel well, and do well in school. The ‘heroes’ in my book are the children who face incredible struggles yet get up every day and come to school to learn.

I’m hopeful that this article will help to raise awareness of the struggles that many children and families face and maybe even lead to cash, gift card, or check donations c/o Mt. Diablo HOPE.’

www.mdusd.org/hope

Yours truly,

James

James C. Wogan, MFT, LCSW
Administrator, School Linked Services
Mt. Diablo Unified School District
Foster Youth Services, Homeless Outreach Program for Education (HOPE)
2730 Salvio St. Concord, CA 94519
Office: (925)682-8000; ext. 3054″

Wogan told me that every district employee who is not a teacher is there to support the relationship between students and teachers.

I mentioned this to Mike Langley, who agreed. Here’s what Langley said:

“He’s a sweetheart — a nice guy. And he’s correct, because it’s to support the student and right now, the primary relationship of the student is with the teacher. It’s unfortuante that we don’t have experienced counselors to meet the needs of the students in areas other than academics, so we evolved into having the teachers being counselor-teachers and that’s not necessarily what a lot of teachers are trained for, but they try to fill the need.”

Here’s another story I wrote recently about the increase of homeless students in California, in which Wogan is also quoted: http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_20714274/most-students-eagerly-count-days-until-summer-vacation

This includes Clayton Valley High student Matthew Fiore and his Dad Michael Fiore, who became homeless after they were evicted when Michael Fiore could no longer work, due to illness.

Wogan’s comments at the beginning of the Hometown Hero story reveal that there is always more that can be done to help needy students:

“I struggle between feeling grateful for what we have done for them,” he said, “and knowing that we’re still not meeting the needs of all the kids.”

What else could the district do to help its most vulnerable students?

JULY 25 UPDATE: After my story ran, CBS featured Wogan in a “High Five” segment: http://cbsloc.al/MmE0qR

Here’s a note about it from Wogan: “Frank Mallicoat from CBS KPIX came out to feature our successful programs. ‘High Five’ to the hundreds of our homeless students and foster youth who have overcome so much to do well in school! It’s truly a team effort.”

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  • teacher

    James Wogan provides a wonderful support system for so many students and families. His impact goes far beyond homeless students. He has thrown his web of support across the district and many employees and community members participate in the programs he has established. His efforts have positively affected many MDUSD students. Kudos to James.

  • Just curious

    I think it is really sad that an article about someone in this district truly doing something good gets one comment, while articles regarding other issues seem to get so much negative support.

    We should all be proud of what James Wogan does and proud of the positive impact he makes on so many families.

    Thank you James!

  • Theresa Harrington

    Adding to this positive feedback, I heard from our Pleasant Hill reporter that the Pleasant Hill Park and Rec. Board was recently discussing the story about Wogan and talking about what good work he does and how they would like to help in some way.

  • Theresa Harrington

    More good news: CBS has featured Wogan in its “High Five” segment. See my July 25 update to this blog post for the link.

  • Flippin’ Tired

    Saw that on the news this morning. No one is more deserving.