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February 13, 2018

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Photo of the Week

Minith Real is surprised as he is named Middle School Educator of the Year at the Excellence in Education awards February 6.

Video of the Week

Link to video of the week
Excellence in Education dinner on February 6.

Dates to Know

February 21 at 6 p.m.
Board of Education


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Community News

Excellence in Education Finalists Honored, Five Winners Announced

During a festive, inspiring evening February 6, more than 600 guests gathered to celebrate and honor the district’s 45 Excellence in Education finalists. Five outstanding educators were announced as the top winners:

• Classified category – Myra Ramirez, home school liaison at Del Mar Elementary School
• Certificated category, elementary – Carlanda Williams, Greenberg Elementary School
• Certificated category, middle school – Minith Real, Gaston Middle School
• Certificated category, high school – Laurie Wehner, Duncan Polytechnical High School
• Administrator category – Joy Nunes, Anthony Elementary School

Ramirez, Real and Nunes will move on to the Fresno County Educator of the Year awards.
Finalists were nominated by their peers for their work above and beyond for students and the district. The finalists demonstrated dedication to Fresno Unified students and a true desire to see them succeed at school and in life, a desire to keep on learning themselves and willingness to collaborate with and support their colleagues. Many had to overcome significant obstacles in their lives to attain their profession, and use that experience to support students in similar circumstances.

Highlights Video of Excellence in Education
Myra Ramirez Excellence in Education Speech
Carlanda Williams Excellence in Education Speech
Minith Real Excellence in Education Speech
Laurie Wehner Excellence in Education Speech
Joy Nunes Excellence in Education Speech

Students Learn about Various Industries through Job Shadow Day

Fresno Unified’s Career Readiness Department hosted the second annual Job Shadow Day on February 2. Students from Fresno Unified’s career pathways and career technical education (CTE) programs were disbursed throughout the Fresno area to experience the world of work in various industry sectors.  Students spent three hours alongside employees working in various industry sectors to experience their day-to-day work environment and discuss requirements and opportunities within their industry sector, including video production, health care, technology, social work, public service, product development, and engineering. This year, 25 industry partners allowed 237 students to shadow employees at 31 different locations as the district continues to expand its CTE opportunities for all students.

Edison, Bullard Place Second and Third in Academic Decathlon

Please congratulate Edison High School’s Academic Decathlon team for its second place finish in the Academic Decathlon February 3.  Edison finished 680.5 points behind first place University High School (51,371 to 50,690.5).  Edison outscored University High on the seven written tests (Art, Music, Math, Science, Social Science, Language & Literature, Economics), but came up short on the Super Quiz (560 points) and subjectives (289 points in Speech, Essay, and Interview). Edison swept the Dean’s Medals: Madeleine Fischer 9,209.3 (out of 10,000), Daniel Clark 9,066.6 and Sumanjit Gill 8,799.4. Edison won 49 medals to University High's 46. 

Bullard High School’s team placed third in Division I behind Edison. In Division 2, Sunnyside High School was third and in Division 3 Duncan Polytechnical High School was third and also won Most Improved. In Division 4, Cambridge High School was third.

Watch “60 Seconds with Fresno Unified”

Every week, the Fresno Unified’s Communications Department produces “60 Seconds with Fresno Unified” -- a weekly update on current events in the district.  We hope you’ll take a few seconds to watch this short video each week to make sure you’re in the know. The video is released every Thursday. The latest edition features Black History Month, Excellence in Education, the Duncan Polytechnical High School survey and Academic Decathlon.
60 Second with Fresno Unified

Superintendent Board Remarks from February 7, 2018

Superintendent Bob Nelson provided a brief report to the Fresno Unified Board of Education including:

• Commending all high school students and coaches who participated in the annual Fresno County Academic Decathlon this past weekend.  In division 1, Edison came in second place, followed by Bullard as overall winners. Edison also outscored University High on seven written tests.  In Division 2, Sunnyside placed third and in Division 3, Duncan was third and won Most Improved.  In Division 4, Cambridge placed third.

• Yesterday, the district received exciting news in its effort to provide every high school senior with an I Am Ready college packet.  The packets are personalized by providing each student their eligible colleges based on their academic profiles.  This effort increased college applications by 50% the first year and college acceptance rose by 53%.  97.5% of those seniors who applied to both a UC and CSU were accepted to at least one matching their academic profile.  Thanks to our Equity and Access team for continue to dive deep into these data points.  Nelson looks forward to sharing more data in the coming months.

• Gaston Middle School held an annual assembly to kick-off Black History Month.  He encouraged everyone to take the time to celebrate and recognize the positive impacts that African Americans have had on our nation, state and community. Nelson then showed a video of the event at Gaston.

• Updating the public on the district’s computer refresh program which provides new laptops and computers for teachers and principals every three years.  This school year, during Phase 1, the district provided new laptops to 574 teachers.  Phase 2 will begin in a few weeks with 510 teachers receiving their high-end HP laptops with touchscreens.

• Last night the district hosted the 2018 Excellence in Education awards at Golden Palace Banquet Hall. It was a full house with 45 employees celebrated for their outstanding work.  It was great to highlight amazing people who give so much of themselves for our students.  Of the 45 finalists, five employees won a district award in their category.  Nelson then congratulated Myra Ramirez, home school liaison from Del Mar Elementary for winning Classified Employee of the Year, Carlanda Williams, a third grade teacher from Greenberg Elementary for winning Elementary Educator of the Year, Gaston PE teacher Minith Real for winning Middle Educator of the Year, Duncan ROP-CNA teacher Laurie Wehner for winning High School Educator of the Year and Joy Nunes, principal of Anthony Elementary for winning Administrator of the Year.  Of these five, Myra Ramirez, Minith Real and Joy Nunes will go on to represent Fresno Unified in the Fresno County Office of Education event this fall. You can find all of the 2017/18 honorees at

View Full Board Meeting Recap

Employer of Choice

Edison Teacher is Educator of the Week

Brian Nuzzolese, an English teacher at Edison High School, is KSEE24’s Educator of the Week. He will be receiving a GW gift card and attend a ceremony where his name will be put on a plaque at Fresno State University in front of the Education building. He was nominated by students.
KSEE 24 Educator of the Week Segment

School Buzz

Kirk Students Get Donated Tennis Shoes

Forty Kirk Elementary School students had a need for new shoes fulfilled, thanks to the work of Assisteens, a volunteer group made up of high school students. Assisteens coordinator Dorothy Torosian delivered 40 pairs of new, correctly sized tennis shoes to the Kirk students on February 8. Assisteens members come from Bullard, Buchanan, Clovis North, Clovis West, Edison, Memorial, Sanger and University high schools.

Roosevelt Students Clean up Community

The first Roosevelt High School beautification walk of 2018 on January 25 was a collaborative effort from 22 members of the Ecology Club, Anime Club, Art Club and Bass Fishing Club.  The students cleaned up the neighborhood directly east of the RHS ca​mpus, removing 15 bags of litter from the streets weighing over 250 pounds.  One member sorted out 75 straws and 45 plastic bottle caps throughout the walk to re-purpose for art projects in connection to her Plastic Pollution Solution Project. ​
Photos of the Beautification Walk and More Inspiring Details

Edison Students Sign National Letters of Intent

Three student athletes from Edison High School signed national letters of intent to colleges on February 7. Reyna Valencia signed with Academy of Art University for soccer; Elijah Isiah signed with Dixie State University for football; and Teyjohn Herrington signed with University of Nevada at Reno for football.

Cooper Middle School Eighth Graders Raise Money for Migrant Family

The Migrant Program would like to recognize and give a huge thanks to Elisha Lopez and her eighth grade design students from Cooper Academy. Last quarter, her students were learning about child labor and child soldiers from around the world in their Youth Empowerment Unit. They were moved after learning how teens work in the fields and migrate to other states for work. Students decided they were going to bring awareness of the harsh working conditions which tens of thousands of children face in the fields of the United States. They set out to help the Fresno Unified Migrant Education Program by doing a small community project on campus. Students created posters with child labor statistics in each advisory class and were given a week to raise as many coins as possible. At the end of the week, $105 had been raised to help benefit a family participating in the Migrant Education Program. Thanks to Mrs. Lopez and her wonderful eighth graders, the Pablo family will be able to use the money to help care for their new baby, who was born with jaundice, and their daughter, who attends Columbia Elementary School. Great job in making a difference, Mrs. Lopez and students.

Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Heavy Truck Facility

Fresno Unified held a groundbreaking ceremony January 31 at Duncan Polytechnical High School for a new building for training students in heavy duty truck repair and construction and announced modernization plans for an existing career technical education building. The heavy duty truck and construction building will be a state-of-the-art facility unlike anything being built at any high school across the country.  Designed with the support of industry partners, students will get real world training on heavy truck maintenance and will graduate high school with certifications that will make them eligible for numerous college programs and qualified for immediate entry into the workforce.
Video of Duncan Heavy Trucks Groundbreaking

Pelco Employees Help Webster Students Learn Chess

Webster Elementary School’s 16-member chess club has been getting support from Pelco employees, who have volunteered during their lunch hours to help the students increase their knowledge of the game. Students in the chess club spend their recess or lunch playing the game, but during the past week, Pelco employees have arrived to play with the students or help them learn the game. The Webster chess team is preparing to compete in a regional tournament at Tehipite Middle School toward the end of the school year.  Fresno State Chess Club members will also donate their time one day per week to play and coach the students. 

Roosevelt Virtual Enterprise Excels at Trade Fair

Congratulations to Roosevelt High School Virtual Enterprise senior students, who earned nine awards at the 18th Annual Virtual Enterprise Trade Fair, competing against 90 schools from all over the United States. Riders VE, with their company PROVELT, earned: Gold -- Perfect Pitch; Gold -- Best Newsletter; Silver -- Best Website; Silver -- Best Sales Materials; Silver -- Human Resources Presentation; Bronze -- Impact Marketing (Billboard); Bronze -- Sales Presentation, Top 10 Interview, and Top 8 Apprenticeship. The competition was January 16-18 in Bakersfield.
More Information about Roosevelt Virtual Enterprise Awards

Mayfair Holds First Student Job Fair

Mayfair Elementary School students interviewed for various campus jobs during the school’s first Meaningful Work School Job Fair on February 1.  School jobs will be available to fourth, fifth and sixth grade students to perform during their morning or lunch recess. Mayfair Elementary piloted the school-based jobs program in the first semester with specific students who needed extra support based on attendance and behavior.  The students who participated in the school job program changed their behavior in the classroom and playground, and improved academically in their classes. The school is now excited to expand the job program school-wide this semester.  Prior to the job fair, job listings were posted in the cafeteria and interested students completed school job applications. As a Restorative School, Mayfair is engaging students in meaningful work to contribute to the school community and preparing students to be college and career ready at the elementary level. The students participating in the school job program will demonstrate the character and competencies for workplace success (Fresno Unified Goal 3).

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