The JavaScript support is disabled on your browser. JavaScript is required to view this page correctly.
Please enable JavaScript and refresh this page.

Sidebar

Contacts

Chief Communications Officer
925.942.3420


Communications Specialist/Teacher of the Year/Media Relations
925.942.3429

Communications FAX
925.942.3454

Main Content

News and Press Releases

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Press Releases - 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

January 2008


November 2008

NEWS ADVISORY: Santa's Elves Found at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility - Toys and bikes donated to county's children-serving agencies

WHAT:
More than 30 Contra Costa County children-serving agencies will go to the Marsh Creek Detention Facility near Clayton on Friday, November 21, to fill up their clients' wish lists of donated toys and bicycles. There, for the 17th year, the agency representatives will select from more than 1,100 toys designed and handcrafted by inmates, along with 170 refurbished bicycles, to give to children from their client families during the holidays. More than 115 inmates have participated in this project throughout this year, designing and crafting wooden rocking motorcycles, children's furniture, doll cribs, pull toys, doll houses, doll cradles, fire houses, fire engines, yo-yos, cars, and skill games. All of the toy makers are students in the Contra Costa Adult School, an accredited school directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), which is located within the jail facility.

WHO:
The workshop is co-sponsored by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and the CCCOE. Representatives from both the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Warren Rupf, and the CCCOE, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ovick, as well as other representatives will be on hand during the morning's free toy and bicycle distribution. Organizations participating in this shopping spree include the Salvation Army, Friends Outside, George Miller Center, Solomon Temple Mission, Contra Costa Crisis Center, Bay Area Rescue Mission, La Casa Ujima, and a number of others.

WHEN:
Friday, November 21, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

WHERE:
The Contra Costa Adult School / Woodshop Class is located at the Marsh Creek Detention Facility, 12000 Marsh Creek Road. (Approximately six miles east of the town of Clayton, Clayton Road narrows and becomes Marsh Creek Road).

MEDIA NOTES:
All media must check in at the facility's gate. Contact phone at Marsh Creek Detention Facility is (925) 646-5705. Audio equipment and video and still-cameras are welcomed into the workshop. Great visuals of the impressive workshop, the shiny-good-as-new-refurbished bicycles, and their beautifully handcrafted wooden toys. The vocational and academic classrooms will be open to the media, with opportunities to interview inmates, teachers, and administration.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:
During the 2007-2008 school year, approximately 3,300 inmates (throughout the three Contra Costa detention facilities) were enrolled in classes ranging from academic programs including basic literacy and GED preparation, to vocational programs including woodshop and state-of-the-art computer training. By the end of the school year, 79 student-inmates received their GED and 51 received a high school or adult school diploma. In addition, there were 685 students who demonstrated learning gains in reading or math, and 903 students earned a certificate of completion in computer applications. Another course directed by the CCCOE is the DEUCE Program (Deciding, Educating, Understanding, Counseling, and Evaluation). These three-part classes (90 hours) focus on substance abuse prevention. So far this year, 1,164 students completed at least one of the three phases, and 252 students have graduated from DEUCE.

Less than half of the inmates who enter the Marsh Creek Detention Facility have graduated from high school, and most are parents of school-age children. These classes help to interrupt the generational cycle of illiteracy and lack of education that can lead to repeated incarceration.

 

return to top of page


NEWS ADVISORY: 18th annual Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference

WHAT:
This Friday opens the 18th annual session of the Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference. This two-day competition enhances high school students' understanding of the United Nations and its role in global issues. Teams of students (delegates) from each school represent a nation and negotiate on that country's behalf. During the conference, delegates will debate international issues in six committees, including: Legal, UNICEF, Economic and Social Council, United Nations Development Fund, Security Council, and General Assembly.

Individual delegate winners are recognized for their debate and leadership skills, knowledge of the issues, and presentation of key resolutions. The activity closes with a ceremony that recognizes the outstanding delegates.

This year marks the 63rd Anniversary of the United Nations founding in San Francisco. To give more than 340 delegates a flavor of the UN's "real-world" accomplishments, founder of the World Rainforests Fund, David Seaborg will be serving as the keynote speaker at the Opening Plenary ceremony. The evolutionary biologist is the son of Glen T. Seaborg, who was a university professor of chemistry at U.C. Berkeley and winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1951.

WHO:
The Contra Costa County Model United Nations Conference is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), with committee chairs provided by the University of California, Davis Model UN Club. Participating this year are students from: Acalanes High (Lafayette), Antioch High, Athenian School (Danville), California High (San Ramon), Campolindo High (Moraga), Carondelet High (Concord), De La Salle High (Concord), Las Lomas High (Walnut Creek), Marin Academy (San Rafael), Monte Vista High (Danville), Northgate High (Walnut Creek), and San Ramon Valley High (Danville).

More information can be found on the CCCOE Web site, http://www.cocoschools.org/events or by calling Joan Ski, in the CCCOE's Academic Events Office, (925) 942-3400. During the event (November 14 & 15), you can reach her on her cell phone at (925) 550-0537.

WHERE:
AT&T Center, 2600 Camino Ramon, (Bishop Ranch) San Ramon, Calif.

WHEN:
Friday, November 14, 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. (Keynote speaker will begin at 4:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 15, 8:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Closing ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m.)

MEDIA NOTES:
Audio, video, and photos are welcomed. Great visuals of Model U.N. pageantry: more than 340 high school students (representing 203 countries) filling up the AT&T Conference Center, each representative will be carrying a large-bright-colored sign signifying their country, and an elaborate decorated stage with numerous flags representing countries from around the world. Best action time slots will be:

  • Friday, 4:00 p.m., all students will be in attendance for the general assembly keynote speaker.
  • Saturday, 3:00 p.m., entire Model U.N. will gather once more for the general assembly awards and closing ceremony.

Model UN is the first of three academic event programs directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and is open to high school students throughout the county. Still to come: Academic Decathlon, to be held on January 10 at CSUEB-Concord and February 7, 2009, at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg; and Mock Trials, held on weeknights, during February and early March at Superior Court in Martinez. More information can be found on the CCCOE Web site, http://www.cocoschools.org/events or by calling Academic Events, (925) 942-3400.

return to top of page


October 2008

NEWS ADVISORY: Teachers awarded grants for technology inspired curriculum

WHAT:
The recipients of the Teacher Pair and Professional Development County Technology Academy Grant (CTAG) will be honored at a special celebration on Thursday, October 23rd, 2008. The award-winning educational projects, incorporating technology to meet the needs of K-12 students, will be unveiled to invited guests, prospective grant applicants, and the media.

CTAG is a grant designated for Contra Costa County public school teachers. The endowments are funded by the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation in partnership with the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE): http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/ctag/. These grants offer $8,000 in Lesher funding per school, and the CCCOE provides training and support to teacher pairs and teacher coaches who identify a student academic need and propose a technology-infused curricular solution. Recipient schools also contribute $2000 of in-kind funds to support the CTAG projects. Since the Fall of 1996 almost $1.6 million has been awarded and more than 36,000 students have experienced the impact of the resulting technology-infused solutions.

During the 2007-2008 school year, CTAG grants were awarded to classrooms in all areas of Contra Costa County. Grants are being used to help students develop research and note-taking skills; use computer programs and internet to help improve writing skills; use probes and computers to collect and analyze data to support curriculum to improve science skills; to extend the use of the ed1stop Web Portal for researching and developing classroom lessons; and to further teachers' use of interactive white boards, student response systems, document cameras, class web pages, and digital resources.

WHO:
For more information about the CTAG Program, and the upcoming award celebration, visit http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/ctag/, or contact Amy Geotina, at (925)-942-3441 or ageotina@cccoe.k12.ca.us. (Teachers who received the CTAG Grants are listed below.)

WHEN:
Thursday, October 23, 2008, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

WHERE:
Contra Costa County Office of Education (Board Room), 77 Santa Barbara Road, Pleasant Hill, Calif.

MEDIA NOTES:
Audio, video, and photos are welcomed. The honored teachers will be presented with their grants, and they will be demonstrating how their award-winning projects work. Approximately 20 exhibit tables will be set up for teachers to demonstrate and discuss in more depth about their award-winning CTAG projects.

Below is a listing of the grant-winning teacher teams, along with their schools and their school districts:

CTAG Teacher Pair Grant Winners

  • Calvin Jones, Erica Hornnes & Laura Robinson
    Excelsior Middle School, Byron Union SD
  • Sandi Bruketta, Jan Winters & Dianne Chandler
    Stanley Middle School, Lafayette SD
  • Andy Parsons, Sarah Peddie & Craig Marquardt
    Heritage High School, Liberty Union HSD
  • Ann Dodson, Catherine Balen-Spinner & Renee Travis
    Morello Park Elementary School, Martinez USD
  • Susan Petersen, Erin Mahoney & Gail Van Tassel
    Delta View Elementary School, Mount Diablo USD
  • Nancy Dasho, Carol Wallis, Kim Keogh & Patty Sprenkel
    Holbrook Elementary School, Mount Diablo USD
  • Rinda Bartley, Cindy Coleman & Nancy Krajcar
    Olympic High School, Mount Diablo USD
  • Greg Hetrick, Katherine Johnson & Melanie Long
    Delta Vista Middle School, Oakley Union ESD
  • Marsha Tokuyoshi, Brian Olkowski
    Coyote Creek Elementary School, San Ramon VUSD
  • Calvin Auten, Cinda Wert Rapp & Scott Smith
    Tara Hills Elementary School, West Contra Costa USD
  • CTAG Professional Development Grant Winners
    Cheryl Domenichelli, Kathy Green
    Deer Valley High School, Antioch USD
  • Hellena Postrk, Richard Howard
    Sequoia Middle School, Mount Diablo USD
  • Marsha Tokuyoshi, Karen Young & Joanne O'Neill
    Coyote Creek Elementary School, San Ramon VUSD
  • Kirby Hoy, Denise Tully & Mona Keeler
    Iron Horse Middle School, San Ramon VUSD
  • Sharon Keeton, Emily Berry & Jenna Rohde
    Montevideo Elementary School, San Ramon VUSD
  • Dave Bolin, Kim Vaiana & Pam Jones
    Windemere Ranch Middle School, San Ramon VUSD
  • Nancy Weatherford, Alison Gomez
    Indian Valley Elementary School, Walnut Creek SD
  • Laura Casdia, Ellen DeCarlo
    Tara Hills Elementary School, West Contra Costa USD

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Office of Education Recognizes Chevron - Chevron and Local Job Training Program Celebrate 30 Year Milestone

RICHMOND, CA. October 1, 2008- A successful partnership that has helped improve education and bring better jobs to young people in the community will mark it's 30th anniversary today.

During the 30 Year Milestone celebration, the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) will mark the accomplishments of students, Chevron employees and others involved in the Regional Occupation Program (ROP).

Chevron's Richmond Refinery and the ROP have partnered for the past 30 years to provide an important avenue for training and job opportunities in Contra Costa County.

At the event, Chevron employees, ROP students, alumni, educators and county administrators will be recognized for their commitment to education and better jobs in the community.

WHAT: 30 Year Milestone Celebration to recognize a community partnership between Chevron and the Regional Occupation Program. A Barbeque picnic will be provided by Chevron as well as a short program with public presentations. Chevron's newest employees from the ROP and a veteran employee from the first Chevron ROP class will be present.

WHEN: Thursday, October 16, 2008 11:00 am-1:00 pm

WHERE: Chevron Richmond Refinery, Rod and Gun Facility, Richmond
** For directions or parking information, please contact Melissa Biascan, 510-242-4507.

WHO: Chevron Richmond Refinery and the Regional Occupation Program, Contra Costa County Office of Education to present Proclamation.

WHY: Job creation and education are both important issues in the community. Chevron and ROP are working to ensure all local residents are aware of these opportunities in the community as well as recognize and appreciate those who have made these programs a major success for the region.

CONTACT: PEGGY MARSHBURN
(925) 942-3420
PMARSHBURN@CCCOE.K12.CA.US

BRENT TIPPEN
(510) 242-4700
BRENT.TIPPEN@CHEVRON.COM

return to top of page


September 2008

Fifth Annual Young Children’s Issues Forum 2008

RICHMOND, Calif., September 30, 2008—The public is invited to a free, informative morning presentation and discussion regarding important issues facing young children and their families in Contra Costa County, on Saturday, October 4, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., at the Lovonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 MacDonald Ave., Richmond. The Fifth Annual Young Children’s Issues Forum 2008 will feature an outstanding panel of elected local and national government representatives discussing some of the most important topics that face the county’s young children, as well as their families.  This special program is presented by Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development http://www.plan4kids.org, and is coordinated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education www.cocoschools.org.

Moderated by Rona Renner, RN, host of Childhood Matters radio show, on 98.1 KISS-FM, this program will provide a casual venue for guest speakers to discuss and share their agenda for children’s well being, as well as hear from the audience regarding their concerns about children’s issues as they relate to child care and educational programs.  As in past Young Children’s Issues Forums, the audience will be made up of parents, educators, childcare program administrators, community advocates, and child care providers.

This year, the Local Planning Council for Child Care and Development, as mandated by state code, has composed a three-year Comprehensive Countywide Child Care Plan 2008-2011.  The plan highlights key areas of concern in child care services and makes recommendations for strategies and goals that can mitigate the need for services, recourses, and collaboration in Contra Costa County.  This will be presented and discussed, along with other important topics, such as:

  1. Quality child care for all children
  2. Child care capacity to fill the unmet need
  3. Inclusion of children of all abilities
  4. Affordability of child care for all families, and
  5. Development of a professional child care workforce.

These topics will focus on how they impact Contra Costa County’s business, education, and community.

This very informative forum is free to the public, and there will be a continental breakfast offered to all attendees, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  For more information, contact Ruth Fernandez, LPC coordinator, with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, at (925) 942-3413 or rfernandez@cccoe.k12.ca.us .

return to top of page


Contra Costa County Office of Education Assists Teachers To Meet No Child Left Behind Requirements

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PLEASANT HILL, California, September 10, 2008—All teachers in California need to prove subject matter competency to be considered highly qualified under the federal No Child Left Behind Elementary and Secondary Education Act. One option to demonstrate subject matter knowledge is to take and pass the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET).

This fall, the Contra Costa County office of Education (CCCOE) is again offering test preparation courses geared towards helping individuals as they prepare to take the CSET exam, in both Contra Costa and Solano counties. Courses cover content and test-taking strategies. The upcoming classes are offered in the following areas: Multiple Subjects, Single Subject English, Single Subject Math, Single Subject Science, and Single Subject Social Science.

Multiple fall session preparation courses and will be offered beginning September 16 through October 28 at the CCCOE, 77 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill. Classes taught at the Solano County Office of Education, 5100 Business Center Drive, Fairfield, will be begin November 8 through December 13. CSET registration fees, which include materials and instruction, are $70, 6-hour course; $105, 9-hour series; $140, 12-hour series and $210, 18-hour series. Registration fee (payable to CCCOE) is required at least 10 days in advance of the first day of the course. All CSET courses are contingent upon enrollment; therefore, late registrations will be accepted in classes with low enrollment.

For complete details, including specific dates and times or to register, contact Jean Wells, at the CCCOE, (925) 942-3386, or visit http://www.cocoschools.org/supe/hr/hr_cset.htm

return to top of page


Longtime Community Computer Training Center Celebrates Its New Home With An Open House

WHAT
This coming Friday, the ROP Pleasant Hill Training Center will be holding an open house to introduce the public to its new location and facility (Officially opened this past spring.) Attendees will also meet the instructors and learn about the computer programs offered.

Funded and directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), this invaluable resource has been offering low-cost courses in office skills for more than 30 years. The Pleasant Hill Training Center features state-of-the-art computer equipment and the latest software, with curriculum reflecting the newest industry trends. Taught by California credentialed instructors, the Pleasant Hill Training Center offers full- and part-time Microsoft Office and Web Design and Development classes to all adults and high school students (16-years and older) living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"In today's competitive job market, it's essential that many job seekers are skilled in Microsoft Office, in order to find employment," says teacher Robin Wood. "In addition to being able to work in such applications as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, more employers are looking for candidates who have a basic understanding of how to update and create Web pages and design graphics." The courses taught at the Pleasant Hill Training Center are also quite valuable for high school and college students who use the training for their schoolwork, or for their very first job.

WHEN:
Friday, September 12, 2008, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

WHERE:
The ROP Program's Pleasant Hill Training Center is located at 399 Taylor Blvd., Ste. 110, Pleasant Hill. http://maps.google.com

MEDIA NOTES:
Flash photography and video recording, as well as audio recording are all welcome.

return to top of page


July 2008

Summer Camp Gives High School Students a Closer Look at Biotechnology

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

students and biotech campCONCORD, Calif., July 14, 2008—During the week of July 7-11, the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) held its 5th Annual Biotech Summer Science Camp for 50 local high school students who were interested in exploring a variety of applications used in biotechnology, as well as learning more about the numerous emerging career opportunities the professional field offers, now and in the near future.

The very successful Biotech Camp was headquartered at the Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay, and was attended by 11th- and 12th-grade students who attend high schools throughout Contra Costa County.  Taught by industry leaders, scientists, and local high school science teachers, the students got an up-close education through interactive labs and field exploration, focusing on the following fields:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Cloning
  • Genetics
  • Bio-Ethics
  • Forensic Science/Crime Scene Investigation (CSI)
  • Disease Detection and Control
  • Celiac Disease
  • Biotech Career Exploration

The labs, lecturers, and field trip/site tours were lead by represents such entities as Bio-Rad Laboratories; Department of Justice Richmond Lab, CSI Unit, Concord Police Department, Joint Genome Institute, John Muir Health, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory—with the assistance of local high school science teachers.

Along with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, the 2008 Bio-Tech Summer Science Camp is presented in cooperation with the Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay; Contra Costa Community College District; and the Contra Costa Economic Partnership.

Photo: (l-r) Kevin Morse (College Park High student), Melanie Wall (home school student, Dublin), Tatsiana Verstak (College Park High student), Julie Nevis (Monte Vista High biology teacher) conduct a gene study experiment.

Photos:  Diane Morrell, CCCOE

return to top of page


June 2008

Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Program Comes Down to the Final Three

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., June 17, 2008—After being named Teacher of the Year (TOY) by their respective Contra Costa County school districts, passing a rigorous application screening, followed by a panel classroom observation and interview, one of these three finalists will be selected to represent Contra Costa County as its 2008-2009 Teacher of the Year:

 

Mary Dietler Andreas Kaiser Mark Morello
Mary Dietler,
San Ramon Valley Unified School District (Alamo Elementary School)
Andreas Kaiser, Pittsburg Unified School District (Pittsburg High School)
Mark Morello, Brentwood Union School District (Bristow Middle School) 

 

The announcement of the County Teacher of the Year will take place in front of a crowd of more than 500 attendees at Contra Costa County’s Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, held on Thursday, September 25, at the Concord Hilton Hotel.  The County Teacher of the Year will then compete in the State Teacher of the Year Program.

In Contra Costa County, there are nearly 8,500 teachers educating more than 166,000 students.  To recognize their efforts and bring much-deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county each named a Teacher of the Year in early March of this year (see entire list below). 

With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the county uses a three-stage selection process, with a point system to determine the final candidate:

Application Screening:
On April 18, a committee of 12 educators and business and public-sector partners carefully reviewed the applications submitted by the school districts.  This committee independently rates each application.   From these scores, six teachers (semi-finalists) were selected to advance to the next phase.

Classroom Observation and Interview:
During the first week in May, a small committee of education specialists observed the selected teachers interacting with their students.  Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates on topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques.  The results of the two screening processes were then combined to determine the three finalists.

Speech Competition:
This coming mid August, the three finalists will each give a three- to five-minute speech at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s new-teacher orientation, where they will be judged by another panel of educators and business and public-sector representatives.

On the evening of September 25, all 22 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (close to 500 attendees), will be honored at the Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, at the Hilton Concord.   Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ovick, as master of ceremonies, introduces all of the 2008-2009 TOYs (see entire list below) by sharing a special story from his classroom visit to each teacher.  Finally, the night comes to a dramatic close, with the announcement of the 2008-2009 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

The Contra Costa County Office of Education produces the Teacher of the Year program, with vital volunteer assistance from local business and education representatives, as well as generous community business sponsors.

2008-2009 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

Erin Caldwell, Lafayette SD, (Springhill Elementary)
Joanne Clark, John Swett USD, (Willow High)
Cris Connaughton, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Valley View Elementary)
Helen Coverdale, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Mt. Diablo Elementary)
Mary Dietler, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (Alamo Elementary)  **
Carol Elder, Byron Union SD, (Timber Point Elementary)
Dianne Furuya-Wong, Moraga SD, (Lost Perales Elementary)
Cathryn Griggs, Oakley Unified Elementary SD, (Laurel Elementary)
Janet Howard, Orinda Union SD, (Wagner Ranch Elementary)
Andreas Kaiser, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Pittsburg High) **
Jaime Lynch, Antioch Unified SD, (Sutter Elementary)
Chris Maters, Acalanes Union HSD, (Campolindo High)
Mark Morello, Brentwood Union SD, (Bristow Middle) **
Jeffrey Newcomb, Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay
Jesse Ortega, Liberty Union HSD, (Liberty High)
Alison Perruso, Walnut Creek SD, (Walnut Creek Intermediate)
Jacqueline Rosig, CCC Office of Education, (Mt. McKinley School)
Carolyn Seefer, Contra Costa Community College District, (Diablo Valley College)
Melissa Stephenson, Martinez Unified SD, (John Swett Elementary)
Cathy Templeton, Knightsen School District, (Knightsen Elementary)
Carol Wallis, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Holbrook Elementary)
Natalie Wojinski, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Hercules Middle)

**Finalist

Note regarding eligible participants:

* 17 of the 18 Contra Costa County school districts represented
* Due to the large student and teacher population, the West Contra Costa Unified School District and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District each present two TOY candidates
* 1 community college (which does not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition)
* 1 Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay, (which does not compete in the state Teacher of the Year competition)

Photos:  Diane Morrell, CCCOE

return to top of page


NEWS ADVISORY: Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing Camp Held for High School Students

June 13, 2008

WHAT:
More than 60 incoming junior and senior high school students, from across Contra Costa County, will take part in a rare hands-on education opportunity this summer, as they attend the Engineering, Construction, and Manufacturing Summer Camp.  Taught by industry experts, the participating students will get an up-close education through lectures and demonstrations, interactive labs, and field exploration, focusing on the following curriculum:

  • Energy: Generation & Control
  • Architecture Design & Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Careers & Pathways

This camp was created because it is estimated that by the year 2012, more than a million jobs will be created in the engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries, the fastest growing sectors of the nation’s economy—many of these career opportunities will be offered right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.  

WHEN: June 16-20, 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:
The camp will be based at Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, Calif., with the following subject-related field trips: Monday, IBEW Training Center (Power & Energy); Tuesday, U.C. Berkeley Research Field Station (Design & Architecture); Wednesday, USS POSCO (Manufacturing & Engineering); Thursday, El Cerrito High School (Construction).  For more information about the summer camp and exact times and locations of the field trips, contact Contra Costa County Office of Education’s School-to-Career Coordinator Louise Barbee, at 925-942-3385 (office), or (925) 817-7504 (cell).

WHO:
This program is presented in cooperation with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Economic Partnership, and the Contra Costa Community College District.

ACTION:
More than 60 high school students will be learning  (hands-on) from industry experts, in the Diablo Valley College labs and at various field sites.  Audio, still photography, and video recording are welcomed.

return to top of page


Jacqueline Rosig named CCCOE’s Teacher of the Year

Jacqueline Rosig

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., June 13, 2008—In acknowledging her outstanding work and success in teaching the boys and girls at Mt. McKinley school and the young adults at the Contra Costa Adult School, Jacqueline Rosig has been chosen as Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) 2008-2009 Teacher of the Year (TOY).   Rosig joins 21 other Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year, representing 17 school districts in the county, the Contra Costa Community College District, and California State University, East Bay—Concord Campus.

For the past nine years, Rosig has served as a grades 5-12 resource specialist at the Mt. McKinley school, located at Juvenile Hall, in Martinez.  Rosig also provides special education services to adults (ages 18-22) in the Contra Costa Adult School, located inside the County Jail, also in Martinez.

“Through Jacqueline's expertise and passion for helping students achieve, her students are experiencing academic success in school,” says Contra Costa County Superintendent Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.  “She is a remarkable educator who makes a difference in the lives of many youngsters and young adults who come to her daily with many learning challenges.”

As a youngster, her mother told Rosig that she was born to teach.  Her friends could often be found gathered around her while she played teacher.  “I’d teach them anything I knew how to do,” chuckles Rosig.  Back then, her “curriculum” included games, art, gymnastics, sports, Spanish, English and all their school subjects.   At school she served as a teacher’s assistant from elementary through high school.  “Since my parents were born in Argentina, I was raised speaking both Spanish and English.  It was natural for me to teach my English-speaking friends Spanish, and my Spanish-speaking friends English.”

“My personal views about teaching have always been about believing in my students and having high expectations of them,” says Rosig.   “I’ve learned that when I ‘raise the bar’ and expect more of them, they reach their potential, regardless of their disabilities.” 

Rosig also believes it is important that her students trust her.  Because of her teaching success, it is clearly evident that her students know she genuinely cares about them and their future, regardless of what they may have done in the past.  She makes it a point not to ask or find out why her students are incarcerated.  “My purpose as a teacher is to help them with their education and support them in transitioning back into the community.  I believe that everyone deserves a second chance to change and improve their lives, and hopefully I can be one of the people who believe in them and help make a difference.”

“Jacqueline Rosig works with youth who have fallen through the cracks and have no real safety net,” says Adult Correctional Education Director Lynn Mackey.  “A large number of her pupils, who are locked in the detention facility, have personal stories that can break your heart.”

Rosig will be honored along with her fellow distinguished TOY district representatives at the Teacher of the Year Awards Celebration on September 25, at the Concord Hilton.

return to top of page


May 2008

Contra Costa County School Districts Announce their 2008-2009 Teachers of the Year

PLEASANT HILL, Calif., May 19, 2008—In Contra Costa County, there are close to 8,400 teachers educating more than 166,000 students.  To recognize their efforts and bring much deserved honor to the teaching profession, the participating school districts in the county recently named their Teacher of the Year (TOY) representatives (see entire list below).  This year’s 22 TOYs represent 18 Contra Costa County school districts, the Contra Costa Community College District, and the Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay.   Nineteen of these representatives, those who teach grades K-12, are eligible to compete in the Contra Costa County TOY competition.  The winner of the county TOY program will represent Contra Costa County in the California State TOY Program this coming fall. 

“We have an outstanding group of teachers that represent Contra Costa County schools in stellar fashion,” says Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.

With such a high caliber of teaching professionals to draw from, the Contra Costa County Office of Education uses a three-stage selection process, with a point system to determine the final candidate:

I Application Screening:
In mid April, a committee of 12 educators and business and public-sector partners carefully review the applications submitted by the school districts.  This committee independently rates each application.   This year, from these scores, six teachers were selected to advance to the next phase as semi-finalists.

II Classroom Observation and Interview:
During early May, a small committee of education specialists and business partners observed the selected teachers interacting with their students.  Immediately following, the committee interviews the candidates on topics such as their teaching philosophy and techniques.  The results of the two screening processes are then combined to determine the three finalists.  (The three finalists will be announced in early June.)

III Speech Competition:
This coming August, the three finalists each give a three- to five-minute speech at the Mt. Diablo Unified School District’s new-teacher orientation, where another panel of educators and business and public-sector representatives will judge them.

On the evening of September 25, all 22 TOYs, accompanied by their families, friends, and co-workers (approximately an audience of 550), will be honored at the Teacher of the Year Dinner Celebration, at the Hilton Concord.   Dr. Ovick, as master of ceremonies, introduces the TOYs by sharing a special story from his classroom visits of each teacher.  Finally, the night comes to a dramatic close, with the announcement of the 2008-2009 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year.

2008-2009 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives

Erin Caldwell, Lafayette SD, (Springhill Elementary) **
Joanne Clark, John Swett USD, (Willow High)
Cris Connaughton, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Valley View Elementary)
Helen Coverdale, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Mt. Diablo Elementary)
Mary Dietler, San Ramon Valley Unified SD, (Alamo Elementary)  **
Carol Elder, Byron Union SD, (Timber Point Elementary)
Dianne Furuya-Wong, Moraga SD, (Lost Perales Elementary)  **
Cathryn Griggs, Oakley Unified Elementary SD, (Laurel Elementary)
Janet Howard, Orinda Union SD, (Wagner Ranch Elementary)
Andreas Kaiser, Pittsburg Unified SD, (Pittsburg High) **
Jaime Lynch, Antioch Unified SD, (Sutter Elementary)
Chris Maters, Acalanes Union HSD, (Campolindo High)
Mark Morello, Brentwood Union SD, (Bristow Middle) **
Jeffrey Newcomb, Concord Campus, California State University, East Bay
Jesse Ortega, Liberty Union HSD, (Liberty High)
Alison Perruso, Walnut Creek SD, (Walnut Creek Intermediate)
Jacqueline Rosig, CCC Office of Education, (Mt. McKinley School)
Carolyn Seefer, Contra Costa Community College District, (Diablo Valley College)
Melissa Stephenson, Martinez Unified SD, (John Swett Elementary)
Cathy Templeton, Knightsen School District, (Knightsen Elementary)
Carol Wallis, Mt. Diablo Unified SD, (Holbrook Elementary)
Natalie Wojinski, West Contra Costa Unified SD, (Hercules Middle) **

** Semi-Finalist

Note regarding eligible participants:

-18 of the 19 Contra Costa County school districts represented
-1 Contra Costa County community college (Does not compete in the State Teacher of the Year competition)
-Cal State University, East Bay, (Does not compete in the state Teacher of the Year competition)

return to top of page


County Office of Education Names New Associate Superintendent

Karen Sakata

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. May 19, 2008—The Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools has named Karen Sakata the new Associate Superintendent, Student Programs and Services for the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE).  Currently serving as principal of Ayers Elementary School, in Concord (Mt. Diablo Unified School District), Sakata brings more than 33 years of experience as a classroom teacher and an education administrator.

Sakata has held the position of principal Ayers Elementary since 1994. Prior to joining the elementary school, she worked primarily as a teacher and a trainer of fellow educators in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.  Her teaching positions included serving as a special education program specialist, speech and language pathologist, resource specialist, and an early childhood specialist.

Under the direction of Contra Costa County Superintendent Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D., Sakata will manage  the CCCOE educational operations, programs, and school district support services of the Student Programs and Services Division, including Special Education, Court and Community Schools, Contra Costa Adult School, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation programs, Special Projects, and ROP.  In addition, she will coordinate and supervise personnel, resources, curriculum, communications, information, and fiscal functions to meet educational needs and requirements to enhance student learning and achievement.

“With her wealth of education experience and numerous successful accomplishments in the classroom and in administration, we are quite excited about Karen joining the CCCOE,” said Dr. Ovick.  “Karen is a dynamic leader who is passionate about life-long learning.  Our students and teachers will certainly benefit from her guidance.”

Sakata will succeed current Associate Superintendent Ray Penning, who will be retiring in mid June.  Penning has held the position for 11 years, and has worked for the County Office of Education since 1989.

Sakata holds an M.A. in speech pathology from San Jose State University and a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, at Berkeley.  In addition, she has earned a number of education-related certifications, credentials, and licenses.  

return to top of page


NEWS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED:

May 13, 2008

The Effects of the Governor’s May Budget Revise on Contra Costa County’s Schools and Students

WHAT: Come hear first hand the reaction of Contra Costa’s school districts to the May 14 announcement of the Governor’s budget revisions. Speak with school district representatives as to the effect of the May revise on local school district budgets and consequently, the education of our students.
After each speaker provides their brief statements regarding the Revise, they will be available to take questions from the media.

WHO:
News conference speakers will include:

  • Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D
  • Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent Barbara Wilson, Ph.D.
  • 32nd District Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Sue Bennett
  • California School Boards Association (CSBA), Lafayette School Board Member Teresa Gerringer
  • California Teachers’ Association (CTA)
  • Public Employee Union, Local 1
  • California School Employee Association (CSEA) member
  • Acalanes High School Student Body President

  
WHEN:
Thursday, May 15, 3:30 p.m.
(Also noteworthy, on this same day, more than 500  teachers who previously received pink slip notices will learn their fate, as districts send out their final layoff notices).

WHERE:   
Acalanes High School, 1200 Pleasant Hill Rd., Lafayette, Calif.  The conference will be held in the school’s quad, right outside the front office.

MEDIA NOTES:
Flash photography and video and audio recording will be allowed.

For more information about this news conference, contact Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Chief Communications Officer Terry Koehne at 925-942-3420 (office) or 925-766-7575 (cell).

return to top of page


NEWS ADVISORY:

May 8, 2008

ROP Students of Excellence Awards Ceremony

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County Office of Education will be honoring 34 high school seniors and one adult with Students of Excellence Awards for their outstanding achievement in their ROP (Regional Occupational Program) classes.  Honored students will each be awarded a certificate of merit and $250 in scholarship award.  These students are currently attending schools throughout Contra Costa County and the city of Berkeley. 

See link for a complete listing of the student names and their schools and teachers, as well as the ROP courses they earned their award in.  (List in alphabetical order by city.)
http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/stsvcs/rop/forms/2008ROP-Awards-List.pdf

WHEN:
Thursday, May 8, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

WHERE:   
Pleasant Hill Community Center, 320 Civic Drive, Pleasant Hill, CA

WHO:
The Contra Costa County ROP serves 13,000 students with career technical classes in 31 high schools and 8 adult sites in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  ROP focuses on career preparation, hands-on experience, and academic excellence to prepare students for success in college and future careers.   ROP provides students with state-of-the-art equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technology.  All of the ROP classes and programs are directed by and funded through the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  For more information about ROP classes, visit www.cocoschools.org/stsvcs/rop.html.

The following business partners gave generous donations that made the scholarship awards possible:
Bridgestone Firestone, Chevron Corporation, Contra Costa County Employer Advisory Council, John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Walnut Creek Honda.

MEDIA NOTES:

*Quality JPEG portrait photos of each of the awarded students, as well as a PDF copy of the Students of the Excellence Awards program are now available upon request.

*More than 300 will be on hand for this event.  Along with the honored students and their families, also attending will be ROP teachers, business partnership representatives, President of the Contra Costa County Board of Education Glenn Ruley, and Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.

*Flash photography and video and audio recording is allowed.

*For more information about this special event, contact Marie McClaskey, Director, Student Programs, Central County,
Contra Costa County Office of Education
Phone:  (925) 942-3368
E-mail:  mmcclaskey@cccoe.k12.ca.us

return to top of page


April 2008

Long Time Community Computer Training Center Moves To New Home

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. April 11, 2008—The ROP Program’s Pleasant Hill Training Center has moved to a new location: 399 Taylor Blvd., Ste. 110, Pleasant Hill.  Funded and directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), this invaluable resource has been offering low-cost courses in office skills for more than 30 years. The Pleasant Hill Training Center features state-of-the-art computer equipment and the latest software, with curriculum reflecting the newest industry trends. 

Taught by California credentialed instructors, the Pleasant Hill Training Center offers full- and part-time Microsoft Office and Web Design and Development classes to all adults and high school students (16-years and older) living in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s not unusual to see a high school student, who’s had plenty of computer experience, learning advanced skills at one computer station, sitting next to a middle-aged person using a computer for the very first time. 

“In today’s competitive job market, it’s essential that many job seekers are skilled in Microsoft Office, in order to find employment,” says teacher Robin Wood. “In addition to being able to work in such applications as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access, more employers are looking for candidates who have a basic understanding of how to update and create Web pages and design graphics.” The courses taught at the Pleasant Hill Training Center are also quite valuable for high school and college students who use the training for their schoolwork, or for their very first job.  

The Training Center’s other instructor, Sue Peterson, says, “I really enjoy teaching this class, especially helping people upgrade their computer skills in order to find employment.” Peterson has been teaching the ROP courses since 1982.

“I love the new location,” says Carla McFadden, who is currently upgrading her computer skills in order to obtain a new job.  “It’s beautiful! The location is great, and it has excellent public transportation.” McFadden is typical of a number of students now flocking to the Pleasant Hill Training Center. She was laid off after working for 16 years when her company outsourced its accounting department.  She now needs to learn new computer skills in order to be competitive in the job market.  “This class not only increases your technical skills, but your self esteem as well. Sue is a great teacher. When you have a problem, she’s always there to walk you through it.”

The Pleasant Hill Training Center offers two self-paced programs that can be tailored to meet your needs:

1) Computer Basics & Microsoft Office: Learn how to effectively use the most popular Office applications like Windows, Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, and PowerPoint.

2) Web Design & Development: Discover how to create standards-compliant Web sites for yourself or your employers.   You will learn how to edit digital photos and generate Web graphics, as well as develop publications, brochures, and flyers.

Training Center students are charged a very reasonable tuition rate­––$45.00 per nine-week session––plus the cost of textbooks.  The on-going, self-paced courses are open entry and open exit.  Students can start class immediately, if spaces are available.

ROP’s state-of-the-art Pleasant Hill Training Center is conveniently located at 399 Taylor Blvd., Ste. 110, Pleasant Hill.

 

photo of ROP adult computer students

(left to right) Sue Peterson, ROP adult computer applications instructor helps Carla McFadden with Microsoft Excel program at the new Pleasant Hill Training Center - photo by Judith McCall

return to top of page


NEWS ADVISORY:
April 9, 2008 Public Hearing is canceled

Re: Cancellation of the Contra Costa County Committee on School Organization public hearing of the Walnut Creek petition scheduled for April 9, 2008, 6:00 p.m. at Acalanes High School, 1200 Pleasant Hill Rd., Lafayette

In preparing the maps for the April 9 public hearing using tax parcels, it was determined by county staff that the legal description in the petition created an isolated part of Mt. Diablo district that is deemed illegal under Education Code 35543. Therefore, the petition as it currently stands has been deemed illegal, and the public hearing on the petition is canceled. The petitioners have the right to resubmit a petition with a new legal description and new signatures.

(Education Code 35543: On or after January 1, 1981, a school district shall not be formed or reorganized to include territory which is separated from other portions of the territory of the district by the territory of one or more other school districts.)

Contact: Terry Koehne
Chief Communications Officer
Contra Costa County Office of Education
925-942-3420
pmarshburn@cccoe.k12.ca.us

return to top of page


March 2008

PRESS RELEASE:
Celebrate Reading at First Annual
Contra Costa County Library Reading Festival

Relax, Recharge, Rethink - READ

The Contra Costa County Library today announced the first-ever countywide Contra Costa County Library Reading Festival. To be held May 16 - 18, 2008, the Reading Festival celebrates the importance of reading and libraries by bringing 50 authors into 25 community libraries for a weekend of free and fun programs.

"Reading is an essential life-long skill. It can be an activity that recharges you, forces you to rethink an opinion or a subject, or provides a way to relax. With our first-annual Reading Festival, we are celebrating the myriad reasons people read," said Anne Cain, Contra Costa County Librarian. "With the number and caliber of authors participating in the Reading Festival, and the range of audience and subject matter, there will truly be something for everyone. We look forward to celebrating the joy of reading throughout the county."

The Reading Festival will offer something for readers of all ages and interests and promote discovery in every chapter of life. Fiction and non-fiction readers alike will enjoy a fabulous line-up of best-selling and emerging authors, including novelists Anita Amirrezvani and Elizabeth Rosner, mystery writer Cara Black, Catherine Coulter, author of best selling FBI thrillers, and nonfiction authors Peggy Orenstein and Greg Mortenson.

Bring the kids along for an opportunity to meet a variety of wonderful children's authors and illustrators, including Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Vivian Walsh, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, perennial favorites Robert San Souci and Daniel San Souci, and award-winning illustrator Yuyi Morales. Even teens will have something to enjoy - the chance to meet Frank Portman and mystery writer Penny Warner.

Authors will be scheduled to speak at each of the 25 Contra Costa County Community Libraries and each community library will host programs and events throughout the weekend as part of this celebration of reading. All dates and times are subject to change. Please visit the Library's web site at ccclib.org/reads for information on specific authors and Reading Festival events.

The Contra Costa County Library Reading Festival is being presented by Target Corporation.

For more information, contact Susan Lynn, Library Reading and Literacy Manager, Contra Costa County Library, 925-927-3249, or <slynn@ccclib.org>.

return to top of page


January 2008

NEWS ADVISORY:
2008 Academic Decathlon: SuperQuiz

WHAT:
The Contra Costa County 2008 Academic Decathlon, which takes place over two Saturdays, will conclude this coming Saturday, February 2. Directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and with the assistance of community volunteers, the Academic Decathlon provides an opportunity for high school students to compete as individuals and teams in a series of ten academic tests and demonstrations, including: art, economics, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, essay, interview, and speech (prepared and impromptu). More than 200 students have been studying and preparing for this event with their coaches since September. This year, both the curricular theme and the Super Quiz Topic is The Civil War.

The always-exciting SuperQuiz (a team-relay event) is the final event of the program. This is the only portion of the Academic Decathlon in which friends, family, schoolmates, and teachers are welcome to attend—and cheer their team on, enthusiastically.

ACADEMIC DECATHLON LINK:
http://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/edsvcs/events/decathlon.htm

WHO:
This year’s Contra Costa County teams represent the following high schools: Acalanes (Lafayette), Antioch, California (San Ramon), Campolindo (Moraga), Concord, Dougherty Valley (San Ramon), Freedom (Oakley), Kennedy (Richmond), Las Lomas (Walnut Creek), Liberty (Brentwood), Miramonte (Orinda), Monte Vista (Danville), Northgate (Walnut Creek), and Pittsburg. High school teams are made up of nine students, grades 9-12, with a maximum of three students in each of the following divisions: Honors (3.75-4.00 GPA), Scholastic (3.00-3.74 GPA) and Varsity (2.99 GPA and below). The winning team will represent Contra Costa County at the California Academic Decathlon, to be held in Sacramento, March 8-10.

More than one million students have participated in the United States Academic Decathlon since 1968. It has become known as the first and most comprehensive program to promote and recognize academic achievement for all students.

WHERE /WHEN:
Los Medanos College (in the Recital Hall), 2700 E. Leland Rd., Pittsburg

Saturday, February 2, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ** SuperQuiz begins about 2:15 p.m., finishing around 3:15 p.m.

ACTION:
The SuperQuiz portion of the Athletic Decathlon is always the most exciting segment of the two-day event. It has a game-show/athletic competition atmosphere, especially with all of the participating students’ families, friends, and teachers cheering them on.

Photo Opportunities:
**Saturday, February 2, 2:15-3:15 p.m. at Los Medanos College—Team procession and SuperQuiz Relay.

Wednesday, February 6, 6:30 p.m. Pleasant Hill Middle School’s Multi-Purpose Room,1 Santa Barbara Rd., Pleasant Hill—Academic Decathlon Awards Ceremony.

For more information about the Academic Decathlon, contact Joan Sieczkowski (Sis-cow-ski), Event Coordinator, CCCOE, 925-942-3400, or <jski@cccoe.k12.ca.us>.

return to top of page


NEWS ADVISORY:

Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair

WHAT:
More than 450 Contra Costa County high school students with a shared future career interest in health care and bioscience will participate at the upcoming Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair.  Casey Batten, M.D., primary care sports medicine specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, will serve as the event’s opening keynote speaker.  Afterwards, the attending students will participate in a number of breakout workshops that feature such topics as Technology and Health, Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, and Pre-Hospital Care.  There will also be 14 health care and bioscience exhibitors on hand for the students to talk to, interview, and learn more information about the arena they are looking to enter after graduating high school. 

For a PDF copy of this year’s Contra Costa County Health & Bioscience Career Fair, visit:  http://www.cocoschools.org
  
WHEN:
Friday, February 1, 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:   
Marriott Hotel, 2600 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, Calif.

WHO:
Presented by: John Muir Health, Sutter Health, and Kaiser Permanente 
In cooperation with: The Contra Costa County Office of Education, Contra Costa Economic Partnership, Hospital Council, Contra Costa Community College District, and the Contra Costa Health / Bioscience collaborative
Attendees: Contra Costa County high school juniors and seniors who possess a strong interest in a future career in health care and bioscience.

ACTION:
More than 450 East Bay high school students will be seeking career information from numerous Bay Area health-care and bioscience business and education representatives.  They will be attending sessions and visiting more than a dozen related vendor booths. 

Flash photography and video and audio recording is allowed.

For more information about this special event, contact Contra Costa County Office of Education’s School-to-Career Coordinator Louise Barbee, at 925-942-3385 or <lbarbee@cccoe.k12.ca.us>.

return to top of page

 

Page updated on: June 06, 2017

Rev: 0.4-010514-BETA4