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Stories written by jeanniem

Students participate in ArtReach

 ArtReach is a nonprofit visual arts education program in San Diego,
and the name is spot on. The organization reaches out to schools to
bring art to students.
   The organization was born from its sister group, ArtWalk. Every year
artists, and art lovers, visit Little Italy for ArtWalk, an annual
urban art festival. The ArtWalk team noted the dwindling budget for
arts education in the region and they said they could respond by
bringing together artists to teach workshops to young students.

Seventeen teachers retire

   This year, 17 educators retire from Ramona Unified School District.
The group is full of seasoned professionals, some with more than 30
years of experience. They each leave behind a legacy that will be
remembered by their colleagues, parents, and students.

PTA resurrects art docent program for young students

   Sun Valley Council Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is reviving the
Art Docent program that was popular in Ramona elementary schools years
   At a recent PTA meeting, parents and teachers decided to resurrect the docent program.
   So, starting this fall, volunteers will be back in the classrooms to engage students in art.
   Former teacher and art docent and current school board member Luan
Burman Rivera and parent Heather Ault, who is Barnett Elementary’s
resident art education volunteer, are at the center of the movement.

Children’s charity sets $50,000 goal for severely handicapped

   Golfers still have time to registre for the Ramona Children’s
Charity 14th annual Driving for Miracles Golf Tournament at Mt. Woodson
Golf Course on June 24.
   The day includes activities for everyone from 18 holes of
championship golf with breakfast and lunch to tee-off demonstrations,
putting contests and professional golf tips. The event wraps up with a
barbecue buffet, awards, drawings and goody bags for golfers.
   Put on by Ramona Children’s Charity, the event raises funds for
severely handicapped children in the Ramona Unified School District
   “Every Ramona charity dollar goes directly to benefit the RUSD
program for severely handicapped children from preschool to high
school,” said Tournament Committee Chairperson Cheryl Day. “Your
thoughtful contribution enables these children to gain access to
technology in the classroom that can literally change their lives.”

Bulldog Balloon Company accepts orders for graduation

   Students in Gloria Quinn’s class found that the best way to beat not
getting that part-time job they were hoping for is to create their own.

   The Life and Work Skills class at Ramona High School is a place for
students with special needs to come together and learn important
aspects of the working world. In this case, they were looking to
develop employment skills, so the students thought it best to start
their own business on campus.
   “We considered a long list of ideas (from) selling frozen fruit bars
to worm farming,” said Quinn. “Ultimately we wanted a product that
would appeal to students and fill a demand. Once students decided on
balloons, we began our business plan.”
   So, the Bulldog Balloon Company, or BBC, was born, but not without
some hard work. After the students decided on the type of business,
they went to Principal Tony Newman for permission. Next, Quinn
submitted an Associated Student Body (ASB) club request to make it

Connie Halfaker receives surprise: High School Sports Association Coach of the Year

   Ramona High School Athletic Director Damon Baldwin was ever so sly
when he asked Coach Connie Halfaker to attend a breakfast in honor of
San Diego’s best and brightest athletes at Hall of Champions Museum in
Balboa Park.
   “He called me up, told me he couldn’t make it and said it was very
important for me to be there to support my athlete, Bailey (Kotas), who
was getting an award. I told him, ‘sure!’” said Halfaker.
   Little did she know that in addition she would be getting a very
prestigious award, the High School Sports Association Coach of the Year.

Montecito’s first softball team wins its debut game

 The Montecito High School softball team won its debut game last week against Ivy High School of Fallbrook.
   This was the first softball game ever for the continuation school
league of North County. The Ramona Toros took the lead early on, with a
score of 3-1 after the second inning. From there, they continued to
score, not allowing Ivy to score again until after the 5th inning. In
the end, the Toros won, 15-9.
   This was a coveted win for MHS sports because their soccer team lost
to Ivy in their last game of the winter sports continuation season.

Creativity nets 7 IVIE nominations

 On the Olive Peirce Middle School campus, there is a class where on
any given day when you walk in you feel the creativity and energy.
   There might be kids crowded around a table deep in brainstorming
while others are huddled by a computer putting the last touches on the
video they are producing. Whatever they are engrossed in, one is sure
to find Sergio Estrada’s video production students working — and

Parents join students in early-morning runs

   When Carla Padilla’s son started school at James Dukes Elementary,
she couldn’t wait to get him involved in the running club. But the club
had been put on hold awaiting a parent volunteer to start it up again.
   Knowing it was a lot of work, especially because she also had a
2-year-old at home, Padilla encouraged her friend, Rachel Duffie, to
join her. Duffie, a fellow parent, is a certified fitness instructor.
   “I just couldn’t do it by myself, so I worked on her during our kids’ swim lessons and talked her into it,” said Padilla.

Daniel James, Ramona Teacher of the Year

   Seven years ago the Ramona High School band couldn’t quite grab any
trophy above third place. They were solid, but just didn’t have that
   Then came Daniel James, described by co-workers, students and
parents as a dedicated, hardworking, talented and extremely caring
person. Under his direction, the most recent season ended with nothing
less than a second place trophy, and five first place trophies.