Education

SCORECARD CA SHOWS KIDS STILL STRUGGLING, POST-PANDEMIC

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

January 30, 2023 (Sacramento) -- Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-released 2023 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being. The report showcases data from all 58 counties and shows wide disparities in indicators of health, education and more.


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LIBRARY HIGH SCHOOL CELEBRATES CLASS OF 2023

Source:  San Diego County

January 29, 2023 (San Diego) - More than two dozen San Diegans donned their caps and gowns Saturday to accept their high school diplomas. They recently completed the Library High School program and earned their degree entirely online.


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STOLEN DOCUMENTARY REVEALS SAN DIEGO CHILD TRAFFICKING EPIDEMIC

Story and photos by Shiloh Ireland and Miriam Raftery 

View video by Douglas Quaid including event highlights and ECM interviews with Monica Dean (photo, left) and Dr. Rhonda Taylor

 

January 28, 2023 (Lakeside) Sex trafficking of children inSan Diego is happening in every single school district inSan Diego County, NBC San Diego investigative reporter Monica Dean (photo, left) told parents and teachers during a showing othe documentary film Stolen at El Capitan High School in Lakeside on January 19.

 

That shocking evidence was found during NBC San Diegoaward-winning investigative reporting series on which the film is based. Dean, a mother of three young children, hopes to raise awareness to protect vulnerable children and teens in the community from exploitation by traffickers. We all have to stand up against them, she says of traffickers. We all have a role to play.

 

San Diego is one of the country’s hotspots for trafficking of adults and children – the FBI has ranked San Diego as one of the 13 worst regions in the United States with up to 8,000 victims per year.


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FALSE ALARM REPORTING SCHOOL SCHOOTER TRIGGERS HEAVY POLICE RESPONSE AT LEMON GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2023 (La Mesa) – Neighbors near Lemon Avenue Elementary School reporting seeing 15-20 police cars and a SWAT team late this afternoon.  The La Mesa Police Department sent a Nixle warning of police activity near Lemon Ave. and Glen, but at 4:19 posted this message on Facebook:  “La Mesa PD received a call of an active shooter at Lemon Avenue Elementary. It was a FALSE ALARM. Officers are still on scene but there are no injuries and no active threat to the community.


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EDUCATION POLL: PARENTS REJECT CULTURE WAR; WANT TO GET BACK TO BASICS

By Suzanne Potter, California News Service

January 23, 2023 (Sacramento) -- Congressman Kevin McCarthy from Bakersfield announced in his first address as U.S. House Speaker that he wants to combat what he describes as "woke indoctrination" in public schools. But a new poll shows very few voters consider that to be an urgent priority. A survey commissioned by the American Federation of Teachers finds that improving students' academic achievement rates much higher.


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MOUNTAIN-AREA SCHOOL DISTRICTS CLOSED TUESDAY

East County News Service

January 17, 2023 (San Diego's East County) -- Due to the winter storm, the Julian Union Elementary School District, Julian Union High School District, Mountain Empire Unified School District, Spencer Valley School District and Warner Unified School District will all be closed today, according to the San Diego County Office of Education.


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EJE ACADEMIES IN EL CAJON NAME JANET VÁSQUEZ AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

East County News Service

January 3, 2023 (El Cajon) - The board of directors of Excellence and Justice in Education Academies (EJEA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Janet Vásquez as Executive Director of EJEA.  


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SAFA'S STORY

 

By Chuck Westerheide, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video by José Eli Villanueva

December 21, 2022 (San Diego) - The San Diego County K-12 Youth Services Community Grant Program awarded $6.4 Million in grants to more than 40 local organizations to offer services like tutoring, after-school programs, business development and anti-bullying campaigns.  The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office recovered millions of dollars as part of a public corruption case to be used to care for children by reducing inequities and improve opportunities for local students. The interactive play, Safa’s Story, is one project benefitting from the grant.

For more information on the K-12 Youth Services Community Grant Program and a list of organizations awarded grants, see our website.

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INTERGENERATIONAL TUTORING DOES “MIRACLE WORK”

By Susan Taylor

Photo  tutor Elaine Westheimer is enthusiastic about being part of the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program

December 19, 2022 (La Mesa) -- At San Diego Oasis in Grossmont Center, seniors have the opportunity to be trained for and directed to the wonderful world of tutoring.  This fall, 175 volunteers, most of them seniors, are tutoring children in elementary schools in San Diego County.  This number is up from the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic, when just a handful of people were meeting face to face with kids at schools. 

The number of tutors was between 300-400 before COVID.  Kristen Amicone, Director of Intergenerational Programs at Oasis, said, “(We are) working diligently to reach that number again and estimate that we will do so by the end of the 2023-2024 school year.”


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SANTEE SCHOOL DISTRICT WELCOMES TWO NEW ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS

Photos and story courtesy Santee School District. 
 
Dec. 12, 2022 (Santee) The Santee School District Board of Education approved two new Assistant Superintendents at the December 6, 2022, regular meeting. Following retirement announcements from Dr. Stephanie Pierce,
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, and Karl Christensen, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, the District conducted a nationwide search to fill these two vital leadership roles.

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CUYAMACA COLLEGE HIRES OLYMPIC MEDALIST TO LEAD ATHLETICS, KINESIOLOGY, AND HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMS

Source: Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District

December 1, 2022 (El Cajon) -- Cuyamaca College has recruited Olympic track and field medalist, coach and administrator Anthony “Tonie” Campbell as the college’s new dean of Athletics, Kinesiology & Health Education (AKHE). Campbell will succeed Interim Dean Terry Davis, beginning Thursday, December 1.


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ACTIVE TUBERCULOSIS REPORTED AT CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS

By County News Center, County of San Diego Communications Office

Image credit:  CDC.gov

November 25, 2022 (San Marcos) - Students and staff at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) may have been exposed to tuberculosis (TB) during this Fall Semester 2022 session, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced yesterday.


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LEMON GROVE SCHOOL BOND MEASURE Q PASSES BY WIDE MARGIN

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2022 (Lemon Grove) – The Lemon Grove School District’s Measure Q bond measure is passing by 68.38% of the votes tallied, far more than the 55% needed for passage.

The measure authorizes $27 million in bonds to be used to replace aging roofs, upgrade STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) classrooms, increase computer access; and replace portable buildings with permanent classrooms. The measure is projected to generate $1.6 million a year through 2053, with annual audits, independent oversight and state matching funds – without raising taxes.


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LA MESA-EL CAJON BRANCH OF AAUW ANNOUNCES ANNUAL SPEECH TREK CONTEST

East County News Service

November 16, 2022 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa-El Cajon Branch of the American Association of University Women is holding their annual Speech Trek, speech contest, open to all high school students in grades 9-12. The in-person contest is open to all high schools including public, charter, home and private.

Each year a critical topic is selected and students, along with a branch/teacher coach, create, prepare, and present an original, 5–6-minute speech. This year’s topic is, “How can communities, organizations and citizens of all ages help protect and expand voting rights?”


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CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR TAMARA OTERO LOSING REELECTION; TWO OTHER SEATS FILLED BY CANDIDATES RUNNING UNOPPOSED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Anthony Carnevale, Jolyana Jirjees and Jo Medina-Alegria will serve in CVUSD areas 1, 2 and 3.

November 11, 2022 (El Cajon) – In a surprising upset, Cajon Valley Union School District’s board chair Tamara Otero is losing her reelection bid to challenger Anthony Carnevale, a businessman.  Carnevale has 61.37% of the votes, while Otero has 33.63%, according to the San Diego Registrar of Voters.

Otero and Carnevale, both conservatives, ran in trustee area 1.

In area 2, an open seat due to Trustee Jill Barto not seeking reelection, Jolyana Jirjees was the only candidate running and has been appointed by the board to fill the vacancy.

Trustee Jo Medina-Alegria ran unopposed for her reelection in area 3.


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INCUMBENTS WINNING REELECTION TO ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: AUSD Trustees Glenn Dickie, Al Guerra and Eric Wray

November 11, 2022 (Alpine) –  Incumbents have solid leads in races for all three seats up for election in the Alpine Union School District and appear headed for reelection.

As of the latest returns tonight, Al Guerra has 26.10%, Board President Glenn Dickie 24.14%, and Eric Wray 23.38%.

The challengers, Erika Simmons and Darlene Cossio, have 16.99% and 9.39% respectively.  Simmons is a marketing and communications director for Goodwlil San Diego County; Cossio is director of assessment services at San Diego Unified School District.


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SANTEE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S BOARD OF TRUSTEES' ELECTION RESULTS

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

Update Nov. 21, 2022 -- Ryan and Fox have retained their leads.  Ryan has 75.56%, far outposcing her opponent. Fox has 48.58% in his three-person race, well above Thill at 36.71% and Dolin at 14.7%.  This will be the final update from the Registrar of Voters before certification of the votes on Dec. 8.

Nov. 9, 2022 (Santee) The  Santee School District’s board of education had three seats up for election on its board of trustees. Campaign issues included school safety, catching up on pandemic learning loss and more.

The latest vote tally has incumbent Barbara L. Ryan vastly outpacing Ron Burner for seat 1. Ryan has 76.15% of the vote, versus Burner’s 23.85%. Ryan, a member of the Santee Board of Education, supports comprehensive language arts programs that include phonics, a zero-tolerance policy ensuring safety, curriculum standards that exceed state standards, and more. In her ballot statement, she says her leadership has brought significant additional funding to the district. Additionally, she has served on district committees, as a PTA president and school site councilmember as well as numerous other organizations.


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DEMOCRATS SET TO SWEEP LA MESA-SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACES

By Susan Taylor and Miriam Raftery

Photo: Caitlin Tiffany, Rebecca McRae and Brianna Coston are leading in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District races

The Governing Board of the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District will likely have a Democratic majority if early election leads hold for Caitlin Tiffany, Rebecca McRae and Brianna Coston .They would represent Area 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and were endorsed by both the California Teachers Association and the San Diego County Democratic Party.

McRae, an incumbent, has a solid 56.89% of the vote over Myriam Moody at 43.11% and appears to have won reelection.

Tiffany, an assistant biology professor at Mesa College and assistant dance coach at Santa High School, has 63.6% of the votes in her race against former board trustee Jim Long.

Coston, a La Mesa Planning Commissioner, has a slimmer lead over Kyle Hermann, a history and political science professor at Chula Vista Christian University.


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NEW MEMBERS TO JOIN LAKESIDE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD; THREE INCUMBENTS OUSTED

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top left to lower right:  Andrew Hayes won reelection; newcomers Ron Kasper, Jim Bennett and Autumn Ellenson beat out a trio of other incumbents

 

November 9, 2022 (Lakeside) – Lakeside Union School District’s governing board will look dramatically different as a result of yesterday’s election.  Three full-term seats and one short-term seat were on the ballot. But only one of the incumbents up for reelection, Andrew Hayes, has won reelection.  Three others – Bonnie LaChappa, Holly Ferrante, and Don Whiseman, are trailing by substantial margins.

All of the leading candidates are endorsed by the Republican Party, though the race is officially nonpartisan. In addition to Hayes, challengers Jim Bennett and Ron Kasper appear poised to win full-term seats, while Autumn Ellenson is winning the short-term seat by a resounding margin of more than two-thirds.


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MATCHING FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR AREA TEACHERS TO BOOST STEM AND ANTI-RACISM EDUCATION

This is the 5th year that SDG&E is supporting educators through the DonorsChoose Crowdfunding Platform

Source:  SDG&E

November 4, 2022 (San Diego) - Ahead of STEM/STEAM Day on Nov. 8San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced today that it is providing $250,000 in shareholder funds as matching dollars to help teachers supplement classroom learning with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) projects, as well as racial equity and inclusion education. This is the fifth year that SDG&E is partnering with DonorsChoose, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that empowers public school educators to post their projects online and raise donations to fund them. 


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SIX CANDIDATES VIE FOR THREE SEATS ON LA MESA SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT RACE

By Susan Taylor and Miriam Raftery 

November 3, 2022 (La Mesa) – The La Mesa-Spring Valley School District will soon have a majority of new faces, since incumbents Megan Epperson and Charda Bell are not seeking reelection in trustee areas 1 and 3. In addition, the resignation of Sarah Rhiley resulted in the Board appointing Nathanial Allen last month to complete her term in trustee area 5. 

 

Six candidates are vying for three seats on the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District Board. In trustee area 1, business owner and former board member Jim Long is running against Tiffany Caitlin, a teacher.  In area 2, board president Rebecca McRae, an elementary school teacher, seeks reelection and faces challenger Myriam Moody, a community college professor.  In area 3, La Mesa Planning Commissioner Brianna Coston is running against teacher and university administrator Hermann Kyle.

 

The California Teachers Association has endorsed Caitlin, McRae, and Coston. So has the San Diego County Democratic Party.  The San Diego County Republican Party has endorsed Moody and Kyle.

 

East County Magazine sent questionnaires to all candidates running but disappointingly, only one candidate, Jim Long, replied. His responses are published below.


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ALPINE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION: FIVE CANDIDATES VIE FOR THREE SEATS

By Robin N. Kendall

October 27, 2022 (Alpine) -- Alpine Union School District voters can change or keep the status quo in this year’s election for school board trustees, with three seats on the ballot and five candidates. Two candidates are challengers and the other three are incumbents. Trustees in Alpine represent the entire district, so voters can choose three names when they mark their ballots.


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CAJON VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD RACE: THREE SEATS ARE UP, BUT ONLY TWO WILL BE ON BALLOT – AND ONE HAS ONLY A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE QUALIFIED

By Robin N. Kendall

Photo: Board President Tamara Otero, the only candidate who returned ECM’s questionnaire of five candidates running in three districts.

October 27, 2022 (El Cajon) -- This election year, voters in the Cajon Valley Union School District may or may not see candidates on the ballot for school board trustees, depending on which area they live in. Unlike school districts with “at large” trustees, this big district is divided into five areas, with a balanced number of residents in each area. Trustees represent the area they live in and serve terms of four years. To ensure stability, not all seats are up for reelection the same year. In the last election (2020), trustees for areas 4 and 5 were chosen.


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MY SPACE & EARLY LEARNING CENTER OFFERS CHILDCARE AND EVENT SPACE IN LEMON GROVE

Story and video by John Levken

October 27, 2022 (Lemon Grove) --East County Magazine visited the “My Space & Early Learning Time” center in Lemon Grove, where owner Onika Miller gave a tour around her new childcare business. There are a total of seven spaces for ages ranging from newborns to children up to five years old, as well as children ages six to eight years old with developmental delays. The spaces have all the necessary toys for children of each age group. 

Onika Miller answered questions about her new business. It started in July of 2021, and she is still going to add new things to her business to improve on the experience for early learners. She also hosts events such as birthdays, co-operative events involving parents, as well as teachers and tutors offering one-on-one sessions with students. Recently, she hosted her first family game night. where families can have the opportunity to spend time and learn with their children and interact with other families.


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SANTEE SCHOOL DISTRICT CANDIDATES SHARE VIEWS

By Mike Allen

October 25, 2022 (Santee) -- The Santee School District’s board of trustees has three seats of the board’s five seats up for election this cycle.

However, for Seat Number 3, there is only one candidate, incumbent Dustin Burns.

For Seat Number 1, there are two candidates, Ron Burner, a realtor, and incumbent Barbara Ryan.

For Seat Number 5, three candidates are on the ballot: Joseph Dolin, a sales supervisor; incumbent Ken Fox, who has served on the board for 12 years; and Tracie Thill, who describes herself as a parent/ educator/ advocate.

East County Magazine sent out questionnaires to all six candidates and received two responses — from Burner and Thill -- which are published in full below.


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LAKESIDE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT ON EDUCATION ISSUES

By Mike Allen

October 17, 2022 (Lakeside) -- Voters in the unincorporated town of Lakeside will get to vote on four seats of the five-member Lakeside Union School District this November.

The Lakeside district, which covers nearly 75 square miles and has about 5,000 students, consists of six elementary schools, two middle schools, a preschool program, a DREAM Academy, and world language programs.

Seven candidates are running for three seats with a full four-year term, and two candidates are running for a shortened term. 

For the three full term seats the candidates are Jim Bennet, Maureen Cruise, Holly Ferrante, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Hayes, Ron Kasper, and Bonnie LaChappa.  For the short-term seat, the two candidates are incumbent Don Whisman, and Autumn Ellenson.

East County Magazine sent questionnaires out to all nine candidates and received four responses, which are published in full below.


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COUNTY INVESTIGATING SUSPECTED RESPIRATORY OUTBREAK AT PATRICK HENRY HIGH SCHOOL

By Katie Cadiao, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo via Shutterstock

October 12, 2022 (San Diego) - San Diego County Public Health Services is investigating a large, suspected outbreak of respiratory and flu-like symptoms reported among students at Patrick Henry High School.


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OBITUARIES: SDSU PRESIDENT EMERITA SALLY ROUSH, 1947-2022

Roush returned in 2017 to lead the university as interim president after more than 30 years as a senior administrator.

By Jeff Ristine, SDSU News Center

October 12, 2022 (San Diego) - Sally Roush, who helped to fashion a sweeping expansion of San Diego State University now underway in Mission Valley during a year as interim president, has died.


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DECEPTIVE FLYERS TARGET DEMOCRATIC VOTERS IN EAST COUNTY—TOUTING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

East County News Service

October 10, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – Flyers headlined “East County  Democratic Voter Guide” have been mailed to homes across East County. But Democratic Party officials warn that the mailers are deceptive – touting Republican candidates, not Democrats endorsed by the party.


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REP. ISSA CRITICIZED STUDENT LOAN DEBT FORGIVENESS, BUT HIS COMPANY HAD $151,131 FEDERAL LOAN FORGIVEN

Update Nov. 15, 2022:  A federal appeals court has blocked the student loan forgiveness plan.  The Biden Administration is likely to appeal the decision.

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2022 (San Diego) – Congressman Darrell Issa has been sharply critical of President Joe Biden for cancelling a small percentage (10-20%) of student loan debts. But Greene Properties in Vista, for which Issa is listed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), pocketed $151,313 in federal loan forgiveness on a Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loan during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The company’s website had since gone dark, offline for at least the past several weeks.


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