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The News Gallery

December 2009 / January 2010

LOCAL HISTORY'S NEW ADDRESS - The new Museum of Farm Labor and Agriculture to chronicle the people and farming practices that made Tulare County world renown

News Gallery - December 2009 / January 2010 Editor: Robert Herman
Public Information Officer
(559) 733-6606

Contributors to this issue:
Christine Antilla, Marlene Moreno, Priscilla Gomez, Shelly DiCenzo, Lorena White, Paula Terrill, Christina Sartuche, Jeanne Croson, Anne Clifford, Rosemarie Tunin, Nani Rowland, Randy Wallace and Claudia Gerardo.

The News Gallery is published monthly with the exception of double issues printed for July/August and December/January. If you would like to receive the News Gallery, please contact Marlene Moreno at marlenem@tcoe.org or (559) 733-6172 and provide your name and address.

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History museum celebrates rich ag heritage
TCOE staff supports learning at new History of Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum

History of Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum Beginning in mid-January, teachers in Tulare and surrounding counties will have an exciting new tool for exploring local history. The County of Tulare’s new History of Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum — opening December 17 in Mooney Grove Park — will feature the stories of native and immigrant people and their roles in creating one of the world’s greatest agricultural economies.

History of Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum The museum will feature an exhibition on the people that settled Tulare County combined with others that will explore the importance of water, crops, ranching and the mechanization and electrification of agriculture. In a separate gallery, the stories of individual ethnic settlers will be told, beginning with an exhibition on Armenian settlers. Early next year, a second exhibition on the African-American settlers who founded the Allensworth colony in southern Tulare County will open.

The Tulare County Office of Education is supporting the museum — which is a partnership between the County and the Tulare County Historical Society — by developing video content for both the ethnic exhibitions and the 48-seat Regional Learning Center theater. "We appreciate our partnership with the County and the Historical Society in telling the story of Tulare County’s native and immigrant groups," says County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. "Through the Regional Learning Center, students will get their first glimpse into the challenges, struggles and triumphs settlers faced in building our vast ag industry. We look forward to helping students not only explore local history, but research, record and share it."

History of Farm Labor and Agriculture Museum
Photos above:
~ The new museum is located adjacent to the History Museum in Mooney Grove Park.
~ The Impact Center’s Conan Palmer and supervisor Sara Sutton have developed several videos to compliment the exhibitions.
~ The Impact Center’s Carren McDaniels will welcome students to the Regional Learning Center theater. For tour information, contact curator Kathy McGowan at (559) 733-6616.

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Expanding Your Horizons Celebrates 10 Years
Over 700 girls visit the College of the Sequoias to learn about math and science careers

Expanding Your Horizons In the College of the Sequoias’ gymnasium filled with over 700 cheering elementary and middle school girls, three young women took turns on the court and addressed the crowd. The three were not athletes, but young women with dreams of pursuing careers in medicine and mathematics. Natalie Gong, Rosa De La Paz and Bekah Klint described their passion for math and science and encouraged the girls to discover their own interests and pursue them with help from teachers and mentors.

Expanding Your Horizons
Natalie, Rosa and Bekah’s presentations were part of the annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) — an event organized by the Tulare County Office of Education and the College of the Sequoias. EYH is a nationwide program designed to encourage young women to explore careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In Tulare County, EYH features hands-on workshops lead by women working in STEM fields. Following the morning presentation, the girls covered the campus learning how to make videos, design and engineer shoes and solve crimes in workshops led by women architects, engineers, veterinarians, computer scientists and more.

Expanding Your Horizons "Expanding Your Horizons has been an awesome outreach to young women for many reasons," says County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. "First of all, they have a great time at COS. This is important, because the event is often their first experience on a college campus. They also see the excitement women have for high-demand careers in science and technology."

Photos above:
~ Natalie Gong, Rosa De La Paz and Bekah Klint (l-r) are COS students who spoke to attendees about their math and science career ambitions.
~ Girls could choose from 36 workshops, with topics ranging from architecture to forensic science.
~ Following the workshops, the girls had a chance to relax and have lunch.

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Tulare CBI class hosts Fall Festival
Students enjoy activities with new friends and old

Tulare CBI Fall Festival High school students find welcome relief from fall semester academics through football games, school spirit activities and homecoming dances – events where friends can relax and enjoy one another. For special-needs students in Tulare County’s high schools and Community-based Instruction (CBI) classes, the annual Fall Festival is such an event. "The purpose of this day is to celebrate what it means, and how much it means, to have friends," says Tulare CBI teacher Anne Clifford. "Students can practice their social skills while talking to old friends, and making new ones."

Tulare CBI Fall Festival
In late October, the Tulare Teen Center was jammed with nearly 250 students from 17 Tulare County high schools and CBI classes attending the Fall Festival. Throughout the building, they enjoyed playing pool, basketball and board games, but mostly dancing to music provided by Tulare County Friday Night Live’s Tony Cavanagh.

Tulare CBI Fall Festival Ms. Clifford explains that while students look forward to having fun, the event is also a good teaching exercise. "The Fall Festival is a great day for everyone to practice using the CHARACTER COUNTS! Pillars of Character," she says. Ms. Clifford and many special services teachers use the program as an effective behavior management system. "The event is full of opportunities to demonstrate all of the pillars, including trustworthiness, respect for one another, fairness when playing games or dancing, and caring for others, regardless of their disabilities."

Photos above:
~ Students enjoyed hours of activities and food.
~ For some, the highlight was a dance which featured the remarkable karaoke skills of Tulare CBI classmember Ernie Guzman.

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Longevity anniversaries commemorated
Human Resources celebrates service milestones of 78 employees

Longevity anniversaries Last month, co-workers and family members gathered to honor 78 TCOE employees. The event — hosted annually by Human Resources, under the direction of Assistant Superintendent Jeanne Nava — celebrates the employment anniversaries of those who have served 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years. In total, honorees provided 1,210 years of service to the Tulare County Office of Education.

Photos above:
~ 35-year honorees Janet Rogers and Daniel Maxey.
~ 30-year honorees Wendy Mitchell and Katherine Barnes.
~ SEE Youth honorees (l-r) Janet Ross, Marilyn Willers, Benny Rivera and Mang Chang, pictured with SEE Youth project coordinator Martha Alexandros.

10 Years
Sharon Adams
Joyce Akman
Patricia Amador
Paul Austin
Leslie Bell
Georgia Carney
Mang Chang
Barbara Clarey
Lisa Conrad
Cathleen Crookshanks
Randy Elzig
Maria Espinoza
Sandra Gold
Leticia Gonzalez
Patricia Griswold
Winston Larson
Tammy Lockridge
Carol Lyon
Maria Marquez
Jill Maurer
Shirley Meadows
Erendira Medrano
Yolanda Mejia
Patty Najera
Sheila Oaks
Greg Pagela
Benny Rivera
Tina Shirley
E. Sheli Silva
Marlayna Slater
Janelle Smith
Debbie Smith
Melissa Smith
Daniel Trevino
Mary Jo Trovao
Christine White
Marilyn Willers

15 Years
Diana Alford
Christine Antilla
Nan Arnold
Roger Beavers
Sandra Bega
Joe Boss
Carmen Friesen
Kathy Johnston
Carolina Maldonado
Mark Martinez
Jennifer McReynolds
Margaret Moholt
Lynda Moller
Robert Paez
Janet Ross
Randy Wallace
Susan Wendt
20 Years
Debbie Bradley
Steven Carney
Mary Carney
Tony Cavanagh
Sally Coronado
Vince Delgado
Priscilla Gomez
David Graham
Elaine Grande
Beatrice Humann
Robbin Johnson
Linda Kellerhals
Melanie McKimmons
Bryan Patterson
Sherri Rocha

25 Years
Rachel Borbolla

30 Years
Katherine Barnes
Bill Bingaman
Julie Hulsey
Wendy Mitchell

35 Years
Frances Coelho
Daniel Maxey
Marilyn Rankin
Janet Rogers

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On People in Service and Support

Spotlight on People in Service and Support Red Ribbon Committee chairperson Marlene Moreno (r) presents a check in the amount of $2,250 to CASA of Tulare County Executive Director Marilyn Barr and board president Bill Graves. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) was chosen to receive the record-breaking proceeds from Red Ribbon Week 2009. CASA utilizes trained community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in court.

Spotlight on People in Service and Support Last month, students in the fall session of the Theatre Company’s bi-annual workshop presented a production of the musical HONK!, Jr. The cast of 90 students held four performances at the L.J. Williams Theater in Visalia. To prepare for the performances, students rehearsed after school to learn voice, dance and acting technique. Auditions for the spring workshop will be held December 4-5. The workshop will culminate in a May 2010 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s popular musical, The King and I. For audition information, call (559) 651-1482 or visit

Spotlight on People in Service and Support TCOE’s Network for a Healthy California program recently created pumpkin patches at 16 Tulare County school sites. Over 13,000 pumpkins were delivered for the educational events. At each site, students participated in a variety of learning stations centered around the popular fall fruit. At the conclusion of each event, students selected their own pumpkin for further classroom activities.

Spotlight on People in Service and Support This month, theater students ages 14 and up have a rare opportunity to learn performance techniques from two Broadway veterans. TCOE’s Theatre Company is offering three workshops taught by Broadway performer Betsy Wolfe and music director Bryan Perri. Ms. Wolfe is a Visalia native who has starred in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 110 in the Shade and Wonderful Life. Mr. Perri has been music director for Wicked and Altar Boyz and a member of the teaching faculty at New York University. This workshop is designed to build students’ performance strength, and maximize their appeal to casting directors and/or college conservatories. The sessions, offered December 17, are limited to 10 participants each at a cost of $90 per person. For registration, call (559) 651-1482.

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Gallery Notes

In conjunction with the Human Resources’ Annual Holiday Tea (scheduled for December 4 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.), staff will be collecting TOYS for TOTS to be distributed to local children ages infant to 14. Gifts suitable for teens are especially needed. New, unwrapped toys valued at $10 or more should be dropped off at the Human Resources office at 2637 West Burrel in Visalia before 4:00 p.m. on December 4. The Human Resources staff greatly appreciates the support and looks forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Holiday Tea.

In recognition of National Ag Week 2010, the Tulare County Farm Bureau and the Tulare County Office of Education’s Network for a Healthy California program invite students to submit artwork for the annual Calendar Art Contest. The theme for this year’s full-color calendar is "Tulare County Agriculture...From Farm to Fork." Artwork is due to the Farm Bureau by Friday, February 12, 2010. For contest rules and instructions, call (559) 732-8301.

The School-to-Career Program will hold the 2010 Gas Company Student Entrepreneurial Challenge on February 25 at the Visalia Convention Center. The competition is open to high schools from Tulare, Kings and Fresno counties. Student teams compete for cash prizes provided by The Gas Company based on presentations of their plans for new businesses. Students are encouraged to develop businesses that could be located in, and benefit the economy of, the San Joaquin Valley. During the Entrepreneurial Challenge, the annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Entrepreneur Scholarship will be awarded. The scholarship, given in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Tulare County, is open to Tulare County high school students who excel in math and science, and demonstrate a viable business idea. TUCOEMAS Federal Credit Union sponsors the $1,000 scholarship. Applications, available at
www.tcoe.org/STEMScholarship, are due January 29. For more information on the Entrepreneurial Challenge or the STEM Scholarship, contact Randy Wallace at (559) 733-6101.

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Jim Vidak, County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
All mail to: P.O. Box 5091, Visalia, CA 93278-5091
Physical address: 6200 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA 93277
phone: (559) 733-6300 • fax: (559) 627-5219

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