NGW logo 11-30-22

Registration now open for annual Tech Rodeo event, January 14

Blass and Cisneros

The Seventh Annual Tech Rodeo returns as an in-person event Saturday, January 14 from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Ridgeview Middle School in Visalia. The full-day educational technology conference features learning options for educators, administrators, and coaches to meet the needs of students in all grade levels, regardless of the content area or the devices/applications being used. 

This year, the conference will feature Adobe “Education Evangelists” Lindsey Blass and Martin Cisneros. The pair have decades of experience in education, leading students, schools, and districts to infuse creativity into the classroom to boost engagement and fuel academic achievement. 

Blass and Cisneros will lead the opening Tech Challenge, an interactive exercise designed around the free Adobe Express platform. Through the Tech Challenge, participants will gain experience with a valuable teaching tool they can share with their students the following Monday.

Following the opening Tech Challenge activities, participants will choose breakout sessions led by nationally-recognized educators, including the keynote speakers. The conference will feature four breakout strands with multiple topic options. The strands include Re-engage for Rigor, Acceleration via Accessibility, Student Wellness with SEL, and Purposeful PLNs.  

Registration for Tech Rodeo is open at The fee to attend is $175 per person.

Learning Strands

Re-engage for Rigor: In this learning strand, educators will learn how to motivate the learners of today, who are inundated by media. Sessions will help educators purposefully design both analog and digital experiences to meet the needs of their learners.

Acceleration via Accessibility: In this learning strand, educators will learn to maximize impact and minimize prep by universally designing lessons that meet the needs of all learners. Sessions in this strand promote a proactive rather than reactive approach, utilizing accessibility tools to scaffold students so that each student, including English learners and those with disabilities, can engage with grade-level curriculum.

Student Wellness with SEL: The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared a national state of emergency for children’s and adolescents’ mental health. Through sessions in this strand, educators can leverage technology tools and strategies to support student mental health utilizing research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) strategies, including opportunities for creative expression and learning through the stress-busting activity of play.

Purposeful PLNs: The purposeful PLN strand supports educators in identifying and joining virtual educator groups that foster professional conversations and sharing of resources to help them engage students in the physical/virtual classrooms of today. 

For additional information, contact Katherine Goyette, Tech Rodeo’s coordinator, at

Registration now open for Poetry Live! events

Poetry Live Logo

This year, the Instructional Services Division has greatly expanded its offering of poetry-related events for students in grades 6-12. Poetry Live! was created as a new program to house a series of events that offer students the opportunity to not only recite poems written by great poets, but to write and recite their own original works as well. 

Poetry Out Loud (POL), first introduced in Tulare County in 2016, will continue as the county’s premier poetry event for high school students. Participating schools will hold their own POL competitions next month or early January, crowning a school champion who will move on to the Tulare County Poetry Out Loud event in February. From the county event, one high school student will be chosen as the champion, advancing to the state – and potentially – the national POL competitions. 

New this year, the POL experience is available to middle school students (grades 6-8) in the Poetry Out Loud Junior event. Students participating in this event will choose three pieces from the Poetry Foundation archive of poems to recite in front of a live audience. Participating schools will hold their own competition in December or early January and send their school champion to county competition, where a student will be crowned the county champion.

The final event in the Poetry Live! family is Poet's Own Voice. This event is open to middle school and high school students (grades 6-12) and features two ways to participate. The first is a written event in which students submit five original works. Judges will determine the top piece from each student, as well as rank all pieces to determine the top three poems in the competition overall. In the showcase portion of the event, students can choose to recite their top original work in front of an audience. From the showcase event, the first-ever Tulare County Youth Poet Laureate will be crowned.

Middle schools and high schools interested in participating in any of the Poetry Live! events must register by December 12 at The county competitions in each event will be held February 3 at 210 Café at 210 Center Street, Visalia.

TCOE’s long-running Poetry & Prose event will continue this year for students in grades K-8. To register for Poetry & Prose, scheduled for March 14-17 and 21-23, visit

Around the County 

Tulare County teams finish seasons at CIF State Cross Country Championships

Caitlin Chea, Devin Ibarra, Carter Mendes

Several Tulare County high school teams wrapped up their cross country seasons this past Saturday with a final race in the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno. Over 2,000 runners from across the state competed with 200 runners in each of the 10 division races.

The county’s highest finisher was senior Caitlin Chea from Central Valley Christian High School. Chea placed 43rd with a season-best time of 19 minutes, 55.3 seconds on the 5,000-meter course in the Division V girls race.

In the Division III girls race, freshman Brooklyn Bawanan of El Diamante High School placed 70th with a time of 19:48.7. Farmersville High School junior Elizabeth Urquilla (20:12) placed 73 in the Division IV girls race.

In the Division II boys race, El Diamante High School junior Devin Ibarra led the county with a 16:03, personal-best finish for 45th. Tulare Western High School senior Carter Mendes led the Mustangs with a 16:06.7 finish for 48th. Also from Tulare Western, seniors Joseph Flores (16:33.5) and Santiago Basurto (16:42.8) placed 79th and 96th, respectively. 

In team scores, Tulare Western placed 18th and Monache High School placed 24th for Division II boys. At the previous section championship meet, Tulare Western won the CIF Central Section Division II championship, Monache finished second as a team, and Ibarra was second as an individual runner.

The lone county runner in the Division III boys race was Porterville High School junior Alesandro Escarzaga (16:43.5) who placed 75th.

In the Division V boys race, Central Section runner-up Central Valley Christian High School placed 24th. Summit Charter Collegiate Academy’s Raul Acevedo (17:53.6) led county runners in the Division V race with a 115th-place finish.

For complete results, visit

Photo above:

~ From left to right, Central Valley Christian’s Caitlin Chea, El Diamante High School’s Devin Ibarra, and Tulare Western High School’s Carter Mendes run in the CIF State Cross Country Championships, Saturday, November 27, at Woodward Park in Fresno. Photos by Gary Bergman

Editor: Robert Herman, Communications Director
Contributors: Nayirah Dosu, Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Katherine Goyette, Paula Terrill

To receive the News Gallery Week, sign up here, or contact Jennifer Fisher at or (559) 733-6172.