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School board meeting highlights student achievements

The regular meeting of the Board of Education Thursday, April 19 took on a celebratory aura as board members heard of achievements in various areas of the Claremont Unified School District.

First up in the area of recognition was a report from the inaugural Regional Student Art Exhibition held in early March in the Millard Sheets Gallery at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.

Sponsored by the Career and Technical Education Center of the Fairplex, the exhibition “ArtReach: The Art of Poetry” attracted participants from 67 high schools in 17 districts in the area.

Claremont had the largest presence with 47 entries and brought home a number of awards, including first-place works by Claremont High School students Cindy Liu and Isabella Mendoza. Isabella’s entry was purchased after the show by the American Museum of Ceramic Arts. CHS student Brian Donahue received a third place award and honorable mentions went to fellow CHS students Becca Hafner, Christine Zheng and Sarena Delgado. Invitational work from CHS Room 608 and Danbury School students was also involved in the exhibition.

Art consultant Lugene Whitley reflected on the success of the program, citing the advice of Albert Einstein, who reportedly said, “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Danbury teacher Kenneth Johnson introduced the presentation, urging continued support from the district for the program.

Considerable pride and some touches of humor accompanied the board’s recognition of Claremont High’s CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) championship girl’s soccer team and the slew of awards the group achieved during the 2011-2012 season. The team not only won the Southern Section CIF Championship, sophomore Madison Stark was named “Player of the Year,” and Madison, along with teammates senior Rebekah Evans and junior Karen Parga, were selected to the 2011-2012 Division 3 Girls Soccer All CIF Southern Section Team.

And adding honors to honors, veteran Coach Tim Tracey, involved in soccer at CHS for more than 10 years, was named CIF Coach of the Year in Division 3. Coach Tracey described the year as “fantastic” and noted that many team members also did very well academically. He especially thanked Assistant Coaches Nicole Giles and Tim Tipping, along with team parents, families and the community as a whole. Board President Jeff Stark noted good naturedly that he and his family have been congratulated many times on the achievements of Madison, with the duplication of their surnames. Although not directly related, Mr. Stark kiddingly told Madison, “I would like to welcome you to the family!”

The board heard reports on activities from Mountain View Elementary School leaders Oksana Sosnovsky and Jeremiah Alarcon, along with student board members Jake Wu from CHS and TeVin Woods from San Antonio High School.

—Pat Yarborough

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