Four educators named 'Teacher of the Year'

DOWNEY - The Downey Board of Education Tuesday heard presentations honoring four teachers for being named "Teacher of the Year" awardees by the Downey United Masonic Lodge #220.This year's awardees represented each of the three DUSD high schools, and included a representative of the Special Education department. The awards were announced by the Masons' master Bob Udoff. Recognized were Gallatin Elementary's Joy Reppert, Sussman Middle School's Tony Reyna, Columbus High School's Virginia Comer, and Special Ed's Marcia Curran. In her commendation, Gallatin principal Dr. Rani Maline-Bertsch said kindergarten teacher Joy Reppert, who worked in the retail industry for 18 years prior to her arrival at Gallatin, is "truly a joy to her colleagues and friends" and known for her "passion for teaching and a great love of kids." Sussman principal Gloria Widman said this of Sussman's band teacher Tony Reyna, whose band students number more than 200: "Tony consistently brings out the best in each of them." Indeed, Reyna, "who is at his best with jazz," has guided Sussman advanced student, Kevin Valencia, to win first chair baritone sax in the prestigious All California State Honor Band competitions in which more than 700 students competed, said Widman, who is retiring this year. Columbus High principal Kathy Succa characterized 24-year teacher Virginia Comer as someone whose dependability, honesty, reliability and, most of all, compassion, is the perfect antidote to the often sad home environment many of the students have to deal with but that her "love for teaching and nurturing is evident." Comer herself said: "I love being a mom to the kids and teach them at the same time. The kids respond to this." In describing the accomplishments of speech and language pathologist Maria Curran, retiring program administrator for special education Julie Helm said: "Mrs. Curran's dedication, knowledge, leadership and generosity have enabled children under her care who are born with or acquire a disability to find their voice. She has helped many children communicate either verbally or non-orally." In this connection, special education director Kent Halbmaier, who is also retiring, will be replaced by Ruth Valadez, who was introduced at the session. The following were also cited as award recipients: Phil Davis, director of support programs, career and technical education, who was honored as the California Industrial Technology Education Association Foundation's "2010 Administrator of the Year" for the entire state of California; Roger Brossmer, Downey Adult School principal, as the Association of California School Administrators' "Adult Education Administrator of the Year for Region XIV"; and Buck Weinfurter and Calvin Davis for their "Energy Lighthouse Award," in recognition of their roles in effecting $8 million savings in cost of utilities in the district, making it "one of the district leaders" in the nation. Meanwhile, four district elementary schools, Alameda, Price, Unsworth, and Ward, were recognized as 'California Distinguished Schools' for outstanding academic achievement, with Alameda receiving added accolade as a 'Title I achieving school', the only school in the district so cited. Also, it was learned that four of Rep. Roybal-Allard's 34th District's five art awards went to DUSD school students, with Warren High snatching three and Downey High getting one, out of a total of 217 entries from her district. . In other action, the Board: *Accepted with thanks donations in cash and in-kind from various parties, including $5,000 from the Lewis Elementary School PTA for the purchase of classroom voice amplification systems at Lewis; $3,900 from Rio San Gabriel Elementary School PTA, to be used for student field trips at Rio San Gabriel; and $2,000 from The Ellen and Clarence Peterson Foundation, for student eyeglasses and frames; *Ratified/approved usual district business, including the payment of convention and conference attendance; special education placements; purchase orders by the Purchasing Department; the issuance of payroll orders for hourly, overtime and Civic Center work performed by classified personnel, Adult School and Food Services; B warrants covering the months of February and March; change orders involving speech-language pathology services, frozen food products & produce items, Downey High School modernization of Bldgs. J/K/N, and L; and routine Personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board of Education; *Ratified the general agreements with Optimist High School, Excelsior Youth Center; Yellowstone Boys' and Girls' Ranch, Arc of Southeast Los Angeles County; *Ratified the settlement agreement regarding Case No. 2010011269 and approved the payment of $6,200; *Approved the schedule of regular board meetings for the 2010-11 school year; *Approved the proposed revisions to AR 3111, Regular School Calendar 2010-11; *Approved the revision to AR 3740, Fees - Class and Lab; *Approved the Title I AARA Waiver Application and Plan; *Authorized the 2009-10 payment of membership fee for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; *Adopted the re-stated Accumulation Program for Part-Time and Limited Service Employees (APPLE) Plan and the Amendment, for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA), effective Feb. 1, 2010; *Ratified the amendment to the DataDirector License Agreement with Riverside Publishing; *Ratified the professional services agreement between Murphy & Associates and DUSD, to provide a computerized IEP program; *Approved the contract for services relating to mandated cost claims with Centration, Inc.; *Approved the student teaching agreement with Biola University, effective Sept. 1, 2010-Sept. 1, 2012; *Ratified the agreements between Downey Adult School Career & Education Center and Dr. John G. McAllister, as well as with Charles Zanders III, DDS, to furnish practical experience to students enrolled in the Dental Assistant program; *Authorized the advertisement for bids for a contract for roof repairs, replacement, and asbestos abatement of roofing materials, to be charged to the General Fund, Deferred Maintenance Fund, and/or Bond Funds as required; *Ratified the request for the purchase and installation of an Audio/Visual System in the Downey High School cafeteria, to be charged to the Food Services Fund; *Awarded the request for the purchase and installation of an Audio/Visual System in the DHS cafeteria to PCM Technologies, LLC, of Downers Grove, ILL, in the amount of $26,468.77, to be charged to the Food Services Fund; *Accepted and approved the use of the Glendale Unified School District Bid# P 16-09/10 with Palmer Hamilton, LLC, for school furnishings, office furnishings and accessories on an as-needed basis, to fill orders for cafeteria furniture with the same advantages, terms and conditions; and also accepted and approved the use of the Waterford Unified School District Bid #01/09 with A-Z Bus Sales of Colton by the DUSD to fill orders for buses with the same advantages, terms and conditions; *Renewed the annual contract for weed control services, Bid #08/09-07, with TruGreen Limited Partnership, Anaheim, for the second of a five-year optionally renewable period, in the estimated annual amount of $85,400, to be charged to the General Fund; *Accepted as complete fencing, backhoe, paving, concrete, electrical, and cooler/freezer work (at Columbus High School) performed by various contractors; *Approved the adjustments to the General Fund, Adult Education Fund, Cafeteria Fund, Deferred Maintenance Fund, Capital Facilities Fund, County School Facilities Fund, Special Reserve for Capital Outlay Fund, Self Insurance Fund, Self Insurance Workers Compensation Fund, Self Insurance Health and Welfare Fund, Self Insurance Dental Fund, and Self Insurance Vision Fund, *Approved the sale and/or recycling of district surplus property, and abated the income to the Food Service Fund, and/or pick-up by a local recycler for proper recycling; *Ratified the establishment of a few positions to provide support services for students with special needs, as well as changes in the Food Services Department, as well as to the duties of the ASB accounting technician, attendance/records clerk, and senior secretary; *Approved the proposed change in high school lunch to $2.25 for the 2010-11 school year; *Adopted the proposed 2010-11 course of study of the middle schools and the high schools; *Approved the Local Educational Agency plan addendum; *Approved the designation of members of the Board of Education for graduation; and *Endorsed the actions taken by the superintendent on all student cases, considered in closed session. The next regular public meeting of the Board of Education will be at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: April 23, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 1