School board salutes winning artists

DOWNEY - The Board of Education Tuesday heard John Harris, Warren High School principal, make a presentation recognizing senior Veraphum Chaiyakam for garnering first place in the 17th annual 34th Congressional District student art competition sponsored by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard's office.Chaiyakam's entry was titled "Human Nature," and reflects the student artist's concern for the environment. Chaiyakam, whom Harris referred to as 'Earth" (the 12th grader's Thai name), won over 216 other contestants. In all, a total of 18 high schools fielded contestants representing high schools in Roybal-Allard's congressional district. What's more, it was noted that out of the top five student winners, four came out of the Downey Unified School District - an achievement that drew nothing but praise from all. Chaiyakam's winning drawing will hang for a year at the Capitol. Meanwhile, students enrolled in the various Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs overseen by support programs/career and technical education program director Phil Davis were presented before the board and recognized along with their respective teachers, as follows: Allison Strain (virtual enterprise); Coty Alvarez (banking occupations); Robert Cricks (supermarket occupations); Chris Zessau (sports therapy); Leslee Davis (hospital occupations); Jason Redfox (computer assisted drafting and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) at DHS); George Redfox (commercial photo); Frida Vadgama (careers in education); Vince Appel (construction technology at DHS); Kent Keiss (construction technology at WHS); Therese Duffy (culinary arts/food service), whose crew provided dinner for the board of education); Glen Yamasaki (PLTW at WHS); and Andy Lundsberg (film and video production). As Davis pointed out, representatives from virtually all these programs have either participated in or won medals outright in head-to-head regional or state competitions with other students from other ROP/CTE programs (trade fairs, student recognition competitions, etc.), and some have started to earn money or already been offered jobs, "a tribute to the staff's and teachers' dedication and the students' willingness to work hard and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities the programs offer." As one board member remarked, "We have here a win-win situation." In other action, the Board: *Accepted with gratitude cash and an in-kind donation of school dictionaries, value estimated at $1,800 from Downey Elks No. 2020, for use in the third grade classrooms throughout the district; *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 month of April; the agreements between Downey Adult School Career and Education Center and various groups to furnish practical experience to students enrolled in the Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant, and Vocational Nursing programs; the advertisements for bid for milk and dairy products, dry and refrigerated foods, food service paper products-all to be charged to the Food Services Fund; the purchase of equipment according to established purchasing policies and regulations; and routine Personnel items until subsequent action is taken by the Board; *Approved the advertisement for a proposal request for contract/consultant services to administer the "Network for a Healthy California," to be charged to the California Department of Public Health Grant; the change orders to a number of purchase orders (for prepared pizzas, unleaded fuel, and cost of GED test scoring), as well as to the bid covering the Downey High School modernization of buildings J, K, N and L; *Ratified the general agreement (for special education services) with Optimist High School, effective July 1, 2009-2010; *Approved the Career Technical Education application for 2010-2011 funding in the amount of $147,751 applicable to and in support of such career pathway programs as health occupations, business and marketing, culinary arts/food service, film and TV production, and construction technology; *Ratified the Internship Credential Program agreement with Point Loma Nazarene University (Sept. 1/09-Aug. 31/14), relating to such post-baccalaureate programs as Level I and Level II professional clear credentials for special education, MA in education with concentrations in special education, teaching and learning, etc. *Accepted as complete roofing, fencing, backhoe, paving, concrete, and electrical work performed by various contractors; *Approved the adjustments to the 2009-10 General Fund unrestricted and restricted budgets; ditto to the Adult Education unrestricted and restricted budgets; the Cafeteria Fund restricted budget; the Deferred Maintenance Fund unrestricted and restricted budgets; and the County School Facilities Fund restricted budget; *Acknowledged the receipt of the claim submitted by Parish Shea & Boyle, LLP, on behalf of Daniel Begel, and denied claim in compliance with Gov. Code, Section 911-15 and 945; as well as the one submitted by Victor Jacobovitz, Esq., on behalf of Cristina Carrera, a minor, and also denied claim (same Gov. Code ref.); *Approved the abolishment of two 3-hour Instructional Asst. (Bilingual) positions and one 3-1/2 hour Instructional Assistant (also Bilingual;) at Unsworth Elementary, effective June 25, 2010, and the establishment of one limited-term Senior Instructional Assistant position, and one limited-term Sr. Instructional Asst.-Severely/Multiply Handicapped position to provide support services for students with special needs; *Reviewed the proposed revisions to BP 3165 and AR 3165, Parent Involvement, and deletion of BP 3162 and AR 3l62, Title I Parent Involvement; *Reviewed the revised 2009-10 Downey Adult School course of study; *Held hearing to hear public response (there was none) to DUSD's initial bargaining proposals for a successor agreement with the California School Employees Association, Chapter 248; and *Endorsed the actions taken by the superintendent on all student cases (nos. 62-70). The next regular public meeting of the Board of Education will be at 5 p.m. on June 8 at the Gallegos Administration Center, 11627 Brookshire Ave.

********** Published: May 14, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 4