Arroyo Seco Elementary School

March 2017

Livermore High School Celebrates its 125th Anniversary


On May 23, 1891, Livermore High School became the first union high school in the state of California. Little did those first 24 students and their teachers know that 125 years later, Livermore High School would still be a beacon of educational integrity preparing students for their futures. Livermore High is a bit larger now, with approximately 1,800 students annually. This year’s Class of 2017 is the official 125th graduating class. Their graduation will be celebrated with an 1892 replica diploma cover and pin.
The Livermore High School staff and alumni association would like to invite the entire community to celebrate this milestone. Event activities center around walking down memory lane and blasting into Livermore High’s future with an opportunity for alumni to see class photos displayed on the walls of the historic main building, a written account of the last 125 years, photographic and visual exhibits sponsored by Livermore Toyota, self-guided and student-led tours and more. 
Susan Canfield, LHS Alumni 125th Chair says, “This event is intended to draw in those who are part of the story of Livermore High. They can see where the story began, where they fit in, where it is now, and where it’s going.”  The Livermore High School Alumni Association (LHSAA) and the Livermore High School staff are working together to make this a wonderful event, with something for everyone. Starting with the alumni’s annual golf tournament on May 19th, there are several opportunities to join in the celebration. An open house will be held on May 20th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., followed by a special anniversary program continuing from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. The day culminates in an evening social from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the high school on 600 Maple Street in Livermore.
Principal Vicki Scudder states, “Words cannot adequately convey my pride in our students and the rich culture of Livermore High School. While our current students are making their own Cowboy memories and preparing for their future in the global community, they do so with the awareness of our tradition and high ethical and academic standards. I am delighted to open our doors to our past and current students as well as all of our community supporters.”  
Do you have LHS memorabilia you'd like to lend to the school for the event? Contact the school office at 925-606-4812 for more information. 
For more information, to purchase tickets for the golf tournament or anniversary social, or to become a sponsor, please visit or

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) Board of Trustees Appoints New Elementary Principal

March 22, 2017 – Livermore, Ca The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) welcomes Kristie Starkovich as the new principal for the satellite elementary campus. Kelly Bowers, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, said “We are so pleased to have Ms. Starkovich join our leadership team. Her experience, enthusiasm and collaborative leadership style make her a perfect fit for our educational community.”
Kristie Starkovich joins the administrative team with over 20 years of experience as an elementary school educator. She has served as a classroom teacher, intervention teacher, vice principal, and principal, primarily with Calaveras Unified School District (CUSD) and Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD). 
Ms. Starkovich is passionate about education and is eager to explore innovative and effective strategies to enhance student learning. Starkovich believes it takes a team to cultivate a climate in which students thrive and become lifelong learners. She looks forward to working with the entire school community, students, staff and families.
Ms. Starkovich grew up in Livermore. She attended Sunset Elementary School, Mendenhall Middle School, and graduated from Livermore High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with Concentration in Foreign Language from California State University East Bay (formerly Hayward), and a Master of Arts degree from National University. 
Ms. Starkovich demonstrates the power of persistence and perseverance which have allowed her to learn, grow, and succeed professionally and personally. She values spending time with her husband Aaron, stepdaughter Nicole, and stepson Darren. Nicole will be a junior at Livermore High School in the fall. Walking her big yellow Labrador retriever, riding bikes, and placing her toes in the sand are her joys in life. Last year, she completed her first triathlon and is looking forward to training for many more. 
Principal Starkovich is ready to get to know her new school. “I am honored to join the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and return to the community I call home,” she said.

East Avenue Middle School Vice Principal Named State Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year

March 24, 2017 – Livermore, Ca Mistee Guzman, Vice Principal at East Avenue Middle School, has been selected as the State’s Secondary Co-Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).  Ms. Guzman was originally nominated by the Livermore Management Association for the District-Level award; she then earned the Regional Award; and she went on to win the State-Level competition by unanimous selection. 
Ms. Guzman was recognized for her outstanding leadership and her dedication to promoting student success. “She is a master at mobilizing community resources in support of student needs. She works with community counseling services to bring interns into our school to provide social/emotional support to students,” said Helen Gladden, Principal at East Avenue Middle School. “Ms. Guzman also developed the ‘Ambassadors’ program that prepares 8th graders for the transition to high school.”
Leading the school community in its development of a mission and vision, managing school site operations to ensure a safe learning environment, and leading her staff in their implementation of technology are some of the contributions Ms. Guzman continues to make to support students and staff at East Avenue Middle School. She is a leader in the schoolwide program “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully,” that promotes respect. She leads the staff in their commitment to develop students who have the skills of critical thinking, creativity, integrity, diversity, and service to others.
Superintendent of Schools, Kelly Bowers, Ed.D. said, “We are so privileged to have Ms. Guzman’s leadership at East Avenue Middle School. Her commitment to ensuring a culture and instructional program conducive to learning for all students inspires all of us to work harder for equity in the classroom. We celebrate Ms. Guzman’s well-deserved award!” 
In October 2016, Ms. Guzman traveled to Japan as a member of a delegation team that represented the City of Livermore. She toured schools and engaged in meaningful discussions regarding best practices with administrators of Japanese middle schools. This month, she welcomed Japanese students visiting East Avenue Middle School. 
Ms. Guzman came to the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) in 2012 from the New Haven Unified School District (NHUSD), where she had served since 2006 in a variety of roles, including Assistant Principal at James Logan High School. When notified of this award, Ms. Guzman said, “I am honored by the award, but even more honored to work with such an awesome group of people.” 

LVJUSD Celebrates Custodians

March 17, 2017 – Livermore, CA The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District celebrated its custodians during the second annual "Kudos to Custodians" event on Wednesday, March 15. Custodians at all sites throughout the District were treated to gift baskets, cards, and signs of appreciation and gratitude throughout the day and into the evening. 
At the Satellite Campus, custodians came onto campus and saw creative and appreciative posters done by the students. Over at Granada High School, posters and yummy baked goodies were out for the custodial staff. Altamont Creek elementary school celebrated their custodians with a donut party and a huge thank you card signed by students and staff.
"We really do appreciate all that our custodians do for LHS students and staff on a daily basis," said Vicki Scudder, Principal at Livermore High School. "All seven of our custodians received goodies in their buckets from all of us in the main office including the counselors, administrators, librarians, clerical team, and Child Welfare/Attendance Specialists. They also received baked cookies from our Home Economics Department. We had a great announcement on our Marquee and website, and signs all over campus,” continued Kathy Adelman, Executive Assistant to the Principal at LHS.
"Custodians are crucial to keeping our schools safe and ready for learning," says Superintendent Kelly Bowers Ed.D. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and hard-working staff,” she concluded.
Photos attached include: GHS poster thanking custodians, LHS custodians with gift baskets and Altamont Creek elementary school writing thank you poster

Celebrating Science and Engineering Month in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District

Celebrating Science and Engineering Month in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District
March 3, 2017, Livermore, CA- The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD), along with the Livermore community, celebrated science and engineering during the month of February. Many Livermore students and community members participated in a variety of events held throughout the month. 
The District held its annual Science Odyssey on February 16, 2017. More than 600 students participated in the science fair by showcasing science projects and creative demonstrations. Community organizations hosted booths demonstrating scientific concepts including a range of displays from reptiles to geodes. Many families look forward to attending the annual event to see their students’ projects, learn more about the world around them, and have some fun. “The Science Odyssey is one of the community’s favorite science and engineering events. With more than 600 students participating every year, the event also brings in our community members and is a fun, family-friendly event for all ages,” said Philomena Rambo, Director of Community Engagement at the District. 
Several Citizen Science events were held during the month. At the Civic Center Library, a “citizen science” display was up in the children’s section. Regina Brinker, District teacher, held discussions about citizen science at the library and on Friday, February 17thBrinker was joined by members of the Tri-Valley Stargazers and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Students from the Las Positas Biology Club teamed up with students from Junction K-8 School to perform a campus “BioBlitz,” where students went outside and observed and identified plants and animals in the surrounding areas. An LARPD Ranger also led a “BioBlitz” with a 2nd grade class at Altamont Creek Elementary School. At Vineyard Alternative School, science students worked on water quality assessment. 
The “Science on Saturday” speaker series brought scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories to the Bankhead Theater each Saturday during February to present to students and families. On Monday, February 27th, the Livermore City Council heard comments about adopting the Livermore tarplant as the City’s official flower. North Livermore is the only place in the world where the tarplant grows. About ten years ago, students from Christensen Middle School participated in a plant census to document the number of plants.
The District’s MathCounts competition was also held in February. More than 168 students - a record number of participants - competed for the championship. The winners of the individual and team competitions were recognized at the District’s regular board meeting on February 21, 2017, along with their teachers and volunteer coaches.
As Science and Engineering Month wraps up, Philomena Rambo, Director of Community Engagement at the District said, “We are grateful for the way the Livermore Community helps the District celebrate the importance of Science and Engineering in our students’ education; and very glad that we can find so many ways to keep not only our students, but their families and the whole community engaged in learning about the world around us.”

Sandia National Laboratory Honored by LVJUSD Board of Education

Sandia National Laboratory Honored by LVJUSD Board of Education
March 3, 2017 Livermore, CA-The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) Board of Education recognized Sandia National Laboratory at their February 21, 2017 meeting for their ongoing support of District students and programs. “Sandia Laboratory provides generous support of our District through volunteerism and contributions of materials,” said Philomena Rambo, Director of Community Engagement at the LVJUSD.
Sandia Laboratory has partnered with the District for more than ten years. Since 2005, the Lab has been teaming up with Livermore elementary schools to help organize and run “Family Science Nights.” These evenings provide an opportunity for families to come to the schools with their students and participate in hands-on science activities. Students and parents work together with Lab and teacher volunteers. All materials and instructions in both English and Spanish are provided by the Lab.
Since 2007, Sandia has honored Livermore teachers with the “Sandia Excellence in Teaching Award.” Each year up to three teachers are selected for this award, which is given for extraordinary dedication in teaching science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) subjects. 
Sandia also helps with the District’s Science Odyssey by providing judges for the science projects submitted by the students every year. “Sandia Laboratory is an active and vibrant participant in the larger community as well,” Rambo continued, “giving back through many different channels, such as toys for tots, the backpack project, and the veterans book drive, just to name a few.”  Madeline Burchard, Community Relations Officer for Sandia National Laboratories-California, received the recognition on behalf of Sandia Laboratories at the Board meeting that night.

Community Members Become Principals for the Day in LVJUSD

Community Members Become Principals for the Day in LVJUSD
The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) hosted community leaders on February 24, 2017 for the eighth annual Principal for a Day event. Guests enjoyed morning activities at one of the District’s eighteen school sites where they shadowed the principal and had the chance to be “Principal for a Day.” Following the activities at the school sites, attendees gathered at the School District office for a luncheon catered by students in the Culinary Arts Academy at Del Valle High School. Each year, the luncheon highlights a certain area of the District’s programs. This year’s event highlighted the many visual and performing arts programs in the District. 
Superintendent of Schools Kelly Bowers, Ed.D., informed the group about the mission and goals of the School District. The presentation highlighted the range of visual and performing arts programs in the District including elementary music, video production, fine arts, dance and animation, to name just a few. “The arts community is so strong here in Livermore,” said Dr. Bowers. “We are grateful for the partnership and ongoing support of our generous community.” 
Dr. Bowers highlighted the partnership with Livermore Shakespeare Associates and the program So Wise, So Young, which brings a unique English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum to all second grade students in the District. The program uses Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to achieve the learning objectives for the second grade standards. Managing Director of Livermore Shakespeare Associates, Katie Marcel, shadowed Scott Vernoy at the satellite campus. After seeing hands-on learning in elementary school classrooms, Marcel concluded, “My hope for the future was gloriously renewed today! Our district makes art a priority, and I could not be more proud to be a part of this community.”
Guest principals each had the opportunity to share their experiences with the group. “I was truly impressed by how positive the school was,” said Melissa Sale, General Manager of the Employee Association at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Melissa took over for Shari Johnston as “principal” at Jackson Avenue Elementary School. “Positive messages were not only present in the signs on the walls, but in how teachers were talking to students,” said Sale. “It was great to see that art was integrated with math and writing,” she added.
Chris Carter, Director of Development and Communications for the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Council (LVPAC), said, “I asked all the students how many had been to the Bankhead and they all raised their hand,” Mr. Carter said. “We’ve made a concerted effort to raise money for arts education and we’ve spent $125,000 on arts education programs this year. We love helping with assemblies, bringing students to the theater and to the Bothwell.”
The Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District is proud of the dynamic community partnerships that make LVJUSD a destination district for families and employees alike. The District looks forward to continuing to expand its partnerships, with both existing community members and new partners to come.

Free Firefighter Career Expositions in March

Please see the attached letter and flyer from the California Department of Education regarding upcoming expositions encouraging students to pursue careers in fire service.
Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction


FREE Arts Advocacy Events for Parents

California State PTA will be hosting two FREE Regional Art Convenings for parents. Attendees will hear from community partners currently working on arts programs in schools, learn the latest ways to implement arts through the new Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and connect with local arts organizations to advocate for arts education for every child. Registration and questions:
Although we would prefer for participants to be PTA members, it is not required. (However, please keep in mind that it’s because of the dues of PTA members throughout the state that we are able to continue to offer great events, resources and materials.)
Bay Area PTA Arts Convening
Friday, March 10
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Lunch Provided)
San Jose Museum of Art
110 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95110 

Invitation to Livermore Valley Opera student night- Free admission

My name is Revital Shmerling, I'm the new director of Livermore Valley Opera (LVO) School Outreach Program. 
LVO holds two productions per year, this semester it is The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. Alongside to our outreach activity in schools we are happy to invite students and teachers to attend the dress rehearsal in an event called Student Night, free admission!
This semester our Student Night will be on Thursday March 9th in Bankhead Theater. It is a great opportunity to expose all age students to the art of opera, and more specifically to the famous opera The Marriage of Figaro!
I've attached the invitation for the Student Night in this mail. I'd be grateful if you would be able to send it to schools, elementary through high schools, all are welcome!
Thank you,
Revital Shmerling
Livermore Valley Opera- School Outreach Director