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Mitchell Senior, Westside Top Winners in Merced County Academic Pentathlon

8th Grade Overall Champs: Mitchell Senior Elementary School in Atwater earned first place for 8th grade at the 2019 Merced County Academic Pentathlon.

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More than 340, 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from schools throughout Merced County demonstrated their academic knowledge and cooperative learning skills when they competed in the Academic Pentathlon on April 6 at Valley Community School Atwater and Buhach Colony High School.


At an awards ceremony at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre on April 11, the top winners for the three grades were announced, with Westside Union Elementary School in Los Banos in first for 6th grade, and Mitchell Senior Elementary School in Atwater took the top spot for 7th and 8th Grades.


The first place overall top scoring student for the Pentathlon was Daisy Abarca, a 6th grader from Westside Elementary School in Los Banos.


The teams competed in five exciting tests to demonstrate their knowledge in literature and fine arts, math, science, social science and the Super Quiz.


The Super Quiz competition differs from that of the other written testing formats. The Super Quiz is the only part of the event that is open to the public, and it is one of the most memorable and exciting parts of the Academic Pentathlon competition. Before a crowd of cheering parents, students and supporters, team members engaged in a battle of wits against other participating teams. The first place teams in Super Quiz were Westside in Los Banos for 6th grade, Mitchell Senior Elementary in Atwater for 7th grade and Cesar E. Chavez Middle in Planada took 8th grade.


This year’s Super Quiz theme was The 1960s: A Transformational Decade.


 Teams were comprised of up to twelve team members, four from each division of “A” Honor, “B” Scholastic and “C” Varsity students. This team composition gives students the opportunity to develop skills working with students of different ability levels, motivation and interests.


For more information about this event, contact Stacie Arancibia at (209) 381-5910.

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Modesto Junior College plans 97th Commencement Ceremony

(Modesto, CA) – Modesto Junior College is celebrating the Class of 2019 at the 97th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m. in the Stadium on East Campus. A reception for MJC graduates and their guests is held immediatelyfollowing the graduation ceremony in the Student Center Rotunda.  Both the ceremony and reception are free and open to the public.


 MJC will have awarded an approximate total of 2,100 associate degrees to 1,600 students during the 2018-2019 academic year, pending recipients’ successful completion of the spring semester. Additionally, 1,300certificates of achievement will be awarded to 1,000 individuals for this academic year. For the first time, MJC also awarded Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care degrees to 18 students at the end of fall 2018. Approximately 600 of these graduates planto participate in MJC’s annual Commencement Ceremony.


 Addressing the Class of 2019 is graduating student Thomas Barker presenting “From the Ashes.”  He is graduating with honors having earned an Associate of Arts in History. He is transferring to University of California, Berkeley in thefall to pursue a Bachelor's degree in History. Barker hopes to eventually pursue graduate school, with the career goal of becoming a history professor.


Student soloist Steven John Trapp  will sing the national anthem, and music by the MJC Combined Symphonic and Concert Bands, under the direction of Professor Erik Maki, highlights the ceremony.


The graduation program features the presentation of the 2019 MJC Distinguished Alumni Award to Kathy Halsey, Senior Director of the American Leadership Forum (ALF) - Great Valley Chapter, an organization focused on building a diverse networkof leaders to create an inclusive, thriving Central Valley. She is a Senior Fellow of the 2009 inaugural class of and began working for the chapter in 2011. Halsey retired in 2010 from a 32-year career with AT&T, the last 17 years as an External Affairs Area Manager. She has served as president of Modesto Rotary, chairman of the Modesto Chamber of Commerce,and was a founding member and former co-chair of Women United-United Way of Stanislaus County. She is a 1999 Leadership Modesto graduate and is currently the vice chair of the ALF National Board of Directors. Halsey received the Woman of the Year Award fromthe State Assembly in 2006 and the State Senate in 2010.


 Additional dignitaries on the platform include James Houpis, MJC president; Flerida Arias, interim vice president of Student Services; Jennifer Zellet, vice president of Instruction; Albert Alt, vice president of College Administrative Services; George Boodrookas,dean of advancement and executive director of the MJC Foundation; Curtis Martin, president of MJC Academic Senate; Yosemite Community College District (YCCD) trustees Antonio Aguilar, Darin Gharat, and Abe Rojas, and Henry Yong, YCCD chancellor.


 MJC graduates and their family and friends are invited to attend the annual Graduation Luncheon on Friday, April 26 at 12 noon in the Mary Stuart Rogers Student Learning Center on West Campus. The luncheon features an address entitled “Soarin'” by graduating student speaker Lionel Orhiere. Luncheon tickets must be purchased in advance and are available for $12 in the Pirates’ Bookstore on East Campus.


For more information on MJC’s graduation contact the Public Information Office at (209) 575-6866.

Careers in education expo slated at Merced High School

May 11, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Merced High School Gym

205 W. Olive Ave.,

Merced, CA.

The Merced County Office of Education will hold a Careers in Education Expo in  Merced.


The free expo is designed to inform participants on how they can obtain positions at local school districts. Central Valley colleges offering bachelor's degrees and credentialing programs will be in attendance.


Grant money is available for employees working in non-teaching positions to continue their education toward becoming a teacher.

The event is open to anyone interested in becoming an after-school assistant teacher, instructional aide, substitute teacher, secretary, bus driver, custodian, yard duty aide, crossing guard, Head Start or preschool teacher, volunteer, school counselor or psychologist, and teacher of either general or special education.


Participants are asked to bring resumes and dress appropriately. For more information, contact Stacy Shasky at (209) 381-6629 or sshasky@mcoe.org.


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 A Minority Publication

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A Unifying Factor  In The Valley’s Community