Top Denair High Students Lopez, Knox Reflect on Quality of Education, Academic Success

Submitted by Denair High School

Daisy Lopez is the Denair High School Class of 2018 valedictorian thanks to her 4.16 grade-point average. The salutatorian will be Hannah Knox, who compiled a 4.11 GPA in her four years. Both young women aspire to become veterinarians.

The graduation ceremony will be Friday, May 25 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are not required.

After students receive their diplomas, there will be a Sober Grad Night party in the gym.

Lopez and Knox recently took time to answer 10 questions about their high school experiences.

 

Question: What are the key things other students should know about your academic success and how you achieved it?

Lopez: Keeping myself motivated and aware of the goals I wanted to achieve helped me continue working hard throughout my academic years at Denair High School. Also, enrolling in honors and AP classes really helped expose me to new and challenging material.

Knox:Always try to push yourself, but know your breaking point. I pushed myself too hard and it ended up backfiring for me. Also, good grades just don’t happen for most, so if you want a good grade, you have to go that extra mile in every assignment and every test. It’s always better to do more. I made this my philosophy when I came into high school and it really prepared me for honors and AP classes.

 

Q: How much time outside of class did you spend studying or doing homework?

Knox: I have never been a big studier, so I learned to cram right before a test, such as the night before or literally minutes before a test, which seemed to work pretty well for me. Maybe I’ll take a night off once in a while if I know I have time before the assignment is due.

Lopez: Outside of class, I spend about three to four hours every day doing school work.

Continue reading “Top Denair High Students Lopez, Knox Reflect on Quality of Education, Academic Success” »

Documentary Team Following 3 Denair Students for a Week

Submitted by Denair High School

The Cannes Film Festival is an international showcase each year for the best films and documentaries. Many of the world’s most famous actors, directors and producers are gathered this week along the French Riviera to celebrate their work.

Could tiny Denair be represented next spring? It’s possible.

A team of documentarians will spend this week in Denair following three students from their homes through their days at school and back again. The idea is to create a 10- to 15-minute documentary – and perhaps a longer film version – that captures teen life in a typical rural American town.

The idea was the brainchild of Denair High Principal Kara Backman, whose goal is to shine a positive light on the community as well as her campus.

“We want to show the public how we open the doors of opportunity to all kids,” she said.

Backman hired GoodCity Concepts from Cleveland to produce the documentary. She is familiar with their work, having seen videos they’ve created during her time as a national education consultant.

Videographer Henry Ortlip and production assistant Kaytie Leonard arrived last weekend from the Midwest and began work Monday. They will be in Denair through May 20.

Their mission? To portray eighth-grader Connor Prock, junior Adrianna Snyder and senior Alex Flores as authentic representatives of the broader student body and community. The students were selected with the blessings of their families.

“What we’re trying tell is the worth of Denair via some inspiring story lines,” Leonard explained.

For instance, Prock comes from a prominent farming family with generational roots in Denair. His parents, Joe and Danielle, are both Denair High graduates. His grandfather and uncle both have served on the school board. They operate a dairy with thousands of cows. Connor raises beef cattle, which affords a glimpse into agricultural life. Continue reading “Documentary Team Following 3 Denair Students for a Week” »

Silva Hired as Next Principal at Denair Middle School

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

The Denair Unified School District didn’t have to look very far to find its next principal for Denair Middle School. Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to hire Amanda Silva, who currently serves as the district’s assistant director of special education.

“She’s dedicated to Denair. She empowers others. She’s forward thinking. She’s passionate about kids,” said Kara Backman, the district’s director of secondary education and high school principal. She served on the hiring committee will be Silva’s direct supervisor.

Backman said Silva stood out among the seven internal and external candidates who were interviewed. Silva will become the middle school campus’ fifth principal in the past four years, a trend she intends to do her best to end.

“The biggest thing is building culture and pride in community, school and students,” she said. “We need to be positive, think positive and work hard.”

Silva has been with the district since February 2016 and has worked with staff and students across all four campuses to develop special education programs. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and an administrative credential and master’s degree from College of San Joaquin.

Confronting a steady decline in enrollment will be among her first challenges, she said.

“We need to become a team,” said Silva, who believes the relationships she already has forged with the DMS staff will benefit her. “We’ll be focused on doing our best for all our students.”

Silva will replace Brian LaFountain, who will return to the classroom teaching high school math in Ceres. Continue reading “Silva Hired as Next Principal at Denair Middle School” »

Terry Metzger Hired as New Superintendent of Denair Unified School District

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

The Denair Unified School District announced Thursday night that it has hired Terry Metzger as its new superintendent.

Metzger has been the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Rincon Valley Union School District in Santa Rosa since 2012, but she is no stranger to Stanislaus County or the Central Valley.

She has two degrees from CSU Stanislaus – a master’s in education administration as well as a doctorate in educational leadership. She also has taught classes there as an adjunct faculty member.

Before she moved to Santa Rosa, Metzger was a teacher and elementary school principal in Galt. She also taught various grade levels in Lodi and Stockton, and has served as a principal coach for the Education Leadership Institute in Sacramento.

She is thrilled to be coming to Denair.

“I’ve been looking for a superintendency for a couple of years,” she said. “I’ve been picky. It was important to me to find the right match. I’m honored to have this opportunity.”

DUSD Board President Ray Prock Jr. said she emerged after an extensive search that included in-depth interviews of the four finalists by trustees as well as a committee made up of staff and community members.

“Terry was our No. 1 choice,” he said.

Metzger will officially start work in Denair on July 1, but intends to make as many trips as possible to the area before then to become familiar with the staff and community. She will be paid $145,753 annually, which includes the same 2.75% salary reduction as all other district employees.

She will succeed Aaron Rosander, who will leave in June after four years as superintendent. Continue reading “Terry Metzger Hired as New Superintendent of Denair Unified School District” »

DHS Receives $2,500 Grant for FFA Programs

Submitted by Denair High School

The Denair High School FFA program recently was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Monsanto Fund on behalf of Denair dairyman and DUSD School Board Trustee Ray Prock Jr.

The money will be used to underwrite travel expenses to send Denair students to various FFA events and leadership conferences, said FFA adviser and ag teacher Nicole Hefner. There are more than 160 FFA members at Denair High.

“We would like to thank the Monsanto organization for helping fund our program to attend these different leadership conferences,” she said. “They help students attain unique leadership skills … essential in the workplace. This couldn’t be possible without the help of funding from Monsanto.”

Prock and his family have operated a large dairy east of Denair for decades. His son and daughter both attend Denair High.

The purpose of the Grow Communities program is to partner with farmers to make a positive impact in farm communities across the country by supporting local nonprofit organizations. Since the program began in 2010, more than $29 million has been directed to organizations across rural America.

“Farmers play a pivotal role in rural communities, and through their commitment to Grow Communities program, we are able to provide the monetary support these nonprofit organizations need to make an impact,” said Monsanto President Al Mitchell.

Learn more at www.Facebook.com/AmericasFarmers