DUSD Graduation Ceremony Information

CoyoteGradHat

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Graduation season is upon us! Below is a comprehensive listing of all Denair Unified School District graduation ceremonies. None of the events require tickets for entry.

The Denair Charter Academy 8th Grade promotion ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at 6:00 pm, in the Denair Middle School Coyote Center. Doors open at 5:30 pm.

Denair Charter Academy will be will be presenting the Class of 2015 on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at 7:30 pm, at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 7:00 pm.

The Denair Middle School 8th Grade graduation will take place on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at 7:00 pm, at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6:00 pm.

Denair High School will be presenting the Class of 2015 on Friday, May 29, 2015, at 7:30 pm, at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6:00 pm.

DUSD Bands Off and Running

MS Band Students

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Under the direction of substitute music teacher Ms. Julie Mefferd, Denair High School and Denair Middle School band students began practice this week. Within two days of the start of the school year, students already had instruments in hand.

Denair High School band, which currently has 21 students, began warm ups immediately. Student Band President, Andrew Knapp, said many band students felt rusty after not playing their instruments over the summer. He led warm-ups the first two days. Ms. Mefferd commented last week that the high school band is ready for Pep Band performances at home football games, the first of which is August 29, 2014. The band is polishing its “Imperial March” song from the movie Star Wars and rehearsing “The Star Spangled Banner” which they plan to perform at half time of the Homecoming Game October 24.

Middle School Band, which has approximately 50 students, began practice last Wednesday. Ms. Mefferd set the students in concert formation and began sectional warm ups on a practice piece. Students continue to work on fundamentals. Those who have their own instruments are encouraged to bring them everyday.

On August 19, 2014, Denair Unified School District hired retired band director Mr. Donald Thissen, to replace Ms. Cathy George, who left the district this summer. Mr. Thissen, an accomplished trombone player, has taught music K-12 including jazz and concert band and marching band.

Denair Unified School District Passes Budget

DUSD_logo-SmallDenair school trustees passed a lean budget Thursday night while reassuring community members that the district is committed to sustained academic excellence even as it keeps a watchful eye on expenses.

After hearing an analysis by the district’s financial team, trustees voted 4-0 to pass the $8.15 million budget for 2014-15. The district expects to have a $130,000 deficit, but will not require any financial assistance from the Stanislaus County Office of Education. The past two years, the county office loaned the district $2.4 million to prevent state takeover.

By 2015-16, Denair officials expect to have about $370,000 more in revenue than expenses.

“We want to let parents know that we’re not just in survival mode,” Trustee John Plett said after the meeting. “We want the highest quality classes in arts, in math, in science, in English; we’ve not lost sight of that. We’ve hit a speed bump the past couple of years, but students still can get a quality education here.”

Plett joined Trustees Kathi Dunham-Filson, Carolyn Brown and Robert Hodges in passing the budget. Trustee Sandi Dirkse was absent.

“Even though the budget is lean, nothing has been taken away,” said Dunham-Filson. “We still do music. We still do languages. We still do ag. We still do many programs.” Continue reading “Denair Unified School District Passes Budget” »

Elite Drum and Bugle Corps Training in Denair

Santa Clara VanguardClass may be out for the summer, but the staccato beat of drums, the blare of horns and an array of colorful flags are filling the air around two Denair campuses this week.

The Vanguard Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps from Santa Clara once again are using the grassy fields and other facilities in Denair to prepare for the summer competition season. It is the fifth consecutive year the 146-member organization has held a weeklong camp at the adjoining high school and middle school sites.

“The relationship between Denair and Vanguard has been positive and has generated interest to the degree that folks will stop by to watch and inquire,” said Aaron Rosander, superintendent of the Denair Unified School District.

Last year, the camp provided a springboard to the Drum Corps International Open Class Championship, which the Bay Area group won for the second time.

“The Vanguard Cadets are honored to once again spend time here in Denair. We have always been treated so wonderfully and want to give much thanks to the district office personnel and school administration,” said Steve Barnhill, the corps’ director.

The connection to Denair was established by Vanguard’s CEO a few years ago, Barnhill said, and has worked out perfectly. Continue reading “Elite Drum and Bugle Corps Training in Denair” »

Veteran Educators Join Denair Unified Team

DUSD_logo-SmallTwo experienced educators will join the leadership team at the Denair Unified School District before the next school year starts.

Sara Michelena is the new Director of Elementary Education. She will oversee staff and students at Denair Elementary School as well as the adjacent Denair Academic Avenues campus.

Christine Skinner was hired as Associate Director of Secondary Education and will serve as the vice principal at Denair High School and Denair Middle School.

The hires were formally approved Thursday night by the district’s Board of Trustees at their monthly meeting.

Michelena comes to Denair from the Turlock Unified School District, where she was assistant principal of Cunningham Elementary in the 2013-14 school year. Before that, she spent 13 years in the Patterson Joint Unified School District as an elementary teacher, instructional coach and language coordinator, and as assistant principal at Apricot Valley Elementary.

Michelena has a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico, a teaching credential from St. Mary’s College and an administrative credential from California State University, Stanislaus. She is working toward a master’s degree in school administration at Stanislaus.

“I was drawn to Denair because I spent the majority of my career in a similar district and knew it would be a great fit,” Michelena said. “I was also very fortunate to work with many residents of Denair, in this last year, and they sang the praises of the community and district.” Continue reading “Veteran Educators Join Denair Unified Team” »