Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA

The Denair High School Class of 2017 provided real-life inspiration to their much younger peers Thursday morning, donning their purple and white caps and gowns and marching through the Denair Elementary Charter Academy campus.

It was the first step in a daylong series of events, including a mid-morning graduation practice walkthrough, leading up to Friday night’s commencement ceremony. Graduation begins at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Thursday’s first-ever Grad Walk was the brainchild of high school Principal Kara Backman and Amanda Silva, the district’s assistant director of special education. It was patterned after similar events discussed at a No Excuses University conference in January, Silva said.

NEU is an educational model built around the belief that every child has a right to be prepared for college, starting at the elementary level. Denair schools have embraced that philosophy and are working toward NEU certification.

Beneath their robes Thursday morning, Class of 2017 students wore T-shirts from their colleges of choice. Backman said 47 of the 70 graduates plan to attend a college or trade school of some kind.

The march to DECA campus was intended to be a vivid reminder of the educational journey the elementary students have just begun. Continue reading “Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA” »

Top Denair High Students Obando, Martinez Reflect on Quality of Education and Academic Success

Libby Martinez and Hector Obando

Submitted by Denair High School

Hector Obando is the Denair High School Class of 2017 valedictorian by virtue of his 4.17 grade-point average. The salutatorian will be Elisabeth “Libby” Martinez, who compiled a 4.15 GPA in her four years.

The graduation ceremony will be May 26 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Obando and Martinez 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?

Obando: Other students should know that hard work is universal. Anyone can push themselves to their limit and succeed. Perseverance is also something that helped my academic achievement.

Martinez: My academic success is from my perseverance and determination. I may have procrastinated to get things done, but at the end of the day, I knew I would have to do them, so why worry about them later?

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

Martinez: Outside of class, I would spend about an hour every day doing homework or trying to study.

Obando: I spend approximately an hour or more, if needed, studying and doing homework.

Q: Which classes and/or teachers at Denair High had the most influence on you?

Obando: All my teachers have really inspired me throughout my four years, including but not limited to Mr. Wagner, Mr. Cumberland, Mrs. Hilton, Mr. Allen, Mr. Stav and Sra. Olivas. In each of their courses that they taught me, I have learned many valuable lessons for the next step in life.

Martinez: My art classes with Mr. Stav have been influential and are the reason I am going to major in Fine Arts in college. My junior English class with Mrs. Schutcherman was also inspiring and gave me the motivation to read again for fun. Continue reading “Top Denair High Students Obando, Martinez Reflect on Quality of Education and Academic Success” »

DHS’s 2016 Grad Rate Continues to Exceed State and County Averages

Submitted by Denair High School

Denair High School long has been a leader among all Stanislaus County campuses when it comes to graduating its students. That trend continued with the Class of 2016.

Denair compiled a 97.1% graduation rate – 66 of its 68 seniors earned a diploma last spring. That compares with an 83.8% rate among all schools in Stanislaus County and 83.2% in California.

In the past seven years, graduation rates at Denair High have been as high as 100% (2010-11) and never lower than 93.7% (2013-14). By comparison, Stanislaus has fluctuated between 74.9% and 84.6% while  the state was as low as 74.7% as recently as 2010-11.

“Student graduation rates reflect the dedication of our community and schools to the education and success of our students,” said Aaron Rosander, superintendent of the Denair Unified School District. “We are proud as well of our teachers and staff who continue to raise the academic rigor that best prepares today’s students for their challenges that await them in college and their professional careers.”

Many of Denair’s graduates attended public and private universities in California, while others have been accepted at prestigious colleges out of state.

College attendance is emphasized and encouraged at all grade levels, there are college application workshops, presentations from schools from the UC and CSU systems, and Denair High School’s counselor works with students and their families on enrollment, grant and scholarship applications.

“Going to college improves students’ job opportunities,” said Cherie Gresham, the counselor and college advisor at Denair. Continue reading “DHS’s 2016 Grad Rate Continues to Exceed State and County Averages” »

Denair High School’s 2015 Graduation Rate Again Exceeds State and County Averages

CoyoteGradHat

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Denair High School continued to perform well above the state and county averages in graduating its students, according to statistics released last month by the California Department of Education.

In 2015, 76 of 81 seniors graduated from Denair High, a rate of 93.8%. That compares to a statewide average of 82.3% and a Stanislaus County graduation rate of 85%.

“Student graduation rates reflect the dedication of our community and schools to the education and success of our students. No child left behind is not a platitude or vacant slogan at Denair schools but, rather, a practice and commitment to our students,” said Aaron Rosander, superintendent of the Denair Unified School District.

Denair has long been one of the high-achieving high schools in the county when measured by graduation rates and student performance. The rate was 93.7% (74 of 79) in 2014, 98.7% (75 of 76) in 2013, 98.8% (84 of 85) in 2012 and 100% (74 of 74) in 2011.

Many of Denair’s graduates attended public and private universities in California, while others have been accepted at prestigious colleges out of state.

College attendance is emphasized and encouraged at all grade levels, there are college application workshops, presentations from schools from the UC and CSU systems, and Denair High School’s counselor works with students and their families on enrollment, grant and scholarship applications.

“Going to college improves students’ job opportunities,” said Cherie Gresham, the counselor and college advisor at Denair High School. Continue reading “Denair High School’s 2015 Graduation Rate Again Exceeds State and County Averages” »

DHS Valedictorians Reflect On High School Experiences

Andrew Knapp, Brian Dudley, Anna Dirkse

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

The Denair High School Class of 2015 will be honored May 29 at a graduation celebration. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Anna Dirkse, Brian Dudley and Andrew Knapp will be the valedictorians. All three accumulated a 4.3 grade-point average in their four years at Denair – the highest in their class. Anna, Brian and Andrew 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?

Anna: Some of the keys to my success have been my parents and my teachers. Both have pushed me to do my best and helped me to succeed.

Brian: My parents really pushed me to get A’s in my classes. Another thing that helped me go for the better grades was to get higher grades than my brother did throughout high school.

Andrew:  All I did was do what was asked of me. From there, I gained an interest in what I did through my teachers.  Everything else simply fell into place.

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

Brian: It really depended on the time of year, but I would estimate at least two to three hours per night studying.

Andrew:  Depending on the time of year, I would study from less than one hour to around four.

Anna: I have never had to spend much time on homework. On a normal day, two hours at most. Continue reading “DHS Valedictorians Reflect On High School Experiences” »