Rocklin Unified School District

4/10 RUSD Board of Trustee Meeting Highlights!

April 2019
Before the Board Meeting, Trustees recognized employees for milestones in their years of service to RUSD.
35 years of service
35 Years of Service
30 years of service
30 Years of Service
25 years of service
25 Years of Service
15 years of service
20 Years of Service
20 years of service
15 Years of Service
10 years of service
10 Years of Service

Placer County Office of Education 2019 Placer County Spelling Bee - Oral Competition Winners!

Trustees recognized Granite Oaks 7th grader Sarah Yee and 8th Grader Abhinav Sharma, who placed 1st in their respective grade levels at the 2019 Placer County Office of Education Spelling Bee Grand Finals. Both students will go to the State Junior High Spelling Bee at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael on May 4th.
Spelling Bee Winner
Trustees, also, honored the following RUSD staff for their outstanding dedication to students and their work:

RUSD Teachers of the Year:

Lynne Meiers, 8th Grade History Teacher, Spring View Middle School
Leah Seabrook-Rocha, Grades 9-12 Social Studies Teacher, Whitney High School
Lynne Meiers teacher of the year  Leah Seabrook Rocha teacher of the year

RUSD Classified Employees of the Year:

Stacy Gallman, Department Secretary – Category: Transportation
Dean Moore, Technical Support Specialist – Category: Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities
Tracy Rissanen, Nutrition Service Worker III – Category: Child Nutrition
Judy Brush, Administrative Assistant III – Category: Office/Technical
Dean Moore Classified employee of the year  Tracy Rissanen classified employee of the year  Judy Brush classified employee of the year

ACSA’s Administrators of the Year:

Matt Murphy, Director of Personnel
Category: ACSA Central Office Administrator of the Year
Sarah Soares, Program Specialist II, Education Services
Category: ACSA Student Services Administrator of the Year
Matt Murphy director of personnel of the year  Sarah Soares program specialist
Stacy Barsdale was appointed by the RUSD Board as Director, Special Education and Support Services effective July 1, 2019. Ms. Barsdale has been the Assistant Director, Special Education and Support Services since July 2018. She served as Director of Education and Student Services for Auburn Union School District, as well as many years as a Program Specialist and School Psychologist in surrounding districts, including 17 years in Rocklin Unified.
Melanie Patterson was appointed by the RUSD Board as Principal, Sunset Ranch Elementary effective July 1, 2019. Ms. Patterson has served as Program Specialist, leading our outstanding LCAP and Strategic Planning. Ms. Patterson also served as Summer School Principal (2017 & 2018) for Rocklin Unified . She has over 20 years of classroom experience.

3/20 RUSD Board of Trustee Meeting Highlights!

Benkosky family
March 2019
The Benkosky family of Parker Whitney was recognized with our Board of Trustees Family Partner in Education award! Diana Capra, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement, introduced Melody Thorson, Principal of Parker Whitney, who presented the Benkosky family to Trustees as part of the District’s “RUSD Family Partners in Education Program”. Trustees thanked Renee (Mom), Randy (Dad), Samantha (4th Grade) and Sidney (1st Grade) for their outstanding service and contribution to a RUSD school site.
Board of Trustee and Benkosky family and principal  Ms. Thorson principal at Parker Whitney 
The Benkosky family are a true example of what it means to be a member of a school community. The entire family shows Panther Pride in every way. Renee is an extremely active member in Parker Whitney's Parent Teacher Club (PTC) as head of membership, volunteer in the classroom, extra-curricular events, school site council, and any other tasks needed. Sammi and Sidney are beautiful examples of positive leadership and strong character. Last year, when Parker Whitney had some tree damage from a storm, Randy and family came over to the school to clear away the debris and remove a huge tree branch that had fallen so all students would have a safe school environment.  
Board of Trustee is congratulating Benkosky family  Edible arrangements are given to Benkosky family

The whole family keeps a careful eye on their school all the time. Their demonstration of school spirit and teacher support is beyond compare. What a beautiful family to have as a part of the Parker Whitney family!
Chocolate covered strawberries  cupcakes  Ice cream certificate  Edible arrangements
A special thanks to our fantastic community supporters who donate wonderful gifts to our family winners from each of our schools: Leatherby's Family Creamery for gift cards for their huge ice cream sundaes; Little Bliss Cakery for their unique cupcakes in a variety of flavors; Shari Fitzpatrick, the founder of the world famous Shari’s Berries and now Berried in Chocolate and our newest partner of Edible Arrangements in Rocklin. Owner, Anthony Robertson, is also an RUSD Dad of a kindergartner!  And a surprise - Little Bliss Cakery is scheduled to be featured on Good Day Sacramento and our awesome family is also invited for their tremendous dedication to our district and Parker Whitney Elementary. Tune in during the show's 8am hour this Saturday! Thank you all so much!

3/6 RUSD Board of Trustee Meeting Highlights!

Nelson family with Kathy Goddard and teacher
March 2019
The Nelson family of Cobblestone was recognized with our Board of Trustees Family Partner in Education award! Diana Capra, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement, introduced Kathy Goddard, Principal of Cobblestone, who presented the Nelson family to Trustees as part of the District’s “RUSD Family Partners in Education Program”. Trustees thanked Lisa (Mom), Jeffrey (Dad), Logan (6th grade) and Hannah (3rd grade) for their outstanding service and contribution to a RUSD school site.
Kathy Goddard principal of Cobblestone  Eric Stevens presents a certificate to the Nelson family

The Nelson family has supported Cobblestone since 2012 when Logan entered Kindergarten. Over the past six years, Lisa Nelson in particular, has spent hundreds of hours not just volunteering in Logan and Hannah's classrooms but serving the student body as a whole. After many years as an art docent, she is now the Head Art Docent. She has served as the PTC secretary for the last three years and been a key part of organizing special events that raise money and create a welcome school environment such as the Jogathon, Fall Festival, Restaurant Nights, Staff Appreciation Activities, and Family Fun Nights. Lisa recently volunteered to process "Cougar Coupons" which supports the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) work Cobblestone Elementary is doing to provide positive recognition for students who have done a good job showing respect, making good decisions, and solving problems. Lisa has helped with Picture Day and is always willing to help out with whatever is needed and frequently without much notice. Her positive, helpful outlook is greatly appreciated!
Ice cream certificate  cupcakes  Chocolate covered strawberries
 Owner of Edible Arrangements in Rocklin    Edible arrangements
Edible arrangements
A special thanks to our fantastic community supporters who donate wonderful gifts to our family winners from each of our schools: Leatherby's Family Creamery for gift cards for their huge ice cream sundaes; Little Bliss Cakery for their unique cupcakes in a variety of flavors; Shari Fitzpatrick, the founder of the world famous Shari’s Berries and now Berried in Chocolate and our newest partner of Edible Arrangements in Rocklin. Owner, Anthony Robertson, is also an RUSD Dad of a kindergartner! Thank you all so much!

2/6 RUSD Board of Trustee Meeting Highlights!

Principal Arcury, Carolyn Burkhalter, Riley Burkhalter and Trustee Halldin
February 2019
The Burkhalter family of Antelope Creek was recognized with our Board of Trustees Family Partner in Education award! Diana Capra, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement, introduced Brian Arcuri, Principal of Antelope Creek, who presented the Burkhalter family to Trustees as part of the District’s “RUSD Family Partners in Education Program”. Trustees thanked them for their outstanding service and contribution to a RUSD school site.
Trustee Halldin is giving an award to Burkhalter family  Mr. Arcury speaking at board meeting  Mr. Arcury
For two years Ms. Burkhalter has been the Parent Teacher's Association (PTA) President and has brought an increased interest to serve the community, students and families, as well as bringing a whole lot of fun to the organization. In addition to her leadership, Ms. Burkhalter shows up at almost every school event to lend a hand, organize, and serve students. Under her leadership, the PTA has raised tens of thousands of dollars for school improvement projects, classroom supplies, staff recognition, student field trips, school events, and student recognition.
Video at board meeting  Burkhalter family is being honored at 2.6.19 board meeting
Her daughter Riley is also at every school event and contributes her time, dedication, and leadership to serve her school and community. It is clear that Ms. Burkhalter's giving spirit has been transferred to Riley! Two years ago, Riley found out about a staff member who was struggling with an illness. She organized a fundraising campaign on behalf of this employee and raised hundreds of dollars on his behalf. Antelope Creek is honored to partner with Carolyn and Riley. RUSD and Antelope Creek salutes them for their service to their school and are proud to nominate them for this honor.

We appreciate your amazing service to our school district and especially Antelope Creek Elementary! Thank you so much!

We also showed some neat TV news coverage from Antelope Creek’s great Santa Pancake Breakfast and a fun assembly featuring a surprise $10,000 donation from Burlington Coat Factory! Here are the links to this positive RUSD news coverage:

A special thanks to our fantastic community supporters who donate wonderful gifts to our family winners from each of our schools: Leatherby's Family Creamery for gift cards for their huge ice cream sundaes; Little Bliss Cakery for their unique cupcakes in a variety of flavors (; and our newest partner, Shari Fitzpatrick. The founder of the world famous Shari’s Berries now has a boutique line of treasures at Each of our families will be the recipients of her gourmet goodies! Thank you all so much!
Chocolate covered strawberries  Strawberries  cupcakes

Also, Barbara Patterson, Deputy Superintendent, Business & Operations, introduced the Board to Beth Parrish as new Director of Fiscal & Purchasing Services. Beth has over 20 years of accounting experience and is also a Rocklin resident and a parent of Granite Oaks Middle School and Rocklin High School students.
Beth Parrish  Beth Parrish and students  Ava Jeung

Last but not least our Whitney High School Student Board Representative: Ava Jeung did a terrific job! Thanks to all!

Every Student Succeeding with the Help of Studio Movie Grill!

Mr. Stewart, Francisco and his father

November 2018

Rocklin High School's Francisco and Team Francisco wowed them at the Association of California Administrators (ACSA) Awards Luncheon at the group's 2018 Summit! Every staff member and leader in attendance wore special Team Francisco t-shirts provided by the national chain with a popular location in Rocklin. Teacher Adrienne Tacla and Instructional Aide Rosa Blancarte-Nettle attended with Francisco and his father, Rocklin High School Principal Davis Stewart and Secondary Leader Marty Flowers. Francisco was honored as only 1 of 19 winners in ACSA's Every Student Succeeding campaign. His amazing story is here in both a video and article produced by ACSA!

Team Francisco - school and DO staff  Francisco is receiving award

The power of a handshake and a young man who brightens the day of everyone around him! Our terrific teachers Mr. Bumgardner and Ms. Tacla are also featured in this beautiful story! 

Honoring Francisco  Francisco and his father hugging  Francisco

Studio Movie Grill (“SMG”) whose Chefs for Children program locally and nationwide benefits students with disabilities, made this experience for Francisco truly memorable! SMG's Chef for Children program works like this: when you order one of SMG's chef-inspired menu items marked with the SMG Chefs for Children badge, SMG donates 5% of the proceeds to support RUSD programs for students with disabilities. The company’s mission is to Open Hearts & Minds, One Story at a Time.  #studiomoviegrill  #rusdPROUD

Flyer for Studio Movie Grill

Save the Date for Event of the Season! Purchase tickets now for early Bird Pricing!

Starlight Soire 2018 Invite
September 2018
Dine and Mingle with South Placer's business, education and civic movers-and-shakers while enjoying a 4-course farm-to-fork dinner prepared by award winning Chef Erick Johnson, owner of The Chef's Table in Rocklin. This white linen dinner at Rocklin's beautiful Quarry Park is the event of the Season!
For more information please see flyer or to purchase your tickets go to:
Interested in becoming one of our event sponsors? Please contact Noel Smith at (916) 718-5688 or email

June 13, 2018 Board of Trustees Meeting Highlights:



Rocklin Police Crime Analyst Shawn Baird  Rocklin Chief of Police Chad Butler
June 2018
Rocklin Chief of Police, Chad Butler, and Rocklin Police Crime Analyst, Shawn Baird, provided Trustees with an annual Rocklin Police Department update and report and shared the Police Department’s continued support and partnership with Rocklin Unified School District in keeping students and staff safe.



New Sunset Ranch Principal JaimeAnn and her niece
JaimeAnn was appointed by the Board as Principal, Sunset Ranch Elementary School. She comes to Rocklin from the Fullerton School District where she served as an elementary school principal for the past three (3) years. Under her leadership, she engaged staff in professional development related to safe and collaborative culture and high-yield strategies for instruction, receiving certification in 2018 as a Marzano Research Lab High Reliability School – Level 1, Safe and Collaborative Culture. She also served as a Board of Directors Member and Communication Liaison of the Fullerton Education Foundation, raising funds to enrich the educational experience of each child in every classroom through grants, materials, curriculum resources, and technology. In addition she sat as a Board Member of California State University Fullerton’s M. S. Educational Leadership and P-12 Advisory Board. Prior to this she was a junior high school Assistant Principal and an elementary school Teacher.

Exhibition Day at Sierra Elementary!

Exhibition at Sierra elementary  Exhibition poster about cancer
May 2018
Check out the fantastic sights from Sierra Elementary Annual Exhibition Day! Sierra Elementary is the only Rocklin Unified School District Elementary School with the distinction of being an International Baccalaureate (IB) school led by outstanding Principal Hannah Anderson.
Exhibition poster about THP
Exhibition poster about health and nutrition  Exhibition poster about human impact on animals

Neat update from one of the terrific Sierra Elementary teachers - Ms. Dodge reports about her Exhibition groups: 

* The Glitter Putty-selling group of Gemma, Kendall, Leah, Matthew and Maya raised almost $900 (their goal was $500) for the SPCA and were able to hand over their donation to a representative today.
KCRA at Sierra Elementary  KCRA reporter is interviewing students at Sierra
KCRA reporter is interviewing a teacher  Sierra students raising money for SPCA

* The Tree Huggers group of Drew, Jonathan, Nolan and Reese wrote a letter to the mayor of Rocklin requesting that more trash receptacles be placed along the bike trail.  Mayor Ken Broadway paid them a visit and told them that because of their action, there will be more trash bins put in place there!

*The PC building group of Grant, Mason, Parker C. and Zach F. were able to donate the PC that they built to a wonderful Sierra family who lost everything in a house fire a month ago.

“It is so wonderful to see how the students are learning that their actions DO make a difference,” says Ms. Dodge. “Very powerful!”

This special event at Sierra Elementary is just one of many innovative programs that happen throughout the year at each of our 17 schools! The Rocklin Unified School District is truly grateful for the dedication, talent and tireless work of our teachers and staff who ignite imaginations and ensure successful futures of all our students!

Thank you!


Who Says One Person Can't Make a Difference?

5th grade student with Rocklin Mayor Broadway
May 2018
That's just what Cobblestone Elementary student did when he wrote to Rocklin Mayor Ken Broadway asking for Rocklin's public restrooms be kept cleaner. Mayor Broadway not only answered his letter, he came to his classroom and it was a terrific experience for everybody! Comments included: 'He was super nice!' 'So personable!' "The kids asked a lot of great questions. Because of Sam's letter, he (Mayor Broadway) will be meeting with the Parks department to make sure that all public restrooms are being kept clean," according to Principal Kathy Goddard.
“I always enjoy hearing from our citizens about issues in our community and it is especially heartwarming to receive a concern from one of our 5th grade students, Says Mayor Ken Broadway. "It is also good to know that one person, even one that is only 11 years old, can make a difference.” Wow! #rusdPROUD

WHS Student Wins Award for Champion Diversity and Social Justice!

Rohan Sharma
May 2018
Whitney High School is proud to announce that sophomore Rohan Sharma has been awarded the Social Studies Student Award for being a Champion of Diversity and Social Justice. This award is given by the California Council for Social Studies to only three high school students and Rohan was selected as the representative from Northern California.

Rohan was nominated for his work on various social justice projects including volunteering at the State Capital, organizing a Debate Club on campus, and continual work toward gender equality. For example, Rohan recently competed in the American Association of University Women’s Eleanor Stem-Allen Memorial Speech Contest for his piece on the need for gender equality and won. Rohan’s nominating teacher, Mrs. Leah Seabrook, notes that in class discussions and in his questions, he is always focused on an intersectional view of history that pushes his fellow AP World students to engage with history from a different perspective. Further, Rohan is involved in other campus activities like playing on the water polo team.

Congratulations Rohan! Thank you for being an outstanding Wildcat and role model!

Special thanks to Leah Seabrook, AP World History, United States History and PACE United States History at Sierra College teacher for sharing this amazing information!

Interested in being appointed a Placer County Youth Commissioner?

Applications are due May 30th, 2018!

For more information please go to:
To download a flyer, please click here>>

Studio Movie Grill Super Student 

Story/Rocklin Unified School

SMG LogoGabby McLoughlinRUSD Logo

Thank you Studio Movie Grill for Making Gabby’s Acceptance at Fresno, CA State University, Fresno Wayfinders Program Awesome!

May 2018

 The Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) is very pleased to announce that one of our 18-22 Transition program students has been accepted into Wayfinders! Gabby McLoughlin will attend Wayfinders at California State University, Fresno in the Fall.  It is an inclusive post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities between the ages of 18 - 28.  The Wayfinders Program is housed under the Kremen School of Education and Human Development and focused on teaching its students independent living, vocational and self-advocacy skills thereby increasing the life-choices available to them, thus enhancing their quality of life.

"The Transition Program has been like a second home for me! We all get along and we are just one big family," says Gabby! Her future goal is to work with children and maybe one day open up her own daycare! RUSD's 18-22 Transition program is a specialized program to assist young adults with developmental disabilities to prepare for life in the community. Social, communication, wellness, vocational and self-advocacy are components of this program.

Studio Movie Grill (“SMG”), whose, Chefs for Children program locally and nationwide benefits students with disabilities, is making Gabby's amazing accomplishment even more special by providing her with much needed items to help set up her new dorm living for college life! SMG's Chef for Children program works like this: when you order one of SMG's chef-inspired menu items marked with the SMG Chefs for Children badge, SMG donates 5% of the proceeds to support RUSD programs for students with disabilities. The company’s mission is to Open Hearts & Minds, One Story at a Time.

Roger Stock, Gabby and Jessica Gilmore
RUSD Superintendent Roger Stock, Gabby McLoughlin and Jessica Gilmore, Special Program Specialist

Special Recognitions at 5/16 Board of Trustees Meeting


Annual recognition of AFJROTC School Board Color Guard.

ROTC are being honored at the board meeting
May 2018
The Board of Trustees recognizes and honors the AFJROTC School Board Color Guard and their instructors for their patriotic contributions to RUSD Board meetings and outstanding leadership during the 2017-18 school year.

       AFJROTC Members:
       Cadet Colonel Ellisia Quintana
       Cadet Lt Col Sajan Singh
       Cadet Major Kyle Rhoades
       Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Joseph Nobriga

       AFJROTC Instructors:
       Colonel Michael A. Fernandez, USAF [Ret]
       Senior Master Sergeant Terry J. Barber, USAF [Ret]

In addition, the Board of Trustees also recognizes the JROTC for being awarded the highest level annual award, Distinguished Unit with Merit.

A unit can only receive the Distinguished Unit with Merit award if they have had an annual evaluation from the ROTC headquarters and have received the highest rating possible. Last October ROTC headquarters inspected the unit and they received the highest possible rating.  This honor truly reflects the hard work and dedication the corps of cadets has put in this year having won the TITAN Invitational and NORCAL Drill Meets, taking 1st place in NORCAL softball, soccer, volleyball, and 2nd place in basketball, as well as completing over 1,400 hours of community service. The corps also conducted programs such as Kitty Hawk Air Society, Model Rocketry, Remote Controlled Aircraft, Orienteering, and numerous color guards supporting the Rocklin School Board, California Superintendent's Conference, Veteran's organizations, WHS and RHS home football games, baseball, track and field, graduations, award ceremonies, etc.  

This year's JROTC leadership team included three Whitney High School and four Rocklin High School cadets:
        Lucas Castro
        Ellisia Quintana
        Sajan Singh
        Taylor Morton
        Daniel Leonor
        Kyle Rhoades
        Joseph Nobriga

Recognition of Student Board Representatives for 2017-18 School Year

Recognition of student board representatives at the board meeting
Each year the three RUSD High Schools designate a student, who has exhibited excellent leadership skills, to serve as a Student Board Representative to the Board of Trustees for the school year. Student Board Representatives play an integral part in sharing a “student perspective” with District leadership and Trustees including participation at Board meetings.

The Board of Trustees recognize and honor the following Student Board Representatives for their outstanding service throughout the 2017-18 school year:

Brynn Blatnick, Whitney High School
Logan McDevitt, Rocklin High School
Mia Saddoris, Victory High School (Mia has recently moved out of the District)

Recognition of RUSD Family Partners in Education

The Rocklin Unified School District recognizes that family engagement and involvement equals student success. We value each and everyone of our families at RUSD  and started this special recognition program to honor one at each school during Board of Trustee meetings. This year's theme: Honoring our RUSD stars! Each family winner receives special donated gifts from our community partners as well as a special keepsake photo and certificate for their wonderful service to our school district.  
Rocklin Alternative Education Center (RICA) /Victory High School
RICA's Family Partners in Education family is being honored at the board meeting
The Sala family is RICA/Victory High School Family Partners in Education honoree.  Although Vicky and her family are not new to Rocklin Unified, they are relatively new to Victory High School. In this short time, Vicky has already served on the Strategic Planning Team, not just an active participant, but a passionate one. So passionate in fact, that out of concern that the hard work and critical elements that went into planning, may be lost in translation, Vicky committed the rest of the semester as an Action Planning member.

Anyone that has had the pleasure of interacting with Vicky immediately recognizes her innate compassion, understanding, and sensitivity for others. Perhaps most indicative of this trait came to VHS principal in the form of an email from Vicky, in response to a notification that yearbooks were going on sale that read:

"I placed an order today for four Victory HS Yearbooks. I would like one copy for myself and I would like you to give the other three away to deserving seniors who may not otherwise have the ability to purchase one. I only ask that you please give them out anonymously. I don't want to make anyone feel bad. When I was growing up, we never had extra money for yearbooks, etc. and I know firsthand how someone may really want one but would never ask their parents for the money."

Giovanni is an extremely supportive father, and while he may not be able to spend as much time with school related activities, if it wasn't for his dedication to his family, Vicki's time and generosity would not be possible.

Jeff is truly a remarkable student. His character, intellect and demeanor represent what any educator covets in a student. Jeff's Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Gamble, excitedly shared with the principal her appreciation for Jeff. She said, "He is one of those students that make your classroom a genuinely better place. Not only does he complete his work, but he is always willing to participate in classroom discussions and participate in class activities. It is because of this and the positive way in which he conducts himself that every student at Victory knows who he is and he is liked by everyone. I have also been able to see the close bond he has forged with a couple of his other classmates. Recently one of his friends was having a difficult time, and not only was Jeff there for him, but offered him a place to stay should he ever needed it. That is a perfect example of who Jeff is and the qualities that have obviously been instilled in him through his family.”

As a family of two children, you can imagine that time is precious resource for the Sala's. Yet Vicki has made it clear on multiple occasions that she and her family volunteer their time for no other reason than they want to. There is a wonderful quote about volunteers, which reads, "Volunteers are not paid - not because they are worthless - because they are priceless." The Sala family is truly priceless. The Rocklin Alternative Education Center is blessed to have them as a part of their school community.
Sierra Elementary School
Sierra's family partners in education are being honored
The Willson Family, specifically Susan Willson, has gone above and beyond to support Sierra Elementary School. Susan is an eager volunteer and has stepped up to lead and participate to support her children's education. The Willsons have been part of the Sierra family for the past 7 years. During this time Susan has been an active member and board member of the Parent Teacher Club, serving as a Fall Carnival Event Chair, Vice President, and President. Sierra Elementary and RUSD  owe the Willson family a debt of gratitude for how giving Susan has been with her time.

Susan started off her PTC journey planning the Fall Carnival for two years. As the carnival lead, she spearheaded a great night of fun for all Sierra families and kids. As the Vice President, she was the liaison to the event chairs and communicated frequently with event leads to ensure plans for all of the PTC events were thorough and that students and families would have a memorable experience. As the PTC President, she attends two PTC meetings per month and has a separate meeting with the Principal monthly to discuss school priorities. This year, Susan also took over as the defacto Auction Chairperson when the lead lost her battle with cancer. Without receiving any of the credit, Susan pulled together an auction that raised $33,000 for the school. Her gracious spirit and generosity with her time are remarkable!

This generosity has also been passed on to her girls. Gray Willson, 6th grader at Sierra, took it upon herself this year to raise money for the Lilliput Children's Services. Gray met with the director at Lilliput Families and discovered the needs of the kids they serve. She then engaged her peers in fundraising efforts both inside and outside of school in order for all children to have a special holiday season. In addition, Gray and her friends wrote and performed a play to bring joy to the children at Sierra. Gray is also part of Sierra Elementary's Student Council and helps with assemblies and spirit days. 

This year, the Sierra community has had numerous tragedies and Susan has stepped up to the plate to support many of the families. Recently, one of our families lost their property in a fire, and once again Susan was right there to help organize support for the family.

Sierra's PTC and everything Susan touches at Sierra wouldn't be nearly as successful without her support. Sierra Elementary is so lucky to have Susan and the Willson family as part of their community.
Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby’s Family Creamery and Little Bliss Cakery!

Local Rocklin Success Story Titan Gilroy and His Fantastic Crew Set Up Production at Rocklin High School's Advanced Manufacturing Career Technical Education (CTE) Program!

Titans interviewing RHS student  RHS student working a machinery
RHS student working on a computer drafting  Titans recording a video of a RHS student in a manufacturing class
Just one of RUSD's CTE success stories, this program receives national recognition due to the hard working, dedicated students under the outstanding leadership of instructor Dan Frank! Mr. Frank proved he really is a super teacher as he had to multi task during the shoot. The special video highlighting the RHS shop will be used for Titans of CNC Academy! Students were interviewed and featured each hour of the shoot doing a variety of next generation 'amazingness' as Mr. Frank calls it! #rusdPROUD
RHS working on a heavy machinery  RHS students working in a metal shop and Titans recording them
RHS manufacturing class  RHS working in a metal shop
RHS student working in a metal shop at RHS  Titans recording a video of RHS manufacturing class
For more information on Titans of CNS log onto:

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley invited our two heroes to the Capitol!

Jacob Halley and Buster Carlson at the Capitol with Assemblyman Kevin Kiley
Whitney High School students Jacob Halley and Buster Carlson whose brave, smart actions may have prevented another school shooting in Florida joined the Assemblyman recently for a Chamber visit with their families! See the background and recent news coverage below.
Jacob's and Buster's family with Assemblyman Kevin Kiley at the Capitol
Assemblyman Kiley presented special certificates to our students and then took all on a Capitol tour. The two students also got to sit on the famous green velvet chairs and then were escorted to the front with Assemblyman Kiley who told their story and recognized them as their loved ones watched the momentous occasion from the gallery. Wow! #rusdPROUD.
  Poster at the Capitol with the announcement  Assemblyman Kiley introduces Jacob and Buster at the Capitol
Assemblyman presents certificate to Jacob and Buster  Everyone congratulates Jacob and Buster
Assemblyman Kiley, two WHS students, their moms and other assemblymen
How our WHS students became heroes:

Rocklin Unified School District

School Bus Driver Positions Available

Want a professional career supporting children and families with school transportation?
Come join us! Drive a School Bus with the Rocklin Unified School District.

What is a typical day like for a school bus driver?
The Rocklin Unified School District provides school bus transportation for both general and special education students. Drivers arrive early in the morning to do a safety check on their bus before beginning their route. The typical hours of work are from 6:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and then break until children get out of school. Then drivers return to work and are on duty from approximately 1:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m.. The morning and afternoon route(s) can last from two to three hours each. Typically, a driver will begin as a substitute, filling in for drivers who are out sick or off work for other reasons. As permanent positions become available, substitutes are usually first in line to fill the vacancies. We currently have several available permanent routes for qualified applicants.

Does Rocklin Unified offer a benefits package?
Yes! In fact, some of the best you’ll find. Rocklin Unified offers several options for their employees to choose from and can include medical, dental, vision and life.

Job requirements (Free training provided, no experience required.)

• Must have good driving record (DMV H6 10 YR. History)
• Must pass Fingerprint Background Check
• Must pass and adhere to drug and alcohol testing
• Obtain a Commercial Driver License (Help provided)
• Obtain first aid training and certification (Training provided)
• Obtain medical clearance from the DMV (Assistance provided)
• Successful completion of 40 hours of training (20 hours classroom/20 hours behind-the-wheel)
• Attendance of all classes are mandated
• Attend Orientation session (orientation will review the certification process)
• Must enjoy driving and interacting with students!


You may apply if interested by creating a personal profile on

What is the salary range for school bus drivers?
The current Rocklin Unified School Bus Driver salary ranges from $18.69 - $23.86 per hour.

The Transportation Department is conducting a 1 hour New Driver Orientation on Wednesday June 13, 2018 at 10:00 AM. Please call 916 624-9106 for additional information.

New School Bus Driver Course will meet Monday June 18, 2018 through Friday June 22, 2018 from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Attending the New Driver Orientation is mandatory.

Check out our video @

To download a flyer please click here>>

Check Out Our Athletes at the Wonderful Unified Track and Field Day!

May 2018
Special thanks to our dedicated staff who started this fantastic program for our awesome Special Education Athletes!
RHS at Unified Track 
Unified Track 2018 
 Unified Track 2    WHS at unified track
 WHS at unified track    RHS at unified track
 WHS at unified track    RHS at unified track
 rhs at unified track    rhs at unified track
 whs at unified track    RHS at unified track
 RHS at unified track    RHs at unified track
 RHs at unified track    WHS at unified track
 WHS at unified track    RHS at unified track
 RHS at unified track    Coach Nick French being interviewed
 RHs at unified track    WHS at unified track
 unified track    unified track
 unified track    unified track

Special Recognitions at 5/2 Board of Trustees Meeting

Carlson and Halley Family being honored at the board meeting
May 2018
School safety is a main priority at the Rocklin Unified School District and the recent tragic shooting at a high school in Florida has led to our school district and many other districts to continue to provide safety information and advice to our staff, students and families. The common phrase used a lot is 'If you see something say something' and that is being encouraged by RUSD staff, students and families.
Two Whitney High School seniors didn't hesitate to 'say something' when they saw an alarming post on a You Tube video and police say they may have stopped a possible second school shooting. Whitney High School senior Matthew (Buster) Carlson was surfing You Tube music videos a few weeks ago when he spotted a disturbing post in the comment section. The post said: "...I want to be a professional school shooter... (no sarcasm, Broward County, Florida) J.P. Taravella HS is my target, tomorrow. I'M LEGIT NOT JOKING AROUND! SPREAD MY MESSAGE!!!!!!" J.P. Taravella High is about a 10-minute drive from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of February's school shooting where 17 people were killed. Buster texted his friend Jacob Halley, who took a screenshot of the original post and an edited one, which read: "For who ever is reading this, I will be shooting up my high school in broward county FL. Tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 when school starts. Round 2 J.P. Taravella HS! (I am legit, make my presence known)."
Honoring two students
Halley filed a report on the FBI's tipline while Carlson contacted the Broward County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's department transferred him to the Coral Springs Police Department. Buster spoke to an investigator and the next day they arrested the student who made the posts. The student was arrested and charged with violating a 'Written Threats' law, a second degree felony. The statute (836.10) was recently amended as part of the "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act" which enhanced criminal penalties for individuals who make threats to schools via social media. According to a police report, there were guns in the house. The story ended up all over local news in the Coral Springs television market. A press release from the Coral Springs Police Department describing the arrest ended this way: "The Coral Springs Police Department wants to thank the concerned citizen for making a call and making a difference."  

The Board of Trustees Honors the Dettner Family for Partnership in Education

The Dettner Family
The Rocklin Unified School District recognizes that family engagement and involvement equals student success. We value each and everyone of our families at RUSD and started this special recognition program to honor one at each school during Board of Trustee meetings. This year's theme: Honoring our RUSD stars! Each family winner receives special donated gifts from our community partners as well as a special keepsake photo and certificate for their wonderful service to our school district.  
The Dettner Family is Whitney High School’s Family Partner in Education for this school year.  Although the Dettner Family is a veteran Rocklin Unified School District family, this school year represents the first of 10 years that a child in the Dettner family has attended Whitney High School. Since the beginning of the school year, mom Debbie Dettner, has been a positive presence at Whitney High School. She has dedicated countless hours volunteering with WHS Parent Teacher Club (PTC), athletic program, student incentive and perfect attendance programs, among others.
As a member of WHS PTC, Debbie helped organize and volunteer at the first monthly staff appreciation lunch.  She went on to volunteer at several other monthly staff appreciation lunches and helped host the PTC information table at a Freshman Showcase Night.  During PTC meetings, Debbie has been an active participant who provides quality insight and feedback.
As a parent of a water polo player at Whitney, Debbie was a consistent presence at games as well as an active volunteer.  She was a friendly face always ready to lend a hand to her son’s team on game days as well as provide any help that was needed on the Varsity Team.  Debbie was also of invaluable assistance with the coordination of the end year water polo banquet and took some amazing photographs that were shared with others.
Honoring the Dettner Family
In addition to volunteering with the PTC and athletic program, Debbie has been integral to student incentive programs such as the Perfect Attendance Award Program.  Debbie worked with local community partners to obtain raffle prizes for students who earned perfect attendance. Not only did Debbie secure the prizes, but she also assisted WHS Assistant Principal during lunchtime activities when announcing the student award winners.
At many WHS events, Debbie takes professional quality pictures that are used for staff to post on social media and use in PTC communications to increase family and community engagement.  
Debbie has been a dynamic and positive force on Whitney High School campus this year!

Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby’s Family Creamery and Little Bliss Cakery!

Rocklin High School Journalism Teacher Mr. Nichols Inducted into Ball State Journalism Hall of Fame

Casey Nichols is being honored
The Journalism Alumni Society inducted alumnus Casey Nichols into the Ball State Journalism Hall of Fame on April 11. Nichols has served as the journalism teacher and publications adviser for Rocklin Unified School District since 1994. Under his guiding hand, Rocklin High School’s yearbook, Tonitrus, has won numerous national awards, including the National Scholastic Press Association’s Pacemaker and Pacemaker Finalist Awards, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Gold and Silver Crowns and induction into the NSPA’s All-American Hall of Fame. In addition, Nichols himself has received many of scholastic journalism’s highest honors for journalism educators, including the NSPA Pioneer Award, the CSPA Gold Key, the JEA National Yearbook Adviser of the Year Award, and the JEA Medal of Merit. He has also served on the board for JEA-Northern California and as JEA National Awards Chair and is currently a JEA Mentor. His generosity with and love for fellow advisers, teachers and, of course, journalism students at RUSD and beyond is renowned! Congratulations Mr. Nichols!


Special Recognitions at April Board of Trustees Meeting!

April 2018
It is a privilege and an honor to recognize Rachelle Price as Rocklin Unified School District's Family Partners in Education. Rachelle is currently serving as a Parent Club President at Rocklin High School. Rachelle valiantly assumed this position last year and has played a vital role in the Parent Club's renaissance and revitalization. Over the past year, Rachelle's enthusiastic leadership has brought a new vision and energy to the Parent Club and has significantly expanded  parental involvement and participation. Rocklin High School is grateful for her dedication and the opportunity to thank Rachelle appropriately with this award.
RHS Family Partners in Education

This year, Rachelle and the Parent Club's extensive fundraising efforts have allowed them to donate thousands of dollars to supplement curricular departments as well as extra-curricular programs and clubs across the entire campus. Additionally, Rachelle's resolve to ensure that Rocklin High School continues to thrive as a safe, positive learning environment has led to the Parent Club's partnership with Rocklin High School's beautification project. Rachelle understand the importance of having a campus which instills pride and creates a cohesive community. As such, the Parent Club is involving students and parents in our campus beautification efforts including updates to Rocklin High School's front office and paving Thunder Alley with parent sponsored bricks.
Rocklin High staff is incredibly thankful for the countless staff appreciation activities that the Parent Club has organized and provided. The Parent Club welcomed our teachers and staff back in August with an amazing breakfast. In December, Rachelle and the Parent Club Board hosted a holiday luncheon, enlisting the help of dozens of RHS Parent Club members to cater the luncheon and generously present every teacher with a gift card. To further strengthen ties with the community, Rachelle requested that all of the gift cards donated by RHS families be purchased from Rocklin businesses. Rachelle is the embodiment of being an active member of the community.

Recognizing Rachelle, and her entire family, for the Family Partners in Education award was an easy choice. The sacrifices both she and her family have made for the RUSD schools and the Rocklin community is truly commendable.

Congratulations 8th Grader From Granite Oaks Middle School - Praveen Swaminathan!

1st Place Spelling Bee Winner!

Praveen Swaminathan Spelling Bee Winner
Annually, the Placer County Office of Education (PCOE) holds its Placer County Oral Spelling Bee Competition for students in grades 4th – 8th. This year, the competition was held on March 14, 2018.  
Spelling Bee Winner receiving an award
Six (6) Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) students in 4th – 8th grade participated in the 2018 PCOE Oral Spelling Bee. This year, RUSD student, Praveen Swaminathan, 8th grader from Granite Oaks Middle School,  placed 1st in his grade level which also moved him forward to the Grand Finals round of the Spelling Bee.  Praveen Swaminathan placed 1st in the 2018 Grand Finals and will go to the State Junior High Spelling Bee on May 5, 2018 hosted by Marin County Office of Education. The final word that he spelled correctly was "bourgeois," which placed him as Grand Champion.

Trustees Recognize the RUSD Teachers of the Year, Classified School Employees of the Year and Administrators of the Year

Each year, Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) staff selects Teachers of the Year and Classified School Employees of the Year to be recognized at district, county and possibly the state level. Also each year, RUSD District ACSA members, based on specific criteria, select and recognize one or more ACSA Administrators of the Year.  

RUSD Teachers of the Year being recognized include:

Lisa Johnson, RUSD Elementary Teacher of the Year (1st Grade Teacher, Sierra Elementary School)
Shawn Spiess, RUSD Secondary Teacher of the Year (Music Teacher, Rocklin High School)
Teacher of the year Lisa Johnson  Teacher of the year Shawn Spiess
                                Lisa Johnson, Elementary Teacher                            Shawn Spiess, Secondary Teacher
RUSD Classified Employees of the Year being recognized include:

Mel Brege, Bus Driver – Category: Transportation
Terry Finney, Groundskeeper III – Category: Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities
Emily Ford, Licensed Vocational Nurse – Category: Support Services and Security
Jodi Konsesky, Administrative Assistant II – Category: Office/Technical
Dina Lombardo, Special Education Aide II – Category: Para-Educator and Instructional Assistant
Classified staff of the year
Classified Employees of the Year
ACSA’s Administrators of the Year being recognized include:

Elisabeth Davidson, Principal, Spring View Middle School - Category: ACSA Middle School Principal Administrator of the Year
Melanie Patterson, Program Specialist II (LCAP) - Category: ACSA Central Office Administrator of the Year
Barbara Patterson, Deputy Superintendent, Business and Operations - Category: ACSA Business Services Administrator of the Year
Administrators of the year
Administrators of the Year

Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby’s Family Creamery and Little Bliss Cakery!

The Board of Trustees Honors the Harrington Family at the 3/21 Board of Trustees Meeting!

The Harrington Family
March 2018
The Board of Trustees is pleased to honor the Harrington family for the ongoing support they provide to the students of Spring View Middle School. Francis (Dad) and Kelly (Mom) make education a top priority for their seventh grade son, Andrew. This is evident through his perfect attendance, 4.0 grade point average, and outstanding citizenship on campus. Andrew serves as a leader with his peers on campus and is an active member of the Student Leadership Team. Andrew is also participating in Spring View’s music program.
The Harrington being honored at the board of trustee meeting
Mrs. Harrington has been a tremendous support not just to Andrew, but in providing phenomenal opportunities for all students participating in the Music Program. Her leadership role with fundraising has created opportunities for all students to attend field trips, including participating in festivals and opportunities to play music within the community including assisted living facilities. Mrs. Harrington has also been instrumental in organizing the annual Pasta Dinner as Spring View's main fundraising event. Mr. Jacks, Spring View Music Director, described Kelly as always willing to step up and help in any capacity. Mrs. Harrington has also volunteered to serve as an active member of the Spring View Parent Club. Spring View Middle School is incredibly grateful of the efforts and energy of Kelly, and the Harrington family as a whole. The students and families of Spring View make the campus such a wonderful place to be.

Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby’s Family Creamery and Little Bliss Cakery!

RUSD Parent Resource Nights!  Check out videos of two presentations here!


Special Recognitions at 3/7 Board of Trustees Meeting!

March 2018
The Board of Trustees is proud to recognize and honor two amazing families who have gone above and beyond for their school community!
Zamora Family
Ruhkala Elementary School
In the past two years the Zamora-Ortiz family has been instrumental in supporting their school community and culture. They are flexible, reliable, and forward thinking. Their enthusiasm and caring nature for Ruhkala Elementary School and its students are more than obvious to all of the staff, community, and students.

As part of Ruhkala’s strategic plan the school activated the following objective, “Students will continue to benefit from progress towards increased engagement in school culture. This includes opportunities for extracurricular enrichment.” This family embraced this component and under their community outreach, planning, and support Ruhkala Elementary now offers a theater club, ukulele club, and school choir. They have also inspired other parents to step up and Ruhkala now offers Spanish and are planning a French club. They manage all aspects of these clubs and they have all flourished under their guidance.

The Zamora/Ortiz family shows daily what it means to connect with everyone in a school community. They make Ruhkala an engaged, supportive place for everyone involved in the school. Without the countless hours that they have volunteered, and the ideas that they have developed, Ruhkala Elementary would not be the same place. It is through their work that so many students have found a new, or created a deeper, connection with school. This connection brings more success to how they are performing in class as well. Ruhkala Elementary School feels very fortunate to have this wonderful family as such a supportive part of their school’s community.
Disho Family

Granite Oaks Middle School
Granite Oaks Middle School is proud to honor the Disho Family for all of their contributions to their school and community.  Crystal and her family have contributed greatly to the success of Granite Oaks Middle School over the last year.  Crystal fearlessly volunteered to become a Granite Oaks Parent Falcon Club (PFC) member before the beginning of our 2017/2018 school year.  At that time, their PFC was in desperate need of parents to step in and take over the leadership roles within their organization.  

Crystal not only stepped into becoming a PFC member, but volunteered to take over the entire organization and become their Co-PFC President. Thankfully, Crystal jumped into the role with both feet and never looked back. Crystal started working at the end of last year with their PFC to take on a new GOMS Fireworks Stand fundraiser. She helped to organize this complicated and time consuming event that helped Granite Oaks Middle School raise over 8,000 dollars. Crystal's organization for the fireworks stand went above and beyond the call of duty.  Crystal and Co-PFC President spent countless hours organizing, stocking, and operating the fireworks stand. The fireworks stand and money raised by it would not have been a possibility without her commitment to its success.  

Crystal has worked with the PFC as Co-president to organize their pledge drives, fundraisers, 8th grade promotion dance, monthly meetings, PFC finances, and teacher appreciation events. Under Crystal’s guidance the Granite Oaks Middle School Parent Falcon Club has raised over 20,000 dollars that has helped support many facets of the school. The money raised by Crystal and PFC has been used to fund clubs, purchase computers and Chromebooks for classroom use, and supported staff appreciation activities. Crystal’s hard work with the PFC truly makes a positive difference in making Granite Oaks one of the best middle schools in Northern California. Granite Oaks Middle School is indeed lucky to have Crystal working hard to make their school a wonderful place to learn and grow.  
Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Little Bliss Cakery and Leatherby's Family Creamery!

The Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees Recognizes Exemplary Educators!

Rocklin Unified School District is proud to recognize and celebrate these two exemplary RUSD teachers for outstanding service to our students and school community.
Lisa Johnson being recognizes at the board meeting  Lisa Johnson and her family with Susan Halldin at the board meeting

Lisa Johnson, 1st grade teacher at Sierra Elementary, was recognized as the California Association of International Baccalaureate World Schools (CAWS) California’s Primary Years Program 2018 Educator of the Year. Lisa will be honored at the CAWS Spring Seminar in Sacramento on February 26.
Craig Haviland being recognized at the board meeting  Craig Haviland being honored at the board meeting
Craig Haviland, 5th grade teacher at Sunset Ranch Elementary, was recognized as the regional winner of the 2018 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by CapCUE (Computer Using Educators), Sacramento Regional Computer Using Educators (CUE) group.


Congratulations Ms. Johnson/RUSD Elementary Teacher of the Year!

Ms. Johnson's class at Sierra Elementary
February 2018
Sierra Elementary School's Lisa Johnson was named RUSD Elementary Teacher of the Year. Principal Hannah Anderson along with District leaders Superintendent Roger Stock, Assistant Superintendent HR Colleen Slattery and Director of Secondary Programs and School Leadership Martin Flowers surprised Lisa with the honor during her class!
Honoring Ms. Johnson Sierra Elementary  Honoring Ms. Johnson picture 2
Lisa has been with RUSD for over 21 years. She has taught K/1, 1st, and 2nd grades. Lisa has served as an active member of the school's leadership team for the last 5 years and has taken the primary role in building multiple tiered systems of academic supports and interventions, bolstering the Primary Years International Baccalaureate Program. She also serves as team lead for Sierra's Strategic Planning Committee, participated in the Writer's Workshop, and is a trainer for Guided Language Acquisition and Design (GLAD). Congratulations Ms. Johnson!

Congratulations Mr. Speiss/RUSD Secondary Teacher of the Year!

Honoring Mr. Speiss - group photo
February 2018
Rocklin High School's Shawn Speiss was named RUSD Secondary Teacher of the Year and Principal Davis Stewart and Assistant Principals Whitney Cottrell and Mark Douglas along with District leaders Superintendent Roger Stock, Assistant Superintendent HR Colleen Slattery, Director of Secondary Programs and School Leadership Martin Flowers and Deputy Superintendent of Educational Services Kathleen Pon surprised him with the honor during his class!
Mr. Stock honoring Mr. Speiss  Mr. Speiss class singing
Mr. Speiss music class
"From here, Shawn will go on to compete at the county level and possibly beyond. Shawn's efforts in the VAPA department and as a leader on our campus both in and out of the classroom made it a clear choice for our district. This announcement was made in 4th period today and to have his son present was all the more special," according to Principal Stewart.
Shawn has been with RUSD for over nine years. He is a teacher of the 21st Century bringing technology in at every opportunity. His students have performed at local nursing homes for seniors, California State University, Sacramento events, and in 2016 to a group of more than 50 RHS students to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall. His passion for music, commitment to growth, and students' wellbeing has reached beyond his classroom as he has assumed roles as Prep Period Coach, serves as a member of Rocklin High Schoo's Site Strategic Planning Commitee, and ongoing collaboration with the Visual and Performing Arts department. 
Congratulations Mr. Speiss!

The Board of Trustees Honors the Jones Family for Partnership in Education

The Jones Family from Breen
February 2018
It is a great honor to recognize the Jones family as Breen’s Family Partner in Education. The Jones family has set the bar when it comes to being active in a community, leaders among their peers, and just all around truly awesome people.

The Jones family has been active in the Breen community since arriving at the school when Luke was in Kindergarten. Mom, Christi did not waste any time getting involved. Involved is truly an understatement! She has been the PTC President for the past 5 years. This has included coordinating and running most, if not all, Breen PTC events. These events have included the Father/Daughter Dance, Fall Carnival, Movie Nights, Teacher Appreciation Events, and many more. In addition, Christi has been an Art Docent, Garden Docent/Coordinator, and Science Docent. She has been integral in seeing the vision of Breen's very own Science Lab come to life through fundraising efforts and coordination of resources. In her spare time she is also the team mom for both soccer and baseball teams.
Jones Family from Breen and Susan Halldin

Dad, Garret, has also been an amazing member of the Breen community. He dressed up in 1800’s attire and worked at the Bernhard Museum field trip for both of his sons when they were in third grade. He attended Sly Park with his son, Luke, this past December and braved the cold to have a unique experience as a chaperone for a week long adventure. In addition, Garret has donated countless hours setting up, working, and cleaning up at most, if not all, Breen family events. In his spare time he has coached both of his boys in baseball and soccer, been an all-star baseball coach, and is a Board Member for Rocklin Little League.

Luke and Trevor are also active at Breen. Both boys are members of the Math Olympiad team and are big buddies. Their third grade teacher, Mrs. Wall describes the boys as “kind, hard working, team players, bright, and helpful to all their peers.” Breen is very fortunate to have these young men at their school being leaders among their classmates and all the students and to have the Jones family as their Family Partners in Education.
Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Little Bliss Cakery, Leatherby's Family Creamery and Young Rembrandts!

The Jacobsen Family from Valley View is Honored at January 2018 Bard of Trustees Meeting

The Jacobsen Family and VV staff
January 2017
The Rocklin Unified School District recognizes that family engagement and involvement equals student success. We value each and everyone of our families at RUSD and started this special recognition program to honor one at each school during Board of Trustee meetings. This month the Board of Trustees is proud to recognize and honor the Jacobsen family as the Family Partners in Education!

The Jacobsen family is a true blessing to all at Valley View Elementary School. They started back in 2010 when Hannah, their eldest daughter, began as a kindergartner. Just 3 years later, their younger daughter, Rachel, joined her sister at Valley View too. Hannah has since moved onto Granite Oaks Middle School. Both girls are model students who are kind, hard-working, and involved in school activities.

During the last 7 years, Julie has helped teachers in the classroom with prep and students with learning. Julie’s greatest love is art! And Valley View Elementary is the lucky recipient of her passion! She heads up the Art Docent program which entails quite a bit of recruitment, training, organization, planning, fundraising, and a whole lot of time. She oversees all the art projects for every class in the school. If a class does not have a docent, Julie has been known to teach another class even though her child isn’t in it. Being a teacher previously, Julie excels in imparting learning and passion to Valley View students. Many of the art projects are great to begin with, but then Julie adds her own flare and spices them up with different materials, textures and mixtures. Julie doesn't stop there with the completion of the art project, she regularly also adorns the office with the most beautiful pieces making it look like an art museum!

Then at the end of each year, she coordinates Valley View Art Show for Open House. This is a HUGE event that requires planning all year long. She retains the art from each class to hang in the multipurpose room to show off and to offer all families the opportunity to ‘purchase’ (donation) their child’s art which completely sustains the amazing Art Docent program. On this one day, Julie directs her volunteers, displays hundreds of pieces of artwork, works the event, and cleans up… all this in just 5 hours! Julie also has been a favorite substitute teacher at Valley View!
The Jacobsen Family receiving award

Julie is a joyful and loyal volunteer at Valley View. She shows up always with a smile and a positive comment about something. She gives of her time and talents generously. It appears that her only motive is to spread the love of art and learning to all children!

A parent this amazing cannot do all of this without support! Kris is a wonderful husband and father who supports his 3 girls. Although work can take him out of town sometimes, he is diligent to attend the girls’ events. It is evident that the Jacobsen’s value family, education, and service to their community. And for all this, Valley View is a better school!  
Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Studio Movie Grill Rocklin and Little Bliss Cakery!

The Mougeotte Family is Honored at the 12/13 Board of Trustees Meeting!  

Mougeotte Family extended at Board of Trustees meeting
December 2017
The Board of Trustees is thrilled to honor the Mougeotte family of Twin Oaks as the Family Partners in Education!

According to Principal Sarah James, they are truly an example of Rocklin’s finest. Travis and Jessica attended Rocklin schools and are Rocklin High School sweethearts who graduated in 2001. Both educators, Jessica teaches at Sierra College as well as on-line classes for the University Nevada Reno (UNR), Columbia, and Texas Christian University. Travis is a teacher and the Activities Director at Whitney High School.
Mougeotte family at Board of Trustees Meeting  Honoring Mougeotte family
Jessica began volunteering in Mckayla’s 1st grade classroom when Mckayla’s teacher was also her grandmother and Jessica’s mother, retired teacher, Carol Strand. Education and supporting schools is truly a family affair. Jessica works with speed and efficiency from making crazy amounts of copies, to helping with Art Docent when asked, and always goes above and beyond in every task to support teachers. Together, Jessica and Travis have chaired and co-chaired many auction/dinner events as Parent Teacher Club (PTC) PTC Presidents, a role they share. They have led the Twin Oaks organization in many successful family fun events and fundraising initiatives that have had a direct impact on the classrooms and students. Jessica’s influence and always happy and upbeat personality have had a huge impact on Twin Oaks campus and staff.  As the Activities Director at Whitney High School, Travis has shared his many amazing resources and contacts with Twin Oaks. As our resident 'Super Hero', in one fell swoop, Travis can accomplish what would have taken a team to complete, streamlining time and energy in making our events easier to bring to life.  
Not only do they dedicate their time, energy and passion to Twin Oaks Elementary School, but more importantly, they are raising such kind, respectful and delightful daughters who take pride in being leaders. Both Mckayla and Camryn are members of Student Leadership Council and have additional leadership responsibilities on campus. As a family, Jessica and Travis also coach Mckayla and Camryn's soccer teams, they love the outdoors, mountain bike riding, and going on camping trips throughout the summer. They are truly a wonderful part of the Rocklin Community and Twin Oaks is thankful they are a part of the Timberwolf Pack!

Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby’s Family Creamery and Little Bliss Cakery!


Special Recognitions at November Board of Trustees Meeting!

The Brame Family
November 2017
The Board of Trustees is proud to recognize and honor the amazing Brame family as the Family Partners in Education!

The Brames, David, Heather, Mansour, and Reza, are a tremendous asset to Sunset Ranch Elementary both as an uber-involved Coyote family and as wonderful individuals. The Brames are givers who never hesitate to lend a hand or offer kind words of advice.  As one teacher stated, “Having a Brame in your class means that you not only get an incredible and caring student leader, but also two amazing adults that go above and beyond to support all students. Plus, they bring the BEST food.”  At the school level, this is also true: the entire family contributes to making Sunset Ranch an incredible school and ensures that staff luncheons and BBQs are second-to-none.  

David Brame’s email is “Old Guys Rule.” We are not sure how old he really is, but he definitely rules. David was a key team member during the site’s Strategic Planning efforts last year.  His input was always timely, insightful, and helped the team move towards a more focused action to improve the school for staff and students.  As if this was not enough, David represented Sunset Ranch Elementary School on the RUSD Strategic Planning Team and brought the same level of commitment to this role. He also helped plan and spoke at the school's Veteran’s Day Assembly. This year, David is chairperson of the School Site Council, the Coordinator of the vast offering of after school enrichment activities, and a dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer in the science lab.  He also leads the local Boy Scout Troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Den Leader, is a Coyote Dad Grillmaster, and plays a mean guitar.  David is rumored to provide Portuguese sweet bread rolls all the way from downtown Sacramento for his son's birthdays - a tradition that Sunset Ranch teachers appreciate!

Mrs. Brame is also an active parent at Sunset Ranch.  Heather, a licensed Clinical Social Worker and Associate Professor at UCSF, is always willing to lend an ear and a hand to staff and students.  She is a regular classroom presence and teachers feel fortunate to have her positivity and unparalleled support in their classrooms. Heather is also a fantastic baker who has won multiple blue ribbons for her cheesecakes at the Marin County Fair. This has obvious benefits for Sunset Ranch staff and her caramel apple cheesecake is a local legend on campus.  

Monsour Brame, 6th Grade, is Sunset Ranch Student Council Vice President.  Last year, Monsour also served as one of the “Leaders of the Pack.”  His calm and intelligent demeanor added a lot to the leadership team.  He was quick to offer creative ideas and help on any subcommittee. Monsour serves as one of the school’s Conflict Managers, a group of students who are trained to help their peers resolve conflict in an appropriate and mutually beneficial manner.  His kind and easygoing demeanor makes it easy for other students to come to him for advice and support.   

Like the rest of his family, Reza Brame, 4th Grader, is full of energy and goodness.  Teachers report that rarely is Reza sighted without a smile on his face.  He is a strong role model for his peers and never hesitates to do what is right and lend a hand to those in need.
Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery, Studio Movie Grill and Little Bliss Cakery!

The Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees Recognizes Facilities Employee!

Jim Sinnett Recognition
The Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees recognizes longtime Facilities employee, James (Jim) Sinnett, for his quick thinking and assistance in the apprehension of the alleged arsonist responsible for damage at Breen Elementary School (and other RUSD schools). Jim has faithfully served as a night custodian with RUSD for over 8 years and is a valued member of the RUSD Facilities team.
On October 4th, 2017, Jim saw what appeared to be suspicious activity at Breen Elementary where he was working that night. Training prompted him to call 911.  His quick actions led police, who arrived on the scene in just a few minutes, to apprehend the suspects.The suspects were allegedly in the process of setting a fire on the Breen Elementary campus. Jim's quick thinking helped prevent vandalism that could have seriously damaged the school campus. The Board of Trustees recognizes Jim's efforts and valued service to the Rocklin Unified School District and extends their gratitude for his diligence as a concerned community partner always looking out for the best interest of students and staff.

The Board of Trustees Recognizes the Rocklin Elementary Staff for Receiving Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Platinum Award!

Rocklin Elem Staff being recognized at the Board of Trustees Meeting
PBIS supports schools in building system capacity for implementing a multi-tiered approach to social, emotional and behavior support. The broad purpose of PBIS is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schools. PBIS improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students, including students with disabilities and students from underrepresented groups. Rocklin Elementary began exploring PBIS in 2015 and after extensive training for all staff, introduced to students in January, 2016. Recently, Rocklin Elementary was selected for recognition by the California PBIS Coalition from a field of 2,500 California PBIS schools.
Rocklin Elementary was given special recognition from the California PBIS Coalition at their State Conference in Sacramento, in October. There are four levels of recognition given by the California PBIS Coalition and Rocklin Elementary was one of only 17 schools that was recognized at the Platinum (highest) level. The California PBIS Coalition stated that Rocklin Elementary School “reflects excellence in the measurement of fidelity as well as our efforts in implementing the core features of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).”
In addition, Rocklin Elementary staff have presented PBIS at the following venues:
ACSA Leadership Conference in San Diego Spring 2017: PBIS Year 1 presented by Amanda Makis
BeGLAD National Conference in San Jose Fall 2017: “Working Together for Positive Impact in the Classroom- PBIS and BeGLAD” presented by Mark Alfaro
National PBIS Forum in Chicago Fall 2017: “Person Centered Wrap-Around as a Tier III Intervention Process” presented by Lisa Phillips and Mark Alfaro
State PBIS Conference in Sacramento  Fall 2017: “Person Centered Wrap-Around as a Tier III Intervention Process” presented by Lisa Phillips and Mark Alfaro



Poster Veterans Day

November 2017

Current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces were honored at a special ceremony at Sunset ranch!  Students played a vital part in the event celebrating wonderful veterans! Special thanks to Sunset Ranch Elementary's Rolinda Christman and the terrific staff, students and families at Sunset Ranch for this beautiful event!

Sunset Ranch Veterans Day 2017  Sunset Ranch Veterans 2017  Sunset Ranch Veterans Day Celebration

Community Update: Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) School Facilities Planning

November 2017
This is the first in a series of special RUSD Updates for you to learn more and ask follow up questions. We want to give you a clear picture of just some of the ways our team is working every day to make our schools the best they can be and great places for our children to learn.  This communication focuses on our School Facilities Planning.

As you know, the growth of our Rocklin community brings opportunities and challenges to Rocklin Unified. We want to bring you up to date on some of the actions we’ve taken to address our recent and anticipated growth.

Elementary School Level:

Proposed new elementary school: Due to its growth, the Whitney Ranch region of our city, for instance, is an important focus of our Facilities, Maintenance and Operations Departments. On October 18, the RUSD Board of Trustees approved Phase I of a proposed new elementary school.  Phase I is the design of the proposed new school which will now be submitted to the California Division of the State Architect.  The State’s Architect Office must approve all buildings in California (including public elementary and secondary schools) that are publicly-funded in whole or in part by the use of state funds per Government Code Section 4450 through 4461. The District is anticipating getting the plans approved by this state agency in the late Spring early Summer of 2018. Once the District receives approval of the design plans, RUSD staff will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on whether or not to move the project forward to start construction based on projected student enrollment in the Whitney Ranch area and available funding.

Fast Facts about the proposed new elementary school:
●    Location: near West Oaks Boulevard and Painted Pony Lane
●    Cost: estimated $22 million dollars in construction costs
●    RUSD is eligible for a 50% state funding match
●    We used the architectural design for Sunset Ranch elementary since it was already approved by the   State’s Architect Office, saving the district time and money
●    Exciting elements will include vibrant learning RUSD is known for like Sunset Ranch Elementary’s 21st Century Classroom of the Future’ as well as Valley View Elementary’s unique Library Commons, incorporating a unique makerspace. We shared these cutting edge best practices in education with the news media and they covered these stories which aired locally as well as on various TV stations across the country.  See the links to just some of the stories below:

Recent classroom additions necessary due to growth:  Our Maintenance, Facilities and Operations staff completed several projects converting rooms used for storage and other purposes to classrooms for instructional use.

Major projects of this nature occurred at Parker Whitney and Twin Oaks Elementary schools.
Middle School Level:
15 New Classroom Expansion at Granite Oaks Middle School: Last fall, as a result of the District’s Long Range Facilities Master Plan’s current and future growth of student enrollment projections, 7 old portable classrooms were replaced and 8 additional classrooms were added to create an entirely, new classroom wing at Granite Oaks Middle School.
This particular project was also shared with the news media and garnered a tremendous amount of positive response and exposure in the local and national media:

The Facilities Master Plan 2014 Update indicates the District has sufficient capacity at the two existing middle schools but may need to add temporary or permanent facilities to meet demand depending on the timing and number of new students.  Therefore, we do not foresee any additional middle schools needing to be built in our school district. This allows us to continue to offer full middle school comprehensive programs and focus our dollars on in-class instruction rather than the overhead and administrative staff that would be required for a third middle school.  

High School Level

Walls knocked down and taken out to accommodate more students:
Rocklin High School’s need for more classrooms prompted our Facilities staff to convert rooms being used for non-instructional activities and create more classrooms.  The District has also used portable classrooms to accommodate high school student growth.
The RUSD Facilities Master Plan: As many of you are aware, this plan was updated in 2014 and has been successful on a variety of fronts.
We are currently updating our Facilities Master Plan -- a process where we are seeking community input.

●    A Needs Assessment Committee comprised of staff, parents, and community members from each school has been working to identify current and future school facility needs.  This committee will also provide recommendations to the Board regarding the prioritization of various facility projects.  This input along with information from architects will be provided to the Board in a comprehensive Needs Assessment report in January 2018.
●    The Needs Assessment Report along with updated District demographics (future student enrollment projections and projected growth rates) is scheduled to be presented to the Board for approval in March 2018 in an updated Facilities Master Plan.


Students today need learning spaces that promote active, integrated, and differentiated instruction.  Modern classrooms must be flexible for future needs, and technology-rich to support a wide array of subject areas and learning styles. We also invite you to take a look at details of our District Strategic Plan to see how all of these efforts follow what we consider a compelling game plan for current and future RUSD success.   

Our District Strategic Plan values include themes of collaboration, citizenship, diversity, real-world learning, and adaptability. Keeping students at the center of all planning discussions, our core values and our District Strategic Plan serve as guideposts in the complex work of addressing future facility needs and ushering our school facilities into the 21st century.

Parents, students, staff, and community members may provide input by contacting Craig Rouse, Senior Director Facilities, Maintenance and Operations at

Connect on Social Media
We also hope you will check us out on our social media channels to stay updated on our fantastic students, staff and programs latest news and accomplishments! Twitter @rocklinUSD and #rusdPROUD and Facebook: Rocklin Unified School District
School facilities maintenance effects the physical, educational, and financial foundation of the school district and should therefore be a focus of its day-to-day operations as well and long-range management priorities.
Source: School Facilities Maintenance Task Force, National Forum on Education Statistics
Did you know…
•    A positive relationship exists between school facilities and student achievement and behavior.
•    Students are more likely to prosper when their environment is conducive to learning.
•    Well-designed facilities send a powerful message to kids about the importance a community places on education.

Source: School Facilities Maintenance Task Force National Forum on Education Statistics


Happy Veterans Day!

November 2017
Your presence in our community is an inspiration to our students and to us all. Thank you for the service you gave to this country. Below is a listing of our veterans by site.
Veterans 2017

Sock Drop and Bingo

Join us for Bingo and help us gather 1,000 pairs of socks for the local Rocklin families!
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
at The Falls Event Center
240 Conference Center Drive
Roseville, CA 95678
Cost: $30 per person for 12 games, Bingo Dauber, Pie, Coffee, Soda and Cash Prizes. Bring a friend and you get the discounted rate of $50 for both of you! This event is for 21 and over.
For more information click here >>

Rep Needed for GATE Board!

November 2017
The Rocklin Unified School District has an opening for a community representative on the district Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Advisory Committee for the 2017/18 and for the 20118/19 school year. Any person residing in the Rocklin Unified School District is eligible. The community representative is a volunteer position serving as a voting member. Currently meetings are held 2 times a year (this year one meeting has already been held (Oct 26th). The next meeting is March 22nd at RUSD’s District Office, 2615 Sierra Meadows Drive, Rocklin.
If interested email or send a letter by November 15, 2017 stating your interest with a one page (maximum) description of your involvement in the Rocklin community and/or school district. Include name, phone number and email. Letters can be sent to Jordan White, 2615 Sierra Meadows Dr., Rocklin CA 95677 or

The 2nd Annual Starlight Soiree Fundraising hosted by the Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation (REEF) was a great success!

Everyone gala  Roger
October 2017
Once again community and business leaders came together to show their support for the Rocklin Unified School District! As many of you know, having high quality public schools is a high priority for the families in our area. In fact, it is the primary reason people move to Rocklin. They are attracted to Rocklin because of its well-deserved reputation for great schools. In times when families now have more of a choice as to where their children go to school, RUSD is consistently ranked as one of the very best public school systems regionally! 12,000 families are part of the RUSD family, consisting of award winning 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, two comprehensive high schools, an alternative high school as well as the Rocklin Independent Charter Academy!
Check in table  Checkin in
Dave Bender  Sierra College
WJU group  Sac State

The 2nd Annual Starlight Soiree was about bringing community and business leaders together so we can help support that tradition of excellence and invest in giving our students the competitive edge they will need to succeed and thrive in college, careers and active citizenship.
Ann Bouchard  Barbara
group 2  group 3
group 4  group 5
The Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation is working to prepare students for the future. Part of that future is going to college and other postsecondary opportunities. We were honored to have the leaders of higher education in our area on our host committee for this event.
group 6  Couple 2
Speakers  Suzan Halldin and her husband
Among the many highlights of the night were the words of inspiration from our amazing education leaders: Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent, Willy Duncan, President of Sierra College, Dr. John Jackson, President of William Jessup University and Al Frisone, Vice President of Advancement at Sacramento State University. And you might think they gave mere speeches... not these guys! They were fantastic, fun and funny and poignant and made the evening a memorable one! Dr. Nathan Herzog, of WJU School of Education also brought two RUSD alumni (graduates of Rocklin HS and Whitney HS) who now want to become teachers and they are thriving at the WJU School of Education program, producing wonderful future teachers!!! Our Master of Ceremonies was none other than longtime CBS13 CBS Sacramento Weatherman Dave Bender who kept the crowd entertained! He was awesome!
Chef Erik  Chef table crew
Culinary crew at work  Culinary students
We are very grateful for such a tremendous outpouring of support from our Starlight Soiree sponsors. Thank you to – Presenting Sponsor: William Jessup University. Pegasus Sponsor: BCA Architects. Dinner Sponsor: The Chef's Table. Venue Sponsor: City of Rocklin, California Government. Centaurus Sponsor: SAFE Credit Union, Landmark Construction, Placer Ranch, Lozano Smith. Orion Sponsor: Wellness Together, Communications Resources, The Broadway Family, Halldin Public Relations, Scott Yuill State Farm Insurance, Thunder Valley Casino Resort. In-Kind Sponsor: Bouchard Communications Group, Sharif Jewelers, Out of Bounds Brewing Company.
dave bender and the winner  music  Speakers

A Special Thank You To:
Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent
Willy Duncan, President of Sierra College
Dr. John Jackson, President of William Jessup University
Dr. Nathan Herzog, Ph.D., Dean of School of Education, WJU
Al Frisone, Vice President of Advancement at Sacramento State University
Dave Bender, Anchor from CBS 13 Sacramento for making the 2nd Annual Starlight Soiree a fun event
Noel Smith, Event Planner for organizing and decorating the place so elegantly
Erick Johnson, The Chef’s Table and his crew for an amazing four course dinner
Doug Martin for music entertainment
City of Rocklin (Quarry Park is a beautiful backdrop for this event)
ABC10 Drew Fowler for providing terrific live auction items (Audience experiences at both Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and a cool Swag Bag from each popular show)
The culinary students from Whitney High Schools who did an amazing job assisting Chef Erick
REEF Board Members Todd Lowell and Ann Bouchard for the tremendous work on the planning committee


The Board of Trustee Honors the Wilkerson Family for the Family Partnership in Education

The Wilkerson Family
October 2017
The Wilkerson’s are a true family unit who work together in all they do. For the past few years, Matthew has been involved in the Art Docent Program teaching lessons that are informative yet fun. He is a natural teacher that the students respect and look forward to seeing each month. In addition, Matthew also assisted with many projects in his son’s class including having the students research the life cycles of different insects and then write storyboards and produce clay animation videos as a final product. Matthew is currently serving as the PTC Co-President and has introduced many innovative ideas to the team. Matthew will be stepping up to cover many of the duties of the PTC President while she is out on maternity leave. In addition to his service to Rocklin Elementary School, we are also very proud of Matthew’s service in the armed forces.
Roxanna is also always asking what needs to be done to help out. In Mrs. Vaillancourt’s class, she was the go-to paper grader and helped support the class in any capacity needed. Roxanna also serves as the Historian on the PTC, and has been an integral part of organizing the files and documenting school events.
Both are positive, innovative team players that always have a kind word for students and praise for the adults at Rocklin Elementary. In addition to supporting Trent’s teachers and PTC, both Matthew and Roxanna started an afterschool Chess Club that has become wildly popular among the students. Each week, Matthew and Roxanna provide instruction and opportunities for students to develop a passion for chess.  
Trent, a current 4th grader in Mr. Miller’s class, is a model Bulldog who exemplifies PAWS...a problem solver, someone who always cares, works hard and shows respect.  He is a bright, articulate young man and student leadership is seen in his future in Bulldog Country.
It is with great enthusiasm and support that the District honors the Wilkerson’s as a Family Partner in Education.    

The Rocklin Unified School District and the Rocklin Police Department Honors the 2017 Patriot Day Art and Essay Winners!

2017 Patriot Day Winners

The Rocklin Unified School District is honored to partner with the Rocklin Police Department for a number of positive programs for students. As part of the Annual Patriot Day celebration, held on Saturday, September 10, 2017 honoring heroes here at home and around the world, the Rocklin Public Safety Volunteers, Inc. invited area schools to participate in Patriotism Based Art (grades K-3) and Essay (Grades 4-8) contests. Several Rocklin Unified School District schools produced first prize winners and are being recognized for their superb efforts. The theme of the contest this year: "What it means to be an American."
Board of Trustee President Presents Award to Patriot Day Winners

Contest winner are: Trent Osborne from Nicole Mazzone's and Jenna Sprinkle's class at Rock Creek, Sydney Vu from April Wagner's class at Valley View, Liyana Burdette from Gayle Goldsmith's class at Rock Creek, Preston Kwan from Jamie Gallo's class at Valley View, Ivan Sanders from Lori Kircher's class at Rock Creek, Caidance Alton from Cheryl McElroy's class at Breen, Brielle Farnworth from Lynne Meiers's class at Springview and Megan Price, the Grand Prize winner, from Sarah Wright's class at Granite Oaks.
2017 Megan Price Grand Prize Winner  2017 Grand Prize Winner
Caidance's Family
Susan Halldin presenting award to Caidance Alton  Caidance Alton Patriot Day Essay Winner
Thank you Coordinator Wendy Smith for organizing this wonderful event!


Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation Gala THIS JUST IN!:

The Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation's 2nd Annual Starlight Soiree will be amazing this year! You will not only have a chance to win a beautiful, diamond ring worth more than $1000 and donated by Mr. Sharif of Sharif Jewelers will also get a chance at winning tickets to both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, thanks to our friends at ABC10!
Prize for Gala
Enjoy an elegant evening under the stars hosted by leaders from our region's education community. We are excited to welcome Roger Stock, Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent, Willy Duncan, President of Sierra College, John Jackson, President of William Jessup University, Dr. Robert Nelsen, President of Sacramento State University and Dave Bender, Anchor at CBS13 CBS Sacramento/CW31 Good Day.
Dine and mingle with many of South Placer's business, education and civic movers-and-shakers while enjoying locally sourced wine and a four-course, farm-to-fork dinner prepared by award winning Chef Erick Johnson, owner of The Chef's Table restaurant in Rocklin. This white linen dinner will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Rocklin's beautiful Quarry Park, 4000 Rocklin Rd, Rocklin, CA 95677, USA. Tickets are $125 per person.
If your company would like to sponsor this exclusive fundraiser which supports the Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation, please see attached flyer for more information. Your sponsorship will support Rocklin's schools and show your commitment to our community!
To buy a ticket click on this link:
To download a flyer click here>>
If you have any questions regarding this event or need help purchasing your ticket, please call Lilia Arnest at (916) 630-3185.
Mr. Sharif  Open ring box

2ND Parent Resource Night is November 2nd. Our 7-12 families received this important information.

Dear Valued RUSD Parents/Guardians:

Once again we want to share with you the first of many important events being planned in our school district. This is an opportunity to connect with experts, members of the community and each other to come together to support our students. We value our students and families and hope you can attend. Our middle schools and high schools have also successfully executed a variety of worthwhile wellness programs geared towards students through the years, ranging from:

Breaking Down the Walls
Staff presentation on student mental health and signs
Bully Prevention and Think
Use of Wellness Together (School-based therapists)as referral resource as needed
Immediate attention and suicide risk assessment provided as need arises on daily basis
Lunchtime activities to promote positivity and culture of kindness and acceptance of all
Weekly academy meetings with teacher teams to discuss concerns regarding at-risk students
Counselor Corner Information
On-going parent meetings as needed
Wellness Together (referrals to site based therapists)
Counseling availability on drop-in and appointment basis, including connections with outside resources and suicidal risk assessment when needed
Suicide Prevention Mental Health Presentations
Kognito training for high-school teachers and counselors
Mental health incorporated into freshman success classes
Peer counseling
Kognito peer to peer training
EQ – assembly, teacher training
School-wide collaboration on what we can do to improve student mental wellness
Suicide Prevention Awareness Week
Whitney United Lessons developed to connect students to campus
Quote of the Day each day of the month
Parent and guardian resource night
Opportunities for youth mental health first aid training
Providing a Mental Wellness task force to organize parent workshops in the community
Submitted, presented and approved Suicide Prevention Board Policy
Beginning stages of implementation of district wide suicide prevention action plans

Here are the highlights from our first Parent Resource Night. Click on the link below to play video:

Please see attached flyer with more information.

This event is for parents only.

Parent & Guardian Resource Night - Part II Flyer

If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP here:

Thank You,

RUSD Communications/Community Engagement


Two Special Families  Recognized and Honored at the 9/20 RUSD Board of Trustees!  

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to RUSD students!

September 2017
Parker Whitney Elementary School
Parker Whitney Elementary School is honoring the Brewer family for the Family Partnership in Education award.  Mom Cindy has been a resource aide for Parker Whitney for many years. Her love for the students and their well being is beyond measure. She is gifted as a translator for Parker Whitney for Spanish speaking families and helps in all areas of supporting families that need to have school information translated so that they can become active members of their school community. Cindy takes time to learn about Parker Whitney students, their families and the different ways to make them feel a apart of the Parker Whitney family.
Brewer Family Parker Whitney
Cindy also served as the PTC treasurer for several years, actively and passionately helping to raise funds to provide the things that the school most needs. She continually volunteers at evening events, and often brings her family to help out too. Both boys, Charles a former Parker Whitney student and Christian in his last year at Parker Whitney, are active in helping out, volunteering and being incredible role models. Christian was awarded the Principal's award last year for his wonderful character and compassionate heart with others. This family is what building community from school to home is all about, and we are truly thankful for their dedication to Parker Whitney and RUSD.

Rock Creek Elementary School
Rock Creek Elementary School would like to recognize the Skarg family for their relentless dedication to Rock Creek Elementary School and for the wonderful role models both Alyssa and Payton are for other students at Rock Creek and at Spring View. Mom, Nicolle has played an integral role in the success of the Rock Creek PTC for many years as a parent volunteer and active member. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, Nicolle took on the role of Parent Teacher Club (PTC) President and through her dedication and tremendous work ethic, was responsible for increasing the impact that PTC had on the Rock Creek community. Through her leadership, the PTC put on events that led to the highest attendance of Rock Creek parents and students in years. In the process, the PTC increased fundraising totals to a new high. Most importantly, her work led to a significant increase in parent support and attendance at events which greatly impacted positive school culture.
Skarg Family Rock Creek
Whether it is arriving at 6:00 a.m. to provide treats and breakfast for staff, working into the late evening hours to set up for events, or coming in on weekends to make sure PTC events are ready to go, Nicolle truly dedicates herself to Rock Creek and is very deserving of this award.
Rock Creek would like to also acknowledge her husband Brian, who you can always see at events supporting his children as well as Nicolle, and can even be found behind the griddle on a Saturday morning flipping pancakes for students at the "Pajama and Pancakes" event.
As for students Alyssa and Payton, both definitely carry on the Skarg family name by demonstrating hard work, high integrity and an overall care for others. In describing Payton, a Spring View staff member stated: "Payton is kind, hard-working, and polite. He is well-liked by his peers and teachers alike. Additionally, from the first day of school this year, it has been evident that the Skarg family is committed to developing supportive and positive relationships with Payton's teachers." When asked to say a few words about Alyssa, Rock Creek staff stated: "Alyssa is extremely responsible, a true definition of a leader among her peers, and someone who takes pride in all she does."
It is our honor to recognize the Skarg family for their work at Rock Creek Elementary School and the Rock Creek community.

Special Thanks to our generous community partners who support this wonderful program with amazing gifts for our family winners! Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery, Studio Movie Grill, Circus Vargas VIP Ringside seats and Little Bliss Cakery!
Leatherby's Ice Cream  Studio Movie Grill  Circus Vargas  Little Bliss Cakery Cupcakes

Special Recognitions at Board of Trustees Meeting

September 2017
The Rocklin Unified School District recognizes that family engagement and involvement equals student success. We value each and every one of our families at RUSD and started this special recognition program to honor one at each school during Board of Trustee meetings.

Antelope Creek Elementary School

The Ganir Family from Antelope Creek - Family Partners in Education
Antelope Creek Elementary School would like to honor the Ganir family for their commitment, dedication, and giving spirit. Ms. Ganir has been at the forefront of raising thousands of dollars for the Antelope Creek PTA and Antelope Creek Elementary School. Last year she stepped up and took the position of President and quickly established some new traditions at Antelope Creek. Students and families benefited from her organization, commitment, and energy. She was always present along with her family at school events and made herself available to assist anyone in need.
Ms. Ganir also quickly doubled the size of PTA attendance at meetings by establishing an inclusive program that welcomed new families and she created an environment where everyone felt welcome. She even provided Dutch Brothers gift cards for families that attended meetings!
The Ganir Family is receiving Family Partners in Education Award
Adriann would provide child care for PTA meetings and was always here to help contribute during special events. Monica, Kenyon, and Kamden were part of the leadership groups on campus and could always be counted on to help their parents when it came time to put on an event or welcome new families to Antelope Creek. Mr. Ganir could often be seen hauling equipment and helping out whenever he was on campus.
Antelope Creek is proud to honor the commitment and dedication of the Ganir Family and they are very deserving of this honor!

Cobblestone Elementary School

The McGarvey Family from Cobblestone - Family Partners in Education

Cobblestone Elementary School would like to honor the McGarvey family for their ongoing contribution to their school. The McGarvey's have been an active part of the Cobblestone Elementary School family since 2010 when their oldest, Josalyn entered Kindergarten. Over the past 7 years, Alice and Wes have been involved in every way imaginable supporting our school. They have assisted with whatever has been needed and gone over and above.
Most recently, Alice has served as Cobblestone's PTC president and in that role she has created a welcoming environment that has resulted in greater involvement of other families. Over the past two years, Alice's work with the PTC has included coordination of our Jogathon, Fall Festival, Daddy/Daughter and Mother/Son events, restaurant nights, Bingo night, our Welcome Back Picnic and Back to School Night Barbeque, school shirt sales and has provided the School Aptitude app to our families. PTC's amazing fundraising efforts have led to the purchase of additional technology for our school as well as support for programs such as Touch of Understanding and Sami's Circuit. She also organized new family tours on Meet Your Teacher day with upper grade students serving as school ambassadors. Beyond PTC, Alice also served as a parent representative on our School Strategic Planning Leadership Team and provided input that made the process inclusive, student focused and forward thinking.
The McGarvey Family is receiving Family Partners in Education award
Josalyn, now in 7th grade at Granite Oaks, has followed in her mother's footsteps in being service oriented and a huge supporter of Cobblestone. It was a pleasure to have her give orientation tours to new families earlier in the month. Last year, Josalyn was on the Cougar Coupon Counting team and stayed after school every Friday to help count over 45,000 Cougar Coupons distributed to the student body throughout the year!
The Cobblestone students and staff have great appreciation for the McGarvey family. Quick to lend a hand, they have made a huge difference to our school and we cannot thank them enough. It is a pleasure to be able to have the Rocklin Unified School District honor this very deserving family for their ongoing contributions to Cobblestone Elementary School!
Thank you Circus Vargas, Leatherby's Family Creamery, Studio Movie Grill and Icing on the Cupcake for your generous donations for our Family Partners in Education Recognition program!

Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation (REEF)

REEF at the Board of Trustee Meeting 9-6-17
The Rocklin Unified School District Board of Trustees recognizes the Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation (REEF) for their outstanding partnership with our school district and most recently for the Chromebook Campaign.
The Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundation (REEF) Chromebook Campaign worked in partnership with the Rocklin Unified School District and resulted in several hundred RUSD families taking advantage of a convenient way to purchase a Chromebook to enhance the 21st Century learning taking in our classrooms daily.
REEF is receiving award for their partnership
More than 1,500 Chromebooks were purchased. REEF negotiated a special price. In a related campaign, High Tech High Hopes, REEF led a donation drive to purchase new Chromebooks and donate them to high school students in need. This successful effort resulted in major donations from REEF, several community partners and generous families. Two hundred new Chromebooks were given to high school students in need.

Sales of the Chromebooks began last May and were distributed the week of August 7th. Almost $35,000 was raised by REEF, The Taylor Foundation, The Opus Foundation, Studio Movie Grill and The South Placer Rotary. Studio Movie Grill's special Chefs for Children fund are specifically designated to RUSD Special Education students year round as well as for this special Chromebook campaign. In addition, when RUSD families purchased their own Chromebooks they could contribute to the special High Tech High Hopes campaign for kids in need and many did!
Last year, Rocklin High School executed a pilot Chromebook program that yielded higher than expected participation results. The school's parent organization and RHS leadership had a big vision and took small steps to get there. This pilot effort prompted our school district's philanthropic arm to replicate the same program to serve the entire district. This program is in sync with REEF's mission regarding technology and enhancing student based programs. RUSD is grateful our Foundation undertook this amazing project!

Brooke's Healing Heart Foundation

Brooke's Healing Heart Foundation Logo

September 2017

At the age of thirteen, when most teens are worried about whether their friends like them or if they should try out for the softball team, Rocklin High School student, Brooke Saunders was faced with undergoing a second open heart surgery.  This was a trial that she was strong enough to survive, but Brooke was unaware how much a gift from her grandfather would play a role in her recovery.  By sheer coincidence, Brooke's grandfather had also undergone open heart surgery, and he knew that she would need some comfort during her time of healing. Through his love and understanding of her struggle, he was able to provide her with a healing pillow.  This pillow became instrumental to her recovery, allowing Brooke to find comfort when she coughed, sneezed, or sat up to get out of bed.

Brook Saunders RHS - Healing Heart Foundation

After this life-altering experience, the Brooke's Healing Heart Foundation was launched by Brooke and her parents in 2016.  Since they had endured the intense anxiety of watching their beloved child undergo her first heart surgery at eight days old and the second surgery at age 13, they wanted to give back to other families around the world.  The foundation was established with the mission of making and delivering healing pillows to children in hospitals to assist in their recovery process after surgery.  Each pillow is handmade by volunteers and sanitized before being sealed in a package for delivery.

Pillow Healing Heart Foundation

So far, the feedback has been amazing, and their goal is to help as many people heal from heart surgery through the efforts of our foundation as possible.  Since Brooke is a living example of the miracle that can be yielded from successful open heart surgeries, it gives them a unique vantage point for empathy.  It also helps them to create high-quality pillows with a great deal of love and respect for those who will be using them. Brooke is now the greatest inspiration, being someone who is enjoying a full life after surviving two surgeries. Thanks to the efforts of her doctors and the love of grandpa and the family, Brooke is able focus on normal life adventures like traveling with her competitive softball team.  We hope that her story is inspirational for those who have yet to undergo heart surgery, and perhaps, with enough effort, our healing pillows will find a way to their hearts.  

The Brooke's Healing Heart Foundation makes and delivers healing pillows to hospitalized patients to assist them in their recovery after heart surgery.  Each pillow has been made with care by volunteers and properly sanitized before getting sealed into packaging for delivery.  There is also a note of encouragement from Brooke that comes with each pillow to brighten the spirits of those facing the trials of open heart surgery.  

The positive feedback for the foundation has been amazing, and they hope to expand their efforts to more hospitals in the near future.  Their mission is to help people around the world to have a better healing experience after their open-heart surgery.  

The Brooke's Healing Heart Foundation foundation proudly provides services to the following hospitals: UC Davis Children's Hospital, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford And Sutter Sacramento.

Thank you Brooke and Laura Saunders for sharing this information and for providing beautiful pictures!
Our Sunset Ranch Superstar Sofia is once again a TV Star!
March 2017
Check out the latest Target commercial featuring Sunset Ranch’s Sofia Sanchez. “This is Sofia's third time working for Target in their marketing campaigns,” According to Sofia’s Mom Jennifer!  “We love that she beautifully represents inclusion and diversity in their ads! Sofia is an ambassador for Changing the Face of Beauty (a non profit committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media worldwide). Sofia hopes this is just the beginning of a lifetime of opportunities to work as a model/actress/self-advocate!”
Academic Pentathlon Division State Champions
Students wearing medals
May 2017
Spring View Middle School students participated in the UA Academic Pentathlon program this year. It was their school's first year, and students ranked 7th and 10th out of 57 teams in their division at the regional competition. Based on the regional results, students were invited to participate in the state competition.
Spring View students participated in this club on top of their already vigorous curriculum, and it was also an opportunity for students to “prepare for success in college and careers by building 21st century skills in communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and character.”
At state, Spring View took the state championship in their division and placed 4th and 9th out of a total of 53 teams from 11 different states.
The curriculum for this year's competition was World War II; students prepared for the competitions by reading a novel and analyzing other selected works, learning about the atom, radioactivity, and nuclear reactions, studying algebra and trigonometry, immersing in WWII history, and finally interpreting period appropriate music and art.

Congratulations Spring View!

Thanks to Deborah Chew-Smith, Spring View Academic Pentathlon Team Coach, for sharing this information.

Former WHS Student Shares Her Success Story
woman holding book in front of welcome poster
May 2017
Hayley Parker, 2008 Whitney High School alumna and daughter of WHS social science teacher, Dan Parker, returned to Whitney High Tuesday, May 16th to share her success as baker, blogger and author. WHS library and Evolutus Student Book Club hosted the first ever WHS author visit to honor this former Whitney Wildcat who revealed her unique path to career success: how to think outside of the box when it comes to job opportunities after high school. “There will be people who will try to step on your dreams - don’t let them", encouraged Parker.
Same book stacked in a presentation, book titled "Out of the the box desserts"  dessert samples

How did it all start? Hayley combined a love of writing, a passion for baking, rolled them out to the public via social media platform and voila! thedomesticrebel was created. With over 750,000 monthly visitors, this heavily visited site attracts advertisers galore, one source of Hayley’s income. Her popular dessert blog led to not one, but two published cookbooks. Parker has been a guest on QVC network twice, selling 5000 copies of her first book in six minutes!
people watching presentation

Students who attended Wednesday’s event filled the library to capacity, nibbled Hayley’s chocolate chip cookie dough brownie bomb treats (made and served by the school’s culinary class), and picked Hayley’s entrepreneurial brain:
Students: "How many recipes have you created?"
Hayley: "Between 1000-1500 on my website."
Students: "How did you get published?"
Hayley: "I refused to get an agent, and spoke on my own behalf."
Students: "Do you ever make mistakes when you come up with recipes?"
Hayley: "Lots of times, everybody makes mistakes."
chefs standing behind table of desserts

Barnes & Noble rep Melissa Glover provided copies of Hayley’s first book, Out of the Box Desserts for purchase. Hayley signed books, including advanced copies of her next book: "Two in One Desserts", due out June 20th.
Thanks to Patty Golditch, Library Technician for sharing this information!
Whitney High School Student Media Brings Home National Honors
students posing for photo
May 2017
Whitney High Student Media has much to celebrate this spring, bringing home national honors from the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle. With more than 3,000 students participating, our publications program brought home its 11th consecutive Pacemaker Award for the WHS yearbook, Details. The Pacemaker is considered the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism.

They also earned the First Amendment Press Freedom Award, given to publications programs who demonstrate leadership and courage covering sensitive stories in the community while educating their students about First Amendment topics to raise awareness of the five freedoms.
students posing for photo

Under direction of their adviser, Mrs. Sarah Nichols, the nine student delegates entered a variety of national contests and brought home three Best of Show awards for the WHS yearbook and news magazine.
Best of Show - First Place news magazine, The Roar
Best of Show - Fifth Place news magazine special edition, The Roar
Best of Show - Eighth Place yearbook, 2016 Details
In individual competition, six students placed in photography and publication design contests as well as in the national newswriting competition. Mrs. Nichols also was recognized as the new president of the Journalism Education Association.
Thanks to Sarah Nichols for sharing this information!

Speech and Debate Results From State Championship

May 2017
This month two Rocklin High School students Sweta Parija, a senior and Casey Silver, a junior participated in a Public Forum style debate.  To earn a seat at this tournament requires them to be one of the top 5 debaters in the greater Sacramento area.  At this championship tournament, the top 48 debate teams from leagues around the state come to compete on both sides of a resolution. This year's topic- "Resolved: The United States ought to replace the Electoral College with a direct national popular vote." In the end, Sweta and Casey went 5 wins and 1 loss which moved them into the elimination rounds. At the end of the day, they lost that first elimination round but finished approximately 5th-6th in the state of California.

This is the best our students done in debate in the team's 13-year history. Debate is always extremely competitive at this state tournament because many of the teams are private schools that travel all over the state/country debating. Sweta Parija has competed with the team all four years and is very excited to end her high school debate career toward the top. Casey has been on the team since his freshman year and has qualified for this tournament all 3 years. This is also his second time moving into the semifinal round at the state tournament. His first time was his freshmen year with an expository speech about Tea. These two truly represent the best of what Rocklin is about.

The Rocklin Speech and Debate team would like to thank Rocklin Unified, Rocklin High School, ASB, and the Parent club for the financial support that it takes to have a competitive speech and debate team at RHS!

Thanks to James Grace, AP Language Composition, Speech and Debate, LA/Com I Forensics Coach for sharing this information! Congratulations Sweta and Casey!
Special Recognition at Board of Trustees Meeting
Deigert Family at a board meeting
May 2017
The Rocklin Unified School District recognizes that family engagement and involvement equals student success. We value each and every one of our families at RUSD and we started this special recognition program to honor one at each school during our Board of Trustee meetings.

Stephen Deigert started helping out in the workroom at Whitney High School when his son Spencer attended Whitney High School. Stephen did the majority of the copying for the site. Stephen also did the copying and bounding of the annual workbooks for World Languages and Health for all students. In the past few years, Stephen also handled the copying, organization and collation of the school's summer mailer.
Deigert Family at a board meeting

Stephen's son, Spencer, graduated from Whitney High School in 2012, however, this did not stop Stephen from coming to Whitney High School and volunteering. He has been at Whitney High School every year continuing to make copies and the annual workbooks for World Language and Health. Any need regarding copying, collating, binding or even fixing the machines in the workroom, Stephen volunteers his time to fulfill these needs. He has been a tremendous help to the entire staff.

Stephen should be honored not just because he helped when his son was at Whitney High School, but the fact that he continues to help five years after his son graduated. There are not enough words to express how grateful Whitney High School is to have Stephen as a campus volunteer.

Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery and Cookie Connection for your generous donations for our Family Partners in Education Recognition program!

WHS Culinary Instructor -  ProStart National
Educator of Excellence!
Carissa McCrory
May 2017
Carissa McCrory, Culinary Instructor at Whitney High School, has been named the ProStart National Educator of Excellence for the state of California and will be recognized at the National Restaurant Association event in Chicago. She will be receiving an award and will have an opportunity to connect with the Excellence winners from the other states. The winners will go on a walking Food Tour and will attend the NRA Hospitality and Food Show, as well as the Educator Programming.
Congratulations Carissa! #rusdPROUD!

STEM Learning Lab
Students with laptops
May 2017
Check this out! About 60 students registered for each workshop. Students loved learning about green screen technology and stop motion animation with Granite Oaks volunteers, Rachel O'Donnell and Shea Coughlin. The 3D printing station with Spring View middle School Volunteer, Dylan Fortenberry, was a big hit. Rocklin High School volunteers, Julia Kuehn and Julia Lynn, taught basic coding skills and also helped students with the Maker Space activities.
Student using tablet  Students with laptops
Laptop with bannanas  Student working at laptop

The workshop was put on by our amazing Rocklin Unified TOSA team, Kari Auwae, Jennifer Boettger, Ryan O'Donnell, Kali Bray, and Claire Fortenberry.
Student working with robots  Students working with robots and tablets
Student and teacher working on tablet  Student playing with robots

Our creative TOSA team currently planning more sessions for next year!
student with bananas and laptop  students with laptops
Thanks to Claire Fortenberry, Elementary STEM TOSA for sharing this information!

Whitney VAPA Vans Shoes - Please Vote!
The Whitney High School Arts needs your help!!!  Please take the time to support the VAPA department in the quest to win $50,000.  VAPA has created some amazing shoe designs and we are asking for you to vote once a day (please, and thank you)!

Please share the following link with all your classes, all your family, all your friends, and all your followers to help us win increase the visibility of Whitney High School.  Please remind everyone to vote EVERYDAY through May 10th.  

We cannot do it without you.  We need your help.  
Please see the voting page to view the entire collection of our hand-painted shoes!!!

Our students worked countless hours with the ultimate goal of bringing funding to Whitney High School.  They want to give back to a program that has given them so much. Please support their efforts through a vote a day!

Vans Custom Culture. Vote Now! Select your favorite shoes from 5 regions to help decide our $50,000 winner!Shoes with poppy flowers painted on them
Special Recognition of RUSD Employee Wellness Committee
People posing for photo
The District Employee Wellness Program was established in 2008 and with collaboration and support from Schools Insurance Group, became a viable program in 2010-2011. The District Employee Wellness Committee strives to meet the needs of our employees providing health and wellness education and coaching, offering a variety of scheduled programs as well as online challenges, walking paths at school sites, annual flu shots, providing healthy snack choices, discounts on gym memberships, and promoting a health conscious culture and work environment.
People posing for photo  People posing for photo
People posing for photo  People posing for photo
  People posing for photo  People posing for photo
The District was selected as one of Sacramento's Healthiest Employers for 2017 by the Sacramento Business Journal and were recognized at an April, 2017 event in Sacramento. The District was also featured in the April 28, 2017 issue of the Sacramento Business Journal publication.
Sacramento Business journal, Sacramento's healthiest employers 2017
Members of the District's Wellness Committee are listed below:
Martin Flowers, Director, Secondary Programs and School Leadership
Lara Kikosicki, Principal, Ruhkala Elementary School
Melissa Lockets, District Health Supervisor
Kari Auwae, Teacher on Special Assignment
Colleen Crowe, Teacher, Rocklin High School
Judy Brush, Administrative Assistant III, Human Resources
Lauren McGhee, Director, Fiscal and Purchasing Services
Susan Passanisi, Accountant, Business Department
People posing for photo  People posing for photo
People posing for photo  People posing for photo
Special Recognitions at May Board of Trustees Meeting
Students and teachers getting an award  Students and teachers getting an award
April 2017
Diana Capra, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement, introduced Sarah James, Principal, Twin Oaks Elementary School and Amanda Makis, Principal, Rocklin Elementary School, who presented the Klippel family (Twin Oaks) and the Gookin family (Sierra Elem.) to Trustees as part of the District's "RUSD Family Partners in Education Program." These two families have gone above and beyond for their school community! Our Board of Trustees thanked the families for their outstanding service.

Twin Oaks Elementary School
The Twin Oaks community honored Meg and Davin Klippel for their commitment to their school. The Klippels moved to Rocklin in 2012 when their son Brad was in the 1st grade. As an avid volunteer on campus and in the classroom, Meg is on hand whenever there is a need. Meg jumped right in when their first call went out for support as a “Copy Mom” and Picture Day coordinator, bringing her hearty laugh and ready smile to campus each week. She eventually took the lead by filling the PTC Presidency vacancy and becoming Co-President of our PTC group. She has chaired and co-chaired many site Auction/Dinner events. As Co-President, she led our organization in many successful family fun events and fundraising initiatives that have had a direct impact on their classrooms and students. Her influence and always happy and upbeat personality have had a huge impact on the campus and staff.  
Students and teachers getting an award

One of the things that sets Meg apart is her constant focus on acknowledging hard-working Twin Oaks staff. Her amazing Twin Oaks themed cookies, Thanks-a-Latte days for staff, running coffee out to teachers whenever they wanted, and staff luncheons that have put many a smile staff faces. And that’s where Davin comes in! Davin has supported Meg and Twin Oaks in every endeavor. When asked if he is able to support an event, the answer is always yes. As the Head Chef for Bon-Appetite, the restaurant we have all enjoyed at William Jessup University, Davin has fed their school community at their Dinner/Auction events, served up lunch on Taco Tuesday, lunches during Staff appreciation week, Breakfast with Santa, and at random times, just because Meg asked. His wedge salad with blue cheese crumbles is a staff favorite!

Meg’s organizational and creative talents have been a true gift to the Twin Oaks Community. She has a creative vision that comes to life in an instant, and can turn our office into a Three-Ring Circus… literally! Ask for a sign or a banner, and it becomes a work of art. She is the ideal “Volunteer with a Vision” who can lead others to an outcome that is fun and entertaining for all. She is generous and giving with her time and spirit, always willing to lend a hand to whoever needs help.  While serving the community at large, supporting Brad’s teacher each year has been each teacher’s dream. The Klippels have truly had an enormous impact on life at Twin Oaks over the last five years. We are thankful for the gift of their time and commitment to their school.

Rocklin Elementary School
Rocklin Elementary honored Holly and Garrick Gookin as a Family Partner in Education. Their contributions to support both students and staff at Rocklin Elementary School is tremendous.

Mom Holly Gookin serves as the Treasurer for the Rocklin Elementary Parent Teacher Club (PTC) and is a committed member who is always available to jump right in at any opportunity to help. Being the PTC Treasurer is a challenging position, yet she is always accessible to meet the needs of the teachers when arranging field trips and in other ways. Holly also plays an integral role in creating spreadsheets for the Sly Park fundraisers (Cookie Dough, See’s Candy, Jog-a-Thon) – giving every student the opportunity to earn funds towards their 6th grade trip to Science Camp. Additionally, Holly has a most pleasant disposition when working at PTC events or volunteering as a chaperone for her children’s field trips.
Students and teachers getting an award

Garrick Gookin shares his wife’s commitment to support students at Rocklin Elementary. This spring Garrick hosted a Fishing Club at Rocklin Elementary where he taught 25 4th-6th graders the sport of fishing. With the support of the company he works for, Garrick was able to outfit each participant with a fishing pole and tackle box. On May 12th, the Fishing Club will have an opportunity to apply their newly learned skills at The Lincoln Fishery under Garrick’s direction.

The Gookin kids: Braden, Brooklynn, and Breann, are all exemplary Bulldogs who are always showing their PAWS. Many have witnessed their kind, gentle spirits on the playground and around campus. Teachers of the Gookin kids have reported that they are “helpful, kind, dependable, and patient”.  

We are so very fortunate to have the Gookin family at Rocklin Elementary School for all these reasons.

Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery and Cookie Connection for your generous donations to our Family Partners Recognition program!

CA-954 FJROTC April 2017 Newsletter
The cadets put together a monthly newsletter. It contains information on both past and upcoming events! Thank you Michael A. Fernandez, Colonel, USAF (Ret), Senior Aerospace Science Instructor for sharing this newsletter!
Thank you Whitney High School Distinguished Unit 2016-2017 for your hard work!
To download CA-954 AFJORTC April Newsletter click here>>
GATE Students Win the B Street Fantasy Theater Award
April 2017
Two of our Rocklin GATE students have won the B Street Fantasy Theater Award. Their play was chosen out of hundreds to be acted out in front of thousands of students throughout the greater Sacramento area. Rocklin Elementary School has been participating in this contest for 10 years and we’ve had several winners over the year. The students are (6th graders) Kyra Burns, and Emerson Moss.
To see Camp Alpine Play click here>>
To see 2016-17 B Street Theater Outreach & Education Student Matinees, Workshops and School Tours click here>>

Congratulations GATE students! #rusdPROUD!

Thanks to Gloria Chesbro for sharing this information!

RUSD Bands Win 1st Place on Their Spring Tour
band group photo
April 2017
98 students just came back from their Spring Tour where they competed against other bands. Three bands performed and all three bands brought home first places! The Jazz Band, The Symphonic Band and The Orchestra all came home with wins. The Jazz Band and the Symphonic Band also received a first place overall for their performance. Many of our talented students perform in more than one of these bands, and often playing different instruments.
These students have been working very hard throughout the year, performing at over 20 events, and participating in many rehearsals. They even start school a week early with band camp! All these events have been spurred on by their very motivating music director Tom Douglass.
Thanks to Laura Tolladay, a Parent Volunteer and a big fan of the bands for providing this information!
Congratulations The Jazz Band, The Symphonic Band, The Orchestra and Mr. Douglass! #rusd PROUD!
 WHS Culinary Instructor -  ProStart National Educator
of Excellence!
April 2017
Carissa McCrory, Culinary Instructor at Whitney High School, has been named the ProStart National Educator of Excellence for the state of California and will be recognized at the National Restaurant Association event in Chicago. She will be receiving an award and will have an opportunity to connect with the Excellence winners from the other states. The winners will go on a walking Food Tour and will attend the NRA Hospitality and Food Show, as well as the Educator Programming.
Congratulations Carissa! #rusdPROUD!

Fantastic RUSD Students Featured in Style Magazine
April 2017
Rocklin High School’s Emily Cook and Whitney High School’s Sarah Murphy were chosen as Style Magazine’s Top Teens! Readers and local school administrators submitted entries and these two outstanding students were picked  as the most passionate teens that make their mark on the world! They were featured in Style Magazine article “20 Local Teens Making Their Mark in Roseville, Folsom and the Foothills Areas”.  To read  the article, please go to:

Despite the health challenges, Emily balances daily tasks very well, serves her community with passion and excels in school! At 6 years old she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and now she is creating awareness about RA and raising funds for the Arthritis Foundation.

Sarah is very much involved in Whitney High School’s broadcast program! She is a senior editor and anchor in the program. She helps other students in the program and also mentors some freshmen.

Congratulations Emily and Sarah! #rusdPROUD!

Whitney High School Makes Top 50 Semi-Finalist for Vans
Custom Culture Art Competition – Needs Community Vote
to Make It to Top 5!
Custom Culture, Vote now!  Painted shoes
April 2017
Whitney High School is one of the Top 50 finalists in the Vans Custom Culture art competition! Our talented students were provided with four pairs of blank Vans shoes, which they have been tasked to design the four themes of Vans’ “Off the Wall” lifestyle: action sports, arts, music and local flavor!
person being interviewed  people being interviewed
Person being interviewed  Person being interviewed with art on display

The competition culminates in a final event this June where five schools will be awarded with an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to showcase their designs to a panel of celebrity judges. The top finalists will be selected through public voting starting now until May 10. YOU CAN VOTE EVERYDAY! Whitney High School is currently listed along with all the other finalists at where people can go in and vote!
Person being interviewed  Person being interviewed

The winning school will receive $50,000 towards its art program and the potential of one of its designs sold in Vans retail location. The four-runner up schools will be receiving $4,000 towards their art program.
Person being interviewed with art on display  Person being interviewed
Vans Custom Culture eighth annual art competition was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets.
Painted shoes

Our CA-954 Wins 7 out of 8 Categories at the
2017 NorCal Drill Meet
Group photo of 2017 drill meet champions, CA954 Whitney Wildcats
April 2017
CA-954, AFJROTC representing Whitney High School (team includes five RHS cadets as well) captured Overall First Place (Sweepstakes) at the 2017 NORCAL Drill Meet this past Saturday, April 22. The event was hosted at Hiram Johnson High School in Sacramento. The team won First Place in seven out of eight categories!!! First Place trophies were garnered in the following categories with the commanders of each team listed.
First Place – Color Guard Inspection / Cadet Colonel Jack Scaglione
First Place – Color Guard Regulation Drill / Cadet Colonel Jack Scaglione
First Place – Unarmed Inspection / Cadet Lt Colonel Mikaela Becker
First Place – Unarmed Regulation Drill / Cadet Lt Colonel Mikaela Becker
First Place – Armed Inspection / Cadet Colonel Julien Hale
First Place – Armed Regulation / Cadet Colonel Julien Hale
First Place – Armed Exhibition / Cadet Captain Ellisia Quintana
Special thanks to Michael A. Fernandez, Colonel, USAF, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Whitney High School for sharing this information!
Exciting News from Rocklin High FCCLA!
students with awards
Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) state leadership meeting was last week and the Rocklin High School chapter had some exciting achievements we wanted to share:

RHS had 3 competitors in Culinary Display: Chloe Johansen in Patisserie, Tyler Corey in Tortes and Morgan Robertson in Appetizer. The level of competition this year was really impressive and our students’ displays were right at home with the fantastic displays from all over the state. Morgan Robertson won first place with her appetizer display.
Desserts on plates  Fancy meal arranged on table

Everett Andrew competed in Menu Planning and Table Display and he was installed as the Region Treasurer and Reporter for the 2017-18 school year.

RHS chapter won Superior Chapter - Silver level and Taudine Andrew, Culinary and Hospitality Teacher, Rocklin High School won Outstanding Adviser- silver level.
fancy meal arranged on table  Fancy meal arranged on table

Five of their members earned their chapter degree - an acknowledgment of service to the community, leadership development and knowledge of the organization: Julianna Henderson, Samantha London, Jeremy Turangan, Everett Andrew and Lucy Andrew. They also received an award for first to affiliate in the region.

The other really exciting news is that Lucy Andrew, the current Region 4 Reporter was elected to state office. She’ll be serving as the FCCLA State Historian. She is blazing a trail as their first state officer and she’ll be preparing a run for national office next year!
Student posing photo
All of the 10 students who attended state leadership meeting participated in committees, a college and career fair, career workshops, industry tours and an important letter writing campaign to our legislators in support of funding for Career and Technical Education at the secondary level. We are very proud of their professionalism, integrity and growth. Due in large part to their experiences at state meeting, at least 3 of the attendees are planning on running for chapter or region office. We are growing leaders!

"We are grateful for the support both financial and moral we’ve received from so many in the RUSD family. We especially want to thank the Rocklin Education Foundation, Our district office especially Marty Flowers, Jordan White and Diana Capra, our RHS Principal Davis Stewart and Assistant Principal Jill Meshwert, and our RHS Associated Student Body lead by John Thompson. Were it not for the financial support they provided, our students would be missing out on the leadership development opportunities that will shape their future. I am so grateful to be a part of a district and community that values and supports Career and Technical Education and leadership development." says Taudine Andrew, Culinary and Hospitality Teacher at Rocklin High School.

Special thanks to Taudine Andrew, FCCLA Adviser for sharing this information and pictures!!!

Special Recognitions at April Board of Trustee Meeting!
Kids and women standing in front of a sign with icecream.   Group of people standing in front of a sign with ice cream on it posing for a picture.
April 2017
Diana Capra, Chief of Communications and Community Engagement, introduced Beth Davidson, Principal, Spring View Middle School and Bill MacDonald, Principal, Sunset Ranch Elementary School, who presented the Sears family (Spring View) and the Hertzell family (Sunset Ranch) to Trustees as part of the District’s “RUSD Family Partners in Education Program.” The program recognizes families who have made an outstanding contribution to a RUSD school site. Trustees thanked the families for their outstanding school service, including the giving of their time, energy, and talents which has translated directly into student success.

Spring View Middle School
Spring View Middle School honored the Sears family for their school and community service. The Sears family currently span all three school levels, and four different sites, including Rocklin High School, Whitney High School, Spring View Middle School, and Rocklin Elementary. The Sears family believes whole-heartedly in providing the best possible education to individually meet the needs of each of their children, which requires an incredible amount of time, effort, and energy on their part (particularly with two school students attending different high school campuses).
Kids and women standing in front of a sign with icecream.

Jamie Sears is an active participant at both the site and district level. At Spring View, Jamie is treasured for her ongoing efforts to acknowledge the efforts of our staff. She takes the lead with organizing parent volunteers to donate food and organize beautiful spreads in the staff room in appreciation of the Spring View staff. She also volunteers her time to support any and all opportunities for students, including Spring View  music events and National History Day competition. Jamie is also a long standing member of our site council, where she serves as an advocate for all students. She has also taken an active role in both our site and district strategic planning teams. Jamie’s site action team focused on utilizing parent and community partnerships. As a result of this work, this year Spring View initiated a Spring View parent “meet and greet” opportunity at the start of the year to provide teachers and parents with an opportunity to get to know one another before the start of the school year. In addition, the team identified a need to provide guidance to both students and parents through the use of technology and informational events. As a result, they were able to offer the first Internet Safety Summit on March 21st, with participation from the FBI, Sacramento Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, in addition to many district and community stakeholders. Jamie also serves on the SVMS music boosters where she plays a vital role in fundraising in order to support field trips, participation in competitions, and ensuring students have access to a wide array of music and instruments.

“In addition to her efforts at Spring View, Jamie is the current President of the District Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Advisory Committee, and is currently Spring View’s Parent Representative. She supports Rocklin Elementary in a variety of ways as well, including her work as the lead Art Docent, Site Council member, and PTC member,” said Principal Beth Davidson. “The contributions of the Sears family benefit students, staff, and the greater school community. Our District and schools would not be the same without their presence, positivity, and commitment. The Sears family embodies our aspirations to create both District and site partnerships between families and schools. The entire Spring View school community extends its deepest appreciation for everything they do."
Sunset Ranch Elementary School
The Sunset Ranch staff, students, and community honored the entire Hertzell family for their incredible, tireless, and ongoing support of our school. Principal Dr. Bill MacDonald  would like to recognize all of the “Hertzell Heros” for their individual and collective contributions to Sunset Ranch. “Jennifer is a Wonder Woman. She is the Vice President of our Parent-Teacher Committee (PTC). In this role, she takes great pride and responsibility for organizing and executing (flawlessly and with style) the majority of our major school events including Carnival, the Hoe Down, the Sunset Ranch Amazing Race, and the Whitney Ranch Lip Sync Battle. She has also organized our Back-to-School teacher brunch and countless class parties all exceptional creatively, flair, and attention to detail.  Not only have Jennifer’s efforts resulted in fun and community building but have raised a great deal of money to support important extracurricular programs at our school including science lab, Spanish, and STEM.  Watch out when you sit down with Jennifer, with her enthusiasm and cunning smile she can talk you into just about anything!  We are fortunate to have her in our pack,” said Dr. MacDonald.
Family standing up at a podium with a room of adults watching them.
Jason is the second part of the dynamic Hertzell duo - a regular Rocklin Superman! Jason is equally involved in all Sunset Ranch events and fundraising and always steps forward to lead the charge, frequently at the Whitney Ranch Lip Sync Battle where he is an annual phenomenon. Jason is a Coyote Dad who is not afraid to man the grill at Book Fair, rustle a miniature cow at the carnival, or dance with a box of ping pong balls tied around his waist.  Jason is probably most recognizable to students as the “guy who lands his helicopter on the field” during Red Ribbon Week. That’s right, this year Jason, a pilot, landed his rescue copter on the Sunset Ranch field to share a great message with the entire school about drug awareness, resilience, and goal setting.  Regardless of the role he plays, Jason is in to win it and an incredible asset to Sunset Ranch.  
Julianna is a sixth grader at Sunset Ranch and Study Body President - the Leader of the Pack! She is a natural leader who has been a speaker and performer at our assemblies, helped organize several giving campaigns, led ASB fundraising efforts, and promoted and designed spirit days. Her teachers love her smile and describe her as collaborative, kind, respectful, and someone that they can count on. Like mother, like daughter, Julianna always has flair and is dressed to impress. If that was not enough, she is an accomplished dancer. We are proud of Julianna and her efforts.
Jenna is a fourth grader and another fabulous Hertzell hero. She is a accomplished student and dancer who participates in all school activities with passion and excellence. Her teachers call her a “true joy, kind, respectful, responsible, hilarious, and a huge help to her peers.” All who meet Jenna agree that she will leave her mark on both Sunset Ranch and the world!

In closing, the Hertzells are amazing and use their superpowers constantly to improve and assist Sunset Ranch! As one teacher said, “I was fortunate to have both Hertzell girls in my class, and with the Hertzells you get the whole family. They are one of the most genuinely caring families I have ever met, they are extremely generous with their time for the good of everyone at Sunset Ranch.” The Sunset Ranch staff couldn’t agree more and are thrilled to present the Hertzell family with this award.  
Boxes of cookies gift wrapped.
Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery and Cookie Connection for your generous donations to our Family Partner Recognition program!
Trustees recognized the 2017 Placer County Spelling Bee Oral Competition Winners: Sarah Yee (Rocklin Elementary, 5th grader) and Raajshree Reddy (Granite Oaks Middle School, 8th grader) both placed 1st in their grade level and will compete in the State Finals.  Abhinav Sharma (Rocklin Elementary, 6th grader) and Karina Andersen (Granite Oaks Middle School, 8th grader) placed 2nd at the county level. Jasleen Bal (Granite Oaks Middle School, 7th grader) placed 3rd.
Spelling bee awards and trophies being given to students.   Spelling bee awards and trophies being given to students.

Trustees recognized the following employees for being named as RUSD’s nominees for Classified Employees of the Year and Teachers of the Year, in conjunction with the Placer County Office of Education, in the following categories:
Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities - - Gordon Stizzo, Grounds Mechanic, Maintenance and Operations
Office and Technical - - Janet McAlexander, Technician I, Human Resources District Office
Para-Educator and Instructional Assistant - - Sarah Counter, Instructional Aide, Sunset Ranch Elementary
Support Services and Security - - Lisa Ennis-Panganiban, Health Aide, Twin Oaks Elementary
Transportation - - Keith Dias, School Bus Driver, Transportation
Elementary Teacher of the Year - - Craig Haviland, 5th Grade Teacher, Sunset Ranch Elementary
Secondary Teacher of the Year - - Pilar Padilla, Language Arts Teacher, Rocklin High School
People standing in front of the room lined up to speak looking at one another.   Two men shaking hands in front of a group, younger man accepting some sort of certificate.
                  Classified Employees of the Year                                      Gordon Stizzo, Grounds Mechanic
Man presenting a certificate to a woman.   Sara Counter shaking hands and receiving a certificate from a man.
                    Janet McAlexander, Technician I                                     Sarah Counter, Instructional Aide
Lisa Ennis receiving a certificate from a man.   Keith Dias receiving a certificate.
              Lisa Ennis-Panganiban, Health Aide                                  Keith Dias, School Bus Driver
Pilar Padilla receiving a certificate from a man.   Two men shaking hands in front of a group, younger man accepting some sort of certificate.
                Pilar Padilla, Language Arts Teacher                              Craig Haviland, 5th Grade Teach
Two men and a women posing for a picture.
Teachers of the Year

Spring View Middle School Internet Safety Summit
Crowd seated on bleachers
March 2017
Several hundred students and families turned out for this extremely informative event. Thank you to all our law enforcement community partners who took the time to make important presentations!  If you could not attend we have some wonderful information provided by some of our presenters. See below for information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Sacramento Field Office! Much appreciated!
FBI Safe Online Surfing program (K-8; matches state and federal curricula mandates):
The FBI Child ID app accessible via Google Play and iTunes. More information about the resource can be found via the following link:
Our Sunset Ranch Superstar Sofia is once again a TV Star!
March 2017
Check out the latest Target commercial featuring Sunset Ranch’s Sofia Sanchez. “This is Sofia's third time working for Target in their marketing campaigns,” According to Sofia’s Mom Jennifer!  “We love that she beautifully represents inclusion and diversity in their ads! Sofia is an ambassador for Changing the Face of Beauty (a non profit committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media worldwide). Sofia hopes this is just the beginning of a lifetime of opportunities to work as a model/actress/self-advocate!”
World Down Syndrome Day Whitney High School Treat!
Students smiling at desk  donuts  Student smiling
March 2017
Thanks WHS Resource Education Specialist, Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Nick French for sharing these wonderful pictures!

McKenzie Muir is one of our students here at Whitney High School.  McKenzie and her mom Nancy brought doughnuts to many of the students to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2017!  

McKenzie is the absolute best and we are all so happy to be celebrating this day with her and her family!!  
Two Great Families are Honored at the RUSD
Board of Trustee's Meeting!
Vanden Akker Family at a board meeting  family photo holding a poster with ice cream behind it and balloons behind it.
March 2017
Ruhkala Elementary School
Tireless service is why Leslie and Andrew Vanden Akker are being honored by Ruhkala Elementary! As the Parent Teacher Student Council (PTSC) President and Vice President they are involved in supporting students, staff, and the entire Ruhkala community. They also support students by organizing and facilitating many events. This includes everything from Ruhkala’s Jog-a-Thon to the fall harvest festival. They also run a monthly Monday Madness session where students can sign up to stay an hour after school and take part in physical activity. They are currently working with the Ruhkala Running Team, which meets after school once a week to train for Run Rocklin. Ruhkala staff is supported by their efforts as well. This support comes in many forms. The Vanden Akkers organize and coordinate parent volunteers who often bring in healthy lunches during those times of year when staff is feeling particularly busy. Throughout the year, staff has enjoyed this treat during conference week and the holiday season. Thanks to these efforts staff comes together and has a little time to unwind. Under the Vanden Akker’s facilitation fundraising goes directly back to classrooms and therefore students! Just this year Ruhkala has been able to start the transition of their computer lab to a 21st Century learning space using this fundraising for mobile white boards and a green screen. The Vanden Akkers are fixtures of our Ruhkala community and it would not be the same school without their presence and involvement. They are models for what the partnership between school and family can create. The entire Ruhkala community offers a heartfelt thank you for everything they do.
Vanden Akker Family at a board meeting

Sierra Elementary School
The Hetrick Family has gone above and beyond to support Sierra Elementary School. Kali Hetrick is an eager volunteer and has stepped up to lead and participate in just about every possible way to support her children’s education. The Hetricks have been part of the Sierra family for the past 3 years. During this time Kali has been a strategic planning action team member, School Site Council secretary, PTC Secretary and Vice President, frequent substitute during lunch, and daily classroom volunteer. Most recently, Kali has also chaired Sierra’s  FUNd Run and is chairing the school’s auction. Our school owes the Hetrick family a debt of gratitude for how giving Kali has been with her time.  

As a strategic planning action team member, Kali helped reshape how Sierra would partner with the community to bring exciting enrichment and extension to the Sierra campus. During Sierra’s Site Council meetings and PTC meetings, she has kept clear and concise minutes, ensuring progress and conversations are well documented. As PTC vice president, she attends two PTC meetings per month and is the liaison to the event chairs. Thanks to the hard work of Kali and her team, the Sierra FUNd Run was bigger and better than ever. All students were able to launch their own event webpage, get a T-shirt for the run, and run through bubbles on the day of the event. This year’s event raised over $26,000, which goes to fund ongoing Spanish instruction at Sierra and much more!  She is also the lead on this year’s auction set to take place on March 11. The Sierra community is so thankful for her efforts and can’t wait to participate in this fun event!

As if this level of participation isn’t enough, Kali is a frequent substitute during lunch and ensures that procedures are followed so students feel safe. According to Principal Hannah Anderson, “Kali also has stepped up on numerous occasions as a long-term noon duty sub while we look to fill positions and we are so grateful that she is dependable and always willing to help out. Kali also plays a crucial role by supporting instruction at our school by volunteering in her children’s classrooms regularly and supporting them at home. This year, she has been a daily volunteer during our Shark Shuffle for Success and is working with students in 1st grade to research and present their findings. This program and everything she touches at Sierra wouldn’t be nearly as successful without her support. We are so lucky to have Kali and the Hetrick family as part of the Sierra community!”
3 women and a child in front of the board.
Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery and Cookie Connection for your generous donations to our Family Partner Recognition program!
Students in front of courthouse
March 2017
After two days of trials (Sat and Sun) Varsity took 1st place (undefeated in all rounds). JV took 2nd place and only lost to the RHS Varsity. Both teams beat the other two teams, Oakmont and Del Oro. Varsity now heads to the state competition in Riverside, CA at the end of the month. Judge Curry said that RHS is a power house.  Congratulations to the team Coach Laura Woodward and Attorney Coach Melissa Begley. The 36 RHS students are amazing!!! Special thanks to Gov/Econ/AP Gov RHS Teacher Colleen Crowe for this wonderful information!
Students in courtroom  Students in business clothing

Varsity Prosecution
1.    Casey Silver
2.    Drew Navarre   
3.    Elena Morrill
4.    Jackson Dewitt
5.    Matt Lang
6.    Audrey Trejo
7.    Suman Mann
8.    Aliena Pitts
9.    Luciano Gonzales

Varsity Defense
1.    Ashley Hay
2.    Sweta Parija
3.    Serene Tarazi
4.    Raymond Matthews
5.    Casey O’Brien
6.    Megan Campbell
7.    Jessica Risney
8.    Delaney Hertel
9.    Logan McDevitt

JV Prosecution:
1.    Sienna Giampaolli
2.    Adarsh Venkat
3.    Mridini Vijay
4.    Ella Schwasnick
5.    Alec Pitts
6.    Sanjana Ramanujam
7.    Amalie Yach
8.    Kelly O’Flaherty
9.    Minji Kim

JV Defense:
1.    Tyler Wong
2.    Kabir Chitre
3.    Sydney Pooler
4.    Sydney O’Brien
5.    Mandana Jahangirian
6.    Catherine Rainey
7.    Dominic Sobrepena
8.    Daniel McElhinney
9.    Josh Almaguer
Two Amazing Families Honored at the
RUSD Board of Trustees Meeting!
March 2017
Our Board of Trustees honored two families this month who has gone above and beyond for their school community!
Group holding balloons and picture of icecream  Group posing with award under yellow and blue star balloons
Meet the Durose Family of Rocklin High School:
man speaking to woman in front of school board
Mom Kristi is currently serving as RHS Parent Club President and has been part of this organization for the past four years. She has played a vital role in this group's transition from primarily an athletic boosters known as the "Blue Thunder Boosters" to the Parent Club, as it is known today, serving the entire RHS campus and its programs. Over the past two years with Kristi's leadership, this nonprofit group has been brought into full compliance, meeting all state and federal standards. Kristi's and the Parent Club's accomplishments include raising thousands of dollars for the school and its programs. Some of the fundraising endeavors that Kristi has spearheaded include RHS's Night of Thunder, annual Paper Drive, and Wellness Programs. Looking out for student's emotional well-being has become the central focus of the Parent Club this past year and the RHS school community is indebted for these efforts. This group is a vital entity on campus as it provides invaluable services for the athletic teams and clubs with purchases as well as fundraising. This past year with Kristi's leadership and working with former Mayor Diana Ruslin, Rocklin High School was able to offer Chrome books for sale at a discounted price for RHS and community. This effort helped RHS move closer to meet its goal of 1:1.
Meet the Wetzel family of Rocklin Independent Charter Academy (RICA):
Group holding balloons and poster with pictures of ice cream, posing for photo.
Although the Wetzel's are not new to Rocklin Unified, they are relatively new to RICA and Interim Principal Skott Hutton says: "I often wonder how, prior to their arrival, we ever managed without them!" In this short time, Mom Joanne has been an ongoing member of the RICA Site Council and was an active participant in RICA's recent WASC Accreditation visit; undoubtedly, a key contributor to that success. Joanne is a participating member of the RICA LCAP Advisory Committee and she is a member of our Strategic Planning Team.
Dad Dave is also to be credited! If it were not for his dedication to his family, Joanne's time spent with RICA related activities would not be possible. Then there is RICA 11th grader Jacob! Jacob is truly a remarkable student. His character, intellect and demeanor represent what any educator covets in a student. Jacob's Core Teacher, Mrs. McQueen, could hardly contain herself when asked about her appreciation for Jacob. She said: "Jacob is a beloved student that never hesitates to help out his classmates. Perhaps this is why his classmates respect him so much. In addition, Jacob's excitement for learning is contagious, especially when it comes to history. His knowledge and enthusiasm permeates the classroom each Wednesday! Jacob is truly an outstanding addition to RICA." Mrs. Mangelsdorf, Jacob's Integrated Math II teacher, shared: "Jacob is an absolute joy! He is always prepared and eager to learn, sharing his ideas and questions. His pleasant demeanor permeates through the class. His strong work ethic matched with his determination and drive are just some of the qualities that have provided him success in the classroom. Jacob is a wonderful young man and I am glad to have the opportunity to work with him." As a family of four children, you can imagine that time is a precious resource for the Wetzel's. Yet Joanne has made it clear on multiple occasions that she and her family volunteer their time for no other reason than they want to. "There is a wonderful quote about volunteers, which reads, 'Volunteers don't necessarily have the time; they have the heart.' To date, I have not met a family who fits that description more succinctly than the Wetzels. Although Luke, Mei and Kai do not attend RICA, I know I speak for all of us when I say we are blessed to have the Wetzel Family throughout Rocklin Unified School District," says Mr. Hutton.
Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery and Cookie Connection for your generous donations to our Family Partner Recognition program!
Teachers of the Year
Teacher receiving award  People posing for photo at front of classroom
March 2017
This year, the District reached out to all staff for nominations for the Teacher of the Year for Elementary and Secondary. Each nomination was to provide commentary on why they thought their candidate should be Teacher of the Year along with specific examples of contributions and accomplishments in education, professional skills and growth, student progress, and school/community involvement. 

A total of five (5) nominations were received for Elementary and four (4) received for Secondary.  The following teachers were selected to represent Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) as Teachers of the Year for their specific category.

Craig Haviland, 5th Grade Teacher at Sunset Ranch Elementary was selected for the Elementary Teacher of the Year.  Craig has been with RUSD for over twelve years. He has served on the RETT Committee the last six years and supported Sunset Ranch to become the first elementary school with Wi-Fi in all classrooms. He is known to be dedicated to his profession by his peers; is hard working, involved and highly respected by staff as well as the students he serves.
Teacher being presented an award  Teacher receiving award

Pilar Padilla, Language Arts Teacher at Rocklin High School will be our Secondary Teacher of the Year. Pilar has been with RUSD for over fourteen years. Her passion has been to create a safe environment has reached beyond her classroom as she has sponsored clubs and led campaigns for student’s mental wellness making Rocklin High a better place. Her mindfulness practices captured the attention of Sacramento County Office of Education who requested she present a series of workshops on how to introduce these practices in the classroom.
Man speaking to room of people  Man speaking to group of people

Both nominations will be forwarded on to the Placer County Office of Education (PCOE) to compete at that level.

Both Teachers, along with Classified Employees of the Year will be brought to the Board for recognition at a future Board meeting pending PCOE notification timelines.

And Our Latest Family Partners in Education Honoree is….
Board meeting with students
February 2017
Rock Creek Elementary School’s Alcala family was honored for the tremendous impact they have had on Rock Creek elementary over the past few years. The biggest contribution, among many, is Mom Cristina Alcala’s hard work in starting a thriving Science Docent program that continues to grow each year. Starting from scratch, Cristina set out to bring her love of Science to the students of Rock Creek. Currently in year 4 of the Science program, any observer can walk into the science room and see students actively engaged in experiments and activities centered on the love of Science which is operated by a vast amount of parent volunteers.  Over the past four years, Cristina has not only recruited and trained parent volunteers, but also set out to secure funding for the supplies. She did this by working closely with the former Principal and applying for (and receiving) local grants. This is in addition to building the curriculum and writing many of the lessons that are run on a weekly basis. In addition to her work in founding the Science Docent program, Cristina somehow finds time to assist with the Art Docent program and participates in PTC events, in addition to being an active member on the school’s Strategic Planning Team.  
Cristina was recognized by our Board of Trustees at the 2/15/2017 meeting and was joined by her husband (Jamie Mora) and son Massimo who is a 6th grader at Rock Creek. “Massimo follows in the footsteps of his parents in that, while never one to seek attention for the work he does, he has quietly demonstrated the very best of what Rock Creek students have to offer due to his hard work and most importantly his compassion for others,” according to Principal Mark Williams.  A few quotes from his teachers that symbolize the type of student and person Massimo represents are: ‘smart,’ ‘creative,’ and ‘kind to his peers.’ In addition to Massimo, son Marcus, in the Gate Program at Rocklin Elementary was also their for the special recognition presented by Rock Creek Principal Mark Williams!
Gift basket with star balloons

Special thanks to our community partners who made the night special with donated gifts including passes to Studio Movie Grill, a  special cake from Nothing Bundt Cake, dozen cookies from Cookie Connection and Ice Cream certificates to Leatherby’s Creamery!
Check out the CA-954 AFJROTC February newsletter. 
The cadets put together a monthly newsletter which goes out between the 15th to the 24th each month.  It contains information on both past and upcoming events!  Thank you MICHAEL A. FERNANDEZ, Colonel, USAF (Ret), Senior Aerospace Science Instructor CA-954
Thank you Whitney High School Distinguished Unit 2015-2016 for sharing!
To download CA-954 AFJORTC February Newsletter click here>>

Spring View Middle School Teacher Receives Placer County
U. S. History Teacher of the Year!
woman speaking at podium
January 2017
Mrs. Lynne Meiers, an eighth grade teacher at Spring View Middle School, was recently honored at a luncheon at Woodcreek Golf Course from the Daughters of the American Revolution organization for U. S. History. They named her ‘U.S. History Teacher of the Year in Placer County.’ Her nomination will be forwarded to the state level as well as for the National Society of the American Revolution 2016-2017 Outstanding Teacher of American History Award.

Mrs. Meiers was recommended by her colleagues, former students, and school administration for her innovative curriculum and school’s participation in National History Day.
People posing for photograph  woman being interviewed while holding award

Congratulations Mrs. Meiers for your hard work and dedication in educating the young people of our community!

Special thanks to Beth Davidson, Principal at Spring View Middle School, for sharing this wonderful information.
Two Special Families Honored by Our RUSD Board of Trustees!
Board members with star balloons  Board members and students with star balloons
January 2017
Each month we honor families for their service to each of our wonderful schools! We love all our families!
Meet the Ransford family of Victory High School:
Board meeting  Board meeting  Board members
Board members with star balloons
The Ransford family is a wonderful example of parental support and involvement for their Victory High School student. Jordan Ransford is a junior at Victory High School and because of his family’s as well as Victory’s staff support, he has had a great amount of academic success since enrolling here this fall. He has earned A’s in all of his classes, as well as various academic awards, including the award for top student in the school.

In speaking to Mrs. Ransford about Jordan’s success at Victory High School, she explained that coming to Victory High School was a family decision. Jordan has always been a conscientious student and tried his best, but he found that the class sizes and the enormity of the traditional high school caused him great anxiety and made education difficult for him. The Ransford family decided to enroll Jordan at Victory High school because of the smaller class sizes, the alternative form of education provided here, and the fact Jordan wishes to enroll at a trade school post graduation. These factors made Victory High School a very good choice for the Ransford family.

The Ransford family has supported Jordan in his educational career, working with Victory High School staff extensively to ensure his academic success. Jordan will graduate from Victory High School this year as a junior!

Meet the Pelly family of Valley View Elementary:
  Students getting an award  Students getting an award  Board members and students with star balloons
Board members and students with star balloons
Every member of the Pelly family has made contribution to the Valley View School community!

Mom Laura has been involved with the Parent Teacher Club since arriving at Valley View in some capacity including oversight and involvement of spirit nights, obtaining donations, planning and providing regular staff lunches, the annual carnival and bingo night. If she did head the event, she was working fervently behind the scenes. In addition to her PTC volunteering, Laura has been art docent for the 3 children’s classes, our costume designer and creator for the school musicals and dance performances, the class party planner for the 3 children’s classes, a Girl Scout leader, and also worked in the summer at Camp Invention at Valley View. If this is all not enough, we are so fortunate that Laura is also our health aide that tends to all of our students’ health needs with such love and care as if the children were all her own. Laura does all this with the most positive and professional, can-do attitude you can imagine.

Dad Al Senior is known as Laura’s partner in fun and generosity. Mr. Pelly is very creative with his engineering mind. He has highlighted engineering skills at a student level at Valley View’s annual STEM expos. His booths included a mini zip line, an Oreo tower and clay damn with demonstrations of each of the science concepts. Al has also assisted in multiple carnivals, even making a dunk tank! Although Al’s job takes him out of town from time to time, he somehow find a way to always support his family with his presence at their many events.

Al Jr., Adela and Lauren all follow in mom and dad’s footsteps of their awesomeness too, as they are equally as creative and thoughtful. They are involved in a variety of activities that further require mom and dad’s support, including, scouts, dance lessons, science club, coding club, STEM academy, student council, Kindness & Compassion club, summer camps, musicals, talent shows, basketball, softball, and more. By their parents’ example, Al, Adela and Lauren are model students who regularly demonstrate great character.
Thank you Leatherby's Family Creamery and Cookie Connection for your generous donations to our Family Partner Recognition program!
Give the Best Gift to Your Child: RUSD
Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten!
Momentous occasion at December Board of Trustee meeting!
Students holding poster with pictures of ice cream
December 2016
The Whitney HS's fantastic Choir, ROTC, Trustees sworn in and Parker Whitney Elementary family recognized! It was a special night celebrating the formal swearing in of Trustee Camille Maben and new Trustee (and RUSD alum) Eric Stevens! Truly a fantastic night at the Trustee meeting where important business took place but first the tributes!
people lined up to the side of the room lined up waiting to do some sort of activity.   Man and two Women with their right hand up giving an oath.   Two women and a man holding a baby and smiling.
Parker Whitney's Blackwell family was honored as our Family Partner in Education! Principal Melody Thorson talked about how the the entire Blackwell family is a contributing factor to Parker Whitney Community. Nicole is not only an incredible instructional aide, she organizes and manages an Early Intervention Support Program, often on her own time. Nicole oversees and operates all their audio-visual equipment for performances, as well as leads school talent show and other after school extra curricular activities.
"The Blackwell children, Jordan, Hannah and Jake, all former Parker Whitney students volunteer constantly as well, from selling concessions, helping with set-up and tear down of events, or anything we need. Josh Blackwell is here to help with whatever we need and supports Nicole in all her time she dedicates to the Parker Whitney Partner Family!" said Principal Melody Thorson.
Woman speaking to group of people  Woman shaking hands with group of people
Thank you Blackwell family: Mom Nicole, Dad Josh, and Jordan, Hannah and Jake! Thanks also to Nothing Bundt Cakes, Cookie Connection and Leatherby's Family Creamery for the wonderful donations/gifts to our family making the night and honor extra special for them!
Family Partners In Education November Honorees!
People posing for photo in front of rocklin unified logo
November 2016
Our Board of Trustees honored Granite Oaks Middle School’s (GOMS) Bezanson Family for all of their contributions to our school and community. Mom Tammi and her family have contributed greatly to the success of GOMS over the last three years. Tammi fearlessly volunteered to become a Granite Oaks Parent Falcon Club (PFC) member even before her son began attending classes at GOMS. At the time, the GOMS PFC was in desperate need of parents to step in and take over the leadership roles within our organization.
Man at podium speaking to school board  Man speaking to group of people in front of school board members  man handing gift basket to group of people in front of school board

Tammi not only stepped into becoming a PFC member, but volunteered to take over the entire organization and become our PFC President. Thankfully, Tammi jumped into the role with both feet and never looked back. She has been responsible for over seeing or running our pledge drives, fundraisers, 8th grade promotion dances, monthly meetings, PFC finances, and teacher appreciation. Under Tammi’s watch, the Granite Oaks Middle School Parent Falcon Club has raised over $40,000 dollars that has helped support many facets of our school. The money raised by Tammi and our PFC has been used to fund clubs, purchase computers and Chrome books for classroom use, and supported staff appreciation activities. Tammi’s hard work with our PFC truly makes a positive difference in making our school the best middle school in Northern California. We are indeed lucky to have Tammi working hard to make our school a wonderful place to learn and grow. Meantime, GOMS 8th grader Luke Bezanson is a wonderful student that was celebrated as October’s Student of the Month for the Quest Academy. He is an extremely hard worker, and a member of the GOMS Cross Country Team. Luke is a fantastic and creative student who is well liked by his peers and teachers and is maintaining a 4.0 grade point average!
Gift basket with balloons
Principal Jay Holmes addressed out Trustees about the family and in addition to a special recognition certificate, they were presented with some neat gifts from our community business partners including a dozen cookies from Cookie Connection, a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and delicious and huge Ice Cream Sundae  from Leatherby’s Creamery!
Thank you Bezanson Family!

For those of you that represented our country, we thank you for your service.
Image result for veterans day
Steve Balko, Maintenance Department, United States Coast Guard - 9 Years
Terry Barber, Whitney High School, United States Air Force - 29 Years 2 Months - Senior Master Sargeant,
Air Force Junior Officers Training Corps (AFJROTC)
Mike Booth, Transportation Department, United States Army - 12 Years
James A. Bross Jr., Maintenance and Operations Department, United States Army - 1985 -1994
Heather Conn, Rocklin Elementary School, United States Marine Corps - 1994-1998, Sargeant
Greg Daley, Rocklin USD Board of Trustees, United States Air Force, 20 Years
Keith Dias, Transportation Department, United States Navy - 4 Years
Doug Ennis, Valley View Elementary School, United States Army - 4 Years - 1989-1993, Combat Medic
John Eriskson, Whitney High School, United States Air Force, 23 Years
Michael Fernandez, Whitney High School, United States ir Force - 28.5 Years - Retired - Senior Aerospace
Science Instructor, Air Force Junior Officers Training Corps (AFJROTC)
Tod Furtado, Whitney High School, United States Army - 24 Years, Lieutenant Colonel,
Retired - Veteran of Operation Just Cause
Gregory Giammona, Granite Oaks Middle School, United States Air Force - 1992-1999, F-15C
Avionics Specialist, Operation Southern Watch, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
Shana Gysen, Spring View Middle School, United States Air Force - 4 Years, Medical Lab
Michael Hammer, Maintenance and Operations Department, United States Army - 4 Years
Michael Handling, Victory High School, United States Army - 10 Years, Iraq, Bosnia and
Tori Hayes, Spring View Middle School, United States Army - 22 Years, Sargeant First Class -
Retired, Served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq as an AirBorne Medic
Jeremy Jeffreys, Rocklin High School, United States Air Force Reserve - 1992 - 2014, Retired
November 2014
Melissa Locketz, District Office, United States Navy - 1994-1999 - Hospital Corpsman - Marine
Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twenty-nine Palms, CA
Heather McCoy, Rock Creek Elementary School, United States Army Reserve - 6 Years
Paul Morrison, Rocklin High School, United States Army Reserve - 1986-1988
Al Nord, Transportation Department, United States Air Force - 4 Years
Joe Perretta, Maintenance Department, United States Army - 4 Years
Bill Pruett, Facilities, Maintenance and Operations, United States Army Reserve - 6 Years
Darlene Romero, District Office, United States Air Force - 17.5 Years, Master Sargeant - Retired
Joseph Sarantis, Maintenance and Operations Department, United States Army - 2 Years, Vietnam Veteran
Mark Webber, Maintenance Department, United States Air Force - 22 Years
Brandy Wright, Antelope Creek Elementary School, United States Air Force
Christina Wright, Antelope Creek Elementary School, United States Army

Table with plates and menu arranged on it  empty dinner seating
November 2016
The Rocklin Educational Excellence Foundaiton (REEF) hit it out of the park with the first annual Starlight Soiree 11/5!  We knew it would be good but this farm to fork feast Rocklin style was truly GREAT! The setting: beautiful Quarry Park, generously made possible by the City of Rocklin, was transformed into an elegant setting with an amazing 4 course dinner prepared by innovative and award winning Chef Erick Johnson of Rocklin’s The Chef’s Table. The goal was accomplished: Community and business leaders came together to celebrate the many successes of the Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) and support provided REEF. For the past 8 years, REEF has been dedicated to the continued success of the Rocklin public schools. We know having high quality public schools is a high priority for the families in our area. In fact, it is the primary reason people move to Rocklin. RUSD staff work day in and day out to keep the reputation RUSD has for great schools! “REEF’s mission has been to connect our community to their public schools in meaningful and tangible ways. We have raised over a quarter million dollars so far and are looking to double that goal in the years ahead. We allocate these funds in strategic ways to give our students a competitive edge,” according to REEF Executive Director Tom Delapp. The Foundation does that in many ways including supporting the Career Technical Education, following RUSD’s outstanding CTE master plan,  which allows students to apply 21st century skills through real world applications. Another impactful way REEF makes a tremendous difference in the lives of our students, families and staff is in the vital arena of Wellness, Culinary and much more! Rocklin High School Principal Dave Stewart and Granite Oaks Middle School Principal Jay Holmes both told the enthusiastic crowd how REEF has helped their programs. Our principals rock!
People posing for photo  People posing for photo  People posing for photo
people speaking surrounded by empty dining seating  People posing for photo  two men speaking while holding large number 5
Among the many highlights of the night were also remarks from  Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent followed by inspirational words from other education leaders who served alongside Stock as honorary hosts: Willy Duncan, President of Sierra College, Eric Hogue, Chief Development Officer of William Jessup University, Dr. Robert Nelsen, President of Sac State.   Former Rocklin Council member and super RUSD parent Diana Ruslin even came back from her new East Coast home to enjoy the night. “She has been a driving force behind the success of REEF since our inception in 2009. She is a one-woman dynamo. Although she is now three time zones away her imprint is still being felt, especially for this event,” said DeLapp.
People seated at dining table  People seated at dining table  People seated at dining table
Thank you to - Pegasus Sponsors: ATI Architects & Engineers, – Brian Whitmore – BCA Architects, Mercedes Benz, The Ridge Golf Course & Event Center, Thunder Valley Casino Resort. William Jessup University. Aurora Sponsors: Halldin Public Relations, Lozano Smith Attorneys, McDonald’s of Rocklin, Placer Ranch/Sacramento State,Rainforth Grau Architects, SAFE Credit Union, Scott Yuill Insurance & Financial Services – State Farm, Sierra College. Centaurus Sponsors: Dino Sammakieh, McDonald’s Owner – Folsom locations, WLC Architects. Our Swag Bag Sponsor: Landmark Construction. Orion Sponsors: The Broadway Family, Communication Resources for Schools, Wellness Together. In-kind and vendor sponsors: Bouchard Communications for the publicity and graphics, The Chef’s Table – Dinner Sponsor, Out of Bounds, Pairings., City of Rocklin – Venue Sponsor, Sharif Jewelers. Event Planner: Noel Smith Events. Fantastic music entertainment provided Doug Martin! KCRA Meteorologist Tamara Berg served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
students cutting apples  student preparing food  students preparing food
Students at table with sign reading "R.E.E.F., thank your for supporting Rachel's Challenge @spring View"  Food being prepared  People seated at dining tables
Special kudos to REEF Board members Todd Lowell and Ann Bouchard for their tremendous work on the Soiree Planning Committee! Look for next year’s date soon to mark you calendar!
man playing guitar  People posing for photo  People talking outdoors while holding drinks
People talking while holding drinks  People posing for photo  People posing for photo
Woman at podium speaking to crowd  People standing on stage leading presentation before crowd  Person at podium speaking to crowd
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Yound girl and Woman at podium speaking to crowd  People posing for photograph  People at podium speaking to crowd
Special to RUSD Highlights by Rob McAllister-Vice President,
Halldin Public Relations Inc., Positive Alliance Board Member and
Rocklin HS graduate!
man at podium
October 2016
For 24 seasons, Roc Murray could be seen roaming the baseball diamond at Rocklin High School leading fielding drills, fine-tuning a player’s swing or signaling pitches from the dugout.
But to his players, he was much more than a coach. Murray not only helped our student-athletes become better players, but better people off the field as well.
group photo  two men smiling
His contributions have been noticed by Rocklin players, parents and fellow educators for several decades, but this summer Murray received national recognition for his contribution to youth sports. Murray was one of 50 coaches in the country presented with the Double-Goal coach award. Murray was honored during the Positive Coaching Alliances’ Jeans and Jerseys event that featured San Francisco 49ers Hall-of-Fame quarterback Steve Young, developer and former high school coach Phil Oates and various distinguished regional athletes.
group photo  people posing for photo
“More than a baseball coach, Roc Murray served as a mentor to hundreds of his former players,” said Zach Streight, Executive Director of the Positive Coaching Alliance Sacramento Chapter. “Murray embodies the spirit of Positive Coaching Alliance and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to honor a legendary coach who went above and beyond every single day.”
people posing for photo  people looking at sports jersey
The Double-Goal coach is awarded to youth and high school coaches who strive to win, while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports.
man speaking at podium  Man smiling
Positive Coaching Alliance is a national nonprofit organization that strives to develop BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. More than 30,000 athletes, parents and coaches have attended a PCA workshop in the Sacramento region to date.

The Mazon Family/Cobblestone chosen as RUSD Board of Trustee’s
outstanding  Family Partner in Education winner!
Mazon Family at a board meeting
October 2016
We value each and every one of our families at RUSD and we started this special recognition program to honor one at each school during our Board of Trustee meetings. It’s a cool way to kick off each meeting too!
The Mazon family is our latest winner and will be our Face book cover family until the next family winners are announced at the November Board of Trustee meeting! They have been an active and supportive part of the Cobblestone community for the past 7 years.  Both Darren and Kylee have attended Cobblestone since kindergarten and are students who throughout their school career have been recognized as kind, respectful, polite, charming and positive role models! While Kylee has graduated from elementary school, Cobblestone Principal Kathy Goddard says “We often think that Darren could be an incredible school ambassador with his outgoing and personable demeanor!”
A gift basket in front of a banner for Leatherbys. Star balloons on the left  2 students at a board meeting

Not only are Darren and Kylee amazing kids, their stay-at-home-dad, Dave Mazon, has volunteered hundreds if not thousands of hours to support our school and students. He helps in the office preparing our first day packets, chaperones field trips, assists in classrooms reading with students and encourages students every week.  He even dressed up as a Lion to make Art Docent lessons something Cobblestone students and staff really look forward to and even served as a substitute instructional aide.  In addition, Dave served as PTC president for two years and organized fun, community-building events including welcome back picnics, jogathon, movie nights, daddy/daughter dances, and mother/son activities. Under his leadership, funds raised by PTC have provided additional instructional materials to our classrooms, field trip scholarships for students in need, special assemblies and two new chromecarts! Staff  describe Mr. Mazon as positive, dependable, devoted, kind, respectful, generous, and a real helping hand serving ALL students and ALL staff at our school! The Mazon family has made a real difference to Cobblestone School and we are so appreciative of their ongoing support!
A women given a speech at a board meeting  A family at a board meeting getting an award

Thank you to our generous community partners who provide donated gifts to our family honorees! Donated gifts include passes to Studio Movie Grill, delicious cookies from Cookie Connection, special Nothing Bundt Cakes Cake and Ice Cream Sundae Party of 4 Leatherby’s.
2 gift cards to Studio Movie Grill  A box of cookies from Cookie Connection  A white gift box with a yellow ribbon down the middle  Gift card with a banana split on it. Leatherbys 

Rocklin High Sophomore Hayden Douglass Heads to the Nationals
Child posing with brass horn
October 2016
Special Thanks to Thomas Douglas, Rocklin High Music Director for this terrific information!

Sophomore Hayden Douglass has accomplished something usually reserved for upper classmen. He’s played his way into the All-National Honor Ensemble Concert Band.

A French horn player, Hayden practiced with dedication to earn his chair in this highly coveted honor band. He is one of only two students from the Sacramento area to be chosen. He’ll be playing with the “best of the best” for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) 2016 All-National Honor Ensemble on November 13 during NAfME’s National In-Service Conference in Texas.

“I am very excited to be able to represent Rocklin High School in Texas. This is a great opportunity to learn from other musicians and conductors from all over the U.S.,” said Hayden.

Hayden has been playing French horn for four years. Musical talent runs in the family. His father Thomas is the Musical Director at Rocklin High. A multi-talented musician, Hayden plays French horn with the Rocklin High Symphonic Band and Symphonic Orchestra, Trumpet with the school’s Jazz Band and Mellophone with the Marching and Pep Bands.

NAfME’s (National Association for Music Education) All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, and jazz ensemble. Students were chosen through a rigorous audition process. Eligible students had to qualify for their state-level honor ensemble program and compete against top students to earn their spot in the national honor ensemble. Hayden will be playing with 150 other students from throughout the United States.

Selected students are currently rehearsing a challenging repertoire in preparation for performing under the baton of one of the most prominent conductors in the United States, Dr. Paula Crider Professor Emerita at the University of Texas.

Find out more about Rocklin High Band at: Find out more about NAfME here:
Victory HS Hosts Mock Election for Students to Experience
The Real Process! Get a Feel for the Real Thing!
empty classroom  people seated at desks
October 2016
AWESOME EXPERIENCE! Victory HS Social Studies teacher Darren Baham signed VHS up to participate in a state wide Mock Election being sponsored by the California State Department. Mr. Baham created an entire real world environment for the students to participate in. Instead of just designating a day in which the kids fill out their ballot and we count the votes, he transformed a section of the school to reflect a real life situation- a polling station for the kids to run through. They  checked in, with their student ID, waited their turn for a voting booth to open, filled out their ballot in a mock booth, and dropped their important choice in the ballot box. All of this is supervised by the staff. The idea is to show students what they have to look forward to and take the ambiguity out of the voting process in hopes that more of them will participate in the democratic process as adults. Thanks Victory HS and Teacher Darren Baham for this terrific experience for our students!
people seated at desks  people seated at desks  people seated at desks
people seated at desks  people seated at desks  student with package
student with package  people seated at desks  people seated at desks

Years of Service
people posing for group photo  people posing for photo
September 2016
The District was filled with excitement as 111 employees were recognized for their years of service: 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30!
people posing for group photo  people posing for group photo  people posing for photo
Board of Trustees Greg Daley, Todd Lowell, Wendy Lang, Susan Halldin and Camille Maben along with Superintendent Roger Stock congratulated and awarded the longtime dedicated employees as their co-workers cheered them on! Click here to see our honorees listed by years of service>>
people posing for group photo  people watching presentation  people watching presentation
people posing for photo  people posing for photo  people posing for photo  woman speaking before crowd
woman holding award  woman at desk smiling  people posing for photo  people posing for photo

Children holding award posing with police officers  Children holding awards, posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board
September 2016
Our Board of Trustees meets the winners of the Rocklin Police Department's Patriot Day Essay and Art Contest! Check out some of the neat pictures form the Board of Trustee meeting! Thanks to all students who entered, their families, teachers and principals!
Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board  Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board  Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board
Children holding awards, posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board  Students with awards alongside police officers and staff  Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board
Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board  Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board  Child holding award posing with police officers in front of the Rocklin Unified school board
Collage of photos. Text reads "Thank you Rocklin Police department and city of rocklin for the patriot day essay/art contest!"


Board meeting presentation
September 2016
Congratulations to the Dace family: Breen Elementary School’s Family Partner in Education. Kim Dace (Mom), Mike Dace (Dad), Daughters: Capri, Erin, and Lauren. Son, Dallas.
Capri a 7th grader at Granite Oaks, Erin is in 5th grade, Lauren is in 3rd grade, and Dallas is a first grader.
Board meeting in session  An award being handed out at a board meeting
From Breen Principal Mr. Thibideau: “The Dace family has been a fixture at Breen since 2011. Just about everyone recognizes the family truck and has seen the kids quickly pile out and head to class in the morning. Mom and dad obviously decided early on that school would be a family affair and that their children and all Breen students deserved the best. Kim has never met a fun event or fundraiser she hasn’t liked. When she has an idea, there’s no stopping her. Kim proved to be a special Breen parent early on when she solicited Disneyland tickets for a Family Bingo Night and sold raffle tickets, in front of Save Mart, while wearing a Minnie Mouse costume. Kim has gone on to plan every Family Bingo Night since that time. Business partners know that Kim will never take no for an answer and love her for it. When Target advertised a giving campaign for schools, Kim painted a target on her truck and drove around the neighborhood, urging people to vote for Breen on the Target website. The new curtains on the stage were partially funded by the concessions Kim has organized before all dance shows. Mike knows that when the school carnival comes around in October that he will be loading and unloading the truck before and after the event. Kim has organized farmer’s markets on Friday afternoons, drawing friends and neighbors together in conversation. Kim sets up tables and solicits parents to sell baked goods and crafts with all profits going to the school. What would a Big Daddy Basketball game between Valley View dads and Breen dads be without a halftime show? Kim invited students of all ages to come after school and taught dance routines to be performed at halftime of the game. The most recent example of Kim’s dedication to Breen was submitting an application for a garden makeover with the River Cats and Green Acres Nursery and then helping to garner 2,400 Facebook likes to win the contest!”
A collage of donations and prizes
Thanks to generous community donors, the Dace family was given tickets to Circus Vargas, a delicious dozen cookies from Cookie Connection, and first grader Dallas’ favorite: An ice cream party for the entire family at Leatherby’s Ice Cream. The sundaes are huge! Thank you once again to all who make this program a huge success and of course our dedicated families who go above and beyond to make the Rocklin Unified School District great!

Police officers posing for photo Police officer with woman posing for photograph Police officer with student wearing medal posing for photograph 
September 2016
We are so proud of the following students who received top honors in the Rocklin Police Department's Essay contest! All the students who took part worked hard on their essays which described what it means to be a Patriot? It was all part of the 6th Annual Patriot Day celebration held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 to honor “Those Who Serve”, the Rocklin Public Safety Volunteers, Inc. invited Rocklin Unified School District schools to participate in Patriotism based Art (Grades K-3) and Essay (Grades 4-8) contests. The winning group of students, their families and teacher and principal will also be honored at the 9/21 RUSD Board of Trustee meeting featuring Rocklin Police department Chief Ron Lawrence and Crime Prevention Coordinator Wendy Smith and Captain Chad Butler!
Student speaking to police officer  Marines posing behind table  Student next to stuffed bobcat  Man posing with person in minion costume
Student with arm helmet sitting in army jeep  child in field  Child speaking to police officer  Women seated, smiling at camera
Meet the winners:
1st place winners were Landdon Stowers from Winter Hungerford’s Kindergarten class at Breen, Adhvaith Sujay from Marnie Leavitt’s 1st grade class at Ruhkala, Graceyn Nichols from Heather Janis’s 2nd grade class at Rocklin Elementary, Kate Lynch from Lynne Holochwost’s 4th grade class at Ruhkala, Hannah Ereso from Rhonda Taylor’s 5th grade class at Sierra, Domenica Zaragoza from Chaunte Martin’s 6th grade class at Rock Creek and Alexis Samson from Britton Brown's class at Cobblestone.
Police officer with student wearing medal posing for photograph  students with medals posing with police officer  students with medals posing with police officer
Student wearing medal smiling next to police officer  Sugar cookies in the shape of american flags and stars  Faculty and Student posing while student is holding trophy  People posing around booth
The Grand Art winner was Dhruv Patel from Sara Gardner’s 3rd grade class at Valley View.
The Grand Essay winner was Karina Andersen from Leah Seabrook’s 8th grade class at Granite Oaks.
Family posing with balloons and flowers
September 2016
Our first FAMILY PARTNERS IN EDUCATION honors go to the Barnes family of Antelope Elementary! Hey, we know all our families make a big difference for our schools and our students so we want to start highlighting some of our amazing families! So meet the Barnes Family: Monica (Mom), Sam (Dad) Betty, Toby, Lucy, Roddy and baby Bo!
Principal Brian Arcuri chose the Barnes family because of their strong support of the Antelope Creek community! Year after year they give their time, energy, and passion to the school on multiple occasions.
Man at podium speaking to school board  Family receiving award
From Principal Arcuri: “Monica Barnes has been very involved in the PTA at the site and her husband Sam can often be seen hauling supplies, operating the famous Barnes Sno-Cones at the annual school carnival, and designing signs that promote various school events. Monica is so dedicated to our school that even as she was expecting her 5th child last year she continued to lead our PTA as president right up until the week of Bo’s arrival! We are lucky to also have Betty, Toby, and Lucy as part of our student leadership groups on campus. They take time during their school day to give back by taking up leadership positions and by helping us out with whatever we ask of them on a daily basis. They can always be seen helping their parents during school events and have also contributed to an enriched school program for all of the students and families at Antelope Creek. They have given hours of their time and their hard earned money to enrich the educational community at Antelope Creek not just for their family, but for all of the families that attend. This year staff, students, and families drove up to the school and were greeted by a fantastic, “Welcome Back” banner that the Barnes family designed in consultation with the PTA.”
People holding flyer which reads "...first day of school, welcome back falcons!"

The Rocklin Unified School District recognizes that family engagement and involvement equals student success! It’s why were are the ‘destination district!’ We value each and every one of our families at RUSD and we’re happy to have this special recognition program to honor one at each school during our Board of Trustee meetings. Principals of each school pick the family to be honored! #rusdPROUD
balloons and flowers
Special thanks to our generous businesses who donated the special gifts for our winning family: Flowers: Abstractions Florist and owner Teri Hafvenstein; Studio Movie Grill Rocklin; Noodles & Company and Aaron Chechourka-Price and Menchie's Frozen Yogurt!

MUST SEE: District Leaders Passing the Learning Torch to
Each Other for Learning Fest Professional Development
Day/Welcome Back to Staff: Igniting Learning!
August 15, 2016
Crowd in the gym standing up with hands raised.   Speaker by a podium speaking in front of a projector.   Two women sitting at a table in front of the school.
Teachers who are at desks looking at a projector and a presenter.  Teachers who are at desks looking at a projector and a presenter.  Teachers at desks.
Banner saying: "Welcome Back RUSD ALL STAFF BBQ sign: "Hosted by RUSD Board of Trusttees and Generously Sponsored by...Wells Fargo, Lozono Smith, RGA, CK, Roebelen, EPS"
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING SUPPORTERS WHO SPONSORED THE BOARD OF TRUSTEE LUNCHEON FOR OUR RUSD FAMILY: Wells Fargo, Lozano Smith Law Firm, Rainforth  Grau Architects, Carter-Kelly, Inc., Economic and Planning Systems (EPS)and Roebbelen Contracting, Inc.
Group of 5 women eating in a cafeteria.   Adults going through a buffet line outside under a tent.   Adults going through a buffet line outside under a tent.
Adults waiting to go through a buffet line outside under a tent.   Adults signing up or registering at a table outside  Adults in a cafeteria.
Adults eating at tables outside.   Man handing a plate to women.   Man and women standing posing for the photo.
This is what happens when District Leaders get into the Summer Olympic Spirit! The Olympics, like our students and families are our great inspiration!
District Leaders Passing the Learning Torch

District Leaders Passing the Learning Torch iconDistrict Leaders Passing the Learning Torchtitle

Breen Elementary School was selected to receive
a brand new garden!
Breen Elementary Schools Garden  Breen Elementary Schools
August 2016
We asked you, our RUSD family and Rocklin Community to vote last Spring and you did and Breen won a garden Makeover! Hard working, dedicated parents have been busy getting the Garden Of Learning ready for the Green Acres Team! The kids are gonna love it.
There were only 3 schools picked as finalists! Breen Mom Kim Dace entered the contest, beating out many other schools throughout Northern California! “When I submitted the entry, I wrote about "how important a school garden was. It wasn't about just planting and picking, but rather nurturing and taking care of something and watching it grow and thrive. It's about trial and error and really about being patient and helping. These concepts can be applied to more than just a garden, but to the lessons in life," Dace said! Wow! One Mom made a difference with those heartfelt words and now you can help Breen bring home the win…and a new garden!
And once again the Friends of the Breen Garden of Learning came out in full force to help clean up the garden so Green Acres can work their magic, just in time for the start of school! Soo these past two weeks families have been: weeding the pathways, by hand, by shovel, or by gas-powered weed-whacker, weeding the garden beds and the orchard area, by hand and gas-powered weed-whackers, bagging up ALL debris - there are trash bags on site, off-hauling the debris, sweeping up the cement pathway which leads to the garden, and bagging up the dried leaves/litter! Woah! That’s dedication - all for the kids!
‪#‎rusdPROUD‬ for sure! Congratulations and Thank you for all your hard work!
Check out the live TV coverage on KCRA:

Parker Whitney students raise $1,424 for the fallen
Dallas Police Officers by selling lemonade!
students holding signs which say "Lemonade for fallen officers"  Students holding check
August 2016
Meet Brock and Olivia Felkins! Both students have attended Parker Whitney since Kindergarten and know firsthand the crucial role our police and fire departments play here at home and around the country. Dad is one of the true heroes in our own community, a Rocklin firefighter. These two siblings took it upon themselves to raise money for the fallen Dallas Police Officers. After spending a few days during the extreme heat wave in July selling lemonade on the corner of North Star and Argonaut, they managed to collect $1,424.00. Thank you generous Rocklin residents for helping buy their special treat. Thank you Brock and Olivia for making all of us so proud! *Special thanks to Deborah VanLiew for letting us know about this wonderful, heartwarming story!
#rusdPROUD: Rocklin High Alumni headed to 2016
Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after he earns
his place on the Team USA Pole Vault Squad!
Cale Simmons
by Diana Capra
Communications and Community Engagement
July 2016
2009 Rocklin High School graduate Cale Simmons has landed a spot on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team in the Pole Vault competition! And to those who know him in our corner of the world, he is already considered RUSD Gold!
Athlete holding pole-vaulting pole
Cale, following graduating from RHS, went onto the US Air Force Academy where he graduated in 2013. Last September, he was able to leave his Air Force contracting unit at Ramstein Air Base in Germany to take part in the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program. This incredible opportunity allows superior athletes to train full-time for the Olympics. “It’s a great program. I’m super grateful to be part of that team,” Cale said during a phone interview from Colorado Springs, Colorado a few days after he officially made the U.S. Olympics Team on July 4th.  Amazingly, Cale had been removed from any kind of athletic involvement for almost 3 years at his contracting job so he has been rigorously training since September. His hard work paid off on Independence Day at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon when he made the U.S. Olympic Team by clearing the bar at 5.65 meters-18 feet, 6.4 inches in the men’s pole vault finals. “I am so excited! It was one of the most memorable moments I ever had in my life. My mom was crying, my sisters and my dad were there so my family surrounded me! It was so much to take in and so powerful,” Cale said. “Once you make the top three and you get to go to Rio they hand you a little American flag and tell you to do a victory lap. My family was in the stands and seeing them there was one of the greatest moments of my life! Super cool.” He is still getting hundreds of text messages and his Facebook page “keeps exploding!” “I am still so happy. I’m still on a high and I don’t think that’s ever gonna leave me!” He also gave a shout out to RUSD and specifically coaches like Matt Bumgardner for their guidance!
Ice climber wearing cold weather gear in snow.   People standing on beach with palm trees in background
Voices from RUSD family who knew Cale when…
RHS Coach Matt Bumgardner: "I couldn't be more excited for Cale. It was an honor and a privilege to coach him in the sprints while he was at Rocklin High School. To be honest, I'm not surprised at all by his making the U.S. Olympic Team. He was absolutely an elite, all around high school athlete. He ran with the sprint team at times and even with minimal sprint training (due to extensive pole vault training) he was also a member of the league champion 4x100 relay team and even picked up a 2nd place in the 200 meter dash at the league championship. I was always impressed by Cale's strong mindset. I am confident that this will be an asset for him as he competes in Rio. He always had fun, never seemed to get rattled in competition and always cheered on his fellow competitors.  It was so much fun coaching Cale because of how funny and energetic he was. I just can't say enough positive things about this tremendous young man. All of Rocklin and the rest of the United States will be rooting for him in the Olympics!!!"
Coach Pereira: “I coached Cale and Robbie for four years. I was their cross country coach, but I take no credit for the Pole Vault. They were also very good cross country runners, and Cale ended up becoming a very good sprinter in track so he was not just known for his pole vault. Great kid and family. My fondest memory of Cale and Rob was during a cross country meet at Folsom HS. Someone on the team had thrown a Frisbee on the roof of one of the classroom buildings. Any normal person would have needed to have a few people lift them up so they could get on the roof--not Cale. He just scaled the wall with ease and was up on the roof in a matter of seconds. This is how athletic, wiry, and strong he was. Really excited for him and I wish him the best at the Olympics!”

Antelope Creek Elementary Coach/Teacher Peter Davis: “I worked with the Simmons family at Antelope Creek when he was a student there. He began his "track and field" experiences on the field at AC with the flying Falcons. Adam Salinger, Jenn Dunn and myself coached the team for several years. He was a hard working and dedicated young man. Not surprised in the least to see him at the biggest stage for athletics. I'm certainly rooting for him.”

Antelope Creek 6th grade Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher Gloria Chesbro: “Cale was tall, quiet, great sense of humor. I also taught his twin brother and older sister Rachel. Wonderful family! So excited for Cale and the whole family.” This special note-Cale’s twin brother, Air Force 1st Lieutenant Rob Simmons also a standout athlete and pole vaulter is now a C-17 pilot stationed at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. Their sister Rachel is also a pole vaulter and Air Force Academy graduate.

RHS Sr. English Teacher Angela Parker: “I’m so excited for Cale! I remember his quirky sense of humor and amazing work ethic! I also remember his dedication to the sport, so much so that he missed graduation to compete in the state championships. What an accomplishment for him!”

Antelope Creek Elementary Teacher Patricia Shier:  “I too am very excited for Cale. I was Cale's Kindergarten teacher. He was always a sweet, smart, fun loving, terrific student. He was always very creative and inquisitive. I have had the privilege of working with the Simmons family many times. I had Cale in my class as well as two of his younger sisters. They are a fabulous family and I am so thrilled for Cale!

Speaking of terrific alumni, all our former students are appreciated! Are you one? If you are, let me know a favorite memory, staff member, class, experience! We love to take trips down memory lane with good thoughts of appreciation for our staff who work so hard to provide the educational excellence RUSD is known for!!  Email me at Thanks!

And thanks Cale for providing the awesome pictures!

Check out the wonderful coverage Cale received in The Sacramento Bee:
Heart with EKG tracings  Necklace pendant  Necklace pendant
Check out the beautiful pieces created by our own Whitney High School students! They are just some of the handmade fused glass items made by Art III/IV students at Whitney High. The night lights contain book page poetry that students compose. After they complete the book page, they are taught to fuse their own unique imagery into the glass. The necklaces are made after the night lights. Students learn the scientific properties of glass and they actually see physics in action! They start with sheets of glass, which they learn to cut, fuse at 1500° degrees!
necklace pendant of a beetle  rubber stamp art  rubber stamp art

Art history paper mache masks like these are also so amazing!
small sculpture of two women    Sculpture of city through window  sculpture of sailboat and lighthouse

Special thank you to Deborah Lane, Fine Arts Instructor Extraordinaire (Art I, II, III, IV, Honors Art, and AP Studio) for the beautiful pictures and details!

Colored Pencil Paintings Art III/IV
These are hand drawn using Prismacolor which are artist quality colored pencils. All subjects have personal meaning to the artist. Each piece is 10" X 10" on fine art bristol board.
photo of painting of techni colored random objects including a book with a partial title and other objects.   painting of multi-colored gears.  
                           Kira DeWitt                                               Rene Pono
                   "Personal Supplies"                                                   "First 2-Wheeler"
Butterfly design in a pink background.   Modern art image with keys and dripping background. Orange and blue colors.
                  Roberta Romans                                     Sarah Sage
       "From the Mind Springs Creation"                                             "My Fist Keys"                             
Art II Longboards
Young woman holding artistic skateboard styled with images that say India and has woman petting an elephant.   Young woman holding artistic skateboard styled with California on the board.   Young woman holding artistic skateboard styled with images with woman in an orange skirt.  
Once students learned to create every color with just red, yellow, and blue on their Art History Mask, they are ready to tackle work with more expensive materials. There is also an extra challenge here, which is how to successfully compose artwork on a uniquely shaped substrate.
Paper Mache Bug Specimens
Large fly art project next to a set of keys to delineate size.   Large fly sitting on the shoulder of a student.  ceramic fly

RUSD Principal Gets Slimed!
students surround person covered in green slime
June 2016
Oh my... what a dedicated principal will do for a million words read! Breen Elementary Principal Mr. Thibideau slimed by 35 top readers! Yeah! Thanks to Breen staff member Chris White for sending us this awesome shot!
June 2016
Check out the Placer County Office of Education featuring just one of RUSD's awesome school activities in a special upcoming video! Thanks staff: Vicki Brown and Megan Anderson for arranging the 4th grade square dance experts! #rusdPROUD Congrats again to Principal Shari Anderson, her wonderful staff, students and families for achieving the coveted CA Gold Ribbon School award!
students in gymnasium bowing to eachother  Students holding hands
Students posing for photo  Teacher surrounded by students
May 2016
Check out yet another RUSD Success story featured in the Placer Herald!  The cool report, written by reporter Andrew Westrope, details the amazing things our students are doing in the High Altitude Balloon Club let by Instructor Bret Hunter.  "I am so proud of what these students accomplished. This a true capstone project that brings together all of the elements in the educational process of our K-12 district. It makes me wonder what my kindergartener will be creating when he reaches high school," says Hunter who also serves as Whitney HS Energy and Health Instructor, Engineering and ACE Mentoring Club Advisor and 2016 Class Advisor.
sunrise  sun over earth
horizon from space  sunrise from space
Next year, these students will be using CNC and 3D printing technology to reach their new goal of 100,000 plus feet.  Wow! Check out our newest section of our website called 'In the News', a place we put all news coverage of our wonderful people and programs here!
Congratulations 8th Grader From Granite Oaks
Middle School - Mridini Vijay! 2nd Place Winner
in the State!!!
Student holding spelling bee trophy
May 2016
On Saturday, May 14, 2016, at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael, 49 seventh-, eighth- and ninth- grade students from 26 counties throughout California competed in the 2015-2016 California State Junior High Spelling Bee Championship. Mridini Vijay, Granite Oaks Middle School students won second place! The California State Junior High Spelling Bee Championship was coordinated by the Marin County Office of Education.
Check out the official CA Spelling Bee Press Release!
Rocklin High School Broadcasting Crew Produce a
Series of Videos at Valley View Elementary
Students posing for photo
By Lilia Arnest
Communications and Community Engagement

May 2016
Our RUSD cameras captured our fantastic Rocklin High School broadcast students helping out the District with their tremendous talent! Rocklin High School students Bryson Jones and Cisco Gomez led by their instructor Jeremy Jeffreys, MA Rocklin HS Broadcast Teacher, are producing a series of special videos for Valley View Elementary. They are Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) videos which will be used to teach school and playground rules to the Valley View Students. Staff and kids will appear in the video early next year! We will post the video when it is complete!

student with camera pointed toward playground  Student holding camera
Student with camera pointed at playground  Students with cameras on tripods
Rocklin High School Baseball Head Coach Roc Murray Celebrated
at His Final Home Game
man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone

By Lilia Arnest
Communications/Community Engagement
May 2016
Mixed emotions filled the beautiful sunny day when RUSD staff, Rocklin High students, family and friends came together for his last game and special barbeque to celebrate Coach Murray’s final game after 22 years at Rocklin High School! The “Roc Murray Field” was also packed with baseball alumni and their families. It was a sight to see! All in honor of accomplished and beloved Coach Murray!
man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone  people walking across baseball field
people walking across baseball field  man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone

Some folks spoke of Coach’s amazing talent as a tremendous leader, others shared how Coach Murray influenced them personally. “Roc has been a stalwart in our baseball program since the beginning of Rocklin High School,” said Ryan Spears, Athletic Director of RHS. “Roc has been instrumental in teaching the important life lessons that student athletes learn from their participation in high school sports. His leadership and dedication to the student athletes of Rocklin High School will be truly missed.”
man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone, shaking other mans hand  man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone

“Because of Coach Murray’s dedication to Rocklin High School and our baseball program our players are better people, our school is a better place, and our community is more caring and connected. He has been a driving force in establishing an excellence in education, never giving up on students both on and off the field,” said Davis Stewart, principal of RHS.
man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone  man standing in front of baseball team, speaking into microphone

Coach Murray loves RHS kids and wants everyone to succeed. It was not just about the game, it was all about the kids. “It never really was about baseball,” said Mike Murray, Coach Murray’s son. “My dad has a strong commitment to helping students and his players. Because he is consistent, fair and caring, the players trust him. This trust allows him to have a positive influence. He always makes decisions that are in the best interest of the students above all other things.”
Baseball players at edge of field  baseball players on field
man speaking to child on baseball field  Baseball players at homebase, waiting for pitcher

Juan Batula, teacher at RHS spoke highly of Coach Murray: “Roc, you touch a lot of kids lives, you helped model them by teaching them how to compete not only against an opponent, but themselves. You have a great gift and I am happy that I had the opportunity to be part of your journey. Thank you for helping me become a better teacher, parent and friend. Congratulations Roc!”

All present celebrating agree: Coach Murray is a true success story, a winner in life! It was only fitting The Rocklin Thunder baseball team won the game!
Check out the Placer Herald's feature here:

3 of our Elementary Schools Honored at Recent Board
of Trustee Meeting For Receiving
Gold Ribbon Awards!!!
Board meeting
May 2016
3 RUSD schools were selected to receive the 2016 California Gold Ribbon Schools awards. And the winners are: Rocklin Elementary/Principal Amanda Makis, Sunset Ranch Elementary/Principal James Trimble and Twin Oaks Elementary/Principal Sarah James have been recognized as 2016 California Gold Ribbon Schools!
The three elementary schools will be honored as Gold Ribbon Schools at a regional award ceremony on Wednesday, June 1, where the State Superintendent of Public Instruction presents each school with a 2016 Distinguished School plaque and flag. The events and awards are funded by donations from many of California’s most prominent corporations and statewide educational organizations. Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems. “I am thrilled to be named a Gold Ribbon School! It is a testament to the dedication and hard work the Bulldog staff put in everyday to ensure academic and social excellence for the students. I am so proud of our students and am lucky to have such an amazing and supportive school community," said Amanda Makis, Principal at Rocklin Elementary.
“We are honored by this distinction.  I’m happy to say that everyone on staff, as well as our families and students, work hard to make Twin Oaks a great place to be day in and day out! We have a strong tradition of truly wonderful people and programs focused on developing the whole child. As the first school in Northern California to implement the Leader in Me six years ago, we are continuously amazed by our students’ capacity for learning and leading,” said Sarah James, Principal at Twin Oaks Elementary. “Go Timberwolves!” Nearly 6,000 elementary schools were eligible to apply this year. RUSD Salutes the leaders, staffs and students at all our wonderful schools!

Rocklin HS Annual English Learner Shadow Day and
Celebration Lunch at Rocklin HS A SUCCESS!!
People posing for photo
May 2016
Incoming EL freshmen were given a tour of the school by current RHS EL students and were invited to listen to an inspirational guest speaker by the name of Ixel Morell. The event ended with a celebration of success and awards were given to students who have become proficient in English.  
woman speaking to group of students with balloons

EL Teachers and Aides who organized the event include Laura Sellers, Adrienne Tacla, Christina Ballard, Christina Wilson, Rosa Blancarte Nettle, and Marilyn Brown; and was supported by RHS administrators Davis Stewart, Mark Douglas, counselor Tim Wirth, district personnel Leanne Crutchfield and EL Program Specialist Sarah Soares.  
Man at podium speaking to student

Special thanks to Sarah J. Soares, ELD Program Specialist, CAASPP Coordinator at RUSD for this wonderful information!
Rocklin High School Student Wins
Donate Life Visual Arts Contest!
May 2016
Congratulations to Rocklin High School sophomore, Caleb DeSouza, the 2016 Donate Life Visual Arts High School Contest Winner! The Donate Life contest was open to High Schools in Northern California and Nevada.
Caleb's winning poster:
Balloons. Text reads: "Let your heart fly to another, be an organ and tissue donor today."

Donate Life is a non profit organ, eye and tissue transplant donor network serving nearly 4 million people in Northern California and Nevada. They offer an amazing public education outreach, in which speakers, who are transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, health care professionals, and those waiting for transplants, come to Rocklin HS every year and speak to the students about organ and tissue donation, and the positive impact transplantation has had on their lives. It is a very meaningful and positive program for our students and an important part of our Health curriculum.

If you're interested in learning more about Donate Life or becoming a donor, sign up at
Whitney Signing Day!
people seated
April 2016
On April 20th, 2016 the Whitney Athletic Department recognized eleven student-athletes that will continue on to the collegiate level and participate in athletics. The event featured coaches, parents, siblings, and friends as these student-athletes talked about what they learned from interscholastic sports, why they chose to attend the college they did, along with remarks from the coaching staff about each athlete.
people at table signing papers  student signing document
The eleven student-athletes are:
•    Josh Daniels (football) - Southern Oregon University
•    Megan Hunt (softball) - Williston State College
•    Ashley Hunter (soccer) - Minot State
•    Aidan Malm (baseball) - San Jose State
•    Shelby Miller (softball) - Rider University
•    Madison Mitchell (softball) - St. Lawrence University
•    Alex Muir (soccer) - Corban University
•    Zack Schall (water polo) - Concordia University
•    Jordan Sienkiewicz (cross country) - Point Loma Nazarene
•    Brian Sterri (golf) - Utah Valley University
•    Valerie Van der Linden (volleyball) - Whittier College
Special thanks to Whitney High School Director Of Student Athletics and Assistant Principal Jason Feuerbach for the terrific Information!

people at table giving autographs  man speaking to crowd  people posing for photo
people posing for photo  people posing for photo  man speaking to audience
people at table signing papers  people at table signing papers  people posing for photo
people at table signing papers
RUSD Librarian Receives an Award!
Multiple pictures of people holding awards and smiling at camera
April 2016
RUSD Secondary Librarian, Anne Mangels, was honored as a 2016 “Seeds of Literacy” award recipient, Thursday, April 14, 2016, at a banquet held at Sierra View Country Club in Roseville. The event was sponsored by the Placer Area Reading Council and honored 11 individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of literacy.  

At the event, each honoree was given an award and a special tribute by a fellow staff member. Jay Holmes, Principal of Granite Oaks Middle School, paid tribute to Anne and included some wonderful comments by fellow Granite Oaks Co-Workers.

“Anne inspires students and staff each day by promoting literacy on campus! She makes those incredible bookmarks by genre, and she provides support, resources, and a wealth of knowledge to teachers across RUSD," said Cindy Camillucci, 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher.

“She is so wonderful and truly an inspiration. She is someone who is extremely knowledgeable, helpful and kind. A true asset to our campus. A well-deserved acknowledgement," commented Laura Toretta, Counseling Secretary.

“Thank you Anne, for all the support you give our staff and students. Congratulations!" said Terry Hughes, Library Aide.
Anne was a children’s services librarian for a public library before getting her teaching credential and a classroom teacher for six years before moving to the RUSD. She has been with the RUSD for 22 years, starting as the Elementary Librarian in 1994 and in 1999, moving to her current position as the Secondary Librarian.
For more information on the Placer Area Reading Council, visit

Fantastic students bring together law enforcement,
school officials and Placer County Leaders in a
youth-led press conference highlighting youth
advocacy and prevention of underage drinking!
Placer County Youth Commission
April 2016
It’s a community partnership showing results and amazing students are taking the lead for this life-saving movement!! The youth leaders of the Placer County Youth Commission held a special press conference at Whitney High School to highlight what youth are doing to shift underage drinking norms! These young people are working to change norms, move policies and to educate and engage their communities about steps they can take to lower underage alcohol use. April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Alcohol is a major contributor to teen death and injury, and with new research findings showing how alcohol harms the developing adolescent brain. Recent results from Placer County student surveys indicate that their prevention efforts, paired with those of schools, community, law enforcement and health, are creating significant positive change.       
People posing for photo
Youth representatives of Friday Night Live chapters from Whitney High School and Rocklin High School broadcasting programs, Del Oro High School and the Placer County Youth Commission spoke about their activities, why preventing underage drinking is important to them and their hopes for the future. Efforts include video production, leadership by student athletes, countering social misperceptions, and advocating for social host ordinances that reduce the number-one way teens access alcohol, underage drinking parties. 
people on stairs posing for photo  people seated at presentation
People speaking at podium  People speaking at podium
Special Guests included: Jim Holmes, Placer County Supervisor, Chief Ron Lawrence, Rocklin Police Department; Tammy Moss Chandler, Assistant Director, Placer County Health & Human Services; Shelley Rogers, Director Coalition for Auburn and Lincoln Youth; Christina Ivazes, Director Coalition for Placer Youth, Rocklin, Rocklin Unified School District Superintendent Roger Stock, RUSD Board of Trustees Greg Daley and Susan Halldin.
People speaking at podium  People speaking at podium
People speaking at podium  People speaking at podium
Last fall, PCYC was awarded a grant to support Friday Night Live (FNL) youth leaders in implementing a variety of strategies to combat underage drinking in their communities. The grant is provided through the California Friday Night Live Partnership, with funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. PCYC reached out to high school FNL clubs to support projects that would actively engage their peers, family members and community members in reducing underage drinking and the health and social problems that result from the behavior.
People speaking at podium  People speaking at podium
People speaking at podium  People speaking at podium
Students in FNL chapters at Whitney and Rocklin High Schools are creating underage drinking focused videos that target both students and parents.

For more information:
Placer County Youth Commission
11716 Enterprise Dr., Auburn, CA 95603
Phone: (530) 886-2811
Fax: (530) 889-6735

April 2016 Strikeout Cancer Game A Win for All!
Thanks Coach Dorchak!
Athletes posing for photo  Baseball game
By Diana Capra
Communications and Community Engagement
April 2016
The stage was set for what looked like a normal April baseball game. A sunny day on the diamond at Whitney High School! Whitney High School was slated to play Ponderosa High School but it was no ordinary game! In fact, you might call it extra-ordinary. Whitney HS Coach Rob Dorchak organizes this special tribute game for students to play in honor of someone in their lives battling cancer. The first pitch was symbolic and very special for those who participated. “When Coach Dorchak asked me to throw the first pitch in honor of my best friend Kimm Dekker who passed away in June 2015 it was such an honor to represent her. She loved sports, the staff and especially the students at WHS," said longtime RUSD employee Stacy Velasquez.
Baseball game  people in baseball field

Mr. Wildberger will be throwing one out for his son Trevor and the Ponderosa coach will have his father throw a pitch in honor of his mom. The head coach at Ponderosa is a Rocklin High Grad and the Petersons still reside in Rocklin. Ponderosa head baseball coach, Ben Peterson, is a Rocklin Alumni who recently had his mom pass away from cancer. “The kids on both teams will be wearing special shirts for the game and will be wearing a dog tag in honor of someone who has fought or is continuing to fight cancer," said Coach Dorchak.   
  Baseball game  Baseball game

“Coach Dorchak’s dedication to this program is outstanding. He provides this annual opportunity to let his student-athletes give back to the community through his baseball program and the response from everyone is overwhelming! The idea of giving people the chance to throw out the first pitch to honor their loved ones is wonderful. I get many positive comments when I wear my strikeout for cancer shirt in the community," said RUSD Superintendent Roger Stock.
  baseball game  baseball game 

Another RUSD tradition making a real difference!

RUSD Board of Trustee President Congratulates
Our Co-Champion Spelling Bee Superstars!
students holding spelling bee award
By Diana Capra
Communications and Community Engagement
April 2016
Valley View Elementary 6th grader Jasleen Bal and Granite Oaks Middle School 8th grader were recognized for their co-champion win at a special recognition event and RUSD Board President Greg Daley attended to show his support!  

The twenty-eighth Annual Placer County Spelling Bee. The Spelling Bee was held on Thursday, March 10th at the PCOE Seavey Center in Rocklin.  And it was exciting!  Over 250 students in grades four through eight competed in the Placer County written examination in January, with the top 10 scores moving on the Oral Finals on March 10th. Alan Shuttleworth, Professor of English at Sierra College and retired Placer County District Superintendent, once again served as the “Voice of the Spelling Bee”.  Professor Shuttleworth pronounced the words that the students had to spell correctly.

A new winner was crowned in each grade level throughout the day, starting with fourth grade, and ending with eighth grade. After the winners from each grade level were determined, those five individuals then competed in the Grand Finals at the end of the day to determine who will go on to represent Placer County in the State Spelling Bees.

For the first time in the history of the Spelling Bee, there was a tie in the Grand Finals. After battling each other neck and neck for nearly 60 words, sixth grader Jasleen Bal from Valley View Elementary School in Rocklin and eighth grader Mridini Vijay from Granite Oaks Middle School in Rocklin were declared the co-champions. Jasleen, as well as 5th grade champion, Abhinav Sharma, will now go on to represent Placer County at the California State Elementary Spelling Bee on April 23, 2016 at the San Joaquin County Office of Education. Mridini, as well as the 7th grade champion, Melody Gill, will go on to represent Placer County in the California State Jr. High Spelling Bee on May 14, 2016 at the Marin County Office of Education.

“I still can’t believe that for the first time in the 28-year history of the Placer County Spelling Bee, we had a tie in our Grand Finals. However, after battling over 60 words one-on-one, it was the right thing to do. Both young ladies had more than earned the title of champion. They were incredible,” said Kindra Amalong, Placer County Spelling Bee Coordinator.

Congrats to all our super spellers!

Update: 'We won! Thanks to everybody who helped us!'
Breen Elementary Schools Garden
  Breen Elementary School Students attending to the garden  Breen Elementary School students planing in the garden
By Diana Capra
Communications and Community Engagement
April 2016
Breen Elementary is in the running-we need your help! Breen Elementary has a chance to win a garden makeover courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats and Green Acres Nursery. 
All you have to do to help us be chosen is go to the following link and "Like" Bobcats.  It’s so easy! The contest runs through this Friday.  There were only 3 schools picked as finalists!  Breen Mom Kim Dace entered the contest, beating out many other schools throughout Northern California! “When I submitted the entry, I wrote about "how important a school garden was. It wasn't about just planting and picking, but rather nurturing and taking care of something and watching it grow and thrive.  It's about trial and error and really about being patient and helping.  These concepts can be applied to more than just a garden, but to the lessons in life," Dace said! Wow! One Mom made a difference with those heartfelt words and now you can help Breen bring home the win…and a new garden!  
School grown carrots in a pail    Cherry tomatoes in a pocket
Please pass the word to neighbors, family, and friends! We thank you for your support! Our kids especially appreciate your help!!!
Check out these terrific kids and Moms volunteering at the Breen Garden!  Popular Morning TV show, Good Day showed, all 3 School finalists on the show today! PTC Volunteer and Mom Krista Sender did a fantastic job describing how important our Breen’s garden is.
Students and teachers in the garden  Students tending to Breen Elementary Schools Garden
A news report about Breen Elementary Schools Garden  News report of Breen Elementary Schools Garden
Students in Breen Elementary Schools Garden  Students tending to Breen Elementary Schools Garden
Check it out here and then vote at link below!
PTC/Booster Club Presidents Meeting at the
Studio Movie Grill!
People seated at restaurant
By Lilia Arnest
Communications and Community Engagement
April 2016
Thank you Studio Movie Grill for hosting our PTC/Booster Club President meeting and for donating lunch! The food was delicious!
Chicken Salad  Woman speaking  while People are being served at restaurant
The Rocklin Studio Movie Grill hosted our last 2015-16 PTC/Booster Club President meeting! Adam Kennedy, General Manager of the Studio Movie Grill in Rocklin, and his staff served us an amazingly delicious lunch! The Studio Movie Grill is a great supporter of our Special Needs students. They provide free Special Needs screenings for children with special needs and their siblings. Special needs screenings run with the lights up and the sound down so the children are free to laugh, play, sing and even dance while they watch movies. Their next Special Needs screening is scheduled for April 23, 2016. Please check out their website for more information:
 Woman speaking to People seated at restaurant  People seated at restaurant
Guest speaker Karen Garner, Director of Recreation, Arts, and Event Tourism Department at the City of Rocklin, gave an insightful look into the City and upcoming developments. She along with  RHS Mom/President Diana Ruslin who also wears a Rocklin City Councilmember hat both answered many interesting questions from our hardworking group of parents! Roger Stock, RUSD Superintendent, thanked the group for making our schools great enhancing our already fantastic programs with their dedication, fundraising and special programs making our kids’ educational experience a memorable one!
Woman speaking to people in restaurant  People seated at restaurant

Thanks to all PTC/Booster Club Presidents for your dedication and hard work! You make a difference!

Monica Barnes, Antelope Creek Elementary School
Christi Jones, Breen Elementary School
Brie Amos, Cobblestone Elementary School
Holly Bray, Parker Whitney Elementary School
Krista Salerno, Rock Creek Elementary School
Laura Vaca Davila, Rocklin Elementary School
Andy VandenAkker, Ruhkala Elementary School
Jamie Wuerthner, Sierra Elementary School
Kate Apostoli, Sunset Ranch Elementary School
Janet Ligas, Sunset Ranch Elementary School
Amy Luiz, Twin Oaks Elementary School
Megan Klippel, Twin Oaks Elementary School
Patty Clark, Valley View Elementary School
Tammi Bezanson, Granite Oaks Middle School
Jamie Sears, Spring View Middle School
Diana Ruslin, PTC Presidents and Council Member, Rocklin High School
Kelli Remington, Whitney High School

Kinder's Learn by Rockin' Out and Making Monsters
at Cobblestone Elementary!
Students sitting in a circle with a teacher in the middle
by Lilia Arnest
Communications and Community Engagement
March, 2016
If you walked into one of our Kindergarten classrooms you might be surprised! Our Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) Kindergarten programs get high scores for going above and beyond the typical classroom environment! Our programs offer a variety of options including Physical Education, Science and Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA). So you might be asking - 'how do you keep little ones engaged for many hours?' How about letting them sign loud and proud or even give them the tools and guidance to make fun monster blobs! Cobblestone Elementary School's VAPA program has found a way to discover and to develop talents in our youngest students in a meaningful and fun way!!! Linda Donohue, our VAPA teacher, puts her heart and soul into educating little boys and girls through crafts, reading stories, singing and dancing! She teachers essential life skills and provides valuable learning through teamwork, arts, crafts, dancing, and singing!
2 Students working on an art project  Students working on an art project with a teacher over looking them
Students working on an art project  4 Students working on an art project
"We are so fortunate to offer our kindergartners specialized Visual and Performing Arts instruction as part of their full day program! The benefits for children as part of a balanced educational program are immeasurable. Our teachers see that the art, music and dance students experience not only contributes to well rounded students but affords children with strengths in these areas the opportunity to shine! I don't know of any other district that is able to offer this to kindergartners the way we do! Our students cheer when they find out it is a VAPA day and love singing songs, and 'doing fun art stuff'!" said Kathy Goddard, Principal at Cobblestone Elementary School.
4 Students working on an art project  Students working on an art project
RUSD believes in the importance of a well rounded education focused on personal development as well as academics. VAPA is one way we continue to build well-rounded individuals. Visual arts in our TK/K programs are actually a part of the basic curriculum. Students have many opportunities to discover and to develop their talents. This is one of the reasons why our district is continually recognized as one of the most outstanding school districts in California and the United States! This year kindergarten students will also be attending full-day kindergarten classes district wide! Your child will benefit from many programs such as VAPA to enhance their learning, including art, musical, and physical education. We are #rusdPROUD of our well experienced, enthusiastic teachers who support and encourage our wonderful young learners!
A Student working on an art project  2 Students working on an art project

Every 15 Minutes: Learning to Prevent a Tragedy
An Emotion Filled Event at Rocklin High School
By Lilia Arnest
Communications and Community Engagement
March, 2016
Rocklin High School held its annual two-day Every 15 Minutes assembly. The students were exposed to the dangers and potentially fatal consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol. This wasn’t any ordinary assembly.  It was a dramatic, heart-wrenching presentation. An emotionally charged program. Many students had tears streaming down their faces.  
Crashed car surrounded by, students  students watching as firefighters transfer body to stretcher
“Our Every 15 Minutes program allows an opportunity for our students to understand a realistic and real nature of the impact of drinking and driving has on their friends and their families, “ said Jill Meshwert, EFM coordinator and an assistant principal at Rocklin High School.  “We hope that our students reflect and process through this day and are able to take and encourage their friends and others that they know to make the right decisions as they will forward in life.”
Police car with students in background  life flight helicopter

The nationally recognized program involved students portraying accident victims and drunk drivers. Every 15 Minutes challenged students to think about the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.   “It has a really big impact on our students because everyone comes together within the community to do a really good job and make it as realistic as possible and it’s people we can relate to… it’s all around us. People need to make smart decisions. It affects us in different types of way. Everyone did a really good job.” – said Logan Bik, Rocklin High School student.
People in black next to casket  students watching presentation

“This two-day event would not be possible without a collaborative effort by our RHS team, California Highway Patrol, Rocklin Police and Fire departments, Placer County Sherriff’s Department, Sutter Roseville Memorial Hospital, Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel and our student/parent participants. We are grateful that these agencies, people, parents, and students have given their time to make this impactful event a learning experience for our school community”, said David Stewart, Principal of Rocklin High School.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the moving Every 15 Minutes program possible and absolutely amazing!

Video produced by Rocklin High School Broadcast students under the direction of Instructor Jeremy Jeffries, MA.

Video produced by Rocklin High School Broadcast students under the direction of Instructor Jeremy Jeffries, MA. iconVideo produced by Rocklin High School Broadcast students under the direction of Instructor Jeremy Jeffries, MA.title


Whitney High School Future Business Leaders!

people posing for group photo 
February, 2016
The Whitney High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) attended the Northern Section Leadership Conference at Williams High School on February 6th, 2016.  Whitney High was able to send seven competitors and representatives to enhance their business education and reinforce curriculum and aspirations to pursue further business undertakings and degrees.  Six of the mature and professional Whitney students earned tickets to the State Leadership Conference in Ontario, CA in April.   The students qualified in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, and Management Decision Making.  Whitney will also have competitors enter at the State level in Emerging Business Ideas, Business Ethics, and Desktop Application Publishing. Students placed in their events in team and individual competitions.  The next round will have presentations, competitions, and tests to hopefully earn a place at nationals.  

"Our chapter hopes to grow in subsequent years, and open chapters at the middle school level to better prepare our youth for their future business endeavors. I am extremely proud of our students and the effort, professionalism, and dedication they are demonstrating.  It speaks volumes about the education and experiences they have received at Rocklin Unified School District," said Brian M. Pointer, Whitney High School Accounting and Mathematics teacher and faculty advisor to FBLA.


Three RUSD Win Top Teacher Honors!
February, 2016
And the winners of the 2016-2017 Placer County Teacher of the Year awards go to…..Michelle Hutton, a 6th grade teacher at Rock Creek Elementary School, Justin Thayer, 7th grade Science at Granite Oaks Middle School and Scott Collins, 10th grade AP World History/12th grade Economics and Government teacher at Whitney High School! The three are being recognized for their many outstanding qualities. Winners of this award are those who have gained the respect and admiration of students, parents and co-workers. They play an active role in their communities as well as their schools, often distinguishing themselves as leaders.
Aside from the ways Michelle, Justin and  Scott have gone above and beyond on so many fronts ranging from being involved in the District’s RETT (Rocklin Educational Technology Team) committee to both being lifelong learners when it comes to professional development, these teachers were all praised in the award nomination process for their motivational personalities, encouraging and inspiring both students and staff daily.
People posing for photo around table
Michelle exemplifies the essence of an outstanding educator. She was hired in the Rocklin Unified School District in 2005 as a 4th grade teacher. She became an instructional leader not only at her grade level , site level but also at the District level. Michelle is involved in our Leader in Me program as an advisor to student leadership and is instrumental in Rock Creek obtaining Light House status which is the highest recognition by the Stephen Covey organization. She has conducted service learning projects with Blackberry Creek Animal Farm Sanctuary with Rock Creek Elementary and our community. She has also contributed to making lasting memories for her students every year at the Sly Park Science Park.
Students standing in courtyard man clapping next to man Students standing in courtyard
Justin goes above and beyond as a Granite Oaks Middle School Science Teacher! He started the garden program at the school and uses it to teach all sorts of curriculum even involving families as well as staff who get to take part in this fantastic program! Justin is always reinventing, re-tooling and looking for new opportunities regarding science related enrichment activities with his students!
People posing for photo at front of classroom Man pointing at crowd while crowd claps
Scott came to us highly recommended from a district in Southern California. He was willing to attend AP World training immediately upon hire. He now is instrumental in moving Whitney’s solid AP World program forward and it continues to thrive. Scott has already established himself as a respected teacher and supporter of students. He creatively engages in the classroom and outside the classroom. He also goes above and beyond at rallies by putting himself on the ‘floor’ for the students.

The judging process is quite elaborate. Once an RUSD committee nominates our choice in categories K-8 and 9-12, the PCOE brings a selection committee that consists of retired administrators and the Community Affairs Director to do an actual site visit to see the teacher in action. This committee also does a 30-minute interview with the teacher to get to know them and talk about what they saw during the site visit. The PCOE selection committee then chooses one teacher in each category as the winner. One of our teachers will represent Placer County in the state competition.

RUSD Cabinet members, site leaders and Superintendent Roger Stock surprised each teacher in t heir classroom to give them the news they won Teacher of the Year! Their students also were able to share in the excitement. Michelle, Justin and Scott will also be honored at a Board of Trustee meeting with recognition and at an event hosted by the PCOE this spring. Congrats Michelle, Justin and Scott for being terrific RUSD Success Stories!


 2016 First PTC President/Booster Club Meeting Sparks

Ideas, Concerns and Suggestions!

By Diana Capra, RUSD Director-Communications and Community Engagement


Group posing for photo

January, 2016
We held our first PTC / Booster Club President meeting for 2016 and first, let me shout out a big THANK YOU to the dedicated parents and families who volunteer to make our schools great!  Fundraisers like movie nights, special dances and science labs not only enrich our student’s learning environment, the money raised helps our schools continue to provide the best education experience possible for our kids! Wow-what a powerful, dedicated group!!  I have been on the job now almost 3 months and met some amazing families. The purpose of this first meeting was to get to know all the leaders of our terrific Parent/Teacher groups and get some feedback and suggestions. Our LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan) Program Specialist Melanie Patterson  spoke to the group about the tremendous value our family’s input is to RUSD. RUSD Mom and founder of School Apptitude, Carin Lane, also made a presentation about the service she offers. Many of our PTC groups have already been able to raise funds by using Lane’s App.

Woman speaking to people in restaurant Woman speaking to people seated at restaraunt
Two wonderful community minded businesses made the lunch special: The Window Box Café in Rocklin donated the delicious meal for our hardworking group and Shiseido Cosmetics (Macy’s Roseville Galleria) also donated some keepsake products for our attendees. Next meeting will be at Studio Movie Grill who also agreed to donate to our hard working parent group!  Check out this link to their wonderful Special Needs Screenings they provide for local families!

Woman seated behind box Woman speaking to people in restaurant

Be sure to check this section often for RUSD success stories and links to news coverage we have been getting because of our terrific families, staffs and, of course, outstanding students!

 Journalism Hall of Fame
December, 2015
In 2015 thirteen of our students from Whitney High School attended National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Group photo while holding award 
They collaborated with students from Virginia and Minnesota in a team storytelling event to report live from Walt Disney World. Within a span of just a few hours, this group of 49 students wrote, photographed and shot video with students they had just met, working in teams of 5-6, and they produced more than 20 different story packages online ( and then, the next day, did a “show and tell” session of the digital media they produced in order to critique and reflect on the experience. It was a great way to practice their journalism skills outside our normal atmosphere.

At the convention, the Whitney High School yearbook, Details, was inducted to the National Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame for 10 consecutive years of All-American ratings in national contest/critique.

In Best of Show competition, with 6,100+ students attending the conference, Details yearbook won Third Place and The Roar news-magazine won Seventh Place.

Individually, theses students competed on site and placed in National Write-off Contests:

-    Sierra Young: Honorable Mention, Newswriting
-    Karrah Codero: Superior, Yearbook Theme Design
-    Abigail Hammond: Honorable Mention, Yearbook Layout
-    Jocelyn Hanks: Excellent, Yearbook Photography
-    Kacie Nicholson: Honorable Mention, Theme Photography
-    Missie Caracut: Honorable Mention, Newsmagazine Layout
-    Rachel Marquardt: Excellent, Review Writing

And probably the best part was that three of our editors were selected to present an instructional session on the program. They taught a 50-minute class called “5 Ways to Boost your Media Program” and were articulate, professional and brilliant in the ideas they shared in the presentation to other convention attendees. They spent the past few weeks putting together the slideshow presentation, visual examples and takeaways to share with peers from all around the country. Their session was packed, and kids stood in a long line afterward to meet them and ask follow-up questions. The student presenters were Olivia Grahl, Sarah Martinez and Jocelyn Hanks.
Congratulations WHS students for your excellence in Whitney High Student Media and for this awesome recognition!

We appreciate your support, especially in terms of conducting photo shoots and interviews to tell the important stories at Whitney High School.
CA-954 Air Force Junior ROTC Team Takes Championship Trophy
Group photo of 2015 titan drill meet champions 
November 2015
The CA-954 Air Force Junior ROTC program continued its unparalleled success in drill competitions as the team took home the Championship Trophy for Overall First Place at the 2015 TITAN Invitational Drill Meet on Saturday, Nov 7 at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento. This year’s team is represented by 38 cadets, 32 of which are Whitney High School (WHS) students and 6 Rocklin High School (RHS) students. The team captured eight First Place trophies and two Second Place trophies. The Unarmed Drill Team led by Cadet Captains Jack Scaglione and Jazmyne Metzler amazed the spectators as the team took First Place in all three of their  categories (Inspection, Standard Drill and Exhibition Drill). Cadet Kyle Rhoades  (WHS) took home First Place in the Individual Unarmed Drill Down event having competed against 100 other cadets from around the state. Connor Rainey (RHS) and Collin Santos (RHS) finished 4th and 5th in the Individual Armed Drill Down.  

The team is now preparing for the Rio Linda Drill Meet scheduled for Jan 23, 2016. We will use it as a stepping stone for the Northern California (NORCAL) Invitational Drill Meet Championships in April where we hope to repeat for the fifth straight year.