EFO Logo (as of 2011)

Funding Excellence 
 in Education

December 2017
Celebrating highlights of EFO-funded programs and
 a proud history of community-supported public education!
In this issue: Arts at Del Rey and Wagner Ranch; Yearbook at OIS; Advanced Placement and Drama at Miramonte.
Inspiring creativity and a passion for art
Long-time OUSD teacher Dave Wilson (at right) assumed a new position this school year as Art Teacher at Del Rey and Wagner Ranch elementary schools, and he's been earning rave reviews from day one! "Art class with Mr. Wilson is a great start of my week", shared student Abby Coleman.
After studying art, Mr. Wilson pursued a professional artist career (primarily working with acrylics) for fifteen years, supplementing these efforts with carpentry work. Later on, a passion for teaching brought him both career stability and the opportunity to combine his love for art and teaching into one profession. Says Mr. Wilson, "This is the perfect position for me, and I am very grateful to have a way to work my love of art more entirely into my teaching."      
On the day EFO visited his fifth grade Wagner Ranch classroom, Mr. Wilson was teaching a class on Andy Warhol, specifically a study on the techniques used in Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Can". Students were instructed to sketch their own reproductions of this iconic piece, and Mr. Wilson circulated through the classroom offering both encouragement and technique coaching. His personable and humorous style resonate well with students as does the freedom he allows students to explore projects. 
"I love the freedom he gives us to work with different colors and sizes."   ~ Grace Wood
"Mr. Wilson is very funny and keeps us interested in what he is teaching."  ~ Logan Hagendoorn
Mr. Wilson's personal and creative approach has made him a favorite with Del Rey and Wagner Ranch students. He motivates students to learn about various artists and techniques, and he inspires a genuine love for art! 
EFO is proud to support t he arts program at all Orinda elementary schools, and we are so pleased to welcome Dave Wilson to his new role this school year!
Sleepy Hollow and Wagner families!
Save the Date!
"Grandparents & Special Friends Day"
March 23rd, 2018
Stay tuned for details & registration information. 
  Want to learn more about what EFO funds? 
Watch this video ( click here) and hear first-hand from parents, teachers and administrators about the value added from EFO-funded programs across all levels of education in Orinda.
EFO benefits every Orinda student every day!

We invite you to help EFO meet its $1,635,000 pledge for the 2017-2018 school year by making a donation today (click here).

Thank you for your generous support!
Student run yearbook publication earns high marks and awards
Yearbooks tell a story and capture moments in time, connecting an entire school community and lasting as an important school tradition. Students are always excited to page through the book, find themselves and their friends, and spend hours on those last school days signing friends' books. And, let's admit it, who among us parents doesn't admit to having a little bit of fun when our old yearbooks get dusted off the shelves and transport us back in time!  
Veteran teacher Susan Weiss has taught the popular yearbook elective at OIS since 1992, guiding industrious and creative teams of seventh and eighth-grade students on all aspects involved with yearbook publication. The class exposes students to journalistic writing techniques and standards, desktop publishing and advanced design principles. In addition, it reinforces important concepts of teamwork, project management and attention to detail. The ultimate goal is the publication of a yearbook that endures as a lasting memory of their time at OIS.  

"Yearbook is not a typical class. It's a job. Students learn more than design and photography. They learn how to work together, to be inclusive and respectful, and to stay on task and meet deadlines."    ~ OIS Teacher Susan Weiss 
Student editors, Willie Hodder and Maddy Jones, have been hard at work since the summer months, creating a theme and overall layout for this year's book, and building teamwork and camaraderie among the other twenty-two students. 
"I like yearbook and being an editor because I get to express my ideas through design." ~ Maddy Jones, co-editor
"Yearbook allows me to be creative in a fun environment. I love the artful part of taking pictures.  Also, all of the students and Ms. Weiss are wonderful."  ~ Willie Hodder, co-editor 
Thanks to funding from EFO and OIS Parents Club, OIS yearbook students enjoy incredible instruction and resources. Every student has access to their own station for layouts, editing and design. And, time and time again, their results are award winning with OIS yearbooks earning coveted Crown Awards from Columbia Press Association and Pacemaker Awards from National Scholastic Press Association.  
Bravo to all, and a huge thank you to Susan Weiss for her dedicated leadership and artistic direction over many years and publications. We can't wait to see this year's edition!
Don't forget! EFO and Parents' Clubs work together to provide the excellent educational experience that benefits ALL students attending Orinda public schools.
EFO at Miramonte: Every student benefits no matter what they choose to study  
Historically, EFO contributions at Miramonte High School were concentrated in Visual and Performing Arts, but today, EFO supports an incredibly diverse array of academic and artistic curriculum that contribute to the rigor and richness of a Miramonte education.
With an offering of twenty-six Advanced Placement classes, Miramonte students have ample opportunities to learn at a college level, offering in-depth exposure in a wide range of fields and preparing them for higher coursework in college. Together with Miramonte Parents Club, EFO proudly provides support and supplies for many of these enriching and creative courses.

One such example is AP Computer Science taught by Barry McQuain (below) who joined veteran Computer Science teachers Cynthia Boyko and Riki Sorenson last year, bringing his years of experience and enthusiasm to Miramonte's growing program. Miramonte students gain a solid foundation and advanced training in computer languages, such as  Python, Java and SQL. McQuain is dedicated to teaching advanced-level yet practical information to students to prepare them for the ever-evolving job market. To this end, he often invites industry professionals to Miramonte to speak with students about career possibilities.
Mr. McQuain also teaches Architecture, a class which combines elements of history, art and computer design. When he's not in the classroom, Mr. McQuain enjoys mentoring the EECS club, and he can often be found before and after school using the 3-D printer alongside students.
As a counterbalance to the world of technology and computer science, Miramonte students can also pursue creative expression thanks to EFO funded programs in drama, art and music. Earlier this year, students enrolled in Drama 1 explored the art of storytelling and participated in a tradition that teacher Heather Cousins began in her first year teaching at Miramonte in 1999.

The story-telling project culminates in a children's theater performance at Del Rey Elementary School. Miramonte students adapt children's literature and bring these stories to life on stage. They write scripts and songs, and include volunteers from the kindergarten and first grade audiences to participate in their skits. It is difficult to say which age group enjoys this afternoon more, but if the smiles and enthusiastic high fives offer any clue, it's a safe bet to say it's a highlight for all.

"There is so much reciprocity with this project. Del Rey kids look up to the older Miramonte students and imagine themselves here one day. Many of them do end up taking Drama, and vividly remember our visit as one of their very first exposures to theater."     ~ Heather Cousins, Drama teacher
An easy way to give back this holiday season! 
Shop online and earn dollars for Orinda schools with AmazonSmile ( click here for more information). Please select "Education Foundation of Orinda" or your local Parents' Club as your charity of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of eligible purchases to Orinda public schools. You shop. Amazon Gives.
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