NUSD Spotlight
Community Newsletter
 -- Nov. 13,  2017  

Hope you enjoy this edition of "NUSD Spotlight," the district's community newsletter. Contact Director of Communications Jim Sanders, 561-5267, if you have comments, concerns or story suggestions. Thank you for your support of Natomas schools.
STUDENT SPOTLIGHT -- Monique Peterson
Energetic Inderkum High senior
is standout  student, leader & golfer

Monique Peterson is an honor roll student, a two-time conference Most Valuable Player in golf, and president of Inderkum High School's Friday Night Live Club, which has won top countywide honors four years in a row and recently was named California "Chapter of the Year." 

Monique recently signed a scholarship to continue her golf career at Eastern Illinois University which, she is quick to point out, is where former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo attended college. Monique, a senior, also participates in Inderkum's Link Crew mentoring program to assist freshmen, and she's a member of the Athlete Committed program, designed to encourage top performance through healthy lifestyle choices. She wants to be a pro golfer or FBI detective someday.  Read more about her below.
Tigers Monique Peterson,
Jewel Unga and Crizelle Cheng 
earn college scholarships 
Dreams came true last week for Tiger athletes Monique Peterson, Crizelle Cheng and Jewel Unga --- all three signed college letters of intent and received athletic scholarships. The trio were applauded by relatives, friends and Inderkum High School classmates at campus signing ceremonies Nov. 8. Peterson will continue her golfing career at Eastern Illinois University, while softball players Unga and Cheng will take their games to Mississippi Valley State and Kentucky State next year. Read more here.
Monique Peterson & FNL: Committed to teen safety 
By Kristi Matal 

In urging classmates not to drink and drive, Monique Peterson can share a frightening personal experience.

Peterson, now president of Inderkum High School's Friday Night Live (FNL) Club, was a passenger in a car driven by an intoxicated family member when she was in the 7th grade.

"I was very scared, but I didn't know too much because I wasn't informed about the consequences of distracted driving," Monique said. Sharing that experience is important, she says, and other teens have been impacted by it.

Monique's story has a happy ending - the family member is sober now and no longer drinks and drives.

Years later, Monique is instrumental these days in warning high school classmates about the dangers of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, vaping, and distracted driving. She is a veteran leader and three-year member of Inderkum's FNL Club, which has won county honors for four straight years and recently was named California's "Chapter of the Year." Read more here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Length of a newsletter can cause stories at the bottom to be clipped from display. If that happens, click "View Entire Message" prompt at the bottom of this page. Thanks!
Paso Verde becomes first district-operated
 school to offer 'walking bus' every day 
Expands traditional weekly program

Paso Verde School this year became the first district-operated school to offer a "walking school bus" every day of the week as a way for students to get to school without riding in vehicles.
The Pumas' walking bus is offered through the PTA and North Natomas Transportation Management Association. Students can earn charms and "boot bucks" redeemable for prizes through the program, which escorts students to school from two gathering spots -- the Westlake Clubhouse and Del Paso/El Centro roads.
Weekly walk, bike or scoot to school programs at North Natomas schools have been spearheaded by NNTMA for years. Paso Verde's daily program has attracted about 40 percent of its K-5 student body. A "walking bus" is a great way for students to get a little exercise, make new friends, socialize with classmates, and learn about the environmental benefits of walking -- or biking -- to class.
NUSD announces 'Managers of the Year'
NMS leader caught by surprise 

NUSD's new Certificated Manager of the Year is -- drum roll, please -- Shea Borges! 

Supt. Chris Evans surprised the Natomas Middle School principal with the good news and a bouquet of flowers Nov. 6 at a regularly scheduled meeting of all district principals. Here's how it happened ...

Congrats, Barbara Schiffner!

Less than two years after Barbara Schiffner began working for Natomas Unified, she was named its Classified Manager of the Year last Monday, Nov. 6.  Here's Supt. Chris Evans making the announcement and presenting the district's Director of Information Technology with a bouquet of flowers. 
 Thanksgiving helpers
 Natomas High students & staff donate hundreds
 of food items to Joey's Food Locker: Can you help?
More than 450 cans of food have been donated by Natomas High students and staff to Joey's Food Locker in a Thanksgiving drive launched by Nighthawk leadership students. The campaign continues this week to assist the community food closet located on campus.

Meanwhile, Joey's Food Locker is reaching out to families throughout Natomas for donations of canned goods and non-perishable items to help families in need this holiday season. Particularly sought are foods commonly found at Thanksgiving meals, such as stuffing, beans and corn.

Donations can be brought to any NUSD school or to the Ed Center, 1901 Arena Blvd. For more information, call Jim Sanders at 561-5267.

Joey's Food Locker, operated by special-needs students in the Adult Transition Program at Natomas High, will distribute holiday groceries to needy families - including 300 turkeys donated by a West Sacramento Walmart -- from 4-5:30 Friday (Nov. 17) at the locker, located near Natomas High's tennis courts at 3301 Fong Ranch Rd.
  Success stories: Here's how we did it, Nighthawks 
Raj Preet & Bertram Pinsky 
share their career insights

(One in a series of stories looking at ways in which NUSD strives to prepare students to be college and career ready, starting in early grades.)

Raj Preet is a success story now, six-figure income, flashy car, owner of a Natomas auto shop - but years ago, he was just like the Natomas High School students he spoke to this month, a Nighthawk student himself, uncertain about his future.

Bertram Pinsky had a different career, different path, and different story to tell today: He was a longtime engineer who went back to school to become a teacher in his 50s. He recently was hired as lead Engineering teacher at Natomas High.

"Don't let anybody ever kid you that you can't 
succeed at whatever you want to do," Pinsky 
told the students.

Preet and Pinsky were featured speakers Nov. 2 in a college and career presentation, the second in a series, designed to inspire 
students by letting them meet, hear, and ask questions of working professionals in various fields.

Similar career speaker opportunities will be presented to all 3rd-grade students this year as part of NUSD's strategic push -- part of "The Next 5" district blueprint -- to continue preparing all students for college and career, beginning in elementary  school.

At the Natomas High event,  Preet talked to students about his own career path: He attended American River College, honed his auto repair skills there, failed at his first business venture with his father, then parlayed hard work and strong customer word of mouth into six-figure success as owner of One Stop Smog & Auto Repair in Natomas. He recently opened a second business in the Rio Linda area.

After the hour-long session, students gave the presentations thumbs up.

"It showed me that you have to keep pushing, no matter what gets in your way," said Sergio, 17.

"I really want to start my own business now," said Nyjah, 16.    Read more here .
November means playoff time
for Natomas Unified sports teams  

Besides Thanksgiving, November is the time for Sac-Joaquin Section sports playoffs - and Natomas Unified has been well represented this year.

Inderkum and Natomas High both made the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs in football, and Leroy Greene Academy qualified in ladies volleyball.

The Tigers beat Vintage High of Napa in their first playoff battle, 35-24, and will square off against Del Oro High on Friday (Nov. 17). Inderkum, undefeated this year, is ranked among the region's best and has outscored opponents 553-128.

Natomas High, under new Coach Don DeRosa, qualified for the section football tourney for the first time in three years on the strength of a 6-4 record. The Nighthawks were beaten by Placer High in the playoffs, 53-6, but they've set a good foundation to build on.

In the first round of section playoffs, Leroy Greene's ladies volleyball team defeated Buckingham Charter School of Vacaville in a five-set nail-biter, winning the final set in dramatic fashion, 16-14. The Lions subsequently lost to Capital Christian, ending the year with an overall record of 11-9.

Congratulations also to NUSD students who qualified for and ran this month in the Sac-Joaquin Section cross country meet. One Inderkum runner, Caitlyn Butler, qualified for the state meet in Fresno Nov. 25. Truly, our sports fans have a lot to be thankful for this year.
A student field trip that comes to you?
Art Ark offers hands-on learning

Think of it as a field trip that comes to you! The Crocker Art Museum's Art Ark recently ended a two-week stay at Heron School, where students got to enjoy everything from oil paintings and art reproductions to an animal habitat exhibit, a color wheel, and microscopes for viewing fish scales and owl feathers.  

The wide-ranging exhibit, titled  "COLOR! in Art, Science and Nature," is housed in a giant mobile "classroom" and features original art work, professional art educators, and hands-on learning based on state content standards. City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby toured the Ark with Heron students Nov. 8.

 The traveling art exhibit complemented Heron's STEAM focus -- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
Student & Parent Opportunities   
Want to earn $150-185 a day as substitute teacher?
NUSD recently began paying $150 a day, the highest daily rate in the Sacramento area, to attract exemplary substitute teachers or qualified college graduates who can make a difference in young students' lives by leading classrooms part-time.

Long-term substitutes or retired NUSD teachers who return part-time will earn $185 a day.

Substitute teachers can obtain practical experience while maintaining flexible schedules and short-term commitments.

To be eligible, you must have a valid teaching credential or be a college graduate who passes a basic proficiency test - known as CBEST - covering reading, mathematics and writing. To apply or for more information, call (916) 561-5299 or click here.
Reminder: Volunteers Sought for School Bond Oversight 
WANTED: Volunteers for an important community service that does not require a substantial time commitment.

NUSD is seeking district residents to serve on a Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee that reviews and reports on spending tied to voter-approved school bonds. This direct oversight by taxpayers is vital because it ensures that bond funds are spent properly, for purposes intended by voters on projects approved by the Board of Trustees.

Vacancies exist on both NUSD's Measure J and Measure D oversight panels. Applicants of all kinds are welcome, but certain seats are designated, so a senior citizen member, a member of the business community, and a parent who is active in PTA/PTSA or a school site council are particularly sought.

Committee meetings are held quarterly at NUSD's Ed Center, 1901 Arena Blvd. Members serve two-year terms. District vendors, contractors and consultants are ineligible. Applicants must be adults living within NUSD boundaries who do not work for the district and are not related to someone who does. For more information, click here. To apply, call (916) 473-0040.
Deadline Nov. 15! North Natomas  
'50 Bikes for 50 Kids' giveaway    

Here's your chance to reward North Natomas kids who make that community better just by being themselves ... The "50 Bikes for 50 Kids" contest provides bicycles to North Natomas youth in the 5th through 12th grades who demonstrate outstanding character traits - respect, caring, fairness, trustworthiness, citizenship or responsibility. The North Natomas Transportation Management Association pairs winners with volunteers to assemble the bikes in a heartwarming community event. Please click here by Nov. 15 to sponsor a bike or nominate a deserving student who lives, works, or attends school in North Natomas. Nominators may suggest more than one child, however, separate applications must be filled out for each. Questions? Call Leah Barrett at NNTMA, (916) 419-9955.
Leroy Greene Academy
Art, music, food & fun at Dia de los Muertos
Colorful student art, mariachi music, face painting, lively dancing, a community altar, and a salsa competition were highlights of Leroy Greene Academy's Dia de los Muertos festivities Nov. 2. The Mexican holiday is celebrated annually by LGA in appreciation of student diversity. Dia de los Muertos remembers and honors loved ones who have died. Its graphic images are a perfect fit for LGA, which offers an academic pathway in Visual Arts and Technology that attracts plenty of budding artists. The video, at right, captures some of the joy, energy, reverence and artistry on display at the big party ...

To stay healthy and kind, this I pledge ... 
red ribbons at Heron

This might have been the most inspiring sight in all of Natomas recently ...

Heron School students were given the chance, during Red Ribbon Week, to write a pledge or personal goal about living a healthy and kind life onto a tiny red ribbon to be tied onto the school's front gate. The ribbons remained on display days afterward.

 "I pledge not to do drugs or weed," one 
ribbon read.
Other students wrote:

"I pledge not to be a bystander."

"I promise not to smoke, bully or do drugs."

"Record it, report it and don't support it."

"Treat others the way you want to be treated."

 Dozens and dozens of the ribbons were tied to Heron's gate, side by side, food for thought for students, staff and passers-by ... 

Words of wisdom for us all.
NUSD Spotlight
             Brought to you by:
             Jim Sanders
   Director of  Communications
             (916) 561-5267