TUSD Weekly Update
"Every kid is just one caring adult away from being a success story." ~Josh Shipp
Martin Luther King Day: A Reflection of America in Metaphors and Fragments
Thank you to Mary Asgill, TUSD Writing Instructional Coach, for putting her reflections into words as we celebrate the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week.
Once upon a time in America, I discovered a Japanese philosophy that made me believe Isaiah’s 54 th chapter, over and over, when he said that “no weapon formed against [us] would prosper.” Even the weapons we formed against ourselves. 
 
The philosophy was Kintsugi: it proudly, transparently, boldly, illuminated our scars. Kintsugi. It is the beautiful broken porcelain bowl that carries our American Dream. Kintsugi. It is the broken bowl whose tiny pieces are swept up, mixed with melted gold, and poured between the cracks of the large broken spaces. Kintsugi. It is the new, but old bowl with the gold scars shining through it.  
 
Once upon a time in America, I discovered an American philosopher that made me believe in Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals. Even the people who don’t want to heal and don’t want us to heal. 
 
The philosopher was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: he proudly, transparently, boldly, illuminated our scars. King. He is the Dreamer in the eye of my student Dreamers who know that they have a right to the Dream that is America, the Dream that has not been broken, only bent, the Dream that kept all of us believing that we should be judged the way Dr. King said we should be: by the “content of our character” not the color of our skin or the accents of our words. King. He is the old, but new Dreamer with the heart of gold that still brings light to America’s dark places.     
 
Once upon a time in America, I discovered that we were a tossed salad, not a melting pot. That we live in the fractured, but not broken, Kintsugi bowl, dreaming the Dream of Dr. King, and healing the warrior within each of us. And that on Dr. King’s day, we pause long enough to see our salad selves. Our multiple ingredients. Our multiple flavors. Each salad fixin’ living independently, uniquely, individually, and distinctly in the Kintsugi bowl. We are together, adding our own talents to create a beautiful explosion of flavor in the mouths of all who see us from foreign soils and partake – and all who see us from foreign soils and long to partake. 
 
Once upon a time in America, I discovered a beautiful song that is America. Dr. King added his notes to the melody. We, too, add ours. Sometimes we make music. Sometimes we make noise. But at all times, all of us add our notes: whether sound or silence, we all play the song.
 
America the beautiful – always beautiful because we have Kintsugi. America the beautiful – always beautiful because we have Rapha. America the beautiful – always beautiful because we still have Dr. King, on his day, reminding us that the notes we play, along with the moments of silence we strategically place on the scale, determine whether we make music or whether we make noise. Dr. King, Rapha, and Kintsugi all remind us that the amount of work in creating the song, carving the Dream, living together in the salad bowl, whether we accept it or not, is always the same.
Medeiros Elementary School
Osborn Two-Way Immersion Academy
Tech in TUSD
Marshall Beyer, Ed Tech Coach
Cybersecurity Update
Robert Brogdon, Acting Director of Technology Services
At the end of January, all staff will receive a prompt to change their Windows password while logging on to district computers. Sites and departments will receive notifications one week prior to the day of the change. We encourage staff to develop a passphrase, which is longer than a standard password. Next week’s update will include additional information and strategies to help create strong, easy to remember passphrases.
Catching Up with . . . Elizabeth Grishaw
Pitman High School
What schools did you attend in TUSD? Crane School (Kindergarten), Dennis Earl Elementary School (1st - 3rd grade), Julien Elementary School GATE Program (4th - 6th grades), Turlock Junior High School, and Pitman High School.

What year did you graduate? 2010

What schools did you attend after high school? Major? I attended Santa Clara University for my Bachelor’s Degree from 2010 - 2014. I received a double major from Santa Clara, a Bachelors of Arts in Music Performance and a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. I also attended Penn State for my Master’s Program from 2016 - 2017. I received my Masters in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis.

What are your career goals? Or your career?
  • I work as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a private agency called Bay ABA, LLC based in San Mateo County. I provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children with Autism and other related developmental disorders. I've been in the field since August 2014 and have since gone on to receive my BCBA certification in November of 2017. 
  • ABA looks at challenging behaviors that clients engage in, find out what the function of that behavior is (aka why they potentially engage in that behavior) and give clients an appropriate way to express that want and need. For example, if we find that a client cries and whines to get a specific item, we can teach them to either use words to express that want by using their words (e.g. "Toy please"), point to get an item (e.g. touch the item with a point to tell you they want the item), or other forms of communication. We also look at teaching other skills that are needed within society including socialization, matching, labeling items (e.g. "That's a frog!"), self-help, and other skill domains. 
  • I currently work in Early Intervention providing therapy to children between the ages 2-6 and a few school aged children. It's been an incredible experience to see how I can touch the lives of families and children in such a monumental way! I've learned to break down skills and celebrate small changes with families. Even something as small as looking in the direction of someone who called your name or having a client give you a high five when you asked is something we celebrate on a daily basis.
What teachers/classes made an impact on you?
  • I feel as though each teacher I had made an impact on the adult I became. I would love to give recognition to each and every one of them, but that would take multiple emails! Here's a few highlights: 
  • Ms. Haydock was my kindergarten teacher at Crane Elementary. Her love for nature and creativity nurtured me at a young age to love the outdoors. She had a special ability to make you feel welcome within her class and incorporate learning and fun together. I still remember the day she taught the class how to jump rope and helped me learn when to jump in to the already moving rope. A skill I've passed along to multiple clients I currently work with. Thanks for pushing me to be the narrator for the class play instead of allowing me to just be the cow. My mom always makes fun of how I wanted to be the cow so I could only have one line ("Moo"). 
  • Mr. Costa was my third grade teacher at Dennis Earl. He was generous and kind to all of us students. I have very specific memories from this class from competitions with other students on math times tables, to getting to be the flag bearer for Thailand at our Countries assembly that year. I still haven't been to Thailand, but it's been on the bucket list since I was in third grade! 
  • Mr. Blackley was my sixth grade teacher. His class was monumental for me in learning about adult life. He gave me my first lesson in budgeting and how rent eats away the paycheck! Through his "Blackley-ville" I learned some serious life skills including interviews (I was one of the class librarians that year!) and learned that you have pay for items that we take for granted (e.g. renting our desks, buying pencils and paper) with dollars we earned through being good students and with our "paychecks" each week. I learned how to collaborate with others and build a business for the "Blackley-ville" stores. I'm forever grateful to him for teaching that students will work hard to earn simple things within the classroom. These skills I use on a daily basis as motivation for my clients in school settings. I remember working EXTREMELY hard to have enough money to buy the ability to write an essay in print! I've been able to share this knowledge within my field to teachers for motivation for clients to "earn" for being good students.
  • In high school, many teachers stood out including the English Department as a whole. Mr. Avey and Mr. Jack prepared me for undergrad well. I used to dread Friday essay writing in Mr. Avey's class, since we had to write an entire essay on an unknown essay prompt in one hour. But the funny thing is, he taught us how to get a quality draft of an essay in under an hour. I've used this skill to my advantage throughout every undergraduate and graduate level essay I wrote. In Mr. Jack's class, he taught us how to analyze literature in a deeper level. I always felt like he treated senior year AP English Literature as a college course and treated us like the adults we were about to become. Both of them were strong educators and prepared me for the level of writing that was expected at the undergraduate level. 
  • The Pitman High School Spanish Department - I cannot praise you enough. To Mrs. Pimentel, Mr. Mercado, Mrs. Long, and Mr. Grishaw, thank you for changing me from the person who could barely have a conversation in Spanish without doubting myself, to helping me pass both AP Spanish and AP Spanish Literature Exams. Living in the Bay Area, I use Spanish at work and having a background in professional level Spanish has been incredibly helpful. I may not always get the Perfect Progressive tense right, but I'll try! 
  • Other high school teachers that made an impact included Mrs. Staley and Mr. Avey for showing me determination and the value of perseverance. I learned to continue to try facing difficult problems (Calculus - I'm looking at you!), but you can always reach out to others for help. Mr. Thomas and Mr. Searway taught me the value of history and how the past determines the future. 
  • I was also fortunate enough to be on the Swimming team all four years of high school. It wasn't necessarily a course or specific teacher, but all the friends I made on that swim team are some of my closest friends even today. I learned values of collaboration, trust, and healthy competitiveness that has shaped me into the adult I have become. 
  • Lastly, I can't end this without praising my dad, Don Grishaw, for being an amazing teacher in both AP Spanish Literature and Orchestra. He helped shape my love for playing with an orchestra and how to prioritize membership over seating rank. 

Any advice for students? Take full advantage of discovering yourself during high school! Find a new hobby that you love and hang out with friends whenever possible. Keep in touch with friends every time you return home from college, it's going to be necessary to know you're roots. Like my dad says, "Every day is a good day, some days are just better than others." 

Hobbies? Things you enjoy in your spare time? I still play in a few orchestras! I currently play with the California Pops Orchestra as a violinist. I also enjoy hanging out with friends, cooking, and exploring areas within California's Bay Area. I have lived in San Francisco for the last year and a half and am enjoying getting to know the city better. 

Anything else you’d like to share? I hope everyone who reads this knows that I was touched by my education through TUSD. I was fortunate to have amazing teachers and people who impacted who I am today. I couldn't mention everyone, but know that every teacher I had or knew within my time in Turlock's schools is special. My teachers taught me more than the material necessary for the class; they taught me core values that determined who I am today. Keep up the hard work shaping the next generation! 
This is TUSD
Meet Atour Bejan
How long have you worked in TUSD? This is my 3rd year in TUSD.
 
What is your job title? Math/Business Teacher
 
Where did you work prior to TUSD? I worked in the private sector in Los Angeles area as an executive manager in charge of an IT department for almost 16 years and before that I was teacher and translator in Iran.
 
Any info you would like to share about your job? Average day? I enjoy going to work every day. The kids in our school need our attention and they are smart enough to know if we care about them; once they start to trust us they show respect.

Things you are most proud of? Even though I’m a math teacher, I am fan of learning different languages; I’m proud that I can speak, read, and write in five different languages. I also have three bachelor’s degrees.

Favorite memory/story? I still remember my childhood, growing up in a village with a lot of friends with whom I used to play either during the hot days of summer, swimming in salty lake of Urmi, or in the winter snow sliding on the hill that my elementary school was built upon.

What are you reading? I like to read old scriptures written in Aramaic (Syriac) language and try to translate them in modern Assyrian.

Any favorite shows you’re watching on TV? I like to watch documentaries.

Anything surprising we may not know about you? I’m collaborating with a friend to publish the second volume of English-Assyrian-Arabic dictionary. The first volume was published in 2014.

Anything about your personal life you’d like to share? I’ve been married for 25 years. After I get off work at Roselawn High School, I do math tutoring twice a week and, starting this week, I will be teaching computer applications two afternoons for Turlock Adult School. When I finally make it home, I help take care of my elderly parents--my dad is 95 and mom is 85 years old.
Seen on Social Media
Dutcher Middle School
This year’s Dutcher Middle School musical, Junie B. Jones, was brought to you by the wonderfully gifted new drama director, Melissa Qualle. As you know, Dutcher’s Performing Arts Program has been known to put on quite the winter production! This year’s musical was a delightful adaptation of Barbara Parks best-selling books. The students in the production have rehearsed every day for months and it showed! From the set, to the sound, to the lights, to the singing, and acting - this show had it all. With a cast and crew of around 32 students, the talent was certain to knock your socks off!
The 411
Did you know that we now have school year calendars through 2021 posted on the TUSD website? Starting vacation planning in 3, 2, 1! 
TK/K Kindergarten Registration
Transitional Kindergarten (TK)/Kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year has been scheduled for Turlock Unified School District. To be eligible for Kindergarten, a child must be five years old on or before September 1, 2019. To be eligible for TK, a child must turn five years old between September 2 and December 2, 2019. For more information, visit the TUSD website .
LCAP Survey Now Open!
Deadline: March 1, 2019
It is once again time to let your voice be heard. The purpose of the LCAP survey us to gather input for creating TUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan. The LCAP will be used to guide decisions regarding how we allocate resources for our programs. We appreciate you taking the time to help us plan for the future needs of our TUSD students—your voice matters!
 
 
 
 
Share Your Awesome!

Marie Russell
Chief Communication Coordinator
mrussell@turlock.k12.ca.us
209.648.0968
@tusd_mrussell

We would love to have ALL staff help share our TUSD story to the world, but if that is not really your thing, just click on link below to download an opt-out form and return to "Marie Russell, D.O." via district mail.