TUSD Weekly Update
"Every kid is just one caring adult away from being a success story." ~Josh Shipp
Measures N & O
Pitman High School
The benefits of Measures N & O continue to be seen in TUSD as another modernization project starts to take shape at Pitman High School. Ground was recently broken on the playfield renovation project which will bring the following changes:

  • The current track and field which runs east and west, will be repositioned to run north and south
  • Synthetic turf football field
  • All-weather track
  • Two brand new softball fields
  • A new practice field for soccer

Stay tuned for more project updates! We are thankful for our Turlock community for passing Measures N & O!
Mock Midterm Elections
Turlock High School
An ongoing tradition at Turlock High School are the Mock Elections organized by American Government/Economics teachers Rex Rabine. Seniors vet the candidates, study the various ballot initiatives, and gain an overall understanding and appreciation of how our democracy works. Many seniors this year also volunteered for various political campaigns. Nearly 500 THS seniors voted in the Mock Election on Election Day! Thank you Mr. Rabine for your hard work organizing this important civics lesson.
Student Rep to the School Board Reports
Gabrielle Sotomayor, Pitman High School
Henry Wooley, Turlock High School
  • Oct. 22: PHS water polo teams hosted first ever silent auction on Pitman vs. Turlock game night. The auction raised over $1,800 for PHS Aquatics Program
  • Oct. 25- Nov. 2: PHS American Red Cross Blood Drive sign ups. Blood drive will be hosted all day on November 8.
  • Nov. 7: Pitman FFA will sort the cans from their Canned Food Drive and deliver them to local food banks for the holiday season.
  • Nov. 14: Pitman FFA Poinsettia Sale.
  • Educational Psychology had a learning trip to a first grade classroom at Medeiros Elementary School. Students planned and executed standards-based lessons on reading, writing, math, STEM and art. 
  • Turlock FFA had 38 students attend the National FFA Convention, 2 students which were California State FFA Delegates. The students were able to learn leadership skills, visited Purdue and Notre Dame Universities, toured the CAT plant and heard from President Donald J. Trump. Turlock also had 6 students receive their American FFA degree, the highest degree in the FFA organization.  
  • We recently finished THS Idol. This year's winner was freshman Abbey Harrington!  
  • The Speech and Debate team won 1st place in Debate Sweepstakes and 3rd place in Individual Event Sweepstakes at the Lodi High Speech and Debate Tournament.
Catching Up with . . . Kyra Derdivanis
Turlock High School
What schools did you attend in TUSD? Julien Elementary (starting in 5th grade), Dutcher Middle School, and Turlock High School.

What year did you graduate? 2014

What schools did you attend after high school? Major? I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in June and majored in Communication and minored in Geography. At the beginning of my senior year, I also attended Semester at Sea, a study abroad program where I embarked on a cruise ship for four months and traveled through Europe, Africa, and Asia.While at UCSB, I was also active in Greek life as a member and officer and volunteered for a non-profit called Gray Whales Count. 

What are your career goals/career? Accomplishments? Right now, I work as a Marketing Coordinator at an event production company in San Francisco. Someday, I hope to embark on another Semester at Sea voyage as a staff member. Ultimately, my career goal is to help, empower, and educate others. I’m not sure what that looks like for me, but I feel that this is what I was meant to do. 

What teachers/classes made an impact on you? My junior year of high school, I took the first-ever AP Environmental Science course at THS with Mr. Ryan Hollister. He is a fantastic educator who gets his students excited to learn about the environment because HE gets excited about educating his students about the environment. His enthusiasm is contagious! His class made me curious about the interaction between people and the environment/space, which is how I became interested in geography and ended up graduating with a minor in Geography. If anyone knows Mr. Hollister, they know that he is witty, goofy, and a frequent pun maker. He and I share the same style of humor and when I was his student, his humor made me feel like engaging in witty banter and making puns, no matter how many people groan at them, shows intelligence and is an acceptable way to express yourself. He always stayed true to himself and I admire him for that. 

Any advice for students? First and foremost, study abroad or go abroad! America’s lens on the world can be so narrow and one-sided. Exposing yourself to and becoming curious about different parts of the world gives you an opportunity to learn about how different types of people, environments, and political and socioeconomic climates behave in a global context and gives you an opportunity to learn things you never knew about yourself.

The late Maya Angelou once said, “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” Generosity and knowledge together can propel you to where you want to go. You are an expert in something, and you would be doing a disservice to society and your immediate community if you do not share your knowledge. 

Hobbies? Things you enjoy in your spare time? I love to explore new places, even if it means that I get lost in the process. I also like to meditate and I enjoy the outdoors, especially near the ocean. Now that I’m in San Francisco, I am hoping to attend more Broadway shows, concerts, and plays. 

Anything else you’d like to share? For all the students out there, enjoy the time you have in school, whether that’s high school and/or college. I think for many students, school is thought to be a stepping stone for their first jobs and dream careers. Enjoy this time when your friends are close by and your biggest problem during the day is figuring out what topic you’ll choose for your next paper. I frequently miss the times where I played in the high school band during Friday night football games and the times where I made spontaneous plans with my friends in college. Always cherish those moments! Lastly and most importantly, do what makes you happy. There have been times where I have felt pressured to make other people happy at the expense of my own happiness. Getting an education gives you the opportunity to develop your voice and figure out what makes you happy, so don’t let people and their opinions get in the way of that.
This is TUSD
Meet Carlos Fuentes
How long have you worked in TUSD? 3 years

What is your job title? I am a Campus Supervisor for Turlock Adult School. 

Where did you work prior to TUSD?  I was a Juvenile Officer with the Merced County Probation Department for 9 years. 

Any info you would like to share about your job? Average day? One of the first things I do when I get on campus is to check in with all our custodians on campus because I am only one person and we have a large campus at Turlock High School. I am not able to be everywhere at one time so having good communication with our custodians plays a big part in ensuring a safe campus. The custodians are the eyes and ears of our campus.
Things you are most proud of? I’m proud of earning my degree from California State University Stanislaus in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Corrections. I’m also very proud I served honorably in the United States Army for 4 years and 6 years in the California National Guard, 1/184TH Infantry Battalion (Air Assault) “Nightstalkers.” I’m also very proud of having the opportunity to work with the great staff at the Turlock Adult School and helping all our students succeed! 

Challenges?  I have a great Principal Linda Alaniz and awesome Turlock Adult School office staff. We have amazing teachers and counselors as well as an outstanding Grounds/Custodial Night Crew. I also have a great partner in Campus Supervisor Jamie Newell. I look forward to any daily challenges which may arise because I know there is nothing we can not complete or accomplish together. 

Favorite memory/story? Well, my favorite story working for the Turlock Adult School is kind of funny and embarrassing moment. I was involved in a small accident with one of our golf carts, but it’s not like I am bad driver either; I have a clean DMV record and I actually earned an Army Good Driving Badge for safely operating a military vehicle overseas (South Korea) for 12 months. Unfortunately, I accidentally hit a metal barrier with the golf cart’s door. I did the right thing reported it and I was hoping that would end of the story and I could quietly move on. But NOPE! The next day I came to work and everyone had to get in their smart remarks about my mishap. THS Campus Supervisor Gloria Lujan even made a funny meme of me and the damaged golf cart. I felt like a character in one of those Southwest Airlines “Wanna Get Away?” commercials. I wish it would ended there, but sometimes I sub as a Campus Supervisor at Pitman High School, so when I had the opportunity to work there a few weeks later, all their Campus Supervisors and SRO Officer got to get their two cents at me too. It’s all in good fun, and I’m glad I can look back and laugh at the situation. We all make mistakes, but it’s what we do moving forward is what counts.

What are you reading? I am patiently waiting for the release of The Winds of Winter . I’m a huge George R.R. Martin fan . The Songs of Ice and Fire book series are awesome.

Any favorite shows you’re watching on TV? Vice Principals, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (can’t wait for season 8). I enjoying coming to work on Mondays to discuss everything that happened on latest episode of The Walking Dead with my co-worker Stacey Gillen. We are huge Walking Dead fans! 

Anything surprising we may not know about you? I’m a huge sneaker-head. I have a deep passion for collecting sneakers. I have over 60 pairs of sneakers in my collection and I haven’t even wore half of them yet--my parents and friends think I’m nuts.

Anything else you’d like to share? I have 5 Yorkies—Pepper, Coco, Mimi, Bella, and Beefy. They keep my home happy and very busy!
Seen on Social Media
Veterans Day Lunch at Pitman High School
We LOVE this tradition! Mohini Singh’s Pitman High School Culinary Arts classes held their 2nd Annual Veterans Day lunch for Pitman High School staff and parents. On the menu: Hamburgers, Macaroni Salad, Fruit Salad, and Cupcakes. Thank you, veterans, for your service!
Veterans Day Opening at Cunningham Elementary School
Shout out to TSGT Darrell Dyer—U.S. Air Force, Command Master Chief Charles Blanks—U.S. Navy, and Sergeant Sil Manente—U.S. Army who visited Cunningham Elementary School this morning for a special Veterans Day recognition. Thank you for your service! 
Happy Fall from Medeiros Elementary School
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.