Category Archives: Schools

Burney Presbyterian Church celebrates Grand Opening of new internet library

Numerous educational, civic, and religious leaders from the Burney and Intermountain community gathered at the Meeting Place at Burney Presbyterian Church to celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Internet Library.

Rev. Penni Elaine Scarbrough cuts the ribbon as Rev. Watkins, Rev. Scarbrough, and Superintendent Hawkins look on

The Internet Library will be open to the public on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3 PM to 6 PM, with priority given to local students doing homework and research for school projects. Job seekers will also be encouraged to utilize the library’s services for creating resumes and researching employment opportunities.

Rev. Penni explaining the purpose of the internet library to Cindy Dodds and Laurie Jacobs

The program began at 3 p.m. with a reception and refreshments. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held at 4 p.m.

The Grand Opening was hosted by Rev. Penni Elaine Scarbrough, pastor of the Burney Presbyterian Church and her husband Rev. Tim Scarbrough who serves as Administrative Director. Rev. Rob Watkins, Presbyter of the Presbytery of Sacramento came to speak. Rev. Leon Thompson, retired Presbyterian minister from Weed, also attended with his wife Betty.

Community leaders listening to speakers

Amongst educational leaders who came for the opening were Greg Hawkins, Superintendent for the Fall River Joint Unified School District, Burney Junior-Senior High Principal Ray Guerrero, Burney Elementary Principal Marcy Schmidt, elementary teacher Shelly Myers and her husband Rev. Bill Myers from Glen Burn Church. Rev. Myers also serves as a volunteer in the Fall River and Burney elementary schools. Former Superintendent of Schools Larry Snelling and his wife Peggy also attended.

Other civic leaders who came included Cindy Dodds and Laurie Jacobs from the Tri Counties Community Center; Burney Chamber of Commerce President Sandra McCullar; former President of the Burney-Fall River Rotary Club Bill Campbell, and Michael Kerns. Several community volunteers including Lou Hawk also attended.

Rev. Tim Scarbrough welcomed the people and began the ribbon cutting ceremony with a prayer.

Rev. Penni Scarbrough gave a brief talk in which she said the mission of the new internet library is “to enable, enlighten, and encourage people to grow through learning.”

She emphasized that the library is not just for the congregation of the Burney Presbyterian Church but is open for all students and job seekers in the community.

Superintendent Hawkins spoke of the changes that had taken place in education since he began teaching in the 1980’s. He emphasized the increasing importance of technology and told the audience that all junior and senior high school students now have Google Chrome notebooks as also do elementary school students from the second grade up.

He also said that many of the students do not have internet access in their homes and therefore stressed the value of a facility such as this where they can not only use the available computers, but also access the Internet with their notebooks using the library’s Wi-Fi.

The final speaker was Rev. Watkins. He gave a touching talk stressing two points. The first was that the Meeting Place was there to serve the whole community. The Burney Presbyterian Church is the most northern church in the Sacramento Presbytery which consists of 7,000 members throughout Northern California. Those churches that are most effective are those that are engaged in serving their communities. The Presbytery is happy that the church in Burney is striving to serve as a Meeting Place and supports that effort.

In the second point, he said that Jesus may never have talked about the Internet, but he did talk a lot of about the importance of children. Quoting from the Book of Proverbs he stressed the importance of children seeking wisdom and understanding. He spoke of these in terms of understanding oneself and the world. Rev. Watkins told how his son has now worked on five continents and hopes to work in all seven. He said that the Internet Library would be a “safe place” where children can use the Internet to “awaken to the wonders of the world” in a healthy educational environment.

Reverend Watkins affirmed his conviction that “every person is an unique act of God’s creative will.”

God is good and gracious and every child is precious. Every child, indeed every person, deserves the opportunity to develop their talents and abilities in a healthy loving environment in order to improve themselves and make a better world, perhaps even to help create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

The Meeting Place is located at 20435 Marquette St. in Burney, CA. For more information about the Internet Library call (530) 335-2271.

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Filed under Burney, Burney Presbyterian Church, Chamber of Commerce, Churches, Schools, Tri-Counties Community Center, youth

Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 presents plaque to Burney High Teachers

As part of the Masons long-time effort to support public education, Grand Master Jim Crockett and Mason George Whitfield from Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 presented a plaque to Principal Ray Guerrero at a student assembly at Burney Junior-Senior High School.

Masons Jim Crockett and George Whitfield with BHS teachers and Principal Ray Guerrero

Jim Crockett said, “Fort Crook Masonic Lodge #250 in Fall River Mills has for years supported the schools in the Intermountain Area. This year we are presenting plaques to the Staff and teachers of Fall River, Burney and Big Valley schools in recognition of their efforts and achievements furthering the education of the students.”

Clique on image to enlarge

The plaque says, “We hereby proclaim our sincere thanks to the teachers and staff of Burney Junior Senior High School and extend our congratulations for their provision of outstanding academic instruction, leading in turn to exemplary achievement by all enrolled students.”

Bruce R. Galloway, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of California proclaimed April Public Education Month for 2018. On April 1, the California Department of Education also issued a statement encouraging people to recognize April as Public Education Month.

Before presenting the plaque to Principal Guerrero, Crockett gave a brief history of Masonic support for public education.

Crockett and Whitfield address the student body

In his talk he said,

Because Freemasonry places such great importance on education, we have become steadfast supporters of the Public Schools. Horace Mann, the father of our present system of public schools, wrote that the object of a free public schools system is “to give every child a free, straight, solid pathway by which he can walk directly up from the ignorance of an infant to a knowledge of the primary duties of a man.”

The California State public school system was started in the 1850’s, and the first State Superintendent of Public Instruction was John Swett, a transplanted Mason who had come west in the years following the Gold Rush.

The public schools have always been a special concern of California Masons. Charles Albert Adams, Grand Master in 1920, wrote that as Masons “we subscribe to the belief that an enlightened citizenship is the first great care of a progressive State:’ He believed that the future of our free democracy depended on the quality of our public schools.

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Burney Junior-Senior High Students Light up the Stage with “Princess Whatsername”

“The 2018 Spring musical was a smash hit! Burney Junior and Senior High School Students presented three marvelous performances of “Princess Whatsername” written by Brian B. Taylor with music by Bill Francoeur and lyrics by Scott de Turk at the Liz Polley Center for the Arts.

Opening number

The production was directed by Jill Reed Lights and Sound by Larry Goza and Alissa Tereba and Stage Direction by Carolyn Garrigua and her crew. About 400 people came to see the performances that took place on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.

Princess Whatsername

A talented cast of dozens  of students took the audience through a cleverly constructed fairy tale peopled with characters from a range of Grimm’s folk tales including Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother, Rapunzel, Hercules, princesses and princes, and good and bad fairies.

Hansel and Gretel find Princess Whatsername in the woods

The lead character, Princess Whatsername (played by Bailey Turner) turned out to be Princess Aurora, who had been pricked by a spinning wheel and lost her memory. In her quest to regain her true identity, she wandered through an enchanted forest as the characters enacted comic scenes and delightful musical numbers.

Hansel after eating a candy house

All the students performed excellently. The Seven Dwarves number was classic. Elie Urlie dazzled the audience with his performance as an intriguing hip-hop style Rumpelstiltskin. Paris Deaton-Geisler shone as a country-western style Snow White.

Princess Whatsername and Rumplestiltskin

After the performance a special plaque was presented from the Mountain Echo newspaper with a photo and news article of the first chorale performance at Liz Polley Center.

Jill Reed displays a special historical plaque

Ms. Reed then presented the students actors with gifts of appreciation for their hard work and excellent performance, and the students in turn presented gifts to Director Reed and Carolyn Garrigua expressing their love and gratitude.

Here are more pictures of the performance:

Prince Reveille and Rumplestiltskin

Snow White and Goldilocks in the house of the Three Bears

The Seven Dwarves

The Three Bears chase Princesses

The Queen of the West and Snow White

Goldilocks, Princess Whatsername and Rapunzel

Singing Princesses

Three Bears, Snow White, and Prince Reveille

Prince Hercules challenges Prince Reveille

Queen of the North

Three Bears, Snow White, and Prince Reveille

Princess Aurora reunited with her parents and her true love

Rumpleskiltskin performs the wedding

The final number

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Chelsea Davis and Joel Biles chosen as BHS April Students of the Month

Chelsea Davis and Joel Biles were honored as April Students of the Month at the Burney Lions Club on Thursday evening April 19. Davis was named 12th grade student of the month and Biles was named 8th grade student of the month.

Lion George Whitfield, Chelsea Davis, Joel Biles, and Principal Ray Guerrero,

The students were introduced by Burney High School Principal Ray Guerrero. Lion George Whitfield presented each of the students with a check. Chelsea Davis was awarded $100, and Joel Biles received $50.

Senior Chelsea Davis has an outstanding grade point average of 4.43. She is a member of the S-Club,  CSF, FNL, Leos Club, Leadership Club, and Mentoring. She also plays on the basketball and softball teams.

She enjoys reading, listening to music, watching movies and spending time with loved ones. She would like very much to go on a cruise and to travel to other countries to learn about other cultures.

After graduating from high school, Chelsea will attend Sacramento State University.

Chelsea’s mother and father, Nikki and Rich Davis attended to watch their daughter receive the award. Mr. Davis said “Chelsea worked very hard to become student of the month. Thank you very much to the Lions for the wonderful dinner and program and all that they do for the community.”

Eighth-grader Joel Biles also has a 3.13 grade point average. He is involved in activities at the Word of Life Church. He enjoys playing baseball, drawing, video games and watching television. Something that he hasn’t done but would like to do is “jump off a cliff into a lake.”

In the future Joel hopes to go to college and become and engineer.

Joel’s brother Ben and grandfather David Biles attended the ceremony. His grandfather praised Joel saying, “Congratulations on a good job! I hope that you come back many times.”

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Devin Murray wins Lions Regional Level Speech Contest

Congratulations to Devin Murry of Burney, who won the Lions Regional Speech Contest at Ft. Jones April 8th.  After winning at the Club, Zone, and Regional competitions, he will now move on to the District Level April 28th at the Gaia Hotel in Anderson. The theme for this year`s contest is: “Integrity and Civility Play What Role in Today’s Society?”

Devin Murray from Burney High School won the Zone Level Lions Speech Contest

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Comment and Questions for the School Board Regarding the Mental and Emotional Health of the Student Body April 11, 2018

I believe that most of the students in our schools are really wonderful children and young adults. They are learning, active in sports and clubs, and engage in fun, interesting, and challenging extracurricular activities. Many are active in church youth groups and organizations that motivate them to serve the community. Guided by loving parents, concerned teachers, and other caring mentors they are they are not only gaining knowledge and skill but also developing healthy character.

Some students, however, for various reasons, may develop negative attitudes and behaviors that could become harmful for themselves and others.

Not wishing to jump to conclusions, I felt that it would be helpful to gain an assessment of whether or not there were troubling trends over the past few years. Therefore, I addressed the following public comment to the Fall River Joint Unified School District on April 11.

Below the video is a written outline of my comments.

In any case, I encourage people to pray for the youth of our community, their parents and families, and teachers and schools so we can have a good loving environment for our young people to grow up in.

Public Comment by Alex Colvin 4/11/18

Premise: Two missions of the School

  1. Education in knowledge
  2. Socialization and reinforcement of positive norms of behavior

Questions

Do you have some gauge for assessing of the mental and emotional health of the student body regarding:

  1. Attitude toward authority
  2. Behavioral problems amongst students such as
    1. bullying,
    2. at risk behaviors,
    3. disruptive speech or behavior,
    4. signs of mental or emotional problems indicating tendencies toward violence or suicide
    5. racial antagonism

Have you detected any trends or changes regarding the above attitudes and behaviors over the past few years? If so, have these changes given rise to any disciplinary problems within the classroom or the school. If so, how are these problems being addressed?

 

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School Board goes for a ride on the Electric Bus

Before the April Board Meeting of the Fall River Joint Unified School District on April 11, Head of Transportation Lori Barber and Head Mechanic Larry Betz took the Board of Trustees for a ride on the district’s new electric school bus.

Head of Transportation Lori Barber and Lead Mechanic Larry Betz stand by the new electronic bus

The aqusition of the bus was made possible through a grant provided by the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District as part of the Rural School District Bus Pilot Project. The main goal of this grant program is accelerating the turnover of California school bus fleets to lower carbon transportation choices, especially in rural school districts who have less access to other funding sources.

School Board members, principals, teachers and staff gathered at the Soldier Mountain office in McArthur just before 5:30 p.m. to board the bus.  Mr. Betz had cautioned the members that “bus tickets may be assigned so be on your best behavior.”

Boarding the bus

The new zero-emission bus, powered by battery, can seat up to 71 children depending on age and size. It has six emergency side exits and two emergency exits in the ceiling. After a fifteen minute drive in and around McArthur, Mr. Betz parked by the Fall River High School, where Ms. Barber gave information about the bus and answered questions.

Board Members, administrators and staff ready for a ride on the bus

The bus cost $403,000, as compared to about $160,000 for a traditional diesel powered bus. It can go 100 miles on fully charged batteries, but Mr. Betz explained that would be on “flat ground on a hot day.” In cold weather it takes energy to warm the bus, and climbing hills demands the use of more power. It takes three and a half to four hours to recharge the batteries.

Accordingly the new bus will be used for two suitable routes, the Big Eddy-Fall River route and the Dana-Glen Burn route. Burney would also be good but sometimes has 78 or 79 students so capacity would not be adequate.

Mr. Betz also demonstrated a safety system to insure that no child would be left on the bus. The bus driver has to inspect the bus and push a red button at the back of the bus when he stops. If he turns off the ignition and exits the bus without pushing the red button it will trigger an alarm. Red lights will flash and the horn will begin honking.

After Ms. Barber finished answering questions, the bus returned to the School Board office so that the Board could conduct it’s monthly meeting. The ride was enjoyable and informative. Mr. Betz didn’t have to issue any tickets for bad behavior.

During the meeting the Board unanimously approved a resolution to participate in the Rural School Bus Pilot Project. Another grant has also been approved for the acquisition of a second bus in the future.

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