Category Archives: Schools

Meet the Candidates for 2018 Fall River Joint School Board Election

On Thursday evening September 25, the PTA and the Burney Boosters hosted a “Meet the Candidates” program at Burney Elementary School. Four candidates: Terry Vigil, Ignacio Venegas, Bill Myers, and Rick Dougherty, are running for three available positions on the Fall River Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees.

About 50 people attended. The program opened with welcoming comments by Kevin Bower, President of the Burney Boosters. Mr. Bower then introduced Sarah Clark who served as moderator.

Ms. Clark asked the candidates four questions. Each candidate was allowed 2 minutes to respond to each question. Afterwards, the candidates were asked an additional two questions submitted by the audience.

Following the question and answer, refreshments were served and people had the opportunity to meet and speak with the candidates individually.

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Filed under Burney, Fall River, Fall River Mills, Schools, youth

Fort Crook Masonic Lodge give backpacks to second graders

Once again, Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM  carried on their tradition of providing backpacks to second graders in the Intermountain area. This year the Lodge is giving out backpacks filled with school supplies to 49 students at Burney Elementary, 33 students in Fall River, 8 students in Big Valley and 12 students in Montgomery Creek.

Teacher Michael Von Schalscha, Mason Jim Crockett, teacher Joy Ford and Burney Second Graders with new backpacks

On Tuesday, September 25, Mason Jim Crockett delivered the packs to second graders at Burney Elementary School.

Teachers Michael Von Schalscha and Joy Ford lead their students into the cafeteria and introduced Mr. Crockett who then gave a short talk.

Jim Crockett gives a short talk to students

Crockett asked the students if they knew what country they live in.

“The United States of America!” The children shouted in reply.

When he asked if they knew who the first president was, they raised their hands and answered, “George Washington.”

Crockett told them that George Washington was a brother Mason. He also told them that another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, who aided in the discovery of electricity was a Mason.

Mr. Von Schalscha told the students that they would learn more about Ben Franklin later in the year.

Crockett explained that the Masons had long been supporters of public education in California and that is why they give out the backpacks each year.

A lot of students raised their hands to ask questions. Some wanted to know what was in the backpacks. Each pack contained a pencil, a notebook, an eraser, crayons, and a ruler.

Michael Von Schalscha, Jim Crockett, and Joy Ford hand out back packs to Burney Elementary School students

After the talk, the children lined up and each child was presented with a backpack  by Mr. Crockett.

 

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Filed under Big Valley, Burney, Fall River Mills, Fort Crook Masonic Lodge, Schools, youth

School Board introduces new teachers and vice-principal for 2018-2019

Nice new certificated employees of the Fall River Joint Unified School District were introduced at the Board of Trustees meeting in Burney on Wednesday, September 12.

New FRJUSD certificated employees: Front, Erica Harper; Row 2, Becky Mock, Laura Lakey, Lisa Oilar, Hailey Stevenson; Back, Jennifer Arntson, Lori Carlson, Lauri Strandberg, Jeremie Neuville

Jennifer Arntson will be the new English Teacher at Burney High School replacing Melanie McDonald.

Lori Carlson has been hired as Burney Community Day Teacher replacing John Mirande.

Erica Harper will be TK Teacher at Fall River Elementary School replacing Alicia Snow.

Laura Lakey has been hired at Resource Teacher at Fall River High School replacing John Villani.

Becky Mock is the new Alternative Education Teacher for Mt. View replacing Andre Villani.

Jeremie Neuville will be the new Spanish Teacher at Fall River High School replacing Mario Teran.

Lisa Oilar has been hired for the Vice Principal Position at Fall River High School replacing Kelly-Freeland Sloat.

Lauri Strandberg will be teaching Chemistry at Fall River High School replacing Taylor Sloat.

Hailey Stevenson has been hired as K-6 Teacher for Burney Elementary School replacing Amber Wooden.

In addition to the nine employees introduced at the meeting, one other teacher, John Putt, has been hired as Ag/CTE Teacher for Burney High School. Mr. Putt was unable to attend the meeting.

Hailey Stevenson, who grew up in the Intermountain area, is very excited about her new position. Raised in Big Valley, she graduated from BVHS where she was very active in sports, FFA, and FCCLA. Her sister, Morgan, also teaches at Burney Elementary. In 2011, Hailey was Inter-Mountain Fair Queen.

After graduating she attended college in Butte and Chico and will finish her masters degree in October.

Ms. Stevenson said, “I love seeing the impact that learning has on students’ lives. I love to see that moment when understanding lights up a learner’s eyes.”

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2018 Burney High School Baccalaureate

Fifteen graduating seniors came to Burney Presbyterian Church Sunday evening May 27 for 2018 Burney High School Baccalaureate. The Baccalaureate was coordinated by graduating senior Hannah Pearson. Numerous parents and several teachers attended.

2018 graduates with Baccalaureate speakers and teachers

Hannah Pearson opens the ceremony

Ms. Pearson opened the ceremony and introduced the first speaker, Rev. Penni Elaine Scarbrough, Pastor of Burney Presbyterian Church. Rev. Scarbrough told the students that each one of them has a God-given purpose. She advised them to fulfill that purpose by discovering their passion, persevering, and being true to their principles.

Rev. Scarbrough speaks about passion, perseverance, and principle

The next speaker was Thomas Weber, a retired teacher who coaches at the high school. Mr. Weber counseled the students not to rush, but to take their time discovering work that they love that is of service to the world.

Community Guest Speaker Thomas Weber

Both speakers encouraged the students to never give up in pursuing their goals.

When the speakers had finished, English teacher and student advisor Melissa Madden hosted an open forum. Several parents, teachers and students shared reminiscences of their experiences through the years with members of the graduating class.

A teacher shares

A parent shares

Bailey Turner gives a student perspective

Melissa Maddn tells graduates not to fear but to be strong and courageous

Rev. Tim Scarbrough closed the baccalaureate with a prayer and everyone enjoyed refreshments in the foyer.

Celebrating the past and looking forward to the future

Here is a video of the whole baccalaureate. Best wishes to BHS class of 2018!

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Favian and Yesenia Jimenez chosen as BHS May Students of the Month

Favian and Yesenia Jimenez were honored as May Students of the Month at the Burney Lions Club on Thursday evening May 24. Favian was named 12th grade student of the month and his sister Yesenia was named 8th grade student of the month.

Lion George Whitfield, Yesenia Jimenez, and Vice Principal Becky Torgrimson

The students were introduced by Burney High School Vice Principal Becky Torgrimson.

Eighth-grader Yesenia has a grade point average of 2.72. She is a member of the volleyball team. She is very good at math. She enjoys reading and drawing flowers and little pictures. She would like to try skydiving. Her goal is to become a doctor practicing family medicine.

Yesenia introduced her parents, Maria Garcia and Everado Jimenez, and her brothers Alex and Everado Jimenez Jr. Ms. Garcia said that she is very proud of her children and wishes them a bright future.

Lion George Whitfield presented her with a check for $50 on behalf of the Burney Lions Club.

Senior Favian Jimenez, Yesenia’s older brother has a 3.0 grade point average. He is a member of Leo’s, Interact Club, Leadership Club, and mentoring. He played on the football and basketball teams and competed in track and field. He enjoys playing video games and spending time with friends and family. He would like to try scuba diving. After graduating, he plans to attend Shasta College and then pursue a degree in civil engineering.

Favian was unable to attend the ceremony because he was on a trip with CSF to see a play in Ashland. In his absence, Lion Whitfield presented a check from the Burney Lions for $100 to his sister and asked her to give it to him when he returned from his trip to Oregon.

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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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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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