Category Archives: youth
Greg Hawkins to retire as FRJUSD Superintendent
Greg Hawkins has informed the Fall River Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees that he will be retiring as Superintendent at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
Looking back over a career in the school district spanning almost four decades, Hawkins said with a smile, “The whole picture just been great, from my first teaching job up to the present day.”
Hawkins moved to Fall River Mills with his family in 1959 when he was three years old. He attended Fall River Elementary School and Fall River Junior Senior High School. He was in the 9th grade when Burney High School opened. He graduated from Fall River High School in 1974.
After graduating he attended Shasta Community College and received his AA and then went on the California State University, Chico where he earned his BA in Physical Education in 1978. He continued on to get his teaching credential doing his student teaching at Red Bluff High School and received his teaching credentials in 1979.
That summer was an eventful summer. After receiving his teaching credentials, he returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Rena Oiler. They have been happily married for 40 years and have three sons: Brent, 36, Tyler, 34, and Preston 32. They have two grandchildren, one boy Rider who is three years old, and a seven month old granddaughter Raiya.
For their honeymoon, the couple went to Happy Camp, where Hawkins was hired by the Siskiyou Union High School District to teach English and Drama at the high school. He also coached Football, Basketball, and Baseball . He was named Happy Camp’s High School Teacher of the Year in 1979.
Hawkins taught at Happy Camp though 1981. In 1982, he came to Burney to teach English at Burney High School.
“It was one of my best years of teaching. Great town, great staff,” he said.
It was also interesting experience coaching the Burney sports teams who had been his rivals not so many years before.
Concerning his years of coaching, Hawkins said that over time he realized that the relationships with the students was more important than winning or losing. Some years you have really talented players and an extraordinary season. But the years when the players you work with are not as gifted, the kids still work just as hard with just as much enthusiasm and it is just as inspiring.
Then from 1982 through 1983, Hawkins worked with the Regional Occupation Program, assisted some teachers, and taught English part time.
From 1983 until 1996, he taught English, Social Studies, and PE at Fall River High School.
After receiving his Pupil Personnel Services Credential, Hawkins served as full time school counselor for Fall River Junior-Senior High School from 1997-2000. He earned his M.S. in Pupil Personnel Services from the University of LaVerne in 1997.
From 2000-2006, he served as Vice Principal at Fall River Junior Senior High School. He also continued to serve as counselor and in addition became athletic director. Then from 2006 to 2011, he was Principal of the Fall River High School. In 2011, he was appointed District Superintendent.
In the role of Superintendent, Hawkins said the budget is always of primary concern. It would be nice to always have the money for everything you want to do, but there are often changes in state funding. The challenge is to make sure that we continue to meet the needs of our students and the community for optimum education.
He also said that maintaining a safe environment for students and teachers has become a top priority. He believes that the district has done its best to ensure that the schools are safe and that teachers, staff, students and law enforcement are prepared to respond quickly and appropriately in case of any emergency.
“One thing that I am most proud of is when one of our graduates goes on to become successful and then comes back to give back to our community. Thirty percent of our teachers are graduates from this district. That’s rewarding!”
Many of the employees of the District were once his students.
Hawkins is an affable people person. He spoke warmly of his appreciation for all of the support that individuals and organizations in the community give to the schools. He also praised the staff, teachers, and Board Members who have worked hard to make the school system successful. Most of all he spoke of how much he has enjoyed interacting with the students as a teacher, coach, counselor, and administrator for the past 36 years and how rewarding it is when past students come up to say hello and remind him of experiences they shared in the past.
After retiring, Hawkins looks forward to traveling with his wife and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Hawkins will retire at the end of the school year on June 28. He believes that the FRJUSD is in good shape. During the remainder of his term, he wants to ensure that everything will be in order so that there will be a smooth transition for his successor.
Filed under Burney, Fall River Mills, MacArthur, Schools, youth
Parks in Burney – Looking Forward
Winter season has arrived. The snow and cold weather may be coming over the next few month. During these months, the preponderance of social and recreational activities are indoors.
However, soon it will be Spring and, like the bears, we will be emerging from our dens to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. That’s why we have parks.
Burney has several parks and recreational areas. These include but are not limited to Washburn Park, Lions Civic Park, Bailey Park and areas along Burney Creek.
For several months now, a group including representatives from several organizations related to park maintenance and use has been meeting to discuss the needs and the future of parks in Burney. The group plans to continue meeting on a regular basis, perhaps once a month. Lisa Barry, Community Organizer for Shasta County Health & Human Services, has been helping to facilitate these ad hoc meetings.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a common vision, suitable to the times and reflecting the needs and desires of the community, for future use, improvement, beautification, and maintenance of park properties in Burney?
In order to shape such a vision, creative input from the community is essential!
Currently, children play in the parks, little league holds, games, families go there for celebrations and outings, Kid Fit holds events in the summer, etc. The Chamber has hosted a Meet the Candidates for Mayor event in the park.
What ideas do you have for new or additional activities – Art in the parks? Music in the parks? Theater in the park? Storytelling or nature talks? Additional youth fitness activities? Community exercise or yoga in the parks? Educational or inspirational events. Games? Pot lucks? Whatever!
What activities would you, your children, or your organization enjoy? What improvements or additional equipment?
Parents, civic leaders, teenagers, teachers, counselors, youth leaders, fitness advocates, church leaders, citizens of Burney! Put your thinking caps on. If you have an idea or request, please send it to Lisa Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Wheels 2 Mobility awards bike to Chris Herrrera
Bill Campbell presented a bicycle to Chris Herrera at the Alternate School, just outside the IM Fairgrounds, on Wednesday morning December 19.
The bicycle was awarded on behalf of 2 Wheels 2 Mobility, a project of the Burney-Fall River Bicycle Association that provides refurbished bikes to local citizens in need of transportation in the area.
Mr. Campbell said, “Chris came to my attention with Mr. Estes Letter to the Editor (Mt Echo) describing how Chris ran from his Fall River Mills home to the Intermountain Fairgrounds, four miles, to return keys he had inadvertently taken home. Important fact is Chris ran after midnight.”
Describing Chris, Hummer Estes, one of his employers, said “Ethics and integrity, two words that fit hand in hand with this kid.”
This is the fourth bicycle awarded by the “2 Wheels 2 Mobility” program.
Filed under Cycling, Fall River Mills, youth
Mt. View students give out Christmas presents at Burney Annex
Three students from Mt. View High School, Elias Avelar, Danell Brumbaugh, and Jordan Potts, gave out presents to 55 patients at the Burney Annex on Wednesday afternoon December 19.
The presents, hand-handmade by students, included pinecone-peanut butter-bird seed bird feeders, homemade snowflake decorations with glitter, and water bottles and bags filled with sugar-free candy and gum.
The activity was part of the students’ empathy unit. School Nurse Karen Van Cleave comes to the school once a week to teach a class on empathy.
According to teacher Becky Mock, the purpose of the unit is to “help students to put themselves in the shoes of others and serve people in need.”
Teacher Lori Carlson suggested the idea of giving gifts to patients at the Annex. The visit to the Annex also helps to fulfill the students’ community service requirement for graduation.
Teacher Becky Mock, FRJUSD Superintendent Greg Hawkins, BHS Vice Principal Becky Torgrimson, and MVHS Secretary Shaun Davis accompanied the students as they delivered the presents.
Burney Jr. Sr. High School performs The Annual Sounds of the Season
The Music Department of the Burney Junior Senior High School presented there 2018 Winter Concert at the Burney High School gym on Tuesday evening December 18. The Concert was titled “The Annual Sounds of the Season.”
Hundreds of parents, family members, teachers, and friends came to hear the students perform.
Altogether, more than seventy students took part in the concert under the direction of music teacher Hugo Castro.
The concert began with the Vocal Ensemble singing five songs. Mary Lawson, Angel Estrada, and Makenna Crook were featured as a trio,
and Christinia James and Neveah Trump did a duet.
Next the beginning band, which this year has more than 40 students, performed five songs with a wide variety of instruments.
The Advanced Band played the final five selections ending with a lively well arranged rendition of Feliz Navidad. Mr. Castro brought out his saxophone and joined in playing with the students.
All in all, the students displayed their musical talents performing a delightful selection of traditional Christmas carols and popular songs of the season.
Operation Warm Winter provides coats and boots to disadvantaged elementary school children
Operation Warm Winter provided new warm coats and boots to more than a dozen elementary school children at the GIVEAWAY at Word of Life Assembly of God Church (WOLA) on Thursday afternoon between 3-5 p.m. More families came to the program on Thursday to sign up. They will also receive boots and coats in the near future.
Burney High School Junior Kira Hernandez organized Operation Warm Winter as her Senior Project. Burney Elementary School teachers assisted in selecting 15 children who needed warm coats and boots. Parents signed up in advance so that the exact size needed could be purchased. The program is funded by community donations. A major fundraiser for the program the past few years has been the concert by the Ohio Northern University Choir held in the late Spring.
In addition, scores of people from the community came to select coats, sweaters, sweat shirts, pants, shirts, and other gently used items that had been donated by people from the community. Altogether, over 200 people signed in for the GIVEAWAY.
One recipient said, “This is such an unexpected blessing. I haven’t had a good warm winter coat for years. I also found a pair of wonderful pants in my size which is almost impossible to find.”
WOLA church secretary Kathy Newton helped Ms. Hernandez to organize the GIVEAWAY at the church. She also helped with fundraising and collecting clothing donations. The Burney High School Leadership Club came in the morning to help set up tables and display clothing. Volunteers helped to man the sign-up tables and oversee the event. Pastor Ken Frazier was present to welcome and chat with all who came.
Operation Warm Winter was started in 2007 when Stephanie Pruitt, a WOLA church member and wife of a BHS teacher, discovered that some elementary school children could not go outside to play during recess in the winter because they did not have adequate winter clothing. Ms. Pruitt ran the program for six years. Parents and community members interested in learning more about the program can contact Burney Elementary School or Kathy Newton at WOLA.
For the last two years, a Burney High School student has organized the program for their Senior Project. Last year junior Alexus Bellino organized the program. This year Kira Hernandez has successfully overseen the operation.
Ms. Hernandez said, “Operation Warm Winter means helping the community out in a way that makes them feel loved and welcome.”
Filed under Burney, Schools, Word of Life Assembly of God, youth
Santa comes to Burney to greet children at Christmas tree lighting ceremony
Hundreds of parents and children lined up for Burney’s 2018 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Christmas Tree Lane on Saturday evening November 24 to meet with Santa.
Santa talked with each child to find out if they were good and learn what they wanted for Christmas.
Mr. and Mrs. Santa were very adept at providing cheer and comfort to each child.
Each child received a Christmas gift bag.
The Burney Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River, the Burney Lions Club, Soroptomist International of Burney-Fall River, The Lions Auxiliary, VFW, Burney Fire Protection District and other local neighbors and volunteers all participated in putting on the opening Christmas event.
Residents on the lane worked hard to decorate their houses with light for the festivities.
The Rotary served popcorn and cotton candy, the Soroptomists served hot chocolate and apple cider, the Lion Auxiliary provided delicious cookies.
Bill Campbell acted as Emcee.
The program opened with a presentation of arms by the VFW honor guard.
Janice Hamlin sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Then Paris Geisler soulfully sang two popular Christmas songs including White Christmas.
Kids did the countdown to the Christmas Tree Lighting.
Lions Fuzzy Field and George Whitfield through the switch and the trees were lit.
Then the Winkelman family sang Christmas Carols.
The elves were expectantly waiting for Santa.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause arrived in a fire truck.
Mrs. Claus was escorted off the truck by Burney Fire Chief Monte Keady.
Music was provided by toy soldiers.
It was a wonderful time for young and old.
Filed under Burney, Fire Departments, Pit River Country Events, youth
Albert Scheckla and Sage Harner honored as October Students of the Month
Albert Scheckla and Sage Harner were honored as October Students of the Month at the Burney Lions Club on Thursday evening October 14. Scheckla was named 12th grade student of the month and Harner was named 8th grade student of the month.
The students were introduced by Burney High School Principal Ray Guerrero.
Senior Albert Scheckla has a grade point of 4.29, the highest grade point a student can earn taking AP classes. He is DSB President and Boys State Delegate. He is active in Leos Club, Interact Club, FNL, and S Club and plays on the baseball and basketball teams.
Albert enjoys snorkeling, hiking and traveling. In his spare time he likes to work, do volunteer work, watch television, and sleep. In the future he hopes to visit Palau Micronesia because his dad has been there and talked about it and he wants to see what it is like for himself.
After graduating, Albert plans to go to Shasta College and then transfer to Cal Poly, Chico State, or Sacramento State to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Albert’s father and mother, Brian and Barbara Scheckla were both at the dinner. His dad said, “He does so much at school that we hardly ever get to see him. It would be nice to see him do some traveling because everyone who travels comes back with a different point of view.”
Albert’s father has been to over 60 countries.
Eighth grader Sage Harner has a 4.0 grade point average. She likes science and reading and plays on the girls volleyball team. She enjoys drawing, reading, and writing.
After finishing high school, she wants to go to college and become an author or an anesthesiologist. She hopes that one day she will publish a book.
Sage’s father and mother, Marti and Lori Harner, were present to watch their daughter honored. Mr. Harner said, “It is important that young people recognize what society expect of them and also to receive the rewards.”
Lion George Whitfield presented Albert with a check for $100 and Sage with a check for $50 on behalf of the Burney Lions Club.
Filed under Burney, Burney Lions Club, Schools, youth
Intermountain Teens host healing drum circle at Hill Valley Clinic
More than 40 people gathered at the Hill Country Clinic on Wednesday evening November 14 to participate in a healing drum circle sponsored by the Intermountain Teen Center.
The teens invited everyone in community and drew drummers and shakers ranging in age from a young toddler to senior citizens.
Circle of Friends in Burney brought a bus load and two vans and people came from Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, and Big Bend. There were lots of drums, shakers, clacking sticks and other rhythm instruments so that everyone was able to participate.
Teen Center Program Coordinator Theresa Callahan welcomed everybody and then introduced experienced drummer Verena Compton, who facilitated the drum circle together with her husband Randy.
Verena began with a prayer in both German and English. She advised people that the African djembes were meant to be played with hands only. Then she began a beat and everyone joined in. After a period of time the drumming came to an end and then Verena or Randy began a new beat for another period. And so it was for one hour as people joined in with djembes, bongos, Native American drums, gourds, shakers, and sticks. The drum circle continued for about one hour.
Communal drum circles have existed amongst indigenous people around the world for thousands of years. They began becoming popular in the United States during the counterculture movement in the late 1960’s. Over the years, it has been found that drumming is therapeutic.
In 1991, during testimony before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart stated:
Typically, people gather to drum in drum “circles” with others from the surrounding community. The drum circle offers equality because there is no head or tail. It includes people of all ages. The main objective is to share rhythm and get in tune with each other and themselves. To form a group consciousness. To entrain and resonate. By entrainment, I mean that a new voice, a collective voice, emerges from the group as they drum together.
In his book “The Healing Power of the Drum”, Robert Lawrence Friedman states:
Some of the psychological applications in which hand drums are being used include assisting veterans to release the emotional pain of post-traumatic stress disorder, releasing the pent-up anger and negative emotions of “at-risk” adolescents, and promoting health in corporate executives through releasing their day-to-day stress, in addition to many other applications.
The Intermountain Teen Center plans to host more drum circles for the community in the future.
Filed under Circle of Friends, Intermountain Teen Center, Mental Health, youth