Tag Archives: Northern California

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.”

FRJUSD Superintendent Greg Hawkins

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.

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

Trouble at Ogiba’s Restaurant

Richard Koras and Andrea Ogiba are a hard-working young couple pursuing a dream. On November 21 they opened a diner and bakery in Johnson Park where the Frosty’s used to be. They named it Ogiba’s after Andrea’s family name.

Andrea Ogiba pursuing a dream

“My dad, Andrew Ogiba was the start of my inspiration for loving to bake. When he passed away my Nana Pat helped expand the horizon. They are a big part of all of this.”

Richard, soon to turn 30, and Andrea, 25, were married in April. They have two children, Andrew, 5, and Natalia, 2. Richard is a former Marine. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton where he worked as a Avionics Technician doing electrical work on the Huey and Cobra AH1-W and UH1-N helicopters. Both Richard and Andrea are seeking to further their education. Andrea is pursuing online studies with Escoffier School of Culinary Arts to receive a pastry certificate. Richard is working toward a degree in computer information systems. Richard is also working three days a week at Ray’s market.

The couple’s goals for the restaurant are to “support our family, give back to the community, and expand.” Currently the restaurant is open from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the future they hope to serve dinner also.

The couple worked hard for six months to prepare the building for their opening. Beginning in June, they replaced the water main, painted the walls, installed tiling in the floor, put in new sinks, improved fire prevention, repaired gas leaks and did a lot of cleaning. They had hoped to open by August 1, but completing the work and going through the regulatory process prolonged the opening till late November.

Two weeks before opening someone stole Andrea’s cell phone. Shortly after, one panel of the to-go window was broken. The perpetrator did not climb through the window but reached through and grabbed some valves off of the counter. Ogiba suspects that the thief was hoping to steal some tools but couldn’t get in because of the jagged broken glass.

After the business opened, word began to spread that there was a new restaurant and bakery in the area. Business began to pick up.

Ogiba said, “People were excited and eager to try the food. The response was good.  Sometimes it is breakfast and sometime it is lunch, But the fresh baked goods always sell out. The demand for baked goods is more that my two hands can handle. I do all the baking and no one else knows my recipes.”

Then in the wee hours of the morning of Monday, December 17, a thief removed the plastic covering from the to-go window and stole $200 worth of bacon, plus five pounds of sausage, and a loaf of banana bread. Richard recovered the window and reinforced it with boarding.

Inside view of broken window

That did not deter the thief however. The next night he struck again forcing the board back and shattering the other panel of glass so that he could slide the window open and climb in again. This time he stole shredded cheese, bacon bits, Crisco, three more loaves of banana bread, and some Pam. Then he got out through the back door.

Outside view of Broken window

“It was as though he had a grocery list, and he wanted more banana bread. He had to search for it because I had hidden it but he found it.” said Andrea.

She was particularly aggravated that the crook had stolen the Crisco because it was her son Andrew’s fifth birthday and she needed it to prepare the cake.

Richard and Andrea come in every evening to prepare and bake for the next morning. They work through the evening into the night. Then they go home to rest and return the next morning at 3:30 to open up. They estimate that the thief comes between 1:30 a.m. when the last patrol passes through Johnson Park and the time of their return. Ogiba estimates that the combined cost for repair to the window and the stolen goods is over $500.

The response of the people living in the community to the burglaries has been overwhelmingly supportive.

“People want to help. They are angry that this has happened. They are afraid that we may close the business and leave,” Ogiba said.

Many have come to express their support and desire to help. The incidents have been reported to the Sheriff’s Department.

The couple remains firm in their determination to succeed.

Andrea declared, “This is something that I’ve dreamed about for a long time. We’re not going to let it get taken away so easily. We’re not going anywhere!”

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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.

Danell Brumbaugh, Teacher Becky Mock, patient Sally Schmidt, Elias Avelar, Superintendent Greg Hawkins, and Vice Principal Becky Torgrimson

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.

 

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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.”

Vocal Ensemble

Hundreds of parents, family members, teachers, and friends came to hear the students perform.

Beginning Band

Altogether, more than seventy students took part in the concert under the direction of music teacher Hugo Castro.

Advanced Band

The concert began with the Vocal Ensemble singing five songs. Mary Lawson, Angel Estrada, and Makenna Crook were featured as a trio,

Featured trio

and Christinia James and Neveah Trump did a duet.

Featured duet

Next the beginning band, which this year has more than 40 students, performed five songs with a wide variety of instruments.

Clarinets

Diverse 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.

Flute and sax

All in all, the students displayed their musical talents performing a delightful selection of traditional Christmas carols and popular songs of the season.

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Filed under Burney, Music, Schools, youth

Starry Nights + Chili Cook-off = A Wonderful Holiday Feast!

By 6 p.m. people were streaming into the Word of Life Assembly of God (WOLA) for the combined chili cook-off and Starry Nights Christmas music program. WOLA’s motto is “Loving God and Loving People.” This annual Christmas program, open to everyone in the public, is one of the ways in which they share their love and gratitude with the community.

Before long the beautifully decorated worship hall was filled with more than 150 guests.

Ready to eat

Meanwhile in the foyer, WOLA volunteers were prepared to serve samples of seventeen chilis that had been entered for the cook-off.

Ready to serve

Pastor Ken Frazier welcomed everyone and explained directions for the cook-off. People would line up to receive seventeen samples of chili in numbered cups. After sampling them they could vote for their favorite and also go back to enjoy a full bowl of their favorite.

“This is one occasion when you are allowed to judge,” he said.

Pastor Ken welcoming guests and explaining the chili cook-off

People filed through the foyer filling their plates.

Seventeen chilis to sample and judge

In addition to chili, there were corn bread, condiments, clam chowder, and lots of goodies.

Goodies

People enjoyed the food and fellowship. Singers and musicians came forward to lead the audience in a joyful heartfelt mixture of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs.

Traditional and contemporary Christmas music

As the food filled the bellies of the diners and the music filled the air,  the Holy Spirit filled the hearts of the people with God’s love and inspiration.

Pastor Ken came forward and announced a short intermission in the music.

He was ready to announce the winners for the chili cook-off. Third place went to Shasta Bellagante. Matt Swanson won the prize for second place. And the winner of the Best Chili for 2018 was Kimbra Biles!

Chili Cook-Off Winners

Then Pastor Ken asked Alex and Linda Colvin to please come to the front of the room.  Like  faithful sheep, they followed the pastor’s voice and came forward. Ken announced that people in the church had decided to provide a special surprise Christmas blessing to this couple – two large baskets filled with gifts.

A very grateful blessed couple

Totally surprised and overwhelmed with gratitude, Mr. Colvin took the microphone and said, “This is the greatest church in the entire cosmos. God is here. And in the coming new year we will work to accomplish many things to help bring God’s Kingdom in the Intermountain Area!”

After the presentation, the Christmas music resumed. The program ended with Janice Hamlin and the worship team singing the wonderful Christmas carol “O Holy Night.”

Loving God and loving one another. Sharing food, fellowship, and sacred song at a feast celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Son of God and Holy Messiah. Is this not a taste of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth?

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Filed under Burney, Churches, Word of Life Assembly of God

F Troop Santa delivers Christmas toys to Intermountain children

Riding through the chilly winter fog, United Bikers of Northern California “F Troop” delivered Christmas toys to more than one hundred children in low income housing in the Intermountain Area on Saturday morning December 15.

Lots of Kids happy to meet Santa

The bikers met at Greg Trotter’s house at 9:30 a.m. to pack vehicles with toys for boys and girls. F Troop raised funds to purchase toys at their giant annual yard sale during the summer. Additional toys were gathered by the “Stuff the Ambulance” program sponsored by Mayers Memorial Hospital.

Santa and F Troop deliver Christmas toys

The club delivered toys to apartments on Superior Avenue and Burney Villa in Burney, Rainbow’s End Trailer Park in Johnson Park, Cedarwood apartments in Fall River Mills, Mayer’s Memorial Hospital, and McArthur Trailer Park.

Hunter and Chloe with Santa

At each stop, children and their parents streamed out of their homes to greet Santa and receive presents.

A thoughtful moment with Santa

Giving and receiivng brings Christmas joy

F Troop is the local affiliate of United Bikers of Northern California a non-profit tax exempt charitable organization dedicated to the freedom and safety of all motorcyclists.  Part of F Troop’s motto is “riding to live and living to give.”

F Troop President Greg Trotter with grateful kids

 

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Filed under Burney, F Troop, Fall River Mills, Johnson Park, Mayers Memorial Hospital, McArthur, Motorcycles

Ellen Songer joins Burney Water District Board

BWD Manager Willei Rodriguez with new Board Member Ellen Songer

Ellen Songer became a Board Member of the Burney Water District (BWD) at their monthly meeting on Thursday evening December 13 at the Burney Water District Office. BWD Manager Willie Rodriguez administered the oath of office.

Ms. Songer will replace Tanya Taylor. The Board passed a resolution commending Ms. Taylor for distinguished devotion and service.

Ms. Songer became a Burney resident 44 years ago. She raised her son and daughter in Burney. She is a former Manager of US Bank. Before working for US Bank she also worked for three years at Tri Counties Bank.

Ms. Songer said, “I have always been part of the community. This is my home and I want to do whatever I can to serve.”

Ms. Songer will be a member of the Finance Standing Committee and the Public Relations Standing Committee.

The Board also elected Jim Hamlin to serve as Board President and Britta Rogers to serve as Vice President.

Amongst other business:

The Board passed a motion to change the Swimming Pool Oversight Committee to the Swimming Pool and Parks Oversight Committee.

The Board also passed a motion to pass a $250 allocation for writing and publication of a history of the Burney Water District and a statement of future projects and goals to better inform customers of the District’s work and vision for the future.

Manager Rodriguez also informed Board members of several upcoming California Service District Association training meetings and asked them to check their calendars and let him know what meetings they could attend. BWD member attendance at these meeting helps to reduce insurance costs for the District. The cost for attendance can be funded by grants.

Mr. Rodriguez also reported that the new billing and payment system is now operational. Customers can now make credit card, debit card, and online payments. There will be a $2 processing fee for electronic transactions.

For more information please visit https://www.burneywater.org/ or call BWD at 335-3582.

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