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San Bernardino City Unified’s Hillside Elementary Wins Prestigious Honors

Hillside SoA_06

Hillside University Demonstration School has earned prestigious, back-to-back awards for its work to ensure all students succeed academically.

The California Department of Education recently recognized Hillside with a Title I Academic Achievement Award for demonstrating that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California’s academic content standards.

The Title I Academic Achievement Award is given to schools receiving federal Title I funds as authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Title I, the single largest federal educational program for K-12 public education, assists schools in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty level.

In March, the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) named Hillside one of the nation’s top urban schools that achieve exceptional academic results. To compete for the 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award, schools had to serve predominantly low-income students. They also had to meet a long list of student performance criteria, including high achievement scores, high attendance rates, and low suspension rates, among other requirements. In addition, each racial, ethnic, and income group served had to demonstrate rates of proficiency that exceeded the proficiency rates for all students in the state. Schools also could not use any selective admission criteria to screen out less-capable students.

Hillside, which earned a Bronze Award from NCUST, was 1 of just 16 schools around the nation that demonstrated the greatest evidence of rigorous content, engaging instruction, and positive relationships among students, teachers, parents, and administrators. The only other California school to be recognized is a charter school in El Cajon. All of the award-winning schools were recognized at a special ceremony during the NCUST Symposium on Thursday, May 22 in San Diego.

“We are fortunate to have very dedicated teachers who put students first,” said Principal Tommie Archuleta. “Everyone, from our parents to our community partners, has high expectations for our students. And, our students have shown us that they can meet and often exceed those high expectations.”

Hillside Elementary is a University Demonstration School, where California State University, San Bernardino students who are preparing to enter the educational field work with master teachers. The school, which serves more than 700 students in grades kindergarten through six, offers the sought-after Dual Immersion program.

Hillside is a testimony to the transformation that is taking place across San Bernardino City Unified, said Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden.

“Our schools are where hope is born,” Marsden said. “If our students, our employees, and our schools have hope, then our entire community has hope.”

Female African American Director Launches Campaign for Feature Film

Shequeta Smith

Shequeta Smith

LOS ANGELES, CA- Hollywood is chalked full of great Directors and the alumni of talented African American Directors such as Steve McQueen, Lee DanielsSpike LeeTyler Perry, and John Singleton is growing. However, what we are not seeing is an equal presence of female African American Directors, but one woman hopes to change that and that woman is Shequeta Smith, CEO of Rayven Choi Films.

A graduate of North Carolina State University, Smith possess a professional resume that includes working on shows such as VH1’s Flava of Love, the CW’s Everybody Hates Chris, and a handful of successful short films she has directed. She now has her sights on feature films and has a hilarious comedy in the works and has launched a crowd funding campaign to get it off the ground.

The film is titled The Gestapo vs. Granny and is a comedy set inside a retirement home that centers around Agnes Monroe, a no nonsense eccentric senior citizen who has been kicked out of eighteen retirement homes and been arrested nine times for bad behavior while leaving a trail of outspoken victims from her shenanigans. In a hilarious twist Agnes is recruited to take on the shrewd owner of a retirement home that the residents have nicknamed The Gestapo. Agnes’ major “Senior Moment” is never realizing she is a senior…not even for a moment.

Smith launched her crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo with a goal of $75,000 that her team is marketing as Agnes’ bail money and promoting on social media as “Free Agnes Monroe”. Confident the campaign will succeed, Smith plans to shoot the film this Fall in Los Angeles with a dream cast and if all goes according to plan, Betty White will star in the film as Agnes Monroe. Smith has even initiated an online fan petition for Betty White to star in the role of Agnes.

To support The Granny vs. The Gestapo’s Indiegogo campaign, log on to www.FreeAgnesMonroe.com. Follow the campaign and film on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FreeAgnesMonroe and on Twitter, www.Twitter.com/FreeAgnesMonroe.

 

Letter to the Editor: Get to Know Danny Tillman

Danny Tillman

Danny Tillman

I am Danny Tillman and I am running for United States Congress for District 31. We are just days away from determining who will represent our community in Washington D.C. I am humbly asking that you vote for me on Tuesday, June 3, and elect me as your Representative for Congressional District 31.

Please allow me the opportunity to tell you a little about myself and just a few of my personal and community accomplishment in my 51 years of life. I am a lifelong Democrat born and raised in our district, right here in the City of San Bernardino and never left. I know what we need to grow our economy and I will work hard to make our district a better place for us all. I am a product of the San Bernardino City Unified District. I graduated from San Bernardino High School, San Bernardino Valley College and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an Information Technology concentration from California State University San Bernardino.

I have worked for the County of San Bernardino for 34 years and presently as the IT Department manager for Human Services. I was raised in New Hope Missionary Baptist Church where I play the drums in the Men’s adult choir. I have been a mentor for 30 years, serving as President of the Black Future Leaders. In addition, I served as Vice President to the San Bernardino NAACP for 2 terms and sat on the San Bernardino Valley College Foundation. I have been on the San Bernardino City Unified School District Board for the past 19 years and was re-elected this past November to my fifth term. After locating 40 million dollars my first year as a school board member, I have led my colleagues in effectively balancing the multi-million dollar budget, building 17 new schools, along with  creating thousands of new jobs in our area.

Now it is my desire to go to Washington and fight for jobs, education, seniors, safety and to make sure we continue and expand Obamacare. This election is VERY important and your vote does count! Today, I am asking for your vote to assist me in fighting for our community in a much larger capacity than I have ever done before. If you have not had the opportunity to visit my website, visit it at www.dannytillmanforcongress.com.

We have been blessed to have a campaign office for the past two months. I need you to help me cross the finish line by making a donation and volunteering to call voters and walk door to door these last few crucial days of my campaign. Our Campaign phone contact is (909) 888-7042 or (909) 567-0222. We are located at 577 North ‘D’ Street, Suite 103—104 in San Bernardino (92401). Our hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

If you have not voted yet you can vote early at the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters Office at 777 East Rialto Avenue in San Bernardino, May 5 – June 2  Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, May 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Election Day, Tuesday June 3, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you have questions as to where your polling location is you can call the Registrar of Voters Office at (909) 387-8300.