IMMIGRATION RALLY TODAY: Droves of people cloaked in black are expected to take to the streets today to mourn the loss of those who have died making the illegal journey across the border to the United States. People also will be paying homage to the family members who risked death, made it safely to the United States and settled. While participants' thoughts may be with their own families, the group is trying to draw attention to bigger issues: legalization of undocumented or illegal immigrants, reunification of families with deported loved ones, and a moratorium on immigration raids. The rally is from 8 a.m. to noon in El Paraiso's parking lot, 1550 Crows Landing Road. For more information: myspace.com/maydaymodesto.
ADMIN ASSISTANT HONORED: Empire's Hughes Elementary School administrative assistant Joanne Gaylor has been honored as one of the state's top six classified employees of the year. Gaylor has served as an administrative assistant at Hughes since 1994. She has been a classified employee in the Empire Union School District since 1981, serving as an instructional aide at the elementary and middle school levels. The employees were honored for their performance, one for each category in child nutrition, maintenance and operations, transportation, paraeducator, office and technical services and support services and security, for which Gaylor was recognized. The six represent California's 285,501 classified employees. Eighty-one people competed from 25 counties.
YCCD LEADER GETS LEAGUE POST: Yosemite Community College District Chancellor Roe Darnell has been elected to represent the local region for the Community College League of California. His three-year term will begin in June. Area 3 consists of eight districts (Yosemite, San Joaquin Delta, Merced, State Center, Sequoias, West Hills, Kern and West Kern community college districts) and 13 colleges. Darnell will sit on a 16-member board that gives direction to CCLC staff concerning statewide educational policy, research initiatives, publications, workshops, and conferences
FFA DEGREE FOR STAN STATE'S BENDER: Mark Bender, chairman of the agricultural studies department at California State University, Stanislaus, was recently awarded the Honorary California State Future Farmers of America Degree at the 2008 California FFA Conference in Fresno. As the recipient of the highest award bestowed by the California State FFA Association, Bender was recognized for his lifelong work with high school agriculture students and the FFA, as well as his statewide efforts for agricultural education at the secondary and postsecondary levels. He has more than 36 years of service in agricultural education, including seven years at CSU, Stanislaus, and was one of only three selected for the statewide honor this year.