SALIDA SALARY INCREASE: Salida Union School District employees received a 3 percent salary increase, retroactive to July 2007. Trustees approved the raise at their Tuesday board meeting, when Superintendent Tony Borba noted that although the raises weren't believed possible earlier in the year, they are now because of additional funding located since then. The enhancements will cost the district $598,967.
STANISLAUS STUDENTS HONORED: Two California State University, Stanislaus, students captured first place honors in the CSU Student Research Competition earlier this month. Muninder Dhaliwal, a psychology major from Turlock, and Kristina Wing, an education graduate student from Turlock, came home with first-place prizes from the systemwide competition held at CSU, East Bay, in Hayward. Dhaliwal won the behavioral and social sciences undergraduate division, beating 10 others with her talk titled "The Curious Tale of the Two Misplaced Forts: A Soil Investigation by X-Ray Fluorescence." In her talk, Dhaliwal talked about how new portable X-ray fluorescent technology was used to analyze soil in Arizona to locate the former sites of two military forts once occupied by American and Mexican military forces. Wing won the education graduate/undergraduate division in a field of 11 competitors with a presentation titled "The Impact of Participation in Music Education on the Academic Achievement of Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Students." In her presentation, Wing demonstrated her findings with comparative data from the California Standards Test results. Her research revealed that elementary school students in the Ceres Unified School District who participate in regular curriculum music programs outscore those who take part in alternative physical education classes.
PARADISE PRINCIPAL WINS AWARD: Paradise Elementary School District Superintendent/Principal Rusty Wynn recently received the Superintendent/Principal of the Year from the Association of California School Administrators, Region VII. The region recognized and honored outstanding performance and achievement by individual administrators, classified managers and confidential employees.
TOPS AT MJC: The Modesto Junior College technical education department recognized earlier this month the student of the year, alumnus of the year, professor of the year and business partner of the year. The 2007-08 Technical Education Student of the Year Award was presented to Alejandro Perez in recognition of his academic excellence, responsibility, perseverance and promise in the field of industrial technology. He carried a full load of 12 to 17 units each semester and held an off-campus job while achieving a 3.56 grade point average and maintaining perfect attendance. Alumnus of the year went to Sandy Layne. After graduating from MJC, Layne transferred to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, to complete his bachelor's degree in graphic communication with a concentration in print management. He is employed as a lithographic facilitator at Pacific Southwest Container in Modesto. Professor of the year was presented to Gerald Wray for his dedication and excellence in teaching. Business partner of the year went to Del Monte Foods. This year, Del Monte was instrumental in committee work for the Central Valley Manufacturing and Maintenance Apprenticeship Program and helped expand on-the-job facility exposure for MJC's industrial technology students through the development of a plant internship program for students.