http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2011/03/18/of-note


Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - March 18, 2011

Of Note

Fremont honors Parvin Ahmadi

Pleasanton school Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi may have left Fremont Unified School District, but she has not been forgotten by her friends and colleagues there. Although Ahmadi accepted the job as superintendent of Pleasanton Unified School District last summer, she still was chosen as the Educator of the Year by the Fremont Education Foundation (FEF), and recently she received a standing ovation from over 300 guests at their annual awards banquet.

Ahmadi's career began in San Jose, where she taught kindergarten and grades 1, 5, and 6 for the Mount Pleasant School District. In 1997, she moved to the Fremont district as a sixth-grade teacher, then was vice principal at Weibel Elementary School and principal of Parkmont Elementary, where she was lauded for "thinking outside the box" to enhance student curriculum. Later she was promoted to director of elementary education and then assistant superintendent. In that last role, Ahmadi was the district's representative to FEF, where she forged strong partnerships with many Fremont corporations.

Good Citizens Award

The Jose Maria Amador Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently honored winners of its student essay contests. Sarah Williams of Amador Valley High School won the Good Citizens Award and is advancing to the District Level. Bianca De of Dougherty Valley High in San Ramon won the Christopher Columbus Essay Contest on what lessons we can draw on from his life.

The American History Essay Contest for fifth-eighth-graders, in celebration of the 275th birthday of Paul Revere in 2010, had students write as if they were Paul Revere writing his memoirs. The fifth-grade winner was Stacy Shimanuki of Connecting Water Charter School; sixth grade, Rupal Nigam of Windemere Ranch Middle School; seventh grade, Sonya Jain of Gale Ranch Middle School; and eighth grade, Augustine Chemparathy, also of Gale Ranch.

Fourth-graders ace imagination challenge

The Pleasanton Sparks, fourth-graders from Hearst Elementary, won first place at the Regional Tournament of the 2010-11 Destination Imagination Challenge on March 5 held at Pleasanton Middle School.

"They were the best among six very competitive teams that competed in the Elementary Level of the STRUCTURAL challenge," reported team manager Kris Kumar.

The Sparks' challenge was titled "Verses! Foiled Again!" and included building the lightest structure out of wood, aluminum foil and glue that could withstand as heavy a load as possible. Plus they had to create and enact a play where they showed an evil plot being foiled.

In addition to that win, the Pleasanton Sparks team was presented the most prestigious award of the tournament: the Da Vinci award for Creativity, Courage and Originality. To win this award the students competed with all 60 teams that participated in the tournament, which included several at the high school and middle school levels.

The Pleasanton Sparks are Ananth Kumar, Sharanya Kumar, Ashira Monga, Ryan Boyden, Brendan Hwang and Varun Rao.

"Since we won the Regional Tournament, we are advancing to the State-Level tournament, which will be held in Oakhurst on April 9," Kris Kumar said. "We hope to be successful in the State Tournament and advance to the Global Championship in May."

Winter band shows open to all

The Foothill High School Band Boosters invite everybody to its annual Winter Guard, Percussion and Drum Major Competition taking place Saturday, March 26, at Foothill High School. Ninety-two performances are scheduled for this day-long event, which traditionally showcases the region's top talent; top finishers at Foothill typically dominate the awards podium at the Championships the following weekend.

The Drum Majors start the day off at 8 a.m. in the stadium. In the large gym, the Percussion competitions begin at 8:30 a.m. followed by Winter Guard at 2:50 p.m., and awards at 6:10 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults; $8 students; free for 5 and under. Food and band souvenirs also will be for sale. Proceeds benefit the Foothill High School music program.

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