Monday Message From Dr. Mary Sieu



April 15, 2019 



Superintendent’s Message - Dr. Mary Sieu

(Follow me on Twitter: @abcsupt)


On Friday, April 5, 2019, teams from Cerritos HS, Whitney HS, and Tracy HS were recognized at the California School Recognition Program by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond at the Disneyland Hotel. President Ernie Nishii, Dr. Rhonda Buss, and I were excited to share this special day with them as well as the dinner that followed the Awards Ceremony. Cerritos HS and Whitney HS were selected as 2019 California Distinguished Schools. Tracy HS was honored as a 2019 Model Continuation High School.


The 21st Annual STEM Middle School Olympics was held on Saturday, April 6 at Fedde MS. The Cerritos Optimist Club is a co-sponsor of the STEM Middle School Olympics. Over 500 students participated in this year’s events. During the Awards Ceremony, we also honored Paul Killian with a perpetual trophy for his extraordinary work in promoting science education. Our gratitude goes to all the students, science educators from our middle schools, our administrators, Board Members, and District staff for participating in this year’s exciting STEM Olympics!


The 2020 Distinguished Young Women Cerritos-Artesia Scholarship Program was held on Sunday, April 7 at Cerritos College. During its 52 years of operation, the Distinguished Young Women showcases excellence in academic achievement, physical fitness, on stage performance skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly. I was honored to present the Academic Scholarship to Whitney HS student Joyce Yuan. Whitney HS students Josie Nieh and Sujanya Narayanan were the 2020 Scholarship recipients for Cerritos-Artesia West and East.


Last week, my school visits included Palms ES, Willow ES, Gahr HS, and Stowers ES. Each visit included talks with the administrators, teachers, students, and parents at the school. One of my highlights was throwing the first pitch during the Rededication of the Girls Softball Field at Gahr HS. The Softball Field has been upgraded due to the MLB Grant that we successfully received as well as District support. Board President Ernie Nishii and Board Clerk Sophia Tse assisted me in the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to rededicate the Girls Softball Field.


In the evening, I attended the Adult School Annual Outstanding Student Awards Program held at Cabrillo Lane. Twenty-six adult learners were recognized on stage as well as seven Rising Stars. Many elected officials attended this special event including representatives from Assembly Member Cristina Garcia’s Office, State Senator Bob Archuleta, mayors, and civic leaders from Bellflower, Downey, and Hawaiian Gardens. President Ernie Nishii and I congratulated all the award winning students along with Adult School Principal Dr. PaoLing Guo.


The City of Cerritos Council Members recognized our award winning schools at their Council Meeting on April 11th. They honored Cerritos HS and Whitney HS for being selected as a 2019 California Distinguished School. Tracy HS was honored as a 2019 Model Continuation High School. Both Wittmann ES and Carmenita MS were also recognized by the City Council for being selected for the State’s Civic Learning Award this year. 


News About Our Schools and/or District


Elementary Reading Olympics - The Elementary Reading Olympics was held on Saturday, March 30, in the Artesia High School Gym. Seventeen elementary schools engaged in a friendly competition. Each of the school teams had up to 14 readers comprised of fourth to sixth grade students and were responsible for reading 20 books and collaborating to answer questions about each book. The competition featured three rounds of 20 questions each (one from each book per round). Teams earned a cumulative score for all rounds and each team was recognized at the end of the competition. The top three Reading Olympics teams this year were the Gonsalves Grizzly Bear Bookworms (1st), the Furgeson Book Explorers (2nd), and the Wittmann Reading Warriors (3rd). Congratulations to all the Reading Olympics participants and coaches for a job well done. Thank you to the all parents, teachers, and principals who cheered on the readers in an audience of more than 400 people.


Melbourne ES’s Mindfulness Lab Grand Opening –Melbourne ES was excited to announce the Grand Opening of their Mindfulness Lab on April 17. The Mindfulness Lab will be a room exclusively dedicated to providing mental health supports for all students. Funding was specially provided by the Barona Band of Mission Indians and Assemblymember Anthony Rendon. Congratulations to Melbourne ES!


Whitney HS - On Friday, March 29, Whitney High School Junior Charlotte Park attended the LA County Regional Science Fair at the Pasadena Convention Center, where a total of over 700 entries had been submitted. Charlotte competed in the Engineering Research Senior Division against 12 other outstanding entries. She received 1st Place in her division with a project titled, “Conductive Materials-Based Reusable Electrostatic PM 2.5 Filters.” She also earned the title of "Sweepstakes Finalist" for being one of the finalists for best in show. As a result, she will move on to the statewide California Science Fair competition at the end of April!


Cerritos HS - For the first time, the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) through the Office of Career Technical Education (CTE) announced the LACOE CTE Scholarship Award. This scholarship was specifically created for Los Angeles County graduating seniors who are enrolled in CTE Pathways and demonstrate leadership skills and academic excellence. The CTE & Community Partnerships office worked closely with high school counselors and CTE faculty to ensure all eligible students were aware of the opportunity. Both counselors and faculty supported students in assisting them with the preparation of their applications, essays, resumes, and letters of recommendation. We are pleased to announce that two ABCUSD seniors were each awarded with a one-time scholarship of $1,000 to support their college and career goals. The students awarded were Jeremiah Kim and Kevin Tai – both Cerritos HS seniors completing their CTE pathway in Project Lead The Way Engineering Design.


Community Advisory Committee (CAC) - More than 40 parents attended the Special Education Community Advisory Committee (CAC) parent meeting on Thursday, March 28th.  The parent night was devoted to reviewing options for youth with disabilities as these students’ approach adulthood.  Staff presentations and information booths were created for ABC's Adult Transition Program, ABC's Workability Program, the North Orange County Community College District, the WISE program, Harbor Regional Center, Cerritos College, and Cypress College.  The parents expressed great appreciation for the presentations and the information.  As always, additional time was devoted to parental questions regarding special education programs and services.


Transportation Department – The last CNG (compressed natural gas) bus that was purchased through a grant has arrived, its maiden voyage will be April 16th taking the District Office secretaries to lunch. This bus will allow us to transport a wheel chair student with their class to a field trip instead of transporting them separately in a second bus!


Math Field Day - Both Wittmann ES and Cerritos ES will represent ABC at this year's LACOE Math Field Day on April 27th. Wittmann ES will be sending their 5th and 6th grade teams and Cerritos ES will be sending their 4th grade team. The final competition against 32 other school districts will take place at Glendora High School.