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May 2014

MUSD BTSA Induction Program Recognizes Teachers at Annual Colloquium


Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment Candidates Complete Year 1 & 2


More than two dozen new educators at the Montebello Unified School District were honored for reaching impressive milestones while on their journeys to become fully certified teachers during a year-end celebration on Wednesday, May 28.

At the Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment (BTSA) Induction Colloquium, held at the MTA Conference Center, 15 new teachers were recognized for completing year one of the program, while 16 others were recognized for completing the two-year program.

For the past 12 years, MUSD has organized the BTSA Induction Colloquium as a way to celebrate and recognize new teachers who are in the final phase of obtaining their certified teaching credential. Candidates in the two-year program work with a trained mentor to analyze student work, conduct inquiries, and design lessons to meet students' needs. Candidates also attend monthly professional development meetings around topics that include Equitable and Inclusive Learning Environment, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Academic Language Development, Using Technology for Equitable Access, Classroom Management and Healthy Learning Environment, among others.

The colloquium is intended to celebrate each candidate while providing a forum where new teachers have the opportunity to showcase their best work and can trade ideas and effective strategies for teaching in the classroom.

Upon completion of the program, the District recommends the candidate, who holds a Preliminary Teaching Credential, to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing for issuing a Clear Teaching Credential.

"The BTSA Induction Program provides an excellent resource for incoming teachers who are on the path to becoming licensed teachers in California, while creating a teacher support system that transcends the perimeters of the program," said Susanna Contreras Smith, Superintendent of Education. "We are applaud each candidate for their hard work and thank each member of our District team that facilitates the success and development of the BTSA Induction Program here at MUSD."

The BTSA Induction Program is a sponsored by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The program engages preliminary credentialed teachers in a job-embedded formative assessment system of support and professional growth to fulfill the requirements for the California Clear Teaching Credential. BTSA Induction programs are locally designed and implemented.

ATC Math Teacher Receives High-Ranking Promotion within U.S. Army

LomasOne of the founding teachers of the Applied Technology Center (ATC) in Montebello, mathematics teacher Trevor Lomas, was recently promoted to the high-ranking position of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, serving as Commander of the 222nd Broadcast Operations Detachment in Bell, CA.

Lomas got his start in the Army Reserve National Guard as a private in 1984, and became an officer in 1990 through the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). He moved through the ranks within the U.S. Army Reserve, moving from major to Lieutenant Colonel. He currently commands the 222nd Broadcast Operations Detachment, which establishes radio and television broadcasts through the American Forces Radio and Television Service.

In addition to his military training, Lomas joined MUSD in 2000 as a mathematics teacher. Deciding to broaden his scope of courses, he ventured into teaching social studies as well. He currently teaches five classes of ninth- through 11th-grade math. He also serves as a member of the school's leadership team and assists with emergency preparedness on campus.

"I believe that leadership is an act of influencing people, not directing people, to act," said Lomas. "Being able to teach students how to work together to solve problems or make decisions in turn influences their choices in the long-term."

Lomas hopes to advance in his responsibilities within the US Army Reserve, having recently submitted to become a Battalion Commander, which is a position selected by a board in the Army.

"In addition to his expertise in the classroom, Mr. Lomas has been able to expose students to the ins and outs of his radio and television broadcast in the Army, and what it means for our troops abroad," said Cleve Pell, Superintendent of Schools. "Thank you to Mr. Lomas for his service and for his commitment to the education of our students at ATC."

Potrero Elementary Student Wins Nationwide Art Contest

Fifth-grader Art-Winning Entry Focuses on Importance of Breakfast

PHE Art Winner

Robotic waiters, jet packs and spaceship deliveries of food illustrate what school breakfast may look like 1,000 years from now, according to students from across the nation who participated in the National School Breakfast Week art contest earlier this year. Out of 750 entries, Desiree Sinohui, a fifth-grader at Potrero Elementary School in Montebello, was recently selected as the winner in the elementary school category for her depiction of breakfast in 3014.

The Montebello Unified School District's Nutrition Services asked more than 500 classrooms within the District to submit artwork in order to participate in the School Nutrition Association's (SNA) National School Breakfast Week art contest. Out of the 100 submissions, Nutrition Services staff selected two winners to enter into the elementary and middle school categories. The promotion was aimed at highlighting the importance of taking time for breakfast each day and incorporating nutritious food items into daily breakfast.

MUSD's Nutrition Services seeks to incorporate a healthy food item, tip or information into the MUSD nutrition education curriculum each month. Whether it's "Harvest of the Month," which highlights a vegetable or fruit into a given month's lesson plan and gets incorporated into school cafeteria menus, or various contests or promotions with SNA, MUSD strives to keep healthful eating at the forefront.

"Nutrition Services is dedicated to maintaining collaboration with teachers, staff and students when it comes to health and good nutrition," said Victoria Cheung, Director of Nutrition Services. "By incorporating strategies and lessons that motivate and empower students to eat fruits and vegetables and stay active, everyone benefits."

Sinohui's artwork depicted students floating on aircrafts, while being served cereals and fruits by robots. As the youngest winner, Nutrition Services awarded her a certificate of recognition, age-appropriate nutrition and cook books, and art supplies. She will also receive a time capsule with items to commemorate 2014, as well as various art supplies from SNA. Two other winners, from Washington and Hawaii, won in the middle and high school categories, respectively.

"Connecting art and other hands-on activities with health is one of the creative ways we remain dedicated to teaching and maintaining the healthy lifestyles of our students," said Cleve Pell, Superintendent of Schools. "Congratulations to Desiree, her teachers and to Nutrition Services for this accomplishment as it signifies the commitment we have at MUSD to the health of our students and community."

High Achieving MUSD Students Receive First-Ever Academic Salute

John Hopkins

Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Participants Recognized for Accomplishments


More than 200 highly excelling students within Montebello Unified School District, who are seeking participation in the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) program, were recognized for their stellar academic achievements at the MUSD 2014 Academic Salute on Saturday, May 3.

Two hundred and eight MUSD students were presented with a certificate awarded by Johns Hopkins CTY representatives for their high marks on two tests required to begin the admittance process into the CTY summer program. Students who performed at two grade levels above their own on the California Standardized Test were then able to move onto the next level of testing: the rigorous School and College Ability Test (SCAT), administered by Johns Hopkins, or the SAT or ACT, tests used for college admissions. Second- through sixth-graders were required to take the SCAT, while seventh- and eighth-graders took the SCAT, SAT or ACT.

Once students pass the SCAT or meet a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT, they are eligible to apply for placement at highly-esteemed universities within the CTY summer program. At MUSD, students from second- through fifth-grade can participate in a three-week residential program at Maranatha High School in Pasadena. Older students participate in summer programs at University of California, Santa Cruz or Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Most MUSD students qualify for scholarships.