With the new school year upon us I am excited to announce some of the changes in store for 2016-17 for Yosemite Unified.
First of all I am proud to introduce the new teachers who will be leading the way in our classrooms. The Rivergold Elementary teaching staff is joined by Kelly Calcagno and Amy Cook. They have moved to join the Yosemite Unified District from teaching positions in Mariposa and Raymond-Knowles respectively last year. Kelly will teach kindergarten and Amy will be joining sixth grade.
At Coarsegold Elementary the Cougars welcome new first grade teacher Brooklyn Fuson to the Coarsegold community, fourth grade teacher Ron Johnson, most recently from working as Director of Technology in the Mariposa School District, and a full time assignment in third grade for Nathan Ratley.
The Resource position at Rivergold will be filled by Yosemite High School alum Andrew Medley and Teresa Struffert will be serving as our School Psychologist primarily at Yosemite High School and Rivergold Elementary.
Yosemite High school is pleased that David Archer, who has assisted at YHS last year, will be taking over as the Commandant for our outstanding Cadet Corps program. Mr. Archer is also the Command Sergeant Major for the entire California Cadet Corps.
It is also an honor to welcome two new administrators to the district. Jared Pierce, a current Oakhurst resident, will be leading Coarsegold Elementary as the new principal. Mr. Pierce comes to Yosemite Unified School District most recently from his position of principal of Mariposa Elementary School and is looking forward to being able to work in his home community.
Kelli Bryant is assuming the duties as Director of Special education after working with Yosemite Unified and Bass Lake Elementary students last year while working as Special Education coordinator for Bass Lake Elementary School District.
This summer we announced two new independent study options as highlighted in the Sierra Star. These programs are part of the Yosemite Falls Independent Study that will be offered at two locations, one in Yosemite Lakes Park and the other at Yosemite High School. The programs are designed to use blended learning with online curriculum, and will offer high school students the options of completing selected classes at Yosemite High School, and the option for all students, K-12, to be involved in extracurricular activities at Rivergold, Coarsegold or Yosemite High School.
The program in Yosemite Lakes will be taught by Yosemite Unified teacher and technology coach Rhonda Corippo, and the program in Oakhurst is led by Talitha Masacchio.
The district technology capacity received a big boost with the awarding of the Broadband Infrastructure Improvement Grant that is part of the Statewide High Speed Network program. The grant received by Yosemite Unified will provide each of our schools with a dedicated 1 gigabyte line.
In the fall the district is prepared to make internal improvements with Federal E-rate funds.
We are again offering Transitional Kindergarten at both Rivergold and Coarsegold Schools with Bob Elliot leading the program at Rivergold and Hillary Campbell at Coarsegold.
In the primary program we are pleased we have been able to move Ellen Jessing to a reading intervention position to support our primary students with reading development at Rivergold Elementary.
Yosemite High School has added a number of new courses to fit with student interest and needs including a new career technology course, Criminal Investigations, new advanced Physical Education classes in Adventure Sports and Walking and Fitness for Life, a new science course in Integrated Physical Science and one in Advanced Aerial Robotics. This year YHS has also added Sociology, Spanish 3 honors courses, a class in Peer Communications and the addition of a World Religions course to the International Baccalaureate program.
The Badgers are also anticipating a big year in athletics in pursuit of the 13th straight Ginsburg trophy,given to the top athletic program in the North Sequoia League, and in music as the Badger Music program continues to grow and will be on display to start the year at Badger Football games and parades.