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School district seeking new digs

By Linda Lou

2:00 a.m. December 18, 2008

The Poway Unified School District is looking for a new headquarters building, and has to decide whether it wants to buy or build.

The search is starting as the district wraps up construction on what could be its last new school, Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch, scheduled to open in August 2009. Poway Unified also has been extensively upgrading older campuses.

Deputy Superintendent John Collins said ...

for the rest, follow the link below...

School district seeking new digs

Poway USD Teacher Marissa Ochoa Surprised with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award

December 03, 2008

Posted by: Milken Family Foundation

At a teacher staff meeting that third-grade teacher Marissa Ochoa once attended, Poway Unified School District Superintendent Donald A. Phillips said, "No matter what's going on in your life, this is the only year that that student is going to be in your classroom."

Ochoa never forgot those words, and she recalled them this morning when she was surprised by Milken Family Foundation Chairman Lowell Milken with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award for her excellence as a teacher.

Note: click on the picture for a bio of Marissa Ochoa  ------------------------------->>

As with every other Milken Educator, Ochoa did not expect to receive the honor this morning, nor did she even know she'd been nominated. As she stood along the wall near her students during a schoolwide assembly inside Valley Elementary School's multi-purpose room, listening to speeches from a roster of famous people and educational leaders, she had no idea that the whole thing had been organized to celebrate her achievements as an outstanding educator.

"You're all really lucky to be here and learning," said football legend Rosey Grier to the students of Valley Elementary School, "so that when you grow up, you can be anything you want to be:  a doctor, a lawyer, a minister, a teacher—you can even be president!"

"It takes a whole community to make a great school," said California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. "We all have a stake in making education great."

And that emphasis on the importance of teaching and learning continued as Lowell Milken began to speak, revealing hints about the real purpose of the assembly:  to surprise a Valley Elementary teacher with a $25,000 Milken Educator Award.

In a profession that seldom honors its best practitioners with public acclaim or substantial reward, the Milken Educator Award, Lowell explained, was being given to a teacher at Valley Elementary "who is representative of the many outstanding teachers in this school, district and across the nation."

When Lowell announced Marissa Ochoa's name as the recipient, her students and colleagues filled the room with thunderous cheers and applause. Meanwhile, in the back of the room, a woman began to cry with joy and pride:  Mary Ochoa, an employee of the Poway Unified School District and mother of the newest Milken Educator.

Giving Ochoa a moment to regain her composure, veteran California Milken Educators Linda Fisher (CA '98) and Susana Baum (CA '00) offered their congratulations and gave a brief glimpse of what it's like to be a recipient of the Award.

"This Award is life-altering," said Baum. "The Foundation does many good things and you should be proud."

Then it was Ochoa's turn to speak. She recalled the words of Superintendent Phillips and introduced her mother, whom she calls "Mama O."  She then spoke about the profession she loves so much.

"Every student that comes through my door, I put my heart and soul into," she said.

She then addressed the students, telling them that "the teachers who push you the most are the ones who care the most for you."

For all her pushing and caring, her exemplary instruction and her commitment to her students, this was Marissa Ochoa's day, her Award, and the beginning of a brand new adventure in her life.

As Lowell Milken said to her, "You are a shining example of what's right in public education."

Milken Educator Awards Notifications Blog

Seventy seven PUSD teachers become National Board Certified Teachers

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today congratulated 365 California teachers who have met rigorous criteria this year to become National Board Certified Teachers® (NBCTs) from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards®.

California Department of Education News Release

Release: #08-177
December 9, 2008

Contact: Tina Jung
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell Announces 365
California Teachers Received Prestigious National Certification

SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today congratulated 365 California teachers who have met rigorous criteria this year to become National Board Certified Teachers® (NBCTs) from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards®.

"This is a very prestigious honor for teachers who have worked hard to earn this national distinction," said O’Connell. "I congratulate them, and thank all teachers who I know are working hard to help our students succeed academically so they may compete in a more global, technologically challenging world."

This brings the total number of California teachers who have achieved NBCT status to 4,240, up from the total 3,878 last year. The 365 teachers who received their certification this year represent a 43 percent increase over the prior year. California ranks sixth nationwide this year in the number of new NBCTs, and ranks fourth in the total number of teachers who have achieved this certification. California’s 365 new NBCTs join 9,600 others nationwide this year, setting a national record for two years in a row.

The California school district that had the highest number of new NBCTs this year was the Los Angeles Unified School District with 129 teachers, ranking seventh compared to all other districts in the nation. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards also reports California’s top five school districts with the total number of teachers over time who have acquired NBCT status are:

  • Los Angeles Unified School District — 1,189;
  • San Diego Unified School District — 156;
  • San Francisco Unified School District — 154;
  • Long Beach Unified School District — 124; and
  • Poway Unified School District — 77.

Nearly 74,000 teachers in the nation have earned NBCTs. Educators achieving this status are comparable to board-certified doctors and accountants, who voluntarily meet rigorous criteria through intensive study, expert evaluation, self-assessment, and peer review. Research shows NBCTs consistently outperform their peers in knowledge of subject matter and ability to create challenging and engaging lessons for students.

National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize great teachers, reward them, and increase their skills. While state licensing systems set basic requirements to teach in each state, NBCTs have successfully demonstrated advanced teaching knowledge, skills, and practices.The certification process typically takes between one and three years to complete. As part of the process, teachers build a portfolio that includes student work samples, assignments, videotapes, and a thorough analysis of their classroom teaching, including evidence of fairness, equity, and access in meeting student needs .Teachers are also assessed on their knowledge of the subjects they teach.

NBCTs comprise 2 percent of the national teaching force, yet they have won nearly a fourth of the 2008 state teacher of the year awards and a third of the 2007 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Some prime examples of this are:

  • Lewis Chappelear of North Hills, teaches at James Monroe High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles County). He was named a 2008 California Teacher of the Year;
  • Caleb Cheung of Oakland, teaches at Frick Middle School in the Oakland Unified School District (Alameda County). He was the winner of the 2005 PAEMST award for mathematics; and
  • Margaret Cagle of Chatsworth, teaches at Lawrence Gifted/Highly Gifted Magnet in the Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles County). She won the 2005 PAEMST award for mathematics.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 700 local school districts recognize NBCT status as a mark of distinction and excellence. These municipalities provide valuable incentives to keep the nation's most accomplished teachers in classrooms where they are needed the most.For example, 63.7 percent of NBCTs in California teach in Title I eligible schools. Title I schools receive federal funding to help socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Information about how California supports the process of helping teachers become NBCTs is available at National Certification for Teachers - Teaching. For more information about the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and National Board Certification, please visit National Board for Professional Teaching Standards [] (Outside Source). A searchable directory of these newly certified NBCT educators is located at National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: NBCT Directory [] (Outside Source).

# # # #

Jack O'Connell — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

National Board Certified Teachers - Year 2008 (CA Dept of Education)

Poway Unified School District gets an AA rating for its series A GO bonds.

Summary: Poway Unified School District Facilities Improvement District No. 2007-1, California; General Obligation


Publication Date:
Dec 01, 2008

Report Type:

Standard&Poor's Ratings Services has assigned its 'AA-' rating on Poway Unified School District Facilities Improvement District No. 2007-1 (SFID), Calif.'s 2008 Election, series A GO bonds. The outlook is stable. In our opinion, the rating reflects: Proximity to the diverse and broad San Diego area economy, with very strong income and extremely strong wealth levels; Moderate average daily attendance (ADA) increases, the main driver of the state funding formula, in the past two years; Significant financial flexibility when factoring in all available reserves; and Moderate overall debt burden as a percent of market value. An unlimited ad valorem tax pledge levied within the improvement district secures the bonds. The SFID was created to improve and expand certain of

Brief Excerpt:
RESEARCH Ratings Definitions Summary: Poway Unified School District Facilities Improvement District No. ####-#, California; General Obligation Publication date: ##-Dec-#### Primary Credit Analyst: Hilary A Sutton, New York ###-###-####;...

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Poway Unif Sch Dist Sch Facs Imp Dist # 2007-1

Summary: Poway Unified School District Facilities Improvement District No. 2007-1, California; General Obligation - 2008/12/01 - S&P Credit Research -