November 5, 2013
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Message from Wally ~


Excellence in Education and Teacher of the Year Award Night


I want to share with you how great this year's Teacher of the Year and Excellence in Education Award Program was this past Saturday. Many fine educators were recognized and the program was masterfully organized by Shelly Mascari and Laurie Allen. Stories of educators and the impact on their students have always been inspiring to me. We all can be proud of the hard working, dedicated, compassionate people who serve our children every day. Thank you for all you do.


Mr. "Y"


I also wanted to share with you a wonderful surprise visit that I received about two weeks ago.  Mr. "Y" stopped by to say hi. Who is Mr. "Y" you ask? Mr. "Y" was, and still is, my favorite teacher. Mr. Yamamoto AKA, Mr. "Y", was my mechanical drawing teacher and club advisor at Pinole Valley High School (class of 69). I had not seen him in over 40 years!


I walked around the corner into the lobby and recognized him immediately, same eyes, and same smile. Wow! Mr. "Y" what a surprise! What are you doing? Mr. "Y" shakes my hand and I instantly revert back to my 17 year old clumsiness. "I thought I would come by and check in on you" he says, "and you can call me Howard."




Howard, who's Howard? Oh yeah, it's Mr. "Y"'s first name, I never knew that all this time. Of course in my high school days, you would never call a teacher by their first name! I try but it just doesn't come out right so I stick with Mr. "Y".


We sit down and share pleasantries, as a flood of memories of high school come rushing back to my mind. We talk about the good old days when Pinole Valley High School was a brand new high school and the excitement of being the first students to graduate from PVHS and he being one of the first teachers at the "New School". We laugh about how things have changed and how now we are in the same age group, "old".  He seemed so much older than me when I was in high school, and now the gap has closed. How did that happen?


I shared with Mr. "Y" what an impact he had on me and many of my friends. I wanted him to know that I started my teaching career in mechanical drawing (drafting) just like him. I joined the "Key Club" because he was the Advisor, and what fun it was to serve and help others.


I told him he was my favorite teacher, not because of what he taught, but how he taught.

My only regret was that it took me forty years to express appreciation to a man who had done so much for me. My lesson learned...... don't wait 40 years to thank your teacher(s)!


Next time the conversation shifts to "Who was your favorite teacher?" don't wait, pick up the phone, check out facebook and find your Mr. "Y". Thank you Mr. "Y"!


Have a good week!




LCOE Hosts 19th Annual Excellence in Education and Teacher of the Year Award Program

Lake County Teacher of the Year, and Upper Lake Union High School District Teacher of the Year, Erica Boomer, pictured with Sandy Coatney, Vice Principal, Upper Lake High School.


Lake County Office of Education hosted the 19th Annual Excellence in Education and Teacher of the Year Award Program, held November 2 at the Soper-Reese Theatre in Lakeport.  This event honored the county teacher of the year, district teachers of the year, as well as others who have positively impacted education in Lake County.


Wally Holbrook, Lake County Superintendent of Schools, says, "Stories of educators and the impact on their students is inspiring.  We can all be proud of the hard working, dedicated, compassionate people who serve our children every day."


This year's honorees include:


Teachers of the Year

Erica Boomer, Lake County Teacher of the Year and Upper Lake Union High School District Teacher of the Year

Travis Lyons, Konocti Unified School District Teacher of the Year

Hank Smith, Upper Lake Elementary School District Teacher of the Year

Tresa Thorley, Lakeport Unified School District Teacher of the Year

Sharon Olson, Kelseyville Unified School District Teacher of the Year

Doreen Walstad, Lucerne Elementary School District Teacher of the Year

Louise Owens, Middletown Unified School District Teacher of the Year


Classified Employees of the Year

Tracey Newell, Middletown Unified School District Classified Employee of the Year

Tami Carley, Lakeport Unified School District Classified Employee of the Year

Cathy Balsiger, Upper Lake Union High School District Classified Employee of the Year

Linda Longwith, Kelseyville Unified School District Classified Employee of the Year

Cathy Wilder, Konocti Unified School District Classified Employee of the Year


Additional Honorees

Danielle Bruns, Championship Coach for the 2012/13 Mock Trial Competition, Middletown High School

Heather Koschik and Eric Larsen, Championship Coaches for the 2012/13 Academic Decathlon Competition, Kelseyville High School

Cassandra Johnson, Leading the Field Award Recipient, 2013 Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award Program

Ed Zander, Administrator of the Year, Association of California School Administrators, Lake County Chapter

Dr. Mark Cooper, Lake County Champion for Education Award Recipient

To view photos from the event, visit, and click on the Current News highlight.

For more information, contact Shelly Mascari at or 707-262-4162



The Hub Opens Lending Library

Staff from LCOE and RCS celebrate additions to the new Lending Library at The Hub in Upper Lake.  

Ollie, Max, Jr & Squirrely
Meet Kimberly Boles-Cravea
LCOE Chief GED Examiner

Kim tells us she is not very interesting but after a few minutes of discussion you realize she is absolutely delightful and unique.

As witnessed by the gang of cats that occupy her bed, she is a cat lover (loves dogs too, but no yard for them). Technically, she owns 4 but literally there are 8 including the neighborhood cats she feeds and cares for. All are adopted rescue cats who have talents much like trained dogs - high five, fetch, sit and walking on a leash. They are big-breed cats and boast the weight of dogs at 18 - 26 lbs! She is also quick to clarify that she had their 'romance removed' before they even knew they had it. They are her children and she is the only love in their lives. 

Which lead us to her favorite holiday, Mothers Day. Kim adores her mom and believes all Mothers should be appreciated, respected and loved. Whether they are your biological, adopted, step or hand- picked Mother she believes they should have a day just for them!

Kim came to GED in a kind of pre-destined course of events. As a 'military brat' she attended 5 high schools, in 3 states in 4 years and due to the lack of course cohesion and school requirements delaying her graduation, she ended up taking the GED herself. At age 40 she went back to school completing her Associates Degree in Business, a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education and her Masters in Education. While attending Yuba College, she was a student worker and applied as the GED examiner and a career was born. Helping students earn their GED is her passion. She works to change the stigma that a GED is less than a high school diploma, or that it is the result of dropping out. After all, look how far the GED has taken Kim! For Kim, helping someone achieve their goals is"better than anything." She also continues to work at Yuba College as a Tutoring Center Specialist testing for GED where she sees her graduates continue on to college courses.

Colleagues at LCOE are quick to give credit to Kim for growing partnerships with Migrant Education and Juvenile Hall, allowing even more students to achieve their goal of a GED, their first step on a path of success.

Sharing an office space with Kim, it is a pleasure to hear her supporting and inspiring potential testers, combining respect with encouragement for each individual.

Kim feels truly blessed in her personal life and to be working with her peers at LCOE and Yuba College.
Upper Lake Clinic
 Kelsey Sterbeck, Registered Dental Assistant and student Brook Truby, 3rd grader.
Healthy Start Update

The data shows how lack of dental care is a significant contributor to school absence for young children. Healthy Start is committed to eliminating this barrier to quality education for the young students of Lake County.  One way we do this is through the sealant clinics, held on school campuses and free to all students with or without insurance. These clinics are a collaboration between Healthy Start, Mendocino Community Health Clinics and Lake County Public Health.  

This year, we've held two sealant clinics in Upper Lake, serving 42 students, and applying 130 sealants.  Additionally, 12 students received their mandated Kindergarten Oral Health Assessments. 

We've also held one sealant clinic at Lucerne Elementary School, serving 21 students, and applying 71 sealants.  Also, 11 students received their mandated Kindergarten Oral Health Assessments.

Upper Lake Clinic
 Dr. Lewis, Kelsey Sterbeck, Registered Dental Assistant, and student Brook Truby, 3rd grader.
Lucerne Clinic
Anita Acosta, Registered Dental Assistant, and student Brandon Cramer, 1st grader.
Lucerne Clinic
Dr. Lewis, Anita Acosta, Registered Dental Assistant, and student Brandon Cramer, 1st grader.
Brandon Cramer, 1st grader, after having sealants applied.


East Lake Preschool Celebrates Re-Opening at Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Lisa Bady, Site Supervisor, East Lake Preschool; Deborah Malley, Principal, East Lake School; Wally Holbrook, Lake County Superintendent of Schools; Donna Becnel, Superintendent, Konocti Unified School District, Holly Sherman, Teacher

The Early Connection Preschool at East Lake School in Clearlake Oaks reopened last month after closing its doors at the end of the 2011-12 school year, and held a ribbon cutting ceremony with students, families, staff and supporters on October 25.  California's budget crisis reduced the funding for subsidized child care by millions of dollars. Those cuts trickled down to Lake County and resulted in the elimination of the East Lake Preschool, as well as the reduction of spaces available at other sites throughout the county.  Read More 
Get Your Google On! 


Transition to Google Apps for Educators

Be prepared for Google Apps for Educators!  This workshop is designed for Lake County school administrators, teachers, support staff and IT staff. 

Bring your own device - laptop, iPad or Chrome Book and learn about:

  • Shared Calendars
  • Email
  • Google Docs
  • Hangouts
  • Collaboration

This workshop is free to all Lake County educators and support staff.

The Lakeport workshops are full, but there are few spaces left at the Lower Lake location. 


November 06, 2013  1:30PM - 3:30PM  |  Lower Lake High School register HERE
November 06, 2013  4:00PM - 6:00PM  |  Lower Lake High School register HERE

November 18, 2013  1:30PM - 3:30PM  |  Kesey Room, Lake COE  Closed

November 18, 2013  4:00PM - 6:00PM  |  Kesey Room, Lake COE  Closed


Lake County, Calif., Academic Decathlon students met for a scrimmage on Saturday, November 2, 2013. They included, back row, left to right, Claire Ryan, Madison Boyd, Nicole Maines, Justin Lombardo, Nate Smit, Cassidy Holmes, Tiara Richards and Wroehnyn Milks; front row, left to right, Eduardo Alatorre, Merin Rixen, Maeve Rixen, Aimee Barnes, Jordin Simons, David Becerra, Juan Ruiz, Arthur Wilkie and Alberto Lopez.
Academic Decathletes Meet for Saturday Scrimmage
Topic: World War I

Academic Decathlon students tested their knowledge of World War I on Saturday in a scrimmage event.


Eleven students from Kelseyville High and six students from Upper Lake High were early risers as they arrived at the Lake County Office of Education Clearlake Office to take seven subject exams.


Students challenged themselves in mathematics, art, economics, social science, music, science and language/literature.


Although no medals are awarded for their performance at this scrimmage, results are given to the coaches and students.

These students - along with the rest of their teams and schools from around the lake - will meet again on Jan. 25 for the speech and interview portion of the completion and then for the last part of the county competition on Feb. 1.


For more information about the Academic Decathlon, please contact Tammy Serpa at or 707-350-3116.


New Partners for the Hub
Sutter Lakeside & Marymount California University

Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Marymount California University have officially joined forces with The Hub, which serves the communities of Upper Lake, Nice and Lucerne and aims to serve as a place of integration where students can find access to resources outside of school.

The Hub is a pilot project in Upper Lake to develop the Community School Model specific to rural areas such as Lake County. The long-term goal will be to develop The Hub in each community in Lake County and serve as a model for the rural counties, according to Lake County Superintendent of Schools Wally Holbrook. Read More

Redwood Children's Services (RCS) joins The Hub

Redwood Children's Services (RCS) joins The Hub as a primary partner in the pilot project in Upper Lake. Launching as a foster family agency in 1995, has grown to become the largest provider of foster care and children's mental health services in Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.  They have expanded to a focus of providing a total care package to support children and families in our communities.

Help us raise our annual LCOE Scholarship funds!
Mark your calendars now, and stay tuned for more information!

Author Carolyn Wing Greenlee speaks during a Lake County Big Read program at Mendocino College Lake Center on Sunday, October 27, 2013. Photo by Christina Basor.
Greenlee Shares Experiences 
at Big Read Event

Author Carolyn Wing Greenlee was featured in a Lake County Big Read program sponsored by the Lake County Friends of Mendocino College and the Friends of the Mendocino College Library, affiliates of the Mendocino College Foundation.


Held last Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Mendocino College Lake Center in Lakeport, the event was one of many offered during October through the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest in cooperation with the Lake County Office of Education and the Literacy Task Force.

Greenlee discussed the power of books to change lives and how everyone's story is important.

Read complete Lake Co News story here


LCOE at Clearlake Trunk or Treat

LCOE was present at the inaugural Trunk or Treat in Clearlake on Halloween. The Career Technical Education Department was present to give out candy, pencils, educational material and promote the upcoming CNA class.  It is estimated that close to 2,000 people attended the event.  Needless to say, we ran out of candy much like the other vehicles! Special thank you to two Lower Lake High School students who helped with the massive lines...Madison Serpa and Elizabeth Gutierrez.  
The "smoothie bike" used pedal power to make healthy snacks during Burns Valley School Red Ribbon Week which took place Monday, October 21, through Friday, October 25, 2013, in Clearlake, Calif. Photo courtesy of Gina Fortino Dickson
Burns Valley Red Ribbon Week
Submitted by Gina Fortino-Dickson

Burns Valley School Red Ribbon Week took place Oct. 21-25.


The National Campaign chose this year's theme as "A Healthy Me is Drug Free."


Burns Valley students commemorated this theme with a door decorating contest, dress-up days, lunchtime learning and presentations.

A "smoothie bike," on loan from North Coast Opportunities, helped students to get activity while choosing healthy snacks.


Lake County Public Health Department hosted a booth on campus to show students the dangers of smoking.


Burns Valley 7th and 8th graders participated in presentations from Team DUI, a local organization tasked with getting the word out about the dangers of drinking and driving and the ongoing effects such choices can have. The students witnessed a video that depicted the stories of one accident and the effect it had on the victims, the perpetrator, the victim's family and the perpetrator's family. The inter-connectedness of the loss experience was palpable as the in-person presenters followed the video with stories of loss experienced locally and the lasting effects it has had on our community. The speakers consisted of family members, first responders and law enforcement. In this case, one of these stories rang personal to me, as I had been a member of the close-knit community that suffered the loss of young people so many years ago. As the stories were shared, students responded with grief, anger, disbelief and eventually gained an understanding that they held the power to make the choices that could effect, either positively or negatively, an entire community. They were asked, "Would you want that to be your mom?"  They were informed that, "One bad decision, can often lead to another bad decision. Some bad decisions don't get a do over." They were encouraged to "take the time to make a plan to stay safe. They brainstormed together some of the ways to stay safe when faced with the decisions around drinking and driving. I think the empowering discussion really struck a chord with the teachers and they assured students that there would be more time to talk about these options back in class. 


Burns Valley Students and Staff would like to reiterate a big thank you to Team DUI for your continued efforts to keep the community safe and free from the detrimental effects of drinking and driving. You can also look them up on facebook, LAKE County TEAM DUI.

LCOE is on Facebook!

If you are a Facebook user, "Like" our page to receive updates and information!
November is .......

National Diabetes Awareness month. Learn more here
National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. Learn more here 
National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Learn more here
National Adoption Month. Learn more here  .
Prepared for Fall/Winter Weather??



Have you pulled your sweaters out of mothballs and found your mittens at the bottom of the coat closet? Colder temperatures are coming.
Here are some tips for cold weather preparations:
1. Clean those gutters  
Once the leaves fall, remove them and other debris from your home's gutters -- by hand, by scraper or spatula, and finally by a good hose rinse. 
2. Block those leaks
One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block obvious leaks around your house, both inside and out.
3. Insulate yourself 
Regardless of the climate conditions you live in, in the (U.S.) you need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic. So check your insulation and make the necessary adjustments. 
4. Check the furnace
First, turn your furnace on now, to make sure it's even working, before the coldest weather descends. A strong, odd, short-lasting smell is natural when firing up the furnace in the autumn; simply open windows to dissipate it. But if the smell lasts a long time, shut down the furnace and call a professional. 
5. Get your ducts in a row  
Ducts should be vacuumed once every few years, to clean out the abundant dust, animal hair and other gunk that can gather in them and cause respiratory problems. 
6. Reverse that fan
By reversing the direction of your fan from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. 


7. Wrap those pipes 
A burst pipe caused by a winter freeze is a nightmare. Prevent it before Jack Frost sets his grip look for other pipes that aren't insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces -- pipes that run through crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores. 


8 Check those alarms
This is a great time to check the operation -- and change the batteries -- on your home's smoke detectors.  Check to see that your fire extinguisher is still where it should be, and still works.

Calendar Highlights


Get Your Google On! Transition to Google Apps for Educators (1:30 p.m. @ Lower Lake High School) |  Link

Get Your Google On! Transition to Google Apps for Educators (4:00 p.m. @ Lower Lake High School) |  Link

0-8 Task Force Meeting November 12, 2013  2:30PM - 3:30PM  |  Lake Family Resource Center, Conference Room, 896 Lakeport Boulevard, Lakeport 

Lake County's Window to the Universe - Voyager:36 years of Discovery | November 16, 2013  8:00PM - 11:00PM  |  Taylor Observatory 5725 Oak Hills Lane, Kelseyville CA 95451 | Link

IEP Training for Elementary Teachers: Creating Meaningful IEPs Using the Common Core State Standards November 21, 2013  9:00AM - 3:00PM  |  Lake County Office of Education, Kesey Room | Link


Mystery of the Christmas Star November 30, 2013  5:00PM - 8:00PM  |  Taylor Observatory 5725 Oak Hills Lane Kelseyville, CA 95451 


Healthy Start Collaborative and Children's Council Meeting December 11, 2013  11:00AM - 2:30PM  |  LCOE Kesey Room, Lakeport 

For Comments or Submissions
Shelly Mascari

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