2013-05-23 / Schools

Students celebrate anniversary

By Stephanie Bertholdo

THEN AND NOW—Daniel Hayon, an eighth-grader in Ruth Kritz’s class at A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, won first place for this drawing of students and buildings from the school’s past and present. THEN AND NOW—Daniel Hayon, an eighth-grader in Ruth Kritz’s class at A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, won first place for this drawing of students and buildings from the school’s past and present. Students from all grade levels learned about the history of Las Virgenes Unified School District through contests and lessons centered around the district’s 50th anniversary.

An anniversary celebration, set for Tues., May 28 at the Calabasas High School performing arts education center, will present the students’ contest submissions, including essays, art and anniversary logos.

Rocco Graham, a first-grade student at Mariposa School of Global Learning in Agoura Hills, won first place in the preschool/elementary school picture and essay contest.

Rocco wrote about the day his teacher brought Mr. Tortoise to school.

“He has been my teacher’s pet since she was 5,” he wrote.

Other winners in the elementary picture/ essay category are:

Jaeden Fitzgerald, Buttercup Preschool.

Holden Wilke, Journeys program, Yerba Buena Elementary School.

Jake Mercer, kindergarten, Yerba Buena Elementary School.

Jameson Wilke, second grade, Yerba Buena Elementary School.

Emily Cohen, third grade, Yerba Buena Elementary School.

Sarah Gorbatov, fourth grade, Bay Laurel Elementary School.

Miriam Gorbatov, fifth grade, Bay Laurel Elementary School.

Middle schools throughout the district participated in art contests to celebrate 50 years of school history. Daniel Hayon, an eighth-grade student in Ruth Kritz’s class at A. E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas, captured first place for a split drawing of students dressed as they would have in 1963 and in 2013.

Daniel also drew two school buildings: one depicting the school “house” of 1963 and the other more modern school building of 2013. To keep with the then-and-now theme, he drew the 1963 section of the picture in black-and-white, with the 2013 picture in vibrant colors.

Daniel said he hatched the idea for a then-and-now picture after his teacher shared some of her photographs from the 1960s.

“I researched what kids wore back then,” Daniel said. “It took a whole day. My teacher said she knew I had won for a week but couldn’t tell me.”

Other winners in the middle school art contest are:

Naimh Barrett, honorable mention, seventh grade, A.E. Wright Middle


Alice C. Stelle Middle School’s eighth grade class, honorable mention.

The high school category focused on a special logo for the anniversary event.

Sean FitzWilliam, a sophomore at Agoura High School and a budding graphic artist, won first place with his design.

“I want to major in college in graphic communications,” Sean said.

He learned he’d won the logo contest last week.

“I got a note to go to the principal’s office, and he surprised me with the great news,” Sean said.

All contemporary media students at Agoura and Calabasas high schools submitted entries to the contest. Sean’s logo was chosen out of about 100 submissions.

The first-place artwork, essay and logo will be showcased at the anniversary celebration. Each student will be recognized at the event.

Robbie Amodio, director of classified personnel at the district headquarters, said many past school board members, city officials and other guests will be at the event to celebrate the district’s growth over a half century. In all, about 150 guests, including parents and students, are expected to attend.

“ It’s basically a low- key, student-centered celebration of where we started and where we are going,” Amodio said.

High school students will perform monologues about the district’s history. A video of elementary school children singing a special song will be presented at the event.

A montage of historical photographs will be shown, and a time capsule will be sealed for future generations to discover what was important to students and teachers in 2013.

The program starts at 5 p.m. Dessert will be served.

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