The first dramatic changes visible to the public were our resurfaced tracks and fields, as well as new press boxes and dugouts.  Our track surfaces had reached the point where they had to be resurfaced NOW or completely redone.  

Much work has also gone on underground to repair or replace aging infrastructure: electrical wiring, internet, plumbing and ductwork. There were a lot of surprises in this work.  Demolition was carried out for new classroom buildings and pools were begun (which are now finished).  We piloted new styles of classroom furniture in selected sites around the District. A lot of plates were in the air all at once--and that is still the case.

Former Westmont swim coach Bill Zirzow was present for the ribbon cutting of the new Westmong Aquatic Center.
Branham's swim coach dangles a model VW over the pool in remembrance of a long-ago prank when a real VW was submerged.  Folks called the old pool "the puddle" and it didn't get much respect.
I love that we have so many people with deep roots in our community.  Eve Walton (above left) who has worked tirelessly on our behalf and Joan Petty (right) who worked in our District Office--both have grandchildren at Branham who will benefit from the new pool.
Having fun at the pool opening.

Construction Manager Eric Wasinger

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Branham two-story buildings have gone up in a way a bit confusing to the community.  Due to PG&E's long delays in moving some power lines, the symmetry of their placement was not apparent for many months.  These pre-cast concrete building have enabled us to stretch our bond dollars.  With five comprehensive high schools, one continuation school and post-secondary program and an agriculture farm, we did not have the capacity to do design-built structures to meet all our students' needs.  The buildings are fantastic inside, and with proper landscaping, they will present a handsome and imposing facade for Branham High School.

Official ribbon cutting with a wonderful address by student Board member Geetanjali Jain (holding scissors.

These are artist renderings of how we expect Branham to look with the new buildings.

It's really not possible to express the thrill I felt when seeing inside some of these new classrooms for the first time!

Selfie of a happy teacher.

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Meanwhile, over at Del Mar, Bill Burkhead finally got his long-awaited remodeled and expanded music facilities.  Now there is room to rehearse with new instrument storage rooms.  There are practice rooms and a new storage system for the massive amount of musical scores that have accumulated over time.

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Often overlooked is the hidden gem of the Westmont FFA Program at The Farm (across the street from the school)  Today's agriculture programs would be unrecognizable to the farmers of yesteryear: students take courses in everything from soil chemistry to the modern workings of agribusiness.  The farm--and the animals--were in serious need of an upgrade.  Where once there was a sea of mud during the winter rains, there are now concrete walkways, good drainage and sod, a shade cover over the arena, a new greenhouse and rabbit enclosure and more.  The animals there are some of the best cared-for you will see anywhere.

Right--the mud that is no more!

A friendly steer re-connecting me with my Kansas roots.

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And, in August of 2019, we had the grand reception and ribbon cutting for the Leigh two-story classroom building. This structure is located in the center of the campus and is not visible from the street, but it provides bright, airy classroom spaces and some lovely views out over the hills and the campus.

History teacher Mike Posey seems at home in his new classroom.
I've been fighting for the preservation of this venerable tree on our Leigh campus for at least the past 20 years, so I am delighted with what our Facilities Team has done to make the area around it inviting: new pavers and a circular seating wall. Great place to hangout near the bowl.

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Wow!  It is hard to know where to start.  But it must with an expression of gratitude for living in a caring, generous cummunity possessed of vision and foresight.  When we went out for the bond (Measure AA) in 2016, I could never have imagined how much physical progress we would see in just a few short years after countless hours of outreach, planning, and prioritizing.  Then comes bidding and contracting and all the rest.  Early on, our Business Services Department made the decision that we would manage the bond "in-house," thus saving millions of your tax dollars and stretching our ability to create the best facilities possible to deliver the quality of education the years ahead will demand.  I will devote this space to images of what has already been achieved!  The most recent additions will be at the bottom of the page.  Construction and disinfecting are continuing during the shelter-in-place.  Constructions costs always rise with delays, and we have a chance to do the work without inconveniencing (sometime relocating) students and staff.

When I first ran for election in 2012, I decided to do it the old fashioned way and just get out and meet people.  I wish I had worn a pedometer to know how many miles I walked over a 4-month period, but there were two clear benefits: better calves and a much deeper appreciation of my community!  I thought that my 40 years of contact with parents and students, some of whom became parents of the next generation sitting before me, had taught me all I needed to know.  I was wrong.  Thanks to all of you who took time to speak with me and share your thoughts and hopes for our children and who continue to do so.  It is a privilege and an honor to serve you and your children.

 

I taught biology here from 1970-80 and loved every minute.  When a place has been dear to you, it is so gratifying to see it grow and thrive, rather than dwindle and decay!  Westmont's library and office complex were rebuilt under the previous bond, and under this bond, the school has opened its new aquatic center and has a new basefall field, tennis courts and improved restrooms near the bowl for sports fans, as well as a new look for the entrance. 

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Prospect and Del Mar were the two schools with the greatest need for a custom designed building.  At Prospect, there will be a completely new kitchen/cafeteria incorporating a "student union" and multi-purpose space. This will actually be much larger than it appears here.                                                                                                                                                                  

You can learn much more about Measure AA and our construction schedule on the CUHSD website.

New Del Mar Pool and Shade Structure                                         Branham pool at night hosting the Leigh Swim Team

     As of Feb          2020, we have      59% of our            projects           completed !

I am profoundly grateful to live among people who have so consistently championed education.  Over the years, this community has given very generously to support our programs and improve our schools.  One extremely visible example of that support can be seen on each campus in the form of the new Performing Arts Centers that opened between 2010 and 2012.   When the first one opened, I knew that for the first time in my 40-year teaching career, I was standing in a state-of-the art facility dedicated to one thing only: the betterment of youth and the quality of their high school experience.  These are not only fabulous performance and assembly venues, but excellent

 

Our old classroom furniture has been donated and shipped to Africa--seen here enjoyed by children in the Republic of Niger.  

Del Mar will have a new library, student service center and admin building with a reconfigured main entrance to the campus.

Architect's drawing of the Cafeteria and Student Union                                soon to rise at Prospect.

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I honor the generous civic spirit of the people who make our work possible and who recognize that the benefits of an educated citizenry are beyond measure.   I pledge to do all in my power to be a sound fiscal conservator of the resources provided to us.

teaching spaces for both traditional subjects and theater tech. All too often, our difficult budget decisions have left our schools looking like they are among our last public spaces to embrace the future. I have delighted in asking students, “Do you know why this exists? It is because our citizens, mostly people who have never seen or met you, voted to tax themselves to provide this gift—because they believe in you.”

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New giant Bruins logo on classroom building as of Oct. 2020

Trustees Varich, Goytia, Brown, Gallagher, and Arrasmith.

Meredyth Hudson, Jennifer Orlick, Emily Hanson, Nancy Pfeiffer, Linda Goytia