California Seal Bearers Breakfast

1 Jun

Saturday (5/30/2015) witnessed a wonderful and happy event. The thirty-one seal bearers from Mar Vista High School (MVH) were honored at a breakfast along with their parents and the teacher they chose to honor. I was selected for recognition by our school’s valedictorian, Mariaester and two other participants from my AP physics course, Kevin and Samantha.

In 1916, Charles F. Seymour an educator from San Diego, proposed a society to honor outstanding scholastic achievement in high school. Since 1921, this society has been honoring the most accomplished students from across California. On Saturday, we met to recognize the seal bearers for 2015.

Mariaester and Kevin are doomed to be enemies. She is going to Stanford and he is going to Berkeley. Samantha will stay in San Diego at UCSD. My kids are going to three of the top five universities on the best coast. How proud I feel.

Mariaester comes from a wonderful working class Mexican family. She is the third sister from her family to be in one of my classes. As valedictorian, her diploma will have an honors designation plus a bilingual designation. Mariaester was also a key member and starter on our banner winning water polo team. In her spare time, she was an active member of the Associated Student Body (ASB) earning a lifetime membership.

Kevin was a member of my VEX robotics team and a determined student. This year Kevin challenged AP courses in: physics, chemistry, government, English literature and composition and self-studied for AP calculus B. Kevin was also involved in the ASB and several other activities on campus.

Samantha like Kevin and Mariaester will receive an honors designation on her diploma. Samantha earned a 4.25 weighted grade point during high school. She also was very involved with the ASB and was awarded a lifetime membership.

At the breakfast, more than half of the students had been in either my AP physics or regular high school physics class. It was wonderful seeing these budding young adults accept their accolades and honor their teachers. The students, their family and the teacher they were honoring were called one group at a time to the podium to have their laurels recited. I got to go up three times and hear how goofy El Guapo (my alter ego) is. It was really fun.

Every year for the past eight, Mar Vista High School has been required by the federal government to send a letter to all of our parents informing them that we are a failing school. No! It’s bogus! These students are proof we are a great school opening bright futures for wonderful young Americans.

The documentary “Defies Measurement” masterfully exposes how the benighted education policies promulgated at the behest of know nothing billionaires are wreaking havoc. Great schools are destroyed and bad pedagogy is promoted. I wrote about the unjust “turnaround” of Mar Vista Middle School (MVM) two years ago. I worked there for a year. MVM is a feeder school for Mar Vista High School. Schools like Chipman Middle School and MVM were never failing but were either destroyed or harmed by greed and ignorance. In fact they were doing exemplary work opening the path of success in life for thousands of youths.

As much as I enjoyed myself on Saturday morning, I could not help being frustrated by the fact that wonderful American institutions like Mar Vista High School are being targeted by profiteers or harmed by sycophants. Future Americans are at risk of never having the opportunity to attend school in these bastions of Democracy that should receive the lion’s share of credit for America and all it has achieved.

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