Cunha and HMBHS science collaboration got a little stronger again this year as CEF sponsored all secondary science teachers in the district to meet several times during the school year to align curriculum, share resources and instructional strategies, and to prepare for the shift to the Next Generation Science Standards. Special guest Kristin Winn, Science and Engineering Coordinator at the San Mateo County Office of Education joined the group twice last year to share her knowledge and expertise on shifts in instructional strategies and how to ensure our students are prepared for the rigor and level of expectation in writing and reading comprehension in science. The high school teachers were able to share their classroom strategies for using the new CEF-purchased equipment for probes and data collection. Science teacher Joseph Centoni says the new equipment greatly speeds up what the students can accomplish in a class period and, therefore, they are able to learn more and move onto new lessons. Both the Cunha and the high school science teachers agree that their programs are greatly strengthened by this ongoing opportunity to collaborate.
CEF BOARD GOODBYES
We say a fond farewell to three individuals who brought their talent and dedication to the Board, longtime board members Diane Brosin, Tom O-Brien and Val Dubois.
Diane Brosin originally joined the CEF Allocations Committee in 2011 working on our first funding projects in our schools. Subsequently, she became a Board member and served as Secretary. "Even though the early years are traditionally the most critical for investment, I was particularly proud of CEF’s grant fulfillment of HMBHS’s proposal to upgrade their science labs. This will form the cornerstone of programs that make students realize they are doing work which will be relevant to real life technical careers."
Tom O’Brien has been a great voice for fiscal clarity and accountability on our Board. His background in finance led him to chair the Investment Committee and to participate in the Endowment Committee. He prepared the groundwork for the Planned Giving Program. He says, "When I joined the Board, the endowment was at $1.6 million; today it stands at over $3 million! I am proud that the Board constantly works on improving the process for receiving and distributing funds."
Val Dubois’ primary role with CEF was Allocations. She determined areas of need in our schools by reaching out for opinions from stakeholders, hosting community meetings and formulating an online survey to develop major allocations themes. Val created procedures for the allocations process: establishing review committees, developing criteria and following up with recipients for measurable outcomes. “I am proud of the difference the allocations have already made –improved collaboration and new teaching ideas, lab equipment that has changed the way students understand science. We really have made a difference.”