Concord July 4th

Concord Odyssey of the Mind team headed to World Finals

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Concord Odyssey of the Mind team headed to World Finals
The Concord High School Odyssey of the Mind team is headed to Michigan next week for the World Finals. The team includes, from left, Cupid- Brian Velasquez (sophomore), Candy Corn- Aketzali Perez (senior), Halloween- Neco Tejada (junior), Thanksgiving- Rolando Manalac (junior), Sindy Claus- Evie Robello (sophomore) and Jeremy Elf- Laila Navone (sophomore). (Photo courtesy Concord High School)

Six creative problem solvers making up Concord High School’s Odyssey of the Mind team will be headed to East Lansing, Michigan for the World Finals where they will be competing with similar teams from all over the country and beyond in a three-day competition that ends Saturday, May 25.

The team won the San Francisco Bay Region and NorCal State competitions in the past two months, earning the six students a spot in the World Finals.

Odyssey of the Mind began over 40 years ago in 1978 as an international creative problem-solving competition that empowers kids to harness their out-of-the-box thinking and turn it into a unique and entertaining performance.

Concord’s team consists of senior Aketzali Perez, juniors Neco Tejada and Rolando Manalac and a trio of sophomores, Brian Velasquez, Evie Robello and Laila Navone.

The team had a competition-mandated $125 budget to build their solution – costumes, set, props and all. They will have eight minutes to present it at the World Finals.

Odyssey of the Mind students use what they’re learning in school, plus their creative instincts, to work as a team to solve a complex and open-ended problem, with no help from parents or friends. The process enables them to learn how to work together, brainstorm and work through challenging engineering and storytelling problems.

Bergum says her team “has been hard at work since October and, after countless hours of brainstorming, building, problem-solving and creating collages out of candy wrappers, they placedfirst at the SF Bay Regional Competition. A few weeks later, they placed first at the NorCal State Tournament, qualifying them for the World Finals in Michigan!”

If you would like to donate to the Concord High team, please go to their GoFundMe account listed under “Help Concord High get to World Finals” at tiny.cc/chsodyssey.

For more info on Odyssey of the Mind visit odysseyofthemind.com.

MDUSD Superintendent search underway 

MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer’s surprise announcement last month that she had accepted a similar position with the Mountain View Los Altos High School District sent shock waves through the District. MDUSD has begun a search for Meyer’s replacement with a stated goal of trying to have a new superintendent in place by October.

Leadership Associates, the search firm who was responsible for bringing Meyer on board six years ago, has conducted an online survey and meetings with a variety of stakeholders (staff and community members) to identify the attributes needed from a new superintendent.

The application deadline is June 3 at 5 p.m. The District Board is hoping to select finalists by the end of June and interview finalists July 11-12 with the stated goal of concluding an “aggressive schedule” to have the new superintendent’s contract approved at the Aug. 12 regular board meeting.

The new hire would start sometime after that date, dependent on their current employment situation and any relocation issues that may have to be addressed.

Sasha Williams’ Jefferson Award recognized by Giants

Carondelet’s Sasha Williams and SF Giants Will Smith

Carondelet senior Sasha Williams received a Jefferson Award for her “She Could Have Been One of Us” campaign. The campaign honored Nia Wilson, who was killed near a BART station in a knife attack last summer in Oakland. It called for an end to violence against black girls.

Williams’ work encouraged Natalie Terry, coordinator of service and social advocacy at her school, to nominate the senior for the San Francisco Giants Home Plate Ceremony, a program that recognizes students in action serving the community. Williams invited the parents of Nia Wilson to participate in the ceremony.

“It was truly an honor to be recognized. The most important recognition is the attention to the campaign and support of Nia’s family,” said Williams, who is headed to the University of Southern California this fall to pursue her passions for technology and the performing arts.

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