Saturday, June 28, 2008

AVID Student of the Year

I came across an article about an AVID "Student of the Year." I think it is a great idea to recognize a student each year with this kind of honor.
Angulo recognized by AVID program at GHS
Friday, May 30, 2008

GUSTINE – Gustine High student Yesenia Angulo was honored as her school’s AVID “Student of the Year” at a luncheon held in Clovis on May 16. She was among 64 central valley students selected within the six-county region who exemplified the spirit of AVID through their academic work and character.

All of the students selected have exceptional stories and accomplishments, but Angulo has excelled above and beyond, exemplifying how one’s determination to succeed and the support of family and educators can produce outstanding results.
Her story is very inspirational.
Angulo began in the Gustine school district in the ninth grade after moving with her family from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico. She did not speak or understand English but did, however, have exceptional math skills and was a quick learner, picking up the new language through her ESL classes and practicing at home with her younger siblings.

She said it was difficult and a bit intimidating to not know English when she and her family first moved to the Gustine area. She wanted to meet people and make friends but was embarrassed to speak, afraid she’d make mistakes or sound funny. “After a while I could understand what people were saying but I was afraid to talk,” she shared.

She knew that in order for her to succeed in life she would need to push herself beyond her comfort levels, and by Angulao’s sophomore year her progression had caught the eye of her teachers.

GHS teacher Diana Andrade introduced Angulo to AVID, a college prep class and curriculum designed to support students with academic potential and a desire to attend a four year college or university. “Yesenia had to wait one year while she gained the language skills needed to qualify, which she did,” Andrade explained. “She is an exemplary student!”
Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for her not to know English. I don't know how I would have done... probably cried a lot. But, this young lady found a way through AVID.
“AVID has helped me keep good grades, be more organized and responsible,” Angulo stated. It has helped prepare her for college by teaching about the application process, preparing for the entrance exams, and teaching college skills like taking Cornell notes.

Despite her initial language barrier, Angulo has established herself as an outstanding student academically. She has worked her way up the academic ladder to the point where she is currently ranked third in the junior class,” Petrone wrote for the luncheon program. “I have no doubt she will be extremely successful in the future.”

“I am really thankful for having this program and also having the excellent teacher I have. Besides my parents, Mr. Petrone has been one of the few persons who has taken the time and care about my education and my future,” Angulo emphasized. She looks forward to next year as she narrows down her college choices and begins the application process.
I look forward to next year as well. Our sophomores will be looking more closely at college. AVID II here we come.

Read the full story here

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In Dallas for Summer Institute

I am in Dallas for summer institute. Loving it. We are having a great time. My presenter for the week is incredible. AVID is so wonderful and it is great spending time with colleagues and making new friends.
"People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing - that’s why we recommend it daily."
—Zig Ziglar
This week I have had a lot of motivation already. The things I am learning are reinforcing my belief that AVID is going to be a powerful force in our community and will help our students reach their dreams.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6 Tis For Getting Great Recommendation Letters

6 Tips on Great Recommendation Letters. Here are the tips (read the link to find the details):
1. Get Organized
2. Decide Which Teachers Should Write Your LOR
3. Establish a Relationship with Your Teachers
4. Consider the Timing of Your Request for an LOR
5. Pop the Question
6. Provide Your Teacher With Adequate Information
As a teacher I can say the #1 complaint I have is when students do not do a good job with #6. I want a brag sheet or at least a sheet of paper (or email) with information on it about yourself. Sure I know you, but do I know everything you are involved with at school, home, church, athletics, etc.

I have been really proud of some of the letters I have written to explain how great the kids are in my classes. It is going to be awesome to finally get to write recommendation letters for my AVID students.

Friday, June 20, 2008

College Co-Op Group @ Lone Star College-Kingwood

From Ms. Tibbetts:
The COLLEGE CO-OP GROUP (SFA, U of H, TT, Lamar, Texas State, Sam Houston etc.) will be at Lone Star College-Kingwood next Tuesday 6/24 from 9:00 am to 12 noon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Houston Mayor's Youth Council

Ms. Tibbetts (Our incredible AVID District Director) asked me to pass along this information to all of you:
Mayor's Youth Council Details
The mission of the Mayor's Youth Council is to provide high school students the opportunity to develop leadership and citizenship skills while learning about city government. Members develop a sense of personal growth and achievement, a profound understanding of city departments and work year-round to establish a rapport with civic/community leaders and the citizens of Houston , as well as their respective elected officials.
What a great opportunity. If any one has an interest in government, politics, or want to learn more about how our city conducts business... this is for you.

Qualifications for the position include:
• Must be a high school student that resides or attends a school within the City of Houston, generally between the ages of fourteen (14) and eighteen (18) years of age.
• Demonstrate strong interests in gaining knowledge about city government and promoting discussion on youth-related issues.
• Commit to time requirements and expectations (i.e. 4 out of 6 Monthly Saturday Planning Meetings, 4 out of 6 Monthly Youth Council Meetings, 2 Town Hall Meetings and must participate in a minimum of 5 out of 10 Community Service Projects)
• Show excellent abilities in organizing information for making reports to fellow Youth Council members and City of Houston Departments.
• Work well with young people from a variety of diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Go to this link to find out all the information and how to apply:
Mayor's Youth Council Details

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2 Million Minutes

I am very much looking forward to seeing this documentary:

The world I grew up in was basically an American Economy. Today it is a World Economy. And our students need to recognize where they are and the kind of demands just a few years time will put on them. It is changing rapidly. I am afraid, for some in America, they will not recognize this change until it is too late.

So, you spend 2 million minutes of time during your high school career. How will you use those minutes?

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Art of the Commencement Speech

When you graduate from college, someone will deliver a commencement address. Sure a student will be elected to speak for you. But, usually someone "important" will also address the class.

This site shows some of the very best commencement addresses: "The Art of the Commencement Speech

There were some great ones this year:
Barack Obama "Make Us Believe Again" at Wesleyan University, 2008
"I say this to you as someone who couldn’t be standing here if not for the service of others, and wouldn’t be standing here today if it were not for the purpose that service gave my own life.

You see, I spent much of my childhood adrift. My father left my mother and me when I was two. When my mother remarried, I lived overseas for a time, but was mostly raised in Hawaii by her and my grandparents from Kansas. My teenage years were filled with more than the usual dose of teenage rebellion, and I’ll admit that I didn’t always take myself or my studies very seriously. I realize that none of you can probably relate to this, overachievers that you are, but there were many times when I wasn’t sure where I was going, or what I was going to do with my life.
But I hope you’ll remember, during those times of doubt and frustration, that there is nothing na├»ve about your impulse to change the world. Because all it takes is one act of service – one blow against injustice – to send forth what Robert Kennedy called that “tiny ripple of hope.” That’s what changes the world. That one act, an act by you, class of 2008."
Barbara Kingsolver "Your Money or Your Life" at Duke University, 2008
"You could invent a new kind of Success that includes children's poetry, butterfly migrations, butterfly kisses, the Grand Canyon, eternity. If somebody says "Your money or your life," you could say: Life. And mean it. You'll see things collapse in your time, the big houses, the empires of glass. The new green things that sprout up through the wreck -- those will be yours."

You can find them on the link above.

Quote of the Day - Graduation Tom Brokaw

"You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world." ~ Tom Brokaw

Revenge of the Nerdette

Meet the "Nerd Girls" -- Revenge of the Nerdette
Revenge of the Nerdette

As geeks become chic in all levels of society, an unlikely subset is starting to roar. Meet the Nerd Girls: they're smart, they're techie and they're hot.
So, it's cool to be smart these days!
In 2007, girls won both the team and the individual categories of the Siemens Competition for high-school students in math, science and technology for the first time in the competition's history. A recent Pew Internet & American Life project found that among users 12 to 17, girls dominate the blogosphere and social networking sites; they're also beating boys when it comes to creating Web sites of their own. Even women gamers far outnumber men ages 25 to 34, according to a 2006 study by the Consumer Electronics Association. "Back when the Nerd Girls began [in 2000], people would say, 'Why do you have to call yourselves nerds?'—like it was a bad thing," says Panetta, an electrical- and computer-engineering professor at Tufts and the founder of the group. "But I never get that question anymore. It's OK, it's smart, it's cool to be a nerd, and the girls are just embracing that."
That's an amazing number, women gamers far outnumber men ages 25-34. Who woulda thunk it?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another AVID Video

Here is another video. It's a bit silly, but you do get an understanding of what it is like.

An AVID Video

I would really like for the AVID kids to create a video next year. Hopefully student written, directed, filmed and produced. The goal would be to explain AVID in a fun and interesting way. And to explain AVID specifically at AHS.

This is a video that I found on Youtube that is a bit of an inspiration for this project:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, June 9, 2008

Top 10 Tips for College Admission

Here is a great blog post I found today:
Top 10 Summertime Tips for College Admission

Although summer is a time to relax and enjoy yourself, it is also a great time to make goals and get ready for your future.

About this Blog

This blog is being created for my AVID students. I hope that through this summer they can post here, read about getting help for school and college, and be able to communicate with each other.

My name is David Duez and I each AVID and World History at Atascocita High School. It is a wonderful school in the Houston suburbs.

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a program designed to get kids to college. 93% of students who spend 4 years in AVID during high school end up going to college. This is a pretty big jump over the typical high school population.

So how does AVID do it? They use organizational techniques (like a binder, agenda, calendaring), tutoring, building skills (like writing, speaking, notetaking), and taking lots of college trips. We also bring in guest speakers to talk to the kids.