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Counselors, social work specialists and college and career advisors

MDUSD is proud of the comprehensive supports we offer to students in grades TK-12 to help them overcome challenges in school, as well as in their lives, so they can succeed academically and grow socially and emotionally as they progress through our schools. To highlight these supports and the staff members who provide them, MDUSD hosted its First Annual End of the Year Counseling and Support Team Showcase on Wednesday June 5th, featuring counselors, college and career advisors and social work specialists from every high school feeder pattern in the District, said Stephanie Roberts, Director of the District's "Multi-Tiered System of Support," or "MTSS."  The showcase also included special programs for students districtwide including wellness centers, expanded learning programs, work-based learning, support for students who are newcomers from other countries, homeless and foster youth, and Youth Empowerment Services (YES) for those who have not graduated from high school after four years.

It included display boards featuring one-page descriptions of the work counselors, social work specialists and college and career advisors are doing at each of their school sites. One-page mid-year reports for each school program can be found here. The staff members who created the displays talked informally with District Board Members, Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark, and administrators including school principals about their goals and achievements throughout the 2023-24 school year. They also explained how they work together to help students transition from elementary to middle school, and middle school to high school - as well as how they support students who are not able to graduate with their senior class in June because they have not yet met all of the course requirements. 

MDUSD offers three tiers of supports to students, as needed. The first tier includes strong foundational academic, behavior, and social emotional support for all students. The second tier includes a "Coordinated Care Team" of staff members who work together to provide intervention supports for students who are struggling in any of the three focus areas. The third tier includes a "Student Success Team" of staff members who assess students and work with outside agencies to provide supports for more intensive needs. To help strengthen the District's support systems, the Board on Wednesday appointed current Wren Avenue Elementary Principal Celeste Kitts the new assistant director for partnerships and MTSS for the 2024-25 school year.

Northgate HS counselors Lauren Mercado and Leanne Owen said three seniors at the school were not able to graduate this June. Two will attend summer school to make up needed credits with the goal of graduating in August along with other summer school participants, and one will enroll in the Adult Education High School Diploma program. Next year, they said they will work to ensure that all students graduate on time. College Park HS counselor Morgan Gillette and Gregory Gardens Elementary counselor Carolyn Vasicek said high school counselors meet regularly with middle school counselors and middle school counselors meet regularly with elementary school counselors to ensure smooth transitions, especially for students who may need extra support. High school counselors and college and career advisors also inform 8th graders of the options they will have in high school, including career pathways and dual enrollment courses for which they can earn college credit.

Estrella Estrada is the District's newcomer social work specialist. She helps newcomer students from other countries get signed up for county resources, which can include heath care and housing assistance, as well as English learner assistance, and sometimes special education services within MDUSD. She and Homeless and Foster Youth counselor Kim Hendrick said there is often a lot of overlap between the students they serve. Isaiah Harper, a YES Program Case Manager and Work-based Learning and Career Pathways coordinator, helps motivate students who are behind in credits to take on internships or learn about careers that may interest them so they will finish up school and be ready to explore careers, college or other options. "My goal is to help them get through," he said. "Then I start working with new students who need help."

Mt. Diablo HS counselors and College and Career advisor Erika Ramos said they hope to start up senior "graduation walks" at elementary schools in Bay Point and Pittsburg next year to help strengthen the AVID college-going theme that schools such as Shore Acres Elementary are stressing with their students. This year, seniors at NorthgateCollege Park and Ygnacio Valley high schools visited their former elementary schools in their graduation caps and gowns, cheered on by current elementary students who are looking forward to following in their footsteps when they graduate from high school themselves.

Click on these Social Media posts to see showcase highlights from Monte Gardens ElementaryWalnut Acres Elementary and Northgate HS.

Counselors, social work specialists and college and career advisors


Read More about 1st Annual End of the Year Counseling and Support Team Showcase highlights student supports
New administrators

At its June 12th meeting, the MDUSD Board approved the appointments of the following MDUSD District and school administrators for the 2024-25 school year. Click on the name of each administrator for more information.

The following administrators were appointed as administrators for the 2024-25 school year at previous Board meetings:

 We will update this list as new appointments are made before the 2024-25 school year begins.

*Tiffany Allison was appointed Vice Principal for 2024-25 at Mt. Diablo Elementary on April 24, but ultimately declined the position after her appointment.

Read More about MDUSD Board appoints new District and school administrators for 2024-25

Class of 2024 graduation commencement ceremonies began last month, with the Special Education Bridge Program commencement and the Northgate HS commencement on Wednesday, May 29th followed by the College Park HS commencement on Thursday, May 30th and Concord HS graduation on Friday, May 31st, and the Alternative Education program and Olympic HS graduations on Saturday, June 1st.

The Bridge Program graduation, which was not live-streamed, took place at the Loma Vista Adult Education Center in Concord. At the event, 18 graduates received Certificates of Completion after learning life and work skills that will help them transition to adulthood, supported by enthusiastic families and friends. Graduate speaker Erin McClanahan said she gained job experience working at a grocery store. "We have learned so much," she said, adding thanks to the Bridge Program staff. "Thank you to the teachers for teaching us to be our best. And thank you to our families for always being there and for helping us to be the best we can be. To all my friends, old and new, you are special to me. Good luck Class of 2024 – we did it!" Wendi Aghily, Chief of Special Education and Pupil Services, praised the students for their resilience, and ability to adapt to change, which are skills that will carry them throughout their lives. Board Member Keisha Nzewi said she was proud and happy to accept the graduating class, and teacher Lynn De Mattei thanked families for their love and heartfelt applause during the event. 

The Northgate HS graduation can be viewed here. It included inspirational speeches from Principal Kelly Cooper, Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark, Board Member Cherise Khaund, graduate speakers Ella Kopper and Emily Chao, and teacher Jon Burchett.

MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark, who attended all of the high school graduations at the Toyota Pavilion, said he was pleased to see the strong connections between staff and students at the events and he was sure that he would see the same sorts of connections between middle and elementary school staff and students at their end of the year events, as well. 

The College Park HS graduation can be viewed here. It included inspirational remarks from graduate speakers Ava Palermo and Mariah McCoy, Principal Kevin Honey, teacher Chris Ellenwood, Superintendent Dr. Clark and Board Vice President Linda Mayo. The city of Pleasant Hill posted the names of College Park HS seniors on its LED board outside City Hall throughout the weekend!

The Concord HS graduation can be viewed here. It included inspirational addresses from graduate speakers Zahra Bakhshi, Sergio Banuelos, Nadia Ortega and Abigail Flores; Superintendent Dr. Clark; and English teachers Rebecca Dell and Azeema Yahya along with campus supervisor Mike Petta, who collectively called themselves "A.R.M."

The Alternative Education graduation for Crossroads, Glenbrook, Horizons, and Prospect high school can be viewed here. It included inspirational speeches from Superintendent Dr. Clark, Board Member Linda Mayo, Crossroads graduate Karla Rodriguez, Glenbrook Academy graduate Brianna (Maddie) Le Anne Kelley, Horizons graduate Danielle Stubbee, and Prospect graduate Jesse Maruri. It also included the presentation of Mt. Diablo Council of PTA scholarships and Mt. Diablo Alternative Education Foundation scholarships to several students.

The Olympic HS graduation can be viewed here. It included inspirational remarks from Board Member Debra Mason, Principal Courtney Lyon, Superintendent Dr. Clark and graduate speakers Annalicia Alvarez, Gracie Case and Tatania Griffith; and teacher David Giordano, who received the graduate nomination for the Hilde Spritzer Award.   

The Mt. Diablo HS graduation can be viewed here. Known as the District's "Flagship School," Mt. Diablo HS celebrated 378 graduates at its 121st Annual Commencement, said Board Member Linda Mayo in a Facebook post. "The JROTC carried the Colors as the grads marched in. The immediate past MDUSD student trustee Anahi Nava Flores was the first of four graduate speakers followed by Jorena Oliver, Josemit Rodriguez Hernandez and Precious Harris. Trustee Debra Mason accepted this large class. The MDHS Alma Mater was beautifully sung by Secia Jovel. 'In the shadow of the mountain, Diablo reigns supreme….,'" Mayo said. "The future of our entire community will be enhanced by these young adults." 

The Ygnacio Valley HS graduation can be viewed here. The 290 graduates were accepted by Trustee Keisha Nzewi following the recognition of the seven prestigious Ernie Wutzke Golden Wolf Award winners. Graduate speakers included Jasmin Alfa Garcia, Yolany Morales, Maurilio Herrera, Christina Noonan, Nancy Garcia Hinojosa, Jose Armando Moreno, Maryam Ahmadi, Giovanni Gomez and Sarah Richnavsky. MDUSD Student Trustee Susana Barrios was also celebrated. "Principal Pike also recognized the support of Ygnacio Valley HS PTSA, Nor Cal Lions Club, The Rotary Club of Concord and the YVHS Alumi for their ongoing contributions," said Board Member Linda Mayo in a Facebook post. "The audience was treated to a variety of musical selections by the YVHS Jazz Band; and Morgan Voegtly on keyboard, including the complicated Fantasie-Impromptu, Op. 66 by Frederic Chopin before the commencement began." 

The Adult Education graduation took place Saturday, June 8th at the Loma Vista Adult Center in Concord. It was not live-streamed. 

A PowerPoint presentation featuring Class of 2024 Senior Awards Nights is here




Read More about MDUSD celebrates Class of 2024 graduates at commencement ceremonies
Pride Month recognitions

MDUSD is proud to recognize June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month and to fly the Pride Flag above the District Office, Willow Creek Center and at our schools! On June 3rd, District staff and Board members were joined by PFLAG of Clayton-Concord President Kathleen Krentz as Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark raised the District's Progress Pride Flag. Dr. Clark said this is the fourth year that he has raised a Pride flag as a way to show LGBTQ+ students, staff and their families that the District supports them 100%.  

Dr. Clark noted that LGBTQ+ students are at risk of being bullied and he stressed the importance of fostering inclusive environments in all schools and District offices. "All are welcome here," he said. Board Vice President Linda Mayo and Board Members Debra Mason and Cherise Khaund reiterated the Board and District's commitment to ensuring that all students feel welcome, safe and respected. Krentz said her organization values its partnership with the District and appreciated being able to hold the annual Pride Prom at Concord High School last month.  

District campuses including Gregory Gardens, Highlands and Monte Gardens elementary schools are also flying Pride flags throughout the month of June. In addition, Gregory Gardens Elementary decorated its Summer Courtyard with dozens of small Pride flags, and students in the Ygnacio Valley HS GSA Club painted a Pride Crosswalk in the school's parking lot. At Walnut Acres Elementary, students showed their Pride and allyship by wearing rainbow colored clothing. Check out MDUSD and District School Pride month highlights in the graphic and reel below.

Pride Month recognitions


Read More about MDUSD and schools recognize LGBTQ+ Pride Month
Friday Letter

This week's MDUSD Friday Letter includes:

  • Spotlights on Pride Month recognition
  • Graduation season culminates this week; plus 8th Grade Promotion Social Media Highlights from Holbrook Language Academy, El Dorado, Pine Hollow, Diablo View and Oak Grove middle schools; 5th Grade Celebration Social Media Highlights from Holbrook Language Academy, and Mt. Diablo, Meadow Homes and Fair Oaks elementary schools;
  • District News including a Counseling, wellness center and support programs showcase;
  • Alumni highlight on last year’s Gates Scholarship winner from Mt. Diablo High School;
  • Student News featuring a Northgate High School student from Ukraine who is recruiting volunteers to continue his "If I could change the world" project over the summer;  free summer meals, MDUSD Teacher Hiring Fair on June 11, Board meets June 12;
  • Staff Social Media Spotlights from Gregory Gardens, Meadow Homes, Delta View and Sequoia elementary schools, and Oak Grove MS staff at the Ygnacio Valley HS graduation;
  • Community News featuring a Juneteenth Celebration in Concord;
  • And more!

You can read it here.

Please note: This is the final Friday Letter of the 2023-24 School Year. We will send out a 2023-24 Year in Review during the Summer and will resume Friday Letters for the 2024-25 School Year in August. Enjoy your Summer Break!

Read More about Friday Letter - June 7, 2024
Message from Superintendent

Below is a message that was sent by MDUSD Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark to all District students, families and staff on June 4th:

Dear MDUSD Students, Families, and Staff,

As we conclude a very successful academic year, I want to extend sincere appreciation to each and every one of you from myself, as well as from the MDUSD Governing Board. Our achievements this year have been nothing short of exceptional, and it’s all thanks to our dedicated classified employees, talented teachers, and exceptional administrators. Your hard work and commitment have truly made a difference.

To our parents and guardians, your strong support and partnership have been invaluable. Together, we have created a welcoming and supportive environment where our students can thrive. Thank you for entrusting us with your children’s education and for being active participants in their learning.

Throughout the year, we have focused on keeping our students safe, enhancing their academic skills, and boosting their social-emotional learning. We have also expanded opportunities for extracurricular activities, ensuring that our students are at the center of everything we do.

If you’ve been following our weekly Friday Newsletter, you’ve seen the countless inspiring stories highlighting the accomplishments of our students, the dedication of our staff, and the excellence of our programs. These stories are a testament to the incredible community we have built together.

As we look forward to next year, let’s celebrate our successes and continue to work together to provide the best possible education for our students. Your contributions, big and small, have made this year unforgettable. Please visit the links below for information regarding our summer meal program and next year’s academic calendar.

Finally, the 2024 graduations have been spectacular. So many families, friends, and staff have celebrated our seniors as they exit MDUSD. I wish our graduates the very best!

Thank you for a fantastic year. Have a wonderful and restful summer!

Thank you,

Dr. Adam Clark
Mt. Diablo Unified School District


Summer Free Community Meals

MDUSD 2024-2025 Academic Year Calendar 

Aug. 8, 2024


Read More about End of Year Message from Superintendent Dr. Adam Clark
Friday Letter

This week's Friday Letter:

  • Celebrates our graduating students from the Bridge Program, Northgate High School, College Park High School, and Concord High School;
  • Spotlights a collaboration between Northgate High School's Design Pathway and Bancroft Elementary's first graders to create an alphabet book,
  • District News including the MDUSD Graduation schedule and free summer middle school robotics camp through CARES;
  • School News including MDUSD Social Emotional Educational Collaborative (SEEC) program students enjoyed their senior banquet at Luna restaurant in Concord; Shore Acres Elementary students from every grade level visited Colleges and Universities in 2023-24; and School Social Media Highlights from Meadow Homes and Fair Oaks elementary schools and Holbrook Language Academy; and "Grad Walk" highlights featuring Northgate, Ygnacio Valley and College Park high school grads walking at Highlands, Bancroft, Walnut Acres, Meadow Homes, Cambridge, Gregory Gardens and Sequoia elementary schools
  • Student News including Bancroft Elementary 1st and 3rd graders in Dual Immersion program perform bilingual concert, Delta View Elementary students win César E. Chávez & Dolores Huerta Education Art Award, Strandwood Elementary Communications Folder Art Competition Winner is Tyler Chung, Northgate HS senior projects continue to evolve over more than 30 years; and Student Social Media highlights from College Park, Mt. Diablo and Ygnacio Valley high schools
  • Staff News featuring Mt. Diablo Adult Education Floral Instructor to Display at de Young Museum Art Bouquets to Art, and Social Media Spotlights on Delta View Elementary, Bancroft Elementary, College Park HS Staff & a Board Member;
  • And more!

You can read it here.

Read More about Friday Letter - May 31, 2024
Northgate HS and Bancroft Elementary students

Northgate High School’s Design Pathway is proud to announce a heartwarming collaboration with Bancroft Elementary School's 1st-grade classes. Together, they have created a unique alphabet book featuring drawings from the elementary students brought to life by the high school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program students.

This inspiring project began with Bancroft Elementary’s 1st graders illustrating the letters of the alphabet. Art teacher Alisa Kutsel handed their imaginative drawings to the talented Northgate High School’s Design Pathway students. As part of their curriculum, the high school students engaged in several field trips focused on the art and process of bookmaking. They learned about letterpress printing and bookmaking at the San Francisco Center for the Book, and print artist Max Stadnik showed the students printmaking (specifically Riso) at his studio Tiny Splendor. The students then learned about Production at the California Academy of Sciences from Lead Photographer and Photo Editor Gayle Laird, Senior Digital Interaction Designer Andrew Sawyer, and Senior Exhibit Graphic Designer Alanna Kho. They ended their year with a job shadow and meeting with publisher Steve Wasserman and his team (including the interior book designer and editor) at Heyday Books in Berkeley, along with their best-selling author Obi Kaufmann.
Drawing from these experiences, and with guidance and support from Bancroft Elementary teachers, especially Alisa Kutsel, the Northgate students meticulously designed their own versions of the younger students’ art and compiled the drawings into a beautifully crafted book. It includes one page for each letter of the alphabet featuring drawings by the Bancroft artists opposite one page with their art recreated digitally by Northgate artists. The book was printed by Mt. Diablo Business Education Alliance partner Mary Walker and Péllo Walker at Daily Digital Imaging in Pleasant Hill for each 1st grader who contributed their artwork. The elementary students were delighted to receive their own professionally made book, a testament to their creativity and the collaborative effort of their older peers.

“We are thrilled to see our students working together on such a creative and meaningful project,” said Carolyn Moore, Design Pathway instructor at Northgate High School. “This collaboration not only provided our students with practical design and bookmaking experience, but also fostered a sense of community and mentorship with the younger students."

Northgate HS and Bancroft Elementary students


Read More about Northgate HS Design Pathway Collaborates with Bancroft Elementary to Create Alphabet Book
College Nows and CCAP

As graduation season gets underway in MDUSD, the College Now program at Diablo Valley College (DVC) kicked off the festivities with a Senior Celebration on Wednesday, May 22nd. The seniors, who came to the program from District high schools, will officially graduate and receive their diplomas along with their classmates from the schools where they took freshman and sophomore courses before entering the College Now dual enrollment program as juniors. Their celebration was followed up by the Ygnacio Valley HS College and Career Access Pathway (CCAP) STEM program graduation celebration on Thursday, May 23rd at DVC. Most of the seniors in this program will receive diplomas with the rest of the Ygnacio Valley HS senior class on June 4th.

Both programs are provided through a partnership with DVC that includes college level courses, providing college credits to students while they are in still in high school. Speakers at both events noted that this year's seniors started their freshmen year remotely in distance learning during the pandemic, but have shown courage, resilience, confidence, curiosity and a willingness to take risks as they chose to pursue rigorous programs that challenged them and offered opportunities not available at all high schools.

The College Now program is based on the DVC campus and allows students to take both community college courses taught by DVC staff and high school courses taught by MDUSD staff. This year's graduating class of 28 seniors earned an average of 33 college units, which means they completed the equivalent of more than one year of college. Eight will continue their education at DVC, and 20 plan to attend four-year universities, said College Now Administrator Dr. Heather Fontanilla. Student speaker  Amisha Shukla encouraged her classmates to continue taking advantage of new opportunities, even if they involve risks, and to push themselves outside their comfort zones. "We've made it this far by taking a risk," she said.

The Ygnacio Valley HS CCAP program offers students the opportunity to study engineering throughout all four years of high school, with some classes taken at DVC in their senior year. Seventeen students from this year's first graduating class were honored at the celebration, including five who earned 12-17 college units and received a gold graduation cord, four who earned 18-21 units and received a blue-gold cord, and eight who earned 22 units or more and received green-white-gold cords. Eleven plan to continue their education at DVC before transferring to four-year universities and eight plan to pursue engineering, one plans to pursue computer science and one will major in business. Students were mentored by teacher Joseph Alvarico, who was named a District, County and CA Teacher of the Year in part due to his student advocacy, mentorship and willingness to launch this program at YVHS. Many of the CCAP students also participate in the Project 212 Robotics Club and/or Femineers Club for girls interested in engineering, which Alvarico oversees. In addition, the students have also been mentored by engineering and manufacturing industry professionals including from manufacturing company Bishop Wisecarver. Kelly Walden, VP of Manufacturing for the company, suggested an alternate meaning for the CCAP acronym in recognition of the students: Courage, Commitment, Achievement, and Pride.

Speakers at both events encouraged students to continue to be lifelong learners and to "give back" to the community to make the world a better place for future generations.

Information about upcoming graduations is here.

College Nows and CCAP


Read More about MDUSD High School graduation celebrations have begun, starting with DVC partnership programs
Friday Letter

This week's MDUSD Friday Letter includes:

  • Schools will be closed on Monday, May 27th, in observance of Memorial Day;
  • Spotlight on the College Now and Ygnacio Valley HS CCAP/STEM graduation celebrations at Diablo Valley College,
  • District News including the MDUSD Graduation schedule, and The Miles Hall Breaking Barriers event at DVC,
  • School News including Bancroft Elementary art fair, and School Social Media Highlights from Holbrook Language Academy, and Cambridge, Meadow Homes and Highlands elementary schools; and El Dorado, Pine Hollow, Oak Grove and Valley View middle schools;
  • Student News including College Park High School softball NCS championship game is Saturday; and Student Social Media highlights from Mt. Diablo, Ygnacio Valley, and Olympic high schools, and the College Now program at DVC;
  • Alumni Social Media Spotlights featuring athletic achievements of 2 Concord HS alums and a College Park HS/Horizons CIS alum;
  • Staff Social Media Spotlights on Social Work Interns and retiring Director of Multilingual Education Carmen Garces;
  • Community News In Memory of Community Advocate Willie Mims; and Summer Youth Bus passes are now available;
  • And more!

You can read it here

Read More about Friday Letter - May 24, 2024

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