The swearing in of new Fresno Unified Trustee Andy Levine last week was a family affair involving both of his parents.
His mother, Trudy Thom, took the oath, which Levine swore while holding his “bible” — “A Geography of Time,” a book written by his late father, Fresno State professor emeritus and renowned social psychologist Robert Levine.
Levine told GV Wire afterwards that one of his first priorities as a school board member would be to hold a community meeting for the Fresno High area, which has not had a trustee since the death in last July from longtime board member Carol Mills.
“The seat has been vacant for several months, so I think it’s important for people to hear from me,” he said. “They heard from me one-on-one, hopefully, (so) to hear from me in this new role, and for me to hear from them.”
Levine said he will have to get to work as the start of high schools, including Fresno High, is on the near horizon, and the school board will complete the budget for the 2022-23 school year by the end of it. June.
Also in the school zone:
- These student filmmakers have focused their goals on suicide prevention.
- Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders wants all high schools in California to be represented at this summer’s training event.
- A Fresno State student is one of four undergraduate water agency scholarship recipients.
- PG&E offers scholarships to incoming and current students.
The cafeteria at McLane High School, where the swearing-in and school board meeting was moved after a leaking sewer pipe closed the downtown education center restrooms, was crowded with many Levine supporters. Some, he said, have known him since he was a baby and grew up in the Fresno High area.
Thom, who has made several significant contributions to his son’s campaign, was unable to vote for him because an earlier redistricting moved the family home to the McLane area. But she hopes the latest redistricting, which will be in effect for the next decade, will allow her to vote for her son in two years, when the seat is elected.
Levine was elected to a two-year term that will complete the remainder of Mills’ original four-year term after her re-election in 2020.
A check of the council-approved redistricting map in January indicates Thom may get his wish – his Old Fig Garden home now sits a block south of the border between Zones 5 and 7, bringing it back into the Fresno High area.
Projects by student filmmakers tied for first place
Student filmmakers from Fresno High and Clovis East placed first in the 10th annual Leadership Change Program and Region 4 Film Competition. The competition recognizes student art and film projects on suicide prevention, mental health, dealing with difficult times, the impact of the pandemic, and returning to in-person education.
The local winners are Fresno High student Mandy Yang and Clovis East students Mishaila Peña, Jaylene Peña and Floreida Uriarte. The topic for both was suicide prevention. Yang’s movie is called “Call Me” and Clovis East’s movie is called “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.”
The Fresno and Clovis projects, which tied for first place in the regional competition, are progressing to the statewide competition.
Students who created a first-place winning film will be recognized at a virtual ceremony at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17 in a Facebook Live event: https://fb.me/e/4iB3XD33p.
The program is part of statewide suicide prevention and mental health efforts funded by county agencies and administered by the California Mental Health Services Authority. The annual art and film competition encourages young people to be aware of their mental health and seek help for themselves and their peers.
Want to see both local projects? Here they are:
Call Me from Directing Change on Vimeo.
“It’s okay not to be well”
It’s okay to disagree with Leading Change on Vimeo.
This program is looking for student leaders – and potential leaders
Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders is looking for high school students who will dedicate three days of their summer vacation to learning about leadership and civic engagement.
The virtual event is free and will be held June 20-22, but students must register by the June 8 deadline.
The sponsors say that participation in the Ed100 Academy could particularly benefit students who may become candidates for the State Seal of Civic Engagement, and urge all high schools to participate and enroll at least one freshman, second year and undergraduate.
So far in Fresno County, only University High and California Virtual Academy Fresno at Orange Center have students enrolled, according to Ed100’s database.
For more information and to apply, click here.
Fresno State Scholarship Winner
Eric Rodriguez of Fresno State is one of four undergraduates to win a scholarship offered by the Association of California Water Agencies.
Rodriguez, who won a $3,500 scholarship, is a plant science major. The scholarships were awarded to students pursuing studies in water-related fields of study.
He and the three other fellows were recognized last week at the ACWA Spring 2022 Conference and Expo in Sacramento.
Speaking of scholarships…
The PG&E Corporation Foundation is seeking applications for its Better Together STEM Scholarship Program, with a total of $250,000 to be awarded to science, technology, engineering or math students.
As in previous years, the program is open to applicants attending California colleges and universities. This year, it is expanded to include students attending historically black colleges and universities across the United States.
The program will award 20 scholarships of $20,000 and 20 scholarships of $2,500.
Scholarships will be awarded based on academic achievement, demonstrated participation and leadership in school and community activities, and financial need. Qualifying degrees in STEM disciplines include engineering, computer science/information systems, cybersecurity, and environmental science.
High school or graduate students, students with GED certification, current college undergraduates, non-traditional students, and veterans are eligible to apply. Applicants must live or be dependent on a Northern or Central California resident.
The deadline to apply is June 3 and awards will be announced in August. For more information and to apply, click here.