Education Buzz for Sunday, Feb. 12

From left to right, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, Jesus Crispin, Liseth Santos and Eric Manzo.
From left to right, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, Jesus Crispin, Liseth Santos and Eric Manzo.

The Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools will honor essay, speech and art winners of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. contest Thursday at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District.

Twenty K-12 students placed first through third for their pieces that discussed their thoughts on the best ways to honor King’s dream.

The free event starts at 5 p.m. at 808 Fourth St., near Old Town Clovis.

Art: Elementary school best of show: “Nothing Can Tear Us Apart,” Kaylin Wheeler, fifth grade, Bud Rank Elementary; high school best of show, “A New Hope,” Andres Mares, 12th grade, Sanger High.

Essay: Elementary school: Trayce Simes, Dry Creek Elementary, first place; Adrianne Paderna, Woods Elementary, second place, Jullian Ramos, Manchester GATE, third place. Middle school: Nia Jackson, Clark Intermediate, first; Brenna Salinas, Clark Intermediate, second; Daaujana Florence, Kastner Intermediate, third. High school: Kassy Vang, Sunnyside High, first; Anuvir Sekhun, Clovis East High, second; Samantha Herrick, Kerman High, third.

Speech: Elementary school: Makenna Grewal, Sun Empire, first; Kitana Landeros, Manchester GATE, and Presley Babshoff, Sun Empire, tie for second; Amari Newsom, River Bluff, third. Middle school: Samyuktaa Jayakrishnan and Trisha Prajapati, both of Granite Ridge, tie for first; Essence Carter, West Fresno, second; Rebecka Briseno, West Fresno, third. High school: Josiah Lopez, Edison High, first; Jackeline Martinez, Coalinga High, second; Ashley Arellano, Washington Union High, third.

Students meet legislators

Three Washington High School seniors participated in the Capitol Leadership Experience in Sacramento on Feb. 5 through 7.

Eric Manzo, Liseth Santos and Jesus Crispin met with legislators and staff to discuss the future of the career technical student organization Cal-HOSA-Future Health Professionals.

They watched the Senate and Assembly committee hearings and floor sessions and met other Cal-HOSA students.

Students from throughout the state met with their own legislators to explain how Cal-HOSA helps develop skills that prepare them for higher education and to enter the workforce in a health profession.

Armenian Film Festival set

The 15th annual Armenian Film Festival will feature three Armenian films, including the travel journey of famous writer William Saroyan, on Friday at Fresno State.

The free event will begin at 7 p.m. “SaroyanLand,” “Shesh-Besh” and “I Hate Dogs!: The Last Survivor” will be shown inside the Industrial Technology Building, room 101, near the southwest corner of Barstow Avenue and Campus Drive. Parking near the venue will be free.

Lusin Dink, director of “SaroyanLand,” documents Saroyan’s unique perspective on belonging as he travels to the birthplace of his Armenian family, Bitlis in Turkey.

“Shesh-Besh” is a short film shot in Fresno by Anahid Nazarian. The film captures the tradition rooted within the gathering of men playing backgammon.

PeAHolmquist and Suzanne Khardalian, directors of “I Hate Dogs!: The Last Survivor,” reveal the fear behind the last survivor of the Armenian Genocide.

For more information contact the Armenian Studies Program at 559-278-2669 or visit

Mickey Cox School donates food cans

After hosting its first Souper Bowl Food Drive, Mickey Cox Elementary School donated more than 3,000 food items to the Ronald McDonald House in Fresno on Wednesday.

Four top-donating students helped unload the food items at the Ronald McDonald House, said Clovis Unified School District spokeswoman Patti Lippert.

The drive, held the week before the Super Bowl, was put on by Clovis Unified in an effort to support needy families in the Central Valley.

Lippert said students of Mrs. Ratliff’s first-grade class and Mr. Filippi’s fifth- and sixth-grade combo class were the top-donating classes. The kids were awarded Souper Bowl rings in the form of a Ring Pop. A trophy was given to each class to put on display until next year’s competition, Lippert said.

Six scholarships available

The Central Valley Opportunity Center is looking for six high school students to receive $1,500 scholarships.

Students in Madera, Merced and Stanislaus counties who have at least a 3.0 GPA and are planning on attending college in the fall of 2017 are eligible. Financial need will be considered, the center said.

Applications are available online at or through Alicia Chavez at 209-357-0062, ext. 123.

Clovis North wins mock trial

Clovis North High School placed first in the 35th annual Fresno County Mock Trial Competition on Thursday, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools spokeswoman Lisa Birrell said.

Clovis North defeated Clovis West High School in the final round and will compete against 33 other teams at the California State Mock Trial Finals in Riverside in March. Clovis North courtroom artists Brooke Flores and Timothy Benitez and court journalists Layal Suboh and Haley Shah also received awards.

More than 300 students from 14 teams competed in Fresno, said Birrell. Attorneys donated their time to score and give feedback to students and the Central California Lawyer’s Association and Fresno County Bar Association donated more than $1,000.

Buchanan High School took third place and University High took fourth, Birrell said.

Bulldog Pride Fund gets $71K bequest

Fresno State Alumni Association’s Bulldog Pride Fund received a $71,000 bequest from the estate of Larry Newsome.

The money will help fund two new annual Bulldog Pride Fund awards of $2,000 each.

The Bulldog Pride Fund already provides six awards of $2,000 each: the ASI President’s Award, Drum Major Award, GSA Network Award, Harvey Milk Humanics Award, TimeOut Spirit Award, and the USP President Award.

Newsome, who died 3 1/2 years ago, was a Fresno State theater season ticket holder and a recurring donor to the Bulldog Pride Fund, said Peter Robertson, director of development for the Fresno State Alumni Association. Newsome worked most of his life as a tour guide at Yosemite National Park, where he also lived.

More details about the new scholarships will be announced in the spring.

Clovis college reaccredited

Clovis Community College earned formal accreditation once again after a review by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The review board said the college, which is part of the State Center Community College District system, continues to meet standards to remain an accredited institution.

Another report by the college to the accrediting commission is due in the spring of 2018. Accreditation evaluates the quality of education at colleges as a way to measure their effectiveness.