Education Buzz for Sunday, April 23

Nine Fresno schools honored by state for academics

Three Fresno Unified schools have been awarded the Gold Ribbon and six have been placed on the 2016 Honor Roll.

Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction, recognized Baird Middle School, Design Science Early College High School and Edison High School as Gold Ribbon schools. The honor is given to schools with significant improvements in state academic performance. They must also build a positive learning environment on campus. The California School Recognition Program will honor them at a ceremony on May 17.

The 2016 Honor Roll schools are Baird Middle School, Bullard TALENT K-8 School, Design Science Early College High School, Computech Middle School, Forkner Elementary School and Manchester GATE Elementary School.

Fresno UC Davis student earns $10,000 scholarship

Fresno resident Sina Zarandi, who studies at University of California, Davis, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship for a student project.

The scholarship comes from the Donald A. Strauss Public Service Scholarship Foundation, which annually awards as many as 15 $10,000 scholarships to California college sophomores and juniors with proposed public-service projects.

Zarandi was awarded along with another UC Davis student, Ioannis Kournoutas.

Both will work on a project titled “Inspire to Aspire,” which is a mentor program designed to help at-risk high school students in underprivileged areas of the greater Sacramento area. The projects will be carried out in the students’ senior year.

Young pianists sought for Paso Robles competition

Young pianists from Fresno County are being sought for the 2017 Youth Piano Competition that will be held in November in Paso Robles.

Anyone from ages 10 to 18 who currently studies with an established piano teacher is eligible to apply. Professional pianists are not eligible to apply. Applications are available on the festival’s website.

Marek Zebrowski, director of the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California and artistic director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, will lead the Competition Jury.

The competition is planned from Nov. 2-5. The 2017 Youth Competition Winners’ Recital is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Nov. 4 at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. It is free and open to the public.

Best performers in the competition will receive prizes ranging from $200 to $750. Winners will be invited to perform during the 2017 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, and have the chance to be coached by Zebrowski prior to their performance. All participants will receive a certificate.

Winners may also be able to travel to Poland in the summer of 2019 under the Panderewski Festival Youth Exchange Program.

Deadline to apply is Sept. 29. Auditions will be held Oct. 21 at the Park Ballroom in Paso Robles.