Maureen Dixon – Site Coordinator – Writer Coach Connection program at El Cerrito High

Editor:  Gary Buffon
Week of September 5, 2013

Acting President Kathleen welcomed everyone to the friendly El Cerrito Rotary Club, the flag salute was led by Sonja and the thought for the day was provided by Kathleen.

Upcoming Club speakers and Board meetings schedule:

  • Sept 12 – Erza Herzog – Medical Insurance issues
  • Rotary Club Board Meeting Sept 17 – please RSVP to President Jim regarding your attendance and agenda items
  • Sept 19 – Linda Yuan and Josh Ko EC Interact members will tell us about their Camp Royal experience
  • Sept 26 – Fellowship day
  • Oct 3 – Gary Buffon – growing up in the high desert


  • Solano Stroll activities this Sunday:  Two places for Rotarians to be include the BARSHEEP booth and the Rob Roy Canoe selling booth.  The Interact club is providing volunteers to help us cover the event.
  • Fund raising report by Karen.  Keep selling your tickets.  Sponsorships are available through Sept 19th.

Happy Dollars: 

Kathleen is happy to be going to her first professional ball game (an A’s game).  Tracy is happy that Nancy was able to help one of her clients with a trust for their parent who had passed away.  Mark Scott is happy about the three week trip he took with Cindi and Jack and Carol Freethy.  They visited three Presidential libraries:  Hoover, Eisenhower and Lincoln.  Jack had $10 to express his happiness about the trip.  Marty is happy his trip to Turkey is coming up in less then three weeks.

Sgt at Arms Steve:   Recognized Anniversaries for Karen, Mark Scott and Frank S.  Birthday recognitions were for John Hoagland (#75), Nancy and Tracy.

Today’s Program:

Jim Shepherd introduced today’s speaker Maureen Dixon who is the site coordinator for the Writers Coach Connection program at El Cerrito High.  Accompanying Maureen was Tom Waller who is a fellow Rotarian (Richmond club) and board member for the Writers Coach Connection (WCC).   Maureen began her presentation by giving us an overview of the work being done by WCC.  The organization currently has 660 coaches around the East Bay that serve public schools in providing writing coaches to English classes.  Maureen asked Tom to show us the video of the coaching program.  In it we learned about the experiences and results that come to both the coaches and students.  One of the best part of this process is it is such a win-win as the both the coach and the student win.  In addition to a very positive outcome there are documented results of the effectiveness of this program.  An added benefit of the program is the overall positive impact of adults who learn more about working with students and the students who understand their importance to adults.  After the video, Maureen gave us some specifics about the results of this program and encouraged us to consider becoming a writing coach.   This is a great program that allows adults to make a difference with young people while learning more about what motivates young people.

Maureen spent about 15 minutes answering a number of questions.  What an excellent presentation!!

Today’s Lottery Winners:  Sal had his ticket drawn and won the bottle of wine.  Jack had his ticket pulled for the marble drawing and selected a cats eye marble.  Next week the pot will be $75.

Thought for the Week: 

Men’s best successes come after their disappointments.
Henry Ward Beecher




ECHS Principal David Luongo

Editor:  Gary Buffon
Week of August 29, 2013

President Jim welcomed everyone to the friendly El Cerrito Rotary Club, the flag salute was led by Karen and the thought for the day was also provided by Karen.

Secretary John – Introduction of Visiting Rotarians and Guests:  John introduced Dick Morrish.  Gary B introduced our three guests from the ECHS Interact Club, Josh Ko, Linda Yuann and Kenyatta Marcelous who came today to hear Mr. Luango speak to our club.


  • President Jim introduce Rotarian Ron Brown from the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary to tell us about the Rob Roy Canoe they are auctioning off for a fund raiser.  We will be assisting them by helping to staff the booth at the Solano Stroll.  Ron gave us the story and explained how the canoe was hand built by the Rotary club with guidance from a master woodworker who is a member of the Lamorinda club.
  • Sal announced that he has fliers for the Wine Tasting and gave them out to those who wanted to have one.
  • Karen showed the Wine Tasting Sponsorship Poster and Jane reminded us all about the importance of showing up at the wine tasting and help as well and enjoy the event.

Happy Dollars: 

Tracy is happy that David Luango was here to speak today and that we had some Interact Board members present.  Mark Figone is happy to be back and gave $20 for that and for the A’s coming back in the baseball playoff picture.  Jim Shepherd is happy that Pat is back at Rotary (everyone clapped approval).  Alan is happy he attended a friends wedding.  The friend is also an ECHS graduate.  Karen is happy that Ellen Fabini from last year’s Interact was willing to do the poster for our wine tasting.  Sonja is happy her son is settled in his new apt at School for his senior year.  Gary is happy for the Interact students being present and that one of those present Josh was acknowledged for coming in 2nd in the District 4-Way Test Speech event.  Michael C is happy for a new car and his daughter turning 26 and is now off his health insurance.

Today’s Program:

Karen introduced our guest speaker:  David Luongo, principal of El Cerrito High School.  David usually comes to our club this time of year to give us an update on what is happening and share with us the top priorities for the new school year.

David gave us a PowerPoint presentation of the values and cultural goals for ECHS.  The culture involved three key areas:  Academics, Behavior and Climate. The theme of this process is known as the Single School Culture and is intended to provide consistency in the key aspect of the three key areas. The bottom line is to create a positive and caring staff that respects peers and students personally and professionally.

Today the highlight of David’s presentation was a short video with six teachers who are ECHS graduates. Each of the teachers gave a short summary of why they are at ECHS and their reason for being there. This was a great example of a way to reduce turnover in the teaching cadre because if people has a strong connection to their employment they will stay longer.

This was an excellent presentation. Thanks Karen for getting David scheduled to speak to us.

Today’s Lottery Winners:    John had his ticket drawn and won the bottle of wine.  Nancy had her ticket pulled for the marble drawing and selected a blue marble winning $2.  Next week the pot will be $70

 Genie Stone Winner:  Kanti had his ticket drawn and wins the magic stone for Sept.


Thought for the Week: 

The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.
Horace Bushnell