Thursday, May 5, 2011

Save Susan Souza!!

Save who?!?!

Remember back in high school that one teacher you had that inspired you to learn?  They engaged you in the learning process and helped you channel that teen-age energy into something positive.

For me it was Mrs. Greenwood, my junior-year English teacher at Fullerton High School (c1989) who got me interested in reading.  She changed my life forever. 

For many students at Sunny Hills High School, Susan Souza is their inspiring teacher.  As a part-time college instructor and full-time licensed professional land surveyor I get to meet a lot of interesting and amazing people throughout California who influence the minds of many through classroom interaction and instruction.  Mrs. Souza is at the top of that list. 

She has worked diligently over the last several years to bring an acclaimed engineering program to Fullerton High School District students that has garnered the attention and respect of educators throughout California. 

So why is she being fired?

Mrs. Souza is not a Fullerton Joint High School District employee but rather a ROP instructor (that will be an important distinction in a minute).  She has a long resume of industry experience, degrees and certifications in manufacturing engineering which makes her a great fit for the high school’s computer drafting and engineering classes. 

Working closely with the math and physics teachers, she helps find ways to make seemingly abstract concepts come to life through the creation and use of models, robotics, and hands-on learning in her classroom.

Students who express interest in continuing in engineering go to Mrs. Souza who helps them find internships in the industry.  She also helps them navigate through the university system to find the right program.

So why fire Mrs. Susan Souza?

Part of Mrs. Souza’s method of instruction includes finding guest speakers who can engage the students to share with them opportunities within technical fields and educational resources. 

Mrs. Souza has done made a remarkable effort to introduce students to technical college programs through field trips.  Often, these field trips are tied to competitions.  Sunny Hills High School students have won many of these competitions including the National Trig Star Competition.  The student won several thousand dollars and an all expenses-paid trip to receive his award at an annual conference hosted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors.  She has had other students win competitions as well, including one in computer aided drafting (CAD).

Her students were able to take a field trip to the Port of Long Beach to learn about the operations and maintenance of one of the world’s largest and busiest ports. 

So why fire Mrs. Susan Souza?

Mrs. Souza has worked tirelessly for the last 5 years to inspire students and help each of them achieve their goal. 

She chose to obtain her teaching credential though none is needed for her job.  Unlike her unionized counterparts, she will not receive any compensated for her endeavor because ROP instructors do not have a bargaining unit.  Each instructor works under a contract.  Enforcing the contract means each ROP teacher take up their own law suit to recover any damages as a result of a breach of contract.

So why fire Mrs. Susan Souza?

Mrs. Susan Souza works on the Sunny Hills High School campus as an invited guest of the principal, Ms. Judy Fancher.  That means that at any time and without cause Ms. Fancher may stop Mrs. Souza from teaching (and inspiring) her students. 

Just a few weeks ago Ms. Fancher decided to allow Mrs. Souza to finish up the school year but did NOT invite her back next year.  So what gives? Why fire Mrs. Susan Souza?

I emailed Ms. Fancher on April 14th but she has not replied.  I figured she would at least send me some vague reference to this being a personnel issue and that she is not authorized to discuss it.  Unfortunately, my email inbox sits quiet, patiently waiting for her response. You can try emailing her at ajfancher@fjuhsd.net but don't expect her to get back to you anytime soon.

Mrs. Souza has repeatedly asked Ms. Fancher as well as ROP administrators WHY.  Why is she being fired?  What has she done wrong?  To date, there has never been any complaint from any student or parent about Mrs. Souza.  In fact the contrary has occurred. 
Mrs. Souza’s current and former students, their parents, and those in industry (such as land surveying and engineering) served by her program have come together and support Mrs. Souza’s request to know why she is being fired.

Most of us are willing to acknowledge that the principal has the authority to do this; that isn't the issue.  We want to know what Mrs. Souza has done or failed to do that prompted Ms. Judy Fancher to fire this excellent teacher. 

Making the issue even more frustrating are the countless stories from the teachers themselves of the few really bad apples who have been disciplined or reprimanded numerous times by Ms. Fancher but are protected by the teachers’ union. 

Again I ask, why fire Mrs. Susan Souza? 

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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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