Congratulations go to Stefanie Pechan, a fifth grade teacher at Robert Downs Elementary School in the Pacific Grove Unified School District.  Ms. Pechan has been nominated as one of six finalists in California for the 2014 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  

Monterey County Special Education students saddled up for the annual Special Buckaroos event held Sat., July 19 at the California Rodeo Salinas.  Students were outfitted with a cowboy hat, bandana, rope, and a contestant number and participated in special rodeo events, including roping a dummy steer and riding a real horse. The Special Buckaroos shares the sport of professional rodeo with children with disabilities.  Each student received a participant trophy.  The event is hosted by the California Rodeo Salinas and sponsored by Tanimura and Antle.

The Stuff the Bus: Send Every Child to School Ready to Learn campaign kicked off June 26.  The Monterey County Office of Education partners with United Way Monterey County in this countywide school supply drive.  Look for the donation bus stations throughout Monterey County.



Congratulations to Carmel River Elementary (Carmel Unified), Robert Down Elementary (Pacific Grove Unified) and Frank Ledesma Elementary (Soledad Unified) on being designated 2014 Distinguished Elementary Schools. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recognized Frank Ledesma Elementary educators along with many others, including Green Ribbon, Blue Ribbon and Title I Academic Achievement schools at a recognition ceremony in Sacramento (see photo). Carmel River and Robert Down will be honored in a ceremony on Friday in Concord.

Hunter Thompson, Associated Student Body President, of the Millennium Charter High School, along with physical education and dance teacher Joanne Thompson, presented Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski with the first year book of the Millennium Charter High School. The Millennium Charter High School opened its doors for the first time in August 2013. The inaugural class includes freshmen and sophomores.

The Monterey County Office of Education's Alternative Education program will bestow diplomas to 90 graduating high school seniors and 14 eighth graders tomorrow evening. Many of the students graduating are those who were expeclled from their regular school, chronically truant or even incarcerated. These students have overcome major obstacles and persevered to earn their diplomas. Their alternative education programs have provided them a supportive learning environment, small class sizes, individualized instruction and a dedicated staff. They are now prepared to succeed in college and the work force. We are very proud of them! Pictured are Clarissa Cortez, Joel Barrera and Destiny Zavala.

Congratulations Jonathan Capuyan for representing Monterey County and Palma School at the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. Jonathan advanced to the third round before being eliminated by misspelling the word foley.

The Monterey County Office of Education once again partnered with the California Missions Foundation to offer financial assistance of nearly $13,000 to 16 Title 1 elementary schools this year to help offset field trip transportation costs to take 4th graders to the missions of Carmel or San Juan Bautista. Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski, California Missions Foundation Executive Director David Bolton and California Missions Foundation Board Member Dr. Ruben Mendoza were on hand to engage with students from Frank Ledesma School in Soledad and Natividad School in Salinas, as well as participate in the check presentation.

Congratulations Greater Monterey Bay/Salinas Valley Career Pathway Consortium on making it to the interview stage for a $15 million California Career Pathways Trust grant. Pictured are members of the interview team and representatives who came out to support the team. (Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski is fourth from left and Monterey County Office of Education Deputy Superintendent Dr. Deneen Newman is second from right) The interview team consisted of Willard Lewallen, Hartnell Community College, Bronwyn Moreno, Monterey Peninsula Community COllege, Tim Vanoli, Superintendent, Salinas Union High School District, Bill Barr and Margaret D'Arrigo Martin representing industry.

Good luck to Jennifer McDonnal, John Chapman Caddell and Kapil Sinha, at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles May 11 - 16. These Monterey County students took top honors at the California Science Fair in April. McDonnal is a senior at York School, Caddell is a junior at Stevenson School, and Sinha is a sophomore at Salinas High School.

School teams from 44 Monterey County public and private schools, made up of nearly 400 students from upper elementary, middle and high school students, assembled at Seaside High School in Seaside on Saturday, May 10 for the 46th annual Mathletics Competition. Congratulations students and winner Clare Teng Morgantini (pictured with Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski and Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner Eric Lauritzen).

MCOE proudly rallied together to form a Relay for Life team to walk at the Salinas Sports Complex on Friday, May 9. Team MCOE raised nearly $3,000 in funds to fight cancer.

2014 marks the Monterey County Office of Education's inaugural participation in Classified Employee of the Year program. The Monterey County Office of Education received nominations of exemplary classified employees from our school districts and conducted a solection process to determine a county award winner from each category who were then nominated by the county for state recognition. Visit MCOE's Facebook for more photos of each nominee and winner.

Nearly 200 special education students from the Monterey County Office of Education at locations throughout Monterey County participated in Field Day events themed "If I had fun, I won!" at Rabobank Stadium in Salinas on May 6. Students participated in a variety of events specifically designed for moderately to severely disabled students, including the ball throw, standing long jump, turbo javelin, and multiple wheel chair races and running events.

The 2014 Monterey County Board of Education and Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski. Four board members were sworn in today to serve four years on the Monterey County Board of Education. Pictured from left to right are: Board Member Harvey Kuffner, Vice President Mary Claypool, President John McPherson, Board Member Judy Pennycook, Board Member Sergio Alejo, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Kotowski, Board Member Ron Panziera and Board Member Francisco Estrada. Visit MCOE's Facebook for more photos of the Oath of Office.