Santa Maria Sun> Opinions > School Scene Sunday, Jan 21, 2018     Volume 9, Issue 13   
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Local students battle it out in annual geography bee

More than 150 Santa Maria-Bonita School District students showed off their geography skills at the 17th annual District Geography Bee, held June 2 and 3 at the Souza Student Support Center, 708 S. Miller St., in Santa Maria. Students in grades four through eight battled for top prizes in teams of two, answering questions on local, state, national, and world geography, politics, history, and current events.

The questions try to meet state social studies standards. Bee participants qualified for the competition earlier this year by scoring well on classroom geography quizzes.

"Teachers often use geography to support language arts and math lessons, so students are really learning two subjects at the same time," bee organizer and Isaac Miller Elementary School teacher Alison Bakker said in a press release. "The students enjoy working with maps and globes so much that they don't realize they are learning vocabulary words, like 'reservoir,' or practicing their measurement skills with distances."

In the fourth grade division, Natalia Gonzalez and Cheyenne Lopez, of Robert Bruce Elementary School, took first place, and Jocelyn Ledezma and Sofia Duran, of Isaac Miller Elementary School, took second place.

For fifth grade, Eduardo Aguilar and Luis Salazar, of Robert Bruce Elementary School, took first place, and Armando Arevalo and Taylor White, of Battles Elementary School, took second place.

For sixth grade, Ashton Castillo, of Isaac Miller Elementary School, and Samantha Galicinao, of Battles Elementary School, took first, and Vanessa Candelario and Jacob Hunter, of Ida Redmond Taylor Elementary School, took second place.

For seventh grade, Jazfer Boulsan and Gustavo Ramirez, of Tommie Kunst Junior High School, took first place, and Diego Peinado and Alyson Martin, also of Tommie Kunst Junior High School, took second place.

Lastly, eighth-graders Gerardo Toscano and Cristian Ruvalcaba, of Tommie Kunst Junior High School, took first place, and eighth-graders Samantha Morales and Vanessa Morales, of El Camino Junior High School, took second place.

Hancock professor to attend national humanities workshop

On June 3, Allan Hancock College announced that history professor Roger Hall has been selected from a national applicant pool to attend a summer study opportunity supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The endowment is a federal agency that supports yearly "Landmarks of American History and Culture" workshops, so that faculty can work and study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Hall will travel to Philadelphia from June 16 through 21, where he will participate in a workshop titled "Revolution to Republic: Philadelphia's Place in Early America."

The one-week program will be hosted by the Society for the Historians of the Early Republic.

Hall has taught at Allan Hancock College since 1996, and is the author of West of the West: Perspectives on California State History.

University of Phoenix to offer new criminology degree

The University of Phoenix recently announced that it is offering a Bachelor of Science program in criminal justice administration on the Central Coast, beginning June 26.

The degree program focuses on teaching students about delinquency and crime, criminal law and procedure, and the goals of the American criminal justice system. The program emphasizes basic management and administrative skills to run local organizations. The program also strives to familiarize students with current trends, research techniques, and technological advances in the discipline.

To learn more about the criminal justice program at the University of Phoenix, call Bekki Miles at 239-7495 or e-mail her at

School Scene is compiled Staff Writer Amy Asman. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.


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