Tag Archives: Pasquale Scuderi

Berkeley High suicide victim’s family mourns

Michael Babe Hamilton. Courtesy: Family photo
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The family of the young man who died of an apparent suicide at Berkeley High School on Monday told Berkeleyside this week they were not sure how he had ended up there, and said he had been struggling in recent years with drug addiction.

Authorities identified the 21-year-old as Michael B. Hamilton, whose last known address was in Placerville. Police said Hamilton’s family is based in Oregon.

Hamilton’s mother, Erma, shared a photograph of her son with Berkeleyside on Thursday.

She said his family in Oregon is struggling with his death, and isn’t sure why he chose Berkeley High as the place to end his life.

She said he had been dealing with drug addiction over the past few years, adding, “He had an extremely hard hand of life. He was my shining star filled with some darkness!” … Continue reading »

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Update: Man who committed suicide at BHS identified

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UPDATE, Feb. 18, 3:55 p.m.: Berkeley Police say the young man who committed suicide on the Berkeley High campus was 21-year-old Michael B. Hamilton. There is nothing to suggest that the death wasn’t a suicide, said BPD Officer Jennifer Coats. Hamilton does not appear to be have connection to BHS, she added. Hamilton’s family, who are in Oregon, have been notified of the death. Hamilton’s last address was in Placerville.

ORIGINAL STORY: A man was found dead on the Berkeley High School campus on Monday, Feb. 17, when the school was closed for Presidents Day holiday.

Berkeley police said they responded to a report of a possible suicide at Berkeley High at approximately 2:14 p.m. on Monday.

BPD and the Berkeley Fire Department responded to the scene. A male, who appeared to be in his early 20s was discovered and it appeared he had hanged himself, according to a statement released by BPD at around 8:30 p.m. Monday. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district takes over troublesome BHS pool

Bill Gaebler, BHS swimming and water polo coach, stands next to the freshmen girl's water polo team at a meet. Photo: Marilee Enge
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After complaints about the swimming pool at Berkeley High went ignored for years – including reports of hair loss and eye irritation in swimmers – the Berkeley Unified School District last month decided to overhaul its system of monitoring the pool, shifting responsibility from the school administration to the district’s offices.

The change came after numerous parents expressed concern about the pH balance of the pool, the city of Berkeley closed it down twice, and the coach repeatedly pleaded with the school district over four years to fix numerous problems, including reports of unbalanced chemical levels, rust, and algae in the water. Many of the problems went unaddressed.

In November, Berkeleyside filed a public records request with the district. The documentation turned over by BUSD – dozens of emails and memos adding up to hundreds of pages – revealed an extensive history of unaddressed maintenance issues both big and small and lax oversight of the pool.  … Continue reading »

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BHS construction back on track after asbestos discovery

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Despite delays at the beginning of the school year caused by the discovery of an unexpected type of asbestos, the Berkeley High School South of Bancroft Project is back on schedule, according to Principal Pasquale Scuderi.

The ongoing construction project on the southern end of campus has so far involved installing a stadium on the east side of the athletic field, which has new bleachers standing over a sports facility building with locker rooms, team meeting areas, coaches’ offices and a weight room. A decrepit set of bleachers on the west side of the field has been torn down, as has the seismically-unfit Old Gym to make way for a new academic building along Milvia Street.

Currently underway is the construction of the new academic building, which has yet to be named, and the installation of new visitors’ bleachers on the west side of the field. The latter should be ready when school resumes in the fall. … Continue reading »

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Fund: 30 years of boosting, supporting Berkeley schools

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In its 30 years of operation, the Berkeley Public Education Foundation has raised more than $12 million and channeled more than 750,000 volunteer hours straight into Berkeley’s public schools, directly supporting the district’s 550 teachers. On Friday last week, in a single luncheon, it raised another $210,000, honored a select group of educators and administrators, along with a former Berkeley High student, and also marked two significant changes to its organization.

New leadership is in place with the recent appointment of Erin Rhoades as the fund’s executive director. Rhoades, formerly a principal planner for Urban Planning Partners and the executive director of Livable Berkeley, replaced Molly Fraker on April 8.

[View a gallery of photographs of the Schools Fund Spring Luncheon by Emilie Raguso.] … Continue reading »

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Man suspected of trying to abduct 2 Berkeley girls

King Middle School
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On Thursday, May 2, officials say two sixth grade girls, who were waiting to be picked up from King Middle School, were approached by a man who asked them to help him retrieve an item from his car. The case is being treated as a possible attempted abduction.

On Friday, King Principal Janet Levenson sent an email and a recorded message via phone-tree to the King community in which she outlined what happened: “Yesterday at 3:00pm two 6th grade girls were waiting to be picked up at Berryman and Josephine,” she wrote in the email. “A man approached them saying that his keys had fallen into his car and his hand was too big to retrieve them. He pointed to the car which had the door open and was a couple of cars up the street. One girl started to go help him but her friend realized the potential danger and convinced her that they should run into the garden for help. The mom arrived almost immediately but the man was no longer there.He was described as a white male, 5’10″, thin build, brown hair and eyes, and driving a silver 4-door vehicle with no trunk (possibly a small SUV). Please be aware of who is driving around campus and remind your students to wait in front of the school.”
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Schools

Principal alerts Berkeley High parents to nearby robbery

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Berkeley High School Principal Pasquale Scuderi sent the following email memo out to parents at 5:05 p.m. It appears below in its entirety. To subscribe to the school email list, send a message to bhs-request@lmi.net with the word “subscribe” in the subject line. 

Dear Staff and Families:

We had a sizable police presence on the southeast end of campus today (Milvia and Channing).

What we can share with you is that a robbery occurred about a half mile from campus sometime between 2:40 and 2:45 p.m. There was no weapon involved in the incident and neither the victim nor the suspect were identified as BHS students. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High lockdown follows robbery attempt

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[Editor's Note: This story has been updated throughout the day. Scroll down for updates.]

Berkeley High went on a precautionary lockdown at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday following police activity involving a report of a weapon near the school.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dave Frankel said the incident began just after 10:20 a.m. when a lone man “dressed in distinctive Army clothing” entered a business in the 2200 block of Shattuck Avenue and tried to rob it with a simulated weapon. The business didn’t cooperate, said Frankel, and the man left. He was followed by an employee who called police, and officers responded within minutes. … Continue reading »

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News

Juveniles in custody after fights outside Berkeley High

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Scroll down for an update from Berkeley High’s principal at the foot of this story.

Four juveniles were taken into custody on suspicion of fighting outside Berkeley High School on Wednesday afternoon.

Large crowds of students and passers-by gathered near the intersection of Bancroft Way and Milvia Street shortly after students were leaving the campus at the end of the school day to watch the fights, according to officer Jennifer Coats at the Berkeley Police Department.

Many Berkeley police officers were dispatched to the area after receiving calls from the public, starting at 3:41 p.m, and they worked to disperse the large groups of onlookers. Officers were able to disperse the crowds, and they took four juveniles into custody in connection with the fighting, Coats said. … Continue reading »

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After Newtown: Lockdown drill Wednesday, vigil Thursday

Berkeley High School. Photo: Lance Knobel
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As the community continues to try to come to terms with Friday’s school tragedy in Newtown, CT, at least two Berkeley events this week respond to the deadly shooting.

A vigil to remember the victims took place over the weekend in Berkeley, and messages from school leaders and staff members have been going out daily to members of many Berkeley schools.

Continue reading »

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‘Today seems like a day to hug our kids a little harder’

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Berkeley High’s Principal, Pasquale Scuderi, this afternoon sent an emailed letter to the BHS community in the wake of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, CT, this morning. In it, he addresses how the school has dealt with communicating news of the mass shooting at an elementary school to BHS students, issues of security on campus, and shares guidelines on how to talk to our children about such a senseless and potentially traumatic incident.

We publish the letter here in full:

Dear BHS Families:

This morning, following the devastating news we all received from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, we made a brief announcement to the staff and students updating our community on what we knew to be the facts, and encouraging us all to support one another as a school community. We simply asked that as a staff and student body we keep our thoughts and positive energy moving in the direction of the families, children, and fellow educators who are in the midst of a tragedy whose dimensions are still nearly impossible to fathom. … Continue reading »

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News

Berkeley High student newspaper calls for more support

The online version of the Berkeley High Jacket leads with a story about
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Students who manage Berkeley High School’s student newspaper, the Berkeley High Jacket, which is marking its 100th anniversary this year, say the publication is in crisis after the school withdrew part of its support.

The paper, which is published every other week and online, is categorized as a class and is therefore allocated a staff supervisor and a number of periods relating to the number of students who are registered for the class.

For the past three years, the paper’s faculty adviser has been advanced video teacher Dharini Rasiah. At the end of the last academic year, Berkeley High eliminated a media support services course which amounted to 20% of Rasiah’s quota of daily classes. As she had been devoting much of that course time to the Jacket, which, by her estimate, takes up 20-30 hours of her time a week, the overall time she could commit to the paper has been significantly reduced. Rasiah has also given a new art class to teach. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley High’s Principal talks about attendance scam

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Following last week’s revelation of student-generated attendance fraud at Berkeley High School, Principal Pasquale Scuderi and Quan Tran, a BHS senior and chief of service of the Associated Student Body there, were interviewed this morning by Michael Krasny on KQED’s Forum.

Thirty-two students have been suspended from Berkeley High School for breaking into the school’s attendance system and changing records, and Scuderi confirmed that two students are up for expulsion over the incident and that no criminal charges will be made. … Continue reading »

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