Tag Archives: Pasquale Scuderi
Update, 2:58 pm: The Berkeley Police Department has issued a list of calls for police services at the Occupy Berkeley camp. There have been a total of 24 reported calls since October 23rd, 16 of which can be classified as crimes (this differs slightly from the numbers previously reported by the BPD and cited in our story below). BPD believes there are crimes and other incidents that have gone unreported, as would be expected at any large gathering. BPD says some cases have involved deadly weapons, and that the number of calls has increased in the past week. Read the full list here.
Original story: Without media fanfare or loud demonstrations, the Occupy Berkeley encampment in Civic Center Park has grown to about 90 tents. As Berkeleyside reported, the “radical inclusivity” of the Occupy Berkeley gathering has created tensions. City officials and local police have adopted a policy of monitoring and tolerance, rather than threats and injunctions. City staff and police patrol the encampment regularly. But with both Oakland and San Francisco Occupy sites now closed, what is the likely future for the Bay Area’s last significant Occupy movement site? Not everybody is comfortable with its ongoing presence.
Councilmember Jesse Arreguín, whose 4th district includes Civic Center Park, has views that are echoed by other city officials. “We don’t have any plans to clear people out of the park,” Arreguín said. “I have supported the Occupy encampment from the beginning. There may come a point — I don’t believe the point is now — where we have to ask the people to go. It’s inevitable that the conversation will have to happen.” … Continue reading »
Berkeley High School Principal Pasquale Scuderi says supervising BHS students during the lunch hour and after school has become more challenging for the school with the growth of the Occupy Berkeley tent-city in Civic Center Park.
In a letter to the BHS community sent out by email Wednesday, Scuderi noted that the burgeoning camp has made it more difficult for school administrators and safety staff to keep an eye on and visually identify students among the settlers in the park, a number of whom “may not be connected to or interested in the advocacy being conducted by the actual Occupy Berkeley movement”.
Scuderi, who estimates there are now around 90 tents in the park, says there have been no negative interactions with the campers. The school currently has two administrators monitoring the park during the lunch hour. … Continue reading »
The unexpected and abrupt closure of Berkeley High School’s Old Gym this week has thrown some of the school’s athletic programs into turmoil.
On Monday, members of the football team were told they could not go into the locker room in the Old Gym to suit up for practice or to retrieve their belongings. Since then, the team has not had a place to change, store personal items, use weights, or watch films to prepare for upcoming games.
“It has caused a lot of confusion and it is having an effect on how we practice,” said one member of the varsity football team who did not want his name used. “It has a detrimental affect on the team.”
The abrupt closure on Monday October 3 came about because Superintendent Bill Huyett only recently learned of reports that the structure may not be seismically safe, and decided to take action.
“I am a very prudent and cautious person when it comes to student safety,” said Huyett.
Huyett was referring to an engineering study included in a 2006 environmental impact report that raised – but did not answer — questions about the seismic stability of the Old Gym. The structure was built in 1922 based on a design by architect William Hays. In 1929, an addition housing what is now known as the Warm Pool was added. The complex is slated to be torn down in 2012 and replaced with a $35 million, three-story building that holds 15 classrooms, a new gym, and a fitness center. … Continue reading »
A fund has been established at Berkeley High School to support Dinesh Kumar, the school’s day custodian, whose family was the victim of a vicious home invasion on Friday which resulted in the death of Kumar’s mother.
In an email sent to the BHS community this morning, Principal Pasquale Scuderi said that early Friday morning Kumar was shot multiple times after at least one intruder entered his home. His mother, Sushila Prasad, who moved here from Fiji recently, was shot and killed.
Kumar’s … Continue reading »
Students may be still enjoying long lie-ins and hours of minimal activity, but for Berkeley school faculty, the vacations are all but over as they prep for the new semester.
Witness Berkeley High Principal Pasquale Scuderi who has opened a Twitter account (@bhsinfo) and is already well at ease with the medium, providing information on dates class schedules will be available, details of assessments being devised by staff — even putting out recruitment notices.
Scuderi has … Continue reading »
Pasquale Scuderi accepted the position of Principal of Berkeley High School one year ago this month, succeeding Jim Slemp, who headed the school for six years. Scuderi came to the district in 2006 and was formerly a Vice Principal at BHS before moving to a post in the district administration.
The position of Principal did not prove an easy one to fill, despite a national search. Few are in any doubt that running Berkeley’s only mainstream high school, which is on an open campus in the city’s downtown with a register of more than 3,200 students, is a challenging task.
Scuderi’s first year on the job has required him to deal with a slate of gun-related incidents at the school, as well as budgetary pressures, the aftermath of an at-times bitter battle over science labs at BHS, and the transition of one of the small schools into the Green Academy. There were also compensations inside the classrooms and out, including a state girls’ basketball championship game and an early morning pig roast.
Berkeleyside interviewed Scuderi on June 27. We asked him for his perspective on the past academic year, reflections on successes and frustrations, and to outline his priorities for the next 12 months. The full transcript of the interview can be read here.
Berkeleyside: Looking back at the year, what would you say were the highlights for you?
I feel I have just started to get things done in a job that has been like being in a washing machine from the beginning. There hasn’t been time to stop and reflect because the one thing the job is is constant in terms of its pace.
It was easy for people who are not part of our daily operations to just let what was covered – the weapons and such – define us. For those of us who are here every day, that wasn’t the case. We’re still sending kids to Ivy League schools and running some very creative programs.
I could point to something in almost every community that was emblematic of the great work and great teaching that was going on in all of those communities, from the bus commemorating the Montgomery boycott that AHA did, to the girls’ basketball team… The list is too long to enumerate, but I can say there was something pretty terrific happening here every day in terms of teaching and learning. … Continue reading »
At the risk of alienating every vegetarian and vegan reader we have — something we definitely do not want to do — we bring you more carnivorous capers (on the heels of this story about a new gourmet butcher in Berkeley, and this story about a charcuterie business launch).
Students at Berkeley High have become accustomed to eating the fruits of the weekly Seniors BBQ Club – a popular club which, rather astonishingly for this otherwise egalitarian city … Continue reading »
The BUSD Board last night approved expenditure of $89,000 to boost security and staff training at Berkeley High following the recent spate of guns on campus. It also heard from Director of Student Services, Susan Craig, and Principal, Pasquale Scuderi, on what measures had been taken so far, and those that were planned in response to the incidents.
It was 2:10 pm on a warm Thursday afternoon and the Berkeley High detention center was hopping.
The school’s security team had done a sweep of the park across from the high school and had netted 13 students who had cut class. Now the truant teenagers sat in desks before a blank white board, quietly talking to one another as they waited for their parents to be notified.
Ardarius McDonald, the dean of students and the man who supervises the school’s security detail, came into the room, clearly not pleased – but not surprised –by the crowd. After all, it was close to 80 degrees that day, one of the first nice days after nearly two weeks of rain, and, as he pointed out, some teenagers have a hard time resisting the lure of the sun.
Just a day earlier, Berkeley High had gone on lockdown after a parent reported that she had seen a young person with a gun outside on Martin Luther King Avenue. McDonald and his team immediately rushed into action, locking all the school’s entrances, ordering students in classrooms on the west side of campus to stay away from the windows, and fanning out to prearranged spots on the 14-acre campus as Berkeley police investigated. It was the fourth gun-related incident in a week at the high school, including one on March 22 where two students shot off a gun in a bathroom.
The upsurge in violence has shone a spotlight on Berkeley High’s security detail. While no one has been hurt on campus this year, some parents have wondered if the school is adequately prepared for a serious gun event. Others contend that the school turns a blind eye to intimidation. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Matthew Golde voiced these concerns last week when he stood up at a community forum and suggested that armed robberies were common at Berkeley High and that dangerous people wandered its halls.
It’s a concern that McDonald understands – but refutes. Berkeley High is generally a safe place, he said. Sure, wallets and iPods are stolen too often, but “there are no switchblade fights in the halls.”
By Karen Laws
A budget unanimously approved by the Berkeley High BSEP (Berkeley Schools for Excellence Project) site committee on March 21 will provide salaries for both college counselors, 100% of the supplies for art classes, beakers and flasks for chemistry labs, and much more. With student enrichment proposals valued at nearly $230,000 over the $774,454 the committee had to spend for the 2011-12 school year, it’s no wonder the budget meeting lasted six hours.
Depending on whether windows in the cramped, below-street-level room were cranked open or shut, the 15 members, including Principal Pasquale Scuderi, endured alternately freezing and stifling conditions as they debated and voted. … Continue reading »
In the middle of a meeting called to discuss guns and safety at Berkeley High School, the deputy district attorney in charge of Alameda County’s juvenile division stood up and announced that the community is not being realistic about how dangerous a place it is.
“I have seen the police report of every single person arrested at Berkeley High School this year,” Matthew Golde, the senior deputy district attorney for Alameda County’s juvenile justice center told a crowd of about 400 people at the Berkeley High School Community Theater. “Let me tell you the reality of the danger.”
Golde went on to say that in addition to the four gun-related arrests made last week, armed robbery is rampant at the school. Students routinely bring weapons and use them to strong-arm people on campus, at the park across the street, and on Shattuck Avenue. And groups of BHS kids regularly burglarize houses. … Continue reading »
By Frances Dinkelspiel and Tracey Taylor
There were two on-campus gun incidents at Berkeley High last week, and police discovered an Oakland youth outside BHS on Friday afternoon carrying a gun, but Principal Pasquale Scuderi does not think gang activity or an intra-school beef is the reason for the recent spate of gun activity.
The three gun-related incidents last week appear to be unrelated, said Scuderi. Kids might be bringing guns to school because of the glamorous role guns have in our society, he said.
“I don’t buy that the only reason kids are carrying guns is for personal protection. I think there is some sort of fascination, a cultural fixation with firearms,” he said.
On Friday, at about 4:15 p.m., police shut down the sidewalks on Milvia Street and closed the school’s east gates after a BHS teacher walking to his car noticed four youths gathered around the open trunk of a white Buick Park Avenue, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley Police Department. The teacher then spotted what looked like a black semi-automatic handgun in the trunk and called 911. … Continue reading »