Tag Archives: Willard Middle School
By Mollie Hart
Andrea didn’t make eye contact with her writing coach right away. The 8th grader from Berkeley’s King Middle School brought out her rough draft of “An Open Letter to the Adults of our Country,” and started to read out loud, but kept her face turned away from the woman sitting next to her in the school’s designated “coaching” room.
“What did you think of the assignment?” the coach asked.
“It was okay,” said Andrea, without much enthusiasm.
Despite the young girl’s shy demeanor, the coach forged on. Soon the pair was talking about Andrea’s thesis statement, her conclusion, and how the American Revolution figured into the piece. … Continue reading »
By Catherine Ference
Three of Willard Middle School’s 8th grade students — Karah Giesecke, Desiree Minkler and Sydney Tong — along with their families and Willard’s art teacher, Nancy Funk, celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday this week by attending a very special ceremony at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Karah, Desiree and Sydney were all semi-finalists in The Dream@50 Art Contest, an award program that covers 10 cities and three school levels: elementary, middle and high. For the contest, students were invited to create artwork inspired by a word or phrase from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Their artwork was judged on originality in form and content as well as the artistic merit, including use of color and visual impact. … Continue reading »
A new initiative, spearheaded by Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard Project, aims to put beehives in the city’s three middle schools by next spring.
King Middle School’s one-acre garden, home to the Edible Schoolyard, has already jumped in having acquired a hive of Russian bees six weeks ago, under a program the organizers named Bee Experimental Education in Schools (BEES).
The idea, said Edible Schoolyard Director Kyle Cornforth, is to extend King’s existing hands-on gardening and cooking education to include learning about pollination. … Continue reading »
About 75 people rallied on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Derby Street in Berkeley Sunday afternoon to convince the City Council to put a pool bond measure on the November ballot.
Holding signs that read “Save Willard Pool,” and “Honk if you like to swim,” the group of students, parents, and community members yelled, chanted, and encouraged people to sign a petition that called for the reopening of Willard pool, which was closed and filled with dirt in 2010. (The petition is also posted at Change.org.)
“I would like to see Willard Pool open again,” said Amelie Melde Fontenay, a parent of a Willard School student. “My only son got here just in time to see the pool filled in with dirt. I don’t think it’s fair that the other two (middle) schools have pools and Willard doesn’t.” … Continue reading »
Willard Middle School teacher Robert MacCarthy, or “Mr. Mac” as he’s known around the campus, has found a creative way to energize his students around learning math.
MacCarthy blends art, games and music with math instruction, and, as reported in the Oakland Tribune, the result seems to be paying off. His classes are challenging, but their quirkiness makes it fun to learn, according to many of his protegés.
The talents of MacCarthy and his students are also very much in evidence on the … Continue reading »
It’s like a game of musical chairs at Berkeley schools right now, as a group of new faces move into top positions following the departure of key personnel.
John Muir and Oxford Elementary schools, King Middle School and Berkeley Technology Academy (B-Tech) have new principals, and there’s a new vice-principal at Berkeley High.
Jason Lustig’s decision to pursue an academic course at Harvard, which saw him step down from his position as principal of King Middle School at the end of this academic year, set the ball in motion for several appointments that followed. Lustig, was in the post for four years after a stint as principal at Cragmont Elementary School. … Continue reading »
By Gary Alinder
You’ve all watched the Food Network’s Iron Chef: two chefs have an hour to prepare five dishes based around a secret ingredient, and three judges award points based on flavor, originality and presentation.
Last week I had the privilege of being a judge at an end-of–term Iron Chef contest at Berkeley’s Willard Middle School. Berkeley has the reputation of being a wacky place, but some great things happen in that singular East Bay City. I find it remarkable that, in a program funded mostly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley students learn healthy cooking and gardening beginning in kindergarten.
I’ve been an Iron Chef judge at Willard before, and I’m always impressed by how much effort and skill these kids bring to the contest. They take it seriously. In addition to the criteria used on the TV show, Willard students are also judged on teamwork, recipe writing and clean-up. … Continue reading »
On Thursday this week, Berkeley Unified School District’s high-school and middle-school bands joined forces to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the San Francisco Giants baseball game. The excitement was more than palpable — holler and shouting alert. Watch the musicians in action at the 1.55-minute point in the video above (which comes courtesy of BUSD’s Mark Coplan).
Oh, and the score? San Francisco Giants 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 2.
Yoshi’s in Oakland, a legendary venue for the best in jazz, was packed on Monday night. The boisterous, enthusiastic crowd had come to hear the jazz bands from Longfellow and Willard middle schools. Fan — and mother of a baritone sax player — Doris Moskowitz reports that $1,200 was raised for the middle schools’ jazz program. More photos below the fold. … Continue reading »
Willard Middle School is no longer in the running as a possible location for the middle school part of the city’s new REALM Charter School — much to the relief of many Willard parents who were campaigning against the move.
After a closed meeting Wednesday, the BUSD Board announced it had decided against Willard as a home for Berkeley’s new Revolutionary Education and Learning Movement (REALM) middle school
Berkeley’s new Revolutionary Education and Learning Movement (REALM) middle school may be located in a commercial property at Addison and 8th Street, and there is a “high likelihood” that its high school will be located at BUSD’s West Campus site according to Victor Diaz, REALM’s principal.
The location of the middle school has stirred controversy because of potential plans to place it at Willard Middle School, which would have displaced the music program, a classroom and an office.
“We don’t want that solution,” said Diaz. “We don’t want to disrupt Willard’s program. We think we’re coming close to a deal on the commercial property, and we’re still on course to announce plans by April 1.” … Continue reading »
It was 10 am in the morning of February 17th and Jesus Mendez was just returning from the bank when he felt someone press the cold nub of a pistol into his back.
“Give me the money,” a second man said as he stepped in front of Mendez and leveled another gun at him.
Mendez, 48, the owner of Mi Tierra Foods on San Pablo Avenue and Addison, handed over the brown duffle bag containing the $30,000 in cash he had just withdrawn to run his store’s check cashing operation. The two assailants grabbed the bag and fled.
“It all happened so quickly,” Mendez said Tuesday sitting in the back office of his store. “It was very suspicious the way it happened. I went to the bank, came back, and as soon as I got out of my truck they came out of nowhere. How did they know I had so much money? Were they watching me? Was it someone who came and cashed checks?” … Continue reading »
There will be a BHS Community Memorial on Thursday, February 3 after school in the BHS Library for Tim Moellering, the Berkeley High baseball coach who died on Tuesday january 18. Moellering’s family is asking that BHS students planning to attend a memorial for their former teacher attend the one at BHS, rather than the Saturday service at Willard Middle School which is intended primarily for Moellering’s family and old friends. The BHS Community Memorial will allow the BHS community to gather and share memories of the popular coach and teacher in conversations or open mic.