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 Oak Grove Middle School Honored As A 2016 Civic Learning School of Distinction

Paying tribute to the students and staff of Oak Grove Middle School​, Presiding Judge of the 4th District Court of Appeals Justice Judith McConnell recently presented the Civic Learning Award of Distinction at an all-school assembly. 

Oak Grove Principal Liz Bystedt opened the program welcoming the honored guests, who included Superintendent Nadine Bennett; school board members Marcia Spurgeon, Janet Mulder, Jim Dowling, and Teresa Stackhouse; and representatives of all the area's elected political offices. Principal Bystedt then introduced 8th grade student Lauren Helton, who spoke about the importance of civic learning to the students and gave examples of how it is manifested at Oak Grove Middle School.

Judge Judith McConnell, in her presentation, quoted State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor reminding the students, “The better educated our citizens are, the better equipped they will be to preserve the system of government we have.” She congratulated Oak Grove Middle School students, staff and community for demonstrating their strong belief in being good citizens and learning so many avenues in which they can express their civic virtue. The prestigious Civic Learning Award of Distinction will proudly be displayed for all to see at Oak Grove Middle School.

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob was represented by Victoria Flood, who read a proclamation and told the students and staff that the County Board of Supervisors named Thursday, May 19 “Oak Grove Middle School Day” in San Diego County to honor their achievement in civic education. Congressman Duncan Hunter was represented by Rita Sporleder, who presented a congressional resolution, recognizing that Oak Grove was one of only eight schools in the state to be so honored. Assemblyman Brian Jones asked his District Director Gail Ramer to present a Certificate of Achievement to Oak Grove Middle School on his behalf as he was in Sacramento presenting legislation. State Senator Be​n Hueso was represented by Deannaka Flores, who presented a senate resolution on his behalf, followed by Stephanie Allen from Congressman Juan Vargas’ office who read a tribute to Oak Grove from the congressman. State Senator Joel Anderson graciously sent Randy Santos to represent his office with congratulations for fine achievement. 

The Awards Ceremony was preceded by a student showcase that featured many of the civic learning projects completed by Oak Grove students this year. Manning their posts were students Chloe Sevilla and Grace Toolsie with “Constitution Day;” Danielle Huffine at “We the People;” Andres Fuentes, Renwell Quequep, Daniel Lopez, Dahlia Alonzo, Gabriella Raitano, Jarlen Gonzalez and Jackson Nunn with three excellent “Project Citizen” displays – one on rattlesnakes, the second on Wifi access on the bus, and the third on “Trash Talk – Keeping a Clean OGMS;” Cat Spurgeon with her winning “National History Day” website on James Meredith; Nick Sandberg extolling the excitement of the East Coast Trip; Anthony Yazakel with “Election Central” taking a close look at the current election; Lauryn Fields and Eduardo Mendez with “Student Council;” Manuel Gomez, Matt Peterson, and Sara Vazquez with their “Town Hall Meeting;” Isabel Breton, Lauren Elton and Elle Long talking about acid rain in their environmental science project; Cole Kitchin and Jenny Torres with “Taking a Stand for Civil Rights;” Kaylin Dovich and Ty Hunt demonstrating “Geography Bee” and Frida Alvarez Paea and Kyle Gross with “Genius Hour.” It was a very impressive display of the civic learning that is occurring at all grade levels at Oak Grove Middle School.

Congratulations to the students and staff of Oak Grove Middle School for a most impressive display of extensive education in the field of Civic Learning!