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Our Community Focus

Falcon Faithful

Jun 10, 2018 10:45PM ● By Joe Alvarez

By Joe Alvarez


Our faculty and staff continue to give all our students the best opportunities in and out of the classroom. We work hard to build a culture of learning, accountability, and work and study that is relevant to the 21st century. This pushes comfort levels for both student and staff members.  As I prepare my graduation speech, I ask students to reflect on their four-year careers at CPHS as well. I’m asking them to tell me they engaged in their education, became involved in school activities, and have a post-high school plan of action.  


We have some of the best teachers and support staff in Mount Diablo Unified to push, inspire, and support students on their personnel and academic journeys. Some of these outstanding people were recognized at the Mt. Diablo Education Association’s Academy Award dinner – an annual event honoring the best of the best among students, staff, teachers, administrators, and parent volunteers. College Park teachers who were recognized were Josh Coito, Chris Gray, Laima Haider, Cary Hellman, and Zehra Otus. Shuleen Martin, one of our tireless and devoted parents, was recognized in the district’s Outstanding Parent Volunteer category. There are common qualities and attributes among all this year’s nominees. They are all caring and intelligent, and they share a “Let’s get after it!” mentality in support of our students. Thank you all for being you and for what you do.


If you came to a performance of our latest musical, Legally Blonde, you’ll know it was a phenomenal production at all levels. A huge shout-out to our world-class Visual and Performing Arts Department, and special kudos to teachers Bruce Rockwell, Jorge Jimenez, and Tony Gardner. The talent of our student performers never ceases to amaze me, and their fame is growing quickly. Our choir performed a rousing and moving version of the national anthem at a recent Oakland Athletics game. Way to shine, Falcon singers!


Our PTA (Parent Teacher Association) plays a vital role in supporting the goals of CPHS. I’d like to recognize President Cindy Turner for her hard work in organizing and executing a strong plan of action in her first year. Cindy, thank you for keeping us on track and for your leadership and commitment to CPHS. We have so many committed parents who give of their time and efforts each and every day – something essential in ensuring that we continue to progress and innovate on behalf of students.


I know I have shared with you in the past how very honored I am to serve as the principal of College Park High School for the past two years. Every day, I am more and more grateful to be here. There are challenges, of course, but I don’t think I anticipated how many incredible and inspiring experiences would await me, putting joy in my heart and a smile on my face – pretty much all the time! I still wake up feeling lucky that I get to come to work each and every day and directly support my Pleasant Hill community in working with our exceptional student body and faculty. 


What is on the radar for next year? We will continue to build and expand a school culture of respect and accountability through positive behavior interventions and support (PBIS) and we will prepare for the next review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the 2019-20 school year. We will maintain our overarching goal of creating graduates that are both college and career ready. These are lofty goals, but with the continued strong efforts from faculty and staff, we will achieve them.