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  • Writer's pictureDr. Renfree

We are on a role!

Do you know we have a Instagram and Facebook?????? You do now! Follow all things SHS:

Facebook: @serrahighschool and Instagram: @juniperoshs

Hello Conquistador Nation!

WOW! What an AMAZING week we just had! I could hardly keep track of all the events. Next week is looking a little slower and boy will we need it. Let's get you caught up to speed! Football tonight vs Henry! See you there.

In the Know--Next Week: October 22-26

1. Saturday School starts tomorrow! Students received locator cards telling them that they have to attend.

2. Federal Survey Cards are due 10/26. If we don't get them back, we may have to knock on your door......please turn them in. It's very important that we get 100 percent.

3. Principal's Coffee: FRIDAY 10/26: Come hear me talk about data and where are as a school after P1 progress reports and all things Serra! Coffee and light breakfast provided. Starts right at 7:30 AM. Please see previous BLOGs with link to last one if you missed it.

In the know: THIS PAST WEEK

1. Serra High at the Board of Education: Our very own Marco Abbiate (ASB President) presented to the BOE about all things SHS! They were very impressed!

2. We had an amazing turnout for our College Night! Check out this photo:

3. SDUSD asked Serra to host The State of the District Address. I had the opportunity to give a short speech about all the amazing things Serra has accomplished. It was very exciting. Everyone from the district was here including the Board of Education.

4. Great California Shakeout: SHS participated in the GCS and it very well. We are prepared!

5. This morning KUSI spent 4 hours filming our students and doing live clips. It was massive! I instantly started receiving texts from all over the county about how we got so lucky! I said we try very hard to market our kids and school! It's paying off! Check this out:

6. Varsity Football Game vs Henry High TONIGHT!!! Be there!

Note: Many students were suspected of being under the influence at the last game. We will not openly accuse without facts but please be aware of what your students are doing before the game. If they are caught this could have very bad consequences and I don't want that for you or your child (seniors if caught will have to petition to graduate--very sad face). Also many were checked at the last game and cleared because the suspected group started getting into cars. This is very dangerous. Just be on the lookout. Thank you in advance!

7. Our Photography Pathway students went to the International Film Festival and got up close and personal with celebrities! This is just one of the many things our amazing pathways are doing! Check this out:

8. Our Wellness Center has coordinated with Center for Community Solutions to present their healthy relationship workshop series to Chris Herrin’s 9th grade PE classes the last two Friday’s and will continue this Friday and next. We also presented a life skills workshop on interpersonal skills with community partner, Harmonium, at lunch today.

Instruction Spotlight!:

This month we here at SHS have been working on data and assessments. Teachers engaged in Professional Development in which they looked at P1 grade data and went through a Noticings and Wonderings Protocol (more on this at my Principal's Coffee). This was a great exercise in looking at data in a way that doesn't make people defensive. The data was very telling. Teachers looked at whole school and departmental data and were posed with questions such as "Who is in the sphere of success?" "Who isn't?" and "What can we do about it?". Also we talked about issues surrounding D's and F's and also our top students and what they need. This led to questions like: Am I grading things that aren't measuring quality learning? Are my assignments engaging and rigorous? We as a school will be diving into these issues.

Our classroom strategy spotlight is on the Socratic Seminar. This is a strategy that forces all students to feel they have something to contribute and is at a very high DOK (Depth of Knowledge level? What's a DOK Level? Come to Principal's Coffee. Students have very rich questions to dialogue about and have to prepare in advance. Here are some pictures from classes doing this very strategy.

Also in the World of VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts):

The Music Department is proud to announce that the Serra Invitational Field Tournament, featuring 11 high school marching bands from all around Southern California, will be held here on November 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm to 9:00 pm on the Serra Athletic Field. Please attend this exciting competition gathering the finest high school bands in the state. Hosting the event began at Serra last year under Mr. Brad Pulverenti and the tradition is being continued under Mr. Michael Fielder, our talented Music teacher. Prizes and trophies will be awarded.

The Serra High School Theatre Department is beginning preparations for the first show of their 2018-2019 season, “Fly by Night”. The performance is a musical that revolves around a doomed love triangle set over the course of a single year. The play will be presented in several performances at the Serra High Theater on December 6-8 and 13-15 at 7:00 pm and December 6 and 13 at 3:00 pm; general admission is $7.00, free for Serra Students. Mr. Aaron Blokker and his students invite you to be a part of this special production.

The Art department is pleased to announce that Barbara Friedman, a world-renowned quilt artist will be introducing her artwork to the students in Ms. Johnson’s classes. Ms. Friedman is noted for large, photographic quilts and will be joined by her husband Arnold Friedman. The Friedmans are strong supporters of the arts here at Serra. Last year they sponsored an art competition at Serra and also donated numerous books and art supplies to the school for art.

Mr. Marc Thomas’ Design and Mixed media classes are mastering enlarging images. Graphic Design elements are reinforced as the students transfer their art work to a larger scale. In addition to graphic design, Mr. Thomas students have worked on wire sculptures, bringing a third dimension to their artwork.


1. Attention Seniors- If you are still deciding where to apply for next year, we have UCSB and Azusa Pacific coming to Serra!! UCSB is coming on October 25 and Azusa Pacific will be here on October 22. Please remember, in order attend you must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA and a signed permission slip from your 4th period teacher. Permission slips are available in the counseling office. There are deadlines for both presentations.

2. Permission slips are available for 11th & 12th graders to attend the Hispanic College Fair.  The college fair will be on Friday, November 30th from 8:30-11:45 a.m.  Please note that it first come and first served and there are no exceptions.  

3. Scholarships: See at the WAY bottom. I'm going to get a link by next week so you can constantly access it.

Upcoming Events:

1. Shakespeare.

This event is a collaboration of The Old Globe, SAY San Diego and San Diego Military Family Collaborative. It is open to the Tierrasanta and Murphy Canyon community and all of our families attending Serra from other neighborhoods.

Please share this link with those wanting to join us for the performance.

The show is Friday, November 16th in the media center.  Dinner is served at 5pm and the show begins at 5:45pm. Dinner and the show are free! It should wrap up about 8:30pm. It is recommended for those 13 years and older. Feel free to share my contact information with those registering. I can answer questions and address concerns.

We know that theater and art act as a catalyst to create community

Express yourself through Art, every Thursday from 2:30-3:30 pm in room 230. Bring your creativity, we'll supply the rest.


2. Have you ever wanted to own your or startup your own business? Learn everything you need at the Young Entrepreneur Club, Where you will get hands on experience, learn the technicalities and laws of business, and Hear real experiences from real business owners. The Young Entrepreneur Club meets Mondays and Fridays during lunch at room 211b.



1. Principal's Coffee---We had a great one! Did you miss it? No worries, click here: for a recap. The next one is on October 30th, 2018. 2. Booster Information--Class of 2019: At our recent meeting we talked about how we can support one another, making the Class of 2019's last year at Serra the best year. We decided to divide and conquer with SHS footing the bill for Graduation at USD and Boosters supporting events along the way including GRAD Night. We are so grateful to the Boosters. SERRA HS SENIOR CLASS OF 2019: Dear Parents of Graduating Seniors, As we begin our 2018-2019 school year, the Serra Senior Parent Booster Club will be raising funds for this year’s senior class activities which include events such as Grad Night, Senior Luncheon and Graduation. Help us reach our fundraising goals for these events by making a tax- deductible donation of $50-100.00. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Donations can either be made online using this link,, or you can write a check payable to Serra Senior Parent Boosters. If using the online square account through the above noted link, you will be able to use your credit card. If you prefer to write a check, please drop your check off in the front office. Please address the envelope, “ Class of 2019,” and write that in the memo of the check as well to avoid any confusion with the Class of 2021 Boosters which is also collecting money. As parents of seniors, we are looking forward to a fun and exciting year; your support will be greatly appreciated.Thank you very much! Serra HS Senior Parent Boosters 📷 TAX ID #33-06363145156 Santo RD, San Diego, CA, 92124 Class of 2020: Leslie Larranaga-Britt has a few people together! YAY! They will meet with Liz Ward and start the process so stay tuned for how you can join! Class of 2021: The Serra High c/o 2021 Booster Club held their first meeting on Wednesday, September 19th at 6 pm in the Alumni Room in the Media Center. We discussed generating funds that will support senior activities and help secure a premier graduation venue for the c/o2021.  Be on the lookout for upcoming events. Questions? Send an email to: Here is their donation letter: Class of 2022: I asked for volunteers to start one and YOU stepped up! We are in the process of forming one. Stay tuned!!!! Thank you for your support! Serra High Administration



Scholarships are primarily for seniors, unless otherwise noted. PLEASE allow ample time to complete applications. Keep copies for your personal scholarship file. See Mrs. Bobis in the Counseling Center for any questions.

Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Amount: $2500 - $100,000

• Must be 18 – 24 years of age

• Must NOT be an active NCAA collegiate athlete (any division) in any sport, nor played professional, semi-professional, or Division I collegiate football at any time

• Briefly describe your goal – how will you change the world?

• Upload a video. Help us get to know you and your academic and professional goals, but stay on topic. Tell us how winning this tuition will impact your life. Be passionate. Be creative. Be you.

• Apply online at

Pretty Photoshop Actions Scholarship Program

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Amount: $500

• High School Senior or be transitioning from high school to a college or university

• ESSAY: 800 – 1000 words

o Carefully research and compose an essay style Adobe Photoshop tutorial with screenshots and photos included to illustrate your points on one of the following topics. Use proper grammar and punctuation.

1. How Photoshop has changed photography

2. How to re-touch skin in Photoshop for photographers

3. Favorite tips for enhancing color in Photoshop

4. Three must-know Photoshop overlay ideas for adding WOW to your portraits

5. A How To Photoshop Tutorial

• For more information go to

Make the U/ Haz La U Hispanic Scholarship Program

Deadline: October 25, 2018

Amount: $2000 - $15,000

• Be currently enrolled in high school and graduating in the spring of 2019

• Must have a minimum unweighted 3.0 GPA

• Must enroll at an accredited higher education institution in 2019-2020

• Be of Hispanic heritage (includes Spain, Brazil, Philippines)

• If selected, attendance to regional awards ceremony is mandatory and travel is at the recipient’s expense

• Be a U.S. permanent resident, U.S. citizen, or qualify under the DACA

• Apply online at

Horatio Alger Scholarship

Deadline: October 25, 2018

Amount: $6000 - $25,000

• Be enrolled full time as a high school senior in the United States; be progressing normally toward graduation in spring/summer of 2019 with plans to enter a college in the United States no later than the fall following graduation

• Exhibit a strong commitment to pursue and complete a bachelor’s degree at an accredited non-profit public or private institution in the United States (students may start their studies at a two-year institution and then transfer to a four-year institution)

• Demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or lower adjusted gross family income is required)

• Be involved in co-curricular and community service activities

• Display integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity

• Maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0

• Be a United States citizen

• Apply online at

BBB Torch Award Scholarship

Deadline: October 26, 2018

Amount: $500 - $1500

• High School Junior or Senior

• Attends an accredited high school in San Diego, Orange or Imperial County

• Resides in San Diego, Orange or Imperial County

• ESSAY: 400 words maximum

o Write about the importance of ethics and integrity in our community.  Discuss your viewpoints and give examples, as applicable.  You may want to discuss how marketplace ethics involves integrity and civility in our community.

• Download application at

Back to School Scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $2500

• Easy scholarship

• No GPA

• No Long essay to write

• In 3 sentences, tell us:

o Other than your essential school supplies, if you could keep only 3 items in your locker for the rest of the school year, what would they be and why?

• Apply online at

Coca-Cola Scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $20,000

• Current High School (or home-schooled) Seniors attending school in the U.S. (or select DoD schools)

• Must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents, refugees, asylees, Cuban-Haitian entrants, or humanitarian parolees

• Planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. postsecondary institution

• Apply online at

Gifted and Talented STEM Program for High School

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $27,081 annually, which equates to $13.02 an hour (Employment Opportunity)

• High School Senior who will have completed at least an AP/IB level physics and calculus course, and either a computer science, computer programming or an engineering course by completion of their senior year

• Must be at least 16 years of age at the time of hire

• Unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher is preferred

• Must be a U.S. citizen

• Must be eligible for a security clearance

• Resume

• Two (2) teacher recommendations from a Physics, Calculus, Computer Science or Engineering teacher

• Official transcript from High School (inclusive of the final 11th grade year)

• Verification of SAT or ACT Scores (at least 1200 on SAT/25 on the ACT)

• ESSAY: One-page typed written response

“Why am I interested in STEM?'

• Apply online at

Good360 Sustainability Scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $1,000

• High School Senior applying to college OR currently attending college

• Must have an interest in Environmentalism or Sustainability

• Minimum GPA: 3.3

• ESSAY: 200- 300 words

o What do you do to live sustainably? Post a photo on Instagram with your essay explaining what sustainability means to you?

• Apply online at

2017 National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) Scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: Varies

• High School Senior and a member of the NESA

• Multiple scholarships with one application

• Academic Scholarships - based on school and Scouting participation, academic performance, and financial need.

o Score a minimum 1290 SAT or an ACT score of at least 28.

o Academic scholarships include a range of scholarships, up to four $25,000 scholarships (payable at $6,250 per year for four years) one $48,000 scholarship (payable at up to $12,000 per year for four years) and a $50,000 STEM scholarship for an Eagle Scout planning to major in a science, technology, engineering, or math field.

• Merit Scholarships - based on school and Scouting participation, and community service.

o These awards cover the $2,000 and $4,000 Bailey scholarships, the $2,500 Robert and Rebeca Palmer scholarships, and the $5,000 Hall/McElwain scholarships.

• Field Study Scholarships - Field study scholarships weigh academic performance, school participation, community involvement, and passion for respective field study experience.

o These awards vary by opportunity, but cover majority of costs such as travel, lodging, and registration for select NESA Explorer field research trips.

o NESA Explorer field research trips are conducted around the globe over the course of 1 - 2 weeks.

• Apply online at

Stoke Educational Scholarship Program

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $21,121 annually and receive up to $30,000 for tuition per academic year

• High School Seniors, particularly minorities, who are interested in pursuing degrees in Computer Science, Computer or Electrical Engineering

• U.S. Citizenship

• Minimum SAT score of 1200 (600 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, 600 Math), or ACT score of 25, or equivalent College Board Score

• Copy of your SAT/ACT or College Board scores

• Preferred GPA of 3.0 or above

• Demonstrated leadership abilities

• One (1) Letter of Recommendation

• Provide Official Transcript

• ESSAY: One-page

"I want a career at NSA because..."

• Apply online at

Voice of Democracy

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $30,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., March 2-6, 2019

• Open to students in grades 9-12

• Must be enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or in an overseas U.S. military/civilian dependent school

• U.S. citizenship not required, but students MUST be lawful U.S. permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence (the application for which has not been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law

• ESSAY: 3-5 mins recorded on an audio CD or flash drive

Theme: “Why My Vote Matters”

• Download application at

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

Deadline: October 31, 2018

Amount: $2,000

• High School Students in grades 9 - 12

• Be thirteen (13) years of age or older at the time of application

• Be legal residents of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia

• Be currently enrolled (or enroll no later than the fall of 2024) in an accredited post-secondary institution of higher education

• ESSAY: 250 words or less

o "Imagine that your high school or college has been overrun with zombies. Your math professor, the cafeteria ladies, and even your best friend have all joined the walking dead. Flesh out a plan to avoid the zombies, including where you’d hide and the top-five things you’d bring to stay alive."

• Apply online at

P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) STAR Scholarship

Deadline: November 1, 2018

Amount: $2500

• High School Female Senior

• Planning to attend an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the United States or Canada in the next academic year

• Exhibits excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service and potential for future success

• Minimum Cumulative Unweighted GPA: 3.0

• Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States or Canada

• Is recommended by and receives the vote of a local P.E.O. chapter

• ESSAY: One page (Must apply for details)

• Two (2) Reference Letters

• For more information go to

Ron Brown Scholar Program

Deadline: November 1, 2018 (Early Consideration) AND January 9, 2018 (Final Deadline)

Amount: $40,000 ($10,000/year for four years)

• Must be Black/African American High School Senior

• Must excel academically

• Must exhibit exceptional leadership potential

• Must participate in community service activities

• Demonstrate financial need

• Be a US citizen or hold a permanent resident visa card

• ESSAY: 500 words Maximum

You must respond to both (A) and (B):

o (A) Choose the one activity you listed (your extracurricular, community, employment or other activities) to you as most important in question #1 and tell us why it is significant.

o (B) Submit one essay that you plan to send or have sent as part of a college application. This may be on any topic. If your college application did not require an essay, please submit an essay on the topic of your choice.

• Download application at

Ron Brown Scholar Guided Pathway Support (GPS) Program

Deadline: Not stated

Amount: Not stated

• Must be African-American High School Juniors and Seniors

• Have a strong A-B academic record

• Have demonstrated leadership and active involvement at school and/or in the community

• Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

• One (1) Reference Letter

• Provide Unofficial High School Transcript

• Provide SAT/ACT scores

• Resume or list of activities/awards

• Submit two brief personal statements (must apply for more information)

• Apply online at

The NCWIT (National Center for Women in Technology) Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC)

Deadline: November 5, 2018

Amount: $1000

• High School Females in grades 9 -12

• She is 13 years of age or older at time of account creation.

• She is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who attends school in the U.S. or is a U.S. citizen attending school in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or on a U.S. overseas military base.

• She has a U.S. Tax Identification or Social Security Number.

• She is not an NCWIT employee and has no immediate family relationship with employees, extended staff, contractors or board members of NCWIT (including spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, and persons residing in the same household).

• Apply online at

2018 Prudential Spirit of Community Award

Deadline: November 6, 2018

Amount: $1000 - $5000 and a trip to Washington, D.C.

• Open to students in grades 5-12

• Be a legal resident of any U.S. state or Washington, D.C.

• Have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred during the 12 months prior to the date of the application

• Submit a completed application to a school or the head of an official

• Apply online at

2018 Maryknoll Student Essay Contest

Deadline: November 6, 2018

Amount: $150 - $1000

• Students in grades 6–8 (Division I) and grades 9–12 (Division II)

• Essay: 500–750 words

o Tell a true story of when you saw someone sharing God’s love through an act of kindness and how that inspired you to act in a similar way.

• For more information go to


Deadline: November 15, 2018

Amount: Digital Camera

• Must be a high school Sophomore, Junior, or Senior

• Must have taken at least one photography or related art class

• High school applicants should only submit still photographs

• Essay: 250 words or less

o Please discuss your interest in photography and photojournalism.

For more information go to

SCHOLARSHIP RESOURCES (scroll to bottom of page and click Open Scholarships)

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