We're all diving into 2013, but for school staff, the year is more than halfway over. I asked a few schoolmates the best moment of 2012.
Letha Arms, Marina Vista Elementary, Pittsburg: "My daughter, Lindsey, many teachers and staff and I ran the (Girls on the Run) 5K with the fifth-grade girls from our school. It was pouring rain, but no one seemed to care. There must have been 1,000 girls and their running buddies having a great time. I can't wait to do it again next year." (Girls on the Run is a nonprofit after-school program, which uses running to teach young girls the importance of self-respect, physical activity, nutrition and community service.)
Annemarie Baldauf, Riverview Middle, Bay Point: "My moment came through Artsonia-student web museum. Each art work a student has made is photographed, and each (student) has a digital portfolio. They also write their feelings and insights about their art. (This was) the first time I (was able) to look at their art and hear them talk about their art."
Chris Fallows, Heritage High, Brentwood: "The best moment was performing at the Bay Area High Musical Awards. We were asked to perform (since we were nominated for best overall production.) We performed last, and the cast nailed the performance from the finale of 'Hairspray.' Watching them rock and hearing the crowd go crazy was more intense and a better feeling than winning five awards, the most in the program. There is nothing quite like seeing your students actually do what you dream they can do and more."
Fidel Garcia, Freedom High, Oakley: "I (got) to watch and participate in my son's graduation from Freedom. It was such an amazing feeling being a part of my son's high school experience as a teacher, coach and parent, and to see him finish his four years and move on to a new chapter in his life. He is now a student and wrestler at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix."
Dylan Hall, Antioch High: "My top moment was settling our (teaching) contract. In part, because it was a good settlement that will provide much-needed financial relief to (more than) 850 teachers. But, more, because it means I will now be able to focus on what I love -- the students and teaching. (Every day we negotiated, we were out of the classroom.)"
Kirsten Jobb, Edna Hill Middle, Brentwood: "It would certainly have to be the redesignation as a Schools to Watch. This is our third time achieving this honor as a California and National model school, and it shows our entire school community's commitment to student achievement. I am so proud of our staff, students, families, district and entire community. It is certainly a group effort to continue on a path of working toward excellence."
Louie Rocha, Antioch High: "The best moment was receiving a personal phone call from Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Schools, congratulating me on the successful passage of the Measure B bond approved by 63 percent of the voters in November. I was overwhelmed by the high level of support received by our community to address the needs of Antioch High, and invest in the future of our children."