Busy as a bee, indeed. Well, certainly Randy Pope's donation seems to reflect that. He recently gave a colony of bees to Freedom High's student garden.
The Oakley vice mayor contributed an estimated 10,000 bees, the queen included, which he obtained from the Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association.
In addition, Pope contributed materials to assemble a hive and the frames where the insects store honey.
The students are developing a nearly 6,000-square-foot plot on the Oakley campus. It will feature native California plants, fruits and vegetables. The group hopes bees will pollinate these plants while offering teens a chance to understand their relationship with people as they harvest the honey.
Freedom teacher John Sierra would also like donations of large poles ("possibly used telephone poles") for the garden's shade sails. "And, we really need a variety of rock material in all sizes ... (decomposed granite) gravel for pathways, flagstone for the teaching area, river rock for the stream/pond and other stackable rocks for other structural features in the garden."
For more information or to help, call 925-625-5900.
VISITING THE BARD: It may have been spring break, but Deer Valley's Academy for the Performing Arts didn't take a break at all -- not that anyone's complaining.
A three-day visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was lead by teachers Robert Richardson, Jackie MacKusick and Victoria Frye and included 18 students.
The group took in Master Acting classes and several shows, including "King Lear," "Taming of the Shrew," "Two Trains Running" "My Fair Lady" and the world premiere of the "The Unfortunates" musical.
The young thespians also got a better understanding of Shakespeare, character analysis, high-quality shows and a chance to "see that hard work and passion can get you anywhere you want to be in your life," said the academy's Kelly Green, who viewed this experience as invaluable for the students.
Those attending were Raeanne Baird, Zoe Blalock, Adrianna Carter, Robert Dunn, Justin Firpo, Emily Gonsalez, Jasmine Malone, Natalee Monroe, Megan McConnell, Elora McCutcheon Deja Pagan, Jason Pitak, Emma Quieroz, Marina Rivera, Monica Smith, Shivani Ingram, Cherokee White and Keaton Wilkerson.
SUPER SUPE: Pittsburg's school chief Linda Rondeau was recently named Superintendent of the Year by Association of California School Administrators Delta chapter.
In a news release, the group said Rondeau was chosen for her leadership.
Rondeau was also honored during a recent City Council meeting, where she was acknowledged by Mayor Nancy Parent for her "commitment to the students."
Among the criteria for the award was "promoting the success of all students by collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs and mobilizing community resources, as well as modeling a personal code of ethics and developing professional leadership capacity ..."
GEARING UP FOR RELAY: Laurel Elementary recently held its first Relay for Life kickoff event. The Oakley school raised more than $750, noting that students, parents and teachers supported the school's team, which will participate in the city's event May 18 at Freedom High. If interested in joining Laurel, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THE GREEN: The Antioch Rotary is gearing up for its 20th golf tournament, which benefits an array of community gifts, including dictionary giveaways and programs for high school students.
The event will be May 17 at the Lone Tree Golf Course in Antioch.
"We couldn't do these projects without the tournament and its sponsors," said Lillian Razavi, president elect.
Entry fee is $125 per golfer, and includes a golf shirt, balls, green fees, cart, tee prizes, lunch and the Hole-in-One Contest prize of a 2013 Porsche Boxster.
In addition, the Rotary needs sponsors and raffle-prize donations. Sponsorship levels are platinum for $1,500 (four golfers, company name on a billboard and hole); gold sponsorship for $750 (two golfers, company name on a billboard and hole), along with silver and bronze levels.