Nobody can accuse Gianna DiMercurio of bad sportsmanship.
Take this for example. The Freedom High senior recently organized a breakfast with the local varsity girls' soccer teams going into the playoffs. The high schools were Liberty, Deer Valley, Heritage and, of course, Freedom.
Her goal was straightforward: Put aside rivalries and congratulate all the teams.
"I just wanted to celebrate all the hard work we've put into this season," the Oakley student said.
Thanks to being teammates on a competition team, she had many of the players' phone numbers. About 10 of the athletes showed up for the big feast at Oakley's Black Bear Diner.
"I'm very happy with how everything went," DiMercurio said. "I wish more girls were able to attend ... The girls who went were very nice and I enjoyed every minute of the breakfast. There were definitely a lot of laughs."
DiMercurio really enjoyed the get together. "The level of respect that we had was pretty amazing. Hopefully, this is a new tradition."
ART SMART: For 10 years now, the Brentwood Unified School District's ongoing arts docent program has taken hundreds of students into a world of creativity.
In 2003, the Brentwood Arts Commission kicked off the program, which initially began at Krey Elementary School. The purpose was -- and still is -- clear: Expose elementary-aged students to the history of art, works of the art masters, various art movements and the basics of line, composition and value. In that time, parent and community members continue to fill the role of art coach.
"This program would not be possible without the dozens of parent volunteers who adopt a classroom and teach these lessons," said Dana Eaton, BUSD superintendent, adding that most schools have a thriving program. "(It) exposes students as young as kindergarten to art ... and then gives them the opportunity to apply that knowledge in creating their own work."
The art docent program recently got a healthy boost of funds, thanks to Mary Black's recent $5,000 donation.
"The Brentwood Art Society has been tremendously supportive," Eaton said. "Member Mary Black donated on its behalf." The money will help purchase supplies for the program. Although, it's less than a dollar a student, it still "has a very positive impact," Eaton said.
Call the Brentwood Arts Commission at 925-516-5444.
TERRIFIC TALENT: It was a night of great entertainment. The 18th annual talent show at Deer Valley High featured 19 show finalists and the Antioch school's jazz band.
Taking the first-place prize was junior James Horacek-Lee with "Ain't Nobody" on guitar. Second place went to senior Mikael Moore playing ukulele and singing "Somebody Told Me," an original song. Senior Angelina Phelan took third place with her performance of "Let it Go."
The top three winners received a gift card and their names on the school's electronic message board. Judges included Delia Colorado, lead singer for Crosstown 5; Linda Livingston, a DVHS staffer and professional musician; Sharon Sobel Idul, owner of Delta Ballet Academy; Sharon Vela, veteran music educator; and Lucia Trujillo, ambassador for You, Me, We Oakley.
Principal Ken Gardner said "As always, I was blown away by the great talent displayed. All of the participants were talented, prepared and performed in a professional manner and deserve to be recognized."
HE'S GOT THE BEAT: Once again, Ken Bergmann donated his Percussion Discussion concert to the El Campanil for Antioch students.
The sixth annual event, organized by the Antioch Music Foundation, entertained more than 1,600 third-graders and chaperones.
Walter Ruehlig, foundation president, said, "Some people take a yearly trip to the spa to rejuvenate. I get my psychic makeover from this concert. It's a shot in the arm for the eyes and ears, the mind, the heart and the soul." He added that Bergmann "keeps you hanging ... as he cavorts through the worlds of instrument, musical schools, radio, stage and computer progressions with manic abandon."
Bergmann will perform on March 7 and 8 at the Lesher Auditorium in Walnut Creek.
If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Trine also does community outreach for Antioch High.