The Pleasanton school district has announced that its teacher of the year for 2014-2015 is Lisa Highfill, the district's instructional technology coach.

Highfill has been with the district for 20 years and previously taught fifth grade at Fairlands Elementary. She is serving as an instructional coach to assist other teachers in the use of technology to support student learning.

"Lisa Highfill was a tremendous teacher at Fairlands," said Parvin Ahmadi, the district's superintendent, "but as an instructional coach, her influence on teaching and learning has exponentially increased."

Highfill is also a Google Certified Teacher and a You Tube Star Teacher. Ahmadi said Highfill's ideas and experience help teachers "get to a deeper level in their craft and incorporate technology into their lessons."

Highfill's name will be submitted to the Alameda County Office of Education for the county's teacher of the year competition. We wish her luck!

Engineering Tech for veterans: Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Las Positas College are teaming up to offer a two-year engineering tech program beginning in August.

This program will give each student veteran an associate degree and the knowledge necessary to apply for engineering technologist positions at a variety of public and private agencies.


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These positions usually earn about $25 per hour, and our national labs currently have to look out of state to find qualified applicants. The college is seeking post-9/11 veterans who are eligible to take at least intermediate algebra to be a part of this opportunity. For details or to apply, contact Todd Steffan at tsteffan@laspositascollege.edu or 925-424-1571.

Free fair tickets: It's not too late to enter a drawing for two free tickets to the Alameda County Fair. Tri-Valley TV is giving away two daily through June 18.

To enter, log on to www.tv30.org and click on the "Lucky Fan" icon. The station will contact winners. Lucky Fan winners will also be announced on TV30 and on the station's Facebook page.

Summer reading is a mystery: It's a mystery what's going on at the Pleasanton Library this summer. And that's a good thing because the library's adult and teen reading program will highlight mysteries this summer.

Beginning Saturday through Aug. 3, teens in high school or entering high school in the fall and all adults are invited to read at least three books to earn a "Friends of the Library" book bag and be entered into a drawing for gift cards from the Pleasanton Downtown Association.

Although the theme of the program is mysteries, any genre of book qualifies. The program is also hosting movie nights and a women writers' panel titled "Lethal Ladies @ the Library," featuring mystery writers Juliet Blackwell, Carol Price and (our very own) Penny Warner. The panel event will be June 22 at 2 p.m.

All library programs are free and open to the public. For details, visit the library's summer reading blog at www.adultsummerreading.wordpress.com or call 925-931-3400, ext. 4. The library is at 400 Old Bernal Ave.

Contact Jim Ott at jimott@sbcglobal.net.