Even in a region teeming with young artists, Paul Fields, 22, has begun making a name for himself.
Fields, who is autistic, has honed his drawing and painting skills in Fremont Unified's Young Adult Program, which trains special education students transitioning from school to work.
There, Fields has combined several forms of media with his unique artistic vision to create eye-catching pieces.
"His artwork is so intricate and filled with detail, it's like there are 50 to 60 things going on," said Doug Schubert, Paul's Young Adult Program instructor. "His mind makes connections that your mind and mine might not make."
Thomas Fields, Paul's father, said his son is able to speak well, but sometimes experiences a delay in understanding people speaking to him, which can hinder his ability to communicate.
"So drawing is the way Paul expresses himself," Thomas Fields said. "He has been drawing ever since he was 5, when his cousin showed him how to draw a dog."
Since then, Fields has created a countless number of artworks, using pencils and felt-tip markers to draw or using pre-created images to make collage-like pieces. Lately, he has started using computer programs to make graphic art and digital portraits, and his work is gaining recognition, his father said.
Throughout November, Fields' drawings and sketches will be shown in the Coyote Hills Regional Park Visitor Center. In January, his artwork will hang on the walls at Mission Coffee, the Mission San Jose cafe where many Tri-City-area artists show and sell their work.
"He would be a great author and illustrator for children's books," Schubert said. "The way his mind works is so fun and quirky."
To view more of Paul Fields' artwork, go to www.paulartmyart.com.
Hayward High restarts newspaper
The first edition of the revived Hayward High School student newspaper came out Thursday.
"Our program has been dormant, and our students have missed out," said adviser Karsten Barnes, speaking by phone over the noise of the celebrating staff, which includes 30 students.
"Hayward High is in its 103rd year. So many people call Hayward High their alma mater, and it's a great privilege for these students to serve on their newspaper for a school with such a rich tradition," he said.
The staff did break with the past when it came to the name. For many years, the newspaper was called the Haypress, but the revived publication is the Haywire.
The newspaper's website, www.hhshaywire.com, was scheduled to launch Thursday night.
"I wanted it to be online and also in print, and use all the media avenues out there, including social media. In order for us to be a good program, we would have to tap into all those avenues," Barnes said.
He credited the staff's online editor-in-chief, Cierra Stivers, a junior, for the website. "She is a real tech whiz," he said.
In order to start a new publication, Barnes had to teach students the basics of journalism.
"There's so much to learn. They have to learn about ethics, how to make good decisions, how to write well and how to write for a specific audience," he said.
One of the biggest challenges Barnes mentioned is one most editors are familiar with: getting the staff to meet deadlines.
Berkeley board to hold 'office hours'
As part of a new outreach effort, Berkeley school board members are holding individual "office hours" to talk with residents about education issues.
Board members do not have their own offices, so each member will conduct the informal meetings at area restaurants and coffee shops, said school district spokesman Mark Coplan.
Board President Karen Hemphill will be at Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave., on the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Board Vice President Josh Daniels will be at Cafe Espresso Roma, 2960 College Ave., on Nov. 2 and Dec. 7 at 1 p.m.
Board Member Beatriz Leyva-Cutler will be at Casa Latina, 1805 San Pablo Ave., on Nov. 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Board Member Judy Appel will be at MoJo Cafe, 2517 Sacramento St., on Nov. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and on Nov. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Board Member Julie Sinai will be at West Side Cafe, 2570 Ninth St., on Nov. 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information on future office hours, go to http://www.berkeleyschools.net/school-board/board-of-education-office-hours.
Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in Alameda County.