Four Lamorinda schools receive state honor

Four Lamorinda schools have been named California Distinguished Schools for 2013.

Campolindo High School, Miramonte High, Stanley Middle School and Orinda Intermediate school each received the honor. The schools are among 13 selected by a team comprised of educators from the Contra Costa County of Education, administrators and district principals.

The schools are honored at regional award ceremonies where they receive a Distinguished School plaque and flag.

Lamorinda Teacher of the Year semifinalists named

Four Lamorinda school educators have been named Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year semifinalists.

Stanley Middle School teacher Cooper Howard; Joaquin Moraga Intermediate schoolteacher Kim Lockett; Sleepy Hollow Elementary schoolteacher Therese Long and Campolindo High educator Nita Madra were all named 2013-2014 Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Representatives. The teachers are among 22 educators who are eligible to compete in the county Teacher of the Year competition.

The county representatives will be honored at the Contra Costa annual teacher of the year award dinner Sept. 26 at the Concord Hilton. The winner will be announced that evening. They will represent Contra Costa in the state teacher of the year program this fall.

Saint Mary's hosts noted education leader


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Saint Mary's College will honor Brother Alvaro Rodriguez Echeverría, leader of the Catholic Church's largest order devoted exclusively to education, on April 24.

The college will award Brother Alvaro an honorary doctoral degree following an address at 12:45 p.m. in the college chapel on the benefits of education for the poor. The event is part of the college's annual De La Salle Week Convocation, which celebrates the life of Saint John Baptist of de La Salle.

The address will follow a panel discussion April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Soda Center entitled "Brothers and Partners on the Cutting Edge: LaSallian Leadership in the 21st Century." The forum will feature St. Mary's Christian Brothers and educators who will talk about the fight against human trafficking and other challenges.

The programs are free and open to the public.

OIS performs 'Once Upon This Island, Jr.' April 24-27

Orinda Intermediate School's Bulldog Theater will host performances of the contemporary and upbeat musical "Once On This Island, Jr." on April 24-27.

Featuring almost nonstop singing and dancing, "Once On This Island, Jr". is a story about a peasant girl, Ti Moune, who rescues and falls in love with Daniel, a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. The island gods try to influence the outcome of that meeting.

Performance dates and times are Wednesday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, April 25 at 4:30 p.m.; Friday April 26 at 5 and 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 27 at 3 and 7 p.m. Special pricing for preview shows on Wednesday and Thursday is $1 for students and $6 for adults (open seating); Friday and Saturday performances, $8 standard, $10 reserved

The theater is at 80 Ivy Drive in Orinda. For more information, go to http://ois-orinda-ca.schoolloop.com/Theater. Tickets will be available for purchase starting April 10 at www.showtix4u.com, and will also be sold at the door.

Saint Mary's fashion show fundraiser

The Saint Mary's College Guild will hold a fashion show and luncheon fundraiser April 20 at the Saint Mary's Soda Center.

Fashions by CAbi and jewelry by Premier Designs will be featured. The event includes a gourmet French luncheon and raffle.

Lunch is $50 per person. Proceeds benefit scholarships for Saint Mary's College students.

For reservations, call Libby Townsen at 925-825-5853.

Varsity Tutors to award $1,000 scholarships

Varsity Tutors has launched a monthly college scholarship contest.

The merit-based program is open to U.S. residents 16 and older and offers the opportunity to win $1,000 toward their college tuition.

To enter, students must submit an essay during the submission period, between the first and 15th of each month.

Entries are displayed on the Varsity Tutors website and put to an online public vote via social media from the 16th through the end of the month.

A panel of judges selects a winner from the five entries that received the most votes. Entries are judged based on clarity of expression, creativity, originality of expression and sincerity, and essay themes center on academic-based topics.

For information and official rules, visit http://www.varsitytutors.com/college-scholarship.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate to emcee 'River of Words'ceremony

Twelve young poets and artists ranging from age 7 to 17, and more than a dozen national finalists, will be honored at the 18th annual River of Words International Youth Creativity Awards on Sunday, April 21, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium of the San Francisco Public Library.

River of Words is a program of the Center for Environmental Literacy in the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary's College that promotes literacy through art and environmental awareness in K-12 classrooms. The program inspires children and youths to translate their observations about their local watersheds and environment into creative expressions in poems and paintings.

Award winners this year include young people from across the country, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia and California, and the contest's international art prizewinner, a 16-year-old from Malaysia.

The San Francisco ceremony will be emceed by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, who cofounded the contest in 1995 with writer Pamela Michael, who now directs the Center for Environmental Literacy at Saint Mary's. The 2013 winners and finalists were selected from thousands of entries from around the world by Hass, Michael and renowned wildlife biologist and illustrator John Muir Laws.

Send school news to Jennifer Modenessi at jmodenessi@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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