accomplishments

Geography whiz: Fifth-grader Rhea Mitr, winner of the 2013 All-School Geography Bee at Dublin's Quarry Lane, went on to compete April 5 in Sacramento at the National Geographic California State Bee, where she placed third. Her fight for third place involved seven rounds of tiebreakers. She was awarded the complete National Geographic set of videos and magazines for the last two decades and $50. Rhea received special recognition for being a fifth-grader and a standing ovation for being the top scorer among girls in the last 25 years.

Outstanding teacher: The Daughters of the American Revolution has awarded Arroyo Seco Elementary schoolteacher, Lisa Wilson with its Outstanding Teacher award for 2012-2013. Wilson has worked as a California credentialed teacher for 22 years, spending the last 16 years with the Livermore school district. According to the League, Wilson was nominated for her enthusiastic use of new technology in the classroom. She has secured more than $10,000 in grants for laptop computers and accessories in the classroom.


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Junior Achievement winners: Tri-Valley teens in Junior Achievement competed in a WinInnovation Competition on April 3 in San Ramon. The inaugural event brought students from 17 area schools together and challenged them to create business plans. At the end of a long day of idea generation, strategic development, and mentoring, student teams presented their plans to judges who scored them on creativity, critical thinking and business viability. First place was taken by plans for the "One Time Needle," a retractable needle designed to protect health care workers and patients against accidental needle sticks and disease transmission. Members of the winning team included high school students: Michael DiDio, California High; Jeff Diedenhofen, Monte Vista; Dominique Weaver, Amador Valley and Devin Goins, Liberty High School. The winners received certificates and cash scholarships.

Local Groups Perform at Disneyland: Students from Dublin's Wells Jazz and Marching Bands as well as San Ramon's Windemere Ranch Middle School Advanced Orchestra and Symphonic Band, recently became stars of their own as part of the Disney Performing Arts Program. The program offers band, choral, dance and auxiliary performers the opportunity to learn, perform and compete at Disney theme parks. Wells students performed there on March 29, and Windemere students on March 15.

ACADEMICS

Rachel Orpina, of Pleasanton was named to the fall dean's list at CSU Chico, where she majors in business administration. She is a 2012 graduate of Foothill High School.

Valley Stars is written by Louise Hartman. Contact her at 925-847-2111, by e-mail at vtletters@bayareanewsgroup.com or send a fax to 925-847-2189.