Sophomore Alex Ross Wins Moore League Golf Championship (by Don Keller, Co-Principal)
Millikan’s Alex Ross didn’t start playing golf until a couple of years ago when she transitioned from Hughes Middle School to Millikan. During the summer, her uncle asked her if she’d like to learn. Playing with the clubs her aunt gave her, Alex (short for Alexandra) began playing at Heartwell Golf Course. She soon connected with Dennis Wright, who became her golf coach, catapulting her to excellence. Within a year, Alex placed fifth in Moore League competition.
Her game improved dramatically, elevating her to champion of the Moore League after just two years of playing golf! She now considers El Dorado, home of the Rams, her “home course.” Unfortunately, Alex missed the CIF competitive field by one stroke.
Her goal next year is that her Millikan team will make the CIF playoffs and that she will make the cut, individually. Alex has other goals as well. As a high achieving honor student in the QUEST Academy, she has her mind set on attending UCLA, hopefully with a golf scholarship. She possesses a love of art and photography and hopes to make these focus areas in her future.
Alex feels that driving is the best part of her game. She uses a TaylorMade men’s driver to help her achieve 215-230 foot drives. Her bag contains Mizuno irons and a TaylorMade “Rosa” putter. Her golf ball of preference is the Titleist 8 Pro VI.
Coach Robert Tomlin said, “I knew when she joined the Millikan golf team last year as a freshman, she was a potential Moore League Champion. Winning the championship as a sophomore is quite an accomplishment. She is only the second girl to achieve this honor since we started Girl's Golf in the Moore League in 1998. She is the first Millikan player to get her name on the trophy. We have had the runner-up at least four times before, but she is the first champion from Millikan.”
Millikan’s Clerks Provide Numerous Services (by Don Keller, Co-Principal)
Millikan is fortunate to have a clerical staff of efficient veteran employees working in the attendance and counseling offices. They include:
Norma Mata (Counseling Senior Office Assistant) - Norma is the proud parent of two daughters, Cristina and Clarissa, both graduates of the Millikan PEACE Academy. She has been at Millikan since November of 1994. She has even had the pleasure of having Coach Breuklander as one of her counseling office aides. She said, “I'm happy to be here working with a great counseling staff.”
Jennie Williams (Intermediate Office Assistant) - Jennie is the mother of two wonderful children, one a Millikan graduate. She worked in the private industry for the majority of her life. She is Millikan’s enrollment clerk for ninth and twelfth Graders. As an enrollment clerk, she has a myriad of duties. She sums up her job by saying, “I get students coming and going.”
Mary Jo Bock (Office Clerk) - Mary Jo is happy to be at Millikan. She is always busy either working in the book room, on the switchboard, or making Xerox copies.
Gail Miller (Intermediate Office Assistant) - Gail has worked in Millikan’s attendance office for 16 years, handling the students whose last names are A-L.
Brenda Cassman (Attendance Clerk M-Z) – Brenda is the very happy mother of a two-year old. She is in her second year at Millikan. She graduated from Millikan with the Class of 1996.
Deborah Nelson (Nurse's Clerk) – Deborah graduated from Millikan in1973. She has worked at Ram High since 1996. Her duties include verifying student immunizations, signing in sick students to see the nurse, maintaining student health records, student emergency cards, returned mail, and also changes of address or phone numbers for students.
Annette Flaherty (Counseling Clerk)
- Newly married in July, Annette is the mother of one beautiful daughter and three super grandchildren. Annette has been with the district for sixteen years. She worked in the Millikan counseling office thirteen years ago and returned in July, 2007, after serving for ten years as Hamilton Middle School’s attendance clerk. Annette is Millikan’s tenth and eleventh grade enrollment/records clerk. She also handles all withdrawals. Annette said, "Coming back to Millikan was an answer to a prayer.” She added, “Everyone is so nice and I love working with the best counselors in the district."
Millikan Gymnastics Has a New Coach
by Don Keller, Co-Principal
left to right: Summer Allen, Coach Ferguson, Missy Allen
Ashleigh Ferguson has made several big changes in her life recently. She was married over the summer, changing her name from Ashleigh Schroeder to Ashley Ferguson. She transferred from Renaissance High School to Millikan. In addition to teaching math in the PEACE Academy and AVID, she is Millikan’s new gymnastics coach.
Ashleigh is a local product, having attended Hughes and Poly. She took up gymnastics around age seven and became a “level 10” gymnast, which is just one step below Olympic caliber. Ashley’s top events were beam and bars. Unfortunately, an injury ended her gymnastics career as she headed to college at Pepperdine University. She took up diving as a replacement sport. She always retained her love of gymnastics, becoming a coach for a private club American Gymnastics Academy (AGA).
A top athlete in Millikan gymnastics is Summer Allen, who placed third all-around in the Moore League last year. Summer is a senior who came to Millikan from Marshall Middle School. She is affiliated with KIUP. She is also a cheerleader at Millikan. Summer hopes to attend CSULB after Millikan, where she intends to major in nursing and continue her cheerleading. Summer’s younger sister is Missy Allen, a sophomore in PEACE who also attended Marshall. Both girls’ favorite event is the floor exercise. They are optimistic that the season will be very successful for the Rams.
As for Mrs. Ferguson, she is excited about moving Millikan gymnastics to the next level. She said, “I am super excited to begin coaching. I coached while still in high school at AGA and was also a team head coach while living in San Luis Obispo. I desire a strong team community and hope to create a team that people want to be a part of. I'm excited to begin working with the girls and believe my knowledge will further their gymnastics development! Gymnastics is such a great sport...especially when practiced with a close team.”
will be held Wednesday, November 4th and Thursday, November 5th at lunch time in the small gym. What you must have is: Experience with all four events, three tumbling passes, dance ability, flexibility, excitement to compete and at least a 2.0 GPA. Sign up now for tryouts in room 334. If you have any questions, see Mrs. Ferguson.
Millikan Women’s Volleyball Program is On the Rise
By Don Keller, Co-Principal
The resurgent women’s volleyball program at Millikan is led by three senior starters -- Leenah Pulu, Kayli Dungca and Erica Beck.
Leenah Pulu is a four-year varsity player at Millikan. She came to RamHi from Lindbergh Middle School and is a member of the Global Tech Academy. She is being recruited by several large schools and is particularly interested in the University of Oregon. As Millikan’s middle blocker, she once recorded 24 kills! A kill is an offensive scoring hit which cannot be returned by the defense. One of the highlights of Leenah’s career was winning a big game at Wilson. Coach Carrie Manning said, “What really makes Leenah stand out is her sheer athleticism and her knowledge of the game. This is why she has been a four-year varsity player.”
Kayli Dungca transferred to Millikan from Rosary last year. She is a member of QUEST Academy. Coach Manning said, “Kayli jumped head first into the program, becoming our starting varsity libero (a libero is a defensive specialist who is a skilled passer and “back row” player). She is a tough defensive player who always works hard and keeps the ball off the ground.” Kayli is considering several college options.
Erica Beck is a member of Millikan’s COMPASS Academy who came to Millikan from Bethany. She began her career on the frosh team, played one year on JV, and for the last two years has been the starting varsity setter. According to Coach Manning, “Erica brings strong leadership to the court as well as excellent hustle and quickness.” She is interested in attending college at USC or Cal State Fullerton.
Coach Greg Kautz is complimentary of his three senior stars. “Leenah is our kill and blocking leader. Kayli is a strong server and very intelligent on the court. Erica is also vocal and enthusiastic for us.” As for the girls, they point out that Millikan is a very well conditioned team thanks to running plenty of “bleacher miles.” The team is at its best when the players are talking to each other. It appears that though Millikan’s volleyball future is very bright.
Millikan Nation Supports the Children's Clinic - Join the Beach Walk
By Matt Vann, Compass Lead Teacher
If you look at the brochure for the Long Beach Children's Clinic's annual Beach Walk, you will see the smiling faces of Millikan students on the front cover. Take a closer look; you will see that Millikan had an overwhelming presence at the event last year. For the past several years, Millikan students have come out in force to support the largest annual fundraiser for the clinic, which provides health care to medically low-income and high-risk populations.
This year, the Beach Walk will take place on Saturday, October 24th. The Millikan Nation hopes to maintain its status as a platinum donor for the Clinic. Last year, Millikan raised over $31,000 for the clinic. So far, the Millikan student body has shown a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the upcoming event. As you walk across the campus, it is hard not to notice the distinctive Beach Walk shirts which students are wearing to show their support of Millikan's efforts to aid the clinic. The groups comprising the Ram High contingency include softball, cheer, dance, band, ASB, and the various small learning communities on campus.
"The Children's Clinic is practically asking us to run the event this year," said Mary Massich, the teacher who coordinates Millikan’s participation. In addition to gathering pledges and participating in the walk, Millikan students will be serving various roles to ensure that the event runs smoothly.
If you would like to pick up a pledge sheet or get more information regarding the walk, please stop by Bungalow 579, also known as "Beach Walk Headquarters." You may also register pledges online at the Children Clinic's website: http://beachwalk2009.kintera.org. Click the link for “Walker Registration” and follow the directions to join the online Millikan team.
PEACE Students Participate in a Nationwide Conversation On Immigration (by Renee Shipman, PEACE Government and Economics Teacher)
Last month, PEACE Academy seniors participated in a video conference with nine other schools across the country. The students discussed whether immigration should be further regulated in the United States.
Students were engaged in a heated discussion about the contributions of immigrants and how to regulate immigration. The consensus among the schools was that illegal immigration should be reduced with better enforcement of borders. However, there was no agreement on the status of legal immigration.
Su Chin Pak, the moderator of the conference, summarized the conversation by stating, "There seems (to be) no debate that our system is clearly broken.” This conversation was part of a larger program, The Exchange, lead by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The Exchange was designed to provide a forum for students to discuss current constitutional issues. Topics for this year’s Exchange include: immigration, the right to affordable health care, and the right for same-sex couples to marry. Not only are these relevant issues for students to discuss, but they are also issues that legislators are trying to tackle. The Exchange provides students with an outlet for their voices and an opportunity to hear other perspectives on the issues.
In this conference, students from high schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and California were linked via closed-circuit TV and watched one another on large, sub-divided video monitors.
“The video conference was a unique experience because we got to see how other states view certain issues,” said PEACE senior Gaby Cerna. “Hearing other students’ opinions helps you to be open-minded because you might agree with something they say that you never considered.”
Jaycee Henzon reflected, “It was pretty cool having a national negotiation with other students our age. Students from Memphis didn’t know how it feels to have a majority of immigrants in their areas, so they had different ideas of dealing with immigration.”
The next installment of the Exchange will be on November 6. Students will address the question, “Should the government make sure that every American has affordable healthcare?” Students will research and develop their ideas in their economics and philosophy classes in preparation for the conference.
When asked about future video conferences Jordan Braggiotti said “interacting with other schools was a great learning opportunity. I’m looking forward to the upcoming topics.” For more information about The Exchange or to watch the conference visit http://constitutioncenter.org/ncc_edu_TheExchange.aspx.
Millikan Football Stars Lead Rams (by Don Keller, Co-Principal)
Millikan High School’s varsity football team opened the season with three big wins over Gahr, Artesia, and Redondo high schools. Silver Vaifanua, Alden Darby, Kilisi “Jay” Suai, and Trevon Trejo are four veteran players contributing to the Rams’ success.
Good things happen when Silver Vaifanua touches the ball. Silver is a member of Global Tech. This is his third year on Millikan’s varsity football team. He was a Second Team All-Moore League selection last season and is off to a great senior year. He scored three touchdowns against Artesia! Silver also runs track as a sprinter. He is undecided about his college plans but would like to continue playing.
Alden Darby, a senior in MBA, returns with outstanding credentials, having been named First Team All-Moore League last year. He is an extremely versatile performer who plays quarterback, receiver, and corner back. His versatility extends to other sports, returning this year as a starter on Millikan’s varsity basketball team and a sprinter on the track team. His best personal football performance came against Redondo when he scored three touchdowns and had four pass deflections. Alden is getting a lot of attention from major universities including Oregon, USC, UCLA, Iowa State, and Washington.
Jay Suai is a QUEST senior out of Jackie Robinson Academy who is Millikan’s star middle linebacker. His most outstanding game was against Artesia when he recorded 11 tackles! He is also interested in continuing his football career after Millikan. He’ll continue to stay busy after football season because he is a star “outside hitter” on Millikan’s volleyball team.
Trevon Trejo is a senior affiliated with Global Tech. He has performed at wide receiver, linebacker and defensive end. He came to Millikan from Monroe K-8. He is a two-sport guy, also running track as a sprinter. His best performance was against Artesia when he recorded two sacks. He would like to continue playing football after Millikan.
Why is Millikan off to a great start on the gridiron this year? Alden Darby summed it up by saying, “We’re playing a lot more together as a team, we want to win, we don’t give up, we have heart, and we have good senior leadership.” Coach Kirk Diego said this about his players, “These four are prime examples of the team chemistry we have this year. While all players hope for individual accomplishments, our group has put those desires behind the accomplishments of the team. They work hard every day in practice, as they did in the off-season. As senior leaders on the team, they have given the underclassmen an excellent example to follow.”
Counseling With a Flair (by Don Keller, Co-Principal)
Millikan High School has an exemplary counseling staff. Three distinguished members of this group are Steve Pearson, Lolo Saldana, and Viseth Vann.
Steve Pearson was born in Minnesota but grew up in Long Beach, attending St. Joseph and then Millikan. He attended Long Beach City College (LBCC) prior to earning his bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in psychology at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). He later earned a second bachelor’s degree and his PPS (Pupil Personnel Service Credential) at La Verne. Steve was a classroom teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District for five years at Horace Mann. He spent the next five years at Franklin as a counselor prior to joining Millikan’s counseling staff thirteen years ago. Steve said, “I like to work with people to help them make good, sound decisions in life and to help them open doors.” Steve is single and has a 22-year old son. He is an avid golfer who works with COMPASS and 10th graders, A-L.
Lolo Saldana was born and raised on Catalina Island, where he attended school, K-12. He left the island to attend Pepperdine University, where he earned his degree in English. He then earned his teaching credential from the University of California, Los Angeles. Lolo became a classroom teacher for fifteen years at Wilson, Jordan, and Avalon. He came to Millikan as a counselor six years ago. Why did Lolo enter counseling? “I felt like I could make an impact with students making career and social growth decisions.” Lolo married Carrie in October of last year. They are expecting their first child in January of 2010. He is affiliated with STELLAR and 11th graders, M-Z.
Viseth Vann was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He left Cambodia at age twelve and spent two years in a refugee camp in Thailand with his parents and five brothers prior to coming to the United States. He attended school locally at Hill, Wilson, LBCC, and CSULB, earning his degree in Business Management. In 2001, he earned his master’s degree in counseling from CSULB. After serving as a counselor for two years at Long Beach School for Adults, he transferred to Millikan. He likes to “influence and help young people seeking direction in their lives.” Viseth is married and has two boys. He is known for both his webmaster and basketball skills. He is affiliated with MBA and 11th graders, A-L.
Millikan’s head counselor, Karen Briggs, brags about her counseling staff. When it comes to these three gentlemen, Karen said, “I couldn’t have picked better counselors.”
Millikan’s PLC Guides Campus Teaching (by Don Keller, Co-Principal)
Millikan’s Professional Leadership Committee (PLC) is an important committee composed of instructional leaders across the campus. The team guides Millikan’s instructional program. The PLC is composed of Small Learning Community (SLC) lead teachers, department chairs, and representatives of Millikan’s administration, counseling department, and other faculty positions. Meeting monthly, Millikan’s PLC is the guiding force behind curricular and instructional areas of focus and emphasis including staff development, instructional practices, WASC, and high school reform.
Members of Millikan’s 2009-2010 PLC are: Abbate, Shawn (QUEST), Appel, Leslie (Science), Atwell, Wendy (Performing Arts), Braun, Gayle (PE), Calabrese, Patricia (Foreign Language), Cathcart, Pam (English, AP Coordinator), Chastain, Debbie (Special Education.), Conrad, Barbara (Special Education), Charvat, Kathy (Art), Dank, Serena (Special Education), Drake, Lani (Math Coach), Fielder, Kevin (MBA), Genovese, Sean (KIUP/Green), Gombrich, Leslie (PEACE, WASC Coordinator), Haake, Cristin (Librarian), Hebert, Patrick (JROTC), Hawkins, Satinder (History), Hutchinson (English, Literacy Coach), Irving, Kaisha (Assistant Principal), Jacobson, John (SLC Coordinator, WASC Coordinator), Jenkins, Paul (History), Johnson, Chuck (Global Tech), Kaitanjian, Syndy (General Studies), Keller, Don (Co Principal), Markel, Greg (Math), Coleman, Anne (Math) Mullen, Jessica (Counselor, WASC Coordinator), Patterson, Roberta (Art), Quizon, Tylene (STELLAR, ELD), Shawver, David (PE), Strader, Robert (Foreign Language) Sutfin, Tom (Business and Applied Technology), Vann, Matt (COMPASS)
Millikan’s New Teachers – The “Fantastic Five"
by Don Keller, Co-Principal-September 2009
Although there are fewer new teachers to Millikan than in past years, Millikan “struck gold” with the addition of five stellar teachers. They are Brie Anne Boyd, Jean Davis, Ashleigh Ferguson, Heidi Lund, and Carly Merrill. All five are veteran teachers of the Long Beach Unified School District who have distinguished themselves as exemplary educators.
Brie Anne Boyd comes to Millikan from Stanford Middle School. She attended Millikan and returns “home” as a former cheerleader. She will be teaching history, economics, and government in the COMPASS academy while serving as Millikan’s new Kidettes drill team advisor.
Jean Davis comes to Ram High from Newcomb, where she was a math teacher in that school’s excellent GATE program. Jean joins the QUEST Academy teaching intermediate algebra and pre-calculus.
Ashleigh (Schroeder) Ferguson taught at Renaissance High School last year and is excited to join the PEACE Academy as a math and AVID teacher. In addition, she joins the Rams as Millikan’s new varsity gymnastics coach!
Heidi (Baurmann) Lund joins the Ram faculty as a new math teacher in the QUEST Academy. Previously, she was a highly respected GATE teacher at Hill Middle School. She will take over teaching freshman geometry.
Carly Merrill recently returned to the United States after representing Long Beach in a year-long program with its sister city, Yokkaichi, Japan. Previously, Carly taught science at Cabrillo High School. She will join the PEACE Academy teaching earth science laboratory and Advanced Placement Biology.
Welcome to this “fantastic five.” Millikan is proud to have such highly qualified, experienced, and excellent teachers on our team!
The “New” Millikan Kidettes
by Don Keller, Co-Principal
The Millikan Kidettes drill team boasted more than 100 participants many years ago. New in 2009-2010: the “rebirth” of the program as the “New Kidettes.” Our New Kidettes will perform at athletic contests, pep rallies, parades, and field show competitions.
Shauna Stafford and Brie Anne Boyd are the faculty co-advisors and the driving force behind the Kidettes’ resurgence. Starting last spring, Millikan students and incoming freshman tried out for team. The advisors selected a squad of approximately twenty students. It is expected the “new Kidettes” will grow to much greater numbers in future years. The modernized Kidettes, who even have their own choreographer, will include tall and short flags, dancing, facsimile rifles, and various props. Brie Anne Boyd summed up her expectations by saying, “Kidettes will bring back a long time tradition at Millikan which adds school spirit and more student involvement.”
Front Row (left to right):
Chloe Thomas, Lindsay Kline, Cassandra Flores (Captain), Mimi Marquez
Middle Row (left to right):
Abigail Schiller, Cecily Salcido, Michelle Moreno, Alana McKinney, Katie Little, Brianna Looney, Yadira Enciso, Heleen Medina, Jesse Yeomans
Back Row (left to right):
Erica Abbate, Savannah Hackett, Nailah Muhammad, Amanda Perez, Briana Manyere, Jessica Musial
Advisors: Brie Anne Boyd, Shauna Stafford