By Elizabeth Gillingham
PHHS Teacher of the Year
Rick Budzynski was selected by the PHHS staff as this year’s San Diego Unified Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year. Mr. B, as he is fondly referred to, teaches math at Henry and has actually served the Henry Cluster in two capacities. He started his career at Pershing Middle School and later transferred to De Portola Middle School in Tierrasanta. He returned to the community in 2015 at Henry, where we hope he has finally found his home.
After one year, Mr. B added coaching roller hockey to his repertoire by helping establish a team that has been very successful for the last three years. Students love sitting in class with Budzynski because he is passionate about teaching and cares to see them find success. He makes a point to get everyone active and often has them demonstrating their learning through hands-on activities that connect to the real world.
According to Henry teacher Greg Chronopolos who works with Budzynski: “Rick has a sign on his wall ‘No Excuses.’ To his credit, he takes away student excuses to why they might fail his class. He provides every opportunity imaginable to promote student success. Like most math teachers, he wants things done a certain way. There is quite often a six-week (or more) grace period to allow the kids to learn the proper procedure. He provides students notebooks for their daily work and pencils for the forgetful freshmen. He has a liberal ‘turn-in late’ policy. He tutors, he calls parents, he emails study material home before tests. Rick can relate to any kid from every background and make ‘that’ connection. He’s not all warm and fuzzy, but he’s also not fake, he plays it straight. Kids respect him and they produce for him.”
We are thrilled to have Rick Budzynski serve as our Teacher of the Year for 2020!
Students play at Symphony Hall
Congratulations to the 10 PHHS music students who were selected by audition and performed in the San Diego Unified High School Instrumental Honor Concert last month in Symphony Hall! The students were:
Honor Orchestra: John Segovia, violin; Kellie Formanek, cello; Matthew Thomas, principal bass.
Honor Band: Ava Calbreath, clarinet; Matthew Dollman, alto saxophone; Andrea Arend, principal tenor saxophone; Sam Capron, tenor saxophone; Christian Florendo, trumpet; Ethan Ackland, principal percussion; Ivan Melero, percussion.
Percussionist Ethan Ackland performed in both groups. It is especially impressive that three PHHS students are in the top positions (principal) on their instruments.
Engineering teacher selected for educator award
PHHS engineering teacher extraordinaire, Adria Van Loan, was selected by the San Diego County Engineering Council (SDCEC), as the winner of the prestigious Outstanding K-12 Engineering Educator Award for 2018. The awards ceremony was held on Friday, Feb. 22 at the National Engineering Week awards banquet at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego.
Van Loan started at PHHS as a math teacher and later joined the engineering department. She quickly showed great promise by taking the lead with our robotics program, which took a team to Houston in the third year of existence.
New physical education, old teacher
[Editor’s note: written by PHHS PE teacher Terri Clark]
January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month across our country. And thankfully, Assembly Bill 1227 was signed into law by Gov. Brown on Oct. 7, 2017. This law requires California public schools to provide human trafficking prevention education to students and educators in order to reduce the vulnerability of our youth and to prevent future victimization. California schools are now required to provide instruction on all forms of human trafficking in comprehensive sexual education at least once in middle school and once in high school. In the public school arena, this is also known as Commercial and Sexual Exploitation of Children, or CSEC.
Human trafficking occurs every day. San Diego is one of three top hot spots in California for human trafficking along with Los Angeles and San Francisco. This fact alone should be enough to move the needle forward in education around the subject of human trafficking. Thanks to AB 1227, we now have a way to move that needle — we have mandates in place that require human trafficking education for every student in California. Prevention is paramount in stopping the recruitment of our youth.
What does mandated education look like in a school setting? With the newly adopted curriculum for San Diego Unified School District, it looks like this: teacher training first, then student education next. The curriculum adopted by San Diego Unified School District is a multifaceted approach that uses two curriculums and layers them together: Protect, through 3-Strands Global and “kNOw MORE,” through Point Loma Nazarene University’s Center for Justice and Reconciliation. Together both of these projects bring students to the heart of the human trafficking issue by addressing topics such as true choice, supply and demand, and child pornography. It also educates students by teaching them to identify the origins, symptoms and signs of human trafficking in their communities and beyond.
The need for this education across the grade levels is best validated by the following statistics: There are 40 million victims of modern day slavery worldwide. There are at least 100,000 victims of human trafficking across America (more than Qualcomm Stadium could hold if it were filled to capacity). Human trafficking is a $150 billion global industry and the fastest growing criminal enterprise. Ten million children worldwide are exploited in the global sex trade. And furthermore, 81 percent of victims are trapped in forced labor, 75 percent of victims are female, and 25 percent of victims are children. These statistics — from 3-Strands Global, PLNU Center for Justice and Reconciliation — are staggering and serve as a catalyst for change, helping our students learn to safely navigate the world they live in.
Our physical education ninth-grade team took on the challenge of this new curriculum and brought it to all freshman at Patrick Henry High School in January. Two of the lessons were a traditional classroom lesson model packed with not only the statistics highlighted above, but with tools students can use to spot the signs, learn the language, and be an upstander instead of a bystander when they see a potential red flag. The final lesson was a dramatic and engaging drama titled kNOw MORE, where students were encouraged to participate, dialogue with peers and practice the strategies of prevention and awareness. Upon completion of the unit, all students were given a tip card that has information and important hotline numbers when they suspect someone might be in danger.
As someone who has been teaching for 20-plus years, it continues to be my privilege to bring education to students than can not only be life-changing, but life-saving. Our world continues to change, evolve and require new skills and knowledge to navigate it. As the role of a physical educator has evolved, I keep moving forward in hopes of producing students who are physically literate about the world they live in. You can follow me on Twitter: teachingthemasses.
JROTC Academic Bowl 2019
[Editor’s note: Written by PHHS student Jonny Phan, SDUSD JROTC Brigade public affairs officer]
Normally in the year, we like to start off our first Brigade competition with some intensive drill. This year, however, we began our season with a showdown between all JROTC Academic teams. Jan. 12 marked the annual SDUSD JROTC Brigade Academic Bowl, where competitors from all 13 schools across the San Diego Unified School District gathered to compete at Patrick Henry High School.
Competitors have practiced and competed in preliminary rounds all school year in order to prepare for this highly anticipated event. Each team consists of the unit’s top four scholars, collaborating and buzzing in to answer questions pertaining to a variety of academic disciplines. Within each round, a moderator will give questions covering topics from either science, history, literature, or mathematics. Some specific topics also include pop culture, sports, and political slang.
“I have to say my favorite topics were about government and politics,” said c/LTC Krista Peterson, academic team commander from Kearny High School. “I think it really motivates cadets to educate themselves on matters that almost directly affect their lives.”
After three compelling rounds of competing back to back, the top four schools were narrowed down to compete for the Academic Bowl Championship Finals. As a result, the final round was headed by Point Loma NJROTC ending in fourth place, Serra NJROTC in third place, Scripps Ranch AFJROTC in second place, and Patrick Henry NJROTC as the first-place winner. Where every correct answer awards either five or 10 points, Patrick Henry impressively dominated with a total of 175 points, which was at least 85 points higher than the rest of the other competitors.
On June 21, some teams will be anticipating on qualifying for the JLAB Championship — JROTC Academic Bowl on the national level — hosted in Washington, D.C. As Joint Brigade, we are proud to hold the Academic Bowl every year since it fosters essential aspects of teamwork and camaraderie among cadets. Despite the competitiveness where every team has no hesitation to show off their vast knowledge, battles are friendly, and cadets can appreciate what they have trained and studied for all year.
Special acknowledgments to c/MAJ Dicker, Evan (J-1) for maintaining the Academic Bowl, spending all year long to create hundreds of questions for every Academic Bowl round leading up to the championship finals. A big thank you to Patrick Henry’s volunteers for diligently working to guide teams around campus and making sure that the event ran smoothly as well!
Student of the Month
Jonna Carey is a senior at Henry who represents everything that makes working in a high school worthwhile. She was selected as our Kiwanis Student of the Month for February because she inspires everyone through her story of hard work, perseverance, dedication, commitment to family, and love of making a difference on anything she decides to do.
Carey is currently performing with a GPA of 4.3 and seeking admission to colleges such as Stanford, UCLA, and UC Berkley to name a few. She is considering pursuing a career in medicine or in science as she is interested in the environment and likes the idea of studying and changing the way people think.
Carey shows a strong commitment to her education by never wanting to cut corners in the way she approaches her learning and will stay up late to get her work done on time, no excuses. Henry English teacher Valerie Crawford describes Carey as “optimistic, creative and dedicated.”
Crawford also wrote in Carey’s college letter of recommendation: “Through her work with athletics here at Henry, Jonna has gained leadership experience and hopes to use that to her advantage in her collegiate endeavors. As her English language arts teacher twice over, I have had the pleasure to watch her reach to better her work and the world around her. I have even seen her helping other students with their work when they have difficulty. She is an inspiration for others to follow. Jonna is a giving person, who puts others before herself. She holds down a job as a photo booth operator, volunteers many hours for Key Club International, and has become a true part of Henry High. She is a true leader.”
Carey is unique in that she has earned two CIF Championship patches both in tennis this year and badminton last year. She hopes to earn a third patch with the badminton team for the season coming up again this year. Carey is also on our ASB serving as a student leader to help make Henry a better place. She has made her mark at Henry as a senior as she impresses everyone she meets with her positive and caring attitude.
— Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.