To the Editor:
I would like to thank the members of the Soroptimist International of Fillmore for their generous donation of $100 to help with this year Arts Show. The donation will go towards the expenses of putting on this yearsâ event âEuphoriaâ scheduled for Thursday April 10th at the Memorial Building.
On behalf of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Fillmore High School, thank you!
Fillmore High School
Visual Arts Dept.
"ars longa, vita brevis"
To the Editor:
Fillmore Athletic Booster Club would like to express our gratitude to the people and businesses that helped make this yearâs casino night a success. Piru Petroleum Club has been a continuous supporter of our events, and once again donated the use of their facility. Our casino table sponsors for the evening were as follows: Emerson Glaser, Somers Ranches, Tom Murphy Pump & Well Service, Dave Wright, David & Susan Dollar, Super Seal & Stripe, Rancho Temescal, Bobby McLain Construction, Cemex, Bobâs Radiator Shop, Doby Hagar Trucking, FHS Alumni Association, Scott & Laura Beylik, Baker Hughes, Ventura County Sheriffs Association, and Excalibur.
The donations we received, either in raffle prizes or volunteering time, helped ensure another successful year. A very sincere thank you to the following people and businesses:
Max & Michelle Pina, Santa Paula Fitness, Ari Larson, Tlaquepaque, Sespe Creek Organics, Mission Avocados, Soule Park, Twenty 88, Love 2 Dance, Shelley & Ray Huerta, Avery & Tracy Stewart, Julie Medina, Ana Duran, FHS Alumni Association, FitQuest, Elkins Ranch, Estrella Market, Megan & Matt VanWhy, Lani Farr, April Hastings, Fit & Fine Fitness, Design Duo, Oasis Tanning, Matt Suttle, Matt Dollar, James Cummings, Eddie Ortiz, Manual Ponce, FHS Cheer, FHS Athletic Department, Annette Cardona and Super A Foods.
Thank you to our dealers who graciously volunteered their time: RJ Stump, Bob Gradias, Tim Gurrola, Joe Aguirre, Jason Rangel, Amy Rangel, Laura Beylik, Nettie Farrar, Bill Herrera, and Charlie Hawk. Thank you to Jason Castro who donated his DJ talent and our bartenders Juan Ardon and Cesar Acosta. Thank you to the FHS coaches and athletes who worked hard selling tickets, and to our parents and community members who supported our event!
Congratulations to the winner of the iPad - Gil Escoto, and winner of the TV- Carlos Pacheco!
Fillmore Athletic Booster Club Board Members
To the Editor:
All of you have the opportunity to make a change. For you to sit back and put this on teachers and parents is a copout. Teachers and parents were not involved in the hiring. You were. And you played a large part in it. It's time for you to fix it! Not the teachers. Not the parents. You. The school board.
I can only assume that if you do nothing then that is an endorsement of Mr. Mesfun. I understand that there are old connections between the administration but this is a turning point that needs to be addressed.
Behavior displayed by Mr. Mesfun that is clearly spelled out in the lawsuit can not be tolerated. Do you all think he has changed?
Have you heard things? You have. And so have parents. And some have experienced things.
Letting him stay will not make this go away. And look what the result was. Behave in a manner that was highly inappropriate and cause a lawsuit and judgment for a school district to pay out and get hooked up with a principal job in Fillmore. Where is the motivation to change? He is being protected by the superintendent and by all of you if you choose to do nothing. Do you really want to be responsible for the next lawsuit? Do you care enough? Or will you sit there and hope it goes away?
We are looking to the board to step up. Someone to take the lead and stand up and do what is right.
I understand there is no prestige or thanks for doing the job. But if that is why you are there then you need to move on. You ran for it and were voted in by us. We expect you to do the right thing for the students. And you all know what that is. Take care of this before it is too late.
To the Editor:
In April of 2004, I was part of an interview panel looking for a principal for our middle school. Although there were candidates that were qualified, one in particular stood out above all others and that person was Russom Mesfun. Aside from his outstanding qualifications in education, experience, and background, I knew right away that he cared deeply and passionately about his students as he related a story about how he takes the time to ask the students questions about how they are, what they did over the weekend, or if theyâd eaten breakfast that morning. The energy he exuded and his enthusiasm and love of his students, proved to me that he was the best candidate for the position.
I soon learned that providing the students with the best education possible and in an environment in which they feel safe were going to be his highest priorities. Mr. Mesfun not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. Each day, before and after school he was outside greeting the students and waving at the parents. He made sure his campus was safe and that all students and parents felt welcomed. Mr. Mesfun treated each student with respect and celebrated their achievements very enthusiastically as if they were his very own children.
Mr. Mesfun does not tolerate bullying of any kind. If a student was scared, they would go directly to him and he would provide them with assurance and guidance and he would handle the situation immediately even if it meant working long in to the night. The students felt safe having Mr. Mesfun around. He was very approachable, friendly, and would often times join in and play soccer and basketball with them.
Mr. Mesfun enjoyed attending school-related events and he did this with great enthusiasm. While on vacation with his wife and mother in Europe, he traveled by train two hours to watch our school band play in a concert. All this before he began his position at our school.
In addition, Mr. Mesfun enjoyed celebrating his staffâs accomplishments and would often write about it in his monthly newsletter giving kudos and appreciation to staff members. As the person working closely with Mr. Mesfun, he made sure that I had food available to feed the staff at his weekly and monthly meetings. He would often say, âLetâs feed them; theyâve had a long day.â The genuine care and concern that he has for his staff and students is quite commendable.
Although I only had the opportunity to work with him for two years, I learned a lot about this man. He is driven to do the very best he can to make sure that his students receive an excellent education. Heâs a man that sees no-color â we are all equal. He holds high expectations of his students and staff members alike. He wants us all to do our best leaving nothing to chance. He is focused and his vision involving education is clear and unadulterated. He is a man of his word and can be your biggest supporter. I am a firm believer in this man who is now referred to as Dr. Russom Mesfun. My former principalâŠ my friend for life.
Britton Middle School
To the Editor:
Russom Mesfun worked as my principal at Britton Middle School for 2 years. Little did I know we would quickly become kindred spirits because of our educational beliefs and values.
When I first saw Russom I couldn't believe the district would even hire a Black man! In a very short time, I would be awe struck that such a "status quo," "business as usual" district would even let him in the front door! You see, Morgan Hill Unified is conservative by nature, plays to the more affluent Anglo community mind-set, and pretty much has ignored the needs of its growing Latino population. Time for change was long overdue, and Russom wasted little time in setting certain things in order.
Russom's priorities for equity and expecting high standards for students and from teachers alike was the first big wave to stir the waters.
The school lay-out was the first ripple effect to take place. Russom moved the English Language Learner (ELL) portable classroom from the outskirts of mainstream classrooms, to the center of where all the other students carried out their school day. No more isolation, no more second class status for our Latino students. For goodness sakes, these students comprised close to 50% of the total school population! Russom wanted them to feel part of the school they attended. Not only that, he made sure teachers knew who they were teaching. He required every teacher to keep a binder on their desk that highlighted ELL student names in each class period, their respective classification level (1 through 5), and the appropriate ELL standard necessary to teach at their level of English acquisition. Teachers were aghast. This was unheard of and not well received by staff members. Feelings of resentment and animosity were secretly shared in the lunch room. This ugliness was unmasked when there was huge resistance to teaching and accepting English Language Learners in core curriculum classes. You may ask, how do I know all of this? I was the counselor at Britton who gladly followed Russom's directive to place ELL students equitably in classrooms to have equal access to core curriculum.
Russom's "stirring of the waters" went even further. He was very visible at ELAC (English Language Advisory Committee) meetings. Every time the parents of ELL students met Russom would be there to welcome them and delight them with his limited Spanish speaking skills. Russom initiated the first District ELL Redesignation Ceremony. The school superintendent attended. The parents had never received such favor from any school. This ceremony has become a tradition at each school site in the district since its inception by Russom.
I could go on about how Russom met with Latino students at lunch time and provided pizza so he could hear their opinion of how things worked for them at school. I could tell you how soccer games became a regular lunch and after school activity once Russom was principal. I could state in different ways that Russom was a champion of our minority students and their families. But I have already done that, haven't I? His vision for the marginal student was actualized while he was principal and is still carried on today. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to have worked with Mr. Mesfun. He still calls me periodically to see how things are going at his "old school." I am able to give him good reports.
Dr. Elena Hernandez
Retired Counselor of 38 years
Morgan Hill Unified School District