Thanks to FUSD staff

The Fillmore High School graduating class of 2009 is on track to set several academic records at graduation including the number of valedictorians, recipients of the California Golden State Merit Seal Diploma, students earning California Scholastic Federation honors, scholarship, etc.

The seniors have started receiving their acceptance letters from various colleges and universities. Mrs. Ashim, the senior counselor, wants to let you know that if you are interested in finding out who is accepted to 4-year universities, the students’ names are published in our daily bulletin. FHS will start listing their names this week. If you are interested in seeing which students are accepted to which colleges, please go to the FUSD website then select FHS and the Daily Bulletin. (To be completely up-to-date, you will need to check the website daily.)

The counselors and administrators would also like to thank the FUSD teachers and staff who educated our students over the past 13 years as well as the community of Fillmore who helped to nurture them. The education these students were provided from kindergarten forward has enabled them to be achieve their goal of attending a university.

It is also important to recognize the support these students receive during the application and scholarship process. The counselors share 1100 FHS students to counsel, and we are blessed with the support of Fillmore High School staff especially Mrs. Olivia Palacio, the UCSB Site Coordinator; Miss Erin Moriarty, the Senior AVID teacher; and Mrs. Isela Larin, the College & Career Technician at both Fillmore High School and Sierra High School. This is a collaborative effort between all members of the counseling staff and the cooperation of teachers who allow us into their classrooms.

Mrs. Palacio’s focus is to ensure our students are supported in meeting the University of California’s A-G entrance requirements, taking the appropriate exams, and actually applying to UC / CSU and private colleges. She starts working with the students in middle school and continues assisting them until they leave for college. Through UCSB, we are able to provide students with the Summer Academy, field trips to colleges, SAT Prep Workshops, college advisement, personal statement workshops, College Going Initiative presentations in classes, and college readiness workshops. Through these efforts, we are creating a college going culture, thus, increasing the number of students applying to various universities. UCSB would, in turn, like to thank FUSD administration, teachers, staff, and community for all their support.

Miss Moriarty has approximately 50 seniors in her AVID classes this year. She has assisted every one of those students applying to colleges and for scholarships. The AVID class prepares the students for the transition from high school to college both academically and socially.

FHS also has a very special relationship with Ventura College. Ventura College offers many classes on our campus for the Fillmore community and the FHS students. Taking college courses give our students an advantage when applying to prestigious colleges. This relationship is enhanced by the work Mrs. Larin does in the College and Career Center coordinating programs with VC and the high school counselors. During the year, Mrs. Larin schedules the VC counselors, Mrs. Bea Herrera and Mr. Ralph James, to come to FHS to sign the special admittance forms to register our students for VC classes. This allows our students access to the college counselors without going to Ventura. These counselors come to FHS at least four to six times a year to do registration and present at our Career Day and in our classrooms.

Mrs. Larin schedules the college counselors and financial aide advisors to visit the senior classes both at Fillmore High School and Sierra High School. The VC Financial Aide Office presented workshops to all of the seniors regarding types of financial aide. Last Thursday evening, Ms. Valerie Nicole and Ms. Alma Rodriguez from Ventura College provided Spanish and English presentations and individual help to seniors and their parents filling out the FAFSA for federal financial aide. These evenings traditionally end about 9:30 and these ladies come to FHS every year to do this for our seniors regardless whether the students are going to a 4-year or community college. Miss Moriarty, Mrs. Palacio, and Mrs. Larin, and Mrs. Ashim were there helping the students until 9:30 too. Mrs. Palacio and Mrs. Larin will make individual appointments with students and parents for more help as needed.

Mrs. Larin is also the keeper of the scholarship files at FHS and SHS. She helps the students figure out and organize some of the very difficult scholarship applications. When Mrs. Larin sees a senior outside of the College and Career Center who has not come in for scholarship applications, she invites them to come and take a look.

We cannot forget to thank Debby Curnett for all of the transcripts she prints; she thinks she has printed more than 400. Nor could we forget all of the teachers, who have written countless letters of recommendations and probably have many more to do.

As the year continues on, Ventura College will work with seniors at Fillmore High School and Sierra High School, who are planning on going to VC or not sure if they are going to be able to attend a 4-year university. The VC counseling staff comes to FHS to enroll both the FHS and SHS seniors, administer placement exams, explain the VC process through their orientation presentations, and finally schedule the seniors for their first semester of college – all in the month of April. Included in the process are our special education students who wish to attend VC. They are given additional support as we take them to visit the Educational Assistance Center in Ventura where they are given individual help with the application and scheduling process.

We believe that more and more students will be accepted to 4-year universities each year because our students are better prepared academically and the culture of Fillmore High School has changed with the support of our academic partners: University of California Santa Barbara and Ventura College.

There is no reason that a Fillmore High School or Sierra High School student cannot get help in the application or scholarship process. There are many people available throughout the day whose desire at work is to support our students reaching their goals. If you know of a student who has been too shy to come and ask for extra help, please let Mrs. Ashim know, and she will ensure that student gets his or her questions answered.

In case you did not know what we do to support our seniors, you now probably know more than you wanted.
But, again THANK YOU for your efforts on behalf of the Fillmore High School Class of 2009 (the 99th graduating class).

Karen Ashim, Senior Counselor
Al Arguelles, Head Counselor
Norma Perez-Sandford, Counselor