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Superintendents Spotlight Something Old, Something New
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The Oakdale Sports Boosters is 35 years old and going strong. On Saturday March 6th the Boosters held their annual dinner dance and auction. The Oakdale Sports Boosters did a fabulous job of both honoring the past and looking forward to the future. The Oakdale Sports Boosters Officers and Board of Directors had a large array of auction items, silent bid items and a short program that highlighted the beginnings of the group.

This fun evening let us be nostalgic and sentimental for a while. This organization gives all of the money they raise directly back to the sports programs at Oakdale High School.

It was a wonderful trip down memory lane when Chuck Duval stood up and spoke for a few minutes about the time when he and his wife Shirley Duval and the late Sam Lankford and his wife Marygrace got together and asked the question, “What can we do to help out Oakdale High?” In almost no time other close friends got involved and the plan was in place to form the Oakdale Sports Boosters. And as they say, “The rest is history.” (More about Oakdale Sports Boosters beginnings may be read in the February 2, 2010 edition of the Oakdale Leader in an article by Ike Dodson.)

This is the unselfish attitude that is still pervasive in Oakdale neighborhoods and makes me proud to live in Oakdale and be a part of a community that still asks the question, “What can we do to help?”

Oakdale Junior High students recently submitted essays to compete in the “2010 Pease Essay Contest.” This event was sponsored by the Modesto Peace Life Center and the Literature/Language Arts Department of Modesto Junior College. Over 1,000 essays were received this year and Oakdale swept the top three spots in the seventh and eighth grade division. Kalkidan Curtis finished first, Davis Harper finished second and Valerie Zemlyanskaya finished third. Overall Oakdale Junior High students took 13 out of the top 20 positions. The first through third place winners all received cash awards and the first place winner, Kalkidan Curtis, will read her essay at a reception at MJC on March 19, and her essay will be published in the publication, ”Stanislaus Connections.” It is always great to see the students from Oakdale perform well on a bigger stage.

Speaking of a bigger stage, Oakdale sent two teams from Oakdale Junior High and two teams from Oakdale High to the Regional Science Olympiad on Saturday, March 6. Both the OHS and OJHS teams performed exceptionally well at the regional competition.

The Oakdale High Team had every team member earn at least one medal and scored a dramatic first place finish. There were 19 teams in the competition and the top three teams will go on to state competition in April. The gold medal winners were: Kyle Ridenour, Zach Webber-Reitz, Todd Medema, Madison Lane and Jesse Gelders.

The Junior High took third place in their division and there were many personal successes along with the team victory. I will give an update on the state competition. It is always nice to compliment the academic successes of our students. It is also important to remember that for every victory there is a teacher and supportive adult standing alongside that successful student.

This upcoming Saturday, March 20th at 8:30 a.m. is the Oakdale Education Foundation’s “Save Our Schools” S.O.S. Run. It is not too late to sign up! Several of you have asked how you can get involved in an inexpensive way to show support for our schools. Well, here is your chance. Just show up at Cloverland School on March 20th from 7 a.m. until 8:15 a.m. and register for either the 1-mile walk/run or the 5K walk/run. The cost is only $25 and every penny goes back to the schools in Oakdale. If you wish to register on line you can go to ( I hope to see you there.


Superintendent’s Spotlight is a monthly column provided by Oakdale Joint Unified School District Superintendent Fred Rich, updating the community with information about school district activities.