March Board Meeting Includes Performances from Tuffree Middle and Recognition of 150th Anniversary Logo Contest Winners

Tuffree Instrumental Music

At the Tuesday, March 12, Board of Education meeting, student musicians in Tuffree Middle School’s band and orchestra programs performed and Trustees set aside time to recognize the winners of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) 150th Anniversary Logo Design Contest.

Directed by Mr. David Saliby, the string octet welcomed attendees with melodious tunes in the lobby, setting the stage for an evening of artistic celebration. Jazz Band I from Tuffree also took center stage, delivering a captivating performance that showcased their remarkable skills. The crescendo came as the school’s drumline joined in, electrifying the room with energy.

Tuffree’s music arts program is the largest middle school instrumental music program in the district, serving 40% of their student body. The program encompasses an award-winning colorguard, marching band, concert band, drumline, two jazz bands, an orchestra, and various string chamber groups. Director Saliby shared that his students are very motivated to reach their academic potential through music and he consistently sees high test scores and GPAs.

Later in the meeting, attention turned to the winners of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District’s (PYLUSD) 150th Anniversary Logo Design Contest. Trustees took a moment to honor the top three winners: Bill Meng from Valencia High School claimed first place, followed by Jenevieve Goyer and Nathaniel DeBree from El Dorado High School in second and third place respectively. Accompanying them were their esteemed teachers, Mr. Brian Johnson and Mr. David Block, recognized for their guidance and mentorship.

Back in December, the district launched this contest aimed at honoring the pioneering spirit of those who paved the way for the present-day award-winning education system. The contest objective was to create a compelling and visually captivating graphic design that symbolizes the district’s 150th anniversary, showcasing its history, growth, and commitment to educational excellence.

Students were asked to follow a set list of design requirements and submission guidelines including the incorporation of the district’s full name, colors, and the year span of 1874 to 2024. The design was supposed to be original, previously unpublished, and not generated by artificial intelligence, and PYLUSD students did not disappoint! The response was overwhelming with an impressive 102 entries submitted by our talented high school students! The pride and passion these students have for their school district were evident in each design.

Superintendent Dr. Alex Cherniss highlighted the significance of career technical education (CTE) in nurturing talents like graphic design and digital media. Through hands-on training and industry-relevant coursework, students gain practical experience and develop a comprehensive skill set, evident in the caliber of submissions received. Dr. Cherniss commended each student’s dedication and artistic prowess, emphasizing the tough decision in selecting the winners.

Dr. Cherniss then took the time to share about each individual student and their design, and present them with a certificate and check for their efforts. Each student received a cash award due to a generous donation from local community member, Mr. Mark Holman.

Words of pride and encouragement from each of the student’s graphic design teachers were also shared. Mr. Block had the following to say about Nathaniel: “Nate is a remarkable ninth-grade student from El Dorado High School’s Digital Media Arts Academy. In this project, as with every assignment, Nate displayed an exceptional blend of creativity and attention to detail. Mr. Block describes Nate as the epitome of the ideal design student, marked by not only a deep enthusiasm for design but also an unwavering passion and curiosity. It is Nate’s dedication and creative spirit that distinguish him from his classmates.”

When asked to share about Jenevieve, Mr. Block noted: “Jenevieve is another outstanding ninth-grade student from El Dorado High School. Jenevieve’s work is consistently unique and original, distinguishing her from her peers. Mr. Block says that Jenevieve embodies what it means to be passionate and enthusiastic about graphic design. This project, as with all her others, demonstrates her relentless pursuit of creativity and originality.”

Bill’s teacher, Mr. Johnson, shared the following about the first place winner: “Bill is a bright, intelligent and well-rounded student. He exudes positivity as well as a very strong work ethic. I have had the pleasure of teaching Bill for 2 years now in both Beginning and Advanced Graphic Design. In those years of working with him, I have seen how self-motivated, focused, and accepting of challenges both creatively as well as academically Bill has become. Not to mention he is talented and a very courteous student. Bill is also very well-liked by his peers and is an inspiration to his classmates.”

The recognition concluded with expressions of gratitude for the students’ remarkable achievements, accompanied by a photo opportunity with Trustees and Superintendent Dr. Cherniss, capturing a moment of pride and celebration in the district’s legacy.

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