Saturday, April 24, 2010

Region VI ACSA Awards Recognize COE's Educational Leadership

Dr. Joseph A Ovick, Contra Costa County Superintendent of School and Marie McClaskey, Director of Student Programs.

Marie McClaskey, CCCOE Director of Student Programs, received the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region VI Nels Nelson Award at the organization's recognition dinner Friday, April 23. Region VI is comprised of all chapters in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. The person receiving this award is chosen based on educational leadership that is visionary, ethical, demonstrates a commitment and dedication to student achievement, and whose influence is far reaching.

During her 37 years in education, Marie McClaskey has been a model of integrity, honesty, and professionalism. As director of Student Programs and former program manager for the CCCOE, Marie's commitment to public education and to ACSA has been exemplary and unwavering. She has served ACSA as Region President, and Treasurer, and Delegate to the General Assembly. She devotes herself to providing the highest quality education possible and to giving back to the profession. Marie was honored for her tireless work, strong values, and her many contributions to public education.

Dr. Joseph A. Ovick, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, was also honored at the ACSA Region VI recognition dinner. Dr. Ovick received the Ferd. J. Kiesel Memorial Distinguished Service Award that goes to a person whose contribution to public education has had a significant impact over a wide geographical area, state or national.

Joe was awarded this honor due to his extraordinary capabilities as a leader and manager who has developed strong coalitions of educators, community members, business leaders, and legislators in support of public schools. He is able to communicate a compelling vision and bring together the people and resources required to accomplish that vision.

Joe advocates for all learners in the state and the nation by providing sound, practical counsel to legislators in the crafting of key education legislation. In addition to his tireless advocacy for K-12 funding, he has gone to bat for establishing universal preschools because he supports a young child's right to enter elementary school prepared. He is a strong advocate for funding of community colleges and state universities. He travels to Washington, D.C. annually to discuss educational concerns with our members of Congress and the U.S. Senate. He is a strong voice for special education in his quest to secure full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Congressman George Miller, Chair of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee says, "I have often turned to Joe for unvarnished, detailed information about education and youth. His keen insights and wealth of information often help me make decisions about shaping, supporting or opposing key pieces of legislation."

Congratulations to both Dr. Ovick and Marie!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Special Olympics Track & Field Events Coming Soon

More than 600 student athletes from the Contra Costa County Office of Education’s Special Education progams and East Bay school districts will be participating in two upcoming Special Olympic Track & Field events at the following locations:

Central County School Based Special Olympics
May 7, 2010
Ygnacio Valley High School
755 Oak Grove Road, Concord
Classroom & Athlete check-in: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies: 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Competition: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
East County School Based Special Olympics
May 14, 2010
Liberty High School
850 Second Street, Brentwood
Classroom & Athlete check-in: 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Opening Ceremonies: 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Competition: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
For more information, please contact:
CJ Mills @ or phone 916-947-5008
To download a flyer, click here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Letter to the PTA Following Education Rally at College Park High School

PTA Article
Submitted by Joseph A. Ovick, Ed.D.
April 16, 2010

Yesterday, April 15, I had the honor and pleasure of attending and speaking at the 32nd District PTA rally hosted at College Park High School in Pleasant Hill. It was a rally to restore adequate funding for schools. There were approximately 100 people in attendance, and we were fortunate that Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assembly Member Joan Buchanan, Assembly Member Tom Torlakson, and the district director for Assembly Member Nancy Skinner were also present. The event was coordinated by Nancy Vandell with support from other members of the 32nd District PTA.

It is always a pleasure to meet with educators and parents of the children and youth who attend our public schools. It is a sad note, however, that the purpose of the meeting was simply to make known to the general public that our state is currently ranked 47th in the nation with regard to funding per pupil; and with the addition of $2.5 billion in reductions that the governor is requesting in next year’s budget, we will rank 50th among our 50 states.

This is truly a travesty when you consider the wealth of our state. Yes, we are in a deep recession, but we shouldn’t place the loss of revenue as a burden on the shoulders of our children and their future. If the people of California choose to continue to ignore the needs of our children, the impact will be felt for several generations, beginning with our children today. I feel limited by my command of the English language to be able to express how urgent it is for each and every one of us to write to our governor and share our concerns regarding his lack of leadership and his unwillingness to do what is right for our children and their future.

We were once the leader in the nation as a state regarding the dollars we spent to provide a wonderful education for our children. I personally benefited from that, and as Assembly Member Joan Buchanan shared at the rally, we can thank two former California governors—one a Republican and the other a Democrat—for their vision and commitment to our youth. Those men were Earl Warren and Pat Brown. Through their leadership, our K-12 education system, community college system, California State University system, and University of California system were stellar institutions for learning. We need to bring that back, and we need your help.

Thank you.