Link between art and real-world skills
I am a 2010 graduate of Benicia High School, a 2014 graduate from the University of California Davis, and a soon to be master’s graduate from UC Davis. While a student at BHS, I was part of the drama department, under Christine Mani, for four years. I started by helping build minor set-pieces and learning the intricacies of light and sound design. As my skills and confidence progressed, I was given more responsibilities. By my junior year, I was the student technical director helping with seven to eight shows a school year. I was tasked with planning, management and completion of numerous assignments throughout the year –all very real-world skills! I did all of this while taking a full college prep course load.
Ultimately I decided to pursue a different career than technical theater. But, my time in the BHS drama department was not wasted. As a freshman at UC Davis, I was able to take a wood-shop class in the Applied Biological and Technical Systems Department. My experience and confidence with power tools, thanks to the BHS drama department, allowed me to rise above the other students, and I was offered a position as a Teaching Assistant the following year. This opportunity snowballed into several more T.A. positions (welding, metal fabrication, and tractor driving) and research assistant positions at UCD. All of these experiences as an undergraduate culminated in my acceptance to the Masters of Horticulture and Agronomy program at UC Davis. While I was a master’s student, I was employed on campus managing 35 acres of grapevines. I would not have been offered this opportunity without my experiences as an undergraduate at UC Davis. I can say with certainty that I would not have had those experiences if I had been denied access to the drama department as a high school student.
There is a very direct link between my time at the BHS drama department and my pending graduation from a respected graduate program. It will be shame and an even greater mistake if BHS students are restricted from the arts at BHS. I hope the district will re-consider its proposed course changes.
BHS Class of 2010
A fine Memorial Day celebration
I would like to commend Wally Stephens and all the participants of the Memorial Day celebration for an outstanding service._Thanks to all who provided transportation, set up, clean up, the excellent speaker Col. Brown and others who participated in the service._ It’s great to live in a small town with patriotic citizens.