Carolyn Tillman: Reflections on 25 years of service, family history, and dreams for the future

By Cynthia Mendoza Pandemic restrictions aside, Carolyn Tillman began 2021 with nothing to do so to speak; no checking emails, no ringing phones, and no jam packed calendar. Welcome to retirement. At the end of 2020, Tillman retired from San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) after nearly 25 years of service as Special Assistant to the Superintendent. Tillman, who holds a degree in speech pathology/audiology from Loma Linda University, joined SBCSS in the fall of 1996 and served as Special Assistant to the Superintendent overseeing various programs throughout the years, including SBCSS Wellness Strategic Plan, the state funded Nutrition Education Program, a regional coordinator for the California Department of Education’s Safe Schools Program, and a manager in the Foster Youth Services initiative.  In her role as Special Assistant to the Superintendent, Tillman did what she most loves – working with people. The role was one of serving as a connection between the various sectors of community such as businesses, chambers of commerce, law enforcement, and others, and as a liaison that brought community concerns and feedback directly to the superintendent, and then relaying responses…

Trapp Elementary 2nd grade student needs your vote in national contest

Clemmie Taylor, a second grader at Trapp Elementary School in Rialto, is one of five finalists nationwide in the SC Johnson Professional Happy Hands contest for K-5th grade in which thousands participated. The community is invited to vote for Clemmie and his colorful design that features a playground, hand sanitizer and scattering germs with tagline “Germs can’t hide when you sanitize.” If Clemmie wins, he will receive a $300 gift card and Trapp Elementary will be awarded $1,000, including up to 1,000 hand sanitizers featuring his design that will be stationed around campus. “This is awesome; I’m very happy,” Clemmie remarked. “I’m surprised because I’ve never won anything like a $300 gift card.” The community can vote once daily for Clemmie, up until February 28. “We are so happy to be a part of making awareness to the great need to wash your hands to keep everyone safe,” said Clemmie’s mom Ms. Thomas.   According to Clemmie’s teacher, Shirley Lee, his design spoke to the concept of the contest, is relatable, and the colorful and playful design appealing to students. “Clemmie is a great collaborator, he’s…

CSUSB’s First Peoples Coyote Rising program wins ISAN award

The First Peoples Coyote Rising program at Cal State San Bernardino was selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Indigenous Student Affairs Network’s (ISAN) Innovative Practice Award. The ISAN Innovative Practice Award is given to an individual or program for creating and/or implementing an original or highly effective Indigenous Student Affairs program or practice on their campus or in their local community. “It is an honor to be recognized by Indigenous Student Affairs Network (ISAN) for the ISAN Innovative Practice Award for work that our CSUSB’s Native American Outreach team has done in the execution of successful programming for incoming Native American students,” said Tiffany Bonner, director of the CSUSB Office of Outreach and Student Recruitment. “Our First Peoples Coyote Rising program was created to develop a sense of community and strengthen student engagement. The success of this program is in part from the support and generosity of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, as well as support from our on-campus partners, such as faculty, peer mentors, and our First Peoples’ Center.” “The program’s contributions listed in the nomination are clearly innovative,” said Cori Bazemore-James (Seneca), chair of…

Both SBVC and Crafton Hills College receive full seven-year accreditation renewal

Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College are among four colleges in California to receive a full seven-year reaccreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). This is a vote of full confidence from education experts about the quality of the education provided by both campuses part of the San Bernardino Community College District. The good news arrived on Monday to Interim Chancellor Jose F. Torres, and he immediately sent his thanks to the campuses. “Our momentum keeps growing and today is proof of just that,” Torres wrote in an email. “We are poised to continue learning from each other, continue leading innovative practices to help students succeed, and continue making a difference in our communities.” The accreditation process has many steps, including a complete self-review and site visits, and interviews conducted by educators from around the western United States. The site visits, conducted in October, had to be completely virtual because of the ongoing pandemic. “Just as our classes have moved online, some of our accreditation processes were done that way as well, and our teams did a truly exemplary job adapting to this…

CJUSD music teacher earns prestigious state award

Congratulations to Elementary Band Teacher Vanessa Duckworth, who has been selected as the California State Music Educators’ Association (CMEA) Elementary Music Specialist of the Year.  This award is only given to one elementary music educator in the state annually. The award recognizes excellence in elementary instrumental and choral music instruction. Mrs. Duckworth will receive her award at a virtual ceremony in February as part of the California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC). Annually the California Music Educators’ Association (CMEA) asks for nominees for a variety of award categories.  These include one award each for excellence in teaching at elementary, middle school, high school, and collegiate levels, administration, elementary classroom/general music, jazz, orchestra, and the music industry.  A full list of the awards can be found at: https://calmusiced.com/membership-services/state-awards/  Mrs. Duckworth, who has taught in our district since 2002, currently teaches band to 5th and 6th grade students and recorders to 4th grade students at Crestmore, Grant, Grimes, Rogers, and Zimmerman elementary schools.  She said she is honored by the recognition and loves her job. “I love teaching elementary music because I see so much untapped potential…

San Bernardino Valley College partners with Siembra Mobile to broaden communication with local high school students

San Bernardino Valley College has partnered with Siembra Mobile to expand its lines of communication with local high school students and their parents. Siembra’s digital communication platform, accessible via computer or smartphone, directly links SBVC to prospective students and their parents in the local school districts of San Bernardino, Colton, and Rialto. The platform streamlines contact between students, parents and college recruiters, and provides a means of tracking individual high school student preparedness for college. SBVC administrators hope that this partnership with Siembra will both help to expand the number of high school graduates entering higher education in the region and help the college to develop stronger relationships with future students before they even step foot on campus. Dr. Scott Thayer, Vice President of Student Services at SBVC, recently described the growing necessity of a messaging platform like Siembra during the global COVID-19 pandemic. “At a time where it’s difficult to connect with students and parents, this platform is a valuable tool in maintaining that consistent communication and investing in students’ education early on,” he said. Starting in the ninth grade, students using Siembra can…

Cajon High takes first place in County Mock Trial finals

The Cajon High School Cowboys took first place in the 39th Annual San Bernardino County Mock Trial finals when it defeated Los Osos High School in the event finals held virtually on Jan. 23.. Cajon now advances to the California Mock Trial Finals scheduled for March 18–21, 2021. “Mock Trial was an adventure that turned into a joy ride of growth and camaraderie,” said head coach Robert Grande. “The students did this for the City of San Bernardino, the local community, and most importantly for Cajon High School.” The victory marked the second title in three years for Cajon as it advances to the state competition in March. The team from San Bernardino City Unified won their first County title at the 2018-2019 competition. “We are excited for another opportunity to participate in the state Mock Trial competition. It is a great honor because we know we have competed against several phenomenal teams, such as Los Osos,” said Cajon Principal Teenya Bishop. “Our hopes are that we can continue to represent our school, District, and county well.” Los Osos High of the Chaffey Joint Union…

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