Theresa Christensen is presented the Bobcat Lifetime Achievement Award by Blochman School District Superintendent Doug Brown.

Christensen honored by Blochman

Theresa Christensen was recently presented the Bobcat Lifetime Achievement Award for her 28 years of service to the students of the Benjamin Foxen Elementary School.

Superintendent Doug Brown presented her the award, one she originally established to honor students who attend the Benjamin Foxen campus for their entire elementary education, kindergarten through eighth grade. The award is usually presented at the eighth-grade graduation ceremony.

After receiving her plaque, Christensen shared her heartwarming story concerning her connection with the country school. While driving past the school site, between Garey and Sisquoc, she had her sister stop at the school.

“Isn’t this the most beautiful school you have ever seen?" Christensen asked her sister. "My children will go to this school.”

She was not married at the time nor did she have any children. Five years later, her family, including her 1-year-old daughter, moved from Oregon to Garey. In 1983, Katy started kindergarten and Christensen became a parent volunteer.

Three weeks after Katy began school, her brother Peter was born. Christensen continued to volunteer at the school as a parent volunteer, until she was invited by the school’s staff to become a teacher’s aide in fall 1986.

In addition to being a classroom aide and room mother, she has been part of the PTF (president), on the School Site Council, learned how to use the first Apple computer on campus (trial by error), reading aide, school newspaper staff member, school yearbook staff member and a library monitor.

The Blochman staff honored her Monday with a barbecue lunch, school produced video of interviews and video clips, flowers, and a custom-made, memorial blanket -- complete with the Blochman Bobcat logo.

After her official retirement date -- Sept. 22, her birthday -- Christensen plans to volunteer a few days each week, in the library and editing the school’s newspaper.

National Chemistry Week poetry contest

The California Los Padres Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) is celebrating National Chemistry Week by sponsoring an illustrated poem contest for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

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Entries need to be written and illustrated poems no more than 40 words theme "The Sweet Side of Chemistry -- Candy."

Participants are encouraged to explore topics related to: physical properties of candy; ingredients in candy and candy making; sugar versus alternative sweetners; and any other relevant topics.

Each poem must be submitted and illustrated on an unlined sheet of paper not larger than 11 inches by 14 inches. The illustration must be created with crayons, watercolors or other types of paint, or colored pencils or markers.

Local winners in each grade category will win a cash prize of $15, $20, $25 or $40, depending on age. The contest deadline is Oct. 24.

The section will award prizes to winners in each grade category, and winners will advance to the ACS National Illustrated Poem Contest. 

To enter, email a scanned copy of the illustrated poem, along with the attached entry form and release form to Paper copies will also be accepted at the following mailing address: Kristi Cantrell, Westmont College Department of Chemistry, 955 La Paz Road, Santa Barbara CA 93108.

Cuesta graduates Psych Techs

The Department of State Hospitals-Atascadero/Cuesta College Psychiatric Technician Program graduated 24 students Friday during a commencement ceremony at the Atascadero State Hospital.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony, where faculty, staff, family and friends celebrated the successful completion of the graduate’s yearlong training. The graduates, ranging in age from 20 to 61 years old, will now prepare to pass the State Board Licensing Exam for Psychiatric Technician.

The annual pass rate for the January through June 2014 graduates was 93.4 percent and 92 percent for all graduates in 2013.

Cuesta’s Psychiatric Technician Program is conducted at the Department of State Hospitals-Atascadero and prepares students to monitor, provide care and participate in the treatment of mentally and developmentally disabled clients. There are currently 16 Board of Vocational Nurses and Psychiatric Technician (BVNPT) accredited psychiatric technician programs in California.


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