2018 April Editions Editors Notebook

The Academic Decathlon team at Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park took fourth place in the statewide competition in Sacramento on Mar. 25. There are 700 decathlon teams in the state and 66 make it to the state level. The teams are made up of nine members, include three A-students, three B- students and 3 C-students. During the competition, students take seven multiple choice tests, give speeches, are interviewed by a panel of adults and write an essay.

Samuel Kullens, the decathlon coach and a social science teacher at Franklin, expressed “immense pride” in the team and said the students showed the brains, character and work ethic to succeed in college and in life. Mr. Kullens also pointed out that the top two teams, El Camino Real Charter School in Woodland Hills and Granada Hills Charter School, are far larger than Franklin, and, along with the third place winner, South Pasadena High School, are in more affluent areas with better-resourced schools. “To take fourth place in the entire state shows that with hard work and dedication, you can do a lot in this world,” he said.

Lora Tindall Wagner (left) and Helen Vincent (right), teachers at the San Pascual STEAM Magnet school in Highland Park, won top honors last month at the Area IX Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Luncheon at the Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills.

The Delta Kappa Gamma Society is a professional honor society of women educators who focus on leadership development and excellence in education.

Ms. Wagner, a graduate student who is completing her student teaching at San Pascual STEAM Magnet, was named “Outstanding Student Teacher.” She was nominated by her master teacher, Josephine Yadegar.

Helen Vincent was given the “Outstanding Member” award by her colleagues in the Gamma Lambda chapter, which was founded in Eagle Rock in 1955. Ms. Vincent recently retired as a kindergarten teacher from San Pascual STEAM Magnet, where she is an active volunteer.


Leticia Guevara (right), a tireless advocate for working people, has been named 2018 Woman of the Year in NELA’s Assembly District 51 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (left). The Woman of the Year designation singles out one exceptional woman from each of the state’s assembly districts for special recognition in Sacramento.

In selecting Ms. Guevara, Ms. Carrillo cited her 19 years of work with the Laborers’ Local 300, where she has fought to make sure that construction workers have safe and fair working conditions. Ms. Carrillo also cited the countless hours Ms. Guevara has spent volunteering on behalf of electoral campaigns and ballot initiatives.  “Strong women like Leticia are the backbone of Assembly District 51,” said Ms. Carrillo.

Ms. Guevara, who lives in El Sereno, said that the Woman of the Year honor has made her even more determined “to fight alongside those who stand for equal rights in the workplace, especially for women and minorities.”