Arts

Young Observers: Early June Edition

After only six years into the job he held since 2015, our high school district superintendent Dr. Scott Scambray is retiring this month.  One of the best decisions he made for our district is securing a laptop for each student within the year in his new role. Many will remember him for this decisive step that  facilitated the seamless shift from in-person to distance learning when the pandemic hit last year. However, to a freshman like me who is only starting my journey through higher education and future career, I am curious how he navigated his journey through college and the 36 fruitful years of his career.

Superintendent Scambray (at right) with FSD Board of Trustees.

While many of us tend  to focus more on getting accepted to  A-list universities right after high school, Dr. Scambray chose to go to his local community college for the first two years then transferred to the state university to finish his bachelor’s degree where he earned athletic scholarships. It is quite comforting to know that the pathway to success is not limited to attending prestigious universities with single digit acceptance rates.  We also don’t have to spend a fortune and even  save two-years’ worth of tuition when we enroll in our  local colleges. For example, our very own Fullerton College offers two years of “tuition-free education to all new students” (full.coll.edu) who can then transfer during their junior year to our state universities to complete their degrees.


Knowing how Dr. Scambray worked  in gas stations during high school and moved furniture in college reminds me of another pathway that is open to youth like us, especially during these long breaks from school—summer jobs or internships.  Last month, my teacher in grade school emailed me a job opportunity. I forgot that I could work already and realized that it is a great opportunity for me not only to make money but also to grow as a person because I will gain not just skills and experience but a new perspective about life.

Over the span of his career in education, Dr. Scambray went up the ladder consistently from being a math teacher to assistant principal and assistant superintendent  before becoming superintendent of two school districts.

Conversations with the principals from our district taught me that the key to being successful in our jobs is in knowing how to provide solutions to the needs of our students. Sunny Hills High School Principal Allen Whitten told me that Dr. Scambray’s greatest contribution is “shifting instruction to a student-centered approach and the thoughtful integration of technology into the curriculum.” So far, besides the laptop I am using, I also learned to use many apps that are very helpful for my classes.

La Habra principal Matthew Eeles finds Scambray “easy to talk to because he takes time to listen.”  He and Mr. Whitten both see Dr. Scambray as a strong leader who is not afraid to confront issues that need to be addressed.  Gaining some insight into how a person can be successful in his job or career provides a valuable learning opportunity for us, especially when he is someone like our superintendent whom we look up to and yet find very relatable. Leaving behind an inspiring life story is Dr. Scambray’s legacy to many students who also dream of navigating a high school, college, and career journey successfully.

Having worked so hard over the last 36 years, Dr. Scambray can’t wait for the day when he can spend more time travelling and playing golf, but he will always cherish those moments when he visited schools and “saw his students making incredible achievements while overcoming personal issues.”  Mr. Whitten, who finds Dr. Scambray a great leader and boss, is among those who will miss the walk around the campus with Dr. Scambray.  He recalls, “Mr. Scambray would always ask students who their favorite principal was and if they hesitated he would gesture toward me on the sly.”

Fergie is a green parakeet at OC Animal Care. She was found flying around the city of San Juan Capistrano by a Good Samaritan who brought her to the shelter. Turns out, 1-year-old Fergie had a band on her leg, which usually provides information about where she came from. Sadly, no one could get any information on her, so she was placed for adoption. Parakeets are among the smallest parrot species commonly kept as pets. They are the most popular pet bird due to the fact that they are quite affordable. Parakeets are typically friendly and quite easy to tame. They live up to 10 years if they are taken care of properly. If you ever wanted a forever pet like Fergie, contact OC Animal Care at (714) 935-6848 or visit their website http://www.ocpetinfo.com. I’m sure Fergie would love to meet you.

Fergie.

All schools around the Fullerton School District (FSD) are now out for the summer. Although summer break is known to be the time to lie back and take a break from school, FSD is still offering educational summer programs to all students.

These programs are meant to help students get ahead, stay sharp, and get ready for the next school year, all while having lots of fun. There are many different FSD summer programs you can enroll your kids in this year or in the future, but one thing that seems to work well among students is the FSD EXTENDED PLAY offered to K through 8th grade students from June 7 to July 16.  It is a self-paced class that helps you expand your knowledge in areas such as ELA and math for the upcoming school year while also offering prizes and fun games. This is a program that I myself am enrolled in for this summer and have been since last year when it was first offered.

I can tell you that it is a great experience.

For a complete list of FSD summer programs, please check out www.fullertonsd.org.

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