Del Oro gets in rhythm for a new school year

Facilities being spruced up for first day of class Aug. 18
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Del Oro High School is gearing up for the first day of school. Classrooms are being cleaned from top to bottom and sports fields are being groomed in anticipation of the start of the new school year on Wednesday, Aug. 18. “It’s too quiet around here. It’s very lonely,” said Cindy York, athletic department secretary, as she waded through sports packets from student athletes. Practice for fall sports began this week, but band members were around last week attending camp and learning new material and routines. Band member Megan Gentes said, “I’m ready to go back. I like having free time in summer, but I like getting back into a routine.” Megan, a sophomore, said she does have a few things on her to-do list prior to the start of school. “I want to practice my piccolo and I’d like to go to Monterey and Six Flags,” Megan said. Spencer Crawford is a freshman and was also attending band camp. When asked if he’s ready for school to begin he said, “No, not really. I’m enjoying my summer vacation, but I guess I have to go back.” Spencer said he’s not nervous about starting school. “I’ve heard they treat freshman reasonably well,” he said. Student Victor Muller is soon to start his senior year. “I’m looking forward to band starting, but school’s starting earlier than I’d like,” Muller said. Bill Leigh, groundskeeper and maintenance, said staff members have been working hard to ready the school for the new year. “We’ve been mowing, mowing, mowing and trying to get all the weeds. We’ve been prepping the fields for football and soccer practice,” Leigh said. Rusty Montz is a Del Oro custodian and said he’s tired of cleaning and is ready for the students to return. “We’ve cleaned just about everything we can clean. It will be a nice change of pace for us when the kids return,” Montz said. “It’s kind of a balance. When kids are gone we can get a lot done, but we run into a lot of really, really good kids that are a pleasure to be around during school. Hardly ever do you find a kid who’s disrespectful or won’t do what you ask.” Leigh agreed. “It’s not like at other high schools. It’s apparent to people from other schools when they come here,” he said. Peg Krainz, school librarian, also feels Del Oro students are well-behaved and a pleasure to be around. “I attribute it to three things. We’re in a small community, we have involved parents and an excellent staff. It’s the perfect storm of having the right elements,” Krainz said. Krainz said she’s been ordering magazines and new books in anticipation of the start of school. She’s also weeding out old books and arranging shelves. Leigh said the Del Oro difference is “the staff isn’t afraid to tell the kids the difference between right and wrong.” Dan Gayaldo is also getting ready for students to return. He said he’s excited to be starting his second year as Del Oro’s principal. “I have a better feeling and understanding of being a principal,” Gayaldo said. “I’m amazed at how wonderful the school community is, even with difficult financial times,” he said. Gayaldo said the school was forced to let one teacher go and hired no new teachers due to budget cuts. He said the district has relocated teachers from other schools to Del Oro because of retirements and increased enrollment. While the campus underwent no major changes over the summer, according to Gayaldo, sports fans will be pleased to know that all of the old wood in the football stadium bleachers has been replaced with metal. Gayaldo said he’s not sure exactly what the upcoming year will bring, but said, “Every day is an adventure.” -------------------- DEL ORO HIGH SCHOOL Classes begin: Wednesday, Aug. 18 Students: Approximately 1,700 Freshman class: 436 Average class size: 37 students New teachers: Mike Pahl, from Placer High School – agriculture, freshman football coach; Christian Kinsey, from Colfax High – industrial arts and freshman technology; Jason Stowers, from Colfax High – social studies; Julie Melbourne-Weaver, from Chana High and Placer – social science; and Melanie Boxall, new to the district – school psychologist. Source: Del Oro High School