Principal's Blog - May '16

He decided to call the police this morning because Anna’s dog had been barking excitedly for the last two hours. He tried to call Anna on the telephone, but no one answered. Both the police and an EMT arrived at the scene at 9:56 a.m. The EMT determined that Anna was dead. The police immediately notified your team of crime scene investigators as well as the medical examiner, both of which were dispatched to the house. Has a crime been committed?

This is an excerpt Dr. Lisa Homesley presents to her students in the first course of the PLTW Biomedical Science program, Principles of Biomedical Science. From the moment the students walk into the classroom, they are immersed in the mysterious death of Anna and asked to investigate, document, and analyze evidence to solve the case. Case-based scenarios like this one span all Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science courses. This first year, 42 students explored a range of careers in biomedical sciences as they learned content in the context of real-world, hands-on activities, projects, and problems. Next year we will launch the second class in the Biomedical Science Program – Human Body Systems.

Human Body Systems: Ms. Nicole Sutherland will have students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore identity, power, movement, protection, and homeostasis. Exploring science in action, students will build organs and tissues on a skeletal Maniken®; students will use data acquisition software to monitor body functions such as muscle movement, reflex and voluntary action, and respiration; and, students will then take on the roles of biomedical professionals to solve real-world medical cases.

This new class is just one of three new classes for next year along with AP Government and Concert Band. We hope your son or daughter takes advantage of these great new college-prep courses. All are UC/CSU approved courses.

EMPOWERING VOICES: This semester, St. Francis hosted the first EMPOWERING VOICES leadership series. Five students were able to fit this exciting opportunity in their schedules as they met on Mondays and Thursdays in March and April. The moderator, Mr. Michael Truong, shared the following with Mr. Lee:

We've completed the final course and Awards for the pilot program at St. Francis this week and what an incredible journey it has been. The students all said they enjoyed the program and came by to personally thank me. We also had Gabi’s mom, Renee, and Mathieu's father, John, attend classes. They both have been really supportive of the program from day one and I was so happy to see them attend.

But most of all I want to thank the school for your support and allowing me to bring this program to your school. It helped me tremendously to help teach the program and if it makes a life long impact on these students then my mission would have been accomplished.”

Mr. Lee will meet with Mr. Troung next week to film a testimonial and pick up special gifts for the participants. He will also discuss having another 8-week session in the fall next school year (2016-2017). The dates and cost will be announced when they are determined.


At this time, I want to thank the graduating Class of 2016 and their parents. We started together. I am proud to say that you are the first graduating class that I have been with all four years, and they have been pretty amazing years. Your passion, humor, leadership, artistic talent, questioning of authority, spirituality, candor, honesty, and commitment to excellence in all we do is infectious.


We will enjoy our time together with each component leading up to graduation exercises. Mr. Cmaylo, Ms. Green, and I will speak to you directly after school on Monday, May 9th. We look forward to you excelling in your AP exams, fully participating in the Salesian oratory through our Marian Day/Concert on the Green celebration May 13th, and finishing our your time as a St. Francis High School student. Marian Day/Concert on the Green is a regular day of school, but you are allowed to dress in Shark wear. We also expect to see you at the Awards Assembly and Knights of Columbus Senior Dinner on May 20th. You get take your last high school semester exams from May 24th-26th. Your attendance also expected at your Senior Lunch and Graduation Practice after school on the 26th. Finally, we have 2 more events you are expected to participate in  - Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 27th and your graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28th.


It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell and wish luck to Ms. Haleigh Washburn. Ms. Washburn will be moving out of state to be with family and we will keep all of them in our prayers. She has had a tremendous impact as our first alumnus to come back to Saint Francis to work as a full-time teacher, volleyball coach, and assistant director in the performing arts. She will be sorely missed.


I look forward to seeing all of you at our end of the year activities, sports games, banquets, Golf Tournament, Concert on the Green, etc. This has been an amazing year with so much to be grateful for and so much to celebrate. I also want to thank Fr. Ron Shirley, Mr. Andy Kreeft, Mrs. Carrie Salady, Bonnie and Tony Estrada, and Mrs. Cynthia Baylis for all of their leadership and support. You have made our school a home and each of you played a critical role in contributing to our current and future success. Though you may be graduating with our seniors, we hope you know this will always be your home--you will forever be a SHARK!


Yours in Christ,



Patrick Lee

President and Principal

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