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Class notes
April 09, 2013, 05:00 AM

OCA San Mateo will host the seventh annual "Speak and Lead with Pride Program" at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 at the Borel Estate Building, S. 1700 El Camino Real in San Mateo.

Highlighting the talents of local high school students, four finalists will compete by speaking on the topic: "In our evolving world, what is the value of a college education and how might I use it to benefit the community?"

Founded in 2005 by OCA San Mateo Chapter, the "Speak and Lead Program" is a six-week program designed to strengthen the confidence and speaking skills of local high school students with the ultimate goal of building each student's leadership potential. This year's program consists of 26 motivated students from various San Mateo County high schools. The April 10 competition is the culmination of the program which includes two-hour classes each Saturday for six weeks.

Winners of the competition will be selected by a panel of three judges: Josie Yu, Ph.D. education liaison, San Mateo County, STEM workforce development; Foster City Police Chief Matt Martell; and Lorena Hernandez, California director of external affairs for Comcast, In addition, Cherie Ho, principal of Redwood Shores Elementary School, will be the keynote speaker.

The event is open to the public and funded by a grant from the Comcast Foundation.

***

Parents, community members, residents, educators, corporate representatives and nonprofit organizations can learn more about the state's Common Core Standards and how they will impact students and schools. Sessions will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Texas Instruments, 2900 Semiconductor Drive, Santa Clara and 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 at the Redwood Shores Center, 330-350 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City.

***

Amid a sea of global awareness and interconnection, Notre Dame High School in Belmont is definitely riding the wave. Students and staff alike have welcomed many new faces and languages from around the world into the hallways and classrooms this year. The experience of having international students on campus is changing the way community members view their own and other cultures, adding a new lens for viewing and connecting to the world beyond these shores. Many cross-cultural friendships are developing, and global interaction is no longer an abstract idea for students. Though Notre Dame High School has traditionally had a sizable number of students whose families have emigrated from other countries, many of our current international students have come to the United States alone, without their own families. These intrepid girls are living on the Peninsula with host families, thousands of miles from their parents and friends in China, Russia, Japan, Thailand and India. They are immersed in a rigorous college preparatory program, are absorbed in the study of American culture and are involved in the most complex course of all, 'How American High School Works.'

Class notes is a column dedicated to school news. It is compiled by education reporter Heather Murtagh. You can contact her at (650) 344-5200, ext. 105 or at heather@smdailyjournal.com.


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