Weekly roundup: A moment in the sun, Irvine’s next elementary school, perfect attendance and more Ian Hanigan June 8, 2018 Throughout the year, the Orange County Register has been sharing the story of Riley McCoy, a Dana Hills High senior who was born with a rare genetic disease that prevents her from sun exposure. Riley, diagnosed as an infant with xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP, became homecoming queen, attended her first dance, sang in the school play and went to prom. And this week she graduated from Dana Hills High, walking across a stadium stage during the day with the rest of her class. “She has taught everybody at this school what love really means,” one administrator said. While her mother initially lobbied for a special ceremony indoors, Riley said she wanted to be among friends. “She wanted to be the same,” her mother told the newspaper. So her family secured a specially designed hood to protect her from the sun’s rays. Register reporter Keith Sharon posted this article about Thursday’s commencement, along with a video and links to parts one, two, three and four of Riley’s story. And here are some other education stories to catch you up. The Orange County Register interviewed a Huntington Beach High School senior who has posted a perfect school attendance record since kindergarten. The Irvine Unified School District began construction of its 24th elementary school campus, which will feature flexible learning spaces and state-of-the-art science, design and innovation labs. A top contender for California governor has opened up about his struggles with a neurological learning disability that affects between 5 and 20 percent of the population. More than 50 Orange County seniors planning to pursue STEM career fields will be celebrated as they sign “STEM Letters of Intent” during a ceremony at UCI on June 29. “The Gratitude Project,” which started at Garden Grove’s Murdy Elementary School four years ago, challenges sixth-grade classes to interview real-life heroes and reflect on their contributions through writing and art. And finally, Benjamin Martinez of Villa Park High clinched first place in Orange Unified’s second annual Spanish Spelling Bee, correctly sequencing the letters in “psicicultura.” The event was created to underscore the value of speaking more than one language. This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroom, subscribing for emailed updates or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.