Weekly roundup: Valor at Dana Hills High, new state legislation, OC Pathways Showcase and more

A powerful pep talk from U.S. Marine 1st Sgt. D’Andre Gillon helped propel the Dana Hills High football team to its first league victory since 2013.

TypewriterAccording to this feature story in the Orange County Register, the inspirational words preceded Dana Hills’ sixth annual “Honor the Valor” game, which celebrated 52 military vets with tours spanning all the way back to World War II. Each high school player participated in a pre-game dinner with a veteran and wore that individual’s name on his jersey during the Dolphins’ 10-0 win over Laguna Hills High School.

Gillon, who serves with the Headquarters Company 5th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, delivered a speech that “sent tingles down your spine,” head football coach Phil Skinner told the Register afterward. “He brought energy like no one else.”

Dana Hills began this tradition in 2012, and Mission Viejo High and Fullerton Union High schools have since started similar tributes.

And here are some other education news stories from this week:

  • Gov. Jerry Brown has decided the fate of several state bills impacting schools and students. Brown vetoed legislation that would have given teachers and other school employees at least six weeks of paid maternity leave. But he signed legislation that may grant California students a free year of community college. Meanwhile, a separate bill that was signed by the governor will make it illegal to deny students a school meal in cases where their parents haven’t paid their lunch tab.
  • Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, and Tim Buzza, vice president of launch Virgin Orbit, have been tapped as featured speakers at next month’s OC Pathways Showcase, which will include dozens of student-created STEM projects made possible by partnerships between educators and industry leaders.
  • Flexible seating has emerged as a new trend in Orange County’s classrooms, presenting modern alternatives to traditional classroom configurations with rows of stationary chairs.
  • OCDE’s new One Billion Acts of Kindness app allows iOS and Android users to easily submit acts of kindness and share stories from their tablets and smartphones.

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