Great Local Educator; Bonnie Walters


Recently, the Ventura County Star published an article highlighting a great local educator; Bonnie Walters.

Bonnie now works at the California Oil Museum in Santa Paula and is doing great work making science come alive for students, teachers, and learners of all ages.

In past years, it was my fortune to work with her as a parent volunteer and NASA ambassador. Ms. Walters worked in many areas to bring hands on and minds on science to students and teachers and community.

She’s a great example of a community member, natural teacher, and highly intelligent and energetic contributor to a community of learners.

Partnerships with folks like Bonnie help to connect professional teachers and schools with resources and perspectives that reach beyond the walls and halls of the school and classroom. At Rio we have already begun to take advantage of new partnerships with the California Oil Museum. and with the fine work of Ms.Walters.                Bravo Bonnie!

math minds and math learning leaders 2013




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Improving math education and math learning for students has been a major focus of my work in the past ten years. Among current influences on the path math education should be going are the following math minds and math learning leaders of 2013. Check them out.

Arthur Benjamin

Conrad Wolfram

Keith Devlin

Vi Hart

Spring Break

The Rio School District is going on a Spring Break for two weeks, the last week of March and the first week of April. We hope that each student, each family, and each employee is able to take the time to rest, renew, recharge, relax, and then return to school and work following the break ready to complete the 2012-2013 school year and end the year on a positive note.

We know that while there are many students who are happy to have a couple of weeks to do other things, there are also others who will miss the things our schools provide including nutritious meals, a safe and nurturing place to learn, play, and be with friends and those who care. Along these lines, our after schools programs offer programs the first week of the break. Still, we encourage all our teachers and staff to realize that those two weeks away this Spring might mean a nice vacation for some, while it might mean a less pleasant time for others.

Loss of a Great Local Educator; Deloris Carn

Recently, I received some very sad news, that a mentor, colleague, and friend, Deloris Carn had passed away. I am so sad I did not get a chance to talk and have lunch with her in the few months since she had moved from Oxnard to the East Coast.

Ms. Carn is a legend in our community. She was an exceptional person, a great teacher, an exceptional School Principal and a one in a million human being. Her intellect, her heart, and her amazing energy and work ethic touched almost as many lives as her love for others, for children and for humanity.

I hope it is not true, “that they don’t make ‘em like they used to.” Perhaps in our own way, those of us who have been privileged to work for and with Deloris will carry with us a small portion of her many attributes and strengths that came forth to create so many opportunities and positive outcomes for students, families, teachers, and educators at all levels.

I have many fond memories as well as many funny memories from years at E.O.Green Junior High School. I learned many things there about being an administrator, a teacher, a leader, and a human being. 

I will miss Deloris and it will take me a long time to process this event. I look forward to the day that I meet another amazing educator that might remind me of Deloris, and when I do, I will know that there is always hope for students, for public education, and people making themselves better people through their hard work and service to others.

Migrant Regional Speech & Debate Tournament 3.16.13

This Saturday, Rio Vista Middle School is hosting the annual Ventura County Migrant Regional Speech & Debate Tournament. I am looking forward to speaking at the event, just before the students receive their awards. In thinking about themes for my brief talk I am considering the following; the power of words, the power of voice,  bilingual, trilingual and multi-lingualism, and saying BRAVO to all the participants for being brave, and taking part in this great event. I am also working on the speech in English, Spanish, and a few Mixteco phrases from languages I am learning associated with San Martin Peras and San Martin Duraznos. 


RIOSUPTwords is another in a line of new tumblr blogs I am experimenting with.

Words mean alot to me.

Words often have multiple meanings and need context to understand what they are conveying… So this little blog is a place to come to think about words that important in the Rio School District

Here are some words we have been using and th8inking about lately:

World Class

Ranking among the foremost in the world; of an international standard of excellence; of the highest order: a world-class figure skater.

Great, as in importance, concern, or notoriety.

Professionals Developing…not Professional Development

Professional teachers.. usually means workshops, or one time events, sometimes a series of events intended to show teachers how to do something they are not already doing or something someone else thinks they need to be doing. Its seen as a noun.

When we think about Professionals Developing (thanks Dr. Yeager) we are thinking about a process.. or verb….. that hopefully is more reflective than sausage making.

Sausage making

Meaning making

Using Tumblr

Greetings folks who are reading my new attempts at using social media…. Here’s some news.. I have been using Tumblr recently and liking it. Its easy to use and has decent aesthetics. However, I realized that my RIOSUPTimages tumblr does not display the nice image gallery when using the Firefox browser… So use Google Chrome and it will….

Friend Raiser 2.28.13

On 2.28.13 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, the Rio School District held a FRIEND RAISER EVENT.

It was an excellent evening in which invited partners had the opportunity to view student work, enjoy music by the Pacifica High School Jazz Band, the California Lutheran University Honors String Quartet, and the Vista Middle School Glee Club, enjoy food and soft beverages and have discussions and dialogues.

We really appreciated all the work that people contributed to the event and we also appreciated partners taking the time to come and enjoy.

Our goal was to acknowledge our friends and partners, to make new friends and partnerships and to openly construct and reconstruct the community that engages with and supports the students, families, and employees of the Rio School District.

Even more.. we aimed at creating an enjoyable experience for all involved…even perhaps…a Bakhtinian “carnival” like experience where we come to expect and enjoy the unexpected….

As an educator and learner, I have always sought opportunities to construct or experience learning in these contexts…. I have always learned more and more deeply by confronting and reflecting on the unexpected… and I have enjoyed the inquiry process of answering the Question ( what just happened?) ( What was that all about?)….

While its certainly true there is much to learn and enjoy in the context of the “expected” and planned…I suppose I have a preference for the “jazz riff” like moments of creative uncertainty….

Thanks again to all who worked on and attended the 1st annual RIO Friend Raiser and we hope everyone learned a bit about what the Rio Schools Foundation is working to do to support students.


As the superintendent of the Rio School District, I am always reading but basically I have been reading one thing or another (and usually multiple books) since I was five years old or so.

This blog is a place to follow along with books that are impacting my “superintendenting” work, some of which we are reading as an administrative team.

Euler’s Gem

The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited

Whole new mind


World class learners


Thinking in Systems


Bakhtin and the Human Sciences


Here are some great links to explore Bakhtin’s thoughts and their relation to education.

What Every Principal Needs to Know to Create Equitable and Excellent Schools


RebootEd Website

RebootEd Website