Granite Bay High School Colorguard – A Winning Team

May 28th, 2010

Thank you, Claire Sharp, for guest blogging on this site today!  Claire, a GBHS parent, is involved in the Colorguard program at the high school.   

 What is Colorguard?  It’s a team looking for new members!

If you’ve been in the Eureka School District you’ve seen the Colorguard every year at Halloween.  A Guard member might have picked you out of the crowd to play with the band, or you’ve been amazed by the flags that the guard spins.   That’s right – they are the ones with the flags. 

The Colorguard is a unit of the Emerald Brigade Marching Band, and participates in Band competitions during the Fall Season. In the  Winter Season, the Guard won the majority of its competitions, which are dance based, and take place indoors.

When you’re in Colorguard you dance, run the entire football field, march in parades, and all the while spinning a flag, or tossing a rifle or sabre.  In the Winter season, the guard performs indoors in a dance-based performance.  Sounds easy?  Well, according the students, it takes a lot of practice, but almost anyone can learn.

According to Coach Marr, “the Colorguard, like any other group activity, is important in teaching our students how to work well with others within a team environment.  There are so many life skills that can be learned while being involved in guard such as time management, leadership skills, team building, conflict resolution, and so many other skills that can be taken away from the activity. But, I think the life-long friendships, pride, and self worth a person gets from performing  are the most important part of guard.”

How do you become a member of the Colorguard?  Show up at one of their Try-It-Outs which, this year, will be held on June 2nd, 9th, and 16th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the GBHS Cafeteria ( right near the entrance of the school).  If you’re an incoming freshman or a current student looking for something new to try, this is the ticket.   Bring your positive attitude, wear clothes you can move in, and bring your friends.  Parents are welcome too.   The Guard looks forward to meeting YOU.

Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee Grounds for the Garden

May 18th, 2010

Do you remember Starbucks giving away prepacked bags of used coffee grounds for the garden?  When we began using them, our roses started blooming beautifully.  Now, we throw coffee grounds in our vegetable garden too, and our tomatoes love it!

Sunset Magazine commissioned a study about gardening and coffee grounds.  Used coffee grounds contain high levels of potassium and phosphorus, and they produce nitrogen when they degrade – all of which help plants thrive.  I’ve read elsewhere that spent coffee grounds also apparently deter slugs and cats, whereas worms, which amend soil, flock to it like candy! We add it to our compost bin, but we also spread it around like mulch in our garden.

The next time you go to Starbucks – ask for a bag of grounds for your garden.  Christi Earhart at Starbucks (in the Raley’s Shopping Center) suggested that customers bring in a bucket with their name on it that the staff can fill throughout the day.  What a great green idea!

I recently read an interesting NY Times article online about BTTR Ventures; two UC Berkeley grads founded BTTR Ventures (pronounced “better”) and began using Peet’s coffee grounds as an integral part of their mushroom business.  They sell their mushrooms (available at Whole Foods in the Bay Area) as well as mushroom kits (I’ve seen them at Peet’s in the past).

Peet’s also has an article on their website about gardening using their coffee grounds.  Every time I’ve gone in to Peet’s at Quarry Ponds without my hubby, one of the guys has offered to carry the coffee grounds out to my car for me.  How great is that?!

Try it out – and let me know whether you think it makes a difference in your flowers and plants.

Happy Gardening!

Mrs. Kim Gerould of Greenhills School Receives Outstanding Teacher Award

May 18th, 2010

Kim Gerould - Outstanding Teacher Award

Recently, Mrs. Kim Gerould, a much-admired 3rd grade teacher at Greenhills School, received an Outstanding Teacher Award and a grant by the Education Foundation. 

Unbeknownst to her, Mrs. Monika Stover, a Resource Specialist Program (RSP) aide at Greenhills nominated Kim Gerould for the award.  Mrs. Stover assists a special needs student for one hour in Kim Gerould’s math class each day, and over the year, observed  Kim’s infectious laugh and love of teaching (and learning) spill out on to her students. 

Monika Stover feels that students (and their parents) admire Mrs. Gerould because of her ability able to connect with each student to assess his or her difficulty – whether academic, social or emotional.  She works hard to remove those barriers to allow each child to receive the best quality of education and to develop a love of learning.   In typical Mrs. Gerould fashion, instead of using the grant money to do something fun for herself and her family, she plans to use the funds to purchase costumes for her students’ class play.

Along with many other parents, I agree with Monika Stover - my daughter had Kim Gerould as one of her two outstanding Kindergarten teachers in the MultiAge class.  Even though my daughter is no longer her student, Maya still raves about, and adores Mrs. Gerould.   

Kim Gerould also works hard behind the scenes.  She takes on many key responsibilities; she is a Grade Level leader in staff meetings and trainings, leads Reading Rocks! – a reading intervention group which is held after school hours, has leadership roles in the Professional Learning Communities held in the Eureka Union School District, and is trained as a lead staff person in Responsive Classroom.  Outside of Greenhills School and our school district, she belongs to the Professional Educator’s Association, Alpha Delta Kappa.  Kim Gerould also recently also earned her Master’s Degree.

Congratulations to Kim Gerould for receiving the Outsanding Teacher Award this year – she displays a shining example of the many phenomenal teachers in our school district.

The Education Foundation was established in 1992 by Prudential California Realty to honor exceptional K-12 public school teachers throughout Northern and Southern California.  Since it’s inception, the Education Foundation has awarded approximately $750,000 to the outstanding public school teachers in our communities.  This grant is funded by the generosity of Realtors, managers and staff of Prudential California Realty.  For more details on this award, please visit the press release section of

Thank you, Mr. Peter Towne, for letting us know about this award, and for allowing us to use your photographs.

Tango Argentino at Quarry Ponds

May 17th, 2010

Have you ever wanted to learn how to Tango? 

Luis Caceres and his partner, Kae Sable, offer free dance lessons every Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Canopy Plaza (next to Toast) at Quarry Ponds.

 For more information, please contact Luis Caceres at 916.807.4210 or


Photographs courtesy of Kelly McMenamin Photography.  She can be reached at  Thank you, Kelly!