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EDITORIAL : SCHOOLS OF SUCCESS WORTHY ACHIEVEMENTS IN EDUCATION ARE GOOD EXAMPLES TO FOLLOW.

SUMMER is a time when many people are thinking about vacations and relaxing. It's also an excellent time to reflect on the many successes in area schools during the academic year, which recently ended.

Many individuals showed initiative and enterprise - including students, teachers, administrators, parents and other community members.

It would do much good for their peers to follow their examples, learn from their successes and rededicate themselves to new levels of accomplishments.

For example, we are reminded of the hard-working young filmmakers at Pacoima Magnet School, one of three performing arts magnets in the San Fernando Valley, who screened their 16 millimeter film ``Common Bonds'' at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Then there's Carole Firestone, a teacher at Lindero Canyon Middle School in Agoura Hills, one of five educators chosen as a California Teacher of the Year.

Cathleen Sullivan of Topanga Canyon became the first student from the Los Angeles Unified School District since 1982 to be selected as the state's outstanding scholar athlete. The popular, 17-year-old senior at North Hollywood High School achieved a superb grade-point average and excelled at sports.

A team from El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills took second place in the U.S. Academic Decathlon after months of grueling preparation and marathon study hours. To get to the nationals, El Camino Real's team won the state Academic Decathlon. Simi Valley High School placed a respectable fifth and Alemany High School of Mission Hills placed sixth.

Then there's the courage and grace of 16-year-old Denny Sim, a student at Monroe High School in North Hills, bravely dealing with progeria, an accelerated aging disease. His strong outlook had a positive effect on his classmates, relatives and doctors.

Volunteers are making a world of difference in local schools, too. One is Bob Berger, a volunteer at Columbus Middle School in Canoga Park, who tends to campus gardening needs and assists with the horticulture classes.

There are many others, of course. Such success stories get scant attention, but they need to happen much more often.

Much of the time, public attention is focused - appropriately - on the problems of school systems, such as their unresponsiveness or inefficiency. These success stories can help restore a feeling of balance, a sense of hope and renewed confidence in the ability of individuals and groups to make a difference.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jul 25, 1997
Words:391
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