Christine Schieferle, FUSD Superintendent.
Christine Schieferle, FUSD Superintendent.

Dear FUSD Community,
I am excited to welcome you back to the 2022-2023 school year. I hope your family had the opportunity this summer to spend quality time with loved ones and that you and your children are ready for the upcoming school year. It is going to be a great year!

The beginning of each school year is always time for reflection, preparation, and new beginnings. We will continue to focus on strengthening communication, building relationships, and working together to ensure that we have safe, welcoming, and student-focused schools.

Staff have been working all summer long to prepare for the upcoming school year and will continue to expand academic, enrichment, and social-emotional opportunities for our students, such as:

• School counselors at every school site
• Wellness Centers at Fillmore High School and Fillmore Middle School, each staffed with a full-time licensed social worker and a shared counselor
• Community Learning Hubs in Fillmore, Rancho Sespe, and Piru, staffed with a teacher, instructional assistant, and counselor
• Full-time bilingual community liaisons at all school sites
• Free online academic tutoring 24 hours a day /7 days a week
• Reading Intervention teachers at all elementary schools and Fillmore Middle school
• Additional assistant principals at Fillmore High School and Fillmore Middle School
• New STEM Electives at Fillmore Middle School
• Fieldtrips to universities and colleges to promote a college-bound culture
• After-school Bridges program until 6:00 p.m., Monday - Friday

We will also continue to prioritize school safety at all school sites. Each year, all staff receives training on safety procedures and response expectations for a variety of emergencies. Each school conducts regular emergency drills and we will continue to have school resource officers at Fillmore High School and Fillmore Middle School to build relationships and respond in the event of a school emergency. COVID safety measures for the upcoming school year can be found on the FUSD website.

Please also consider supporting our School Site Councils, English Learner Advisory Committees, Parent Booster Clubs, and other schools/classroom volunteer opportunities. Connecting with these organizations along with your student's teachers, principals, counselors, and support personnel is critical to your child's success in school. I am looking forward to seeing our students back on our campuses on Wednesday, August 17th. I am confident that working together, we can make this school year a safe and positive experience for our students.

Proud to be a part of FUSD.
Chrissy Schieferle, Superintendent

 


 
Cara Hazard, 6th Grade Assistant Principal, Fillmore Middle School.
Cara Hazard, 6th Grade Assistant Principal, Fillmore Middle School.

A proud member of the Bulldog Family since the spring of 2020, Ms. Cara Hazard was immediately thrown into action as she helped navigate the difficulties of distance learning brought on by the COVID pandemic. Ms. Hazard is thrilled to be back for her second full year of in person learning, and as this years 6th grade assistant principal she cannot wait to meet all the incoming students who are just beginning the next step in their educational journey.

Ms. Hazard began her career in education as a para-educator with the Saugus Union School District from 2005 until 2007. From there she went on to her first teaching job in the Palmdale School District, where she gained experience at both the elementary and middle school levels. In 2015 she would spend a year teaching middle school algebra in Albuquerque, New Mexico before returning to her teaching roots in Palmdale. All told the time she spent in Palmdale would see her twice voted as teacher of the year, and she would spend 5 years as an administrative intern. All these experiences helped lead her to the amazing opportunity of assistant principal at Fillmore Middle School (Go Bulldogs!).

Growing up just down the road in Santa Clarita, Ms. Hazard attended Cal State Northridge. There she earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and her Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Always striving for more knowledge, Ms. Hazard prides herself on being a lifelong learner and an avid reader. There are few things she loves more than sitting outside on a beautiful day with a good book in hand.

Ms. Hazard loves fostering an environment where students know that they are respected and cared for, believing it is paramount to educational success. She welcomes open communication with all our Bulldog family. Ms. Hazard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to what will undoubtedly be a strong leadership team that will benefit not only Fillmore Middle School but our surrounding community.

 


 
(l-r) Keith Derrick with Rotary Vice President Andy Klittich. Keith Derrick is the new Fillmore High School Principal and was last week’s Rotary speaker. Derrick grew up in Arcadia, and baseball was his passion. He played for several years and had hoped to play professionally, but injuries dashed that hope. He began working at baseball camp and coaching kids, and realized education was what he wanted. He loves a small community and small school and when he became a principal that was where he wanted to be. Some of his goals for Fillmore High are to build quality relationships with the staff and students. He wants each student to have a trusting person on campus they can go to for advice, and he wants everyone to know what is happening on campus and how they can get involved. He hopes to advance academics, support athletics and promote art, music, and clubs, etc. Photo credit Rotarian Martha Richardson.
(l-r) Keith Derrick with Rotary Vice President Andy Klittich. Keith Derrick is the new Fillmore High School Principal and was last week’s Rotary speaker. Derrick grew up in Arcadia, and baseball was his passion. He played for several years and had hoped to play professionally, but injuries dashed that hope. He began working at baseball camp and coaching kids, and realized education was what he wanted. He loves a small community and small school and when he became a principal that was where he wanted to be. Some of his goals for Fillmore High are to build quality relationships with the staff and students. He wants each student to have a trusting person on campus they can go to for advice, and he wants everyone to know what is happening on campus and how they can get involved. He hopes to advance academics, support athletics and promote art, music, and clubs, etc. Photo credit Rotarian Martha Richardson.
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On Friday, July 29th, 2022, at approximately 9:17pm, California Highway Patrol, Ventura County Fire, and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported traffic collision in the 1900 block of Old Telegraph Road, Fillmore. Arriving fire crews reported a single patient with one vehicle on its side against an orange tree. One patient suffered minor injuries; CHP requested a tow truck. Photo credit Angel Esquivel—AE News.
On Friday, July 29th, 2022, at approximately 9:17pm, California Highway Patrol, Ventura County Fire, and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported traffic collision in the 1900 block of Old Telegraph Road, Fillmore. Arriving fire crews reported a single patient with one vehicle on its side against an orange tree. One patient suffered minor injuries; CHP requested a tow truck. Photo credit Angel Esquivel—AE News.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On July 27, 2022, deputies from the Fillmore Police Department and firefighters from the Ventura County Fire Department responded to a suspicious vehicle fire at a small nursery in the area of Old Telegraph Road and Ventura Street in the unincorporated area of Fillmore/Ventura County.

Upon arrival, firefighters quickly extinguished the vehicle fire located in the rear interior portion of a van parked on the property. The firefighters also found a propane tank in the front passenger area of the van that was expelling gas from an open valve.

The investigation revealed the fire was intentionally started in the van and the propane tank was purposely placed inside the van to cause an arson explosion. Suspect information was obtained at the scene and no additional hazards to the public were discovered. A search for the suspect ensued.

Fillmore patrol deputies located the suspect in the 1000 block of Ventura Street in the city of Fillmore. It was discovered that the suspect fled from the crime scene on a bicycle he had stolen from a nearby plant nursery. The suspect was taken into custody and identified as 42-year old Nikhil Kaboor, a resident of Fillmore. Deputies also located additional evidence linking Kaboor to the commission of the arson.

Kaboor was arrested for violation of California Penal Codes 451(d)-Arson and 484(a)-Theft. He was booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura with a bail set at $100,000.

On July 29, 2022, The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office filed both charges against Kaboor who currently remains in custody with his bail set at $100,000. His next court hearing is scheduled for August 08, 2022.

The Fillmore Police Department encourages citizens to immediately report suspicious people and/or vehicles, and to promptly report any crimes they witness by calling “9-1-1.” Anyone with information pertaining to crimes are urged to contact the Fillmore Police Station @ (805) 524-2233 or the below listed detective. The reporting party may remain anonymous.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank members of the public for their on-going support and due diligence in providing information to assist our agency in solving crimes. We are better at what we do because of our community partnerships.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and Fillmore Police Department is committed to maintaining the safety of all residents by continued community partnerships. Join us in the fight on crime by following us on Twitter @VENTURASHERIFF, Facebook, Instagram @ VCSHERIFF, and with Nixle by texting your zip code to 888777 to receive local law enforcement and public safety alerts and advisories.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has also established a secure database to log information about who has surveillance systems. If you would like to register your surveillance information and allow authorities to contact you, should a crime occur in/or near where your cameras are installed we kindly ask that you email the Fillmore Police Department @fillmorePD.CameraShare@ventursa.org.

Nature of Incident: Suspect arrested for Arson and Theft
Report Number: 22-99866
Location: 1000 Block of Ventura Street/Old Telegraph Road, Unincorporated area of Fillmore/Ventura County, CA
Date & Time: July 27, 2022 3:25 P.M.
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Police Department Patrol Services/Ventura County Fire Department
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(A) Nikhil Kaboor Fillmore 42
Prepared by: Detective Sergeant Hollowell
Approved by: Captain Jose Rivera

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


 

Community and conservation groups, the State of California, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reached an agreement today to suspend new oil and gas leasing across more than one million acres of public lands in California’s Central Valley and Central Coast.

The agreement resolves lawsuits filed in 2020 challenging a Trump administration plan to expand drilling and fracking in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare and Ventura counties. The lawsuits—filed by environmental justice, conservation and business groups and the state of California—cited the Bureau’s failure to consider fracking’s potential harm to public health and recreation in the region, as well as harm to the climate and possible groundwater and air pollution. In addition, the Bureau’s plan would have allowed drilling and fracking to occur near state parks and beaches, national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, the Pacific Crest Trail, and Carrizo Plain National Monument. Several schools, reservoirs, ecological reserves, and other community landmarks were also at stake.

It marks the third victory in conservationists’ long-running battle against plans to expand drilling in central California following similar wins in 2013 and 2016. These legal actions prevented new onshore oil and gas leasing in California from 2012 to 2020, a moratorium that is now back in place following today’s agreement.

Under the agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the Bureau will prepare a supplemental environmental report and, based on that analysis, consider whether the amend the agency’s management plan that governs where and how drilling can occur. Changes to the management plan could include more stringent standards to protect the environment and public health, and placing certain lands off-limits to drilling or fracking altogether.

The agency will hold at least one public meeting, provide several opportunities for the public to provide input, and prepare materials for Spanish-speaking communities disproportionately affected by pollution. The federal government will not offer any new leases for oil drilling until this new evaluation is complete, which could take one to two years or more.

The groups that secured today’s agreement include Center for Biological Diversity, Central California Environmental Justice Network, Los Padres ForestWatch, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Patagonia Works, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society, along with the state of California. They issued the following statements:
“These agreements require federal officials to disclose the harm that fracking does to the air, water and communities of Central California,” said Liz Jones, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “For decades this region’s people and wildlife have been paying the price of filthy fossil fuel extraction. That has to end, and we’ll do everything possible to make sure these pauses become permanent bans.”

“Protecting public lands is not only a step forward, but also a way to prevent several steps back,” said Cesar Aguirre, a senior organizer with the Central California Environmental Justice Network. “Using public lands to prop up the oil industry is dangerous to our green spaces and communities. We must protect our public lands not only for us to enjoy, but for us to protect Earth. Green spaces should not fall victim to oil drilling, especially because the extraction sites are the epicenter of the climate crisis. The less epicenters that are approved the less steps back we take.”

“Today’s agreement protects the iconic landscapes that define central California, safeguards public health, and moves us closer to a cleaner energy future,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch. “Fossil fuel extraction has wreaked havoc on our public lands, our farms and our neighborhoods for far too long. We now have an opportunity to chart a new course for safe and healthy communities throughout our region.”

“The future of our business depends on the health of the planet, especially the wild places loved by our community,” said Hans Cole, head of environmental activism at Patagonia. “We’re grateful to have worked with our NGO partners to require a full evaluation of the impacts of drilling and fracking on public lands in Central California. This is a win for the environment.”
“This agreement provides a long overdue reprieve for local communities and nearby national parks like Sequoia and Kings Canyon, which already face climate change driven drought, high temperatures and annual wildfires, as well as some of the worst air quality in the nation,” said Mark Rose, Sierra Nevada program manager with National Parks Conservation Association. “Opening up over one million acres for oil and gas drilling in one of the most polluted regions of the country was an egregious decision by the Bakersfield Bureau of Land Management under the previous administration, and we are happy to see the Biden administration taking steps to protect California’s overburdened communities and environment.”

“Central Valley residents and grassroots activists work every day to make their communities healthy, and today they got a win in the fight against air and groundwater pollution from oil and gas development,” said Daniel Rossman, California deputy director with The Wilderness Society. “This agreement represents an important step towards ensuring our public lands are managed to prioritize people, clean air, clean water, and climate over fossil fuel industry profits.”

“Today’s win is a testament to the grassroots activism of Central Valley communities, who have fought oil and gas leasing in their backyards and supported people, public health, wildlife and climate,” said Nathan Matthews, a Sierra Club senior attorney. “Temporarily halting drilling on these lease parcels in Kern County is an important step toward stopping the unconscionable move of opening up new federal public lands for oil and gas leasing in the Central Valley, a region already overburdened by impacts of oil and gas extraction. The Biden administration should implement a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal public lands.”

“This is a win not only for the environment and climate, but for the people who call Kern County home,” said Hallie Templeton, legal director for Friends of the Earth. “It is a disgrace that the federal government attempted to greenlight these leases without fully analyzing impacts on communities living nearby. Our victory has also worked to secure Spanish translation of pertinent documents, and live translation at public hearings, so that all stakeholders can truly have a seat at the table.”

“The Bureau has repeatedly authorized oil and gas development in Central California without taking a hard look at the severe consequences to local communities or the environment,” said Michelle Ghafar, senior attorney with Earthjustice. “The agency must stop and fully evaluate the community and environmental impacts of all the oil and gas expansion it is authorizing on public land in order to comply with the law.”

“Fracking on California’s public lands in the midst of our climate crisis and drought was always a pretty dubious idea and was straight-up unacceptable without proper environmental review,” said Ann Alexander, a senior attorney with Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’s crucial that the BLM takes the time to evaluate what opening up these lands to drilling would look like for local communities, who already live with crippling water shortages and some of the worst air in the country.”

“Fracking is dangerous for our communities, damaging to our environment, and out of step with California’s climate goals,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta in a statement on behalf of Governor Gavin Newsom, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). “The Trump Administration recklessly opened Central California up to new oil and gas drilling without considering how fracking can hurt communities by causing polluted groundwater, toxic air emissions, minor earthquakes, climate impacts, and more. In keeping with the Bureau of Land Management’s mission to preserve the health of our public lands, it must reassess this Trump-Era mistake.”

Fossil fuel extraction on federal public lands causes nearly a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, worsening the climate and extinction crises and disproportionately harming Black, Brown, Indigenous and low-wealth communities.

Peer-reviewed science estimates that a nationwide federal fossil fuel leasing ban would reduce carbon emissions by 280 million tons per year, ranking it among the most ambitious federal climate policy proposals in recent years.

Oil and gas extraction uses well pads, gas lines, roads and other infrastructure that destroys habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. Oil spills, leaks and other harms from drilling have done immense damage to wildlife and communities. Fracking and drilling also pollutes watersheds and waterways that provide drinking water to millions of people.

 
The first Fillmore High School Graduating Class in 1911. Left to right are Mary Cummings, Albert Wiklund, Sarah King, and Mabel Arthur. Photos credit Fillmore Historical Museum.
The first Fillmore High School Graduating Class in 1911. Left to right are Mary Cummings, Albert Wiklund, Sarah King, and Mabel Arthur. Photos credit Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Hattie and George King, known as “The Kings”, bought farmland and built a home in Bardsdale that is still the residence of members of their family.
Hattie and George King, known as “The Kings”, bought farmland and built a home in Bardsdale that is still the residence of members of their family.
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Fergus Fairbanks
Fergus Fairbanks
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Hatchet Pin from the Museum Collection
Hatchet Pin from the Museum Collection
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Fillmore High School's first building on 2nd and Saratoga Street.
Fillmore High School's first building on 2nd and Saratoga Street.
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Fillmore Union High School, with the student body on the steps, circa 1920.
Fillmore Union High School, with the student body on the steps, circa 1920.
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1937 School Fire.
1937 School Fire.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

“Marching Through Kansas”
Bring along your hatchets, girls we’ll wreck some more saloons,
We’ll send them higher than the finest of balloons;
Wreck them as they should be wrecked, with hatchets and with brooms,
While we go marching through Kansas.

During the 1800s the average American over 15 years old consumed nearly 7 gallons of pure alcohol a year. That figure is 3 times as much as is consumed now. Alcohol abuse, primarily by men was wreaking havoc on the lives of hundreds of thousands of families. A man could use all of his earnings for drink and leave his wife and children penniless. At the time women had little control over family finances and had only limited opportunities to work. Crusader Carrie Nation, with a one-year old child, was widowed when her husband died of disease caused by alcohol. She was famous for praying and singing hymns while leading marches protesting the sale and use of alcoholic beverages. She led groups of women who destroyed saloons with rocks and hatchets. Carrie called these “Hatchetations.” Arrested 32 times for these actions, she paid her fines by selling tiny hatchet pins and kept giving lectures across the country.

Another group called the Women’s Christian Temperance Society took on the social problems caused by alcohol abuse in a less dramatic way. The WCTU was known for its opposition to drinking but worked tirelessly to improve society. They participated in non-violent protests and were one of the first organizations to have a lobbyist in Washington, DC. Their motto was “Do everything” as they felt that all reform was interconnected and social problems could not be separated. The reforms they worked on included building kindergartens, opposing child labor, working on sanitation and public health, international peace, prison reform, the 8-hour workday, and the vote for women. The organization started in 1874 in Cleveland, Ohio. By 1892 it had 150,000 dues paying members.

France Willard was the president of WCTU from 1879 to 1898. Her tireless efforts for the temperance cause included a 50-day speaking tour in 1874, an average of 30,000 miles of travel a year, and an average of 400 lectures a year for a 10-year period. In 1905 a statue of Frances Willard was given to Congress by the state of Kansas. It the first statue of a woman to be given to Congress and is currently on display in the rotunda of the U S Capitol building.

On one of her trips, she passed through our Santa Clara Valley and helped form the Bard Union of the WCTU here. Hattie King, a young wife and mother and charter member, became the president of the local union. Hattie was known for her activism and concern for the well being of the local citizens of our area. Her daughter described her as having a “wonderful sense of humor, a unique sparkle, moral courage and above all, a belief in the worth of people.” She and her husband, George, are credited with bringing about the opening of Fillmore’s first high school.

Born Hattie Virginia Busick in 1872 in the gold fields of El Dorado County, she was the daughter of a Pony Express Rider and a descendant of General Nathaniel Green. Hattie came to live in Fillmore with her aunt, Mrs. S. A. Guiberson, when she was 12 years old. George King, her future husband, came to Southern California in 1887 and worked as a ranch hand. In 1894 he went to work for the D. C. Cook Ranch which was owned by David Cook, the founder of Piru. George and Hattie met in Piru and were married October 11, 1896 in the Piru Methodist Church. Later the Kings bought farm land and built a home in Bardsdale that is still the residence of members of their family.

Mrs. King certainly was an example of WCTU’s motto, “Do everything.” In “Tales from the Past,” a column in a 1980 issue of the Fillmore Herald, her many projects and activities that benefited the community were listed. She was a Sunday School teacher, president of the Ventura County Epworth League (a Methodist young adult association), and headed the Women’s Home Missionary Society in the Long Beach District. She and her husband provided the lot for the Fillmore Methodist Church (now the home of the One Step a la Vez center.) She was a charter member of the local WCTU. In 1955 she had the honor to be nominated by the WCTU as Mother of California.

Up until the early 1900s Fillmore’s high school students took the train to Santa Paula to attend school. The Kings, along with Fergus Fairbanks and other community members, petitioned the supervisors for a high school in Fillmore. Mrs. King financed the building of a temporary school building. It is now a home on Second Street. She continued to campaign for a permanent structure which was completed in 1911. It was considered one of the most beautiful schools in the state. Unfortunately, that beautiful building burned in 1937. The 1963 Copa de Oro is dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. King along with Fergus Fairbanks, in appreciation for their work to bring a high school to Fillmore. The current Fillmore High School is situated at the same location.

In Ventura County, districts could vote on whether to be “wet” or “dry”. By 1909, the district which included Fillmore voted to be “dry”. This meant alcohol could not be sold in the area, but it if a person had alcohol they could share it. Enforcement was by the local constable. Constable Owen Miller was very selective on enforcement, since he was the leading bootlegger of the town.

Due to pressure from churches, social groups like the WCTU, and colorful individuals like Carrie Nation the 18th amendment to the constitution outlawing the use of alcohol was proposed to congress in 1917. An adequate number of states had ratified it by 1919 and Prohibition became the law of the land. A law that caused endless problems for our country and that was repealed on December 5, 1933. Although, these same groups are blamed for much, their underlying efforts to support and improve the well-being of our communities by building schools, helping win votes for women, working on labor reform, and ending child labor have left an enduring mark. That mark can still be seen in our communities today.

 
(l-r) New Fillmore Middle School Assistant Principals Jeannette Ruley and Jan-Erik Sand.
(l-r) New Fillmore Middle School Assistant Principals Jeannette Ruley and Jan-Erik Sand.
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Message from Assistant Principal Jeannette Ruley
Ms. Jeannette Ruley grew up next door in Santa Paula, CA with a love for reading and writing. At a young age, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. Ms. Ruley obtained her Bachelor of Arts in American Literature and Cultures with a minor in Chicana/o Studies, as well as her Master of Education from the University of California Los Angeles. She also has a Master of Educational Leadership from Cal Lutheran.

Ms. Ruley began her career as a Language Arts teacher almost 15 years ago. She has been a school administrator for 6 years. Ms. Ruley is known for her calm demeanor and thoughtful approach to situations. She is adept at building rapport with the school community to help students overcome hurdles and bring about high student success. Mr. Ruley strongly believes that students are more apt to behave well and focus on their academics when they know that their school is mindful of their overall needs and circumstances.

Ms. Ruley is extremely excited to work alongside the entire team at Fillmore Middle School and the surrounding community and make it a great school year for all.

***

Message from Assistant Principal Jan-Erik Sand
I am honored to join the Fillmore Unified School District beginning in the 2022-23 school year. As a Ventura County native, and resident of the City of Fillmore for the past 10 years now, I am thrilled at the opportunity to now serve the very community I call home.

Prior to commencing a career in education, I proudly served in the United States Marine Corps reserves from 2003-2009. In 2006 I earned the distinguished honor of Marine of the Year for 3rd ANGLICO. That same year, I completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management, from California Lutheran University.

In February of 2007, I was called to serve in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; an order that led to almost immediate deployment to the Middle East, where I became a combat-action veteran at the age of 23.

Upon return, I rejoined the private sector, working as a Project Manager and later, the Director of Finance & Forward Planning, for a Ventura-county based land and real estate development and engineering firm.

Selfless service, community-based stewardship, and several incredible role models, together led to the decision to pursue a career in education. By 2014 I accepted a long-term substitute teaching position focusing full-time on 7th grade mathematics. Immediately I found that serving in the classroom and empowering students to reach their highest potentials was undoubtedly the environment where I belonged.

For the 2015-16 school year, I accepted a full-time 6th grade Math & Science position at Isbell Middle School in Santa Paula. With teaching credentials in Multiple Subjects, as well as Career Technical Education (CTE) with Designated Subjects of Architecture & Engineering and Business & Finance, I have had the pleasure of teaching all four core subject areas including math, science, English language arts, and history/social studies, as well as the elective subjects including STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art & Math). Over the course of the time spent in Santa Paula, the inclusion of girls entering the Engineering Pathway at SPHS increased more than 400%. In addition to this breakthrough, the inclusivity of students in special education that truly thrived within the STEAM programs at Isbell served as further testament of how beneficial the project-based, high-quality instruction met the needs of today’s diverse students.

Inspired to follow in my father’s footsteps, and after earning several distinguished awards including: Ventura County Pathfinder’s Award, Teacher of the Year (2019), National Engineer’s Week, and Project Lead the Way National Teacher of Year (2020), I believed it was possible to expand my support for students beyond the classroom, and ultimately sought to lead a school.

In 2020 I was accepted to the School Leadership Academy with the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California (USC). The exemplary 15-month program culminated in the earning of an Administrative Credential in the Spring of 2021, allowing me to lead a TK-8 school, Thurgood Marshall, within the Oxnard School District. As the only Assistant Principal, my experiences were vast and comprehensive. The skills that I obtained throughout the 2021-22 school year have undoubtedly prepared me to now serve at Fillmore Middle School; an opportunity that once again, I am thrilled and honored to partake in.

 
On Tuesday, July 19th, 2022, at 9:40pm, Fillmore Police Patrol Services, Fillmore Fire Department and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported traffic collision at Old Telegraph Road and B Street, Fillmore. Arriving deputies reported a single blue Toyota Tacoma into a tree with no occupants inside; the driver fled the scene, no other vehicles were involved. Deputies remained on scene for tow. Cause of the accident is under investigation. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Tuesday, July 19th, 2022, at 9:40pm, Fillmore Police Patrol Services, Fillmore Fire Department and AMR Paramedics were dispatched to a reported traffic collision at Old Telegraph Road and B Street, Fillmore. Arriving deputies reported a single blue Toyota Tacoma into a tree with no occupants inside; the driver fled the scene, no other vehicles were involved. Deputies remained on scene for tow. Cause of the accident is under investigation. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Written by Carina Monica Montoya
Of all the things we’ve seen around Fillmore from giant dogs carrying a Chihuahua in a saddle bag to a Jack Russell surfing on the back of a convertible Mercedes, you’d think that we’ve seen it all, then comes Gabriel “Gabe” Arroyo walking his pet pig around town. This is one animal that lives high on the hog. His name is Azulito de los Cielos, but is also called “Little blue”, affectionately called “Azulito”, and fondly called “Buddy”. Buddy is a 3 ½ year old pot belly mix, weighs 265 pounds and as one would correctly guess, loves to eat.

Gabe is a native of Fillmore and has long generation family roots in Fillmore. A semi-retired mechanical engineer in the aerospace industry, Gabe spends most of his days tending to Buddy – daily walks, play, feeding, mud baths, and grooming. Gabe acquired Buddy from a breeder in Florida and personally transported Buddy across country to Fillmore by car. The two are inseparable, which leaves Gabe a bit anxious to return home when work takes him away for more than a few days. We all know the special bonding between man and dog, but few of us know that the bonding of man and pig can be just as special. Pigs communicate both with sounds and body language. They make at least 20 different calls, including barks, squeals, grunts, and screams. They like to use trees or fences for rubbing, relax to music, are very curious animals and like different enrichment toys, all of which Gabe makes available to Buddy.

Most people around town are happy to see Buddy and children are fascinated to see and pet him. He is well behaved and is very social. There’s a lot about pigs that most people don’t know. Although they generally have poor eyesight, they have a great sense of smell. With 1,113 olfactory receptor genes, they can sniff and snort out odors. Pigs are also very clean animals and do their business away from where they sleep and eat. They also learn their names by the time they reach two to three weeks of age whereas it may take a human up to a year to make the connection. Pigs also have long memories and can remember things years later whereas humans often forget the name of someone they just met.

Next time you see Gabe and Buddy on an early morning or evening walk, say “hello” and marvel at how well-behaved Buddy follows without a leash.