School bulletin: Buljan teacher honored by Rotary

Silverado is once again a 'school to watch'
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Buljan teacher honored by rotary

Duane Calkins was named Roseville City School District Teacher of the Year by the Rotary Club of Roseville Oct. 11 for making a difference in the lives of his students through an innovate class called Woodshop Rocks at Buljan Middle School.

Calkins teaches students how to make electric guitars. Through this process, students see how math, science and language arts can be put to practical use. Calkins started the class in 1994, assigning students to make skateboards and other wooden creations.

About 10 years ago, at the request of an eighth grader, Calkins learned to make an electric guitar. Soon he was sharing this knowledge. Today, nearly 500 guitars a year are made by the students.

Because many students cannot afford to pay for the necessary guitar parts, Calkins started the “Concert in the Quad” fundraiser. According to the Rotary, the woodshop class has spread to other schools in the United States and Canada.

Silverado a ‘School to Watch’

Silverado Middle School in the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District has been re-designated as a “California School to Watch.”

As such, Silverado is a model school providing key structures and practices for successfully educating early adolescents. Schools throughout the state visit the campus to see firsthand what makes the Silverado experience special, according to a news release.

“This distinguished recognition serves as testimony to the commitment, dedication and hard work of staff, students and community of Silverado Middle School in continuing to provide an outstanding educational program that is academically rigorous, developmentally responsive, socially equitable and has a tradition of strong collaborative leadership,” according to the release.

Silverado Middle School was originally designated in 2003, and re-designated in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Silverado is one of only three schools to receive this honor four times.

Kids can compete in Nature Bowl

Registration is now open for the Department of Fish and Game’s 28th-annual Nature Bowl, an elementary school activity-based competition held each spring. This program increases the science and conservation literacy of third- to sixth-grade students in the Sacramento valley and foothills.

“The participants learn about the natural environments where they live (and) how to employ teamwork, creativity and critical thinking,” said Coordinator Bruce Forman, in a news release.

The Nature Bowl is open to students from any school, group or organized youth club in the area. Teams consist of three to seven children. The entry fee for each team is $20.

The day-long, semifinal events are held during March and April in Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The final event is May 5. Teachers, youth group leaders or parents interested in coaching a team can attend a workshop on Jan. 17 at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Rancho Cordova. For more information, call (916) 358-2353 or visit

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