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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

ACT won’t be ignored any longer at district board meeting

Mr.+Steven+Frazer+was+the+lead+representative+for+the+Associated+Chino+Teachers%2C+speaking+first+in+what+was+a+chorus+of+teachers+from+across+the+district+expressing+their+frustrations.+Behind+him%2C+as+seen%2C+are+several+Ayala+teachers+%28Most+prominently+Mr.+Daniel+Spellman+and+Mr.+Scott+Carter%29+as+well+as+several+concerned+staff+from+other+schools.
Avery Rosas
Mr. Steven Frazer was the lead representative for the Associated Chino Teachers, speaking first in what was a chorus of teachers from across the district expressing their frustrations. Behind him, as seen, are several Ayala teachers (Most prominently Mr. Daniel Spellman and Mr. Scott Carter) as well as several concerned staff from other schools.

The Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) board meeting, held every two weeks, occurred on Thursday, February 15. While over 350 teachers and staff positioned themselves along Riverside Drive in front of the CVUSD main building, passing vehicles honked their support in the hours leading up to the board meeting.

Mr. Steven Frazer of Ayala High School as well as another parent representative made speeches from speakers outside the building to other supporting staff, an introduction to their concerns and the exigence behind why teachers around the district feel they deserve more than they’re being given. While hundreds of staff decorated the sidewalks on both sides of the street, plenty more teachers waited in line next to the board chambers for their chance to sit inside and share their stories. Signs and posters, in both English and Spanish, were painted partisans of what has long been touched on by passionate staff members.

To start this meeting, the CVUSD school board congratulated Ayala’s band and color guard for winning the Bands of America (BAC) regional championship and winning the BAC 6A Division Championship. Mr. Timothy Trost expressed how proud he was of the students as well as the parents for working so hard throughout the summer and school year to make these results happen. 

“We are so grateful at Ayala to have the booster program that we have and of course, the hardworking students, and it definitely pays off with hard work,” said Trost.

But it’s not over yet for Ayala’s band and color guard. Within the next couple of months, Ayala’s band will be playing at Carnegie Hall, Ayala’s Jazz Band will be going to New York to perform, and Ayala’s Color Guard and Percussion is going to world championships in Dayton, Ohio as defending champions. 

“When [Mr. Trost] started the program, I knew [he] were a young man. It’s been years back, but [he has] that passion to build a program in such magnitude. It’s really paid off after so many years and it’s really an accomplishment when I hear from a parent about how grateful she is of [his] leadership and support for our students,” said board member James Na.

While the student recognition kept the mood light within the board room, staff cheers and boos from the standing room in the adjacent building started to become a considerable distraction. A disgruntled President Sonja Shaw reminded attendees to maintain professionalism, made only more convincing after she was seen snickering about teacher protests with Superintendent Norm Enfield.

In this meeting, Associated Chino Teachers (ACT) pushed for reforms to the payment policy and resources allocated to teachers in the district, making it known that they would not stand any longer for their demands to be dismissed. Later, the topic of teacher wages was brought up by teachers in attendance under ACT. For the last decade, the CVUSD board has marginally underpaid their teachers  in comparison to other school districts around the area and has not given the price of living raises to teachers during or after the COVID pandemic. The teachers urge the board to take negotiations more seriously, as ever since the teachers started their campaign at the start of April 2023, there have been no changes made by the board. 

The argument from the side of ACT is that teachers are working outside of contracted hours to prepare lessons for classes, spending hours at home grading assignments, and spending their own money on classroom resources that should’ve been provided by the school.

“Most of my students that do the AP 2D Design class have to use their own devices to do digital technology. I can’t show them how to do digital artwork… what frustrates me is that I had to spend 20 grand on some digital tablets that could be connected to computers. Where is the grant money [of the district] going?” said AP 2D Design teacher Mr. Daniel Spellman.

The fact that more teachers are quitting while fewer are being hired has left many of the faculty at schools worried. There are already 21 vacancies and the pay at CVUSD is causing several more teachers to consider leaving the district. 

“So there will be, at this moment, at least 40 vacancies in the fall. Other employees are considering their options to leave the district and we don’t know how many that will turn out to be,” said Frazer.

With little to no response from the board in these meetings and even fewer responses from the board in emails, teachers are getting fed up with the non-communication of the board. While this district board meeting showed the triumphs of the CVUSD school district via Ayala’s Band and Ayala’s women’s soccer, it also highlighted the issues with the district. 

Despite over 15 Ayala teachers and more than 350 district teachers attending the board meeting to show their support and concern, it’s with growing concern that teachers attempt to save their jobs, not just for their livelihood, but for the students they know depend on them. If no real progress is made, or one is made out of impatience, perhaps there will be less teachers to represent for their next district interaction.

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Ryan Wu, Staff Member
Ryan Wu (12) is a first year writer for The Bulldog Times. He hopes to learn more about the community at Ayala as well as build connections with people. Ryan joined The Bulldog Times in hopes of developing interpersonal and public speaking skills. In addition to being a part of The Bulldog Times, Ryan leads a team in Vex Robotics, is a club officer for Ayala’s Hack club, and a lyric transcriber on Genius Lyrics. In his free time, you’ll find Ryan playing video games such as Minecraft’s Hypixel Skyblock, obsessively listening to bedroom pop from tiffi and ry, and coding competitively.
Avery Rosas, Editor-in-Chief, Sports Editor
Avery Rosas (12) is the Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor for the Bulldog Times. In his third and final year on staff, he hopes to grow the publication’s reach by diving deeper into the stories that make our school, and our students, unique. Avery is very culturally centered from his proud Mexican heritage and, as a result, is heavily involved in the World Language programs at the school. He hopes to influence others to become proud of their cultures while also respecting those of others. His immersion in his Mexican culture is seen in the altars he constructs for Dia de Los Muertos and heard in his never-ending Latino music playlists, his daily soundtrack consisting of anything from Natalia Lafourcade, Pedro Infante and Los Panchos to Romeo Santos, Caifanes and Los Angeles Azules.  However, his biggest passion, seen in his writing and known by those around him, is baseball; more specifically, his darling Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball is the center of Avery's media consumption and his immersion in the sport has allowed him to meet people across the country who deepen his understanding of the game and generally just enrich his life. His proficiency in baseball and sports writing as a whole has allowed him to enjoy some of the proudest moments of his life, the biggest of which was ranking Excellent in Sports Writing during a trip to the JEA/NSPA competition and convention held in San Francisco in April 2023. This year, he's hoping to further improve his writing skills and reach Superior for his final high school competition. Despite this being his last year as an editor for the Bulldog Times, he hopes to impart his passion for the program onto his underclassmen staff members and show them the beauty of what the Bulldog Times can do for writers and collaborators during their high school years; he also took the liberty of  drastically surpassing the word count for his staff bio because it's his last year. Every moment, every article, every quote, and every word given to the Bulldog Times by Avery has been the legacy he hopes to leave to future student journalists and the higher standards he hopes to bring for the publication. And of course, he couldn't have done any of it without his mentor, advisor and friend, Ms. Eileen Tse, whom he will miss very much when he eventually leaves the Bulldog Times.  
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