Tops in her class

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NORWALK – Lakeside Middle School teacher Nicky McLean is not one to pat herself on the back – not even when she’s been singled out as one of the region’s best educators.She would rather highlight supervisors who give her flexibility to develop new programs, or colleagues she says are just as deserving as her to be among 10 finalists named in the Educator of the Year program from the California League of Middle Schools.CLMS is a nonprofit professional group that aims to improve the knowledge of middle-school educators so that they can help students experience academic success and personal well-being.“For me to receive this, I feel very honored. And yet, I work with good people every day who are role models for me,” said McLean, who’s been teaching sixth-grade math and science at Lakeside for about six years and has spent her entire 18-year teaching career at the Little Lake City School District.“I am grateful, but I’m also very appreciative because of the environment I work in at Lakeside,” she added.McLean earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Biola University, and worked mostly in elementary schools until a few years ago, when the sixth grade was moved over to the middle schools.She said she decided to become a teacher because “the idea that I thought I could help somebody, the thought of helping people is what I wanted.”“Sometimes, things don’t come as easily to some people as they do to others. Children struggle with things, and I know what it’s like to have to really work for something,” McLean said. “That’s what I wanted to bring to the teaching profession.”In the CLMS Educator of the Year program, one winner is chosen from among 10 finalists in all 11 regions throughout the state for exemplary efforts to implement elements of educational reform in the middle school.Although McLean did not win the top honor, Lakeside Middle Principal Sandy Sanders said she wasn’t surprised to find out that McLean was one of the finalists.“The first thing is, she’s an outstanding classroom teacher,” Sanders said. “But she also never settles for just what’s required. She always goes above and beyond to help kids and teachers.”Sanders said McLean coordinates the Gifted And Talented Education (GATE) program; implemented an at-risk program called Invisible Mentor; coaches the school’s Science Olympiad Team; and has been working districtwide to raise funds for GATE students to attend summer institutes. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051last_img read more


first_imgThy Kingdom Come Undone Against Dún na nGall by Cathal Mac SuibhneYet another milestone for this Donegal team was reached at Croke Park yesterday, beating the aristocrats of the Kingdom with a performance illustrating all of our good traits – pace, power, intensity and Kerry couldn’t live with it. In the aftermath of the league game between the teams earlier in the year, Jim McGuinness said that when the sides met again Donegal wouldn’t afford Kerry the same respect – he knew their paths would cross once more and yesterday was very different to the pedestrian Donegal side that played in Killarney. Despite doing our best to throw the game away and putting the supporters through the ringer, Donegal were by far the better side and thoroughly deserving of a semi final spot.Two of the game’s eminent forwards lined up as opposing captains for the toss as Michael Murphy and Colm Cooper went through the pre-match formalities. Its little moments like this that make you realise how far we‘ve come; this is where Michael and his team-mates belong, on the biggest stage on the biggest days ready to go into battle. Both epitomised their class early on hitting wonderful long range scores despite being under pressure from defenders throwing themselves at their shots. Plenty of people had spoken in the build up that Michael was due a big game and he delivered one. He made a complete nuisance of himself challenging Aidan O’Mahony and Brendan Kealy for the early goal and scored some crucial frees to stretch our lead in the second half.Colm McFadden was outstanding yesterday. He’s what people often term as a confidence player and once his first effort sailed between the posts you just knew he was going to have a good day. He was out in front of Marc O’Se throughout, his handling and control was excellent and that trusty left peg scored 1-5.A lot of Kerry’s big players didn’t perform to the level they can, the O’Sullivans of Declan and Darran in particular. Paul Galvin had a quiet first half but was far more influential after the change of ends. Galvin has re-defined the role of a half forward in recent years since he burst on the scene in 2004 – the role is being transformed again in the shape of Mark McHugh. His fitness and work rate have been well documented but it just defies belief at times. His positional sense and reading of the game allows him to pick up so much loose ball and start so many of Donegal’s attacks. The role is so unique that its near impossible to counter it; teams could push up his direct marker and do a man marking job on him but that would be unusual to a see an extra defender being given so much attention. McHugh was nominated for last year’s Young Player of the Year award and if he keeps going in this vein of form he may well be in the shake up for the senior gong later in the year.Karl Lacey was back to his magnificent best yesterday after a relatively quiet championship campaign so far by his own high standards. This time last year in the quarter final against Kildare, he produced one of the best displays ever seen at Jones Road. Many had expected him to be given a specific man-marking job on Colm Cooper but Lacey instead picked up Declan O’Sullivan and gave his customary tour de force running display, dragging his marker up the field with him. O’Sullivan was taken off with half an hour remaining; the ultimate compliment for a defender is seeing the forward he’s marking being taken off.It was noticeable in the league game in Killarney that most of the Donegal team, and Lacey in particular, looked a bit heavy-legged presumably due to the ferocity of the team’s training around that time.It has stood them in good stead though as players were still breaking forward at the end of the contest yesterday. It was no surprise to see Lacey getting up to take Rory Kavangh’s pass to seal victory with the insurance point – you wouldn’t want anyone else in that position. Even when Marty Duffy blew the final whistle it was Lacey who was in possession, ready to gallop out of defence again.Neil McGee meanwhile was assigned to mark Cooper and had a fine game on the Kerry sharp-shooter, giving away just two scores from play and using his physicality to good effect, imposing himself on the Gooch. McGee had a great game against Cork’s Donncha O’Connor in the league clash in Ballybofey in March and the duo are likely to lock horns again in three weeks time.This game was billed as a clash of styles, of modern football versus traditional values and Kerry couldn’t cope with The McGuinness system. Donegal have so many options that teams don’t seem to have enough of their own to counter the challenges that Jim presents. What other team would have their centre back bombing forward to score the insurance point while their team is defending a one point lead in the last minute? The stars from last year like Lacey, Murphy and McGee have been joined by the likes of Frank McGlynn, Leo McLoone and Ryan Bradley who are all taking more responsibility and have improved their own individual games. McLoone especially had a good day yesterday, scoring a second half point to add to great work-rate and economy throughout the field.So we’re back to where we were last year, facing into a semi final but crucially a year wiser and a year more experienced. Cork will provide another huge test and they’re one of the few teams who can match us for physicality and power. It promises to be a fascinating contest, no doubt Jim and Rory are getting their plans together already.CATHAL MAC SUIBHNE’S DONEGAL GAA BLOG: THY KINGDOM COME UNSTUCK was last modified: August 6th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CATHAL MAC SUIBHNE’S DONEGAL GAA BLOG: THY KINGDOM COME UNSTUCKlast_img read more