Gary Girard

Gary Girard.

Mrs. Eden Gabriel, an English language development teacher at Delano High School, is the first instructor in the school to be chosen Staff Member of the Month by the school administration.

Ayon said that Mrs. Gabriel, a selection for August-September, and future staff members honored will be selected to recognize them for outstanding teacher qualities and hard work.

The first student honored is senior Rhiannon Robinson. Teachers nominate one student each month and the student with the most nominations is the Tiger of the Month. Students are recognized for developing academic excellence, having effective communication and showing personal responsibility.

Both honorees and future choices will have their names shown on the school marquee and have their picture and writeup on the school website prepared by instructor Marc Gomez. The teacher also receives a privileged parking space for the month. Both honorees also receive plaques.

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For more than 20 years, Delano’s Historical Society has organized the decorating of buildings and grounds at the city’s Heritage Park on South Lexington Street near Garces Highway.

This year’s decorating, reports Historical Society President Jim Sevier, will take place the morning of Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 10 a.m.

Many volunteer organizations and individuals have taken part in the decorating of the some eight buildings and grounds in the past, including Future Farmers of America and Key Club, which were two of the groups helping last year.

Groups or individuals wishing to help may call Sevier at 978-6118, or he said groups may wish to sponsor or adopt a particular building. There are decorations available, but a group may wish to use its own decorations, he said.

Empire Ag Transport owners Andrew Kouklis, Sr., now deceased, and wife, Betty, donated a tractor to the Historical Society years ago and continue to handle the decoration.

Sevier is aided with Historical Society by Colton Kinsey, the vice president; Flora Hughes, secretary; Ginda Adkins, treasurer; and directors Jimmy Sevier, Linda Hylton, Don Hiett and Steve Kinsey.

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The 2018 Delano Harvest Holidays earned a small profit, chairperson Alice Luque-Duarte reports, and already the organization is reviewing the October activities of the Harvest Holidays and moving forward to improve on them next fall.

Next meeting of directors and any persons interested in giving feedback or joining the planners is set for Thursday, Nov. 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce office on High Street.

“We need more parade help, especially space monitors,” said the chairperson. “We were happy that we had a sellout for the barbecue. We need to put out posters earlier, which means we need to learn earlier where locations of activities will be. We also need more publicity.”

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It was with sadness that I learned from a Bakersfield Californian obituary of the passing of Daniel (Monty) Cartwright.

My recall of Monty is not that detailed because I was in the service his last two years at Delano High School from where he graduated in 1962.

I do recall reading exploits of him as a standout all-around athlete — a receiver in football, a basketball standout and a versatile track and field athlete. He went on to star in sports at Visalia’s College of the Sequoias and then at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

I am not sure, but believe he was a coach and athletic director at a college in Oregon and then in Idaho. Most recently he retired from Southern Oregon University in 2007. He was inducted into Delano High’s Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and returned the next year to introduce his younger brother John who was inducted in 2014.

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Nobody could believe it, and coaches were disheartened that they had to inform members of the Cesar E. Chavez High School varsity volleyball team that they had not qualified for the section tournament at the end of the regular season.

Chavez won the South Sequoia League volleyball title with a perfect 10-0 league record and had a winning mark for the season.

Yet they were in Division III for volleyball and were not rated among the top 16 schools in the division due to lack of strength of schedule.

Chavez held victories over both Delano in nonleague and Kennedy in league action with Delano and Kennedy both qualifying in Division V, the lowest of the volleyball divisions. Arvin, the SSL runner-up, also qualified because of placement in a lower division.

The divisions can vary by sport and schools are placed in a division according to their “strength” in a particular year, but they remain in that division for a four-year period before they are re-evaluated. A school could be strong one year in a sport but not so the next year, but that one year of excellence places them in a division for the next four years, no matter how strong they are over that period — or at least that’s how I understand it!

This year several coastal schools — probably about a dozen — have been admitted to the central section, and those schools have expanded numbers in each division in each sport.

It used to be that there were sometimes vacancies in the 16-school brackets of a division, but not so much anymore.

Shafter this school year is a football power and is in the same league and the same division as Robert F. Kennedy High, which lost by nearly 30 points to Shafter for the first RFK loss. In the last couple of years Shafter dropped down one division and Kennedy moved up one division — and now both are in the same division.

It may be “strange” but I believe a better situation if the CIF central section would in early October review the schools in each division in fall sports and determine if the schools by their early-season records and performances should be moved from a particular division—either up or down a division.

Also, a section committee might take a close look at certain divisions. For example, it seems that Division II in football, for example, may have only eight or nine schools while Division III in football may have more than 16. Maybe they could be balanced out more fairly and the particular year’s record/performance evaluated rather than the record considered from three years ago. Yes, it would take some work from the committee, but it would more fairly place schools in the division in particular sports.

The same formula could be followed early in the winter sports season and later in the spring sports, which would involve baseball, softball and boys tennis, if I recall correctly.

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