Gary Girard

Gary Girard.

About 150 teddy bears have been donated to the Delano Police Department, officer Darian Santaella reports. The stuffed animals will be distributed in Delano to kindergarten and preschool classes.

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Delano High’s Future Farmers of America are selling a whole tri-tip roast for $25. Pre-sale is available until Monday, Feb. 19, by contacting advisor Ernesto Marcial at emarcial@djuhsd.org or 951-392-7890.

Marcial said the roasts will be “cooked to perfection.” Pre-sales only are offered. Pick-up at the agriculture department west of the school gym will take place Thursday, Feb. 22, from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

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Delano’s Shop with a Cop program before Christmas allowed 49 local youngsters to select toys from the shelves of Delano’s Kmart. The $18,000 raised for the program helped provide food baskets for 178 families and to fund youngsters’ shopping.

The Police Explorers and Delano Police Association co-sponsored Shop with a Cop.

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The Delano Lions Club is selling through Feb. 22 pre-sale orders for a two-pound tri-tip cooked slab of meat for $30. Pre-sold slabs along with a pan of rice will be available to the buyers on Saturday, Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the parking lot of Harvest Elementary School on Cecil Avenue.

Pre-sale tickets are available from Lions Club members including President Helen Moreno, 725-1195; Vice President Simona Forsythe, Second Vice President Henrietta Ruiz, Treasurer Cherise Sanchez or Secretary Jim Bartleson.

Funds will be used to provide glasses and eye exams for local persons of all ages. The money will also assist the Lions in their purchase of perfect attendance plaques awarded at all three local public high schools at graduation.

The Lions are currently seeking new members of all ages. They meet the second Monday and last Monday of each month at Perko’s at 6 p.m.

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Bingo Monday nights at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church is sponsored by Cristo Rey, a nonprofit construction funding group which is raising money to construct a new Catholic church. The church site is Glenwood Street and Lincoln Lane. The project will cost an estimated $7 million.

Doors open for bingo at 6 p.m. with early bird play starting at 6:20 p.m. and regular games at 6:30. Charge is $10 for 10 games with the “pot” up to $150. Customers may also purchase pull tabs.

Bingo is played Monday evenings except the last Monday of each month.

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Delano’s Explorer Scout program begun in the late 1970s is still going strong, reports Sgt. Mario Nunez, who is adviser to the group.

Sgt. Nunez said that late this month or early March that the interview process will take place for youth seeking to join the Explorers.

Interested youth may apply online or pick up an application at the police department.

There are currently nine cadets age 19 or over who are enrolled in college level criminal justice classes. There are 23 Delano Explorers and 31 Jr. Cadets who are between ages 7 and 14.

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Delano’s Bengal youth football program lists six participating teams. They are Sr. and Jr. Bengals, Spartan and Thunderbird teams in the Pee Wee program and the Aviators and Lil Tigers in the bantam program.

The Bengals are partnering in a new “flex” football program of the All Valley Youth Football program. It is similar to passing league football, but participants will wear soft helmets, soft shoulder pads, play 9 on 9 football, and have 3 linemen on each side of the ball.

Starting April 17, there will be youth sign-ups for first through eighth grades on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m. at Almond Tree Middle School. The program will last for four weeks.

At the same time, there will be practices for the same ages interested in cheerleading. Actual selection of cheerleaders is planned June 1.

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Dual enrollment classes through Bakersfield College have become a reality for Delano High students.

Currently there are about 25 classes offered at Delano High with about 500 students enrolled.

For these fast-moving classes that offer high school students a look at the pace of college work, there is no cost for the students. There is no fee for books or tuition, and students are able to chalk up college credit and units before even enrolling at a college.

Many Delano High students take as many as three dual enrollment classes at a time. Classes are attended chiefly by seniors and juniors. The grades received count for both high school and college credit.

Many DHS students with a recommendation from their counselors can also attend the regular classes offered at the Delano College Center, a satellite campus of Bakersfield College, located just west of Robert F. Kennedy High School.

By taking dual enrollment classes at DHS and possibly enrolling at the College Center, by the time students graduate from DHS, many have already completed the equivalent of a year of college work — all while residing at home and not paying a penny.

In order to receive college credit, the DHS classes must be taught by a high school teacher who meets the qualifying standards for a college instructor — chiefly a master’s degree in the class being instructed.

Classes available to DHS students are varied but include calculus, economics, United States history, English, student development, agriculture, business, Spanish, welding, health technology and biology to name a few.

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Mario Millan was expected to be named at the recent Delano Joint Union High School board of trustees meeting as the new head football coach at Robert F. Kennedy High School, succeeding Dennis Moody, who resigned after four successful seasons to make a family move.

Millan was offensive coordinator for Bakersfield High in the early 2000s before taking the same position at Cesar Chavez High when asked by then head CCHS coach Ilario Prieto.

After the retirement of Dave McDaniel as head Delano High coach, Millan and Steve Brown became co-head coaches at Delano for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons, compiling an overall record of 23-12.

Millan became head coach alone for the 2011 season, when Delano was league co-champion, and then in 2012 and 2013, compiling a 16-18 record during those seasons.

Starting with the fall of 2014, Millan has been a member of the Kennedy coaching staff.

Millan is superintendent of the Richgrove School District. Cal Tincher, who succeeded Millan at Delano High for three seasons, will coordinate the football program on campus to assists Millan.

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A “snapshot” of Delano High School provided to the school district trustees shows many improvements, Principal Rene Ayon reports.

For the college A through G requirements, Delano High’s qualifiers in 2015 were 37 percent and then grew to 48.5 percent for 2016 and 58.4 percent for 2017.

Ninth graders enrolled in dual enrollment classes was 63.2 percent in 2016-17, 81.6 percent in 2017-18, and 93.3 percent in 2018-19.

The graduation rate for Delano High has been no less than 97.5 over the past three school years. The suspension rate dropped from 3.5 percent in 2015 to slightly less over the past two years.

Parent survey results indicate that parents are nearly 100 percent in approval that the school has a safe campus, high quality education and involves parents.

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When the high school basketball season ends for Delano teams, there will be two Friday nights of hoop action hosted by Delano High School cheerleaders and the boys’ basketball program.

The first night is Friday, March 9, when DHS cheerleaders square off against girls of Future Business Leaders of America at 6 p.m., followed by Delano and Robert F. Kennedy choirs playing at 7 p.m. and staffs of the two schools at 8 p.m..

A second tripleheader night on Friday, March 16, will pair Delano High and Cesar Chavez High cheer teams at 6 p.m., choirs from both schools at 7 p.m. and staffs from both schools at 8 p.m.

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Delano High varsity basketball boys and varsity boys soccer and at Cesar Chavez High the varsity girls basketball team and boys soccer team are all expected to file with the CIF for consideration to be entered in the CIF central section playoffs, which will be announced Feb. 17 for basketball and prior to that date for soccer.

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.

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