The Corcoran Journal.
Publishing every Thursday at 1012 Hale Avenue, Corcoran, California 93212 by the Corcoran Publishing Co., Inc.
PO Box 487, Corcoran, California 93212     Telephone 559-992-3115     Fax 559-992-5543
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Rising to the top of the Corcoran High School graduating class of 2010, two young men have claimed the 54 th annual Col. J.G. Boswell Scholarships. This year’s winners are Dylan Zable and Coby Stinson.
Rules for the scholarship were tweaked this year, giving the scholarship to the top two applicants, regardless of gender. In past year, a third half-scholarship was given to the top male or female student, if the top two selections were of the same gender.
The scholarship covers the cost of tuition to any four-year college or university in the continental United States, with a cap of $25,000 per year.
Zable is currently ranked third in his class of 167 students. He maintains a grade point average of 4.10 and scored an impressive 2050 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), a college entrance exm.
The top SAT score was changed in recent years, with the top score now 2400, from a previous high of 1600. The test is weighted with math, language arts and writing now each worth 800 points.
Zable, son of Denise and David Marin of Corcoran, plans to major in chemistry in college, with the goal of becoming a pharmacist. He has already received acceptance letters from UC Irvine nd UC Los Angeles, and should hear from his top choice, UC Berkeley, this week.
In addition to maintaining a grade point average over 4.0, Dylan has earned the Bank of America award for match and science and is a lifetime member of the California Scholastic Federation. He is a three-year member of the high school’s academic decathlon team and this year has been drill team commander for the Air Force Junior ROTC. He has received awards from Academic Boosters and maintains a spot on the Principal’s Honor Roll.
He was athletes of the year in his freshman year, has earned scholar athletes of the year during his sophomore and junior years and was football scholar athlete his freshman year. Dylan was named basketball co-MVP as a sophomore and this year has been a captain for both the football and basketball teams. The three-sport athlete also competes in baseball.
He has been a member of FFA and has been involved in the ROTC organization for the past two years.
Stinson, son of Lisa and David Stinson, is ranked fourth in his class. Through four years of high school, he has maintained a gpa of 4.13, while scoring 1860 on the SAT.
He only applied to—and was accepted by—Norwich University in Vermont. He plans to major in computer security and information assurance to pursue a career in computer network security.
Stinson has spent his high school career involved in the CHS ROTC program, earning awards each year. Coby has also been an officer in the organization for the past four years. He’s a two-year member of CSF, was a member of the Mouse Squad as a sophomore and spent one year active in FBLA.
He won the Air Force Association award as a sophomore and as a junior took the American Legion military excellence award; as a freshman, he earned the American Legion’s scholastic excellence award.
He won the Bank of America Achievement award and as a sophomore was second place winner of the cyber security competition. He took the California voices initiative award as a sophomore, also graduating with honors from the leadership development institute.
He attended Camp Royal, a leadership camp, as a junior and as a senior has completed several ACT online courses in information security and cyber ethics.
As a member of the Air Force Junior ROTC, he has earned the drill team lead certificate, the after burner lead certificate and the top flight award, all as a senior.

Local residents interested in helping the College of the Sequoias shape its five-year strategic plan are encouraged to attend an open forum at the Technology Learning Center (TLC) on Tuesday, April 6, beginning at 5 p.m.
The college is seeking community input on how better to serve local its Corcoran college students. Residents will be asked to comment on the following areas:
--Student access;
--Students’ success in completing their education;
--Mastery of basic skills;
--Students as citizens of a global community;
--Efficient and effective college practices; and
--Economic growth in Kings and Tulare counties.
COS last year successfully passed a $60 bond to construct a new campus in north Tulare. The bond cost is spread between Corcoran, Tulare and Lindsay, all cities in the COS district. Corcoran is expected to get about $1 million of the bond money, to be applied to local educational services.

Schools in districts in Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties recently got the good news and the bad news: more than a dozen sites have been placed on a preliminary list by the State of California as some of the state’s persistently low-achieving schools.
The California Department of Education identified 188 public schools it put on the preliminary list; once the list is finalized by the state board of education, those still on the list will be forced to adopt one of four reform models. Waukena is the closest school to Corcoran that was put on the preliminary list.
Waukena is joined several Tulare County schools on the low performance list. Others included Jefferson Elementary in Lindsay, George L. Snowden Elementary in Farmersville, Highland Elementary in Visalia and Alta Vista Elementary in the Alta Vista Elementary School District.
In Kings County, two schools were on the list: Avenal Elementary in the Reef-Sunset District; and Lakeside Elementary in the Lakeside district. Two Fresno county schools were listed.
The education department was required to provide the list under state and federal laws as part of the federal stimulus package and the School Improvement Grant program. Academic performance and progress, school graduation rates were among the items used to generate the list.
Corcoran schools fared better than their neighbors in Waukena, the Lakeside District and Avenal.
"If we look at our growth over the past four to five years, we see significant progress through a number of indicators," said Superintendent Rich Merlo.
Those indicators include the District Academic Performance Index (API) score, which has gone from the low 600s to the current 724. The district is now aiming for 800, Merlo said.
Also scrutinized are the second grade student language arts proficiencies on the state standards test; those have shot up from less than 10 percent proficiency to over 60 percent in the last few years.
"This is a good indictor of the growth we are seeing at the lower grades in building reading and English language development skills," Merlo noted.
Gleaning information from local testing and state standards assessment, said Steve Brown, director of educational services at Corcoran Unified, shows the district where more work is needed and where the district is succeeding.
"These indicators continue to validate our efforts district-wide to improve student achievement, and show we are on the right track," he stated.
Brown added that the challenges come in two areas: responding to the ever-changing educational climate—including the state’s current financial crisis—that continually move the bar and redefine progress and expectations; and effectively adjusting to the infrequent "speed bumps" or plateaus that occur when one school or a specific area shows no additional progress.
"So far, we have been able to respond to those occurrences and get back on track," said Brown.
Schools on the list can apply for federal school improvement grants ranging from $500,000-$2 million to implement one of the four intervention models. Schools that choose not to take the money have a longer period of time to adopt one of the measures.