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Latest News in sanger, CA
Another Fresno County superintendent is retiring after nearly 40 years serving students
Another Fresno County superintendent is leaving her post at the end of the school year.After serving Sanger Unified students for 36 years, five of which were in the district’s top seat, Superi...
Another Fresno County superintendent is leaving her post at the end of the school year.
After serving Sanger Unified students for 36 years, five of which were in the district’s top seat, Superintendent Adela Jones, 61, is retiring to spend more time with her family.
“It felt like now was the time,” she said. “It was a difficult decision to make because I love my district and the career I’ve had here.”
Jones is most proud that Sanger Unified could employ dedicated staff to educate students and meet their needs, especially during the pandemic.
“I’m really proud of the team we’ve built, from the teachers on the front lines who work with our kids daily to our classified staff,” she said.
Some of those Sanger Unified employees are Jones’ former students from her time as either a teacher or principal.
Those former students/current employees still remember how Jones liked to sing in class, what she taught them and how she’s helped them along the way.
As a longtime educator, she finds it rewarding to see what they’ve accomplished, such as the district’s payroll director who was Jones’ fifth grade student.
Jones informed her staff and community members of the retirement on Jan. 23, and the school board accepted the resignation during a regularly scheduled meeting the following day.
The resignation will be effective on June 30.
There wasn’t much pomp and circumstance around Jones’ announcement.
“I’m not the only one retiring from the district,” said Jones, who didn’t want recognition for retiring because so are other staff in Sanger Unified.
Joining education nearly four decades ago first in a Coachella School District classroom, Jones never intended to become an administrator.
Jones wanted to make an impact with 32 students.
Sanger Unified hired her in 1987 as a Wilson Elementary first grade teacher. During that time, she obtained her master’s degree in bilingual education and cross-cultural studies, which she used at Del Rey Elementary to launch its bilingual program. Her career continued as a teacher supporting her colleagues and administrators in educating English learners, which is when she realized the impact principals could also have.
Jones called a principal to ask about English learner students, and the “principal knew every student by name and by need,” she said.
“That’s the type of principal I wanted to be,” Jones said. “I can make an impact on 400 students versus the 32 in my class.”
When she entered administration, she worked as an elementary school vice principal empowering hundreds of students before becoming an area administrator leading implementation of the Common Core standards, the associate superintendent, then superintendent in 2018.
“I was blessed to have the career I’ve had in Sanger, which makes it all that much harder (to retire),” she said. “Now as superintendent, I hope I made an impact on 13,000 students.”
During her tenure, Sanger Unified has had:
The school district has also opened a second high school, Sanger West, and been awarded an $8 million-plus implementation grant to develop six community schools, according to Sanger Unified. An Oakland-based education nonprofit Pivot Learning recently ranked the school district as being strong “for launching and sustaining improvement and innovation.”
The accomplishments are not because of Jones but because of her team, she said.
Over her superintendency, she’s also faced challenges, the greatest being the pandemic-related closing of schools.
“The minute we had to tell our kids and our teachers they can’t come to school was the hardest thing I ever had to go through,” Jones said.
But it brought her team closer together, she said. It even connected her and other Fresno County superintendents.
Along with Jones, Clovis Unified School District Superintendent Eimear O’Brien is retiring at the end of the school year after six years as the high-achieving school district’s leader.
Within the next couple of months, CUSD will find its next top official through a subcommittee of three board members rather than hiring a consultant or search firm.
The Sanger Unified School Board, which meets the second and fourth Tuesday each month, hasn’t yet discussed the process of finding Jones’ replacement.
“We’re a growing district,” Jones said, so accommodating growth will be one of the biggest challenges the new district leader must face.
The Education Lab is a local journalism initiative that highlights education issues critical to the advancement of the San Joaquin Valley. It is funded by donors. Learn about The Bee’s Education Lab at its website.
Funnel cloud spotted in Fresno County near Sanger
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Springtime weather can be interesting, and unpredictable.A funnel cloud was spotted in Fresno County by ABC30 insider Noah Garcia.Garcia took the video near McKinley and Academy Avenue, just north of Sanger.There are no tornado warnings as of now, but National Weather Service Hanford is tracking conditions.People around Academy Avenue spotted the funnel cloud late this morning.The National Weather Service says that with the current conditions, we could continue to see funnel clouds ...
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Springtime weather can be interesting, and unpredictable.
A funnel cloud was spotted in Fresno County by ABC30 insider Noah Garcia.
Garcia took the video near McKinley and Academy Avenue, just north of Sanger.
There are no tornado warnings as of now, but National Weather Service Hanford is tracking conditions.
People around Academy Avenue spotted the funnel cloud late this morning.
The National Weather Service says that with the current conditions, we could continue to see funnel clouds in Central California until about eight tonight.
While they say it's unusual to see funnel clouds in May, it's not unheard of.
People around Fresno County were caught off guard by a funnel cloud Thursday morning.
"It's very surprising knowing that it's springtime that that would be in our clear skies today," said Miriam Agabo, a Fresno local.
Without tornado warnings in effect, they stopped to document what they were seeing.
"When I first took the video, I was kind of confused as to is that really what I think it is?" recalled Garcia.
Carlos Molina with the National Weather Service says upper-level cold air is moving across Central California, destabilizing the atmosphere and creating the perfect conditions for thunderstorms and even funnel clouds.
Molina says we don't often see funnel clouds in May, but that doesn't mean they can't happen.
"The only thing is that by the time we get to May, normally, we start seeing our dry season. And so the most of these storms will actually form or actually move through the Pacific Northwest. They don't necessarily come this far south," Molina said.
Molina says this storm system isn't strong enough to create a tornado but that doesn't mean funnel clouds aren't dangerous.
"It's still doing its rotation. It's still able to lift something up into the atmosphere even though it's not touching the ground. It's not actually creating the damage on the ground. Still has the ability to actually grab something, be able to move it around, and then toss it," explained Molina.
If you spot a funnel cloud, Molina says you should head indoors.
Even if you don't, thunderstorms and lightning are still possible, so staying inside is best.
He’s (probably) Sanger Unified’s next superintendent. Not everyone is happy about it
Sanger Unified’s school board plans to hire Dennis Wiechmann, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, as its next superintendent.Wiechmann’s knowledge and listening ability will move the school district forward, Board President Ismael “Mike” Hernandez said in a Monday statement released by the superintendent’s office.“Dr. Wiechmann is a strong, collaborative and proven leader who values all stakeholders,” Hernandez said.Wiechmann has been with Sanger Uni...
Sanger Unified’s school board plans to hire Dennis Wiechmann, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, as its next superintendent.
Wiechmann’s knowledge and listening ability will move the school district forward, Board President Ismael “Mike” Hernandez said in a Monday statement released by the superintendent’s office.
“Dr. Wiechmann is a strong, collaborative and proven leader who values all stakeholders,” Hernandez said.
Wiechmann has been with Sanger Unified for 24 years and is excited to lead the district into the future, he said.
Wiechmann’s hire as superintendent is pending board approval at the April 25 regularly scheduled meeting.
If approved, he will replace Adela Jones, who is retiring in June after 36 years of service to the district.
In Monday’s statement, Wiechmann said he was humbled to have a chance to lead the district and its 13,000 students.
“I am excited to support our students, employees, families and community as we continue our mission of making Sanger Unified the best district in the nation,” Wiechmann said. “Together we will increase student achievement and ensure all students are successful.”
Not everyone was pleased with the selection.
“They did not listen,” parent Carol Jones said on Facebook on Monday morning after the district announced Wiechmann as their finalist.
Before going into closed session Friday, eight staff and community members advocated for the board to pick another candidate who applied for the district’s top spot.
She and others asked the board to choose a candidate who wasn’t a part of the current district leadership team and who could collaborate with employees.
Both the Sanger Unified Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association said they did their own surveys about four candidates. The union identified the four finalists as Fairmont Elementary Principal Jared Savage, Area Administrator Jamie Nino, Wiechmann, and Deputy Superintendent Eduardo Martinez.
Leadership Associates, the firm that facilitated the search, confirmed that four people applied but couldn’t confirm their identities. All the applicants work for the school district because the board determined that it would pick its next leader from internal candidates.
On the teacher association survey, 223 educators responded, with the following results:
Because of the results, the teacher’s group recommended Savage.
“Jared Savage has the qualities SUTA members are looking for when it comes to someone who we want representing our district,” association president Stephanie Alvarado said during Friday’s public comments.
In the survey of classified employees under the California School Employee Association, 97% backed Savage, according to the group’s president Rene Martinez.
“You have both unions – doing surveys, speaking to our members – telling us to tell you: this is who we want; this is who we need,” Martinez said.
The teachers union couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Monday, but CSEA expressed its disappointment in the board’s decision.
“We’re not too happy with it,” Martinez said. “Now that Dennis is the superintendent, what’s going to change?”
While everyone will have an opinion, district spokesperson Cary Catalano discussed Monday, it is ultimately the board’s decision.
But because the board hires the superintendent, it may be time to change board members, Martinez said.
“What do we do? We’ve voiced our opinion,” he said. “If they don’t want to bring change, we need to replace them.”
The board interviewed the four candidates during Friday’s closed session, Leadership Associates partner Juan Garza said in a Monday afternoon interview with The Bee’s Education Lab.
But community members shaped those initial interview questions.
Leadership Associates gathered community input that helped develop the interview questions and form the job description.
The search firm asked the school board and community members about the qualities they wanted to see in the next superintendent and the district’s strengths and challenges. Over 1,700 people responded to an online survey, and more than 40 stakeholder groups participated in online forums with Leadership Associates, Garza said.
In the first round of interviews, the board asked the candidates the same questions. The board then narrowed it down to two finalists who were asked questions geared toward that person’s experience and plans for the district.
Overall, the board wanted the next superintendent to be a good listener and have experience in different areas, Garza said about the qualities board members sought.
The board’s decision to select Wiechmann, according to Garza, varied among board members.
“Each one of them was looking at it from a different perspective,” he said.
As the board’s finalist, Wiechmann will be able to read the thousands of comments submitted by community members in the online forums and survey, including 800 student comments.
“I think the board valued the input of all the different stakeholders,” Garza said, “from students to parents to business people and the different groups of employees that were identified.”
This story was originally published April 17, 2023, 2:56 PM.
CDC detects coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis and herpes at unlicensed California lab
Local and federal authorities spent months investigating a warehouse in Fresno County, California, that they suspect was home to an illegal, unlicensed laboratory full of lab mice, medical waste and hazardous materials.The Fresno County Public Health Department has been "evaluating and assessing the activities of an unlicensed laboratory" in Reedley, the health department's assistant director, Joe Prado, said in a statement Thursday. All of the biological agents were destroyed by July 7 following a legal abatement process by...
Local and federal authorities spent months investigating a warehouse in Fresno County, California, that they suspect was home to an illegal, unlicensed laboratory full of lab mice, medical waste and hazardous materials.
The Fresno County Public Health Department has been "evaluating and assessing the activities of an unlicensed laboratory" in Reedley, the health department's assistant director, Joe Prado, said in a statement Thursday. All of the biological agents were destroyed by July 7 following a legal abatement process by the agency.
"The evaluation required coordination and collaboration with multiple federal and state agencies to determine and classify biological and chemical contents onsite, in addition to assessing jurisdictional authority under this unique situation," Prado said.
According to court documents, city officials inspected the location at 850 I St. on March 3 for building violations and found various chemicals being stored. On March 16, an inspection by county public health officials allegedly turned up medical devices thought to have been developed on-site, such as Covid and pregnancy tests.
"Certain rooms of the warehouse were found to contain several vessels of liquid and various apparatus," court documents said. "Fresno County Public Health staff also observed blood, tissue and other bodily fluid samples and serums; and thousands of vials of unlabeled fluids and suspected biological material."
Hundreds of mice at the warehouse were kept in inhumane conditions, court documents said. The city took possession of the animals in April, euthanizing 773 of them; more than 175 were found dead.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested the substances and detected at least 20 potentially infectious agents, including coronavirus, HIV, hepatitis and herpes, according to a Health and Human Services letter dated June 6.
An investigation found the tenant was Prestige BioTech, a company registered in Nevada and unlicensed for business in California. City officials spoke with Xiuquin Yao, who was identified as the company president, through emails included in the court documents.
Yao told officials that Prestige BioTech moved assets belonging to a defunct company, Universal Meditech Inc., to the Reedley warehouse from Fresno after UMI went under. Prestige Biotech was a creditor to UMI and identified as its successor, according to court documents.
Officials were unable to get any California-based address for either company except for the previous Fresno location from which UMI had been evicted.
"The other addresses provided for identified authorized agents were either empty offices or addresses in China that could not be verified," court documents said.
Prestige BioTech is accused of failing to comply with orders, including providing a plan for biological abatement and disposal of the materials. Emails sent to Yao and Prestige BioTech requesting comment were not immediately answered Thursday.
Prado told NBC affiliate KSEE of Fresno that those associated with Prestige BioTech were not forthcoming with information. Court documents say they failed to provide any licensing or permit that allows experimentation or other laboratory activity.
Reedley City Manager Nicole Zieba told KSEE that officials have cleared the area of hazardous materials but are still working to empty the warehouse.
"Some of our federal partners still have active investigations going. I can only speak to the building side of it,” Zieba said.
Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.
Kings River Packing Acquires Gillette Citrus; Bobby Hines, Mark Gillette, and Joel Yeary Discuss
SANGER, CA - For Kings River Packing, 2023 is a year of strategic investments for future growth. Its latest move is the acquisition of Gillette Citrus, enabling the supplier to extend its portfolio. Additionally, the company has announced a new headquarters, expanded marketing, and additions to its team.“Proactive planning and investment are necessary for us to stay competitive and ensure the legacy can continue from one generation to the next,” said Bobby Hines, Director ...
SANGER, CA - For Kings River Packing, 2023 is a year of strategic investments for future growth. Its latest move is the acquisition of Gillette Citrus, enabling the supplier to extend its portfolio. Additionally, the company has announced a new headquarters, expanded marketing, and additions to its team.
“Proactive planning and investment are necessary for us to stay competitive and ensure the legacy can continue from one generation to the next,” said Bobby Hines, Director of Sales and Family Owner of Kings River Packing. “Many of the plans have been years in the making and it is awesome to finally see them come to life.”
These plans include the recent acquisition of Gillette Citrus, which brings together two family-run companies with a rich history and reputation for delivering quality citrus. As stated in a release, the Gillette family has been farming in California’s San Joaquin Valley since the 1960s and has grown to be a leader in both domestic and export citrus.
“It gives us satisfaction knowing the legacy we have built will continue through the Kings River Packing family,” commented Mark Gillette, former Co-Owner of Gillette Citrus.
This acquisition comes as the families of Kings River Packing undergo the construction of a new 225,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art packing facility, expected to be completed in time for the upcoming season. The company’s new corporate headquarters will also be opening in July, making space for additional personnel.
Some of those additions to Kings River include Joel Yeary, Martin Garcia, Alex Marriott, and Seth Nordell, who have joined the sales team to maintain the high level of service the supplier is known for as the business grows.
“I am happy to be a part of such a dynamic company with deep roots and prominence in the citrus industry. Their commitment to their employees and retail partners is truly unique, and I am excited for the plans ahead,” commented Yeary, Sales Account Representative.
These strategic investments to increase supply and sales resources allow Kings River Packing to provide year-round supply at scale for retail partners looking to reduce complexity and build long-term partnerships.
What’s next for Kings River? Stick with AndNowUKnow to find out.