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DLS Academic Life | Blog

March 5, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Friends of De La Salle,

February flew by, and March has begun with multiple professional development opportunities for some of our chief administrators and with the normal flurry of curricular and co-curricular activities for our students.

At the beginning of February, Dr. Elizabeth Berkes and I spent five days at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose as we served (and Dr. Berkes chaired) on the school’s Western Catholic Education Association (WCEA) accreditation. It is so gratifying to learn and to share with another Catholic school, especially a fellow all-male school, and it is the best professional development to see how other schools educate men of integrity in the 21st century.

Last week, I flew to Houston to attend the 2020 LASSCA conference, which brings together the lead administrators at all North-American Christian Brothers Schools and which addressed the theme, “Sustaining Excellence in Lasallian Leadership.”

I attended two plays in February inspired by our current curriculum that reminded me in the most poignant way of the power of art and the humanities to reflect our beautiful, messy, and tragic human experiences: Cambodian Rock Band, about a father daughter relationship that grapples with the legacy of the Khmer Rouge, and Gatz, which enacts Fitzgerald’s entire novel The Great Gatsby.

On March 20th, our next professional day, we welcome back the trainers we have been working with since January who will continue to walk us through how to have courageous conversations as educational leaders by practicing empathy, other non-violent communication methods, and cultural competency.

Student life has also been particularly active in February, and it will continue to be so in March. Here are some of the many highlights:

  • 2/01 witnessed the 9th annual Laps for Life, which is a suicide awareness and prevention event
  • 2/10-2/13 was RISE (“Respect, Inclusion, Solidarity, and Empowerment”) Week, with shared programming with Carondelet High School
  • 2/26 was the Ash Wednesday Prayer Service, which is a day that also inaugurates DLS’s annual Charity Challenge
  • Wish our students luck in March, as some head off to the Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair at Los Medanos Community College (3/12-14) and the FIRST Robotics Competition (3/27-28) at U.C. Davis
  • Reconciliation will be offered on 3/19
  • And Company’s Guys and Dolls premiers to Alumni on 3/25 and has opening night on 3/26; click here for all information!

Before I sign off, I want to send out a hearty THANK YOU to school counselors Scott Drain, Lindsay Melaas, Cris Rosales, and Lauren Stevens as well as to Ms. Lillian Dickson (Director of Academic Services) for their amazing work at registering all De La Salle students for next Academic year.

Please join me in congratulating Social Studies teacher and Department Chair Mrs. Anna Talmadge, who is this year’s recipient of the Marchetti Family Lasallian Educator Fellowship Award, which the school awards to an extraordinary DLS educator who is committed to further his/her ongoing professional development and furthers his/her own education in service to the Mission and benefit of DLS students.

Additionally, a huge congratulation goes to senior Cameron Katz, who is officially a National Merit Scholar Finalist. 

Finally, in case you missed our communication regarding the school’s monitoring of the COVID-19 virus, please take a look here. We will be in contact if anything changes.

As always, thank you for your partnership.


Dr. Heather Alumbaugh
Vice President for Academic Life


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