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Learning today... Leading tomorrow wins slogan contest
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The Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees and administration have been touting the benefits of their new strategic plan for months. The only thing missing was a slogan.  
“The slogan will go on all letterhead, flyers, and cards,” said Sonny Da Marto, Turlock Unified School District superintendent. “It is like Nike’s ‘Just do It.’”
About three weeks ago, the TUSD begun their slogan competition throughout the community. After carefully looking through a slew of slogans, Da Marto announced the winner of the competition at Tuesday’s TUSD Board of Trustees meeting.
The new slogan for the strategic plan, submitted by Judi Green, technology and data systems supervisor and Ronna Fraser, budget analyst, is “Learning today . . . Leading tomorrow.”
They tied, both submitting the same slogan and both winning $200 from the TUSD.
Second place winner was Sandra Tovar Medeiros Elementary School Principal Al Silveira who won an iPod Nano with his slogan, “Children Our Focus, Our Future.”
Third place winner was Cindy Nordahl, who works in Business Services within the district, with a slogan of “A Tradition of Excellence.” She won a gift certificate to Angela’s Sweets.
Fourth place winners were second grade teachers from Sandra Tovar Medeiros Elementary School with the slogan “Every Child, Every Opportunity, Every Day.” They won a gift certificate for one free car wash from Prime Shine for a year.
Fifth place winner was Brown second grade teacher Lisa MacKenzie with a slogan of “Building a Brighter Future, One Child at a Time.” She won a gift certificate for Center Street Grill.
Sixth place winner was Earl Elementary School Principal Tami Truax with a slogan of “Where Excellence is Only the Beginning.” She won a gift basket from Hilmar Cheese Co.    
All together, there were a total of 75 entrees with the top six being selected last week, Da Marto said. All entrees were judged by a panel of eight members consisting of board members, community members, Turlock Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Silva, and Deputy Superintendent Ed Felt.
There were no requirements or guidelines for the slogan competition and it was open to all staff and school sites, who could also submit ideas for community members, Da Marto said.

New GATE testing for schools
The school board adopted new GATE testing at Tuesday’s TUSD board of trustees meeting.
The new test, Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, will be a nonverbal measure of general ability that uses abstract figural designs, and does not rely on verbal skills or achievement, which minimizes bias based on culture, according to information provided by the district.
Testing will be completed online with all third grade students being tested this fall using the NNAT2, unless their parent declines the services, according to district staff.  
The new test will cost about $12,000 and will be paid for with district GATE funds which have been budgeted for this purpose.

Board approves $22,600 for strategic plan training
The new strategic plan is set and has been adopted by the school board, but the implementation of the plan has been slow starting. To get things moving, TUSD administration recommended, and the board approved, training for site principals and staff in order to implement the strategic plan at all school sites.
Training will be done through the Cambridge Strategic Services for a total of $19,800 with an additional $2,800 to pay for travel and expenses.
There will be a total of 36 people being trained by these services for a cost of $550 per person.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.