On Nov. 20, Aspiranet’s Fusion Charter, an independent charter that opened on Sept. 8, celebrated the new school together with students, parents, educators and guests. The event kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce. I would like to thank Dr. Sonny Da Marto, superintendent, and Gil Ogden, director of student services for Turlock Unified School District, who were instrumental in executing the vision for Fusion Charter, and all of our community partners who made the opening of this school possible. Dr. Da Marto and Mr. Ogden also spoke on making the dream for this type of school a reality in order to serve more than 200 at-risk youth in the community in grades 7-12 with unique learning opportunities so they can progress in their studies and graduate to go on and live successful lives.
The development for this school would not have been possible without John and June Rogers from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation, who donated the funds to build the school—formally Valley Oaks School—in February 2002; and Larry Roberts, the original contractor who built the school. We were privileged to have the following speakers present: Vernon Brown, CEO of Aspiranet, who thanked everyone that made a commitment to make Fusion Charter a great school; John Rogers, who spoke about the value of education and the need for a school like Fusion Charter; and Richard Alonso Lazaro, life coach for Aspiranet Fresno, who spoke about the importance of getting involved in school and completing educational goals. I would also like to thank Calvin Curtin, director of marketing for Turlock Irrigation District, who donated 39 computers for the school, as well as Assembly Member Kristin Olsen and Congressman Jeff Denham for certificates of acknowledgement.
Guests of the open house participated in raffle prize drawings and voted for the new Fusion Charter mascot. Go Spartans!
— Siobhan Hanna, Fusion Charter principal