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Class notes
June 15, 2013, 05:00 AM

Three outstanding individuals who demonstrated the service and commitment that characterizes the Notre Dame de Namur community — the late Mike Nevin, philanthropist Marie A. Batton and Redwood City Councilwoman Rosanne S. Foust — were honored at the NDNU 2013 President’s Gala. The gala was held May 10 at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame.

Nevin, former San Maeto County supervisor and executive director of the Service League of San Mateo County, was honored posthumously with the Community Spirit Award for his devotion to social justice and inspirational efforts to improve the quality of life for others. Batton, president and CEO of the W.F. and Marie Batton Foundation, received the first President’s Legacy Award for her outstanding contributions to education and her leadership, generosity, vision and commitment to the values of the Sisters of Notre Dame and the university. Foust received the Alumna of Distinction Award for her professional excellence and leadership and exceptional contributions to the community.

Master of Ceremonies, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, led the evening.


The U.S. Naval Academy invited a select group of approximately 2,550 young men and women from around the nation and abroad to attend the Naval Academy Summer Seminar program this year. Summer Seminar is a fast-paced leadership experience for seniors in high school. This program helps educate, motivate and prepare selected students who are considering applying for admission to USNA.  

Alana Wilson, a junior at Mercy High School in Burlingame, will participate in the 2013 U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar program. Summer Seminar teaches prospective applicants about life at the Naval Academy, where academics, athletics and professional training are key elements in developing leaders. Each student will attend a six-day session and experience a glimpse of USNA life.


On March 8, 300 sixth grade students from Bowditch Middle School graduated from the Foster City Police Department’s G.R.E.A.T (Gang Resistance Education and Training) program.

The G.R.E.A.T. program is about more than staying out of gangs. It is a hands-on interactive series of 13 lessons that explore many of the challenges facing pre-teen children in today’s society. Through a combination of role-playing, course work and classroom participation; students learn how to identify with their communities and develop positive role models. They learn to deal with stress, violence and anger. They practice techniques to deal with bullies, peer pressure, rumors and learn decision-making models. The course also teaches vital life skills like refusal techniques and goal setting. In addition to the sixth grade curriculum, the Police Department also teaches an abbreviated program to all fourth grade students as well.

FCPD has been teaching the G.R.E.A.T. program in schools since 1993. In addition to life skills that the program teaches, it helps foster a positive bond between police and students. Some of these students stay involved by becoming Police Explorers. In fact, one past student in the G.R.E.A.T. program at Bowditch is currently a police officer.

Before the students graduate from the G.R.E.A.T. program, they must complete a project outlining an idea to make their community or school a better place. Although the project is just to present the concept, many of the students go above and beyond and implement the idea. The flexibility of the projects allows students to express their passions and make positive lasting changes in their community.  Some students organized and implemented clean-up and recycling programs, set up community gardening clubs or worked in soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Another student set up a mentoring/tutoring program. He and three of his friends each spent an hour a week tutoring elementary school children in topics chosen by their teachers.  

For more information on the G.R.E.A.T. program call the Foster City Police Youth Services Bureau at 286-3324.

Class notes is a column dedicated to school news. It is compiled by education reporter Heather Murtagh. You can contact her at (650) 344-5200, ext. 105 or at



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