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District News & Announcements


Invitation by the Livermore Valley Opera to the Final Dress Rehearsal of Don Pasquale on Thursday, September 28th at 7 p.m. at the Bankhead Theater, Livermore.  Admission is free for students and teachers.  Cost for parents accompanying a student is $10. Door opens at 6:45 p.m. The opera begins at 7:30 p.m.  Pre-performance talk at 7:00 p.m. by Revital Shmerling.

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Dear Livermore Community,            

 Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! What an exciting start as our 13,750 students and 1,340 staff members gathered on the first day to share in the Great American Eclipse! And what an incredible connection to the new Next Generation Science Standards. I continue to be grateful to our industry partners and STEM supporters, including those that allowed us to provide safe glasses to view the eclipse.


During my visits to our schools these first days, I have been inspired by the enthusiasm of our staff and the eagerness of our students. Preparation before the first day beautified our campuses and schools, stocked our shelves, and provided for professional development that enabled teachers to collaborate and plan a challenging curriculum for their students. Thanks to the generous support of the Livermore community, Measure J Bond work began this summer, and planning is underway to update our facilities to better support our educational needs.


Believe it or not, we have just welcomed the Class of 2030! In a few short months, we will graduate the Class of 2018, our first group of students who are truly 21st-century natives. Our world is changing, and education continues to be the foundation that prepares our children to be leaders. The keys to college and career readiness are good work habits and regular attendance. We look forward to welcoming all of our students to school each day. We are committed to providing each of them an inspiring curriculum that includes character education, wellness, and arts, along with academic rigor.

Warm Regards,

Kelly Bowers, Ed.D.                          
Superintendent of Schools


Continue reading the Grapevine Newsletter  (Spanish version)


With children starting a new school year, the Livermore Police department is reminding our community of the need to drive safely around and through school areas. Please keep these important tips in mind especially during the busy morning and afternoon hours around our neighborhood schools.

•  Parents should plan their child’s walking/riding route to school and discuss safety topics with their child surrounding the designated route.  Students should never jaywalk.  Bicycle riders must ride the same direction as other traffic.  Bicyclists must obey the rules of the road.

•  Students should not cross against red lights, whether walking or on bikes, scooters or skateboards.

•  Motorists approaching school zones should keep an eye out for children at all times.

•  Parents who drive their students to school are reminded to use the school’s drop off and pick up zones and become familiar with the established rules of the drop off/pick up zone.  Parents should never stop their vehicle in the middle of crosswalks or let students exit their vehicles in the middle of the street.

•  Parents should avoid loading or unloading children at locations across the street from the school. This forces students to unnecessarily cross busy streets — often mid-block instead of at a crosswalk.

•  Drivers should always prepare to stop for a school bus when overhead yellow lights are flashing. Drive with caution when you see yellow hazard warning lights are flashing on a moving or stopped bus.

•  Drivers must stop for a school bus with its red overhead lights flashing, regardless of the direction from which the driver is approaching. Drivers must not proceed until the school bus resumes motion and the red lights stop flashing or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed.

While we know that mornings and afternoons can be hectic times in getting to or from school, there is no situation that is so important that students and parents can’t take the time to do it safely and legally.


With the start of the new school year, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) is welcoming new leadership staff to the District Office and to school sites. 

Mike Biondi, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, is joined by Kevin Grier, Director of Curriculum, and Helen Gladden, Assistant Director of Curriculum, to lead the educational work of the District. Director of Special Education, Frank Selvaggio, also joins the District team to continue the focus on achievement for all students. 

Arroyo Seco Elementary School welcomes new principal, Gatee Esmat. Sunset Elementary School will be led by Tom Jones. Carla Estrada-Hidalgo takes the helm at Vineyard Alternative School. Jeannette Garza and Jeremy Vilkins join Junction Avenue K-8 principal, Dayna Taylor, to complete the leadership team at the District’s Dual Immersion School. Denise Nathanson, formerly at Arroyo Seco, will be joining Marylin Avenue Elementary this year as principal; and Mistee Guzman has been appointed principal at East Avenue Middle School, where she has served as vice-principal for several years. Alex Eckert will join Ms. Guzman at East Avenue as vice-principal. 

Superintendent of Schools, Kelly Bowers, Ed.D. said, “We are grateful for the contributions over the past years of our outgoing administrators, and we are looking forward to the innovative leadership our new staff members will bring.” 

Mike Biondi brings experience and vision to his new role as Assistant Superintendent. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, with a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Chapman University and additional coursework completed at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Biondi’s depth of experience in educational leadership spans twenty-two years including: University Faculty Instructor, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Principal, Assistant Principal, Department Chair and Teacher. “I am delighted to join the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District team,” said Biondi. “I am very impressed by the dedicated teachers, school staff, and the district-wide leadership that supports students and staff at such a high level.” 

Kevin Grier’s twenty-five year career in education includes service as math teacher, middle school assistant principal, elementary principal, middle school principal, and director of human resources. Grier earned his Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership and his Master’s Degree in Educational Management at Asuza Pacific University, in addition to a B.A. in political science from U.C. Irvine. Grier is committed to providing a robust curriculum that will further the District mission of preparing students for the 21st Century world. “I am committed to providing each student with the best educational experience possible, that will provide the broadest range of options after high school,” said Grier. 

Helen Gladden joins Grier in the Curriculum Department, after serving in LVJUSD as principal at East Avenue Middle School, and vice principal and English teacher at Livermore High School. She has a master's degree in Educational Leadership from California State University East Bay and a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley. Throughout her career in education, Gladden has demonstrated her commitment to preparing all students to contribute and thrive in a changing world. In 2015, her accomplishments were recognized both statewide and nationally when she was named by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) as the California Co-Administrator of the Year. 

Frank Selvaggio brings 18 years of experience in public education, including principal, school psychologist, special education teacher, and community college faculty member. He holds Masters Degrees in Education Administration, School Psychology and Special Education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Selvaggio looks forward to supporting all students. “I have dedicated my professional life to helping children, families and educators find personal, professional, emotional and academic success,” said Selvaggio. 

Gatee Esmat began her interest in education while earning her bachelor’s degree at U.C. Berkeley, where she worked with students in the community. She has served as vice principal and teacher since 2007 at the elementary and middle school levels. Esmat holds a Masters in Education from U.C. Davis, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Brandman University. “I am so excited to be joining the Arroyo Seco community,” said Esmat. “I will continue to provide a positive and nurturing school atmosphere, and to provide our students the platform to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.” 

Tom Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Chico and his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from St. Mary's College. His 18 years in education include experience as both teacher and administrator. Jones is excited to join the students, staff and parent community at Sunset. “I look forward to adding positively to the already amazing culture at Sunset. Consistent and ongoing communication will be an early focus of mine, as I believe it is an important component to leverage in order to drive toward excellence,” said Jones. 

Carla Estrada-Hidalgo has served as an educator in LVJUSD for 11 years. She received her Administrative Services Credential from California State University, East Bay. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Education from Chapman University, and two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Anthropology and Spanish, from California State University, East Bay. Estrada-Hidalgo is committed to ensuring equity and enhancing educational opportunities for all students. “I’m honored and privileged to be part of students’ educational experiences. It’s gratifying to witness their achievements and growth; and I look forward to continuing to serve our Livermore students by supporting and strengthening our schools,” said Estrada-Hidalgo. 

Jeannette Garza has served as Spanish teacher and Leadership teacher during her 14-year career in education. Currently earning her Master of Science in Educational Administration, Garza also holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from California State University, East Bay. Garza has been honored as the 2017 Rotary Teacher of the Year for Livermore High School. She is excited to bring her bilingual background to Junction’s Dual Immersion program. 

Jeremy Vilkins joins the Junction administrative team with 14 years of experience as an educator. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Radio and Television from San Francisco State University, his multiple subject credential from CSU Hayward, and his Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Cal State East Bay. Vilkins has worked as history and leadership teacher, yearbook and newspaper advisor, and intervention services coordinator. Vilkins is looking forward to meeting and supporting the Junction community. “Although I have had my hand in many projects, my favorite part of being an educator is making learning fun for the students,” said Vilkins. 

“In addition to the superb slate of administrators, we are proud to be adding 80 teachers to the District for 2017-18,” said Director of Human Resources, Melissa Theide. A combination of retirements and increased enrollment has provided the opportunity to further build the District team. 

The new staff members will join with all LVJUSD employees for the annual Kickoff Celebration on August 17, the official start of the 2017-18 school year. “We come together as a team to celebrate our combined focus on students,” said Bowers. Students will be welcomed back on the first day of school, August 21. 

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Today: 9/19/17
7:00 PM Regular School Board Meeting

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