Monroe Middle School

District News

Updated Wed, May 22nd

On Thursday, May 23rd, Campbell Union School District’s school communities will come together to honor the exceptional individuals chosen as the 2023-24 Employees and Volunteers of the Year. This annual recognition event, being held at 5:30 pm at Lynhaven School, celebrates the dedication and hard work that make all of our schools great places to work and learn.

The district will recognize 42 outstanding teachers, classified support staff, volunteers, and administrators for their significant contributions over this 2023-24 school year. The highlight of the event will be the announcement of this year’s District-level honorees, who will advance to the county’s recognition program.

Below is the list of the honorees from each school. 

Blackford ............ Lauren Gourley - Classified Employee of the Year

                                 Jenna Roldan - Teacher of the Year

                                 Rachelle Johnson - Volunteer of the Year

CSI ....................... Kellie Johnson - Classified Employee of the Year

                                Amanda Haughs - Teacher of the Year

                                Michelle Phipps - Volunteer of the Year

Capri ................... Astrid Sanz - Classified Employee of the Year

                                Katie Iyama - Teacher of the Year

                                Leslie Belghoul - Volunteer of the Year

Castlemont ....... Irama Mendoza - Classified Employee of the Year

                               Stephanie Lykam - Teacher of the Year

                               Barbie Rosato - Volunteer of the Year

Forest Hill ......... Peggy DeVincenzi - Classified Employee of the Year

                               Jullie Pachoud - Teacher of the Year

                               Amber Menasco - Volunteer of the Year

Lynhaven ......... Charu Sarin - Classified Employee of the Year

                              Sarah Day - Teacher of the Year

                              Christine Wolffe - Volunteer of the Year

Marshall Lane .. Farah Sheikh - Classified Employee of the Year

                               Kristy Hunt - Teacher of the Year

                               Christa Levine - Volunteer of the Year

Monroe MS ....... Belen Solis - Classified Employee of the Year

                               Megan Duena - Teacher of the Year

                               Veronica Shields - Volunteer of the Year

Preschool .......... Nazy Ardalan - Classified Employee of the Year

Rolling Hills MS...Gail Panus - Classified Employee of the Year

                                  GiIlian Harrington - Teacher of the Year

                                  Eileen Weinstein - Volunteer of the Year

Rosemary ......... Stephanie Murakami - Classified Employee of the Year

                               Alyssa Sigala - Teacher of the Year

                               Alejandra Cortes - Volunteer of the Year

Sherman Oaks ... Leticia Jaimes - Classified Employee of the Year

                                 Lino Gutierrez - Teacher of the Year

                                 Pamela Trounstine - Volunteer of the Year

Village ................. Laura Torres Cendejas - Classified Employee of the Year

                                 Aisling Clarke - Teacher of the Year

                                 Peggy Koralage - Volunteer of the Year

Updated Wed, May 15th

The first annual Art, Innovation, and Music (AIM) Showcase, held on May 15th, was a vibrant celebration of student creativity. With an ocean theme, the event featured an impressive array of artwork, innovative projects, and musical recordings from students across the district.

“In Campbell, we are dedicated to nurturing creativity and innovation in all of our students. This showcase highlights the incredible talent and passion within our schools,” said Julie Goo, District Coordinator of Innovation.

Families, students, and staff had a fantastic opportunity to celebrate student achievements and immerse themselves in this community event.


Updated Wed, May 22nd

While there are many days designated to honor and celebrate the various roles and impact of school employees, we believe they are all important in our service and support of students, staff and families. Please join us in recognizing all of our dedicated employees during Campbell Union School District’s Employee Appreciation Week, May 13 through 17.

“Every staff member in our school district plays an important role in shaping the future of our students, from teachers to custodians, office staff to school nurses, administrators to bus drivers; all contribute to creating a nurturing and enriching environment where every  student can reach their highest potential,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. 

Special Recognition on May 23rd

As a special part of our annual Employee Appreciation Week, we honor and celebrate outstanding individuals in our schools. We will applaud our Teachers of the Year, Classified Employees of the Year, Volunteers of the Year, and announce the District-level winners who will move on to county level awards.

Mark Your Calendars for More May Events!
Don’t miss these engaging district-wide events brought to you by the Campbell Union School District and our valued community partners. All district families are invited to participate.

May 14 & 21: Free Viewing of "Angst" - This compelling documentary sheds light on the topic of anxiety. Produced by IndieFlix, the film features interviews with a diverse range of individuals including children, teens, educators, experts, parents, and even former Olympic champion Michael Phelps. A panel discussion will follow the screening. Co-sponsored by Campbell Union School District and School Linked Services.  Learn more about "Angst"

May 14 at 6pm at CSI, 295 Cherry Ln., Campbell

May 21 at 5:30pm at Castlemont, 3040 E. Payne Ave., San Jose


May 15: Celebrate student creativity and achievement at the Art, Innovation and Music (AIM) Showcase!
This event will showcase an inspiring collection of artwork, innovative projects, and musical recordings crafted by our talented students. Learn more about the AIM Showcase

May 15 from 4 to 7pm at
Monroe Middle School, 1055 S. Monroe St., San Jose

Updated Tue, May 14th

Representing their school and the district proudly, Campbell School of Innovation (CSI) students showcased their problem-solving skills at the 37th annual Tech Challenge held on April 28, 2024. Under the theme "Cosmic Quest," the mission was to develop a launcher to transport supplies to a distant moon, simulating a crucial space mission.

Three CSI teams participated, with Team Lunar Eclipse earning the "Outstanding Collaboration" award for grades 7-8. The event, hosted by The Tech Interactive, drew over 540 teams who spent months preparing their innovative solutions to the challenge.

"I am super proud of all of their hard work this year," CSI teacher Amanda Haughs said, noting the students' dedication, ideas and teamwork.

The CSI Teams are:
Team Axis -- Nikhil M., Cash F., Charlie O. Daniel A., James N.

Team Lunar Eclipse -- Joseph T., Claire G., Logan C., Nicola F., Sebastian H.

Team Cosmic Wolves -- Agastya S., Joshua A., Jay P., Abdullah B., Nolan V.

The Tech Challenge encourages students from grades 4-12 to engage deeply in the engineering design process, fostering both collaboration and critical thinking skills. This year's challenge not only highlighted the students' technical skills but also their ability to work together to solve complex problems.

Updated Thu, May 9th

Campbell USD was one of 13 school districts to earn the Bold Steps for Children Award from Kids In Common, Santa Clara County’s only comprehensive child advocacy organization focused on children’s issues and policies. The award recognizes the district for its role in supporting School Wellness Centers. 

The Santa Clara County Office leveraged resources to fund School Wellness Centers throughout the county, and Monroe Middle School’s was among the first for middle school students. The program is one of many examples of how community partnerships support our students.

School Wellness Centers provide safe and supportive environments on school campuses where students can visit to de-stress. They provide holistic support addressing physician, mental, emotional, and social support, family support services, and support to school staff.

Updated Wed, May 1st

The California Department of Education has selected Campbell Union School District (CUSD) for the 2024 Model SARB Recognition. This award celebrates the district's effective and compassionate strategy for improving student attendance, emphasizing support over punishment and focusing on comprehensive, community-based efforts to resolve attendance and truancy issues.

Under the School Attendance Review Board (SARB) program, this recognition places a spotlight on the district’s dedication to helping students maintain regular attendance and, ultimately, achieve graduation. It is a collective effort to pool community resources to help families in overcoming barriers to consistent school attendance. CUSD’s team includes more than administrators. Community Liaisons, school nurses, and counselors play an important role in addressing the complexities of absenteeism.

Studies demonstrate that students who are chronically absent—missing 10% or more of the school year for any reason—are at a greater risk of falling behind academically, dropping out of school, and facing severe long-term health, employment, and financial difficulties.

Positive Interventions Make a Difference

“While school attendance is a legal requirement, we strive to remove barriers to attendance through positive interventions rather than punitive measures,” said Pablo Viramontes, Director of Student Services at CUSD. “We work with families to identify the root causes and coordinate resources to address them. It not only improves the student’s attendance; it strengthens our partnership with families and caregivers.”

The district customizes interventions to meet the specific needs and challenges of each student. For some, it might be connecting them to medical care, while for others, it might involve referrals for counseling or other community services. Other cost-effective strategies that boost motivation and punctuality engage students in meaningful roles, such as office assistance and the Check-in Check-out system. These options strengthen student-adult relationships, communication between school and parents, and regular behavior and attendance monitoring. 

The District's supportive approach improves attendance and builds a caring community that addresses the complexities of absenteeism. These targeted strategies ensure that the support provided is both effective and meaningful.

“Exposure to grade level content from effective teachers is the most critical school-related factor in student success,” said Whitney Holton, Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. “If students are not in class, they cannot benefit from these learning opportunities.”

Updated Mon, Apr 29th

The air in the CUSD Central Kitchen was filled with music, chatter and the smell of garlic warming in pans at the district’s 3rd annual Lunchroom Cook-Off competition. With a backdrop of industrial food preparation equipment, and dozens of audience members watching, the 10 student competitors had one hour to cook their favorite recipe and win a spot on the district’s school lunch menu.

The 6-8 grade students represented Expanded Learning programs at Monroe, Rolling HIlls, Sherman Oaks and Campbell School of Innovation. The timed cooking event is the culmination of an 8-week after school curriculum about nutrition, food safety, and the special requirements for school lunches. Sponsors included CalFresh, Santa Clara County Public Health, Sutter Health, 5-2-1-0, University of California Continuing Education (UCCE), and University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

Judge Tony Leoffler, chef at Flights Restaurant, was impressed. “It’s great to see the kids learning about nutrition and food safety, especially with the health issues happening these days,” he said.

Joining Loeffler at the judges panel were CUSD Board President Danielle Cohen, Child Nutrition Manager Benny Calderon, Child Nutrition Assistant Manager Vachan Boja, and student judges Angela Park (CSI), Janina Carrera (Monroe), Salim Islam (Rolling Hills) and Madison Rock (Sherman Oaks).

The Sherman Oaks team won the trophy and placement on the school lunch menu with their Enchiladas Verdes (green enchiladas).  

Click to view a short video of the event.

Updated Wed, Apr 17th

A news conference at Castlemont School last week spotlighted the continuing efforts to enhance pedestrian safety around school zones. State Assemblymember Marc Berman introduced Assembly Bill 2583, which would set a speed limit cap of 20 miles per hour in school zones and mandate placing signs indicating the times these lower speeds are in effect.

"Traffic violence is the number one cause of death for California's school-age children,” added Kirsten Bladh, associate director of state policy for Safe Streets for All, who spoke at the news conference.

CA Assemblymember Marc Berman
CA Assemblymember Marc Berman

In reflecting on the tragic traffic accident that took the life of Castlemont student Jacob Villanueva two years ago, Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez underscored the continuous efforts to improve pedestrian safety around schools. 

“We are grateful to the legislators and government agencies who continue to work on solutions,” Viramontez said. “We are committed to working with them to ensure no family endures such a tragedy.”.

With the community rallying behind these vital safety measures, the State Assembly Transportation Committee will make a decision on the progress of Assembly Bill 2583 at its April meeting. Meanwhile, adults can help by exercising extra caution when driving near schools.

Updated Wed, Apr 17th

We want to thank everyone who participated in the annual school experience survey that ended in February. It had the highest participation in three years and provides us with valuable feedback about what is working well and what can be improved.

Please watch this video message for information about how district and school administrators will share the findings with employees, parents and students from late April through the end of May.

Updated Wed, Apr 3rd

The Campbell Union School District (CUSD) has significantly advanced its educational and support services for students, with funds from one-time sources like California’s Art and Music block grant. 

“We asked parents what would enhance their child’s education when students returned to in-person instruction,” said Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.  “They said, more hands-on learning, art and music. We have been able to leverage one-time funding aimed at addressing the impact of the pandemic to provide the enhancements that parents told us should be priorities." 

The district has invested heavily in the arts, employing additional teachers to extend art, innovation, and music (AIM) instruction to more elementary students through this initiative. This investment enriches the students' learning experiences and provides teachers with more professional learning and collaboration (PLC) time, enabling them to tailor lessons to strategically meet students’ needs, whether they are excelling, struggling, or anywhere in between.

The AIM program in elementary grades aligns with standards and lays a foundational framework for growth into middle school. Middle school AIM clubs cater to those students’ desires for more social interaction and a sense of belonging. District staff are monitoring the outcomes of these efforts to guide future resource and budget allocations once the one-time funding ends.

The district has also channeled funds into school libraries. Staff updated in library collections, including an increase in Spanish language books. This enhancement ensures that all students have access to a wide range of reading materials, supporting both their educational and personal growth.

Recognizing the increased need for emotional and behavioral support, the district increased its staff of counselors and behavior specialists. This expansion ensures that students who require additional support can receive timely and effective assistance as it is needed.

The Innovation Grant program also sprang from the grant funding. This year, students in grades 6 through 8 received funds for special projects that challenge them to apply their learning in practical, real-world contexts, fostering both innovation and problem-solving skills.

“We have taken a comprehensive approach to enhancing academic and support programs through one-time dollars for long-term benefit,” Viramontez said. “It’s an example of our strong commitment to providing today’s students with the resources they need to succeed academically and emotionally, both now and in the future.”