by George J Elbaum
Dougherty Valley High School (DVHigh) was established in 2007, which explains its very apropos slogan “The Tradition Starts Now!” In these 9 years its enrollment has grown rapidly from 570 students to approximately 3000 now. Despite this rapid growth, it scored the highest Academic Performance Index in the San Ramon school district and the 27th highest in California, and was awarded a gold medal and ranked in the top 500 schools in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report – an impressive growth in both enrollment and ratings.
Two years ago I spoke at DVHigh to a class in the elective course Facing History: Holocaust and Human Behavior, and I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and knowledge of the students and their teacher, Dana Pattison. This time, just walking into the classroom with Jack Weinstein of Facing History and Ourselves, we were greeted with an enthusiastic applause by the students and Dana Pattison. The classroom was decorated with students’ posters and drawings reflecting the course subject, plus a heart that read “Dana Pattison rocks!”, and some students plus Dana Pattison wore T-shirts emblazoned with “Dougherty Valley High School – Facing History and Ourselves”. As before, the students were very well prepared, and even after the class ended I was approached and asked additional questions that were timed-out during the Q&A. It was a very gratifying experience for me, arranged by Jack Weinstein of Facing History and Ourselves, who gave an excellent introduction.