Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon, CA – November 30, 2017

by George J Elbaum

Dougherty Valley High School (DVHS) 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 3200 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.

Today was the 3rd time I’ve spoken at DVHS to a class of 11th and 12th graders in the elective course Facing History: Holocaust and Human Behavior, and once again I was very impressed with the enthusiasm and knowledge of the students and their teacher, Dana Pattison.  As before, the students were very well prepared and thoughtful, and this time during the Q&A I was even asked several very meaningful and personal questions that have never been asked in my 150+ talks in the last 7 years.  I very much welcome it when it happens, as it makes me think deeply about the issue being asked.  In fact, after the Q&A I was moved to tell the students that they are lucky to have Dana Pattison for their teacher.  It was a very gratifying experience for me, arranged by Jack Weinstein of Facing History and Ourselves.

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