Schools & Education

San Benito eighth-graders rock algebra program at Graniterock

130 students from area schools took classes, participated in field trips and learned from university professors during the intense week

Local, incoming eighth-graders who enjoy math from Rancho San Justo, Calaveras, Tres Pinos, Aromas, and San Juan schools were among a total of 130 students from six other other nearby schools for the week-long Bruce W. Woolpert Algebra Academy in Watsonville.

Held at Graniterock’s corporate headquarters Aug. 7-11, the students sharpened their algebra skills 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Students also rotated over to berry grower Driscoll’s Cassin Ranch for classes and took a field trip to California State University, Monterey Bay.  Students were taught by professors from U.C. Santa Cruz, CSUMB, school teachers and technical assistants.

Christy Zepeda, the academy coordinator, explained that the academy is designed for those students who already excel in algebra and would benefit from the algebra-intense week. The students stretch their math knowledge, have fun playing math games with their peers from other schools and hear from scientists, engineers and other professionals who use math in their daily work.

The enrichment continues through the school year by students participating in fall and spring field trips and are encouraged to form math clubs and math festivals to sustain student learning and develop a culture of mathematics within their schools.

Kevin Jeffrey, Graniterock’s general counsel, explained to the writer, a school board member from the Hollister School District, that the academy’s existence is for those students that actually enjoy math for the sake of math, not just because it is part of their curriculum. Each table in the company’s cafeteria where the students come together is decorated with a university’s name and logo, emphasizing higher education is the goal for the participants.

Rob Bernosky

Rob Bernosky is a chief financial officer, Chairman of the San Benito County Republican Party, former Regional Vice Chair for the California Republican Party, former president of the governing board of the Hollister School District, and former Delegate to the Republican National Committee. He formerly served as a member and secretary of the Citizens' Oversight Committee for the Hollister School District. Rob is a former elected trustee of the North County Joint Union School District, and has served on numerous other boards, including the Heritage Foundation of San Benito County, a local water company, chairman of the San Benito County Republican Party, and was a member and president of the San Benito County Committee on School District Organization. Rob is married with 3 children, including 2 who are teachers in public schools and 1 in private industry.