UNION CITY (Tuesday, June 6, 2006) - A James Logan High School biology teacher has won a $290,000 grant from the California Department of Education to develop a biotechnology academy at the school.

Sue Hinojoza, who secured the grant in partnership with Teresa Golebiewska, senior project manager/grants for the New Haven Unified School District, will use the money to establish a Genetic Engineering and Molecular Sciences (GEMS) Academy. Students will perform intensive laboratory work, such as putting DNA from one organism into another, cloning plants and bacteria, and using their own DNA to trace the migration pathway of their ancestors as far back as 50,000 years.

"It's exciting when a teacher like Sue, who has such vision for her students, receives recognition and the resources necessary to turn that vision into reality," New Haven Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi said. "Her enthusiasm and Teresa's expertise in program design and proposal development made this grant possible, and they are both to be congratulated."

Golebiewska earlier helped Cabello Elementary School teacher Kim Pratt get a $20,000 grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for a science project. Four more grants, including a $1.2 million proposal to for elementary school counseling, and a $1.175 million proposal for small learning communities, are pending.

"These are just the first of what we hope will be several grants that will help us achieve our primary objective of supporting teaching and learning," said Carnell Edwards, Associate Superintendent for Education Services.

Hinojoza's grant includes $40,000 for planning in the 2006-2007 school year, during which she will teach a biotechnology class being offered for the first time. The remaining $250,000 will be used to implement the full GEMS program over three years, starting in 2007-2008.

Hinojoza is growing Logan's biotech offerings in partnership with Ohlone College's outreach program, Learning Alliance for Bioscience (LAB). Through LAB, Logan students will be able to earn both high school and college credit.

Golebiewska thanked Dr. Ron Quinta, dean of the math, science, engineering and technology department at Ohlone, and Dr. Stanley Hitomi, who supported the proposal in his position as executive director of the Edward Teller Education Center at the University of California, Davis, for their help in the grant process.

Logan Principal Don Montoya noted that the GEMS Academy also will assist in the school's continuing efforts to achieve smaller learning communities at the 3,800-student campus.

"Sue Hinojoza is a tremendous teacher," Montoya said, "and this grant will give her a chance to do more remarkable things for the students of James Logan High School."

Rick La Plante
Public Information Officer, New Haven Unified School District
Executive Director, New Haven Schools Foundation
(510) 471-1100, ext. 2310

The mission of the New Haven Unified School District, a partnership of students, families, staff and our richly diverse community, is to develop and empower EVERY student to be a productive, responsible, and successful 21st century citizen by creating an exemplary, inclusive educational system characterized by a safe, caring learning environment and a challenging, comprehensive curriculum that ensures academic proficiency.