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In This Issue
Meet the Teachers
New Academic Dean Position Created
Da Vinci Apparel Now On Sale!!
Da Vinci Overnighter for 9th Grade Students
Volunteer Opportunities
Mark Your Calendar
Music in the Park

Back to School

August 6
Last day to order Da Vinci apparel to guarantee delivery by first day of school

Aug 17

September 1-3 


September 6
Labor Day:  No School

September 14
Family Association Mtn  6pm

September 23
Back to School Night

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Da Vinci Schools
13500 Aviation Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA  90250

(310) 725-5800

Matthew Wunder, Ed.D. Executive Director

Nicole Tempel, Ed.D.


Dear Da Vinci Families and Friends:

A New Year for Da Vinci Schools

What a difference a year makes!  Around this time last year, the campus sat empty, quietly waiting for the new students to arrive.

This summer, we hosted an array of summer programs with over 130 students, 10 Da Vinci teachers, and three West L.A. College professors participating. Students worked in a small group setting and received skill building in the areas of math and English. Some students took online classes to recoup credit from the academic school year. Others participated in a College Bridge program that began with art in the morning with Da Vinci teacher Mari Kono and an intensive college prep class in the afternoon with a West LA professor. Students also visited Whittier College and several students enrolled in courses at El Camino College.

Summer is also a critical time to reflect on the year just ended and to begin planning for the year ahead. We are very pleased with the outstanding new faculty we attracted and our continued capacity to attract motivated and diverse students. 

Our first Annual Giving Campaign closed out an exceptional campaign in a difficult financial year by raising almost $50,000 to support college field trips, a mentoring program, project-based learning materials, classroom technology, and after-school sports, arts and tutoring. Gifts made to the Annual Giving Campaign come at a crucial time when the state's budget crisis has resulted in a $700,000 budget reduction to our schools since we submitted our charter application three years ago.

Looking ahead, one of our highest priorities for the coming year will be cultivating a college going culture with clear expectations and ongoing opportunities focused on college readiness and the college admissions process. Colleen O'Boyle has been named Academic Dean, a newly created position.  In her new role, Ms. O'Boyle will devote her time to building a comprehensive college counseling program and developing our internship program. See related story below.

As we add new members to our community, we greatly look forward to all the ideas they will bring and all the contributions they will make to our great schools. Welcome to a new and exciting academic year at Da Vinci Schools!

With warm regards,
Wunder signature
Matthew Wunder, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Meet the Teachers

With the addition of 11th grade Science students and a new 9th grade class, Da Vinci Schools have hired 18 exceptional new faculty members, bringing our total teaching staff to 32.

To ensure that all of our faculty members are well-versed in project-based learning and how to meet the diverse needs of individual students, we will be conducting a week-long orientation and professional development workshop for new faculty members beginning August 2.  The rest of our faculty will return to campus on August 9.

Please join us in welcoming all of our new and returning teachers:


9th Grade
Billy Omer
Jen Cho
Maigon Buckner
Nathan Barrymore

10th Grade
Phyllis Wong
Alain Bonny
Ricardo Jara
Melody Pongmanopap
Adam Eynon
Kate Garrido

Core Electives
Claudia Najarro
Elizabeth Pinon
Sam Harang
Mari Kono
Bien-Elize Roque


9th Grade
Schehrezade Lodhy
Jorge Del Real
Michelle Rainey
Mario Rodriguez

10th Grade
Maureen Moran
Joshua Thomson
Wendy Cha
Bethany Gildner
Amanda Brown
Frank Divinagracia

11th Grade
Robyn West
Alden Holmes

Core Electives
Carolina Rael
Karina Garcia
Jessica Jones
Michael Prendergast
Mallory Carr

New Academic Dean Position Created

O'Boyle photoWe are pleased to announce that Colleen O'Boyle will serve as Academic Dean, a newly created position to promote a college going culture and ensure that all Da Vinci students graduate college-ready and career-prepared

Ms. O'Boyle will concentrate her time on building and implementing a comprehensive college counseling program with clearly defined goals and up-to-date college admissions information and resources for students and their families. She also is developing our internship program where students will gain real-world work experience allowing them to explore potential careers and courses of study for college.

"My goal is to help foster confidence and establish concrete relationships with both the students and their families to create a holistic and competitive student for the college application pool," she said. 

Ms. O'Boyle also is overseeing our Early College program where students attend college level courses on our campus (at no cost to them) while simultaneously earning their high school diploma. As Academic Dean, she also will serve as an advocate for students who are behind in their studies, working with them one-on-one to give them the support they need to achieve success in high school and beyond.

Ms. O'Boyle has a long track record of success working with students, both in and out of the classroom. Prior to joining Da Vinci Schools as a Humanities teacher, she taught at High Tech High in San Diego.

She earned her M.A. in English Literature at Middlebury College, Vermont, and her B.A. in American Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Something you may not know about Ms. O'Boyle:  After college, she lived in a Tee Pee for two weeks just outside Glacier National Park while waiting to hear about graduate school admission. She says it was a wonderful summer chock full of nature, grizzlies, ptarmigans, mystic elks, and crazy bearded goats. Oh, my!
Da Vinci Apparel Now On Sale!!

Orders must be placed by August 6 to guarantee delivery before school starts on August 17. Da Vinci Polo

Da Vinci polos and sweatshirts are now on sale in a rainbow of colors, styles & sizes. All products are being offered through U-Name It, a local vendor in the El Segundo area.

All prices include shipping and handling.  No minimum purchase required.

As part of the new dress code at Da Vinci Schools, all students are required to wear a Da Vinci collared shirt OR a solid color, collared polo or dress shirt. Hoodies and sweatshirts must be Da Vinci wear or college gear.

How to Order Da Vinci Apparel

1.  Order online through the official Da Vinci Store at www.davincistore.org. Fill out a secure online order form and use a Visa or MasterCard to complete your transaction. You may also order online and send your payment to U-Name It by check. 

Due to the large volume of orders, we strongly urge you to place your order online.  This will make the entire process run more smoothly.  Thank you so much for your support!!!!

Click here to view our online catalog and to start shopping!!!

2.  Download and complete a printable Da Vinci Apparel Order Form. Payment may be made by Visa or MasterCard or check made payable to "U-Name It."  Mail Apparel Order Form and payment directly to U-Name It, 630 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 5A, El Segundo, CA,  90245.

U-Name It
630 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 5A
El Segundo, CA  90245 (across from Sizzler)
Tel: (310) 322-1797
fax:  (310) 322-1796
Email: info@unameit-usa.com


Beginning August 2, a sizing kit will be available in the Main Office at Da Vinci Schools.

Additional Info re New Dress Code

As part of the new dress code at Da Vinci Schools, all students will be required to wear:

* Da Vinci collared shirt (long or short sleeve) with the Da Vinci logo OR a solid color, collared dress shirt or polo shirt.

* Pants/shorts/skirts must be Khaki, slacks or jeans.  All shorts and skirts for girls must be 2 inches from knee or longer.

* Hoodies and sweatshirts must be Da Vinci wear or college gear.

* Jackets, sweaters, cardigans or vests of any color may be worn as long as they do not have any patches, frayed material, inappropriate language or content.

* Ties are optional and may be any color or pattern.

Questions?  Please contact

U-Name It

Melanie Franko
Apparel Coordinator

Da Vinci Overnighter for 9th Grade Students

We have an exciting opportunity planned for all 9th grade students during the first week of September!  The Da Vinci Overnighter offers freshman students the opportunity to get away to the beautiful San Diego Mountains and to participate in community-building activities designed to strengthen the connections with each other and their teachers.  The overnight experience is an important part of Da Vinci's program, and we want every student to attend!!


The overnight stay will take place at Oakbridge, a retreat center in Ramona, California.

Da Vinci Design - 9th grade students only
Depart Wednesday, Sept 1 @ 9AM
Return Thursday, Sept 2 @ 3 PM

Da Vinci Science - 9th grade students only
Depart Thursday, Sept 2 @ 9AM
Return Friday, Sept 3 @ 3PM

The cost of the trip is $99 per student to cover the costs of transportation, food and lodging.

There are two different ways to register and pay for the Overnighter:

(1)  Make a secure online payment via PayPal.  To register and pay online, click here.

(2)  Mail us a check made payable to Da Vinci Schools. Be sure to put your student's full name in the Memo line on your check.  Mail to: 

Da Vinci Schools
Attn:  Overnighter
13500 Aviation Boulevard
Hawthorne, CA  90250

Support the Da Vinci Community

If you are interested in providing financial support to help other students in the Da Vinci community attend the Overnighter, we would be most appreciative! You will have the opportunity to designate any amount of money towards supporting additional student(s) during your online PayPal transaction.  Or you can mail your additional funding support to us.  We thank you!!!!

There are limited scholarships available for families that are unable to cover the cost of the Overnighter; please contact Steve Wallis at swallis@davincischools.org for more information.

Volunteer Opportunities

VolunteerVolunteers are at the heart of everything we do at Da Vinci Schools, and help make many special things happen.  Throughout the year, there will be numerous opportunities to volunteer, make a difference, and complete your volunteer service hours requirement of 25 hours per family.

There are three ways volunteer hours can be fulfilled: 

1. Service to the school (organizing activities on campus, helping in the classroom, office, field trips, technology, recreational activities, etc.).

2. Educational visits - spend time with students off campus engaged in educational activities (museum visits, library trips, etc.).

3. Personal Educational Development - parents and guardians can earn service hours by enrolling in college classes of your own!

Verification of service hours completion must be shown by May 30. To keep track of your hours, click on the link below.

Family Service Hours Log

Here is a list of our current needs:

Main Office/School Support

The front office has an ongoing need for volunteers to help with
general office duties (filing, copying, answering phones, greeting visitors, etc.). Volunteers are also needed to assist with lunch time supervision. Seeking very reliable volunteers who are able to commit 2-3 days per week. Contact:  Yolanda Saldana-Baustista at ysaldana@davincischools.org.

Da Vinci Clubs
Interested in Art?  Poetry? Cooking?  Science?  Guitar?  Cheerleading?  Adult volunteers are needed to support and supervise our student-run, after-school clubs.  For more information, please contact:  Kendra Janes at rickjanes@att.net.

Annual Giving Campaign Co-Chairs
Seeking two highly dedicated and motivated Annual Giving Campaign Co-Chairs to serve as leaders of the Campaign, coordinate volunteers, input donor and donation information into database, make thank you calls, write personal thank you notes and emails, draft letters, flyers and web content, run statistical reports, create call lists, and more. This position requires a commitment of approximately 4 hours per week (at least two hours per week must be on campus).

Time frame:  starts immediately

Matching Funds Coordinator
Compile and maintain a list of matching companies. Follow up with donors who work for matching companies or who are unsure. Process all matching company paperwork. Identify prospective donors who work for matching companies. This position requires a commitment of about 1.5 hours per week and can be done from home. 
Time frame:  starts late-September

For Annual Giving positions, please contact Carla Levenson at

Thank you for your interest in volunteering!!

Mark Your Calendar!

The next Family Association Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 14, at 6 pm, on the Da Vinci campus.  Family Association meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and are a great way to meet other families, get involved, and become familiar with your child's school environment.  There is no meeting scheduled for August.  See you in September!
Music in the Park

Blue noteGoing back to school can be hard!  Hold on to summer by enjoying an evening of live music in Continental Park on Wednesday, August 18 from 5-7 PM.  Bring your family and friends (and a chair and a blanket) and soak up the sounds of summer at this free community event sponsored by Continental Development Corporation. Continental Park is located on Rosecrans Avenue in El Segundo near Cozymels, McCormick & Schmick's and Fleming's restaurants.