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Cloverdale Comments - May 2015


Cloverdale Comments - May 2015

by Carol Russell

Congratulations, Sue Cummins!

Caring. Inclusiveness. Leadership. Character building. These are the core values of every High School Key Club and, as she guides students through real world experiences that teach them to become a vital part of their community, no one exemplifies them more than Sue Cummins, Cloverdale High School (CHS) Key Club’s beloved Faculty and Regional Advisor.

Along with being a Home Economics teacher at CHS for 35 years, Sue served as Faculty Advisor for the Future Homemakers of America (whose ranks included boys!) After retiring, she was asked to take on the same role for the newly formed CHS Key Club. Over the past nine years, Sue’s worked with Club members, individually and collectively, enabling them to acquire organizational, leadership and management skills that will support them throughout their entire lives. 

Sue also shows them how to be an integral part of their community, work with others and have fun doing it. Another main goal is enabling these young people to get past letting peers determine their worth by helping them see themselves through their own eyes–who they truly are and all they can accomplish.

As the 2015 meeting of Regional (California, Nevada and Hawaii) Key Clubs drew near, a student asked her: “How come you are never (named) Advisor of the Year? We keep waiting for your name to be called.” Turned out students themselves must submit applications for this prestigious award. So a team from our very active, popular and respected Key Club got together and filled out the application complete with a beautifully illustrated, well-written and inspiringly heartfelt 23-page professional bio (Jessie Marshall, Editor) detailing all the reasons Sue deserved the honor.

Here are a just a few excerpts: “She’s especially insistent that we do things in a professional way. . .(and) chimes into discussions whenever needed. But she lets us make the decisions. . .She just helps us to focus…pays attention to details... works through the kinks and problems... is always at us with suggestions for ways to improve. But she is always there with help and examples for making those improvements... She is a good role model, because she remembers to say ‘thank you’ (to) those who do things for her... She leads by example and is an inspiration to all of us... to take on challenges.”

Result: Sue Cummins was chosen an Advisor of the Year. Even more, she was also inducted into the National Key Club Hall of Fame! 

With her life and work clearly and consistently demonstrating what being part of a community is all about, Sue exemplifies Cloverdale’s giving spirit and can-do attitude. 

Just like the Cloverdale High School Key Club

Introducing “Faces of My Community” 

KRCB’s renowned CEO, Nancy Dobbs, has extended her work with the County’s Health Services to put a human face to the data that its public-private team, the Health Action Council, has been gathering since 2007 as it strives to reach its goal of making Sonoma County California’s healthiest. In a pilot program, she has collaborated with CHS and Roseland University Prep students trained by Listening for Change to create a dialogue with members of their respective communities.

Five people will be interviewed with questions exploring what each likes about their community and what they might like to see changed from which the students will create 60-90 second spots to be aired on KRCB. Teams of three students each are interviewing Rose Lyle, Isabelle Basaldua Ontiviros, Adrian Reyes, John Gastineau and Patty Bird. Thanks to questions Cloverdale students developed, interviews will elicit uniquely valuable stories of our community seen through the eyes of residents with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. 

The key to any great interview is the process. Through the Listening for Change project, student interviewers have learned how to listen empathetically so they really hear the other person and respond accordingly. Thus, they create conversations that, while somewhat directed, flow easily because the students respond to answers such that they draw each interviewee deeper into a relaxed dialogue that will both interest and inform their young interviewers as well as the rest of us.

Watch the spots in May and June or find them at: