Sequoia Union is a small school with a big education

Outside of Lemoncove, nestled in the orange groves is Sequoia Union School, kindergarten through eighth grade, that has been in existence since 1948.

Originally founded by the combination of two schools dating back to the late 1800s, Sequoia Union has been quietly providing arguably the best early education available in the Valley for close to 60 years. As Exeter Union High School nears graduation of its 2005 class, Sequoia Union celebrates having provided the early education for both a valedictorian and a salutatorian.

Brent Pascoe, who with Stacy Marks, represented Sequoia Union as Exeter Union High School's top two graduates in 2004, is one of four children in the Pascoe family to have graduated from Sequoia Union. "I would definitely say that there was a family atmosphere where the teachers took personal interest in the kids," said Brent. "The small class size enabled the teachers to know all the students" and to closely monitor their progress. Brent, and his brother Keith, both currently attend California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo. Brent, who has a 3.7 GPA, plans to become a doctor of veterinary medicine while Keith is planning a career in agri-business.

The only school in its district, Sequoia Union is run like a private school, with its board and faculty making the decisions they feel are best for the school's academic and financial well-being without the outside pressure that comes with large school districts. "I really feel that we provide an education equal to or better than that of a private school" states Theresa Adams-Denner whose son Blake graduated as salutatorian from EUHS in 2001. Blake, who is currently a major in biological engineering at UC San Diego, has also studied in Spain and plans on entering a PhD program upon graduation. Many of Sequoia Union graduates have gone on to study at prestigious colleges such as the UC, USC and MIT, and have consistently represented a large majority of the top 10 graduating seniors in each EUHS class. This is a significant accomplishment given the fact that students from Sequoia Union represent only a small percentage of each graduating class.

The rigorous academic program is balanced by extracurricular activates such as a semi-annual trip to Washington, D.C. for seventh and eighth graders. Teacher Linda Lofgren said the exposure to significant places including the White House, Smithsonian Museum and historical monuments gives students national exposure and a different type of education that goes beyond other schools' regular curriculum. Every year there is also a school play (this year is "The Jungle Book"), a large annual track meet that is hosted by Sequoia Union and visited by other local elementary schools and participation in Cyberquest, a county-wide technology, public speaking, and problem solving competition in which Sequoia Union students typically excel.

"We have staff that have been here 20 and 30 years. The school is small and every one is like family," says school administrator Laura Borum. Their dedication and investment in their students and their school pride in their achievements is evident as the staff cheers again educating the number one and two placed graduates of the class of 2005. If you would like to tour the school or learn more about its programs, call the school office at 564-2106.

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