When I returned from a college trip to Austria in 1974, I got some surprising questions. Several people wanted to know how I’d liked it “down under.” Others asked whether Aussies really eat vegamite sandwiches! 

Just in case the last 43 years haven’t put Austria on the American radar, here are a few simple facts: 


During the Easter break, a group of Saint Joseph Notre Dame (SJND) students traveled to Thailand to study, explore and volunteer. SJND provides opportunities to do immersion experiences and field studies in a foreign country each year. Studies alternate between the science and social studies departments.  

Science Department Chair Kristina Taylor hosted this year’s trip with support from chaperones Jennifer Stein and Angelica Bailon.


The music department of Encinal High School (EHS) will present the 22nd annual Extravaganza of Bands this Saturday, May 20. The school expects to host 15 visiting bands and more than 1,000 musicians and spectators. 

The event will include both a middle- and high-school concert band competition in the EHS gym from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parade competition on Pacific Avenue will start at 10 a.m. An awards ceremony and presentation of trophies will follow at 3 p.m. on Willie Stargell Field.


What’s the result when five high-achieving and highly motivated kids are mixed with some project-management, improvisation and a dash of theatrics and placed in an international contest testing teamwork, innovation, and sagacity? 

The answer will be revealed when a group of Alameda middle school students calling themselves “Revenge of Luke Jaywalker” (RLJ) participate in the international competition Destination Imagination Global Finals (DI) in Knoxville, Tenn., from May 24 to 27. 


The teacher society, Chapter Delta Zeta of Delta Kappa Gamma, held its 26th annual citizenship award night on April 19 at Paden School. The inspiring occasion saw 31 fifth- and eighth-grade students from Alameda schools honored for outstanding citizenship. Each student received an engraved plaque with his or her name on it and a $10 gift certificate to Tuckers Ice Cream.

The auditorium was overflowed with students, teachers, families, principals and the superintendent in attendance. The evening was filled with pride, joy, and heartwarming stories.