December 18, 2014

Thank You – Merry Christmas – Bishop O’Dowd – Pentatonix – Little Drummer boy

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

December 15, 2014

Mr. Sanchez – Optical Illusion Design

This optical design was created from a bandwidth of lines that were precisely applied with a Sharpie™ pen, within each were placed arches going downward & upward. Students selected a pair of analogous color schemes and also a combination of these schemes. Black (for shading) and white (for tinting) color pencil were blended with analogous colors to develop the dimensional illusion that takes effect. The original arch lines were then re-applied by pen & ink.

Click photo thumbnail to view full size. Images can be right clicked and downloaded at 1024px wide by 768px.

2014 Winter Crozier

Download the Crozier »

7 Things About Javier Sanchez

This is an installment in a series of profiles called “7 Things” about O’Dowd’s terrific faculty and staff that is regularly featured on our website. Visit to see more.

What inspired you to do this kind of work?

Ever since I can remember, I was always doing two things – playing sports and making art. I pursued both loves in college. I played football at Cal State University (never say East Bay) Hayward for four years while earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art.

What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?

I am one of four visual art teachers at O’Dowd, and am currently in my 21st year teaching art here. I recently returned to coaching and serve as an assistant coach for Doug Vierra’s freshman football team.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)?

Former O’Dowd art teacher Wayne Shaffer developed the year-long Drawing and Design course that is still offered and I currently teach. An art term I learned from him is Full Range of Value (FRV*) and it is an element of art that I have students apply to most of their artwork. This term is valued so much that I teach it in every one of my courses and include its application into my personal art.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Being able to develop a curriculum for each of my art classes, preparing the step-by-step example for art projects, and then seeing the students produce amazing pieces for themselves. I will always consider myself a traditionalist in art application, but it is fun researching new ideas for projects, and assembling technological lectures for my students to grasp, as well as strengthening their concepts for art styles.

What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most?

How I grade art. Most believe that grading art is subjective. Once upon a time, in my earlier years, I felt this way. Over the years, with the help of my art colleagues, I have implemented a six-step grading criteria for each and every phase of the art of a given assignment. This has alleviated much of the guesswork for grading my student’s art.

What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you?

During college I worked as a security guard at O’Dowd. In 1989, I interviewed with current Dean of Students Gary “Mace” Mason, and he hired me to work security for four hours each afternoon. About the same time, one of the art teachers, Caroline Fields, was getting ready to go on maternity leave. I substituted in her classes, and I loved it. As soon as I graduated with my B.A. in Studio Art, I was hired to teach art full-time. And soon after that, I was also hired to coach various levels of football. Working with students in and out of the classroom is an awesome combination.

If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

Hanging up behind my desk is a Father’s Day gift my wife made for me. It is a photo collage plaque of my son and I having fun at one of his doctor checkups.

Bonus Questions:

What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?

Once an art project is introduced, and the students are steadily working, I play music from various channels on Sirius XM or Pandora during class. My personal favorites are R&B, Old School Rap, Salsa/Afro-Cuban, Vicente Fernandez and Electric/House.

What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?

Hall of Famer Howie Long was my favorite player growing up, and I wore his #75 in every level of football I played. I am often asked, “Do you like the Raiders?” and I am quick to reply, “NO! I love the Raiders!” That love has been tested the last 10+ years, that is why I’m “diehard fan” not “bandwagon fan.”

*In art, value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color.

December 12, 2014

Food and Toy Drive Pictures

Click photo thumbnail to view full size. Images can be right clicked and downloaded at 1024px wide by 768px. They can also be found on Flickr.

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

December 10, 2014

Advent Liturgy Skit

The skit should be available about 12:50p.m. if it isn’t showing below, as it is still uploading to YouTube.

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

Jose Miguel Sokoloff: How we used Christmas lights to fight a war

Colombia is a country of exceptional beauty and promise, and it’s also a country where the F.A.R.C. guerrilla movement has incited violence for 50 years. “In my lifetime, I have never lived one day of peace in my country,” says Jose Miguel Sokoloff. This ad executive and his team saw an opportunity to sway guerrillas’ hearts and minds with Christmas trees and personalized messages strategically placed throughout the jungle. A look at the creative messages that have led thousands of guerrillas to abandon the war, and the key insights behind these surprising tactics.

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel »

December 9, 2014

E-Waste Drive 2015

Download the E-Waste Drive Flyer »

Download the E-Waste Drive Flyer »

December 5, 2014

S4S and Living Lab Clubs Highlight Sustainable Consumption at the Holidays

This week the Students for Sustainability (S4S) club and Living Lab clubs both highlighted how to be a more sustainable consumer during this holiday season.

S4S: Sustainable Consumption MP

On Tuesday, December 2nd S4S hosted the capstone event to their quarter long focus on consumption and waste, with an MP that centered around informing club members about what’s behind all the stuff we consume during the holidays and everyday life. The session began with a short film documenting the life cycle of a cotton t-shirt, which was greatly inspired by Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff, and David de Rothschild’s TV series, “Eco Trip: The Real Cost of Living.”

After a short discussion, participants dove into a group activity that called on them to examine the full life cycle of a product: 1) Resource Extraction; 2) Processing, Manufacturing, and Production; 3) Distribution to Stores and Consumers; 4) Consumption of the Product; 5) Disposal. Groups analyzed school related products such as pens and notebooks, but also everyday items like jeans, shoes, swimsuits, cell-phones, and headphones.

Each group also proposed solutions to consuming this product in a more sustainable way, such as purchasing items that have Fair Trade, Organic, or B-Corp certification; or finding more sustainable methods of disposal, such as recycling or composting. The life cycle analysis posters will be displayed around the school in the months to come.

By the end of MP, students made personal connections to how they could change their behavior this holiday season to be a more conscious sustainable consumer, including the idea to give the gift of experience.


Living Lab Holiday Extravaganza
Contributed by Annie McAneny ’15

On Thursday, December forth, the Living Lab Club had its first-ever Holiday Extravaganza! Club Members and guests alike all came to the annex to make sustainable inspired holiday treats and decorations for both school and home.

Groups of students, led by Living Lab gurus (Ms. Prutzuman, Ecological Gardener Jeremy Pearson, and Living Lab Support Staffers, Mr. Beeby and Devra Laner) made a wide variety of crafts from Living Lab-grown supplies. Projects ranged from swags of Living Lab evergreens being formed into wreaths, mistletoe branches crafted into bundles, branches morphed into Christmas tree ornaments, and delicious peanut butter popcorn balls (with Living Lab popcorn of course!). The Living Lab Club sure brought the holiday spirit to Bishop O’Dowd this year!

See more pictures here…

Thank you so much to everyone who came to make these MP so festive and fun! Happy holidays to all the old, new, and future S4S enthusiasts and Living Labbers!

Read more articles about sustainability here, or articles about the Living Lab here

Halie Baker ’15 to Present at TEDxYouth Event

Halie Baker ’15 is weary of hearing others say she’s “not black enough.” She’s tired of watching her African American peers putting each other down instead of lifting each other up because of skin color. “That shouldn’t be going on,” she said.

So when Halie learned of an opportunity to present at the TEDxYouth@SHC event taking place Jan. 17, 2015, at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School in San Francisco, she decided to address the issue in a public fashion.

Halie applied and was accepted to be a presenter at the entirely student-run event that will feature speakers from a number of Bay Area schools. As SHC instructor and TEDxYouth@SHC moderator Dr. Ramsey Musallam shares, “No one over the age of 19 is allowed onstage.”

Halie says that because she’s light-skinned she’s perceived to be different – even though she identifies as African American. “People within the African American community treat me differently,” she said. “They say I’m ‘too white’ because I don’t speak ghetto, don’t cuss as much, don’t listen to rap music, and don’t know the handshakes that they do.”

Halie will be expanding on her two minute application video, crafting an up to 10 minute talk on the subject “Not Black Enough.” She’s a bit nervous, but mostly excited about the opportunity to change viewpoints. “I’m attacking something that a lot of people think is taboo. I’m ready to put myself out there,” she said.

Adds Halie, “I think about the past, how white slave owners put down people of color. Now people within our own community are putting each other down because of skin color. We need to overcome this,” she said.

O’Dowd Principal Pam Shay said she was thrilled to learn about Halie’s selection as a TEDxYouth speaker. “Her chosen topic is a meaningful one for our school community. She is brave to address the issue with such honesty and grace,” she said.

Halie has previously used poetry as a vehicle to express her feelings, with themes of her writing often centered on not backing down or giving up.

In the end, Halie hopes that she opens eyes, hearts and minds with her presentation. “This isn’t something that only happened in the past. This is a problem that is happening today. I want people to be aware,” she said. “We should be coming together instead of forcing each other apart.”

TedxYouth@SHC will be live streamed at!livestream/cb9q

Next Page >

Finding God in All Things

9500 Stearns Ave | Oakland, CA 94605 | Phone: (510) 577-9100 | Fax: (510) 638-3259