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  • The charming exterior of Butter and Fold attracts many customers at all hours of business. From the elegant teal and gold color scheme to the waft of freshly baked breads, it’s impossible to simply pass by without taking a peek inside.


    Butter and Fold: The perfect place to satisfy your pastry cravings this fall

  • At the Olivas Links Golf Course, on Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls golf team faced off in a league match against Bishop Diego. The Dragons played well and won the match with an overall score of 249-303. Pictured above, Maddie Wicks 26 concentrates as she putts her ball toward the pin, finishing hole five with three over par.


    Recap: Girls’ golf takes Bishop Diego 249-303

  • On Sept. 22, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) competed in their first Tri-County Athletic (TCAA) league meet. Foothill Tech races with five girls on varsity, including Danika Swanson-Rico 25, Bennett Rodman 26, Kalea Eggertsen 26, Emma Anderson 26 and Isabella Efner 25. They warm-up on the start line, exchanging words of encouragement and waiting for the queue to begin the race.

    Cross Country

    Cross country starts off strong at first league meet of the 2023 season

  • With beloved melodies and nostalgic anthems dating back over a decade, fans and general audience members alike enjoy singing along to her award-winning album, Fearless, from 2008.


    The Eras Tour: an adventure spanning 17 years of music 

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys water polo hosted a home game against their opponent Malibu High School (Malibu). With lots of splashing, Ethan Ortiz 24 attempts to find an open teammate to give Foothill Tech an advantage to win their league match.

    Boys' Water Polo

    Recap: Boys’ water polo bested by Malibu

  • Students of Foothill Tech try to make button pins of their own design at Back to School Night. This college and career class provides an opportunity to learn life skills and creativity.


    Foothill Tech welcomes parents and guardians at Back to School Night 2023

  • In the teen show “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” an adaption of the popular Young Adult novel, protagonist Belly Conklin navigates her love life in a triangle between brothers Jeremiah and Conrad Fisher.


    “The Summer I Turned Pretty”: In Defense of the Fisher Boys

  • During F.I.R.E and lunch, members of the Associated Student Body worked hard to prepare an assembly line of delicious In-N-Out for the Class of 2024.


    Class of 2024 connects through In-N-Out Burger and festivities

  • On the sunny afternoon of Sept. 19, 2023 girls tennis played against the Villanova Preparatory (Villanova) School Wildcats. The tennis team huddles together and chants in a pregame ritual before beginning their matches.

    Girls' Tennis

    Girls’ tennis triumphs over Villanova in first league match

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the much anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed and beloved video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Announced in 2019 by Nintendo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Tears of the Kingdom was released on May 12, 2023 after nearly four years of waiting. Since its release, the game has been met with widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike. The game directly follows the events of its predecessor, building upon them and expanding an already immense world. Writer Kelly Quinn shares his thoughts.


    “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is victory for gaming

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    A dive into Nothing Bundt Cakes: America’s largest specialty cake company

  • Comprising of 12 songs, Olivia Rodrigos new album GUTS is her second studio album and was released on Sept. 8, 2023. Rodrigos first studio album, SOUR, released in 2021, was critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, making her second album long anticipated. Writer Isheeta Pal takes on the task of listening to GUTS and reviewing it, delving into its key themes and messaging.


    Album Anatomy: “GUTS”

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    Hey! Friends shows Ventura why shopping locally matters

  • Christopher Nolan hits it out of the park once again with his brilliantly done biopic about the man who invented the atom bomb, Oppenheimer.


    “Oppenheimer” is a mind-blowingly impactful film

  • In Laufey’s latest album “Bewitched,” released on Sept. 8, 2023, she brings a jazzy and soothing take on the journey of love. Following the success of her previous album, “Everything I Know About Love,” her sophomore album comprises 14 songs, each bringing their own unique spin that is sure to bewitch the listener. Join writer Lily Toreja as she reviews each song and delves into their individual meanings.


    Album Anatomy: “Bewitched” by Laufey

  • On the eventful evening of Sept. 14, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) Dragons faced off against Cate in their third league match. The matchup was very even and came down to the fifth and final set in which the Dragons were unable to secure the win. After bouncing and hitting the ball to set her rhythm, Malia Gray ‘24 (number 9) goes to serve, as her teammates and her alike hope for the best.

    Girls' Volleyball

    Girls’ volleyball endures a hard loss against Cate

  • Jackson Basurto ‘24 and Alfred “Mason” Borkowski ‘24 are in full recruitment mode as students pass by their table. The club offered a fun way to engage with other students while doing something they all enjoy.


    Dragons find their connection at Club Rush 2023

  • On the afternoon of Sept. 14, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls golf faced off against La Reina at the Olivas Links Golf Course. Maddie Wicks ‘26 tees it up with hopes of sticking it close to pin and hopefully having a birdie opportunity. Wicks finished hole six with a double bogey and finished the entire course with a 56.

    Girls' Golf

    Foothill Tech defeats La Reina in league match

  • Isabella De La Rosa 24 (number 3) and Charlis Swezy 27 (number 1) block from the net, while Malia Gray 24 (number 9) and Morgan Houston 25 (number 2) stay behind to cover any unexpected plays from the other team.

    Girls' Volleyball

    Girls’ volleyball spiked on by St. Bonaventure

  • Students hit the ground running as the 2023-2024 school year picks up its pace. With this years You Belong Week taking place Sept. 11-15, 2023, as well as Club Rush on Sept. 15, 2023, Dragons are busy keeping up with all the events.


    FDP-TV: Season 2, Episode 2

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School Board: Jackie Moran


INTERVIEWER: What is your background as a Venturan?

JACKIE MORAN: I moved here in 1992 with my husband and we were getting engaged and thinking about starting a family and I wanted to open a pet store. So we moved here in 1992 and I did open my pet store. He was from Carpinteria and I was from Venice Beach. We decided we wanted a beach community and this would be a good place to have kids.

At the end of your term, if elected, how will Ventura Unified schools be using technology in ways they aren’t right now? What will be your steps to achieving that result?

MORAN: One of my main focuses is at-risk youth. Technology is key in helping this demographic especially. It will help everyone. I’d really like to introduce them even earlier in elementary school and iPads that text to talk and with the tool that reads to them, highlights the words. They plug it in and listen, is key for any English is a second language learners or any child that’s at risk at all for whatever reason, like a learning disability. Whatever it happens to be.

And it will also help everyday kids. Silent reading will completely change. It’s a really good tool and a really good way to get kids started. It’s the way you guys learn now. You’re all plugged in. Now, these games are great. It makes a happy learning environment.

For the high schools, I would love to get vocational academy started, like they do have at Foothill. BioScience is an incredible success, and if you look at Santa Barbara Unified, they have eight of these academies up and running. Each one of these academies would use different technologies depending on what is needed. For criminal law and justice, they use forensic science, that would be one of their added sciences. Biology, and instead of physiology, you would go to forensic science. Whatever technologies the schools needed or the teachers needed for that specific learning tool, I’d be more than happy to looking to bringing it in.

In your opinion, what is the next step to ensuring high school students are prepared for the SBAC (the Common Core standardized test)?

MORAN: I have one child in Common Core. All of my other children kinda escaped that. Thankfully the son that is in Common Core actually learns really well with this style which is very language based. Even in mathematics.

For two of my kids who are dyslexic, it would have been a disaster. I am not excited about Common Core as a specific method of teaching. I’m kinda Gandhi, I think there’s several roads to the same destination, the objective of math is to get you to calculus, and the old way worked, so why they didn’t pair the two? Or why they abolished one method to bring in the other is a mystery to me.

It’s not something that I’d really like to see it broadened, to hear what the teachers have to say about using it in the schools. The parents have been very frustrated, they can’t even help their kids with third grade math – It’s crazy. They need to be prepared because that’s your SAT now.

I think I’d have to listen to the teachers on what had to be done to bring you guys into readiness. I don’t think that this first generation, my daughter is going to be the first one to take the SAT with that as part of it, as an element in it. I think because of it she’s gonna take the ACT rather than the SAT. She won’t be prepared.

So how we get them prepared? This really needed to be started in the younger years and bring them up because this is an entire new vocabulary, entire new method. So, to introduce kids into testing for it, right now, when they’ve only had it a year or two is not the wisest choice and I’d really like to have that looked at and adjusted. And I think after they get these first testing score they are probably going to need to.

The Ventura Unified budget for this year is around 180 million dollars. If I gave you ten million dollars more today to invest in our school district however you see fit, how would you spend it?

MORAN: That’s easy. Not easy, but easy. I believe that the district should be run from the classrooms up, rather than the policymakers down. By that I mean, teachers and parents have you guys, we are a third of your waking hours. If you are in any sport or any extracurricular, like speech and debate, they’ve got you for half of your waking hours, minimally. So those voices need to be the loudest. Those need to be the ones we listen to on the board.

Whatever your teachers are saying you need in the classroom, that’s where that budget needs to go. Of course, there are some things that we need to do which the general funds should accommodate. We need air conditioning for one of the first times ever in Ventura, that’s kind of a need. I think we need to start with the East End forward because it’s even warmer over there than it is coastal.

There are some of our schools that aren’t even up to date enough code wise for the electricity to get air conditioning units put in. So, that’s another thing that really needs to be addressed. Updating our building standards to accommodate not only technology because that’s another thing it needs to do but also air conditioning and running equipment.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing our schools today and how can it be addressed?

MORAN: Some of the most pressing issues have to do with things that I’ve already touched on. My three main goals, bring in more vocational academies, address our at risk youth, allowing children to get two years behind themselves before a very serious interventions is put in place, like accommodations is too long. And that needs to be revamped, that needs to be looked at.

And I think teachers and parents need to have tools at hand quickly and easily to put into place for longer terms, at the younger years. They say that there are tools now. For two of my dyslexic children, they were not adequate tools, they have without the huge process that they go through to identify a child, and in the identification they require two years behind. That needs to be redone. That’s 30 percent of your demographic. That needs to be redone. That and the fact that teachers and parents need to have a strong voice. They need to affect policy changes. If you have a school that’s running from the classroom forward, you have a school that’s going to be running efficiently for you guys.

So, as far as pressing issues, it’s gonna be changing the tone of the school district and the board bringing a voice to start a conversation, to change the dialogue. So instead of from policy down, and enforcing it with the teachers, let’s let their voice come out, and lets have policy like what they’re saying.

Sometimes to students, school board policy decisions seem to come out of nowhere. Most students don’t know their school board members, don’t know when the board meets, and aren’t informed about the decisions the board makes on a regular basis, like for example decisions about curriculum or disciplinary policies. If you are elected, how do you plan to cultivate a closer relationship between the board and the students, ensuring that they get a chance to speak on issues that pertain to them and are informed of decisions once they happen?

MORAN: I’ve been involved 15 years in the schools. I have four children: Quinlan Moran, Rowan Moran, Genevieve, and Aidan. All of them went to Foothill, two of them have now graduated, and they are off to college. In all the years that they’ve been in school I’ve been involved in, PFSO, PTO, PTA, whatever the parent teacher organization is or whatever they call themselves, all different things.

I’ve been involved in each one. All of them have only revolved around fundraising. I’d really like to see board members, and if I’m elected, I will do this. Go out, meet the PTA’s, they have regular meeting times. Go to the schools, sit down with the PTA parents and say hey, what are your issues? What do you like? What do you not like?

If you make yourself accessible school by school, and there is an easy way to do that, I mean, throughout the school year you’ve got nine months. I can get a couple in every single month, maybe for in every single month if they have different time frames. And I can meet everyone at every school. So all the administrations, some of the parents, the ones that are involved at least in the PTA or the PFSO.

When you do that, you are accessible and when you are accessible, you have the opportunity to listen and not just speak. And when you listen and you hear what their issues are – no one knows everything. I don’t know everything, nobody that is running knows everything – that’s not the way this works. You are there to represent other people and their concerns, as well as your own.

I would give a voice to any parent that needed it. To any parent that wanted to raise it. I would make sure that they are heard and I would make sure that their concerns are addressed. Especially if you are starting to hear them over and over and over and over again from all different places in every different demographic that you are going to.

Truancy policy is one-that’s one of my pet peeves. Taking a child on vacation as a crime is a little bit hard for me to swallow. I am working on that one now with my own voice. There’s a lot of things that need to be addressed like that. And part of it is your policy makers need to be, I have kids in your school. The Common Core curriculum, I’m getting it now, my son is in it now. I’m kind of understanding how this is going. I get what I like and I don’t like and how I see he does and I talk to other moms and other dads, they tell me their input.

It’s understanding how policy affects family, understanding how curriculum affects family. Understanding the time constraints, All of that for extracurricular activities, all of that. It helps you bring a stronger voice to the board and a better perspective.     


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Lauren Shields, Managing Editor

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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    Jackie MoranNov 3, 2016 at 6:18 am

    Thank you Lauren and the Dragon Free Press for asking questions and publishing interviews on the important topics facing our schools. As a School Board Candidate, I love taking part and seeing our talented kids in action. Your questions are meaningful and your voice counts. Keep up the good work.
    Best, Jackie Moran