Eighth Grade Recruitment
Applying to the PEACE Academy
Good Evening Parents,
It has come to my attention that there has been some confusion in applying to PEACE through parentvue. I wanted to take a moment to share what I understand to be happening, and to assure you that you, your friends, and anyone else interested in PEACE can all absolutely apply to PEACE.
The initial screen that is offered requires you to choose between Green Academy, MBA (Millikan Business Academy), and MIT (Millikan Integrated Technology). These are all solid programs and are the academies offered at Millikan in addition to QUEST, COMPASS, and of course, PEACE. In order to select PEACE, COMPASS, or QUEST academies parentvue requires you choose between the first three academies in case your student does not get into PEACE, COMPASS, or QUEST. That is not written anywhere, but that is what has been explained to me.
Once you choose between Green, MBA, and MIT you will then be given the choice to apply to PEACE, COMPASS, and QUEST.
I have attached a screen shot of what appears. This is to help place students who want those academies, as well Millikan neighborhood students who do not get selected for PEACE, COMPASS or QUEST.
I am sorry this is so confusing. We have contacted people to help clarify the situation, and I hope you use this email to spread the word to others wanting to apply to PEACE, or any of the other Millikan programs.
PEACE Academy Co-Lead Teacher
The PEACE Academy Set to Increase 2016 Course Offerings to Encompass Civil, Human Rights College and Career Pathways
By Lee Underwood
PEACE Academy Philosophy Teacher
The PEACE Academy at Millikan High School is set to increase by four its 2016 course offerings in what is an already stellar academic program. This addition of CTE Pathway courses is part of an Academy wide push to increase student preparation and involvement in the professional world outside of the classroom and transform passion into action.
The classes include Introduction to Social Justice for 9th graders, Current Affairs & International Relations for 10th graders, Introduction to Law and Mock Trial for 11thgraders, and Journey for Justice for 12th graders.
The new class offerings create a dual path course of study, where students can choose to align their particular passion for either Civics and Law or Human Rights. With this new approach, student who choose to focus his or her academic interests in the Civics and Law field can take the new Introduction to Law and Mock Trial during their 11th grade year and Journey for Justice in 12th grade. Students who choose to align their focus to the Human Rights fields can take AP Psychology or regular Psychology & Sociology their 11th grade year and Philosophy & Ethics in 12th grade. Both provide a challenging course of study for students that accentuates their strengths and includes a comprehensive Senior Project that ultimately fits them with the practical and intellectual skills to find meaningful experiences in college and career.
“The PEACE academy has always motivated the students to apply their learning to real world issues, but the new course of study gives them a clearly defined road with paths leading to various destinations,” says Leslie Gombrich, PEACE Academy Co-Lead teacher and U.S. and AP U.S. History Teacher. “Social justice encompasses civil rights, environmental issues, gender rights, minority rights, animal rights, and the rights of the disadvantaged.”
The PEACE Academy at Millikan High School is known widely for its robust and rigorous academic curriculum. Students who graduate from the program will have completed complex and dynamic projects designed to find real world solutions to some of the most pressing problems affecting the global community. A graduating senior will have worked directly with local and international businesses, and civil and human rights organizations like Heifer International, the Long Beach Women’s Shelter, The Constitutional Rights Foundation, The Amy Biehl Foundation, Whittier College’s Center for Engagement with Communities, and the United Nations.
Ritmabra Jain, who teaches the PEACE Academy’s 11th Grade English class, focuses her program on the advancements of Women in Literature. She recalls her experience at a packed UCI theater to hear the Dalai Lama speak on “The Significance of Education in Advancing Universal Human Values” at The Global Compassion Summit 2015. “All I could think of is the vision PEACE Academy has for the students. The course of study offers classes that not only challenge the students to think critically but it provokes them to think about their communities, their country, the world and the role they can play in “being the change they wish to see.”
The PEACE Academy's Human Rights and Social Responsibilty Senior Project to Welcome Amy Biehl Foundation's Linda Biehl and Ntobeko Peni for Guest Lecture
By Lee Underwood
PEACE Academy Philosophy Teacher
On October 8th, the PEACE Academy's Human Rights and Social Responsibility Senior Project will welcome Linda Biehl, Executive Director of the Amy Biehl Foundation, and Ntobeko Peni, Program Manager of the South African Amy Biehl Foundation, for an inspiring conversation on the unexpected outcomes of restorative justice. In an effort to align the PEACE Academy Linked Learning philosophy, all Peace academy students are invited to participate in the assembly.
In collaboration with Whittier College's Center for Engagement with Communities, the Amy Biehl foundation works closely with the PEACE Senior Class by providing resources and opportunities that extend far beyond the classroom.
On the 25th of August 1993, Amy Biehl, an American Fulbright scholar working in South Africa against Apartheid, was beaten and stabbed to death in a black township near Cape Town. In 1998, the four youths convicted of her murder were granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Ntobeko Peni was one of those men.
He now works for the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust in Cape Town, a non-profit dedicated to creating barriers to violence. Ntobeko will speak with Linda Biehl, Amy’s mother, about the possibilities of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Linda Biehl is an Alumna of Whittier College, class of '65. Together with her husband, she co-founded the Amy Biehl Foundation, which is named after her daughter Amy who was killed in an act of political mob violence in South Africa while she was there as a Fulbright Fellow. Linda and her late husband Peter turned the tragic death of their daughter into action by creating the Foundation in 1994 to keep their daughter’s passion for helping others alive. This organization has had a direct impact on the lives of the people in South Africa and in the United States, and it serves as a lasting model for social action. As a result of Amy’s involvement in South Africa, the Biehls were with Nelson Mandela when he received the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor in 1998, which congress dedicated to Amy Biehl. Linda cites that her greatest honor was receiving the O. R. Thambo Award from the South African President, Thabo Mbeki, in 2008.
The event will take place on October 8th at 9:30 a.m. in Millikan's Auditorium. For more information about the Amy Biehl Foundation, please visit:
By Lee Underwood
PEACE Academy Philosophy Teacher
On Sunday May 17th, at the NAACP 2015 Teacher Recognition & Appreciation Program, PEACE Academy teacher Leslie Gombrich was honored for being an inspiration to her students. She was among 15 outstanding educators from LBUSD who were commended for going above and beyond for their students to ensure that every child receives a quality education.
“Today we will honor and recognize outstanding educators who make a difference,” Naomi Rainey, NAACP Long Beach Branch President said in a letter issued about the event. “The teachers we honor today go above and beyond for our children and youth to ensure that every child receives a quality education.”
As a founding member of the PEACE Academy, Ms. Gombrich believes that, “cultivating academic success should not come at the expense of developing an ethical individual who wants to take his / her skills and go out into the world and make it a better place.” As a U.S. History teacher, she continues to use history of women and groups of all colors, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds to educate and empower her students to better themselves and the communities they live in.
The Long Beach Branch of the NAACP hosts this program each year to recognize and show appreciation to teachers. They believe it is extremely important to support teachers and to promote the value of education. The NAACP also believes it is important for all stakeholders of the community to applaud teachers for work they do educating our youth so they can participate in and attain their vision of the American Dream.
Drawing inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt’s edict that “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both,” Leslie empowers her students to take advantage of learning experiences she did not get in school. “Learning about the history of women and groups of all colors, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds empowered me,” she says. “ I wanted to take these stories and experiences and bring them to the students so they too would feel empowered to better themselves and the communities they live in.”
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was formed in 1909 by a group of black and white citizens. They united to respond to injustice that many Americans confronted solely because of race. The NAACP remains the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the world, and continues to focus on the major efforts to increase voter empowerment, educational excellence, and individual responsibility creating economic and social pathways for developing motivated young leaders.
By Lee Underwood
Peace Academy Philosophy and Ethics Teacher
While most of her classmates look forward to a summer blissfully free from the trappings of the classroom and campus, 10th grade PEACE Academy Sophomore Anais Rocha is looking forward to a different kind of experience: The Intensive Law & Trial career experience at Stanford University’s School of Law
The PEACE Academy already offers unique classroom experiences in the realms of Social Justice, Government, and Legal Services, but Anais became especially interested in the theory and practice of Law after her 8th grade U.S. History class followed the 2012 presidential Election. Fueled further by the Social Justice and Humanitarian work of her Freshman and Sophomore service-learning projects, which included working closely with the global Non-profit Heifer International, she became motivated to extend her interest beyond the classroom. That’s when she found the Envision Program, a research-based authority on experiential learning programs that helps students develop the essential applied skills, behaviors and knowledge they must have for college, career and life success in the 21st century.
“I have a huge interest for law,” Anais explains. “As well as a passion for helping the world.”
To pay for tuition, which ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, Anais vigorously fund-raised through the year by selling snacks at after school events and securing donations.
Hosted by the Stanford University School of Law, the Intensive Law & Trial program provides high-achieving high school students with an exciting and interactive experience exploring the field of law, as well as being introduced to the many law careers available.
For 10 days, Anais will immerse herself in the world of Law and Law practice amidst the sprawling mission style colonnades and idyllic tranquility of one of California’s most beautiful, and rigorous, college campuses. She will work closely with High School students from all across the country and take part in simulated legal proceedings including preparing a court case, practicing the art of opening statements, and directly examining and cross-examining witnesses. By the program’s end, Anais will not only come away with an incredible depth of knowledge and experience, she will have developed her own personal mission statement to be used to set her future academic and career goals.
The Intensive Law and Trial program curriculum is endorsed by the American Mock Trial Association and is recognized as an approved program by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
For more information on the Envision Intensive Law & Trial Program at Stanford University, please visit: