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Wow! FUSD's definitely 'Got Talent'

By Miriam G. Mazliach

November 27, 2012

The auditorium of the Fremont Adult School was packed with appreciative students and parents on November 17, watching talented district students of all ages perform throughout the day.

Outgoing School Board member Ivy Wu had initiated the formation of the non-profit organization FUSS (Fremont Unified Student Store), to come up with creative solutions to the budget crisis and raise needed revenue for the school district. The talent show, just one of the group’s many fundraising ideas, was the culmination of not only her efforts but those of a multitude of dedicated volunteers who have been working tirelessly to make this event a success.

In particular, proceeds generated from “FUSD’s Got Talent” are being earmarked for the district’s homeless students and families struggling with extreme financial difficulties especially during this holiday season.

“There are 250 homeless students in the district and 7,000 who are eligible for free and reduced meals,” explained Wu.

Superintendent James Morris, who served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies, commented, “Every student who performed and was willing to step forward and showcase their talent is a winner.”

Serving as the judges for this talent competition were: Thomas Banuelos of Harbor Light/Fremont Christian School; Sharon Coco, FUSD district office; and Jeanne Batacan-Harper StarStruck Theatre. Their decisions were made even more difficult due to the range of talent exhibited by the students’ in their performances.

At the junior high and high school level, a trophy and a $1,000 were awarded to the school of the 1st place winner. However, as there are many more elementary schools in the district, a 1st place ($1,000 and trophy), 2nd place ($600) and 3rd ($400) place award were given at the elementary level.

The “perpetual” trophies will have the names of the students/schools engraved and will be housed at their schools until the following year’s event.

Here is the final list with the winning students and schools:

High School Category:
1st place: Irvington High School
Six students from Irvington High’s Dance Class and Advanced Dance Club led by teacher Ms. Michelle Lau, choreographed and performed a dance named “Build a Home.” ($1,000 and a trophy for Irvington High School.)

Junior High School Category:
1st place: Thornton Junior High
Student Natalie Dunn sang the beautiful song “Hallelujah,” accompanied on guitar by Mr. Scott Iwata, who was her elementary school teacher and had inspired her to sing. Iwata is now the principal of Warm Springs Elementary School. ($1,000 and a trophy for Thornton Junior High.)

Elementary School Category:
1st place: Parkmont Elementary School
Parkmont’s 70-student chorus, led by Ms. Cathy Strommen, sang “50 Stars – You’re a Grand Old Flag.” ($1,000 and a trophy for Parkmont Elementary School.)

2nd place: Mattos Elementary School
Student Eden Mercado sang “Greatest Love of All.” ($600 for Mattos Elementary School.)

3rd place: Warm Springs Elementary School
Students, Ansal Majmudar and Tejas Venkateswaran, sang and performed a traditional Indian Tabla Duet. ($400 for Warm Springs Elementary School.)

For more information or to order a DVD of FUSD’s Got Talent, please visit

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