Author Archives: Sophia Chiang

Have a Great Summer! – BCE President Emily Beach

Dear Friends,

With the school year behind us at last, we want to take a moment to thank our dedicated teachers, staff, and coaches who taught and nurtured our children throughout this year – many of whom are made possible by our collective BCE donations.

June 30th marks the end of BCE’s fiscal year. If you still intend to donate to our annual campaign or file your employer matching paperwork, please make it a priority today. Because every student benefits from our annual grant and every dollar counts, our goal is to achieve 100% donation participation from every BSD family by June 30th. 100% participation sends a clear message to future supporters, community donors, grant-givers, and new families. Your gift really matters.

“We are BCE” celebrates the powerful character and sense of pride at each of our six schools and also throughout our community. Flexible funds raised by BCE help our school district leaders do more for every school site by providing additional teachers, programs, and professional development that create a rich and inspiring education for our children. When our community joins together, anything is possible for all of our children – no limits, no ceiling!

For all who have contributed to our success this year by volunteering, donating, or participating in events like Spirit Run, Read-a-thon, BCE auctions, Dinner Dance, or Silicon Valley Gives Day – THANK YOU! During the sleepy month of July, our volunteers will tally the final results of our annual campaign and keep you posted on our collective success.

As we anticipate all the fun summer brings, please don’t forget to invest in your student’s 2015-16 academic year by making your tax-deductible donation to BCE before June 30th. Donations by check must be postmarked and donations by credit card must be processed by June 30th.

It is not just a slogan when we say, “We are BCE.” It simply couldn’t be done without you. Thank you.

Have a great summer!

Emily Beach signature

Emily Beach
BCE Foundation


Thanks for making BCE #1 – WE DID IT

Dear Burlingame Community,

What a day it was! THANK YOU for your tremendous outpouring of support yesterday on Silicon Valley Gives Day.

Because of you, BCE Foundation was the #1 fundraiser for the second year in a row out of 863 participating non-profits throughout three counties. We led the way and raised a record-breaking $212,860 dollars for our students and schools, while the next closest organization was more than $70,000 behind us. We also finished the day #1 in the number of individual donors, which earned additional dollars in matching prizes.

Thank you for enlisting the support of neighbors, grandparents, and friends far and wide. Every single call, email, and conversation made a huge impact for our kids. Days like yesterday make me feel so lucky to be a member of this community.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and all 200+ BCE volunteers, please accept our deepest gratitude and congratulations to our kids!


Emily Beach
BCE Foundation


BCE Joins 2015 Silicon Valley Gives Day

Today, Silicon Valley Community Foundation will be raising money for local nonprofits via SVGives, a day of giving that aims to inspire and unite our local community to support philanthropic organizations. If you are planning on giving to BCE this year, donate TODAY to MAXIMIZE YOUR IMPACT!


Because of YOU, BCE Dinner Dance and Auction was a HUGE success!

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has volunteered, donated and coordinated the many aspects of this event. A special thanks to the BCE Dinner Dance, Auction Teams and many other volunteers for their hard work and dedication to making this event possible and a great success! Thank you DDA 2015 volunteers full list to see the list of many volunteers who made this event possible.

Thank you DDA 2015 volunteers full list

Awesome BCE DDA volunteers



BCE Dinner Dance and Auction







BCE Hosted Soldout Dinner Dance & Auction

BCE’s Biggest Fundraiser of the Year Featured “BCE Goes to Hollywood” Theme

BURLINGAME, Calif., April 21, 2015 – Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE) hosted their biggest annual fundraiser, the BCE Dinner Dance and Auction, on Saturday, April 18 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport in Burlingame. It was the Foundation’s second consecutive sold-out gala with 435 supporters attending. All proceeds from the event benefited Burlingame’s K-8 public schools.

The BCE Dinner Dance and Auction featured a “BCE Goes to Hollywood” theme. Guests dressed in their favorite Hollywood Awards-themed attire and enjoyed the Hyatt’s dining room transformed into the famous Dolby Theater.

One highlight was the raising of over $330,000 in fifteen minutes during the Fund-a-Need portion of the program, when guests raised their paddles to donate cash gifts in support of flexible funding to Burlingame School District. This record-breaking sum represents 15% growth over last year. BCE estimates total net revenue from Dinner Dance and its associated auctions to exceed $500,000 for BCE Foundation and the students of Burlingame School District.

“This event is such an important part of our annual fundraising campaign. Last year, net profits from our Dinner Dance and Auction yielded over 30% of our $1,536,000 grant to Burlingame School District” said BCE President Emily Beach. “The spirit in that room on Saturday night felt inspiring to everyone, and the money we raised demonstrated this community’s unwavering commitment to our public schools.”

Burlingame’s local business community rises to the occasion every year to support the Burlingame public schools. Sponsoring this important event as well as contributing so many of the auction items makes a major impact on the success of the BCE Dinner Dance and Auction.

For more information about BCE, visit

Burlingame Community for Education Foundation (BCE) is a volunteer fundraising organization that helps Burlingame School District (BSD) sustain and enhance an exceptional public education for all K-8 students. Working together with parents, the school district, and community, we provide BSD with financial resources to create a rich and inspiring education for our children beyond what is possible with public funds. BCE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit benefit corporation.

Audrey Tse Treanor, Vice President of Events
Burlingame Community for Education Foundation


Physical Education in Burlingame

Bodie Dressler, Credentialed PE Teacher

Bodie Dressler photo

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the Burlingame School District’s Physical Education teacher, Bodey Dressler, aka “Mr. D”. What was apparent from the start is that he is a huge proponent of a healthy lifestyle for our kids and that there is something special about the Burlingame Community that contributes to the passion he has for his job.

When asked why he commutes all the way from Dublin every day, even with a new daughter at home, Mr. D didn’t even hesitate. “There are plenty of other PE jobs… but the support of the teachers, the district, the parents, and BCE is incredibly unique. For example on field days, parents email to ask if they can help! That just doesn’t happen elsewhere.”

Mr. D came to this profession naturally as the son of two PE teachers and himself a collegiate athlete. This combined with his passion for working with children and his education in Kinesiology simply make the job a natural fit.

Mr. D joked when asked about the perception of the difficulty of teaching PE saying, “It’s interesting because many peer teachers and parents many times think that when you teach PE ‘Oh, you just play games with kids each day.’ However, we do a teacher swap day each year and the other teachers who get PE are surprised at how hard it is to teach PE. You simply have to love PE to do it!” He went on to add that it’s truly about helping kids understand that physical fitness and eating right can have many positive ripple effects. Not the least of which is the much-documented research showing the direct effect of academic achievement being tied to a healthy lifestyle.

Mr. D is a “credentialed PE teacher” which means he took required courses that the State of CA deems necessary to not just teach, but to specialize in PE. He has also taken his education further and is certified in Adapted PE (APE), which allows him to work with students with special needs. What many may not realize is that in fact not all school districts have credentialed PE instructors due to budget constraints. Thankfully, our school district values having this specialized credential for all BSD students. Thanks to our generous donors, BCE Foundation’s grant helps fund credentialed physical education instruction.

When asked about what he’d like parents to know about their kids’ PE skills, Mr. D suggested that a kids’ attitude towards PE directly stems from home. He noted that the more parents can do to keep their kids in regular physical activities, eating healthy foods, and paying attending to healthy sleep habits, the better overall students they will be AND the better attitude they will have towards PE. He’d also ask that part of this is encouraging them on days they have PE to have the proper clothes and shoes so they can fully participate and truly enjoy the activities.

Mr. D’s goal is for kids to look at exercise and health as FUN! And that it can be easily incorporated into any lifestyle. He even joked that “even though I’m a football player, I can still have fun dancing around even though that’s just not my thing.”
–Christine Ardito, Washington School parent


Burlingame STEM Fair 1.0


Burlingame STEM Fair 2015

Pardon the puns, but the atmosphere was electric Monday night! The energy was kinetic! The audience was charged up!

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The first Burlingame District STEM Fair was held Monday evening at BIS library. Over 50 projects were proudly showcased by grades 4-8 students from all six Burlingame schools. As anxious parents awaited outside for nearly an hour, students were inside the library explaining and defending their projects to the many volunteer judges. Once judging interviews were completed, the science fair was open to the public! All the projects were amazing from the innovative light switch contraption to the lipase study. It was truly an inspiring evening.

Thank you Mr. B for having the courage and vision to start a wonderful new Burlingame School District tradition!

Read more about the BSD STEM FAIR in a previous post.


Burlingame STEM Fair – Answering the Why

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”
~ Edwin Hubble, American astonomer

Why is the sky blue? Why do plants need sunlight? Why do cars need gas? Why does my cheese have holes in it? Why is candy bad for my teeth?….

From the moment they learn to talk, the “why” questions never end. Sure it’s a bit tiring at times, but how magnificent is the insatiable curiosity? the communication? the creativity? Kids are wired to explore, to take risks, to ask questions, to conjure up crazy ideas.  And that’s the beauty of the science fair – it’s all those wonderful characteristics with a little adult guidance.

“Science fairs make you dream big.”
~ Brennan Brockank, district Science coach


Washington 4th Grader, Danny Conway, and his Science Fair project

While some Burlingame schools have had their own science fair traditions, Burlingame school district has never had a district-level event. This year, Brennan Brockbank, the district’s Science coach, has taken the initiative to create such an event, the new District STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Fair. The goals of this annual event are to bring 21st Century Skills (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity) into real practice and to spur interest in STEM throughout the district. 

Students throughout the district were invited to register and submit an abstract of their project. The district event was open to grade 4-8 students across all six district schools. The projects are completely student led and fall into one of 8 categories (Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Technology, Engineering, Math, Biology, Behavior Science). In its first year, the Burlingame STEM Fair comprises participants from all the six schools (5 elementary, 1 middle), 50+ projects, and over 100 participating students.

“The STEM fair is the perfect example of why I love Burlingame schools so much–kids are encouraged to take chances, have fun and become independent learners who are passionate about science. With kids in K, 2nd and 4th grades, I got to watch the scientific process first-hand and share in their delight for learning. This is the reason why we live in a town like Burlingame–great teachers, great schools and great opportunities for kids to thrive.”
~ Eileen Stanley Conway, Washington parent

Science Fair with Mr. Brockbank

Washington Science Fair with Mr. Brockbank

Each of the teams submitted their online abstracts and physical projects in advance and will be interviewed by the judges Monday evening. “The STEM fair is a rich opportunity to bring all the key skills together and to experience the process of practicing and preparing for the judge’s interview” says Mr. Brockbank. The top projects in each grade/category will move on to the San Mateo County STEM Fair, for a maximum 32 projects (4 grades x 8 categories).

Science ProjectWhile Burlingame has not had a district-level science fair in the past, our community has seen success at a national level. Last year, 8th grader at BIS (now at BHS), Adam Noworolski, created a Stove Alert!, a safety device to help older people with hearing loss hear high frequency stove timers. For this project, Adam Noworolski was one of the winners at the San Mateo STEM Fair and was nominated to be one of 2014 National Broadcom Masters for STEM Rising Stars.

To infinity and beyond! Why not?

Monday, February 9, 2015
7:00pm – 7:30pm
BIS library


Washington Elementary’s Continues Its Read-a-thon Tradition

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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Washington Elementary 5th graders letter to BCE

Washington Elementary 5th graders letter to BCE

As part of its BCE Read-a-thon tradition, Washington Elementary holds an annual Recycled Book Fair that not only increases the availability of high quality books to its students but also raises money for BCE! This year, 5th grade teacher, Brian McManus organized the recycled book fair and encouraged the entire school to turn in used books. His class then held a book fair during lunch and recess and sold all items for $1 or less, priced to give all kids access to lots of books to read. It was a roaring success; the class raised $320!  The class handed the check to BCE this week (their touching note is above).

Felicia Ng – BCE Administrative Staff

Washington Elementary kids reading!

Washington Elementary students, the Conways, getting into the spirit of Read-a-thon this year.