Sylvester Greenwood Academy

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Greenwood News

  • Congratulations to SGA Senior Jayshon Montgomery for winning the WCCUSD Retired Administrators' Scholarship!

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  • SPECIAL CODE: Greenwood High School Senior Spent Summer with Sony

    Jayshon Montgomery, Greenwood HS senior, and his family after being recognized for his summer internship at Sony Jayshon Montgomery thought his future as a storyteller would involve a pen or video camera. But after a summer spent interning at Sony, the Greenwood Academy senior wants to tell stories with zeroes and ones.

    Jayshon was one of three high school students in the Bay Area to earn an internship with Sony to work on its MESH Project, an innovative tool that lets individuals build their own projects and "smart inventions.”

    The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier recognized Jayshon for his achievement at its October 3 board meeting.

    “Coding is like you are creating your own world,” Jayshon said. “You can make (coding) do whatever you want it to do.”

    At Sony, Jayshon created a video game and as part of the MESH Project, created a surveillance camera hidden inside a teddy bear.

    “I didn’t really understand what it was,” Christina Buckingham, Jayshon’s mother, said. “But then he told me and I was so proud. It kept him busy and opened his eyes up to the next step in life.”

    Through a partnership with PilotCity, the District’s college and career department led by Mary Kadri and Jayshon’s teacher Lilia McIntyre and Greenwood Principal Allison Huie, Sony was a fixture on campus for 12 weeks to provide project- and work-based experiences for students. Jayshon took full advantage of the opportunity and after completing one of his projects, PilotCity Director Derrick Lee, offered Jayshon the Sony internship.

    “I was never exposed to coding,” Jayshon said. “But once I was, I was like I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

    After graduation, Jayshon plans to attend coding school at 42 Silicon Valley and continue his career at Sony.

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  • Up For Debate: Greenwood Academy Students Team with BAUDL


    Greenwood Academy Students with Bay Area Urban Debate League ED Shauntrice Martin. Should prisons be abolished?

    Greenwood Academy students, mainly seniors, tackled that question Wednesday during its Bay Area Urban Debate League event.

    Gathered inside the school library, 15 students developed claims to both abolish prisons and to keep prisons and then using research to bolster those claims debated their classmates.

    “It was tough,” senior and first-time debater Kalia Washington said. “Debate forces you to see the other side and not just state your claim but to use evidence.”

    Seniors Tyanna Jinks and RoShawn Youngblood were the top debaters at the BAUDL event on Wednesday, Dec. 12. The evidence was a key component as students were given a packet containing three reasons to abolish prisons and four reasons to keep prisons. In teams of two, Greenwood students then participated in three rounds of debate, taking up each side.

    “Abolishing prisons won’t stop crime,” Kalia said, who along with her partner Claudia arguing for the negative side on abolishing prisons. “It will make it worse and we are going to have more problems.”

    Javier and Crystal, Kalia and Claudia’s counterparts, argued that prisons should be abolished because they are unsafe, could save the government money, and put the safety of guards at risk.

    “I am for abolishing prisons, but what are we going to do with the people that commit crimes,” Javier said after the debate. “I don’t know. It is a tough subject.”

    That feeling and the idea that there are no silver bullets when it comes to policy are key elements that Bay Area Urban Debate League Executive Director Shauntrice L. Martin wants students to take away from the debate.

    Greenwood Academy's Terry Walton, one of the debaters for BAUDL “We want them to be prepared for discussions and debates like abolishing prisons,” Martin said. “We want them prepared so they don’t have a gut reaction when they are in real-world situations. That is why we pick topics relevant to their lives and have them study and debate both sides.”

    Each round was scored by Bay Area Urban Debate League volunteer coaches and based on how well they cited evidence and facts and used it in their arguments.

    By the end of the day, two teams qualified for the final round with Tyanna Jinks and her partner, RoShawn Youngblood, taking the negative side and Lesly Campos and Guadalupe Torres, arguing the affirmative side.

    In the end, first-time debaters Tyanna and RoShawn narrowly edged Lesly and Guadalupe as the day’s top debaters.

    “I thought the debate was just arguing and sticking to your point,” Tyanna said. “But it is so much more than that. You have to think about both sides and you have to use evidence that strengthens your argument and at the same time anticipate what they (other side) could come at you with.”

    By the end of the day, Tyanna said she would definitely consider doing debate again. It was welcome news to Martin, who said the Bay Area Urban Debate League is actively recruiting West Contra Unified School District students to join the program.

    Greenwood Academy students taking part in the Bay Area Urban Debate League event. Martin said BAUDL has debates and trips planned to UC Berkeley, Stanford, and UNLV. In addition, BAUDL offers students opportunities to go on job shadow trips with legal professionals, internships, and free SAT prep.

    Debaters on the travel team are also required to have a 2.5 grade point average, and any student in BAUDL must show GPA improvement to be in the program.

    “A big thing for us is putting students in rooms with folks that look like them and seeing what is possible,” Martin said. “That makes a huge difference and helps them see that law and careers in law go beyond what we see on TV.”

    For more information on the BAUDL visit

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  • PilotCity Workforce Incubator Project

    This year, our Career and Technology Education teacher, Lilia McIntyre, participated in the PilotCity Workforce Incubator project. Through this program, Ms. McIntyre partnered with leading industry partners to bring innovative technology and rich project-based learning experiences into the classroom through our Graphic & Digital Arts Pathway program. 

    With the vision and guidance of Alameda County Office of Education, the Pilot City Workforce Incubator has the goal of implementing a regional and scalable career pathway incubator, currently serving 9 school districts, 750+ students, and their 25 teachers.  Thanks to the leadership and support of this year's employer partners,  students throughout the Bay Area are participating in exciting project-based learning opportunities integrating cutting edge technologies throughout the school year. Thank you to current partners: City of San Leandro, Colidr, Dasbotics, DJI, Double Robotics, InstaVR, Sony MESH, Ono, SE3D, Seeed, Variable Labs, and Zentoolworks.
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