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Popular high school ceramics teacher retires after 40 years – The Mercury News

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When Leah Aguayo arrived at Los Gatos High School on the penultimate day of her teaching career, she had a “tearful moment,” as she put it.

Someone – one or maybe many of their students – had adorned the area next to their classroom with signs saying, “Thank you for shaping us” and “40 years and finally graduation”. They had set up a collection of windmills blowing in the wind. When she asked her students who was responsible for the gesture, no one gave up. But given Aguayo’s 40 years of teaching, there is no shortage of people who would like to thank her.

This month Aguayo is retiring from Los Gatos High, where she has spent the past five years teaching ceramics. Previously, she had been a ceramics teacher at Saratoga High School since 1981. Former students are holding a drive-by retirement ceremony in the Saratoga High School parking lot on June 19 to honor Aguayo’s long and storied teaching career.

Over the years, Aguayo became a loyal teacher, a student favorite. She also became known for getting involved outside of the classroom.

She twice took students on trips to New Mexico to study Native American pottery and engineering.

Back at Saratoga High School, she started a women’s awareness group where she held workshops for female students to discuss topics that were important to them.

For 22 years she hosted the Souper Bowl, a tradition that began at Saratoga High School and carried over to Los Gatos. It was an opportunity for her ceramics students and the school’s cooking students to demonstrate their skills.

When the Paradise Fires arrived, they convinced Los Gatos High School and Saratoga High School to join forces to host taco dinners to raise funds for the victims. After that, other teachers joined the effort and ran their own fundraising drives. In total, they sent $ 22,000 to the city.

Aguayo said the past few years have been incredibly challenging, but it’s comforting that she and her students have weathered the various storms together. The COVID-19 pandemic, extreme forest fires, the transition to virtual learning – all of this led to an unconventional end to Aguayo’s career. But she doesn’t take that with her.

“I’m so proud of my children,” said Aguayo. “I’m so proud of our people, our administration, our maintenance team. Oh my god we did it. We did it and we made it safely. “

Aguayo recently did the math. She has taught around 6,000 students for over 40 years. Those in their first graduate year are now 58 years old.

Tanya and Steve Melen, now married, first met in Aguayo’s pottery class at Saratoga High School. They were students there in the 1980s, and Steve said he liked their class so much that he took it twice.

“I obviously had some extraordinary pottery skills to get Tanya’s attention,” he said.

The two remember Aguayo’s unique way of making students feel comfortable as they cope with the difficulties that teenage years bring with them.

“She was a safe point of contact if you had school problems or difficulties in class with a teacher,” said Tanya, or if you had health problems. She was always there to listen and help and never made a judgment. “

Another former student, Kevin Story, also attended Aguayo’s ceramics class in the 1980s. He and some friends still visit their classroom every few years to throw pots. He said he was extremely influenced by Aguayo as a student.

“She had a huge impact on me because I didn’t really enjoy school. I wasn’t very good at it, ”said Story. “And then when I started in her classroom, she encouraged creativity. She allowed me and my friends to really do things our way. “

In the senior year of Story, he entered his ceramic work in competitions. Aguayo made pottery a lifelong passion for him.

Story and the Melens are working together to plan Aguayo’s retirement party on Saturday June 19 at the Saratoga High School property. There will be pop-up tents where Aguayo will be signing jars of her famous hot sauce, and Steve will be signing copies of his book and donating part of his sales proceeds to Aguayo’s pension fund. Former students and community members can stop by to show their support for Aguayo as she prepares for retirement.

Aguayo’s retirement plans are varied. She plans to devote some time to her already successful salsa business. Mrs. A’s Salsa Buena was a business idea born out of her students’ love for homemade snacks that she brought to class to encourage good behavior.

Aguayo said her students encouraged her to sell the salsa and even developed a name and logo themselves.

She added that she could try offering her services to schools with less solid arts programs in order to reach those who would otherwise not have access to ceramics classes. Or maybe she’ll be an art teacher. She will likely spend some time volunteering at local family homes, paying special attention to the oldest children, knowing that they are the most often ignored.

“I just have so much energy that I know that something is meant for me out there,” said Aguayo.

No matter where retirement takes her, she takes her students’ final gesture of thanks when she leaves.

“I’ll take the wind turbines and put them in my garden,” said Aguayo. “When the wind dies, they turn and it will remind me of all my great memories.”

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Women’s Health

Organon announces commitment to accelerating advancements in women’s health at EXPO 2020

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With a diverse portfolio that includes women’s health, biosimilars and established brands, Organon is the only company in the world that is solely focused on women’s health. Serving 140 markets with 60 drugs and solutions, the healthcare company now operates in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, KSA, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Ukraine. In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Organon’s mission is to improve and innovate health care for women.

Comment on the start, Ramy Koussa, Vice President of Organon MENAT, said: “Our goal is to advance health care for women in MENAT by addressing their unmet needs and helping to build a healthier and better future for all women, families and communities With local authorities and industry stakeholders, we seek to shift the paradigm of women’s health beyond reproductive health and embrace the full life cycle. This forum is an important first for us at Organon MENAT to listen to women and become a trusted partner in the health care of women in the region, “he added.

Topics discussed by the respected women’s health experts included existing data gaps hindering improvements in women’s health, monitoring progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality, investing in health care and accelerating change through economic growth Strengthening. Panelists present included: Dr Susanne Fiedler, Chief Commercial Officer of Organon; Susanne Michail, Regional Director of the United Nations Unit for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Arab States; Bathylle Missika, Head of Networks, Partnerships and Gender at the OECD Development Center; Myra Betron, Director of Gender Issues at Jhpeigo; and Dina El– Shenoufy, Chief Investment Officer at Flat6lab.

MS. Susanne Michail, Regional Director of the United Nations Unit for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Arab States, said: “A better understanding and better management of the unmet health needs of women is essential for achieving the sustainable goals of the 2030 Agenda, including the extremely important gender equality and economic empowerment goals for women. In addition to considering health services as a fundamental right per se, women’s health is also directly related to economic development. For example, women could add $ 28 trillion (or 26% of global GDP) of the world economy by 2025 when their health issues are addressed so they can better participate in the labor market. So it is exciting to see how Organon is focusing on the health needs of women and accelerating advances in women’s health in the region. “

Commentary after the panel discussion, Dr Susanne Fiedler, Organon’s Chief Commercial Officer, said, “At Organon we are working towards a world where every woman can enjoy better health. To this end, we will work closely with industry stakeholders, from private to public organizations, health care providers, Patient societies and others to develop efficient and differentiated operating models to improve the delivery of health services to women across the region. ”

DR Sawsan AS Al Madhi, Director General, Friends of Cancer Patients, added, “Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) is a patient-centric organization. We fundamentally believe that the patient must be heard and empowered to ensure the best possible care. We welcome the introduction of Organon across the board middle East, North africa and Turkey Region and look forward to our collaborative approach to better understand and address the unmet health needs of women. “

With a dynamic business model and entrepreneurial approach, and in line with its commitment to accelerating progress in women’s health, the company also launched the Femtech Accelerator Program in the middle East and North africa together with the early-stage venture capital firm Flat6Labs, the result of their first official regional collaboration. Together, the companies will support women-led and focused start-ups in the digital healthcare sector and help them develop a Medium Viable Product (MVP). Selected start-ups take part in a two-month intensive acceleration program with individual coaching and mentoring with relevant leading industry experts, online training and matchmaking with potential technology, investment and business partners.

Copyright © 2021 Organon Group of Companies. All rights reserved. If you need an update, have an inquiry or need to report a side effect, you can contact the following address:

Tel .: +9714 5639700
Fax: +9714 5805629
E-mail: [email protected]

About Organon:

Organon (NYSE: OGN) is a global healthcare company that emerged from a spin-off from Merck and known outside the United States as MSD The United States and Canadato focus on improving women’s health throughout their lives. For your health, the company has a portfolio of more than 60 drugs and products from a number of therapeutic areas. Led by the reproductive health portfolio coupled with an expanding biosimilars business and a stable franchise of established drugs, Organon’s products generate strong cash flows that will support investments in future growth opportunities in women’s health, including business development. In addition, Organon is pursuing opportunities to work with biopharmaceutical innovators who wish to commercialize their products by leveraging their size and presence in rapidly growing international markets.

Organon has a global presence of significant size and geographic reach, world class commercial capabilities, and approximately 9,000 employees headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey.

For more information, visit www.organon.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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Women’s Health

FIGO 2021 World Congress Blog – Day Five

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Investigation of Controversies in Treatment at the Israel Forum

The fifth day of the FIGO 2021 World Congress began with a session on treatment controversies, which took place live on the Israel Forum and was streamed directly on our virtual platform. During that session there was a fascinating debate about the use of valaciclovir to prevent vertical transmission of cytomegalovirus. Dr. Yacov Amir spoke first, suggesting that valaciclovir was an effective form of treatment, followed by Dr. Rinat Gabbay-Benziv, who argued that it had its limits. The session ended with a panel discussion and questions and answers between the speakers and moderators.

COVID-19 and the women’s health crisis

We then had the honor of enjoying the BN Purandare lecture organized by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI). Dr. Alpesh Gandhi gave a keynote on the “Women’s Health Crisis During the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

In his lecture, Dr. Gandhi provided a comprehensive look at the many impacts of the pandemic on women’s health, including an increase in maternal mortality, limited access to family planning and abortion services, delays in gynecological surgeries, and a lack of access to COVID vaccinations for pregnant women. He stressed that the pandemic had resulted in women avoiding health facilities and highlighted the essential role of community health workers, midwives and telemedicine in addressing this challenge.

Learn more about FIGO’s pen surgery training initiative

Following this, the FIGO Committee for Fistulas and Genital Trauma organized a meeting on the FIGO Fistula Surgery training initiative. Gillian Slinger, Senior Project Manager of the FIGO initiative, started the session with an update on the initiative’s recent successes and future plans to expand the training program. Dr. Fekade Aneyachew Aklilu described the role of trainers in delivering fistula surgery training in resource-poor environments and the challenges one faces in becoming a trainer.

Dr. Hillary Mabeya then gave a presentation of advice for aspiring fistula surgery trainees and gave an insight into what to expect when training to become a fistula surgeon. Dr. Andrew Browning closed the session with a talk on persistent incontinence after fistula repair – with an emphasis on diagnosis, management and corrective surgery.

The meeting was rounded off by a discussion between Ms. Slinger and Dr. Mabeya on the importance of continuous training, the essential role of working with larger teams beyond surgeons, and the role FIGO has played in eradicating fistulas around the world.

Prenatal diagnostics

Later, the FIGO Maternal and Fetal Health Track organized a session on prenatal diagnostics. We first heard from Professor Lyn Chitty who gave a talk on rapid fetal exome sequencing for the diagnosis of monogenic conditions in fetuses with structural abnormalities. She focused on explaining what rapid fetal exome sequencing is, what it will deliver, and provided an overview of how it is currently being used in the UK NHS. Professor Svetlana Rechitsky focused on pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT-A) with Embryo Selection, in particular on the management of mosaic embryos.

Dr. James Goldberg spoke about advanced pre-conceptual vehicle screening, focusing on the medical history, recent changes to key guidelines and guidelines, and the clinical utility of these tests. Dr. Antoni Borrell concluded the session with a presentation on maternal plasma aneuploidy testing for all chromosomes, focusing mainly on cell-free DNA (cfDNA) testing.

Global Perspectives on Self-Administered Abortion

We then had an exciting live panel on “Spreading the Revolution – Why Investing in Self-Administered Abortions is the Way Forward to Realizing Women’s Right to Physical Autonomy”, led by Dr. Dorothy Shaw. The panel started with an introduction by Dr. Bela Ganatra on developing the World Health Organization’s recommendations on medical abortion over the past 20 years.

An exciting conversation followed between Dr. Shaw, Dr. Ganatra, Dr. Laura Gil, Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Mr. Shabin Shrestha and Ms. Jedidah Maina. The discussion focused on the main obstacles to self-directed abortion, namely the over-regulation of medical abortion, criminalization, social stigma and a lack of understanding of the issue.

The speakers shared valuable insights from around the world, used their platform to demand an approach that prioritizes listening to women and trusts them to know how to make decisions about their reproductive life. Speakers highlighted the key role of evidence in lobbying, improving access to information and training, removing barriers to access to safe abortion services, and appreciating the voices of people who have had experiences seeking abortion care.

End the day in Europe

The day ended with the Europe Regional Evening, organized by the European Board and College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (EBCOG), which started with a dedicated panel on the effects of COVID on OBGYN education in the region. We then heard from several speakers about examples of European learning fields. The evening ended with a conversation about OBGYN care for migrants in Europe. Each session of the evening was pleasantly ended with musical interludes by the renowned opera singer Danae Kontora, whose incredible voice could be heard at various points on the night of study.

Recordings of the entire meeting will be available on demand on the virtual congress platform within 24 hours.

To learn more about the congress or to register, visit www.figo2021.org.

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Program focused on women vets health care could become mandatory for transitioning troops

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Following a proposal proposed by Congress to ensure women get the information they need about post-military health support services, transition into health care training could become a requirement for women service members leaving their ranks.

“It should be a compulsory program where female veterans can come together and talk about some of their problems in a safe place so that the Department of Defense and their military departments understand what their problems might be,” said Rep. Julia Brownley. D-California, on Tuesday.

“I think one of the problems is that women don’t even know about the program or have access to the program. And certainly, if it is not compulsory, you might miss it completely. “

TIED TOGETHER

Your comments came at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on available support services for female troops and veterans.

As part of the discussion, panel members praised the transition to women’s health training program jointly run by VA and Defense Department officials over the past three years to provide more targeted information on post-military health care and support services.

But despite good reviews of the program so far, the panel’s lawmakers said they felt more needs to be done to promote it to ensure that female veterans are aware of it and have access to training.

Only about 37 percent of all female veterans in America are enrolled in VA health programs, according to a Congressional Research Service report earlier this year. For comparison: around half of all male veterans are enrolled in the system.

Health care officials have said that in transitioning from military life, it is critical to ensure veterans know and understand their available benefits – especially medical care – how to access them, and offer solutions to challenges such as financial problems, mental health issues, and thoughts of suicide .

Only about 1,500 female service workers have completed the Women’s Health Transitioning Training in recent years, which is currently a self-directed online course offered through the Transition Assistance Program. Of this group, 54 percent chose to enroll in VA health care after completing the course.

Lawrencia Pierce, assistant director of VA’s Office for Outreach, Transition and Economic Development, said officials plan to expand the program in the coming months to include virtual instructors to allow for greater engagement and feedback from course participants.

But William Mansell, director of the Defense Support Service Center, said officials hadn’t thought of making the course compulsory for women who are leaving the military because they prefer to keep the transition classes as flexible as possible to allow the transition forces be able to choose the training that best suits them needs.

“There are alternative avenues and different levels of support that allow service members to control their transition processes,” he said. “And if a changing service member states that they need this training, or if their self-assessment indicates that they need it, then they will get it.”

TIED TOGETHER

The Women in Military Service to America Memorial, the only national museum honoring military women, celebrated its 15th anniversary on October 20, 2012.

However, Browley and other lawmakers said this approach may not be strong enough, especially given the preconceived notion that VA health care is more focused on helping men than women.

“When women leave, they need to know what the options are,” she said. “And many of them leave on a traumatic basis. So many women are subjected to harassment or assault that happened to them during their military service. “

There are currently no pending laws on the matter, but Brownley indicated that if the expansion of training progresses slowly, she could begin creating such a plan.

Along with the addition of virtual coaches, Defense and VA officials said they plan to increase funding for the program in the coming months to allow for wider program visibility through existing programs and transition networks.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs, and the White House for Military Times. He has been reporting on Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veteran politics. His work has received numerous awards, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.

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