IMG_2705

Veteran’s Day and Beyond!!!

This year, we’ll be honoring the men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces at our Veteran’s Day program on Sunday November 10, 2019 at 9:30 am. The ceremony will take place at Veteran’s Park (10101 Palm Drive) and World War II Veteran Robert Morales will be the guest honoree!

Principal Arseo

Meet principal Arseo! She has been served as principal at Bella Vista since the school opened in January of 2014. (She previously served as the principal at Edward Wenzlaff for two years.) She has a passion for Bella Vista, one that is evident every time you see her walk through the halls and interact with students.

I asked her what made Bella Vista such an amazing school to which she replied, “Our school is awesome for a number of reasons. [First] We have the best students and the best parents. The students are engaging and determined. The parents strive to provide the best for their kids. [Additionally] We have a faculty that works very hard to provide the best possible education for our kids.” If that’s not enough, she concluded, “We work hard, but we also like to play hard. We are always looking for ways to engage students and parents. It is a team effort. Just like the saying goes: ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’”

She added, “We work diligently to provide students with the support in academics, social skills, and [encourage] positive behavior. There are so many incredibly wonderful kids that make good choices every day, that go out of their way to make Bella Vista the best, and thrive academically. Bella Vista is a fabulous, caring school.”

I had the honor of being ‘Principal for the Day’ last year and every staff member that I encountered genuinely loved working for the school. You leave there feeling as if they are more than a staff, they are a family.

What would you say to a parent who may be considering enrolling their child into a DHS school?

“I would tell all parents that the schools in DHS are fantastic. The teachers are here because they want to be here. We have teachers who were brought up in this area and in this school district. They are here because they want to give back to their community. Teachers that stay in DHS are dedicated to providing the best education possible for the DHS kids. We have incorporated a ton of supports to ensure that the students are given every opportunity to be successful. It is the dedication and determination of the staff, students and parents that make this the best place to be.”

Meet Mr. Richard Duffle

He is a man that has been an integral part of our city’s development for years. From youth sport leagues to involvement in city government and beyond, Mr. Duffle is a real life reflection of what is means to Advance DHS!

“My family moved to Desert Hot Springs October of 1993, 26 years its been now. When I first moved to DHS, it was like moving to a different planet after being in Coachella for the 1st 12 years of my life. The Sheriff’s Department only had one, maybe two cars patrolling the entire 92240 & 92241 zip codes and there seemed to be no drive in the city, heck for a pre teen there was no city. I’ve gotten to see our Police Department and City Council rise and fall, and rise again even better than before like a phoenix rising from its ashes. Desert Hot Springs has continued through all of these things, growing stronger, learning from past mistakes and striving for transparency and equality for everyone. No matter their race, gender, political affiliation, or religion, everyone is welcome and equal.” (pictured on election night checking the resuts)

(Pictured with his beautiful family)

Always candid with his answers, I asked him why he loves DHS?

“There are a whole lot of reasons but I’m going to give you my number 1. There is more heart in this community, so much love, and passion then anywhere I’ve ever been. I mean it comes from everywhere, from the folks that call DHS home to the folks who help keep her running. People genuinely caring about other people.”

“When I was 13, I started off volunteering for Angel View’s main facility in town, up on Miracle Hill & Desert View. I have taught Sunday School in various churches throughout my teens. I have served as the President of the Board for Calvary Southern Baptist Church, overseeing the merger into what is now Family Bible Church. I have served as a Sound Tech for Water of Life Chapel, and Desert Christian Fellowship. I’ve had the privilege and honor of being a Commissioner and Coach for DHS Jr All American Football for several years. Now I have the responsibility, privilege, and honor of serving the entire community as a whole for the second time as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Desert Hot Springs”

Richard, we thank you for representing DHS well!!!

Academic Excellence on Display!

If you have followed us for a while, you have seen that I am hands on with our schools. I believe that we have some of the best administrators and teachers in the entire school district! This is key, because they educate some of the best students around. Last week, I was invited by Principal Cota of DHS High to attend the semester’s Academic Awards, and while I was honored to be an attendee, I left highly impressed!

It was an amazing display of academic excellence as dozens of students received awards and recognition for exceling in individual subjects and beyond. However, there was a segment where many were awarded for having cumulative grade point averages greater than 4.0….a GPA over 4.0!!! Needless to say, there was an auditorium full of hundreds of parents and friends, full of joy while a sense of pride swept across the room. Please enjoy the images captured from an epic night!!!

More From Advancing Desert Hot Springs...

This Graduating Class is Something Special!

By Kephyan Sheppard | May 23, 2020

As we shift gears and begin to prepare for the return of some normalcy, it can’t be understated enough that for some normal may never return. For some the opportunity to take part in once-in-a-lifetime events has been taken away. Our graduation plans, especially for our high school students have unfortunately become casualties to unintended…

Family Engagement Center

By Kephyan Sheppard | April 27, 2020

From ’91-96, I lived here in DHS for the final year of middle school and a majority of my High School Years. I was one of many students who were transported via public transportion from our city to Raymond Cree Middle and Palm Springs High. I may be dating myself, but my school years as…

Little League Baseball

By Kephyan Sheppard | April 4, 2020

Opening day across the Nation has been postponed. COVID-19 has impacted nearly every area of our lives, and even our National past time has taken a blow. With Major League spring ball season at a standstill, our own local Little League program is also influx. Little League baseball has been a fixture in our community…

We are in this TOGETHER!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | March 19, 2020

Admittedly, this edition is a few days late. Several times I began typing and several times what I typed, I deleted. A week ago, our website received anonymous note asking if I would address COVID-19 and the outpouring of fear and concern that has swept throughout our city. With the increasing numbers of those affected…

DHS IS ADVANCING!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | February 28, 2020

Desert Hot Springs Celebrates Black History Month! As you drive into the city across gene Autry from the freeway, you will notice a distinct lighting pattern across the palm trees. Thanks to our city staff, our trees have been adorned with red, yellow, and green lighting to commemorate Black History Month. Black History Month is…

Watch Them Soar: DHS High

By Kephyan Sheppard | February 8, 2020

DHS High should be celebrated! Not only because it’s a great school, but because of the innovative approaches that Principal Cota and her staff employ daily. Over the course of the last year I have witnessed academic excellence, school pride, and exemplary professionalism from students and staff. However, I have now become aware of some…

DHS Celebrates Dr. King!

By Kephyan Sheppard | January 23, 2020

He stood for equality, he marched for peace, he died sharing the vision of a day that he knew he would never see in his lifetime…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a true hero. This weekend as hundreds of thousands of people marched and celebrated his legacy worldwide, you were able to catch a glimpse…

The Ophelia Project

By Kephyan Sheppard | January 4, 2020

Imagine a program that aims to help young girls achieve all they can in life, one that meets them right where they are and is committed to ‘rescuing their potential’. That program does exist, it is called The Ophelia Project. After years of operating on campuses throughout the Valley, the program will officially launch through…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | November 25, 2019

Youth sports are a staple in every growing city. The notion that we must keep our youth busy year round is one that is well received nationwide. Here in DHS, our Junior All American Football and Cheer program has proven to be a successful model of consistency for our youth, but has also served as…

Diversity DHS!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 19, 2019

A while back, we presented Diversity DHS to some of you in an effort to highlight the many things they do to Advance DHS. This week I was able to catch up with Sam Messler, the groups co-founder and dicussed their growth and plans for the immediate future. Groups like Diversity DHS are part of…