accomplishments

Highest honor awarded. Las Positas College has announced that Karen Brill Pihl, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the Reed Buffington Award for 2013. The Buffington Award is the highest honor for professional excellence in the fields of teaching and community service given to a faculty member in the Chabot-Las Positas College District. Pihl served as a member of the biology faculty member at Las Positas for more than 35 years.

Girl Scout earns gold. Malia Gonzales, a graduate of Granada High School in Livermore, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by encouraging the regrowth of a declining bat population. To do so, she led a team of nine to build and paint 12 bat houses. Bat houses were installed at Livermore Regional Parks -- Brushy Peak, Briones, Del Valle and Camp Arroyo. An additional bat house was donated to Sulphur Creek Regional Park in Hayward. Malia is the daughter of Sally and Rick Gonzales, of Livermore.


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Eagle rank earned. David P. Hofstetter, of Troop 236 under the leadership of Scoutmaster Paul Grabowsky and mentor Dennis Fresquez, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor held Oct. 15 at Community Presbyterian Church in Danville. For his Eagle Scout project, David led Scouts in building a display case for the Contra Costa County Humane Society in Pleasant Hill. The display case is designed to highlight the pets available for adoption. David also conducted a pet food drive for the Humane Society. He is the son of Sheila and Dave Hofstetter, of Alamo, and is a senior at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville.

Student essay winner. Foothill High School senior Kat Campisi, of Pleasanton, was one of 10 Bay Area students out of 127 entrants to win an essay contest sponsored by the Culture to Culture Foundation, a group dedicated to promoting mental health and emotional wellness within the Bay Area's growing Asian-American community. Students were encouraged to write about a mental health issue facing today's youth. Kat wrote about stress and anxiety's effect on today's students under immense pressure to excel.

Valley Stars is written by Louise Hartman. Contact her at 925-847-2111, by email at vtletters@bayareanewsgroup.com or fax to 925-847-2189.