Hayward's Mount Eden High School music program has been chosen a Grammy Signature School semifinalist, making it eligible for a prize of up to $10,000.

The program is one of 129 national semifinalists. The finalists will be announced in March.

"We are so proud of the Mount Eden music program," said Hayward school board member Lisa Brunner.

The schools are chosen by the Grammy Foundation, which is affiliated with the Recording Academy. The academy presents the musical Grammy Awards.

"The Grammy Foundation's Grammy Signature Schools program recognizes public high schools across the country for their dedication to providing excellent music education programs for their students," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, in a release.

The Mount Eden music program is under the direction of Kevin Cato, and Ken Rawdon directs the choir.

Fremont teacher raises money for Make-A-Wish

Claudine Dentoni, a second-grade teacher at Fremont's Azevada Elementary, has raised nearly $80,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Greater Bay Area, which will fulfill the dream of Shelbi Zeien, an ailing San Ramon teenager.

Both will be honored around 2 p.m. Friday at Macy's in Walnut Creek.

Shelbi, a 17-year-old girl who suffers from an autoimmune disease, will be feted at a reception at the store. Her wish of meeting entertainer Justin Bieber will be granted next month, when the Make-A-Wish Foundation will arrange to fly her to Colorado to meet the teen heartthrob.

Macy's will donate $2 for each "Dear Santa" letter it receives Friday. Walnut Creek firefighters will drive Dentoni to the store, where she said she will deliver nearly 39,000 letters written by students from more than 30 Fremont schools. Students from a school in Danville and another in Brentwood also wrote letters, said Dentoni, a Fremont resident.

She said she plans to collect the fundraising letters again next holiday season. "It could be even more next year," she said. "There are many more schools to reach."

Tennyson High in Hayward hosts holiday celebration

Tennyson High School is hosting a Winterfest, featuring food, singing, a short play, live music, Santa and artwork.

The celebration on Dec. 20 will have a pasta dinner, followed by a short production, "Night Before Christmas vs. Nightmare Before Christmas." There will be music during dinner.

Santa will be on hand for photos. Those attending can buy a small photo or button for $2, but you don't have to make a purchase to speak with the jolly guy.

Dinner will be served starting at 5:30 p.m., with tickets $6 for one and $10 for two. There will be music during dinner, and the show starts at 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend the production.

In addition to music from the school's band and orchestra, several teachers will be singing; joining them will be the school's principal, Lori Villanueva, and Santa. A marketplace will feature cards and artwork created by students.

Tennyson High is at 27035 Whitman St. in Hayward. For more information, call 510-723-3190.

Homeroom is a weekly roundup of news from schools in greater Hayward and the Tri-City areas.

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