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Lyman Gilmore

Middle School
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Jim Hemig: Students and sushi and robots, oh my!

 Excerpt from the Editorial Page of The Union:

Jim Hemig: Students and sushi and robots, oh my!

Want to see something cool?” Holly Hermansen, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, asked me during lunch at Kane’s Family Restaurant last week.

Since I’m always game to learn more about our community, I agreed to a morning of school visits to see what our youth are learning these days.

So on a rainy Thursday morning we drove around western Nevada County and dropped in to several classrooms to see what was cool.

The tour started at Lyman Gilmore Middle School with Principal Chris Roberts and the culinary arts class. Seventh and eighth graders were making sushi. Yes, sushi. The classroom had eight kitchens with stovetops, ovens, sinks, etc. The kids were hustling around making and eating their rolls.

This was up my alley. I like food. Who doesn’t? But when I was this age I could only make a bowl of cereal, and cooking classes were for girls. Yeah, I just said that. I apologize to all the feminists out there. But that’s what happened back then. Boys didn’t take home-ec.

Today, though, I love to cook. Time in the kitchen is creative and relaxing. These kids are learning valuable life skills and will be way ahead of me as adults. And they appeared to enjoy themselves.

When I asked one young chef, he said, “We get to try so many things and I get to eat stuff.”

The daily lessons include planning as well as cooking. And, of course, eating. I want to take this class.

Principal Roberts then showed me the Gilmore News Network studio. This classroom was decked out with video cameras, computers with video editing software and a team of students preparing the next broadcast of the GNN.

I was impressed with the kids’ knowledge of the video editing software, but even more impressed with their focus on the tasks at hand. They were on deadline. Each Friday they broadcast a partially live and recorded news show for both parents and students. Take a look at their work at

Back in 1939 it took a team of adults months to colorize The Wizard of Oz. Now kids are shooting, editing and broadcasting videos weekly. Again, they are having fun.

“It’s fun to explore what you can do, and it’s fun to share with the school,” one budding news anchor told me.