CA School News Report

Coming This Week

May 19–27, 2017

Baldwin Park Unified Announces Dates, Locations for Summer Meal Program

Baldwin Park children ages 1 through 18 may receive breakfasts and lunches free on Mondays through Fridays this summer at 10 Baldwin Park Unified schools through the Seamless Summer meal program. Breakfast will be available from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. and lunch from noon to 12:30 p.m. June 5-30 at De Anza Elementary, 12820 Bess Ave.; Kenmore Elementary, 3823 Kenmore Ave.; Pleasant View Elementary, 14900 E. Nubia St.; Vineland Elementary, 3609 Vineland Ave.; Walnut Elementary, 4701 N. Walnut St.; Holland Middle School, 4733 N. Landis Ave.; and Sierra Vista Junior High, 13400 Foster Ave. Breakfast will be available from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and lunch from 11 to 11:30 a.m. June 5 through July 7, closing only on July 4 at Baldwin Park High School, 3900 N. Puente Ave. and Sierra Vista High School, 3600 Frazier St. North Park Continuation High School, 4600 Bogart Ave., will serve breakfast from 9 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 to noon June 5 to July 7, closing only on July 4. For more information, call 626-962-3311 ext. 4224. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Award-Winning Aeolian Elementary Garden Club Teaches Students About Agriculture

Aeolian Elementary School’s award-winning Garden Club was awarded a first place ribbon for excellence at the California 48th District Agricultural Association (DAA) Schools’ Agriculture and Nutrition Fair at the Fairplex in Pomona on May 18. The 26-bed garden, cultivated for 16 years, includes leafy greens, spicy peppers and California wildflowers. The 45-member club is guided by Aeolian second-grade teacher and Certified Master Gardener Juvenal Martinez. In 2014, the club won the “There is a School in Every Garden” award. The fair runs from May 16 to 20. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More

East Whittier City to Name New Superintendent

Board of Education members will name East Whittier City School District’s next superintendent at their May 22 meeting at the District office, 14535 Whittier Blvd, Whittier. The new administrator will replace Mary Branca, who is retiring at the end of the 2016-17 school year. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Acclaimed Bellflower Unified Alternative High School Hosts Parents

Bellflower Unified will host a special informational meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 22 for families interested in enrolling their children in the District's expanding Las Flores Home Education Independent Study Academy. The independent studies high school features a blended-learning program for grades nine through 11 and a traditional support program for grades nine through 12. The academy is at 10039 E. Palm St., Bellflower. For information, contact Principal Tami Zylla, 562-804-6565 or visit lasfloreseducationalcenter.org. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Bassett High to Host Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Water-Refill Stations

A Bassett High student-led organization aimed to empower females and to increase environmental awareness will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for two newly installed campus water-refill stations at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, May 23. The Girls Build L.A. team came together in December 2016 and brought the water-refill stations and recycling bins to campus. The school is at 755 Ardilla Ave., La Puente. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)Read More

San Gabriel Elementary Students to Stage American Revolution Musical

San Gabriel Unified’s Washington Elementary fifth-graders will stage a musical about the American Revolution from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 23. Students will sing their way through the formation of the United States for parents, community members and representatives from the Assistance League of Arcadia, which funded a grant for the musical’s wardrobe. Washington Elementary School is at 300 N. San Marino Ave., San Gabriel. Media Contact: Lauren Creiman, 909-833-9853 (office)

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Students Honored in State Photography Contest

At some empty stretch of highway on the way to Mount Baldy, seventh-grader Genesis Sandoval laid down in the middle of the cracked and battered road for a photo that she believed encapsulated the essence of exploration and its many possibilities. Sandoval’s photo was chosen from hundreds of entries as one of eight winners of the 2017 California Streaming Digital Photography Contest. This is the second year in a row that a Benton Middle School student has been named a winner. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)Read More Photos

San Gabriel Unified to Host Spring Concerts for Elementary Music Program

San Gabriel Unified’s Roosevelt Elementary School will stage a trio of spring concerts for its award-winning Music Immersion Experience program. Transitional kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade will perform at 10 a.m. and second and third grades at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 23. Fourth and fifth grades will perform at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 24. The concerts highlight progress in fundamental music lessons, such as violin, choir and percussion, as well as electives in chamber winds, Latin percussion and rock band. Roosevelt Elementary is at 401 S. Walnut Grove Ave., San Gabriel. Media Contact: Lauren Creiman, 909-833-9853 (office)

Monrovia Unified to Showcase New Computer Science Magnet School

Monrovia Unified’s Santa Fe Computer Science Magnet School will host an open house at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25 to introduce parents to its new magnet program. Parents and community members will learn about plans to implement Code to the Future, an immersive computer science program, in addition to Santa Fe’s established programs, including Science Olympiad and robotics. Santa Fe is at 148 W. Duarte Road, Monrovia. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

Rio Hondo College to Hold 54th Commencement Ceremony

Rio Hondo College will hold its 54th annual Commencement Ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at Parking Lot A of the hilltop campus at 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. The ceremony will recognize more than 1,500 students who earned degrees in summer/fall 2016 or spring/summer 2017, including those who have earned degrees that guarantee acceptance to California State University campuses. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)

Lynwood Unified Superintendent Named San Diego County Superintendent of Schools

Lynwood Unified Superintendent Paul Gothold has been named the next superintendent of the San Diego County Office of Education following a unanimous vote by the San Diego County Board of Education on May 10. Gothold will assume his new role on June 1. Gothold has been a champion of equity and access for all students in Lynwood Unified, working to break down barriers to student success. Gothold joined Lynwood Unified as chief academic officer in 2011 before being named superintendent in 2013. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More

Whittier Union Student Earns Recognition for Academic Turnaround

When Janice Palapa enrolled at Frontier High School as a junior in August 2016, she was far behind in her school credits, in low spirits and planned to stay only for as long as it took her to get back on track to graduate. Since then, Palapa has marched in the 2017 Rose Bowl Parade as a Gold Award Girl Scout, joined the school’s Associated Student Body and Soroptimist student club, and serves as a student representative on Frontier’s Site Council and LCAP Advisory Board, all while earning a year’s worth of credits in one semester. Now, Palapa will walk as an FHS class of 2018 graduate. The military-bound student was recognized by the District with an Award of Merit on April 11. Media Contact: Media contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More Photos

Bassett High School Celebrates Class of 2017 with College Signing Day

Bassett High School will celebrate its Class of 2017’s higher-education journeys with a College Signing Day at 1:30 Friday, May 26. Students will sign symbolic letters of intent for colleges that include UC Irvine, Cal Poly Pomona and Boston College. College Signing Day is a White House program initiated in 2016 to encourage all students to attend college and support those planning for college. The school is at 755 Ardilla Ave., La Puente. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Mokler Elementary School to Honor Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage during Celebration

Students from Paramount Unified’s Major Lynn Mokler Elementary School will gather with their families at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 to celebrate Asian/Pacific American history. Close to 100 Mokler students worked together with their families to research pivotal figures of Asian/Pacific American origin and create biographical sketches to highlight their accomplishments. The sketches will be assembled into a gallery that parents, teachers and students will walk through. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More

Los Nietos Middle School to Celebrate Promotion of Eighth-graders

Los Nietos Middle School will send their eighth-graders off to high school during a promotion ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, May 26 on the school campus front lawn, 11425 Rivera Road, Whittier. About 180 graduates will be on hand during a celebration that features speeches from valedictorians and performances from the school band. The eighth-graders have completed a two-year science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) Academy program. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

San Gabriel Unified to Host Annual Elementary Variety Show

San Gabriel Unified’s Coolidge Elementary School will host its annual variety show from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 26. This year’s event, themed “We Will Rock You,” will showcase a variety of student performances, from vocal and instrumental music acts to dances and skits. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m. Coolidge Elementary is at 421 N. Mission Drive, San Gabriel. Media Contact: Lauren Creiman, 909-833-9853 (office)

Los Nietos Elementary Students to Compete in Battle of the Books

Students at Los Nietos School District’s Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary School will engage in a Battle of the Books with three schools from the neighboring Little Lake School District at 6 p.m. Friday, May 26 at the Activity Center, 11155 Charlesworth Road, Santa Fe Springs. Twelve Rancho students from the fourth and fifth grades will represent the District, demonstrating their knowledge of books read during the year. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

East Whittier City Board of Education Approves First Phase of School Modernization Projects

The East Whittier City School District Board of Education has approved the first round of campus modernization and repairs through money raised via the $94 million measures R and Z bonds, approved by voters in November 2016. Beginning in summer, Laurel, Mulberry, Orchard Dale and La Colima elementary schools will receive the following upgrades: roofing repair; painted lunch shelters, covered walkways and storage bins; asphalt/concrete replacement; fencing; flooring abatement and flooring installation. Media Contact: Marika Bastrmajian, 909-445-1001 (office)Read More

South Whittier School District Selects 30-Year Educator as Next Superintendent

The South Whittier School District Board of Education on May 16 selected Dr. Gary Gonzales, a 30-year educator and longtime administrator at the Alhambra Unified School District, to helm the District as its next executive leader. He makes history as South Whittier’s first Latino superintendent. The selection follows an extensive search by consultant Leadership Associates, an online survey garnering input from District stakeholders, several discussions by the Board of Education on the characteristics, skills and qualities desired in a superintendent, and interviews with highly qualified candidates. Gonzales will assume his new role July 1. Gonzales will succeed Superintendent Gail Baxter, who will retire in June after 27 years as an educator and administrator in the District. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)Read More Photos

Bassett Unified Names High School Instructor as 2017 Teacher of the Year

Nueva Vista High School English language development and intervention teacher Jessica Estrada was named Bassett Unified School District’s 2017-18 Teacher of the Year during a special presentation at the May 9 Board of Education meeting. Estrada, who has worked at BUSD since 2013, is known for her rapport with Nueva Vista students and development of successful programs such as Leadership Class and the Author Project. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Lynwood High Students Win City Art Contest, $1,000 Scholarships

Three Lynwood High School arts students have been named winners of a contest to help design the city’s new “Welcome to Lynwood” sign. Sophomores Bryada Overstreet, Beatriz Soto and Stephanie Martinez won for their individual sketches that captured Lynwood’s history, atmosphere and values. The students received $1,000 scholarships at the May 2 City Council meeting. The sketches will be used to inspire the final design. Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)

South Whittier Elementary After-school Programs Buoy Student Success

A pair of after-school programs at South Whittier Unified’s McKibben Elementary bolster student success for those at all academic levels. The High Achievers program introduces challenges that go beyond standard classroom lessons for students who demonstrate exceptional academic capabilities. Target for Success works with students from kindergarten through sixth grade who need extra help with reading, writing and math. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Bassett High Hosts Student Leadership Training Day

Bassett High School Associated Student Body (ASB) members on May 12 encouraged 114 elementary and middle school students to prepare for high school leadership roles using giant sombreros, hip dance moves and unbridled enthusiasm. The “Heart of Leadership” event encouraged Edgewood Academy, Don Julian Elementary and Torch Middle School students to get excited about ASB activities and described the duties of ASB members. Photos are available Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Earns Doctorate

Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza – a professional educator in California public schools since 1990 – earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California on May 11. Mendoza, who took over leadership of the Baldwin Park Unified School District in February 2016, wrote his dissertation about the influence of globalization and multinational corporations on the instructional practices and interest in STEM topics in Ireland’s schools.Mendoza started his career as a substitute teacher in the Jurupa Unified School District before shifting to counseling and administrative posts for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. He came to Baldwin Park Unified in 2000 as coordinator of early childhood education. He served as associate superintendent from 2010 to 2015. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Follow-up Stories

Norwalk High Junior Triumphs at Lions Club Student Speaker Contest

Norwalk High School junior Alyssa Bernal is a step closer to her dream of attending an Ivy League law school, earning $500 in Lions Club scholarships after strong performances during the 80th Annual Lions Club Student Speaker Contest. Bernal, who has a 4.54 GPA and a goal of becoming the first female chief justice of the Supreme Court, will use the money to attend the Yale University Young Global Scholars pre-collegiate summer program in June. Bernal won three consecutive regional contests with her response to the question, “Is the Right to Privacy a Threat to our National Security.” Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)Read More Photos

Monrovia Unified Students Experience Drunken Driving Dangers through Simulated Auto Crash

Twisted metal, broken glass and pools of fake blood on May 16 littered West Colorado Boulevard in front of Monrovia High School, where a simulation of a car collision drove home the dangers of driving under the influence. Monrovia High School’s “Every 15 Minutes” two-day event on May 16-17 also included a mock funeral and removal of students from classes to show the loss of life to drunken driving. Photos are available Media Contact: Lindsay Ivins, 909-206-5480 (office) or 480-335-3149 (cell)Read More Photos

NLMUSD Honors Parent Volunteers with Bollywood-Themed Lunch

Nearly 175 Norwalk-La Mirada parent volunteers were feted with a Bollywood dance performance from Eastwood Elementary fourth-graders and a catered lunch prepared by Norwalk High students during the 17th annual Day of the Parent celebration at Huerta Elementary School on May 18. The parents received certificates from their school principals and PTA representatives. Media Contact: Nancy Yeang, 909-445-1001 (office) or 909-331-6646 (cell)

Baldwin Park Elementary Showcases Dual-language Student Talent

Dual-language students from Baldwin Park Unified’s Tracy Elementary lit up the evening in bright blue, red and green garments and traditional Mexican attire as they danced and sang to popular songs by iconic singer Juan Gabriel on May 12. Alternating from English to Spanish, transitional kindergarteners through sixth-graders took the audience through Gabriel’s history and his impact on Mexican music and culture. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More Photos

Gabrielino High School Honors Faculty for Creativity in the Classroom

San Gabriel Unified’s Gabrielino High School recognized nine teachers and staff in May for using imaginative instruction to inspire student excellence. Gabrielino’s visual and performing arts department presented the inaugural Creativity in the Classroom Award to John Carney, Yvonne Aparicio, Lovelyn Chang, Kevin Weir, Marguerita Drew, Jessica Lew, Mike Huang, Maria Morales and Diane Maestas. Outstanding projects and assignments included student videos of reenactments of famous court cases in social studies, a “Hamlet” grab bag in English and GeoGebra software use in math. Media Contact: Lauren Creiman, 909-833-9853 (office)

Upcoming Events

500 Students to Perform at Bellflower Unified Instrumental Music Festival

Five hundred students from all 11 Bellflower Unified elementary schools and both comprehensive middle/high schools will perform at the District’s annual Instrumental Music Festival at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 30 at Bellflower High School. The program, held for nearly a decade, includes the elementary band, GATE band, middle school bands, a combined district orchestra, percussion ensembles from both high schools and combined bands from both high schools. The event is $5 to attend; children 5 and under are free. Media Contact: William Diepenbrock, 909-206-5304 (office) or 909-214-6909 (cell)Read More

Paramount High School Seniors Receive City PEP Scholarship

Paramount Education Partnership (PEP) will award 36 graduating seniors from Paramount High School scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $4,000. A collaborative effort that includes Paramount Unified, the city of Paramount and the Paramount Chamber of Commerce, PEP scholarships aim to make higher education accessible to all students. Scholarship winners will be recognized at Paramount High School’s annual Awards Night at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 30. Media Contact: Jahmal Corner, 909-445-1001 (office)

Whittier Union to Hold Graduation Ceremonies at District Stadiums

The Whittier Union High School District will hold graduation celebrations in early June for its comprehensive high schools, two alternative high schools, adult school and transition program students. On Monday, June 5, graduations will be held for Frontier High School at 6 p.m. in the Whittier High School Auditorium and the Transition Program at 7 p.m. at the Harmony Center. Ceremonies will be held on Tuesday, June 6 for California High School at 5:30 p.m. at the Sandra Sanchez Thorstenson Stadium; the Whittier Adult School/Sierra Vista High School at 6 p.m. in the Whittier High Auditorium; and Santa Fe High School at 6 p.m. at the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium. On Wednesday, June 7, celebrations will be held for Whittier High School at 4 p.m. at the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium; La Serna High School at 5 p.m. at the Sandra Sanchez Thorstenson Stadium; and Pioneer High School at 7 p.m. at the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium. Media Contact: Valerie Martinez, Juliette Funes 909-447-2404