CA School News

Whittier Union High School District

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  • 9401 S. Painter Ave., Whittier, CA 90605 • (562) 698-8121
  • Whittier Union High School District, formed in 1900, operates five comprehensive high schools, one continuation school, one alternative studies program and one adult school.

  • Superintendent: Martin Plourde
  • Board of Trustees: Tim Schneider, president; Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco, vice president; Russell Castañeda-Calleros, clerk; Jeff Baird, member; Leighton Anderson, member

La Serna High Student Wins Congressional Art Contest

La Serna High junior Elizabeth Islas will have her drawing on display in the U.S. Capitol for one year after taking the top prize in the 38th District for the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, a national contest among high schoolers across the country. Islas will also receive a scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. for her and her family to attend the National Congressional Art Competition reception in June. Senior Brenda Heredia won as a fan favorite, and her art will be displayed in U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez’ office. Media Contact: Media contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

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)

Whittier Union AVID Students Receive Dell Scholarships

Santa Fe High School seniors Isaac Zarate, Jesus Muneton, Nicolas Mabey and Angie Torres will graduate this year with $80,000 in collective scholarships. The students are participants in AVID – Advancement Via Individual Determination – and were named Dell Scholars for their accomplishments in high school and essays highlighting personal and financial obstacles. Zarate will attend UC Irvine for political science, Mabey will attend UCLA as a business major and Torres will study mathematics at UC San Diego. Muneton is on track to graduate as valedictorian and will study chemical engineering at UCLA. Media Contact: Media contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Whittier Union Star Singer Selected for Choral Scholar Program

California High School junior Hannah Ridge has been selected for the Choral Scholar Program for Vox Femina, a nationally acclaimed professional women’s choir based in Los Angeles. Ridge will perform in “Women on the Rise,” a June concert that marks the end of Vox Femina’s 20th year anniversary season. This is Ridge’s third year with her school choir. Media Contact: Media contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Whittier Union Schools Celebrate Students with College Signing Day Events

Follow-up Story: Pioneer High School, which was recently named a National AVID Demonstration School, Whittier High School and Santa Fe High School held AVID College Signing Days for seniors on April 26. The schools provided a venue for students to celebrate their accomplishments and declare which college or university they are attending. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is designed to close the achievement gap and provide students with tools for college and career success. Media Contact: Media contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Whittier Union Partners with Rio Hondo College to Offer College Course

Whittier Union High School District has partnered with Rio Hondo College to offer students in its three alternative programs the opportunity to take a college-level course at their home campus this semester. Nearly 40 students from Frontier High School, a continuation school, Sierra Vista High School, an independent studies school, and Whittier Adult School are taking a three-unit introductory sociology course that is transferable to a community college, four-year California State University or University of California institution. It is the first time in eight years that a Rio Hondo College course has been offered at the Sierra Education Center campus, where the three schools are based. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Whittier Union Drama Teacher Tapped for National Advocacy Role

Santa Fe High School drama teacher Alison Johnson has been selected for the inaugural class of the Advocacy Leadership Network, a three-year pilot initiative designed to train and empower members of the Educational Theatre Association. Johnson brings experience and enthusiasm to the project, having taught theater arts at Santa Fe, her alma mater, for 26 years. She is a co-director of Advocacy for the California Educational Theatre Association and has served on the California State Thespians board for over 20 years, acting as its student board liaison. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Second Whittier Union School Named AVID National Demonstration Site

Pioneer High is the second Whittier Union High School District school to be named an AVID National Demonstration School for creating a college-going culture and raising student achievement through quality curriculum. AVID is offered at more than 5,600 campuses across the country, but fewer than 3 percent of the participating schools earn the distinction of being a demonstration school. Pioneer High School will begin to serve as a model for teachers and administrators from schools across the country that are in the process of implementing or refining AVID programs. Santa Fe High was first named an AVID Demonstration School in 2001 and has maintained its status since. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

Whittier Union Schools to Hold Future Frosh Night for Eighth-Graders

The Whittier Union High School District is inviting eighth-graders and their parents to attend Future Frosh Night on Thursday, March 23. Teachers, students and administrators at each of the District’s five comprehensive high schools will provide valuable information about the classes and programs available to all students. Times and locations for the informative event are as follows: California High School, 9800 S. Mills Ave., 6 p.m., in the main gym; La Serna High School, 15301 Youngwood Drive, 6 p.m., in the Locke gym; Pioneer High School, 10800 Benavon St., 6 p.m., in the quad; Santa Fe High School, 10400 S. Orr & Day Road, Santa Fe Springs, 6 p.m., in the Mendez gym; and Whittier High School, 12417 E. Philadelphia St., 5:45 p.m., in the auditorium. For information, call 562-698-8121. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)

La Serna High School Student-Athlete Headed to Ivy League University

A La Serna High School senior who has combined talent in the swimming pool and determination in the classroom, while being continually inspired by her family, is heading to the storied halls of Brown University to play water polo and pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Carissa Perez is the high school’s three-time girls water polo captain and all-time leader in goals scored with 463. Her prowess in the water is matched by her academic brilliance, maintaining a 4.31 GPA. Perez’s parents are both first-generation Americans who have instilled a culture of high expectations. Media Contact: Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404 (office)