The Sugar Plum Fairy and her flock of snowflakes were among the more than 70 international ballet dancers who delicately waltzed, leaped and pirouetted during a magical performance of holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker,” in front of a sold-out crowd of students and families at El Monte High School’s auditorium on Dec. 10. Hidden from the audience, those staging the elaborate production – 14 El Monte Union theater technicians who bustled backstage to ensure that the countless props were in place, lighting and sound were precise, and transitions between scenes were seamless.
Rosemead High School is poised to retroactively award a high school diploma to a longtime community member who dropped out of high school just weeks ahead of graduation to join the Navy during World War II. Kelly Crowell – a 60-year Temple City resident who has volunteered as a pitching coach for the Rosemead High girls’ softball team for six years – will join the Class of 2018 at the school’s commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31. Other graduations taking place that day are Fernando R. Ledesma High at 5 p.m. at the high school; South El Monte High School at 6 p.m. at SEMHS Eagle Stadium; Arroyo High School at 7 p.m. at AHS Bergstrom Stadium; El Monte High School at 7 p.m. at EMHS Lion Field; Mountain View High School at 7 p.m. at MVHS Viking Stadium. The El Monte-Rosemead Adult School will celebrate students at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30 at the Rosemead High Auditorium.
Hundreds of seniors from five El Monte Union comprehensive high schools celebrated their university-bound commitments in front of cheering crowds of underclassmen, teachers and administrators during College Signing Day ceremonies. Rosemead, Mountain View, El Monte, South El Monte and Arroyo high schools hosted events to recognize seniors achieving their academic pursuits and to showcase the college-going culture of each campus.
Rosemead High School senior Alec Nguyen – an accomplished track and field athlete and stellar student – will study chemical engineering this autumn at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after being named a 2018 Gates Scholar. The prestigious scholarship – bestowed to only 300 students out of more than 28,700 applicants – will cover all Nguyen’s tuition costs, as well as provide academic and social support, mentoring and leadership training opportunities throughout his college career.
Follow-up Story: South El Monte High School English teacher Cesar Castellanos received the Bobby Salcedo Esperanza Award at the 14th annual Tamalada, a scholarship fundraising event hosted by two El Monte-based education nonprofits. The award is named for Roberto “Bobby” Salcedo, a respected El Monte Union educator killed in 2009. The honor goes to educators who exemplify Salcedo’s tireless commitment to education.
Follow-up Story: El Monte High School educator Elisa Perez has served El Monte and San Gabriel Valley families in many capacities since graduating from El Monte High in 2001: as a community liaison for the Migrant Education Program; as an instructor for the Harvey Mudd Upward Bound program; as a presenter for the Parent Involvement Academy and as an Inspire Women’s Conference Steering Committee member. Foothill Credit Union recognized Perez’s commitment to community outreach with its inaugural Education Advancement Scholarship, a $3,000 award designed for educators looking to further their careers in education. The gift, presented during Foothill’s Ambassador Breakfast on Nov. 30, will go to help Perez complete her doctoral degree at UCLA.
Follow-up Story: El Monte Union High School District has installed 21 electric vehicle charging stations at three campuses. In partnership with Southern California Edison, the District constructed seven charging stations each at Rosemead, Arroyo and Mountain View high schools. The District plans to build 18 more stations at El Monte and South El Monte high schools. The stations are available to EMUHSD staff and students.
Follow-up Story: Two of El Monte’s longest-running businesses recently opened their doors to El Monte Union students interested in pursuing highly-skilled vocational employment, part of a series of field trips organized by El Monte Union’s Career Technical Education (CTE) division to offer students a real-life glimpse into the subjects they are studying. Longo Toyota and Precision Coil Spring – both in operation for over 50 years – provided students with tours of their facilities and reviewed the variety of high-paying technical and administrative positions available. Students also met with former El Monte Union students who are now employed by the companies, including a Ledesma High School graduate who started as a car wash valet and worked his way through the ranks to become Longo’s Used Car Service Manager. Photos are available
Follow-up Story: The El Monte Union High School District kicked off Red Ribbon Week on Oct. 23 with a drug-free pledge and awareness program symbolizing its deep commitment to fostering safe, drug-free campuses to ensure student success. The anti-drug campaign follows a recent move by the EMUHSD Board of Trustees to pass a resolution opposing cannabis retailers, dispensaries and commercial businesses from setting up establishments within the City of El Monte. The City of El Monte is proposing to adopt an ordinance that would prohibit recreational marijuana businesses, but allow cultivation, distribution and research of medical marijuana. The District resolution also calls for the city to conduct more outreach to EMUHSD families and stakeholders ahead of any vote and action to adopt the ordinance.
Follow-up Story: Arroyo High School senior Michael Nguyen is making waves at El Monte Union High School District as one of 16,000 students across the nation to be named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists for 2018. The distinction places him in an elite group of students who make up less than 1 percent of seniors who received the highest scores in their state. Nguyen, who scored a nearly perfect 1490 on his PSAT and holds a 4.34 GPA, is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, the National Honor Society, Speech and Debate, and the Key Club. Photos are available
Follow-up Story: Mountain View High School's Teacher Preparation Academy – which targets the state's teacher shortage and motivates at-risk students to continue their path toward higher education – has been nominated for a California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award, a recognition earned by school districts that promote excellence and increase student achievement through outstanding programs and practices. The academy, established in 2000, has helped boost college-going rates, academic achievement and school attendance.
Follow-up Story: The El Monte Union High School District hosted its 18th annual student art show and reception on Oct. 25, recognizing more than 300 students who earned accolades for entries in the Los Angeles County Fair Art Competition. Students were awarded certificates of recognition for their outstanding work in drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic design, creative writing and more.
El Monte Union High School District will hold the last in a series of Cash for College workshops to help students and families fill out financial aid applications on Thursday, Jan. 25 at Fernando Ledesma High School. Attendees can get help completing FAFSA and California Dream Act applications.