The Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees at its Feb. 19 meeting adopted a final trustee map – NDC Green – and sequence of elections as it prepares to transition from at-large elections to by-trustee area elections beginning in November 2020. The Board made its decision following hundreds of comments taken during several community open houses, feedback submitted on the District Formation website and input provided during seven public hearings at the Board of Trustees meetings.
The Whittier Union High School District community is remembering the life of inspirational educator, mentor and former Santa Fe High School athletic coach Jack Mahlstede, who died Jan. 24 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 80. Mahlstede, who dedicated more than 42 years of his career to Whittier Union, began as a varsity assistant football coach for Santa Fe High School in 1969 and became head varsity football coach in 1970. He served as Santa Fe’s head varsity coach for football, track and cross country until 2011, when he retired. In 2014, the District dedicated Santa Fe High School’s football field to Mahlstede.
La Serna High School teacher and 2012 California State Teacher of the Year Ken LaVigne has been recognized for his compassion and integrity, touching the hearts of hundreds of students, teachers and administrators he has worked with over his 30 years as a teacher and football coach. LaVigne, who \ created the school's revered Organized Academic Support in School (OASIS) program, has worked to help at-risk students regain their joy for learning and set them on the path toward graduation. He has documented his experiences in an inspirational new book, "Coach the Soul," telling heartwarming and occasionally heartbreaking stories of his students' struggles and triumphs.
The La Serna High School Lancer wrestling team brought holiday warmth and cheer to cancer patients at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica on Dec. 15, handing out more than 50 blankets donated by La Serna students and honoring the doctors and nurses who provided a touching final Christmas gift to a La Serna family member in 2017. La Serna freshman Elijah Villatoro created the donation drive to honor his late uncle, Henry Morales, and the caregivers who helped fulfill Morales’ wish to spend a last Christmas day in the snow with his young daughter.