Whittier Union High School District

  • Whittier Union Student Gains Passion for Learning through Independent Study

    Sierra Vista High School senior Jose de Leon is looking forward to participating in commencement exercises in June and pursuing a career as a probation officer. But it wasn’t very long ago that the idea of graduating from high school was more fantasy than reality for de Leon. As a freshman, de Leon spent two days at the comprehensive high school before being transferred to Sierra Vista, the District’s independent study campus. There, he was placed in the evening program, where he received one-on-one support. He now plans to attend Rio Hondo College and become a probation officer. For overcoming personal barriers, de Leon was honored with an Award of Merit by the Board of Trustees.

    Read More

  • Santa Fe High Stages ‘Every 15 Minutes’ to Display Perils of Impaired Driving

    Santa Fe High School hosted a two-day “Every 15 Minutes” program using a trio of techniques to bring home the dangers of drinking and driving: a graphic staging of a deadly drunk-driving crash, students randomly pulled from classes to represent lives lost to drunk driving and a mock funeral service on April 3 and 4.

    Read More

  • Whittier Union Schools Earn AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction Honors

    Two Whittier Union schools have been designated as AVID Schoolwide Sites of Distinction. Pioneer and Santa Fe high schools – both of which are National AVID Demonstration Schools ¬– were recognized for demonstrating outstanding commitment to their students by ensuring equity and opportunity for all students, providing rigorous academic opportunities and implementing superb instructional practices across both schools.

    Read More

WUHSD Superintendent Appointed by Gov. Brown to New State Education Board

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson to serve on the new five-member governing board of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. The new state board will advise and assist school districts, county superintendents of schools and charter schools in achieving the goals set forth in Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) which are now required under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Media contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 (office)

WUHSD Graduates Look Forward to Commencement

The Whittier Union High School District Class of 2014 will graduate at commencement ceremonies to be held on Tuesday, June 3 and Wednesday, June 4. Ceremonies for Frontier and Pioneer high schools and Whittier Adult School/Sierra Vista begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. On Wednesday, graduation for Whittier High School begins at 5:30 p.m., La Serna and Santa Fe High Schools ceremonies begin 6 p.m., and California High School graduation starts at 6:30 p.m. Media contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 (office)

WUHSD Student Earns Gates Millennium Scholarship, Will Attend Berkeley

Eipleen Kaur is one of a select few high school seniors chosen for the national award that provides a full scholarship for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Kaur will be the first in her family to attend college and she hopes to become a doctor someday. She will be a pre-med student at UC Berkeley in the fall. Her parents are from Punjab, India and as a follower of Sikhism, she has worked to increase awareness and appreciation for all religions through the interfaith efforts of her Temple. Photos are available. Media contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 (office)

WUHSD Dedicates Santa Fe High School’s New Football Field to Retired Coach Jack Mahlstede

Follow-up Story: Follow-up Story: The Whittier Union High School District dedicated Santa Fe High School’s newly modernized football field to beloved, retired Santa Fe High Varsity School Coach Jack Mahlstede on Thursday, May 29, at Santa Fe High School. Mahlstede coached football, track and cross-country for more than 42 years, from 1970 to 2011. Mahlstede led the Chiefs to 16 football league championships, and led track teams to a total of 19 championships, in addition to five cross-country championships. Mahlstede earned the title of Outstanding Coach of the Del Rio League several times, was inducted into the 605 All Star Game Committee’s Hall of Fame in 2010, and was honored as a 2011 Rio Hondo Good Scout of the Year. Media contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 (office)

Pioneer High School Offers Team Science Saturday Academy

Team Science is offering a free Saturday Science Academy full of fun, dynamic, hands-on science and math workshops for first- through eighth-grade students from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 3 at Pioneer High School, 10800 Benavon St., Whittier. The event will be a half-day version of the upcoming Team Science Summer Camp to be held in July at Pioneer High. The workshops offered will be “Science for the First Time” for first-graders; “Plant Pals” for second-graders; “Discovering our Natural World” for third- through fifth-graders; “Magnets and Electricity ” for fourth- through sixth-graders; “Energy is a Blast” for fifth- and sixth-graders; and “Fundamentals of Flight” for seventh- and eighth-graders. Media contact: Laura Flores, 562-668-7833 office

Whittier High Student Organizes Local Ideas Festival

As part of a Bezos grant, Whittier High School senior Carlos Flores and teacher Nico Loeff have been working together to create a local Ideas Festival, scheduled for the week of April 28-May 2. The events are organized around the theme of B.E.E.S., an acronym for the celebration of the Bio-diversity, Economic Diversity, Educational Diversity and Social Diversity at Whittier High and the Whittier community along the Greenway Trail. Flores, a top student who will attend Harvard in the fall, is also working with the city of Whittier and Whittier City School District in the use and improvement of the Greenway Trail. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

Pioneer High Students Will be ‘Dancing Down Memory Lane’

With a new director at the helm, Pioneer High School is preparing to present its annual Titanette Revue with the theme, “Dancing Down Memory Lane,” at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 11 and at noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 in the main gym. The event raises money for the school’s performing arts programs. Tickets for the evening performances are $10 each; tickets for the matinee are $7. Tickets can be purchased at the school’s Business and Activities Bookkeeper’s office from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For information and tickets, call (562) 698-8121, ext. 5010. Doors to the gymnasium open 30 minutes before the show. Pioneer High School is located at 10800 Benavon St., Whittier. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833.

State CCC Director to Observe Crew Perform Energy Survey at Whittier High School

In a unique media opportunity, David Muraki, state director of the California Conservation Corps. (CCC) will observe a local CCC crew as they participate in an energy-efficiency survey of Whittier High School Wednesday, March 26, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (12417 E. Philadelphia St., Whittier). The crew will be inspecting various aspects of the outside of the school such as lighting, HVAC and more to collect information for energy-efficiency recommendations. The Whittier Union High School District currently is working in conjunction with the CCC to expand its energy saving efforts through the effective use of approximately $640,000 in Proposition 39 funds. The District has previously received awards from the federal Environmental Protection Agency for its energy conservation program. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (cell)

Cal High to Hold Remembrance for Beloved Teacher

California High School in Whittier will hold a remembrance service for beloved TCROP digital photo and video production instructor, Tim Keeler at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 4 in the main gymnasium located on Hawes Street off of Mills Avenue. Keeler was well known in the Whittier community and had more than 20 years of experience as a video and photographic professional. He was a beloved and respected instructor and coach at Cal High for seven years. Several community leaders will speak at the remembrance, including WUHSD Board of Trustee Jeff Baird, WUHSD Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson and Whittier City Councilwoman Cathy Warner. The event is open to the public. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)

Cal High Teacher Receives Esteemed Art Educator of the Year Award

The National Art Education Association has chosen California High School teacher Julie Tonkovich to receive the 2014 California Art Educator of the Year Award. This prestigious award, determined through a peer review of nominations, honors an outstanding member from each state or province association whose service and contribution to art education merits recognition and acclaim. The award will be presented at the NAEA National Convention in San Diego from March 29-31. Contact: Laura Flores, (562) 668-7833 (office)