WHITTIER – Frontier High School was recognized for its commitment to providing students with a caring and supportive alternative education environment, receiving multiple honors from the California Continuation Education Association Plus (CCEA+) during its Professional Awards Luncheon, held May 7 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel.

Frontier High Principal Dr. Margie Moriarty was named CCEA+ Administrator of the Year, Frontier High counselor Roberto Tamayo was named CCEA+ 2022 Counselor or Support Person of the Year, and Frontier High junior James Martinez was recognized as the CCEA+ Student Essay Contest second-place winner. Frontier High is an eight-time CCEA+ Model Continuation School recipient.

This is the second time Dr. Moriarty has been named CCEA+ Administrator of the Year; she received the first recognition in 2015. Dr. Moriarty joined Whittier Union in 1993 and became Frontier’s top administrator in 2011. Since then, Dr. Moriarty’s leadership duties have expanded to include overseeing all United Sierra Education Center (USEC) schools, including Frontier High, Whittier Union Adult School, the independent study Sierra Vista High School and the Transition program, which serves adults with special needs.

“I am honored to be recognized by the CCEA+ for a second time,” Dr. Moriarty said. “I could not succeed without the support of so many talented and hard-working individuals, such as Roberto Tamayo, who is so deserving of his honor. I would also like to thank our entire USEC staff, who are so dedicated to our students, and the Whittier Union Board of Trustees, for helping us achieve our vision of a USEC that truly serves our community.”

Tamayo, one of six children of Mexican immigrants who have earned post-graduate degrees, has been a counselor at Frontier High since 2005. Tamayo has developed a reputation as a counselor who is fair and firm, always has an open door and keeps a watchful eye on student affairs.

“I have found a home at Frontier High,” Tamayo said. “I feel that with my life experience and skills I am able to serve our population to reach their goals. I get to see the transformation in our students from the young people who have not found their personal and academic footing to self-assured individuals. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our students make an academic breakthrough.”

Martinez was honored for his student essay, which described his struggles to stay in school after a death in the family during his freshman year, school closures and a devastating bout with COVID-19. When in-person instruction returned, Martinez transferred to Frontier High, where he has become focused and eager to learn. Dedicated to attending class on a daily basis, Martinez has earned enough credits to graduate early.

“I feel accepted at Frontier High and don’t want to leave but feel it’s my time,” Martinez wrote in his essay. “I was able to recalibrate myself. I know that I can dig myself out of any bad situation that might occur in the future. I have also proven that hard work is rewarded. I will be honored to graduate with a diploma with Frontier High written at the top.”

The Whittier Union USEC is a consolidation of all of the District’s non-comprehensive schools on one campus. Dr. Moriarty is principal for all the USEC schools, supported by devoted and conscientious assistant principals, including Richard Rodriguez (Frontier High), Juan Anzaldo (Whittier Union Adult School) and Annette Ledesma (Sierra Vista High).

CCEA+ is an organization dedicated to advocating for the betterment of alternative education, promoting the development of quality schools for students, and supporting and providing professional development that improves instruction leading to student achievement, a high school diploma, community involvement and a foundation for life-long learning.

“Congratulations to Margie Moriarty, who has done so much for the Whittier community. Her dedication to students is unparalleled and her unselfish leadership of the USEC cannot be duplicated,” Superintendent Martin J. Plourde said. “We are thrilled to see Roberto Tamayo receive the recognition he deserves. With Margie and Roberto’s guidance it is no surprise we have success stories like James Martinez, who truly exemplifies the value of continuation schools in our communities.”


WUHSD_CCEA: Frontier High counselor Roberto Tamayo (left), Frontier High junior James Martinez (center) and Frontier High Principal Dr. Margie Moriarty (right) were celebrated for their achievements and presented honors from the California Continuation Education Association Plus (CCEA+) during its Professional Awards Luncheon, held May 7 at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel.