California School News Radio: Season 2

August 13, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Listen to older seasons of the California School News Radio podcasts:

Posted Title Summary  
March 31, 2020 Meeting the Challenge: COVID-19 Responses in Lynwood, Paramount Lynwood Unified Board President Gary Hardie Jr. and Lynwood Partners Education Foundation Executive Director Elsa Chagolla discuss the Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, with a goal of raising $100,000 to help support Lynwood Unified students and families during the extended dismissal.
Paramount Unified’s Odyssey STEM Academy Principal Keith Nuthall discusses the school’s rapid transition to distance learning, how Odyssey advisers are maintaining relationships with their scholars and ensuring that community and business mentors are available to scholars during the extended dismissal.
March 17, 2020 Quest for Greatness: National Match Scholar at El Monte Union El Monte High School senior Dana Hua discusses being named a QuestBridge National Match Scholar, preparing for college through summer enrichment programs, participating in 24-hour coding hackathons and the decision-making process of choosing which university to attend.
March 10, 2020 Success at All Levels: Exemplary Continuation Schools in Fontana, Paramount Citrus High School Principal Mike Bunten discusses the success of the Fontana Unified continuation school’s Building Trades and Construction Industry CTE pathway which includes a simulation lab for heavy machinery, and the importance of business and academic partnerships.
Paramount Unified’s Buena Vista High School was recently named a California 2020 Model Continuation School. Principal Morrie Kosareff discusses giving students a voice, CTE pathways in media design and entrepreneurship and field trips to points of interest in southern California.
March 3, 2020 Safe Havens: Wellness Centers in Buena Park, Distinguished Schools in Baldwin Park Buena Park School District’s Pendleton School Principal Shin Park discusses the opening of the school’s new Wellness Center, rewarding students for positive behavior and the importance of students learning to work as a team.
Baldwin Park Unified School District’s Santa Fe School Principal Margie Clark discusses the school’s designation as a 2020 California Distinguished School, the school’s strong gains in English language arts test scores and Santa Fe’s approach to intervention and enrichment.
February 25, 2020 Finding the Cure: Fundraisers in Monrovia, Counselors in Whittier Union Monrovia Unified parent Dominique Strivings and Monrovia High School teacher Robin Chicca discuss FuzzFEST, a Monrovia fundraiser that has participants shave their heads to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding cures for childhood cancer.
Humberto Solorio, a counselor at Whittier Union’s California High School, discusses attending the 2020 State of the Union address in Washington D.C. as a guest of U.S Rep Linda Sanchez, and the importance of helping students keep their social/emotional balance.
February 18, 2020 All Roads Lead to Success: Top Student in Whittier, Science Academy in Monrovia La Serna High School senior Jocelyn Jimenez, who will attend Claremont McKenna College in the fall, discusses the life skills she learned as a member of the Whittier Police Department Explorer Program, and as a La Serna Oasis-Haven student mentor.
Monrovia Unified’s Bradoaks Elementary School Principal Jayne Nickles discusses the school’s recent designation as a science academy, the importance of inquiry-based learning, increasing parent involvement and preparing for the school’s Spring Fair.
February 11, 2020 Building Communities: Student Gardens in Paramount, Poetry in West Covina Raymond Collins Elementary School Principal Theresa Diaz discusses the Collins student garden, which has provided nutrition and educational opportunities for nearly 10 years, and the support provided by the Paramount Board of Education and Chamber of Commerce to raise money for garden restoration.
Edgewood High School senior Yuriko Chavez and spoken word artist David A. Romero discuss the importance of learning poetry at a young age and Chavez’s poem “Mission First, Mission Always,” which recently won a $500 Romero Scholarship for Spoken Word.
February 4, 2020 Bright Futures: Robotics in Monrovia, Homeland Security at Río Hondo Clifton Middle School robotics adviser Paul Flores and eighth-grade students Guadalupe Hilario and Ty Weiss discuss Clifton’s Hippie Bots robotics team, which is preparing to compete in an international competition in Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 27–28 as the sole United States representative.
Río Hondo College Homeland Security Program Coordinator Dr. Nash Flores discusses Río Hondo’s new Homeland Security degree and certificate programs and leading the effort to have the Homeland Security discipline approved by the California Community College Board of Governors.
January 28, 2020 The Start of Something Big: Performing Arts Academy in West Covina West Covina Unified Director of Secondary Curriculum Dr. Marc Trovatore, West Covina High School Principal Dr. Ryan D’Errico and West Covina High Choir Director Tyler Wigglesworth discuss the mission and goals of the West Covina High Performing Arts Academy, which launches in fall 2020.
January 21, 2020 Memories of El Monte: State Championships in El Monte Union, Distinguished Schools in El Monte City South El Monte High School girls soccer coach Alex Rosales and El Monte High School football coach Jesse Ceniceros discuss El Monte Union High School District athletics and the dream seasons that brought two CIF state titles to the District in 2019.
El Monte City School District’s Wright School was recently named a 2020 California Distinguished School. Principal Dr. Monica Munoz discusses the importance of professional learning communities, transparency and the elementary school teachers who helped her develop a love for learning.
January 14, 2020 Awards Season: Distinguished Schools in Buena Park; Esperanza Award Recipient in El Monte Union Buena Park School District’s Charles G. Emery School has been recognized as a 2020 California Distinguished School. Principal Julie Linnecke discusses Emery’s Balanced Literacy program, rising test scores and the importance of parent engagement.
South El Monte High School business teacher Tam Ly-Wong is a 2019 Bobby Salcedo Esperanza Award recipient. Wong discusses emigrating from Vietnam as a child, joining the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) in high school, and her longtime role as South El Monte FBLA club adviser.
December 17, 2019 Successful Outcomes: Workplace Culture in Bonita, Creative Opportunities in Baldwin Park Bonita Unified Superintendent Carl J. Coles and Director of Human Resources Kevin Lee discuss the District’s recognition as a 2019 Top Workplace and how its core values of equity, mastery and a focus on results provide opportunities for District personnel and students to excel.
Baldwin Park Unified Director of Student Achievement Richard Noblett discusses the importance of integrating visual and performing arts into the District’s core curriculum and how partnerships with regional non-profits assist in developing a safe and engaging academic environment.
December 10, 2019 In the Right Direction: Lessons in Leadership in Fontana and El Monte City Fontana Unified Elementary School counselor Eduardo Valencia discusses the experiences that led him to be a school counselor, bringing college and career days to District elementary schools, arranging for students to visit the capitol in Sacramento and establishing a leadership nonprofit.
Shirpser School Teacher/Assistant Principal Juan Flores discusses El Monte City School District’s Leader in Me program, the Panda Cares program that brought Panda Express employees to Shirpser to promote leadership and literacy, growing up in El Monte and returning as a teacher.
December 3, 2019 Getting a Head Start on Learning: Coding in Fontana, Early Education in Baldwin Park Fontana Unified’s Southridge Tech Middle School science teacher Pam Matea—a C-STEM 2019 Teacher of the Year—is joined by three of her eighth-grade students to talk about coding, robotics and the academic benefits of learning from your mistakes.
Baldwin Park Unified Director of Early Childhood Education Ricardo Rivera details the history of the District’s Head Start program, the importance of community support, and the program’s annual District Toy Drive.
November 19, 2019 Aspiring to Greatness: Scholars in Paramount, Tolerance in Monrovia Paramount High School seniors and National Merit Scholarship Commended Scholars Rebecca Mejia and Edward Quezada join Principal Christiana Kraus to discuss school life, the rigor of Advanced Placement classes and their dream colleges and careers.
Monroe Elementary School Principal Dr. Lily Jarvis and interventionist Shirley Conde discuss anti-bullying strategies, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, and the benefits of rewarding good behavior.
November 12, 2019 Opportunities of a Lifetime: Achievement at Bonita Unified and Whittier Union Adult School Bonita Unified School District Superintendent Carl Coles and Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Matthew Wien discuss the District commitment to student achievement and core values that encompass academics, activities, athletics and the arts.
Whittier Union Adult School alumus Sachin Mishra discusses how taking adult school classes have enabled him to acquire his diploma, find a full-time job at LAX and prepare to continue his education at Rio Hondo College. Mishra is joined by Adult School Assistant Principal Juan Anzaldo.
November 5, 2019 Growing Enrollment: Choices in West Covina, Upgrades in Lynwood West Covina Unified Director of Student Services Devon Rose and Edgewood Academy senior Joel Adell discuss what it means to be a California District of Choice and highlight the academic programs and resources available at the District.
Lynwood Unified Chief Business Officer Gregory Fromm discusses the recent District facilities upgrades made possible by voter-approved measures K and N, and the connection between enrollment, daily attendance and state funding.
October 29, 2019 Star Tech: Cisco Academy in Baldwin Park, AP Computer Science in Buena Park Baldwin Park High School Principal Dr. Gilberto Rodriguez, Asst. Principal Dr. Josefina Steinmetz and freshman Rene Cisneros discuss a school visit to San Francisco-based IT company Cisco-Meraki, where students received career advice from its CEO.
Buena Park Junior High teacher Shelley Andros and seventh-grader Joseph Williams discuss the school’s computer science program, where students learn to code Java and Python and can receive college credit if they pass the Advanced Placement exam.
October 22, 2019 Full Steam Ahead: Sailing Academy in Buena Park and Parent Academy at Bonita Unified Buena Park Junior High program specialist Debbie Clark discusses an ocean conservation program where junior high students learn to swim, sail and build waterproof robots.
Bonita Unified Senior Director of Specialized Services Mark Rodgers and Coordinator Danielle Walker discuss the District’s Parent Partnership Academy, which offers training on such topics as modern technology to individualized services for students with special needs.
October 15, 2019 Preparing for the Future: International Baccalaureate in Fontana Unified Fontana Unified Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Miki Inbody discusses the District’s International Baccalaureate K-12 continuum, which will include a Primary Years Program at Dolores Huerta International Academy and a Middle Years Program at Southridge Tech Middle School.
Jurupa Hills High School Principal Caroline Labonte joins Middle Years Program coordinator Randy Bertok and Diploma Program coordinator David Cambero to discuss 10 years of being an International Baccalaureate World School in Fontana.
October 8, 2019 Excellence in Education: LA County Teachers of the Year in Paramount, West Covina Paramount Park Middle School intervention teacher Felicia Akuamoah, a Los Angeles County Office of Education 2019-20 Teacher of the Year, discusses the school’s acclaimed student support service program, Panther Academy, and the rapport she shares with her students.
Orangewood Elementary School kindergarten and Spanish dual-language immersion teacher Karla Toledo, a Los Angeles County Office of Education 2019-20 Teacher of the Year, discusses instilling the values of empathy and tolerance to her students as part of the West Covina Unified International Baccalaureate continuum.
October 1, 2019 Making Progress: Special Education in Monrovia; Facilities Upgrades in West Covina Monrovia High School WorkAbility and Transition Program Partnership Coordinator Kymberly Hirst discusses the school’s Roasters coffee cart program, which teaches independence and life skills to students in special education.
West Covina Unified Assistant Superintendent Dr. Drew Passalacqua discusses facilities upgrades funded by a $143 million bond measure passed by voters in 2016, including a newly renovated football stadium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and new performing arts center.
September 24, 2019 Ready to Go: New Administration in Bassett, Energy Conversation in El Monte Newly appointed Bassett High School Principal Hector Vasquez discusses his first month at Bassett Unified, his initial meetings with faculty, staff and parents, and his goals for the 2019-20 school year.
El Monte Union High School District Facility and Energy Manager Lena Luna discusses the District’s “Go Green” initiative and how to keep students comfortable in class while balancing the costs of energy.
September 17, 2019 The Art of Outreach: Attendance Awareness in Inglewood, Storytelling in Río Hondo Inglewood Unified Director of Student Support Services Katrina Taylor and LACOE Director of Student Support Services Dr. Michelle Castelo Alferes discuss the District’s “Every Student, Every Day” attendance campaign.
Río Hondo College Art Gallery Director Robert Miller and Arts Division Dean Dr. Grant Linsell discuss the gallery’s exhibition Cuentista, part of the fifth SUR:biennial, an art show at multiple area venues that explores the geography, culture and art inspired by areas south of Los Angeles.
September 10, 2019 Rules of Engagement: AVID in Lynwood, Parent Link Crew in Fontana Lynwood Unified Assistant Director of Education Services Christine Manson discusses how Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) helps first-generation college-goers prepare for higher education and a new AVID program that aids English learners.
Fontana Unified’s Summit High School Link Crew Coordinator Jennifer Karpinski and Parent Link Crew mentor Heather Mead discuss Summit’s Parent Link Crew pilot program, an adult version of the student mentoring program.
September 3, 2019 Pathways to Success: Athletics, Academies Entrepreneurialism Monrovia High School Principal Kirk McGinnis discusses the District’s renovation of Wildcat Stadium, the school’s math and humanities learning academies and arts conservatory, its Early College Dual Enrollment partnership with Citrus College and its upcoming College Fair.
Dr. Greg Francois, Paramount Unified School District’s director of secondary education and instructional technology, discusses Startup Tech, a career technical education pathway that prepares students to become entrepreneurs while teaching the basics of computer coding. Francois discusses the array of career pathways available in Paramount and the importance of tailoring instruction to fit student needs.
August 27, 2019 Bright Futures: Dual-Language Immersion and College Preparation Janet Shirley, principal of West Covina Unified’s Orangewood Elementary School, and Mandarin teacher Yuyan Chen discuss the debut of Orangewood’s Mandarin Dual Language Program. Shirley and Chen, a native Mandarin speaker from the Sichuan province in China, talk about the program’s instruction model, the importance of being bi-lingual, and West Covina Unified’s International Baccalaureate K–12 continuum.
Baldwin Park Unified Senior Director of Student Services Noreen Iwai-Ito and Sierra Vista High School Vince Pratt discuss the District’s 13th annual College and Career Day, which will provide families an opportunity to talk to college recruiters and employers, attend workshops focusing on financial aid, the college application process and improving their SAT scores, and Harvard University’s Baldwin Park connection.
August 20, 2019 Creating Greatness: Robotics in Fontana and Performing Arts in Buena Park Randall Pepper Elementary School is one of two Fontana Unified schools to compete in the World Robot Olympiad Friendship Invitational in Aarhus, Denmark. The school combined with German and Nigerian students to win the International Friendship award. Randall Pepper fourth-grader Mariah Torres and her coaches, Jeff Rich and Alice Strout and Engineering for Kids directors Herman and Ericka Kreimann discuss robotics programs within Fontana, meeting new friends and the thrill of competing internationally.
Arthur F. Corey School will increase its commitment to visual and performing arts (VAPA) curriculum this year after being selected for a Disney Musical in Schools grant and Pacific Theater Class Act grant. Corey School Principal LaRonda Ortega discusses providing equity to all students through VAPA, honoring the school’s rich history of performing arts and how music helps students achieve their academic goals.
August 13, 2019 On the Right Track: Summer STEAM and Dual Enrollment in El Monte Potrero School math teacher Elizabeth Torres served as principal of Wright School’s Summer STEAM program, overseeing 300 K-7 students who used the four-week session to learn science concepts and participate in musical theater. Torres discusses the importance of summer school and the challenges of preparing for an administrative role during the final weeks of the regular school year.
El Monte Union High School District students can take college courses for credit during the regular school day through a new dual enrollment partnership with Rio Hondo College. EMUHSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction Hillary Wolfe and Rio Hondo Dean of Student Success Dr. Melba Castro discuss the myriad ways students can earn college credit in high school, including the Early College Academy.