Palm Elementary School had a special speaker this morning in Hacienda Heights. A former student, Ray Castro just published a novel called, Chase and the Fallen Angel. Castro attended Palm, Orange Grove, and Los Altos High Schools.
Incumbents Helen Hall, the 28-year board veteran, and Cindy Ruiz were re-elected to the Walnut Valley Unified School District board Tuesday.
Challenger Tony Torng, 51, a Diamond Bar resident who once ran for City Council in 2003, won his first election by edging out fourth place finisher S. Sean Monemi.
Torng, who is well known in the Chinese-American community in Walnut and Diamond Bar, beat Monemi, the teachers’ union-backed candidate.
With 100 percent of the precincts counted, Torn had 2,227 votes as compared to Monemi’s 2,091.
Hall led all four candidates with 2,550 votes and Ruiz had 2,237 votes.
Incumbent Nancy Lyons, who served for eight years, vacated her seat on the school board and decided to run for the Diamond Bar City Council. Lyons won a seat Tuesday night, beating out City Councilman Ron Everett.
Hall, 65, of Diamond Bar, has been on the school board since 1985. She ran on her 28 years of experience.
Ruiz, 50, a resident of West Covina and a real estate agent, has served on the school board for 12 years.
Torng, 51, was recruited by Lyons to take her spot.
“He is the perfect person to put on the school board,” Lyons said.
Walnut Valley serves about 15,500 students in Walnut and Diamond Bar, including Walnut High School and Diamond Bar High School.
Rowland Unified is building a compressed natural gas (CNG) station for its fleet of new CNG busses. This station will also be open to the public at very affordable rates. The district broke ground at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“We believe this is a wonderful opportunity to be good to our environment by providing a fleet of 15 new CNG buses that serve our community. In addition, it is a new way to raise funds for our District,” said Superintendent Ruben Frutos.
The new CNG station will be open to the public 24 hours a day. It will have two dispensers for fueling CNG vehicles (both cars and trucks) with fast-fill pumps operating at pressure ratings of up to 3600 psi.
The station will have two storage tanks with two 75 square cubic feet per minute compressors that operate both the fast-fill and the school bus time-fill CNG stations simultaneously.
The CNG time-fill station will allow Rowland Unified School District to fill approximately 25 buses in a 10 hour period. In the future, the Rowland USD Transportation Department will be upgrading the station with an additional compressor for optimal efficiency and will expand the fleet to 33 CNG buses.
Whittier College Director of Admission Kieron Miller will help families understand the admissions process on Oct. 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Hacienda Heights Library.
Miller discussed how to select colleges that are a good fit for a student. The director will also discuss writing application essays, college visits and financial aid.
The library is at 16010 La Monde St., Hacienda Heights. For details, call 626-968-9356.
In a surprise move, the largest school district in the San Gabriel Valley chose a new superintendent during a closed-door, off-site meeting at the Courtyard Marriott hotel over the weekend.
After interviewing five candidates for the job, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District board of education voted 4-1 to promote Interim Superintendent Cynthia Parulan-Colfer to the top spot.
Board member Anthony Duarte voted no. In June, Duarte also voted against putting Parulan-Colfer into the interim position. “I thought we needed someone with a stronger instructional background,” Duarte said.
She was preceded by 40-year district veteran Barbara Nakaoka, who retired after seven years as superintendent on June 30.
The board majority said Parulan-Colfer was the best choice for the job because of her administrative skills. Previously, she headed up the district’s adult education and regional occupation programs.
“I’ve been working closely with Cindy and given that this has been one of the most difficult times to be superintendent of the district, with all the controversy, she’s handled it very well,” said board president Jay Chen.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story tomorrow in Tribune and Thursday’s Highlander.
Srijani Krishnan was named the 2013-2014 Super Star student from Maple Hill Elementary School.
“We are proud to recognize Srijani tonight. She is a 5th grade student, but her journey started in 4th grade. This is a very special young lady,” Principal Nancy Stingley said. Last year, Srijani applied for a grant from Disney’s Friends for Change program.
She was awarded a $1,000 for the passionate grant she wrote to provide awareness to students at Maple Hill and in the Diamond Bar community. Disney partner Youth Service of America funds the national initiative program.
Srijani has launched an anti-bullying club to give kids a voice.
“Through her Take a Break and Break Free Club, Srijani is providing an additional forum where students can speak up and speak out against bullying,” Stingley explained. “Our staff admires her initiative and her passion for this cause,” she said.
Applications now open for Los Angeles County-based nonprofit arts organizations interested in hiring college undergraduate interns through the Los Angeles County Arts Internship Program. The deadline to apply is Nov. 6. Program guidelines and eligibility requirements can be found at lacountyarts.org/internships.
Just ask Villacorta Elementary “How does your garden grow?” and the Rowland Unified students will reply “Very well, thank you.”
The local school dedicated a very special reading garden on Sept. 11. The new garden was built in the memory of Henry Serrano, one of two men killed in a shooting at Southern California Edison in Irwindale on Dec. 16, 2011.
Serrano’s wife, Judy, taught kindergarten and first grade for seven years at the La Puente school. She retired this year after more than two decades in Rowland Unified and 33 years of teaching.
The Serrano family wanted to honor Henry’s memory, so they followed a project that he had begun shortly before his death.