Hundreds attend open house


Domingo Balatbat, Cesar Benitez and Nate Hall work on a vehicle in their Automotive Technology class at the Hacienda La Puente Adult Education.

Hundreds attended the open-house held Tuesday at the Willow Campus in La Puente and the Dibble Campus in Hacienda Heights.

Read all about the adult classes offered by one of the state’s largest adult ed programs in an upcoming story of the Hacienda Heights Highlander.

Olympic star is principal for a day


Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Jill Sterkel is the special guest at this years La Puente Valley ROP “Principal for a Day” program on Wednesday.

Outstanding students representing school districts serving more than 113,000 students and 72 schools will receive scholarships during the luncheon ceremony of the annual program this year on the theme “Go for the Gold!”

Considered the regions most comprehensive annual community outreach program, “Principal for a Day” has continued each year for more than 21 years in the Bassett, Rowland and Hacienda-La Puente Unified School Districts, along with the La Puente Valley Regional Occupational Program.

Coordinator of athletics and former head coach at the University of Texas in Austin, Sterkel was born in Hacienda Heights and graduated from Wilson High School.

She will be a Principal for the Day at her alma mater before speaking at the luncheon at the Expo Center in Industry.

Sterkel was a four-time U.S. Olympic freestyle swimming star, winning a gold medal in the 1976 Montreal games at age 15 and again in the 1984 Los Angeles games. She also received two bronze medals in the 1988 Seoul games.

She was the first woman to make four U.S. Olympic swim teams. Sterkel began winning U.S. National Championships at the age of 10 and acquired a total of 20 championships.

Local Educators head to Sacramento

 Local educators traveled to the Sacramento and stood on the steps of the capitol to voice their opposition to the governor’s proposed budget this morning.

The proposed budget would cut $4.8 billion from education.


Rob Watanabe, superintendent for Bassett Unified School District, gave me a first hand account of the event.

He said at least 100 people filled the stairs of the state capitol with about 50 of them educators from LA County schools. The mood, he says, was festive with spectators holding signs that read Kids our the future. A feeling of hope was in the air, he added.

Many media outlets surrounded the rally, he said. Many legislators listened to a handful of educators speak but the Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was not in attendance, according to Watanabe.


What do you think about local educators taking a stance? Add your comment.

Adult ed holds open house

Want to learn how to repair a broken dishwasher? How about fixing one of those new hybrid cars?

You might want to consider one of the classes offered by Hacienda La Puente Adult Education. They’re even hosting an open house from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday to show off all their classes.

The open house will be held both the Willow Campus at 14101 E. Nelson Ave., La Puente, and the Dibble Campus at 1600 Pontenova Ave., Hacienda Heights.

In addition to appliance and auto repair, the Willow school teaches nursing, welding, accounting, and electronics among many other courses.

The Dibble school offers English as a Second Language, reflexology, computer classes and accounting, plus many more courses.

Tours will be available, and many classes have open enrollment. Who knows, maybe it’ll mean a whole new career for you!

‘Paying for College’ Bus stopping in La Puente

The Sallie Mae Fund ‘Paying for College’ Bus Tour will be making a stop at two La Puente schools on Friday, March 7, to educate students and families about planning and paying for college.

The bus will stop at Sparks Middle School in La Puente to offer eighth-graders a 45-minute in-school workshop on college planning.

From there, the bus will stop at La Puente High School for two in-school workshops for freshman and sophomores, and juniors and seniors.

A $250 scholarship will be rewarded to one participating junior or senior at La Puente High.

Sallie Mae Fund’s goal is to increase access to higher education for all of America’s students – in particular lower-income and minorities.

For more information, visit .