Wilson Wildcats wild about new school year


 Photo by Raul Roa / Staff

They’re back!  Hacienda La Puente Unified School District began its new school year today.

Everyone seemed excited to be back for the new academic year, especially at Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, where they have a new principal.

Welcoming Wilson students back are, from left, cheerleader and ASB member Sandy Ying,  Principal Elena Paul, ASB Activities Commissioner Yvette Flores,  Aftin Jaramillo as Willy the Wildcat, and Superintendent Barbara Nakaoka.

Paul previously was assistant principal at Cleveland High School of the L.A.Unified School District in the San Fernando Valley. 

Innovation, Art and Design Academy opens

The Ron Hockwalt Academies in Walnut is piloting a new “Innovation, Art and Design” academy under new principal Steve Carr. It’s a Design Based learning program. 

The Walnut Unified school will kick off the program with field games as team building exercises for the six academy groups.

The field game competition will begin at 10:20 Tuesday, followed by a barbecue lunch. Winners of the two days will be announced and prizes distributed.

Sounds like a lot of fun! We’ll highlight the innovative design program in a future story in the Highlanders.

How many lives have you saved?

14391-nea1.JPG How many lives have you saved?

Lily Eskelsen, vice president of the National Education Association, flew in from Washington DC to ask area teachers that question.

“Don’t ever believe that tests are what teaching is all about. We care about the whole child,” Eskelsen said at the kickoff rally for the Rowland Unified School District.

The leader of the association of 3 million teachers nationwide noted that teachers do much more than teach for standardized test scores.

“We’ll give you the scientists, lawyers, mothers and fathers of tomorrow. We will give you the American dream,” Eskelsen  said.

Read the whole story in the Highlanders. 


Where’s all the new teachers?

14350-teach5.JPGIt’s that time of the year. New teachers are receiving their orientation for the beginning of school.

New teacher Krystal Kawamoto, right, talks with a fellow teacher as they learn how to do thinking maps during the three-day orientation at Rowland Unified School District. 

Usually from 80 to 100 new teachers join Rowland Unified every year. But this year there were only about two dozens new instructors. Several of those had been laid off from other school districts as far away as San Diego.

“This year we have experienced less retirements — people are working longer due to the uncertainty of the economy and it has affected many of their spouses as well. This has resulted in fewer openings and new hires,” explained Superintendent Maria Ott.

What’s happening in your school district? Are you seeing fewer new faces this year?