Sierra Vista student wins $1,000

Jesus Fernando Liera Cruz, a junior at Sierra Vista High School in Baldwin Park, is being honored today by the California Association for Bilingual Education.

Cruz won the statewide essay contest, earning him a $1,000 scholarship. He will address the association convention at a luncheon in Long Beach.

Read excerpts from his essay in the Highlander Newspapers.

Incorporated in 1976, the nonprofit group in Covina promotes bilingual education throughout California. The association has 5,000 members in more than 60 chapters.


Teachers ‘appalled’ by ‘horrible’ state budget

The California Federation of Teachers is very upset by the new state budget. Here’s a statement recently emailed by Federation President Marty Hittelman.

across the state are appalled that once again the Legislature and Governor have
approved a horrible budget for public schools and important social services.

reductions in programs serving the people of California will result from the
budget cuts.  Educators will be deeply
affected in our ability to deliver a quality education to millions of

are also disappointed that the entire revenue portion of the agreement is so
regressive.  Sales taxes and an
across-the-board per cent increase in the income tax are revenue options that
disproportionately ask middle class, working class, and poor people to shoulder
the financial responsibility for our state’s future.  The same amount of revenue could have been raised by closing
corporate tax loopholes and returning the top income tax brackets on the
wealthiest individuals to the rates that they paid ten years ago.  This would have helped working families
stressed by the national recession, and asked those who would be hurt the least
to help the most.

addition, the proposed single sales factor tax provision is a corporate tax
loophole worth over $750 million per year.  Its only purpose is to help corporations avoid paying their
fair share of taxes. 

are dismayed with the process by which our elected representatives arrived at
the budget agreement.  It was
designed to exclude the public from any input intothe
process.  It is all too clear that
the Legislative leadership is not interested in full public policy

are distressed that the members of the Legislature seem unwilling to exercise
their right to fully review and discuss the budget items before them.  They have a responsibility to
participate in the development of policy, rather than put a rubber stamp on
what their leaders bring them. 

of the closed-door nature of the budget proceedings, CFT has not had an
opportunity to analyze and determine whether we will support or oppose the
measures that will come before the voters on May 19 in the special election.

For more information please visit

Sister’s Closet project outfits local teens for prom


Volunteers from the Azusa Unified School District, Azusa Pacific University and the Azusa/Glendora Soroptimists have teamed up to put on the second annual Sister’s Closet, which provides free prom gowns to teens from area high schools.

Sister’s Closet will host the no-cost boutique on Saturday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Azusa Pacific University’s east campus, 901 E. Alosta Ave., in the Los Angeles Pacific College Banquet Room.

Students from any San Gabriel Valley-area school district are invited to attend.

Project coordinator Silvana A. Cavazos with Azusa Unified said the program aims to help teen girls participate in all the activities that are hallmarks of the high-school experience, without the financial stress of having to buy an expensive dress.

“I want the girls to feel that this is something they are sharing with a sister,” she said.

Click here for the full story on Sister’s Closet that ran Monday on the Tribune Student Life page.

Pictured: Stephanie Orona, an intern with the Department of Social Work at Azusa Pacific
University, arranges the dressing room area for last year’s Sister’s Closet

Vejar Elementary hosts spelling bee


About 60 Vejar Elementary students in Walnut put
their spelling to the test during a Spelling Bee
earlier this month. Thyroidectomy,
bradycardia and gravigrade were just a few examples of words that the students had to spelled. 


Kids prepared by studying more than 100 words from an
official list from Scripps National Spelling Bee. Some studied the different roots of the words – Greek, Latin, etc. Understanding how words are formed gave the spellers a boost.


The 12-round competition was sponsored by the Community Club, which provided  lapel pins
and certificates.


“The kids really enjoyed it and the
little ones were so cute!” said coordinator Kay Hoard, a fourth-grade teacher .


to winner Samantha Yu, a fifth grader. 
 Runners up were  second grader William Widjaja, third grader Sean Song and fourth grader Eva Ma.

will compete in the Inland Valley Regional Spelling Bee on March 7 at  Diamond Bar High School. The written
and oral competition is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Diamond Bar Library. Top spellers will be invited to
participate in the National Scripps Spelling


Thanks to “pronouncers” – Francie
husband Rick), judges –
Jen DeAnda and Simone
Sevilla, and crowd control/ set-up – Jim Brandenburgh and Lora Wilson.

Suzanne students win MATHCOUNTS contest

Eight students from Suzanne Middle School competed in the MATHCOUNTS regional tournament on Feb.
14 at the California Baptist Church in Riverside. .

Team members included Kevin Fong, Joseph Lin, Kevin
Zhang, and Larry Zhang; individual competitors were Jessie Chan, Max Hsu, Daniel
Suryakusuma, and Charli Worth. 


the students were coached by math teacher Nikki
Elizade and Din-Kow Sun.


Suzanne students won First Place
in the Team competition and will advance to the State competition next month.


In the Countdown Round, Suzanne students won three of
the top four top awards. First place Kevin Zhang, Second Place Larry Zhang, and Third Place Kevin


These three students also won top awards in the
Individual competitions. 


The national MATHCOUNTS program is designed to
challenge and stimulate interest in math and science for middle school students.

It is administered by the MATHCOUNTS Foundation and sponsored by the National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), National Society of Professional
Engineers (NSPE), NASA, and several corporations. 

Colonial Faire at Westhoff Elementary

History came alive today for students at Westhoff Elementary School in Walnut.

Fifth graders enjoyed a Colonial Faire today with many exciting activities.

The students dressed in costumes from the colonial period while they learned about that early era in our country’s history.

Parents helped out by manning activity centers, where students made candles and flapjacks. During recess, they even played games that colonial kids enjoyed. 

Suzanne reads Gettysburg Address


Middle School students in Walnut participated in a simultaneous reading
of the Gettysburg Address on Feb. 12, marking Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday. 

Lincoln fans and students from across the nation read the
Gettysburg Address simultaneously to honor America‘s
16th president. 

According to
the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for most people reading aloud
simultaneously is 223,363 participants.

sang the “Star Spangled Banner” followed by a brief narrative about Lincoln and the
significance of the Gettysburg Address.

Then promptly at 8:30 a.m. students in
Al Haskvitz’ class helped make history setting a new Guinness World

Nogales students win Academic Decathlon medals


Nogales academic decathalon team included, top row, Christina Lopez, Carlos Gomez, Tayyaba Mosavi; middle row, Larissa Roman, Christina Carreon, Katlin Villar; bottom row, coach Vanessa Cao, Matt Nicolas, Stephanie Reynoso, Jorge Amar, and co-coach Kimberly Louie
On Feb. 12, the Academic Decathlon results were announced by the Los Angeles County Department of Education. Nogales High School placed second in Division III and 29th out of the 66 teams. Rowland High came in 17th.  
Several Nogales students received individual medals. Tayyaba Mosavi had the highest score for the high school. She won a gold medal in music and a silver medal in essay in the honors division.
 Christina Carreon got a gold medal in music, a silver in art and a bronze medal in interview in the scholastic division.
 In the varsity division, Matt Nicolas won bronze medals in art and interview. Stephanie Reynoso got a silver medal in interview.