Sam Oramas named vice principal at Nogales High School


Formerly the assistant principal at Laguna Hills High School, Sam Oramas joins Rowland Unified from Saddleback Valley Unified. Oramas was responsible for discipline and attendance in Laguna Hills. He is now a new vice principal at Nogales High School.

Earlier in his career, Oramas served as dean of students at Temple City High School, where he handled discipline.

Oramas also taught math and social science at Downey High School for seven years. There he worked with at-risk students, as well as English language learners.

Fluent in Spanish, Oramas received his doctorate in law from Brigham Young University and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Doi Johnson moves to Nogales High as vice principal


Doi Johnson is glad to be returning to his alma mater, Nogales High School, as a new vice principal. He looks forward to working with Principal Nancy Padilla at his old school.

Johnson had been an assistant principal at Lynwood High School, where he was responsible for discipline, attendance and security.

For 16 years, Johnson taught physical education at Jordan and Jefferson High Schools in Los Angeles. He had also been a special education math teacher at Gardena High School. Johnson also taught history and language arts at Eliot Middle School in Pasadena.

Rowland’s newest administrator received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Whittier College. He earned a masters in administration from Pepperdine University.

Johnson also has had many years of coaching experience. He served as president of the Los Angeles Football Coaches Association from 1997 to 2007. The popular coach has won many coaching awards, including Coach of the Year from the “Los Angeles Times.”

Miramonte Elementary takes second in Big Lots video contest

Thousands and hundreds of thousands of votes were cast in one month’s time early this summer in Big Lots Lots2Give video contest.

And though Miramonte Elementary School in South El Monte didn’t get the top prize, they still won big with a $2,500 cash prize for second place. Miramonte’s video, created and starring seven sixth-graders, showed viewers the school’s trouble with their sound system. Read the story here.

Hopefully when students return in the fall, they will be able to update their old sound system that made it difficult to hear anyone at assemblies or school productions. Miramonte is part of the Mountain View School District.

Along with Miramonte, twenty-five other schools across the United States will have some extra cash for class this year as part of the Lots2Give contest and winners of the 2009 Lots2Give video contest. Out of 46 schools that took part in the contest, only 26 schools were chosen by online viewers to share $80,000 in cash prizes.

Big Lots asked participating schools to submit a short video and brief essay explaining why their school is in need of financial support. From mid-June to mid-July, the public voted for their favorite video at More than 300,000 votes were cast.

In addition to the video contest, Big Lots established an in-store donation program to help the 103 schools participating in the Lots2Give program. From May 2 through July 12, Big Lots customers were invited to make $1 or $5 donations at participating Big Lots stores, with 100 percent of donations going directly to participating schools. This initiative raised more than $74,000 to help participating schools.

Miramonte Elementary School will also receive $1,590.83 from their share of the donations collected in-store throughout the Los Angeles market. Other local schools also participated in the Lots2Give program and will be receiving $1,590.83 for each of their schools:
– Baker Elementary School in El Monte
– La Primaria Elementary School in El Monte
– Maxson Elementary School in El Monte

To continue to give back, Big Lots stores across the country will host an in-store Teacher Appreciation Day on Saturday, Aug. 1. ll educators with a valid school identification card will receive 10 percent off their total purchase.

Miramonte Elementary school will be presented with a check for their second place prize on Monday, Aug. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Big Lots store at 11130 Washington Blvd. in Whittier.

For more information and a complete list of winners, visit for a complete list of winners.

Roads lead back to Rowland Heights for new principal


Rowland High School’s new principal, Mitch Brunyer, meets with ASB students, from left, Secretary Lillian Tao, President Alyssa Catinding and Treasurer Benson Chen.

Mitchell Brunyer used to wrestle at Rowland High School. Now the former Raider will be wrestling with budgets and schedules at the local high school.

Brunyer is the new Rowland principal, one of a handful of administrators to lead the Rowland Heights school. He is one of the new administrators named by the Rowland Unified School District, including two new vice principals at Nogales High School.

The 1989 Rowland grad replaces Robbie Robinson, who retired to spend more time with family after 40 years of service to Rowland Unified.

The new principal looks forward to many years at his alma mater. The 38-year-old is glad to be back.

“I always had a positive experience at Rowland High,” Brunyer said. “I’ve stayed in touch with teachers and classmates.”

Find out about Brunyer’s trip back to Rowland in Thursday’s Rowland Heights Highlander

Walnut Valley artists win awards

The Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees recognized 29 young artists for their recent success. The fifth grade students had submitted winning entries in the annual Music K-8 Cover Contest. Their work was selected from over 16,000 nationwide entries.

Music Specialist Judy Brunelle introduced her students as they received Certificates of Award and color copies of their artwork. The winning entries appeared in the June issue of the Music K-8 magazine. There were several categories of winners.

The top winners were: Samantha Yang of Quail Summit Elementary, who was first runner-up and won $125; Eunice Chung of Maple Hill, also a first runner-up and winner of $125; and Serris Lew of Westhoff, who was a second runner-up and winner of $100.

The top finalists were Sarah Wang, Jessie Wang and Nadine Linn of Westhoff; Victoria Shen, Betty Kim and James Park of Maple Hill; and Eric Chen of Quail Summit.

The finalists were Stephanie Yang, Nicholas Huang, and Sandy Pan of Evergreen; Sejin Park of Walnut Elementary; Jessica Lai of Collegewood; Derek Wan of Westhoff; Mark Shin of Castle Rock; and Nicolas Zhou, Asaan Barlas, Luis Choa, Angela Hou, Brandon Chen and Emily Su of Quail Summit.

The final group of winners received Honorable Mention: Amber Min of Castle Rock; Jedidiah Hu of Walnut Elementary; Eric Liu of Quail Summit; and Gabrielle Thornock and Justin Kim of Evergreen.

Rowland High students attend Leadership Summit

Congratulations to Rowland High School students Josh Cruz and Paulina Lim on their selection as participants in the Career Technical Student Organization Leadership Summit.

The summit is provided by the California Department of Education.  Only 80 students statewide received invitations to the program, titled “We the People…The Sacramento Leadership Experience.”

During their five-day visit to Sacramento, Cruz and Lim learned about the government and the importance of being an informed citizen. They met many state officials and used the actual Senate Chamber to debate and vote on mock legislative-based issues.

Scanlons retire after 40 years with Hacienda La Puente Unified

Best wishes to Maureen Scanlon and Tom Scanlon on their retirement after serving the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District for many years.

Maureen Scanlon retires after serving the District for 40 and one half years. Her most recent position was associate superintendent of Human Resources. She began as a teacher at Bixby then at Mesa Robles, and advanced into administrative positions at Mesa Robles and Nelson.

Scanlon moved to District positions in 1993, serving as director of Personnel Services and assistant superintendent for Pre-Kindergarten and Child Development.
Her final position began in 2000.

Tom Scanlon has served HLPUSD for 40 years, with most of those years in a district position. He began as a Social Sciences teacher at Los Altos High School, then moved to positions as resource teacher, general consultant and finally as director of Instructional Support/Curriculum.

The district will honor the Scanlons on Aug. 14. They will be officially retired on Aug. 28. We wish them well and thank them for their service.

Rowland Unified approves online high school

The Rowland Unified School District will become the first in the state to operate an online high school through iQ Academy.

The School Board Tuesday night approved the virtual charter high school where students will take courses online.

While iQ Academy will operate out of Rowland Heights, it will be
open to any student in Los Angeles County and surrounding counties,
including Ventura, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside.

Each student who enrolls in the academy fulltime is provided with a laptop and can take all their high school courses online.

There will be centers available where students can come to get extra tutoring, officials said.

The academy currently operates virtual schools in Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas, Washington and Kansas.

Mt. SAC offers free and reduced-cost meals for kids

the 15th consecutive year, the Child Development Center at Mt.
San Antonio College is offering a free and reduced-cost Child Care Food
Program to all children who attend the center.

this federally funded program, the center serves nutritious breakfasts,
lunches and snacks to approximately 200 children from birth through age

eligibility guidelines are listed below:


Effective from July 1, 2009 through June
30, 2010


Household Size
Twice Per Month
Every Two Weeks
For each additional
family member, add:
+ $6,919
+ $577
+ $289
+ $134

Fall registration to open at Mt. San Antonio College

Students can register for Mt. San Antonio College’s 2009 fall
semester credit classes online starting July 22 through Aug. 19.  

Students must register
for classes online at Before registering, new
students are required to activate their new Mt. SAC accounts at

This site provides detailed instructions on establishing the student
online accounts. Students will receive a permit for their assigned registration
date and time. They will not be allowed to register before their assigned

For students who do not have computer
access, computers and assistance will be available in the Student Services
Center, building 9B, during business hours. Telephone registration is no
longer available.

students must submit an admission application online at

They may also apply in person at the Admissions & Records Office on
campus, located in the Student Services Center. The Admissions Office is
open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30

New students must also contact the Counseling Office to sign up for
the required orientation session before registering for classes.

Mt. SAC’s fall semester credit classes
begin on Monday, Aug. 24.

more registration information, call the Mt. SAC Admissions & Records
Office at (909) 594-5611, ext. 4415, or visit