Palm students read to succeed in Hacienda Heights


Students must learn to read to succeed. And in Hacienda La Puente Unified the kids are learning to do just that.

The local schools celebrated literacy last week with many
special events. They joined in Read Across America, as well as
celebrating the birthday of the beloved Dr. Seuss.

Palm Elementary in Hacienda Heights was one of the first to
celebrate with its annual Read to Succeed day on Feb. 29. Parents and
volunteers leaped at the chance to read to the youngsters.

“There were various readers from the community in all of the classrooms,” Principal Edna Moore explained.

Other volunteers moved to the school library, where they could take advantage of all the books stored in the new facility.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story READ.

Brahma Tech Academy holds technology week at Diamond Bar High


Is it appropriate to use emerging synthetic
genomic engineering technology to build new forms of “life”? Should
genetic engineering techniques and processes be used in agriculture?

These were some of the issues debated by Brahma Tech students at
Diamond Bar High last week. The great debate was part of a week of
competition for the Technology Student Association.

The Brahmas recently became the first high school in California to
join the national organization, according to technology teacher Alina

More than 150,000 middle and high school students throughout America
belong to the association. Members learn about technology through
competitions, events and conferences.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story TECH.

Diamond Bar, Hacienda, Rowland and Walnut schools advance in Science Olympiad


Science Olympiad teams from Diamond Bar,
Rowland and Walnut Highs qualified for the state championships during
the regional tournament on Feb. 25. The teams competed against 46 teams
at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The Walnut team took fourth place, the best ever according to adviser Tony Goossens.

The Brahmas team took eighth place, while its custom-designed
helicopter won first place. The team is advised by teachers Angela
Jensvold and Teresa Hebert.

Rowland Unified sent teams from Alvarado Intermediate, Rowland High School, Ybarra Academy and Hurley Elementary. All brought home medals. Rowland High placed seventh out of 44 high schools.

Hacienda La Puente Unified sent 24 teams with 375 students to the Olympiad. This included 16 elementary schools, six middle schools and two high schools.

Mesa Robles came in ninth and will be going to the state competition in April.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story OLYMPIAD.

FBI visits students in Hacienda Heights


Growing up in Pico Rivera, Steve Gomez never
thought he’d travel the world hunting terrorists and drug dealers, but
that’s exactly what he does as Special Agent in charge of
counterterrorism at the FBI’s Los Angeles office.

Gomez shared his fascinating stories with eighth-grade students during career day at Newton Middle School in Hacienda Heights.

The affable agent said he got into law enforcement after being accosted by a gang member in school.

“I grew up in Pico Rivera where there were a lot of gangs. One
day, a rival gang came to our school looking for a certain guy,” Gomez

“They asked us if we knew where he was, but we didn’t know. So he put a gun in our faces and asked if we remembered

the FBI agent remembered. “Fortunately, they later ran away, but it was a
shocking experience in the eighth grade. That’s why I became a law
enforcement officer.”

Gomez ended up working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He
has traveled around the world investigating crimes against U.S.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story FBI.