Ben Franklin visits St. Marks Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights

Alexis Chernin, 11, left, and Lucas Valero, 10, assist Benjamin Franklin with his “Electrostatic Generator,” during Ben Franklin’s Colonial Assembly: A Museum On Wheels, at St. Marks Lutheran School, in Hacienda Heights. (Correspondent Photo by James Carbone)

Ben Franklin was very frank with the students at St. Mark’s Lutheran School. Electrostatic charges can kill. Just ask Franklin’s colleague, who tried to duplicate the famous inventor’s kite experiment.

Fortunately, none of the kids were hurt by Ben’s electrostatic generator, part of a mobile museum from the International Printing Museum of Carson. But their program on this famous American did spark the imagination of students and staff at the Hacienda Heights campus.

“We study Benjamin Franklin in the fifth grade and I think this program really brings history alive,” said teacher Jenn Estrada, who took her turn holding a fluorescent tube out toward the generator to illuminate the subject.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story FRANKLIN. 

Rowland High wins third place in ProStart competition

Rowland High is cooking with gas, propane gas that is. The Raiders’ restaurant management team earned a third place competing against 27 other high schools in the California ProStart Cup competition.

Culinary students celebrated their victories at an awards ceremony on March 18 in the Pasadena Convention Center. The event was presented by the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Management students from Rowland High took the third place in BJ’s Restaurants Management Cup. The team consists of Daniella De La Fuente, Emmanuel Hernandez, Abigail Peranil and Vanessa Gorgonia. They each won a $1,000 scholarship.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story WIN.

Kids compete in Inland Valley Spelling Bee in Walnut

Finalists Madeleine Salem, a fifth grader from Rhodes Elementary School, Jonathan Sun, a seventh grader from South Pointe Middle School, and Hannah Silvestro, a sixth grader from St. Margaret Mary School.

Local students competed in a Saturday contest at Mt. San Antonio College’s Clarke Theater. The winner will represent the Inland region at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.

Hannah Silvestro, a sixth-grader from St. Margaret Mary School won. Madeline Salem, a fifth-grader from Rhodes Elementary came in second. And a seventh-grader from South Pointe Middle School in Diamond Bar, Jonathan Sun, came in third.

More than 100 local schools enrolled in the Scripps National Spelling Bee program last fall. Eligible spellers must be enrolled in a state-approved education system in eighth grade or below and are 14 years old or younger.

Fairy tales come true at St. Mark’s in Hacienda Heights

Students rehearses “Into The Woods, Junior” at St. Mark’s Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights.

Fairy tales do come true. At least at St. Mark’s Lutheran School, which is performing “Into the Woods, Junior” for its spring musical.

The Tony Award winning play opens tonight at 7 p.m. And as usual, the Hacienda Heights school has gone to great lengths to prepare an enjoyable experience.
“It’s one of my favorite musicals, but it’s challenging because it has a large cast and each has a solo. I thought we had the singers to do it this year,” said Drama Director Julie Evangelista.

So if you enjoyed “Jack and the Bean Stalk” playing in the local movie theater, or watch “Once Upon a Time” on Sundays, then this is a chance to see your favorite fairy tale characters come to life on stage.

The storybook creatures are all there, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack, Rapunzel and Cinderella. Follow the “Into the Woods” as they explore the stories from several tales told by the Brothers Grimm.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story GRIMM.

Castle Rock Elementary unveils colorful murals in Diamond Bar

Castle Rock Elementary School in Diamond Bar school uncovered 240 colorful tiles under a sunny, blue sky on Thursday.

“One of our volunteers, Cindy Yee, thought it would be a great way to beautify our campus and raise money for our programs,” said Principal Carol Sullivan.

The International Baccalaureate school gathered in the amphitheater to get their first glimpse of the four large murals. Until then, the students had only seen the 6 inch by 6 inch tiles that they had designed themselves. Many parents made it a family project, buying a separate tile for each child.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story MURALS.

iPad class offered at Rowland Heights Library

A special class for the novice iPad or iPad2 users will be held on Saturday, March 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Rowland Heights Library.

Jason Galeener will show how to connect to Wi-Fi, use applications, take pictures and download apps.

He will also offer general tips and tricks for using your iPad more effectively. Bring your charged-up iPad and Library card. Registration is required.

The library is at 1850 Nogales St. For information, call 626-912-5348.

Hacienda La Puente Unified dropping out of Puente Valley ROP

In-fighting at one of the San Gabriel Valley’s biggest career-tech programs could put an end to 60 percent of specialized classes being offered at 10 area high schools, and has resulted in 40 teachers being placed on notice for possible fall layoffs.

Classes in computers, the healthcare industry, graphic design and accounting designed for students looking to enter the job market instead of a four-year college are being threatened by a funding dispute precipitated by the Hacienda La Puente Unfied School District, the largest district in the San Gabriel Valley.

On March 1, Hacienda La Puente sent a letter to the cooperative known as the La Puente Valley Regional Occupation Program saying it wants out, angering board members from the other two districts: Rowland Unified and Bassett Unified.

“Either they are bluffing, or they are trying to put Bassett and Rowland’s backs up against the wall,” said Bassett and ROP school board member Paul Solano.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story ROP.

“Into the Woods” at St. Marks School in Hacienda Heights

Tickets for “Into the Woods, Junior” are currently on sale at St. Marks Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights.

General bleacher seats are $8, while reserved floor seats are $12. Show dates and times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday at 2 P.M.

Tickets are available for purchase before and after school, in the school office, and at the door on show dates.

Spring registration opens at Rowland Recreation

Registration for the spring session began yesterday at the Rowland Recreation Department. Get your kids moving with many different classes offered.

Some classes being offered are tennis, soccer, basketball, kung fu, ice skating, cheerleading and dance. There’s also art, drawing, painting, guitar and piano.

Academic classes include intro to Spanish, Computer skills, reading and writing workshops, as well as AP review classes.

Register at 2100 Lerona Ave., Rowland Heights. For more information, call 626-965-5975, ext. 1567.

Open house opens careers at Hacienda La Puente Adult Schools

Students check blood pressure at Willow Campus of Hacienda La Puente Adult School.

This open house could open new careers for adults in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. Adult education was holding open houses to celebrate Adult Education Week.
Residents were invited to take a peek at the programs at Dibble Campus on March 12, Willow on March 13 and the Hudson Learning Center last Thursday. The older students had a chance to discover a number of new career choices that could help them find better jobs.
“We’re the second largest adult school system in California after Los Angeles Unified,” said Cindy Parulan-Colfer, associate superintendent for adult and continuing education.
She said the adult schools employ 85 instructors, who teach more than 16,000 older students. Many were attending on federal Pell Grants, which help low-income vocational students.
“Our student received almost $1 million in Pell Grants this year,” said Vicky Rossier, executive director at Willow Adult School.
Area residents were invited to check out the local campuses during the open house, which offered free haircuts, $30 smog tests and cooking demonstrations at the new Culinary Arts Center.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story HOUSE.