New FAA rules stop Mt SAC students from getting jobs

Veteran Chris Schneider worked as an air traffic controller in the Air Force. He went back to school and earned a degree in aviation science from Mt. San Antonio College, carrying a 3.48 GPA. He passed the government’s aptitude exam.

But even though he can guide an F-16 onto a dusty landing strip, he is not a good candidate for air traffic controller and his application was rejected, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and his teachers.

He will have to re-apply in 2015, they said.

Schneider is one of thousands of college students in the U.S. spending hours staring into airplane-control simulators who are being turned away from jobs as air traffic controllers because they can’t pass a biographical questionnaire.

Read more in CONTROLLER

Rowland Unified holding community meeting on April 30

The Rowland Unified School District will hold a community informational meeting on the Local Control Accountability Plan on April 30 at 6 p.m. at Telesis Academy of Science & Math in the Multipurpose Room.

Community members are encouraged to attend to learn  about the process and the development of the new Local Control Accountability Plan which ensures that funding is targeted to the needs of all students. Telesis Academy of Science & Math is located at 2800 E. Hollingworth Street in West Covina.

California school districts now have the flexibility to prioritize resources in order to meet the specific needs of its student populations with a new funding formula.

The new method — Local Control Funding Formula — has been passed by state legislation to allow local insight and meaningful conversations to take place between parents, employees and the community about their schools.

To view materials and information, visit the Rowland Unified School District website under Local Control Funding Formula – Unified for Ed Excellence.

The Rowland Unified School District is proud to serve 16,000 students in the communities of Rowland Heights, Walnut, La Puente, City of Industry, and West Covina.

More than 5,000 adults (16+) are also served by the Rowland Adult and Community Education School. For more information, download the free Rowland Unified School District Mobile App or visit or call (626) 965-2541.

Nogales High Noble Regiment selected for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Nogales High Noble Regiment picked for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)

Nogales High Noble Regiment picked for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Photo courtesy of Rowland Unified)

Today in a surprise announcement inside the Nogales High School Gym, the Nogales High School Noble Regiment received the news that they have been selected to perform in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Noble Regiment will join the line of march and begin their performance to the sound of Let’s Have a Parade, the iconic phrase that has signaled the start of every Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1924.

They will join nine other marching bands from across the country as well as fantastic floats, sky high giant character balloons, wacky clowns and superstar performers on Thanksgiving Day 2015.

With more than 3.5 million live spectators and 50 million at-home viewers, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is considered the beginning of the holiday season and the ultimate Thanksgiving Day treat for fans of all ages.

“Macy’s Band Committee is thrilled to have Nogales High School Noble Regiment return to our event for the second time in 2015. Representing the fine bands of California, Nogales will bring a sleek and modern style to the streets of New York on Thanksgiving morning,” said Wesley Whatley, creative director, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Brad Pollock, band director, Nogales High School Noble Regiment said, “Amazing, stunned, excited are just a few words that can barely explain the honor that has bestowed upon the Noble Regiment to represent California in the Macy’s Parade in 2015. The students should get all of the credit. The memory of the event will last a lifetime. The opportunity to perform in the Parade once was incredible, but to be invited back really is something special. It is a true indication of consistent hard work, dedication, and a love to perform, paying off. We look forward to this event and can’t wait to get our groove on, down Broadway. Go Nobles!”

“I am proud of the dedicated effort of our students, parents and staff of the Noble Regiment. They have all invested valuable time into making our band a nationally recognized band; this honor of being invited back to the Macy’s Parade is indicative of this recognition.  The Noble Regiment will represent Nogales High School and the Rowland Unified School District, not to mention the West Coast, with great pride,” said Nogales Principal Sergio Canal.

For more than 86 years, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has given thanks to what Macy’s values most – its loyal fans.  More than 5,000 Macy’s employees and dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to create a spectacular event that entertains the cheerful crowds and provides joy to millions at home watching on Thanksgiving Day.

The Parade marches down a more than two-mile long New York City route gleaming with color, music and cheers that fill the autumn sky.

Nogales High School Marching Band was selected to be one of 10 marching ensembles to perform on Thursday, November 26, 2015 beating out of more than 175 applicants nationwide.

Each year, the Macy’s Parade Band Committee looks for bands that have the stage presence to captivate a national audience and bring cheers to millions watching along the Parade route.

Before the band marches down the streets of New York City, they will spend the next 18 months planning for their big debut. Rehearsals and creative fundraising events not only bring the school and the community closer, but prepare the students for the march of a lifetime.

For more information on the Nogales Noble Regiment visit


About Macy’s

Macy’s, the largest retail brand of Macy’s, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Macy’s stores and offer distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Macy’s is known for such epic events as Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, as well as spectacular fashion shows, culinary events, flower shows and celebrity appearances. Building on a 150-year tradition, Macy’s helps strengthen communities by supporting local and national charities that make a difference in the lives of our customers.


Mt SAC presents “Diviners” play in Walnut

The Mt. San Antonio College Theater Program will stage its production of Jim Leonard’s “The Diviners” on Friday and Saturday, April 18 and 19, at 8 p.m., in Mt. SAC’s Sophia B. Clarke Theater. 

“The Diviners” tells the story of a soul-searching ex-preacher who stumbles upon a small town in need of spiritual guidance.  Reluctant as he may be, he finds purpose with the townsfolk and, in particular, one unique boy.  Terrified of the water because of a childhood trauma, the boy trusts the preacher with his rehabilitation.  Together, they must work with the town to find their own individual salvation.  “The Diviners” is a beautiful and compelling story about forgiveness and faith—forgiveness in others, forgiveness in one’s self and faith in humanity.

        Theater Professor Matthew Burgos directs this Mt. SAC production. 

Tickets are $14 for general admission, $10 for seniors, students, and children under 12.

For tickets and more information, call the Performing Art Box Office at (909) 274-2050. Tickets may also be purchased online

Gourmet food trucks rolls in Walnut Valley Unified on Friday night

Gourmet food trucks will roll in to Walnut on Friday, April 11, for the WHEEL FOOD FEST sponsored by the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation. The family fun night will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The gourmet food trucks will donate a portion of their profits to the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation. The event will be held at the district office parking lot at 880 S. Lemon Ave. in Walnut.

The Family Food Fest event will now be held monthly. Confirmed trucks for the April 11 event include TSG, Trailer Park, Share Mii, and My Tornado Potato. Plus more gourmet trucks and variety, each month!

No outside food, beverages, alcohol or pets, are permitted.  For more information, visit  and follow the event on Twitter : WVEF FoodFest or Facebook at

Los Altos High seeks panels for presentations in Hacienda Heights

Los Altos High School seniors need help in Hacienda Heights. Residents are invited to participate by sitting in on a senior project panel for the Class of 2014.

This year-long process is a tradition in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. It is a graduation requirement that provides local seniors with an opportunity to showcase their learning. They also gain experience in presenting to a panel of experts.

The panels will meet from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on May 1 and 2. The first 30 minutes is an introduction and review of the senior project. The panel will explain how it will assess the students’ presentations.

Each panel will evaluate students as they present a PowerPoint and portfolio. Students will then answer questions about their senior project.

This interaction provides real life experience for the students complete with feedback. Los Altos welcomes alumni, community members and businessmen to sit on the panels.

Interested residents should call 626-934-5418 and speak to Tina Banes or email or

Westhoff Elementary names Sandhu as Super Star Student in Walnut

Bhalpriya Sandhu named Westhoff Elementary School’s Super Star Student. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz.

Bhalpriya Sandhu named Westhoff Elementary School’s Super Star Student. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz.

Bhalpriya Sandhu was selected as Westhoff’s Super Star Student.

“Bhalpriya manages to be a standout student in a school filled with excellent students,” Principal Denise Rendon shared. The 5th grader serves as a Student Council Member and is an all-around star student who balances club soccer activities with academics.

“Bhalpriya demonstrates strong leadership skills, comes to school every day with a smile and ready to learn. She goes above and beyond to complete her assignments with pride and excellence,” Rendon said.

Bhalpriya also demonstrates great character.

“She models and exemplifies kindness, compassion, empathy, perseverance, and a great tolerance for others who are different. She is definitely a future leader and one who will impact the world positively.  You can be sure we will hear much more about Bhalpriya in the years to come!” Rendon said.

Help Los Altos Elementary get a community garden grant in Hacienda Heights

Los Altos Elementary wants everyone to vote for them in the Seeds of Change competition on-line at

The organic seed company based in Rancho Dominguez donates 1 percent of its net sales toward sustainable organic farming initiatives worldwide. This year, it is awarding $190,000 in grants to community or school gardens.

In its grant application, the Hacienda Heights school said it would like to hold community events in the garden, where it would teach kids and families about healthy eating.

In addition, the school wants to show kids students what sustainability means. They’d show kids how to help the environment by composting and recycling.

The school has started a small garden club. It would like to do even more by adding an outside gate so community members can access the garden. They would add an area for residents to garden during the summer.

To vote for Los Altos Elementary, go to The voting period ends on April 21 and you may vote once a day.

Westhoff honors two with partners in education awards in Walnut Valley

Parent Christina Cerioni was named the Westhoff Elementary Partner in Education. Shown with Principal Denise Rendon and Board President Cindy Ruiz.

Parent Christina Cerioni was named the Westhoff Elementary Partner in Education. Shown with Principal Denise Rendon and Board President Cindy Ruiz.

Westhoff Elementary recognized Christina Cerioni and Jennifer Chisholmas recipients of the Partner in Education Award at Walnut Valley Unified.

“Parents and partners in education, like Christina Cerioni, make our school a more fun and enriching environment for our students to learn. We appreciate her selfless gift of time and her tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm,” said Principal Rendon.

 Christina is an exemplary model of a parent partner. She began volunteering at the school after enrolling her daughter in kindergarten.

“Mrs. Cerioni instantly became an essential part of our school’s day-to-day experience,” Rendon added.

In a very short time, she became involved in reading groups, book bags, yearbook production, substitute noon-aide, fieldtrips, classroom parent and more. She also provided the first Jewish table at the school’s cultural fair. At the end of Christina’s first year at the school, she was voted the Community Club 1st Vice President.

“She has a wonderful way of bringing people together to help our school. Westhoff appreciates Christina’s “can-do” attitude and ability to bring new and exciting ideas into our school events.” Rendon said.

Jennifer Chisholm is a very special Partner in EducationShe spent a total of 33 years in the Walnut Valley Unified School District as a GATE resource teacher at the District Office and 2nd grade teacher at Westhoff Elementary. She retired from teaching in 2009, but has continued working with Walnut Valley students, along with numerous church and community activities.

“She sets aside time to work with our Westhoff students. For the past four years, Mrs. Chisholm has volunteered for the after-school Out of the Box enrichment program for GATE students in 4th and 5th grades. She meets each week to provide enrichment activities these scholar students. Jennifer has given Westhoff the incredible gift of time and we are profoundly grateful for her service,” Rendon said. Mrs. Chisholm was unable to attend the Board Meeting because she was volunteering at her church teaching catechism.

“She is a wonderful partner at Westhoff,” Rendon added.

Walnut Valley names new assistant superintendent

Matthew Witmer

Matthew Witmer

The Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees approved Matthew Witmer as the new Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. The veteran educator brings 18 years of experience to his new post.

Witmer has a strong background in the area of curriculum and instruction, and has led the transition into Common Core State Standards.

“Witmer possesses the leadership qualities, technical knowledge of the position, and proven ability to perform effectively in this administrative role,” said Superintendent Robert Taylor.

“I look forward to working with Witmer.  He will make a great addition to the Walnut Valley family,” he added.  Witmer assumed his duties on March 3, 2014.

Since 2012, Witmer served as Director of Educational Services in the Corona-Norco Unified School District.  He was responsible for all areas of the division in the 54,000-student district.  During Witmer’s tenure, CNUSD was selected as a 2012 and 2013 finalist district of the Broad Prize for Urban Education.

Under his leadership, as Director of 7-12 Instruction, the Garden Grove USD was named winner of the 2004 Broad Prize for Urban Education.

Additionally, Witmer is an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership at the University of California Irvine Extension and Azusa Pacific University.  Prior to that, he worked as an associate professor, director, interim program director, principal, assistant principal, and teacher.

Witmer received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University.

“The reputation of the Walnut Valley Unified School District has been outstanding for a long time, and I look forward to supporting our students’ learning and contributing to the district’s future success,”  Witmer said.

Witmer has filled a vacancy in the Educational Services Department