Diamond Bar freshman selected for Math Olympiad program.

Diamond Bar Freshman Benjamin Chen is among a very small group of about 53 students (from the original pool of over 210,000 American Mathematics Competition participants) invited to take part in the 2014 Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program.  This year’s program will be held on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The purpose of the program is to broaden the participants’ view of mathematics and foster their excitement toward further study.  It will better prepares students for possible future participation on our International Mathematical Olympiad team as well as for possible careers involving mathematics.

Rowland Unified superintendent resigns

Rowland Unified School District Superintendent Ruben Frutos resigned his position Tuesday night, hours after the board fired Ajay Mohindra, the interim assistant superintendent of business who was hired by Frutos.

Frutos will end a 20-month term in the top spot on June 30, according to district board members. Mohindra also will leave at that time.

His tenure as interim superintendent and then as superintendent was marked with tension that included hundreds of people regularly attending board meetings and picketing of district headquarters by teachers and classified workers demanding his resignation.

In March, the board initiated a search for a new superintendent. But in attempt to keep him on, the board amended his contract to allow him to become deputy superintendent of administrative services. However, last month, the board pulled an item that would’ve approved the down-ladder move.

Some say the resignation was a way for Frutos to bow out gracefully after new board members Lynne Ebenkamp and Angelena Pride pushed for him to leave. Both were elected in November with teacher support on a platform to consider a new superintendent and increase board transparency.

“We finally have closure on the whole issue of Ruben. Now we also have the challenge of finding the right person to lead the district,” said John Petersen, president of the Association of Rowland Educators.

Frutos, in a summarized statement released by Gina Ward, district spokesperson, said he assured the board he was not interested in applying for the superintendent position but did say he hoped to serve RUSD in another capacity. He declined to be interviewed Wednesday.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story FRUTOS.

Rowland Unified dismisses interim assistant superintendent

Ajay Mohindra was dismissed from his job by a unanimous vote of the five-member school board, announced Board President Heidi Gallegos

“The board unanimously decided to not re-employ the district’s interim assistant superintendent of business,” Gallegos announced to a board room packed with teachers, parents and community members.

Mohindra, listed as the interim chief financial officer on the district’s website, sat at the table in front of the board after the announcement. When asked by a reporter if he still had a job at the district, he remained silent.

Mohindra’s name was confirmed by Gina Ward, RUSD spokesperson, who also attended the board meeting.

Mohindra was participating in negotiations with the district’s teachers represented by the Association of Rowland Educators. The two sides are in impasse and is now working with a mediator.

He was put into the spot last year by Superintendent Ruben Frutos, who previously occupied the position.

The district is in the process of looking for a new superintendent. Frutos’ contract ends June 30. There was no word on whether he would become the assistant superintendent of business.

Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story DISMISSED.

Rowland Unified offers bus transportation to town hall meeting tonight

Rowland Unified will offer bus transportation to the Town Hall meeting tonight from selected school sites. The Rowland Board of Education invites the community to share their input on the characteristics desired in the next superintendent. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Telesis Academy, 2800 E. Hollingworth Street, West Covina.


(Transportation for Adults Only Due to Limited Space.)

Hurley             4:45 p.m. 

Northam        5:00 p.m.

Yorbita            5:15 p.m.

La Seda/Santana HS   5:20 p.m.

Rorimer          5:30 p.m.

After Meeting Buses will Return to Schools.

*ONLINE SUPERINTENDENT SEARCH SURVEY: The Board of Education also invites all RUSD employees and community members to provide their feedback by taking part in the Online Superintendent Search survey through May 25. It is available in English, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. **Click HERE.**


South Pointe band performs at Heritage Festival in Chicago

The South Pointe Middle School Band performed at Chicago Symphony Hall during the Festival of Gold.

The South Pointe Middle School Band performed at Chicago Symphony Hall during the Festival of Gold.

the South Pointe Middle School Band recently performed in the Heritage Festival of Gold at the renowned Chicago Symphony Hall.  South Pointe was the only middle school ensemble among 22 high schools at the “Windy City” concert.

“We were the only band out of eight there to receive a standing ovation!” said Director Susan Willmering.

The 116-member group qualified to perform by submitting a recording and from consistent high scores during past Heritage Festivals.  During their Chicago experience, March 28-April1, the musicians participated in three clinics and three master classes at Northwestern University.

Students received extensive one-on-one time with internationally known musicians. The French horns sections worked with Gail Williams and the percussionists worked with She-e Wu.

South Pointe students also toured the city. They trekked to the top of Willis Tower, walked out onto the glass, and gazed out at the 103-story city view

They took in the Cloud Gate sculpture, unofficially dubbed The Bean, at Millennium Park; visited the Museum of Science and Industry where students controlled a three-story high tornado; saw an exciting Blue Man Group concert, and more!

“It was an amazing experience for everyone involved,” Willmering said.

Walnut High jazz orchestra salutes Sinatra on May 7

The Walnut High School Symphonic Jazz Orchestra will present A Salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes on May 7, 2014 at 7 p.m. in the WHS Theater at 400 N. Pierre Road in Walnut. The Music of Frank Sinatra will feature guest vocalist Luca Ellis.

Tickets are $8 Adults and $6 Students/Seniors and may be purchased online at www.seatyourself.biz/walnutmusic.  For further information, please call (909) 594-BAND (2263).