Music teachers at Walnut and Diamond Bar highs named quarter finalists by Grammy Foundation

Four Inland Valley educators were among 222 music teachers from 208 cities in 41 states who were selected as quarter finalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

They were selected from more than 7,000 nominations from all 50 states.

The local honorees are Steven Acciani of Diamond Bar High, Anthony Allmond of Kaiser High in Fontana, Buddy Clements of Walnut High and Eufemio Escalante of Vina Danks Middle School in Ontario.

In September, a list of semi-finalists will be announced after which 10 finalists will be selected.  One recipient will be selected from the 10 finalists and will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the Grammy Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium.

The other nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists also will receive matching grants.

 

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten to college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

 

Link: http://www.dailybulletin.com/social-affairs/20140605/four-area-educators-nominated-for-national-award

Mt SAC health career students win gold medals in Orlando

 Mt. San Antonio College health career students recently won eight gold medals at the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) national competition in Orlando, FL. More than 6,000 secondary and post-secondary students competed in 56 different health-related events at the national leadership event held June 25-28. 

 Deborah Delgado (Norwalk), Felicia Dunn (Upland), Jessica Munoz (Riverside), and Cecily French (Pomona) all won gold medals in the biomedical debate competition. 

        Nichole Campos (Covina), James Nma Onwuka (Highland), Blanca Tovar-Garcia (Mira Loma), and Denise Workman (Diamond Bar) all won gold medals in the creative problem solving competition.

Mercedes Hamilton (Pomona), Darlene Cabrera (Rowland Heights) and Lori Osterman Fructuoso (La Verne) were finalists in the creative problem solving event. 

 “We had 11 competitors this year, and all 11 ranked nationally as finalists. That is quite an achievement,” said Mt. SAC psychiatric technician professor and HOSA advisor Mary Ellen Reyes. “Being involved in and competing in HOSA is a life-changing experience for students.”

HOSA, established in 1976 by the U.S. Department of Education, is the national organization for secondary and post-secondary health career students. The organization provides students in 40 states with skills, leadership development, and career development. 

Summer Arts Academy ends with singing, dancing and art in Rowland Unified

The Summer Arts Academy celebrated the first days of summer with its annual arts showcase at Hollingworth Elementary in West Covina. The students were doing their final rehearsals before the big show last week for friends and family.

The Rowland Unified students were in fine voice as they rehearsed their musical numbers. Others were mounting the student artwork in a large exhibit in the hallway.

The kids had the “Eye of the Tiger” as they launched into one of their big numbers. Though the choreographed tiger claws were a little scary.

Three college students watched closely as their students roared through the pop song. Rebeka Joson, 19, and her 21-year-old brother, Matthew, had been working with the Rowland students for the past three weeks in the popular summer program.

Matthew knows his stagecraft, finishing his first year with the Young Americans show group. The local singer performed in three of their productions last year.

The Rowland High grad was back to share his expertise with the younger students. He was also helped by Erika Larracas, a 21-year-old communications major at Cal State Long Beach.

“I enjoy working with the youngsters, they’re lots of fun to work with,” Joson said.

The Summer Arts Academy was held June 9-27 for elementary students. Classes were held weekday mornings from 8 a.m. to noon.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ARTS.

Music family day camp held at Hurley Elementary in West Covina

Education Through Music Fine Arts Family Day Camp

Hurley Elementary School

June 30 – July 3

Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Ages 6-13 Tuition: Ages 9+ $95 Ages 6-8 $75

Wee Ones Program Ages 3-5

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Tuition $40 per person (Parent MUST attend with child)

About the Camp: Inspired by Richards Institute Master Teacher Dr. Randy McChesney, institute staff will guide camp participants in song and play through the song experience games of ETM, visual arts activities and storytelling. Participants from all generations learn by watching, listening and observing while they play, create and interact together.

Rainbow Preschool looking forward to new room at Rowland High

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

Rainbow Preschool at Rowland High is literally a three-ring circus. While clowns entertained the tots outside, workers are finishing up the new preschool facilities inside.

The tiny preschoolers were treated to some circus fun on Thursday. The La Puente Valley ROP students decided to entertain the youngsters with feats of daring.

Meanwhile, work crews were getting ready to lay cement in the new tot lot on the Rowland High campus. They have spent the past year rebuilding the old preschool classroom.

Contractors began by tearing the walls out down to the original studs. Crews installed new wiring and plumbing, before adding new insulation and sound deadening material.

“We’ve waited more than 30 years for this remodeling,” said preschool director Patricia Hakim. “But it was worth the wait!”

Hakim credited district officials and Principal Mitch Brunyer, who actually attended the preschool when he was young.

“Our new preschool center is actually bigger because they took out an office and storage area next door,” Hakim noted. “Now, we’ll have enough room to separate the 3- and 4-year-old groups.”

The new carpeting, walls, windows and lighting are just the beginning. The preschool also received new furniture for the popular ROP program.

Tiny, bright red chairs sat stacked against the classroom wall. Small blue cots will replace the vinyl mats the tots used to take naps on. The sturdy little cots have plastic legs and canvas bedding.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story PRESCHOOL.

Rainbow Preschool creates circus at Rowland High in Rowland Heights

This Thursday from 8:30 – 10 a.m., the Rainbow Preschool located at Rowland High School will have the high school students create a circus for the preschooler’s in Portable 33.

There is still space for the summer program that runs until July 11 for children ages 21/2 to 4 years old. (Hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

The preschool is also taking Fall enrollment now – fall semester begins on Aug.  19 for the cost of $385 per month. For more information, call Pat Hakim at (626) 965-3448.

Staff at Westhoff Elementary in Walnut takes hike to Chantry Flats

Staff from Westhoff Elementary School (Photo courtesy of Walnut Valley)

Staff from Westhoff Elementary School (Photo courtesy of Walnut Valley)

By Walnut Valley Unified

Westhoff Elementary teachers, staff members, family, and friends took to the Chantry Flats trails on June 21.

Adventure-seeker teachers Ron Kim and Kevin Curtain organized the two-hour summertime hike in the Angeles National Forest.  The group enjoyed the morning jaunt with beautiful views, a waterfall, lush greenery, and of course plenty of fresh air.

“We had a great time!” Principal Denise Rendon said after the four-mile hike.

John Roach named interim superintendent at Rowland Unified

Educational and leadership consultant John Roach, Ed.D., (John Roach & Associates) will be the Interim superintendent at Rowland Unified this summer while the superintendent search process continues.

John Roach

John Roach

Roach is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California teaching the courses “Leadership” and “Accountability.” He was superintendent of Carlsbad Unified from 2004-12 and at Charter Oak Unified 1998-2004, and is known for his leadership while also serving in Brea Olinda Unified and East Whittier City School Districts.

He serves on the Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group of the University of Southern California. Roach has been active in the Association of California School Administrators Association, serving as charter president and on various state committees.

Roach received his Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Southern California and his M.A. in English from Loyola Marymount University.

“The Board is delighted to have Dr. John A. Roach join the Rowland Unified School District.  Dr. Roach comes with a broad range of experiences to assist the district during this transition process,” said Board President Heidi L. Gallegos.

Roach will serve as Interim Superintendent on a part-time basis, approximately three days per work week, during the summer months pending completion of the current search for a permanent superintendent.

The timeline for the superintendent search process includes advertising and applications for the position concluding on July 11.  Interviews will take place in August with the hiring of the new leader expected in September.

Walnut Valley honors 26 retirees with 584 years of service

Walnut Valley Unified honored 2014 retirees  during a reception on May 21.

Walnut Valley Unified honored 2014 retirees during a reception on May 21.

Walnut Valley Unified School District gathered to celebrate the 2014 retiring staff members during a reception on May 21. Twenty-six employees were lauded for providing a total of 584 years of outstanding service to students.

Each retiree received personal tributes, retirement watch, and certificates of special recognition. “Thank you on behalf of the Board of Trustees,” said President Cindy Ruiz. ”We appreciate every one of you and you will be missed!”

 Congratulations to the following retiring staff members:

Diana Thorneycroft – Senior Administrative Assistant, Business Services

Bonnie Lee, Instructional Aide, Castle Rock Elementary

Brad Chapman, Teacher, Chaparral Middle School

Sharon Mocho, Food Service Worker III, Chaparral Middle School

Marian Nelson, Attendance Clerk, Chaparral Middle School

Kerry Volkov, Instructional Aide II, Chaparral Middle School

Linda Gandana, Food Service Worker II, Collegewood Elementary

Edith Yu, Food Service Worker I, Collegewood Elementary

Jon Goode, Grade Level Coordinator, Diamond Bar High

Dennis Thomsen, Teacher, Educational Services

Gayle Douglas, Teacher, Maple Hill Elementary

Marsha Dickerson, Teacher, South Pointe Middle School

Jean Fujihara, Teacher, South Pointe Middle School

Claudia Huff, Teacher, South Pointe Middle School

Nadine Aquinaga, Food Service Worker I, Suzanne Middle School

Susan Gilbert, Administrative Secretary, Transportation

Lorraine Meier, Bus Driver, Transportation

Nea Tyler, Bus Driver, Transportation

Sandra Harutunian, Teacher, Vejar Elementary

Patricia Ackman, Food Service Worker II, Walnut Elementary

Tricia Aragon, Secretary II, Walnut High

Scott Cassells, Grade Level Coordinator, Walnut High

Lily Jacquot, Teacher, Walnut High

Christine Nagashima, Office Assistant, Walnut High

Patricia Finn, Teacher, Westhoff elementary

Youth Science Center offers summer classes in Hacienda Heights

The Youth Science Center has pulled up stakes and moved down the road to Bixby Elementary in Hacienda Heights this summer. But the science circus is still offering three rings of fun.

The summer session began June 9, with weekly courses spread over the next five weeks. Many of the classes were already full of inquisitive kids.

“It took a couple days to move all our equipment from Wedgeworth Elementary, but we’re up and running,” said Ron Chong, chairman of the board of directors.

Chong and his wife, Judy, were busy shuttling students to their new classes. Many kids return every year to study new subjects.

This year, the science center is teaching 3D printing with its new digital printer. The cool machine builds three-dimensional objects by building up layers of plastic.

“The 3D printers used to cost thousands of dollars, but now you can buy them for $600,” explained teacher Kim Bach.

Her 25 students were using a computer assisted design program to construct their own brightly-colored name tags. Bach’s son, Steven, had just finished building a tiny little billiards table that uses BBs as billiard balls.

The Bachs say 3D printers are the wave of the future in manufacturing. “They’ll probably land up in everyone’s home so they can make their own products,” the science teacher predicted.

Next door, young sleuths were investigating chromatography in their makeshift crime lab. They were learning how to discover whodunnit before their crime scene final on Friday.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story SCIENCE.