The Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees has named Donna Hunter the new principal at Cyrus J. Morris Elementary School.
She has served as interim principal at the Walnut school since February, replacing An Nguyen, who accepted a position as a LACOE Educational Technology Consultant.
Donna brings 15 years of educational experience and leadership to the very school where she began her career. She had served as assistant principal at Suzanne Middle School since 2008.
Prior to that, she was a grade level coordinator and summer school assistant principal at Walnut High School from 2001-2008. She served as an elementary counselor at Morris Elementary from 1997 – 1999.
Hunter received her Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University and Master’s Degree in Education from Azusa Pacific University. She is currently completing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University.
Jordan Seid of Rowland Heights has earned dean’s list status for the 2013 Spring semester at Lasell College in Newton, Mass. A member of the Class of 2016, Seid is majoring in Exercise Science.
He may not mean to, but Bowala Rakkitha stands out among his fellow students at Mt. San Antonio College. He dresses differently, his values are unusual, and he speaks with a distinctive accent.
When the Venerable Rakkitha, a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, walked at graduation last week during Mt. SAC’s 67th commencement, it was to be yet another leg of a most improbable journey.
“I never thought I would come to the United States and I never thought I would attend a university here,” said the 37-year-old monk, who is receiving associate degrees in psychology and liberal arts and will transfer to UCLA next fall.
During his time as a student at Mt. SAC, Rakkitha has generated a certain amount of curiosity, if not celebrity. The first question is usually related to the most obvious distinction.
“Everyone wants to know why I dress like this,” he said, patting down his red robe, his day-to-day attire and more importantly a symbol of the vow he made to live a simple life as monk. Then there are the more curious peers.
Read more in MONK.
The keynote speaker tonight at Mt. SAC graduation ceremonies will be Dr. Jack A. Scott, a former legislator, college president and state community college chancellor. The college is at 1100 N. Grand Ave.
Cal Poly Pomona will hold its 57th annual commencement ceremonies today through Sunday for about 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates, the university announced.
Each of the eight colleges at Cal Poly will hold their own ceremony, all of which will take place in the University Quad, adjacent to the Campus Center Marketplace (Building 97). Tickets are not required.
At this year’s commencement, pop music legend Paul Anka and businessman and alumnus Hae Park will be awarded honorary doctorates in recognition of their support and contributions to Cal Poly Pomona. The university is at 3801 W. Temple Ave.
Three public school districts along the 60-Freeway corridor are getting new superintendents this coming school year — Walnut Valley, Rowland and Hacienda La Puente unified school districts. Throw in Rio Hondo College, a community college district with classes in Whittier and El Monte, and that makes four.
Is there something in the region that sends public school and community college chiefs running to the golf course?
When former Walnut Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dean Conklin was asked that question Monday, he blamed the job’s growing duties and the overwhelming stresses emanating from a state government that has relentlessly sliced away K-12 funding.
“Being a superintendent is a position that takes a huge commitment,” Conklin began. “The job can’t be done in 40 hours. So you go in knowing that it will impact your family, your lifestyle.”
After only 2 1/2 years at the helm of one of the highest-performing districts in the state, Conklin said he decided to “retire” at age 57. Then he decided he’d take a job as executive director of The Frostig Center and School in Pasadena beginning July 1.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story SUPER.
Rowland Unified hopes at least 50 teachers and administrators will retire this summer. In fact, it is offering incentives worth $1 million to entice teachers to put away their books.
“It’s good for teachers looking to retire in the next couple years and it’s good for the district financially,” explained Superintendent Ruben Frutos.
Interim Chief Business Officer Ajay Mohindra said that the retirement incentive will save the district approximately $2.5 million.
Rowland began the incentive program three years ago, when it offered the $20,000 credit or $15,000 cash to 20 educators. Last year, that number rose to 30 teachers and administrators. This year, it has cut out the cash option and is giving two years service credit.
“These teachers earn $75,000 a year, while a new teacher starts at $40,000,” Frutos noted. “So it saves the district money to offer these incentives to retire.”
While the district loses experienced instructors, it gains young teachers who know the latest instructional strategies and technology becoming part of our classrooms.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s RETIRE.
Santana High School celebrated their graduation day at Royal Vista Golf Course in Walnut on June 6, 2013.
Students receive their diplomas during the 48th Commencement Exercises at John A. Rowland High School in Rowland Heights on Thursday.
The Raiders had 503 graduates at last night’s commencement program at Rowland High School.
Valedictorian Jennifer Kim had a GPA of 4.3636. She is an IB Diploma Candidate and Questbridge National College Award Recipient with a full scholarship to Amherst College.
The Salutatorian was Jean Tan with a GPA of 4.2830. Tan was also an IB Diploma Candidate and National Merit Scholarship Finalist.
See photo gallery at RAIDERS.
Kindergardners show off their cars at Blandford Elementary School in Rowland Heights on Tuesday.
Cars watching “Cars.” To be more specific, cute little imaginary cars watching a Disney “car”toon about cute little imaginary cars.
No, it wasn’t Radiator Springs, this was the annual car show at Blandford Elementary School in Rowland Heights. The kindergartners were jockeying for pole position in their “box” cars.
We’re not talking trains, though the 100 cars lined up end to end did look like a long freight rolling down the nearby tracks. The tykes had built their cars from big cardboard boxes.
The kindergartners created a little traffic jam as they cruised through the campus. Fortunately, some of the kids had constructed sheriff’s cars to keep order, and a little ambulance stood by in case of an accident.
“Fortunately, there were no accidents. No one even got a traffic ticket,” said teacher Trisha Johnson, who came up the the moving idea last year.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story CARS.
TeeterTodder Team sells their toy at Alvarado Middle School in Rowland Heights.
In the market for a TeeterTodder or a PopNPlay? These were just two of the toys designed by more than 100 students at Alvarado Middle School in Rowland Heights.
The annual toy fair features the creative talents of Rowland Unified students. Teams of eighth-grade students have to create a company, design a toy, research their market, then sell their toy to potential buyers.
Friends and family were invited to attend the toy fair on May 30. Visitors were given play money to spend on their favorite products.
“This year, the toy designers also had to make their toys from recycled materials,” explained Sue Cook, head of the English department.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story TOYS.