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 atwww.tickets.mtsac.edu.

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 www.wvef.educ.us  and follow the event on Twitter : WVEF FoodFest or Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Walnut-Valley-Educational-Foundation.

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 cbanes@hlpusd.k12.ca.us or nmeylor@hlpusd.k12.ca.us.

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 www.seedsofchangegrant.com.

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 www.seedsofchangegrant.com. 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

Enrollment in Rowland Unified begins on April 7

Enrollment in the Rowland Unified School District for the 2014-2015 school year for Transitional Kindergarteners/Kindergarteners and new students through grade 12 begins April 7. Parents can pick up registration packets at school sites now. Parents who need to find their home school can click on My School Locator at www.rowlandschools.org or call the Pupil Services Office at (626) 935-8203.

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classes are available at all elementary schools. TK is a bridge between preschool and Kindergarten, giving younger children (students who turn 5 years old betweenSeptember 2 and December 2) more time for hands-on, interactive learning and provides a high-quality Kindergarten readiness at no cost to parents with classes taught by credentialed teachers.

For more questions about Transitional Kindergarten, parents can visit www.tkcalifornia.org or speak with RUSD TK Specialist Annabelle Danneman at (626) 854-8544.

School of Choice Applicants: On April 7, parents of students accepted to a school of choice for the 2014-2015 school year must start the enrollment process. The parents of students accepted through the Choice program must complete and turn in all required enrollment packets and documentation to the schools of choice, by April 30. If the parent fails to submit the required enrollment packet and documentation, Choice is forfeited and the student will need to enroll at their school of residence for the 2014-2015 school year.

For general information regarding enrolling your students in any RUSD program or school, please feel free to call Pupil Services at (626) 935-8203 for further assistance.

Vejar Elementary competes in Mt SAC Relays in Walnut

Vejar relay

By Walnut Valley Unified

Vejar Elementary students participated in the 2014 Mt. SAC Relays on March 22. The runners proudly showed determination and skill during the annual race day.

Fifty-five members of the school’s Track Team practiced for several weeks before the big day. And they wore special red team t-shirts during the track and field events held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut.

“All our students did a great job,” said Principal Jennifer De Anda.

Every participant wins pins and ribbons at the Mt. SAC relays.

Parent volunteers helped pass out water and energy bars during the event. The kids enjoyed pizza and hamburgers when they were finished.

A special thanks to the numerous coaches and parent volunteers for their commitment to the team and to local business that donated snacks and food for the young athletes.

Rowland Unified needs input for Local Control Accountability Plan

The Rowland Unified School District  is seeking input from the community on the educational priorities to be included in its Local Control Accountability Plan, which ensures that funding is targeted to the needs of all students.

Community members are encouraged to take part in the LCAP Survey available through March 31. To participate in the online survey (also available in Chinese and Spanish), the community can visit the “Your Voice” section of the District website www.RowlandSchools.org and on every school website. Hard copies will also be available at each school site.

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 of funding public schools is called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

The LCFF 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.

The advisory process began on March 6, 2014 when 25 stakeholder representatives met to receive an overview. They included PTA, community members, students, teachers and  principals. Materials shared at the meeting can be found on the District website www.RowlandSchools.org under Local Control Funding Formula – Unified for Excellence.

The Rowland Unified LCAP Advisory Committee will review the survey results and use the information as they develop the draft of the Local Control Accountability Plan. Stakeholders’ recommendations will be compiled in a report that will be provided to the Board of Education.

After a public hearing, the governing Board of Education must review and approve the RUSD Local Control Accountability Plan in June, 2014.