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.

New teachers finish credentials in Walnut Valley Unified

Each induction candidate created presentations that featured professional development and student achievement that resulted from the BTSA experience. (Photo courtesy of Walnut Valley Unified)

Each induction candidate created presentations that featured professional development and student achievement that resulted from the BTSA experience. (Photo courtesy of Walnut Valley Unified)

By Walnut Valley Unified

Area educators recently gathered to celebrate a new crop of teachers that have successfully completed their credential program. Fifty-six beginning teacher induction candidates who wrapped up the two-year curriculum were recognized during the Walnut Valley BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) Colloquium held May 15 at Royal Vista Golf Course.

The 15th annual year-end event celebrates teachers who have completed the state’s induction requirements and earned their clear credential. BTSA teachers, support providers, along with many district and site administrators were in attendance to support the new teachers.

Each induction candidate created presentations that featured professional development and student achievement that resulted from the BTSA experience.  The Walnut Valley BTSA Consortium is comprised of seven districts: Walnut Valley, Covina Valley, East Whittier, South Whittier, Whittier City, Los Nietos and Lowell Joint.

In addition, the consortium partners with several local private and charter schools and teachers whose programs do not offer a BTSA Induction program.

During each new teacher’s two-year induction program they are matched with a trained mentors, known as support providers, to engage in inquiry-based effective teaching practices.

New teachers meet weekly with their support providers, and also engage in regular professional development and collaboration with other new teachers in similar assignments across the seven districts.  Director Julie Sheldon credits the 130 support providers for the success of the program.

 “These veteran teachers are unsung heroes and the key to the success of our BTSA program.”

The program strives to continually improve the quality of education for every student within the partner districts.

Rowland Basketball Camp has spots open for June 16-20

Looking for a fun summer program for your kids? Rowland Basketball Camp held at Rowland High School  is seeking boys/girls ages 7-14 interested in developing a solid foundation in the fundamentals of basketball for players of all levels.

There is still space left for the second session, June 16 – 20, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Early drop-off at 8 a.m. and late pick-up at 1 p.m. available free of charge.) The cost is $100 for the week.

Beginners will be given an opportunity to grow in a positive environment, while advanced players will be challenged to improve their skills in a more competitive environment.

Camp Directors are Jason Villanueva, the new head basketball coach at Rowland High School, along with Lindsey Brewer and Matthew Tumambing. They will provide instruction in the areas of Ball Handling, Passing, Shooting, Individual Moves, Footwork, Defense, and Rebounding.

In addition to on court skills, an emphasis will be put on Team Work, the importance of Positive Interaction, and Work Ethic. Shooting Contests, Free Throw Contests, Team Games, and 1 on 1 Championships will also be conducted. Players are asked to bring basketball shoes, white T-Shirt, blue or black shorts (preferably, bottled water and a great attitude!

Registration forms are available at www.RowlandBasketball.com or please email  jasonzvillanueva@gmail.com

Rowland High School is located at 2000 S. Otterbein Ave. in Rowland Heights. (626)965-3448

Suzanne teacher joins LearnZillion Dream Team in New Orleans

Helen Papadopoulos, a math and drama teacher at Suzanne Middle School, has been selected to the 2014 LearnZillion Dream Team. She is one of 77 returning members to the elite team.

 Over 4,000 educators applied for the 200 spots available on the 2014 Dream Team.  Members were selected for their content knowledge, grit and humility,

Helen Papadopoulos

Helen Papadopoulos

these impressive math and English Language Arts teachers represent the best of district, charter and independent schools in 42 states and three countries.

The Dream Team convened in New Orleans for TeachFest, a unique professional development event from June 4-7, where they kicked-off a rigorous summer-long collaboration to create high-quality formative assessment tools and resources that will support teachers implementing the Common Core across the United States.

Following TeachFest, Dream Team members will return to their respective districts and continue to work in facilitated online professional learning communities.

Being on the Dream Team is about more than world-class professional development and creating great content — it’s about being a member of a vibrant and enthusiastic community of educators who are eager to help others and hopeful about the future.

The diverse group brings over 2,300 years of teaching experience, ranging from two to 42 years in the classroom.

Papadopoulos is a 2007 California Teacher of the Year and 2012 Bravo Award winner.