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.
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.
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.
Billy Lee’s education ended when the Imperial Japanese Army overran Indonesia in March of 1942. The Diamond Bar resident was only 11 years old at the time.
Throughout the occupation, the young man worked hard to help his family survive. After the war, Lee got a job and settled down to raise two sons and a daughter.
“I always stressed the importance of education, because I wanted my children to live better lives,” the 82-year-old recalled.
On June 4, the octogenarian will receive his GED from Rowland Adult and Community Education. He will celebrate his academic success with his 21-year-old granddaughter Audris Fan, who is graduating from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
“We didn’t even know he was studying for his high school diploma, he kept it a secret from the family,” said Fan, an alumni of Diamond Bar High.
So the proud Diamond Bar family will be celebrating two graduations this year, even though the graduates are separated by 61 years in age.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story GED.
The Conquerors had a lot to cheer about as 429 students graduated with the Class of 2013 at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights.
Many are continuing their educations, including the top three students: Kevin Tam, who is going to the University of the Pacific, Abraham Wu who’s moving on to UCLA and Nathaniel Shon, who will attend UC Irvine.
This was the last of four high schools to hold its commencement exercises in the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District. The district had nearly 1,400 stuents graduate this year.
See the photo gallery at GRADS.
The Wildcats roared proudly Monday evening. Nearly 400 Wilson High graduating seniors celebrated during the school’s commencement ceremony, held at the on-campus football stadium.
Valedictorian William Chen, who compiled a GPA of 4.83, will study chemical engineering at Harvey Mudd this fall, while salutatorian Sarah Hsu is heading to Brown University in the fall to study medicine.
See the photo gallery at WILSON.
The Walnut students were real fireballs and the Pomona kids weren’t far behind in the Robot Expo at the Fairplex on Monday morning. The fun competition is part of Cal Poly Pomona’s School Robotics Initiative.
In fact, Team Fireball from Suzanne Middle School won the gold medal in the Gate Crasher contest with an amazing time of 6.967. In the close competition, students have to program their robots to pass through a gate in 7 seconds.
Easier said then done, when the students have to calculate the circumference of their robot’s wheels, estimate the gear ratio they should use and program the power running through the little electric motors.
But the Fireball team seemed to have mastered the engineering challenge. Team captain Augustus Rodriguez worked with classmates Adel Nasir and Abdul Rahman Ali to build the winning robot.
“I built our robot, while Adel programmed it,” said 12-year-old Abdul. “It was interesting to work with robots in school.”
The little machines force the students to focus on science and math.
“The students have to apply their math and science skills to build their robots, which motivates them to do better in school,” explained Nicole Forrest Boggs, director of development for the College of Education at Cal Poly Pomona.
Since 2006, the university has worked with elementary and middle school students in the two districts to develop an innovative robotics curriculum.
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story ROBOTS
Robert P. Taylor has been appointed superintendent of Walnut Valley Unified School District. He will take over July 1 in the high-performing district that is facing a difficult fiscal future.
In December, the school board declared a “negative certification” for the district budget, meaning it may not be able to meet expenses next year.
Taylor, who has been deputy superintendent of Corona-Norco Unified
School District, will succeed Superintendent Dean S. Conklin, who is retiring next month after almost 15 years with Walnut Valley Unified.
The school district covers Walnut and parts of Diamond Bar.
“I’m going into a district that has a long, strong reputation for student achievement ” that puts kids first and produces high results in the classroom,” Taylor said.
“The budget has been a concern for districts across California. ” Hopefully, with the state economy, that’ll continue to improve, but it’s something we’ll all have to deal with.
Read more in TAYLOR.
They’re thinking doctorates. While other high school graduates are considering bachelor’s degrees at local colleges, three Nogales grads are planning advanced degrees at the best universities in the world.
The three have been named Gates Millennium Scholars. The program selects 1,000 talented students every year for a scholarship to the college of their choice. The prestigious scholarships pay for tuition, books and meals, as well as travel assistance to visit their families.
“I want to become a doctor – now I can afford to go to college and then medical school,” said Alberto Jeronimo of West Covina. “I’ll be studying premed at Berkeley.”
The 18-year-old comes from an immigrant family. Alberto was inspired to succeed by his father, who came here from Mexico to make a better life.
“We couldn’t have done this without our counselor (Sara) Hall,” Alberto noted. “She wrote our nominations and recommendations, helping us through the scholarship process.”
The Nobles had to write nine essays to become Millennium scholars. They also had to have a minimum 3.33 GPA, though many like Alberto have a 4.5. All three Nogales teens are candidates for International Baccalaureate Diplomas and rank in the top 10 of their graduating class.
“This means more than just going to college for me,” explained Kimberly Cardenas of La Puente. “I will be the first in my family to attend an American university.”
Read more in Rich Irwin’s story GATES.