BY KELLI GILE
Walnut – Walnut Valley Unified School District staff members ushered in the 2014-2015 school year during an annual Welcome Back event, held August 13.
About 1,000 certificated and classified employees had a chance to gather together after the summer break during the breakfast and opening program held at Calvary Chapel in Diamond Bar.
The band Symptom, from Diamond Bar High’s School of Rock, entertained the crowd during the outdoor continental breakfast. The Walnut High pep band kicked off the program with a flag ceremony led by Diamond Bar Boy Scout Troop 777, and the national anthem was performed the DBHS Marquis Show Choir.
The program included recognitions of Long-Service Employees, Teachers of the Year, and Cornerstone Award recipients.
Gale Taylor, the 2013 Classified Employee of the Year, and Sherry Robertson, the 2013-2014 District Teacher of the Year, took the stage to deliver messages to their peers.
“I am totally thrilled to be standing here among all of you who are people that make excellence a habit. We are all dedicated to creating an environment that promotes student success,” said Taylor, a Library Media Technician at South Pointe Middle School.
“We see hundreds of students, thousands over the years. And they need us to educate them and to guide them. What a huge responsibility, but what a huge honor. This is why we do our job,” said Sherry Robertson, a Humanities teacher at Chaparral Middle School.
A trio of 2013 Diamond Bar High graduates, Monique Magpayo, Carmen McCarrel and Tayler Lanning performed, “Brave.”
“What a wonderful way to kick-off the school year,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor said during his keynote address.
“Something I’ve learned the last year is the ‘Kids First’ philosophy that we have here in Walnut Valley. It has become so evident to me for the foundation of why our District has been and will continue to be successful. I see it in your classrooms, I see it in the offices, I see it on the playing fields. Whatever role you have in the District, I truly appreciate your commitment to the ‘Kids First’ philosophy.”