Walnut: WV Board Honors Partners in Education

By Kelli Gile



Collegewood Elementary parents Lily Eibert and Christina Kondo received the Partner in Education Award (shown with their children, Principal Joan Perez, and Board President Cindy Ruiz. (Photo Courtesy: Kelli Gile)

Walnut – The Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees recognized star students and community partners during the Dec. 10 meeting.

Castle Rock Elementary 2nd Grade student, Wesley Li, was honored as a Super Star Student.

“One of the things that we instill at Castle Rock is the characteristic of perseverance. Even though this generation of students has the world at their fingertips, we really strive is to make sure our kids work hard and do not give up. Wesley demonstrates that quality – he perseveres every single day,” said

Parent volunteers Sam and Nancy Castorena received the Partners in Education Award for Castle Rock.

“They are a very active part of our community and one of the things that they bring is their networking ability.  They know everybody!” Dr. Byrne said. The extraordinary couple attends every single event to happily help the school succeed. They are excited about education and to be a part of Walnut Valley.

Collegewood Elementary 5th Grader, Natalie Basurto, received the Super Star Student Award.

“Natalie is one of those kids that each and every day walks through the gate with a huge smile on her face,” explained Principal Joan Perez.

Collegewood Elementary parents Lily Eibert and Christina Kondo received the Partner in Education Award.

“They are our dynamic duo! These two ladies are truly outstanding individuals and together have donated over 14 years to the school,” Perez stated. They are currently Community Club Co-Presidents.

“Christina knows how to do so many things so well. You can always count on her for support. She is a cheerleader for our school!” reported 1st Grade teacher, Betsy Hale.

“Lily has been a magnificent liaison in our school community and she offers help with new families that are getting acclimated to Collegewood’s culture,” shared 2nd Grade teacher, Diane Zell.  “They are both giving and kind,” added teacher Sherry Truong.

Chaparral Middle School 8th Grader, Danny Mansour, was honored with the Super Star Student Award.  The standout student is a peer tutor, member of the coding club, robotics club, student technology aide, leadership, and the pre-engineering group that built bridges out of toothpicks. This week, Mansour led a team of student coders during the Hour of Code event.

“Beyond all that, Danny is a person of great character and everyone he comes in contact with feels better at the end of the conversation. He is Mr. Positive,” said Principal Ron Thibodeaux.

Chaparral Middle School parent, Anne Elefante, was lauded with the Partner in Education Award.

“Anne is one of the great parents that help us out in so many ways,” Thibodeaux stated.

Elefante is the Community Club Treasurer, a community liaison, and she is an incredibly intelligent woman that keeps immaculate books.  Ann is also a fantastic artist who logged in about 20,000 hours making hundreds of ribbon leis for a school fundraiser.