WVUSD Board Celebrates Star Students, Community Members

wvusdWALNUT-The Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees paid tribute to star students and community partners during the January 18 meeting.

Westhoff Elementary 5th grader Valentina Galvan received a certificate of special recognition for winning the 2016 “Holidays Around the World” greeting card contest. Valentina’s submission depicted a snowman and holiday greetings in German, Swedish, Spanish. Chinese, and Hebrew. She also received a family gift pack from Chick-fil-A in Walnut.

C.J. Morris Elementary fifth grader Delia Jaramillo was saluted with the school’s Super Star Student Award.

Since arriving at the school last year, Delia has shown abundant growth in all areas, improved attendance, demonstrated a positive attitude, and she has made new friends. Delia has become involved in school activities including the Matador and Green Clubs, and she enjoys singing in the school’s talent show and choir concerts.

“Delia is truly somebody that exemplifies grit and perseverance,” said Principal Shehzad Bhojani. “And her hard work has paid off!”

“Our staff is so excited for Delia to move up to middle school and be successful!” 

Longtime C.J. Morris parent volunteer Rita Santana was presented the Partner in Education Award.

Rita has been a wonderful source of support in the school community for the past 13 years. She has served in many capacities including a decade-run as Community Club treasurer, as well as Spirit Drive, Matador March, and Fall Fundraiser coordinator, teacher and staff appreciation events, after-school concessions, uniform sales, book fair, ice cream social, and bond committee representative.

“She has been there for our school community in more ways that I can count! Bhojani said.

The principal said he asked the standout parent why she is so involved at the school?

“I’ve always tried to use my talents for the kids, teachers, and staff because I can. I was taught the more we do for teachers and staff, the more they can focus on children,” Rita said.

“We appreciate all that she has done for the C.J. Morris community and District!” Bhojani said.

Faith Education Center, under the leadership of Pastor Donald and First Lady Gloria Gridiron, received the Partner in Education Award.

“They have been great supporters of the Ron Hockwalt Academies and the Hockwalt Adult Resource & Transition Training (HARTT) program,” said Principal Dr. Donna Hunter.

For the past three years, Faith Center supplied food for the HARTT Center’s culinary program, providing an opportunity for the young adults to prep and cook meals. In addition, students gain work experience by bagging groceries, assisting families, and working as part of a team at the church food bank.

At Ron Hockwalt Academies (RHA), Faith Center organized and hosted a free Emergency Preparedness Workshop for 150 families and community members in October.

Gloria Gridiron was the inspiration behind a Veteran’s Day assembly with staff dressing up and performing in military-themed clothing for students.

In December, the Faith Center sponsored new tennis shoes and gift cards for every Ron Hockwalt student through the District’s Caring Soles program.

“I’m speechless, this is the nicest present I’ve ever received,” said one teen recipient. “It makes me want to work harder and graduate.”

“As a learning community, Ron Hockwalt Academies and the HARTT Center sincerely appreciate your support,” Hunter said. “We believe you share our HOPE and our Heart. Thank you for partnering with us!”

Ron Hockwalt Academies senior Mirya Ortiz received the Super Star Student award. Since arriving in Fall 2015, Mirya has found her voice and become a great leader on campus, Hunter said.

Mirya was an original member of the school’s first ASB leadership group. She led, organized and planned Spirit Week activities, assemblies, and helped shape the culture by focusing on student wins.

She also represented the school on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and was awarded the Principal’s Award as the top student in academics and citizenship.

“Mirya is such a great student that she completed her senior year and is the first RHA graduate for 2017!” Hunter announced.

The WVUSD Adapted Physical Education (APE) Team was recognized as the Exemplary Program of the Year.

The four outstanding APE educators – Kris Rote, Greg Sasaki, Deanne Rodriguez, and Mika Chan – were named the top team in the California, Arizona, and Nevada by the State Council of Adapted Physical Education.

“They are dedicated to kids, and put in numerous hours above and beyond to make sure that all our 15 schools are serviced with the best care,” said Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Jeff Jordan.

“You might see them at school sites, or teaching our students lifelong recreational skills at the Big Bear adapted ski school, fishing and kayaking at Mother’s Beach, at the bowling alley, or even golfing,” shared Special Education Director Judi Koorndyk.