Tag Archives: Chino Hills High School

Chino Teen Undergoes Heart Transplant

By Michael Armijo

Chino – A 16-year old sophomore cheerleader at Chino Hills High School underwent a heart transplant last Sunday after a month of hospitalization after her condition took a turn for the worse.

Lexi Anderson, who lives in Chino, has been waiting for her new heart, is at Loma Linda Medical Center recovering from surgery.

“The most important thing is our daughter’s alive,” Lexi’s father Todd Anderson told CBS2 Sunday night.

“We are feeling overjoyed, this is a day that’s been long coming,” he added.

Her health battle received a great deal of attention last month when her classmate, Lamello Ball, scored 92 points in a Chino Hills High School basketball game Feb. 7, and dedicated his performance to her.

The surgery, which lasted 12 hours, was considered a success after the family was informed Sunday afternoon that a heart donor match had been found. She went into surgery at 9 pm Sunday night and came out Monday morning at 11 am.

“March 6th will forever be an important date in the life of our family, and in the life of Alexis. It has been a good day, and for the first time in over a month we have more certainty of a future life with Alexis,” father Todd Anderson wrote on the GoFundMe online fundraising page, set up to help with medical costs. Agape Miracles Org posted Anderson’s comments on his behalf.

Todd Anderson’s posted that Lexi’s new heart began beating after the surgery, but there were some complications with bleeding. Surgeons kept her in the operating room for an additional six hours to manage the blood loss. For now, Lexi is being given her blood transfusions to deal with the loss.

The donor match came as she had a difficult Saturday and had to be shocked seven times over the course of the day, Todd Anderson wrote.

According to a Facebook post from her father, Todd Anderson first discovered his daughter not breathing Feb. 3. Her parents performed CPR until paramedics could take over. She was revived and rushed to the emergency room with a rare heart condition that put her on the transplant list.

An ECMO machine, which pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood, kept Lexi alive while the family waited. She had emergency surgery Feb. 7, right before Chino Hills basketball player Ball scored 92 points in a game against Los Osos High, sparking lively debate online and sports talk shows about the all-offense showing. Afterward, the sophomore and UCLA commit said he dedicated the game to Lexi, according to local reports. “92 points #love4lexi,” Ball tweeted.

Doctors planned to lessen Lexi’s reliance on a breathing tube Tuesday, which will mark the beginning to a long recovery process, Todd Anderson wrote. He also noted that she’s been in ICU for over a month and will face physical therapy and rehabilitation.

As of Thursday afternoon, the GoFundMe page has brought in more than $77,774 for the family to assist in their medical costs. According to the GoFundMe account, the family is trying to raise $500,000 to cover medical bills.

“Since the moment it first started beating at 3:50 am on Monday, March 6th, Lexi’s new heart has beat approximately 440,640 times.,” wrote Anderson on Lexi’s Facebook account. “We are thankful for each and every contraction.”

“Another momentous thing happened today. Lexi sat up! She had her first dose of physical therapy today, and the main objective for today was to sit Lexi upright. This was done with assistance from the physical therapist, and Lexi sat upright for about 10 minutes. This was a big accomplishment that left Lexi feeling exhausted. She has been lying in a hospital bed for over one month,” added Anderson.

The Andersons attribute their success to God and their faith in Jesus.

“In the book of James, James completes this thought, and describes life as a vapor. Life without God is a dangerous game…an endless ‘chasing after the wind.’ He concludes that we need to bring God into our planning, and let Him have ultimate control. ‘Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;’ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ (James 4:13-15)” Anderson wrote.

Chino Hills High students throw birthday bash for lonely boy


Chino Hills- Students in Chino Hills High’s AVID college preparation program threw a surprise party Thursday (Oct. 27) for a Moreno Valley boy after they learned via social media that no one showed up for his birthday party.
AVID student Sadie Santillan came to class heartbroken after reading a Facebook post by Tyler’s mother, who said that she threw a party for her son and no one showed up. Tyler reportedly told his mother that he didn’t know why “he was here.” So his mother requested birthday cards for him to show that there were people who care.
Sadie shared the story with her AVID peers and the students decided to throw Tyler a birthday party. Taking the lead in organizing the event were Sadie and AVID students Shailee Wyzykowski, Sherilyn Dong, Shelby Galletta, and Manny Lares.
The party, attended by dozens of Chino Hills High students and staff members, included food and birthday games.


Chino Hills High Culinary Arts Students Learn Interview Skills From Restaurant Industry Professionals

BY CVUSDchino-hills-high-web

Students in Jennell Acker’s culinary classes at Chino Hills High in Chino received a crash course in job interviewing Tuesday (Oct. 25, 2016) from three representatives of the Wienerschnitzel restaurant chain.
The event was part of the California Restaurant Association Foundation’s third annual Force-in-Training (FIT) Day. The day is designed to help prepare high school students across the state for a career in the restaurant or hospitality industries.
During FIT Day, students learn skills designed to serve them for life, including putting together a solid resume, acing a job interview, and highlighting their value to a potential employer. “They also learned about professionalism, positive attitude, and work ethic – skills critical to success in any career,” Acker said in a press release about the day.
“This program has been life-changing for my students,” she said. “From our work in the classroom and through events like FIT Day, it’s amazing to watch these kids be inspired to discover new passions and a world of opportunity in front of them.”
Acker, who is also Chino Hills High’s business academy’s lead teacher, talked about her own experiences being interviewed for a job. She suggested that applicants should do some research on a company before interviewing with them so they will show they have interest in the firm.
“My first job became my career,” Sandy Niles, a Wienerschnitzel franchisee and multiple restaurant operator, said of her initial job as a server at Wienerschnitzel. “That first job, you never forget it.” A first job gives a young person the skills they need for almost any job in the future because they learn the culture, rules and requirements of a workplace, Niles said.
Applicants should not only be on time for an interview, but be there early, Niles said. “That tells me you’re ready, you’re serious,” she said.
“That’s my first test (for an applicant),” said Jennie Frick, a Wienerschnitzel franchisee with restaurants in Chino, Anaheim, and Long Beach.
Bring a resume or list of accomplishments, a pen or pencil, and paper for note taking to the interview, advised Niles, Frick, and Lujana Winkles, director of operations from Weinerschnitzel’s corporate office in Irvine.
Niles suggested that students practice interviewing with friends or family before the actual job interview. “Be confident in what you are saying,” she said. Niles also discouraged students from answering interview questions with just a yes or no because that does not impress future employers.
Frick suggested smiling and speaking friendly. She said that behavior is often an indicator of how a new employee will treat customers.
“Make eye contact, look up, sit up,” advised Winkles.
“Dress appropriately, don’t show so much skin, don’t wear flip-flops,” Niles said. “You can never get back that first impression.” She also suggested sending a thank you note afterwards to the interviewer to show continued interest in the job.
“Remember that the person in front of you isn’t the only one evaluating you,” Niles said. Other employees may be asked to provide input into what they think of an applicant, she said.
“One of the worst things you can say (during an interview) is Mom and Dad are making me work,” advised Frick. She told the students it would be more impressive to say “I am working to pay for my cell phone bill, my car insurance.”
It’s good when applicants ask questions of the interviewer, said Winkles. “If you want to impress someone, ask questions. You need to understand what you are getting into.”
Niles suggested that teens should be ready to answer the question “what are your biggest accomplishments?” She said many applicants are stumped by that question. She said she always asks “why should I hire you?”
“This is where I want you to brag about yourself,” she said. The answers to that question help her determine what an applicant will offer to customers and bring to the restaurant team, she said.
Niles asked the students what they should do if they had interviewed and had not heard back about the job. She suggested calling the interviewer to briefly re-cap the interview and express continued interest in the job. “I can’t tell you how many people I’ve hired from call-backs,” she said.
Chino Hills High is involved in ProStart, a California Restaurant Association Foundation (CRAF) program that provides introductory culinary arts training and hospitality management career exploration programs for high school students. The school also features a culinary facility where students can put their skills to work.
For more information about the 2016 FIT Day or CRAF’s ProStart program, visit www.craef.org. To learn more about Chino Hills High’s culinary arts program, contact the school.

CH High Director Added To MVP Athletic Director List

Staff Reports  

Chino Hills – Athletic Director at Chino Hills High, Phil Garcia, has recently been named to the CIF Southern Section’s MVP Athletic Directors list, according to the Chino Valley Unified School District. Garcia is known for being an outstanding leader and making a positive impact on student athletes, which is why he was given this high honor.
The MVP Athletic Directors list also includes the following: Tom Martinez of Los Osos High in Rancho Cucamonga, Nicki Bonomo of San Dimas High, Pat Hafley of Redlands Unified School District, Kristen Braun of Jurupa Hills High in Fontana, Jeff Grant of Damien High in La Verne, Rich Imbriana of Cajon High in San Bernardino, and Darren Goodman of Oak Hills High in Hesperia.


Cover Picture: CH Softball Seniors Caption  Caption: The Chino High School softball team now shares the Hacienda League Championship title and will be playing CIF this week. The team also celebrated their seniors on Senior Day, along with the colleges they will be attending in the fall. Congratulations to the following seniors (shown L-R): Corina Gamboa (Colorado State), Amanda Brashear (Maryland), Courtney Springman (West Point), Alyssa Gonzalez (Ole Miss), Emily Ballesteros (West Point) and Hayley Wishner (Whittier College).

Cover Picture: CH Softball Seniors Caption
The Chino High School softball team now shares the Hacienda League Championship title and will be playing CIF this week. The team also celebrated their seniors on Senior Day, along with the colleges they will be attending in the fall. Congratulations to the following seniors (shown L-R): Corina Gamboa (Colorado State), Amanda Brashear (Maryland), Courtney Springman (West Point), Alyssa Gonzalez (Ole Miss), Emily Ballesteros (West Point) and Hayley Wishner (Whittier College).

Chino Hills Student Finalist In Music Center’s Scholarship


Chino Hills– Chino Hills High freshman Ria Aldachi, who is enrolled in Chino Valley Unified School District’s virtual high school online program, has been named a Grand Prize Finalist in the Los Angeles Music Center’s 28th annual Spotlight awards program.

Ria is one of 14 student artists from Southern California to receive the honor and a $5,000 scholarship. She was one of two students named a finalist in the ballet division. Other categories in the contest included acting, non-classical dance, classical voice, non-classical voice, classical instrumental, and jazz instrumental.

The finalists, who were selected by a panel of judges, will perform June 11 at the Spotlight Grand Finale Performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Approximately, 1,100 participants auditioned for Spotlight this year. In February, Ria was selected as one of the 111 semi-finalists from Southern California. Semi-finalists attended master classes with highly regarded artists, and were offered feedback on their performances. Each semi-finalist also received $300.

Numerous Spotlight participants have gone on to successful professional careers, according to the Los Angeles Music Center. Among those artists are pop recording singers Josh Groban and Adam Lambert; and Misty Copeland, who made history as the first African American principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre.

Three Area Teams Make CIF Finals

By Lyn Taylor


It’s a great year for basketball in the Inland Empire.  Chino Hills High School, Ayala High School and Diamond Ranch High School’s boys’ basketball teams have all made it into the CIF Southern Section Finals to be played this weekend, March 4-5.

Diamond Ranch High School (23-8) will play Chaminade, Friday night March 4, at Azusa Pacific University for the Division 3A Championship.    Diamond Ranch is led by former professional basketball player and multiple award-winning coach Eric Cooper.

The #1 team in the nation, Steve Baik’s Chino Hills Huskies (30-0),  have dominated this season in the Open Division, and will take on Chatsworth’s Sierra Canyon (26-3) at 6:30 p.m. for the prestigious Open Division Championship.   Chino Hills’ Ball brothers, Lonzo, Liangelo and Lamelo Ball lead the team, with Elizjah Scott and Onyeka Okongwu creating a starting five who are fun to watch and difficult to defeat.

Ayala’s Bulldogs (29-3) led by Coach John Mounce, will compete against Edison (24-7) at 8:30 p.m. the same night, also at the Honda Center, for the 2AA Championship.  The Bulldogs will have 6’5” senior star John Edgar to help them in their first championship quest.

Good luck to all of the boys!

Chino Valley Makes MLB Draft

Photo Courtesy: Studentsports.com Southpaw, Bailey Falter, from Chino Hills High

Photo Courtesy: Studentsports.com
Southpaw, Bailey Falter, from Chino Hills High

By Claire Lewis

Chino Valley – If you keep up with Major League Baseball, you probably know that the 2015 Draft took place recently – June 8 through 10.  A total of 1,215 individuals were selected in the 40-round draft, and three Major League Teams selected young men from the Chino Valley.

Bailey Falter, the 6-foot 4-inch, left-handed pitcher from Chino Hills High was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 5th Round, 144th overall.  With exemplary high school statistics behind him, he was the first pitcher selected by the Phillies.  Falter is signed to play for the University of California Santa Barbara come fall.  He has a tough decision to make about his career.

Christian Kelley – a graduate of Don Lugo High who has played for Cal Poly Pomona for the last two years – was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 11th Round, 337th overall.  Reportedly the lead-off hitter for Cal Poly this past season, Kelley’s most recent stats read .341 in 72 hits with one home run, 28 RBIs and 43 runs scored.

And finally, outfielder Kyle Garlick – who also played for Cal Poly Pomona after three seasons with the University of Oregon – was drafted in the 28th Round, 852nd overall, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Garlick, who is a graduate of Chino Hills High, was a member of the All-West Region First Team, as well as the All-CCAA First Team.

Congratulations to these Chino Valley men, who obviously have great careers ahead of them.

Chino Hills: Basketball Standout Dies After Skateboard Accident


Nnamdi Okongwu, 17 (ESPN Recruiting Nation Basketball)

Chino Hills – A gentle giant has fallen, as high school senior, Nnamdi Okongwu, was taken off life support and passed away on Fri., July 18.

After a skateboarding fall earlier last week that caused a serious head injury, Okongwu was airlifted on Tuesday to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. According to reports, the injury resulted in a coma, and he was placed on life support until his family made the devastating decision to remove him.

The 6’8”, Class of 2015 senior was instrumental in helping to lead the Chino Hills High School Huskies to one of their best seasons ever this past year. With a Sierra League championship and a place in the CIF Southern Section Open Championship game, Okongwu – who played center position – was looking at a very prominent position on the team next year.

A scouting report from ESPN Recruiting Nation Basketball stated that, “Okongwu can dominate [at both] due to his size, length and strength. He has a big frame with long arms and soft hands. He snatches rebounds in traffic and can throw down some ferocious dunks in traffic. He has a fairly solid drop-step move as well.”

Though Okongwu – a Nigerian native – reportedly had received a scholarship offer from Loyola Marymount, other PAC—12 schools were showing interest as well. Colleges and the Chino Hills Huskies will have to carry on without the 17-year old hopeful.

Chino Hills High School will be holding a candlelight vigil for Okongwu on Tues., July 29, 7:30 p.m., at the football stadium. A memorial fund has also been set up at www.gofundme.com/4unnamdi.