Tag Archives: Chino Valley

Chino Valley Election Filing Now Open

The nomination period for candidates to file their intent to run for several races in the Chino Valley opened July 16, and will close at 4:30 p.m. Friday, August 10 for the November 6 election

By Anthony Saude

Chino Valley– The nomination period for candidates to file their intent to run for several races in the Chino Valley opened July 16, and will close at 4:30 p.m. Friday, August 10 for the November 6 election.

The seats available include the city councils of Chino and Chino Hills, the Chino Valley School District board, and the Chino Valley Fire District board.


If none of the incumbents file their forms by August 10, the nomination period will be extended five additional days until Wednesday August, 15.

Nomination papers for city council candidates and the fire board are available from the respective agencies. Candidates for the school board may obtain the proper paperwork from the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters office, located at 777 E. Rialto Ave. in San Bernardino.

Chino Hills

For the first time in the history of the city, Chino Hills will implement a district elections system. This means that residents will be voting for a councilperson that lives within the district they are running.

Under a district election system, residents vote only for candidates in the district in which they live.

After being threatened with a lawsuit in 2016 by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund the council voted to change at the large election system.

Mayor Peter Rogers, Councilmen Ray Marquez and Brian Johsz are up for re-election in November seeking four-year terms.

Mr. Marquez would represent District 1 that generally includes the western area of the city. Mr. Rogers would represent District 2 that generally includes the northern end of the city. Brian Johsz would represent District 4 that generally includes the western end of the city. For a map of the boundaries, visit chinohills.org/districtelectionsmap.


Three Chino City Council seats will be on the ballot in November: The District 1 seat held by appointee Paul Rodriguez, the District 2 seat held by appointee Gary George, and the District 3 seat of longtime councilman Earl Elrod.

District 1 is a short term of two years. District 2 and 3 are full terms of four years.

Mr. George was appointed to the council in early 2017 after Eunice Ulloa was elected mayor. He has announced that he will run for the District 3 seat which represents the area where he lives.

Mr. Rodriguez was appointed to the council in 2017 to fill the remaining term of Glenn Duncan who retired. He has filed the proper intent to run forms with the city clerk’s office that allows candidates to fundraise for the election.

Dorothy Pineda has also filed her intent to run form with the city clerk for the District 2 seat held by Mr. George.

Longtime Chino Valley Unified School District Board member Sylvia Orozco announced in June about her plans to run for the District 2 council seat as well.

For the specific boundaries of the districts please visit the city of Chino’s district map at cityofchino.org/home/showdocument?id=16168.

Chino Valley Fire District

The seats of Chino Valley Fire District board members Mike Kreeger, Ed Gray and Harvey Luth will be on the ballot for the at-large election in November.

Mr. Gray, a Chino resident the longest serving board member was appointed to the board in 2003 and has since won four-year terms in 2004, 2009, and 2013 elections.

Mr. Kreeger, of Chino Hills, a former Chino Hills public works commissioner and the top vote-getter in 2013 elections will run for his second four-year term.

Mr. Luth was appointed to the fire board in September 2017 to fill the void created when Brian Johsz was appointed to the Chino Hills City Council.

Mr. Luth was a Chino planning commissioner from 2001 to 2017 before his appointment to the fire board.

School Board

Voters will have an opportunity to elect two new Chino Valley school board members for seats are currently held by Sylvia Orozco and Pam Feix, both seats are four-year terms.

Mrs. Orozco said she will not seek another term on the school board, this year she plans to run for the District 2 seat on the Chino City Council.

Ms. Feix, a retired teacher, announced she will not run for a second term on the school board.

Former school board member John Pruitt announced that he will be running for a seat on the school board.

Retired teacher Don Bridge, a former Associated Chino Teachers union president also plans to run.

Joe Schaffer, a parent in the district and a Chino Hills Parks and Recreation Commissioner since 2017 will be seeking a spot on the board as well this election.



Government Takeover

Staff Reports

Chino Valley – Stepping into the shoes of adults on Thursday gave some high school seniors a new perspective on their communities.

The 38th Annual Student Government Day included participation of Chino Valley fire and police, city governments of Chino and Chino Hills, and the Chino Valley school district.

High school seniors from all four regular district high schools plus Buena Vista Continuation High and Boys Republic were given a chance to shadow principals, police and fire personnel, tour government facilities and participate in mock school board and city council meetings.

Ayala student Deven Reyes, as a school board member, took the pro-position in a discussion about allowing unlimited cell phone use by students.

Despite a strongly crafted opposition argument by Anthony Duarte of Chino High, also a board member, the “board” voted 4 to 1 for cell phones.

Deven, who is involved in student government at his school, said after the meeting that he was surprised to learn how much public dialog is involved in school board decisions.

“I didn’t think they had this much discussion,” he said. “I thought they made decisions in some small room back here, not out in front of the public like this.”

His positive reaction was not one sided.

Superintendent Wayne Joseph said this mock school board was the most impressive group that he had seen in his nine years as superintendent.

“You were so articulate, so elegant with your back and forth repartee,” he said.

Board member Pam Feix told students she was impressed by their confidence.

“Your willingness to step out and speak out will take you far,” she said.


Rise of SUV Third Row Seat Thefts

Photo courtesy: Google

By Michael Armijo

Chino Valley – Local police departments have issued warnings of the rise in SUV third seat thefts and encourage residents to secure their property.

“You can use a cable and lock the seat up to the inside of the vehicle, never leave your vehicle unlocked, park your SUV inside the garage or backed up against the wall so the tailgate doesn’t open, or just remove the seat from the vehicle and store it in your garage or storage facility,” a press release urged residents to do to avoid being a victim.

Popular models that have quick release rear seats have been GM model SUV’s, including the Suburban, Tahoe, Yukon and Cadillac Escalades are primarily being targeted because of their price. The thefts are most commonly occurring in residential areas during the night.

“You can get anywhere from $300-$1200 per seat,” said John Ramos, an auto recycling specialist. “Most people buy them online no questions asked,” he said.

“Please safeguard your vehicle by using the prevention tips provided and report any suspicious activity to Chino PD at (909) 628-1234,” said the Chino Police Department. For Chino Hills you can call (909) 364-2000.

Chino Valley Officials’ Texts and Emails Must Be Disclosed On All Public Matters

By Marissa Mitchell

Chino Valley, CA – In early March, the California Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision to disclose all public-related information regardless of source, a cause supported by open-government advocates.  Cities in and around Chino Valley are looking to comply with said ruling, which generally forces public employees, including politicians, to share texts and emails to public record, even when they come from personal devices.

This ruling came from a long-standing 8-year battle after the city of San Jose refused to release “private” texts and emails to a public records request. These texts and emails, sent by officials, discussed a downtown development project. According to the new ruling, the court stated that communication sent on personal cell phones and computers must be disclosed to the public if they “relate in some substantive way to the conduct of the public’s business.”

In response, the city of Chino Hills has set up email accounts for all public commissions, and is provided a training workshop on Monday May 22 at 7 p.m. in council chambers. Assistant City Attorney Elizabeth Calciano will commence with the training that day.

Now, public officials will be subject to scrutiny on multiple levels. The thought is that they will be disinclined to conduct public business on personal devices or avoid scrutiny.

California Supreme Court Judge Carol A. Corrigan wrote of this recent ruling, “A city employee’s communications related to the conduct of public business do not cease to be public records just because they were sent or received using a personal account.

In the city of Chino, email accounts will be issued to the planning commission, but not to the community services commission because it is not a “decision-making authority,” according to spokeswoman Monica Gutierrez. Even prior to the San Jose court ruling, the city of Chino established a policy encouraging the use of city-issued cell phones and other such devices.

The Chino policy stipulates that all communication on city-issued equipment is subject to perusal at any time, and open to monitoring and public record requests.

The Chino Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Brenda Dunkle stated the district is awaiting recommendations in the middle of May from the CSBA (California School Boards Association) regarding this ruling.  She also stated that the district’s current technology use policy declares that any device accessing the district’s network is not private, whether used on site or off.

Fire Chief Time Shackelford stated he has iterated to his personnel only to use fire district servers and accounts to correspond, create, or store documents and communications related to district business. Training will also be provided for fire station employees.

Various news media representatives have called the decision “a resounding victory for the public.” This new ruling sends a strong message that public officials and employees cannot evade public scrutiny by using personal accounts.

Local governments have expressed concerns about invasion of privacy for its workers, so further concrete details are to come from the California Supreme Court on just how to go about this monitoring. Executive director of the First Amendment Coalition David Synder stated, “If employees are conducting written business about the people’s business on email, that ought to be available to the public. It shouldn’t matter if the email is privately owned or owned by the government.”



Chino 99 Cent Store Applies For Alcohol License


By Michael Armijo

Chino – Those of you who have visited the “Smart and Final” shopping center on Central Avenue and Philadelphia may have noticed a new sign in the window of the “99 Cents Store”: “Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages”.

It’s a growing trend around the state, and nearby states, as Tempe Arizona approved a liquor license. But not so fast here in southern California, as the Chula Vista 99 Cent store’s application was rejected. Two more licenses were sought after, one rejected and one granted. The Lake Forest 99 Cent store may sell beer and wine only, but not at the Foothill Ranch store on Towne Centre Drive, a city commission has decided.

Requests made by the stores in January for waivers that would allow them to sell alcoholic beverages to customers were denied in this month by Development Services Director Gayle Ackerman. Such waivers are an option for businesses in tracts deemed “saturated” by the ABC, which makes such determinations based on population.

99 Cent Only store in Chula Vista  was rejected by the community and subsequently the Chula Vista Police Department.

Applications to the Department of the Alcoholic Beverage Control for certain alcohol licenses in census tracts with an oversaturation of licenses or high crime rates (over 120 percent), require an investigation by law enforcement to determine if the business would be a necessity or convenience to the community.

Chula Vista police Det. Jesse Vicente, who oversees these types of licenses, said Friday his team rejected the request to sell alcohol at the Third Avenue and Moss Street location because it didn’t meet criteria to be deemed necessary or convenient to the public.

“We want to be a convenient store,” said Manuel Becerra, district manager for 99 Cents Only according to the San Diego Tribune. “You come to the store and you find everything you need.”

Wine is sold at a discount, but more than a dollar, at 99 Cents Only stores because they buy in bulk, a 99 Cent spokesperson said. The chain has been expanding beer and wine sales across the country.

The 99 Cents Only stores began selling beer and wine in 1983, shortly after the first store opened, spokeswoman Sarah Correa said. While one Mesa store obtained a liquor license in 2000 and another surrendered its license about a decade ago, the rest of the approximately 20 stores that applied for licenses did so this year, according to Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control data.

Dollar stores may have a challenge that other retailers that sell alcohol do not because they often are neighborhood stores, he said. Some communities have resisted the addition of alcohol to dollar-store shelves, according to news reports.

“The application to sell beer and wine is in progress, but not yet approved,” said Martha, a Chino 99 Cent Store employee. “But the one in Pomona currently sells alcohol, you can go there to purchase,” she added. For more information, or to provide input, contact the Riverside ABC District Office at 951.782.4400, or write to them at 3737 Main Street Suite 900, Riverside CA 92501.


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.

New Ladder Truck Goes Into Service

dsc_4071BY CVFD

The Chino Valley Fire District recently placed into service a new ladder truck that will serve the Chino Valley for well over a decade.

The 2016 Rosenbauer aerial ladder truck is housed at Fire Station 61 on Schaefer Avenue in Chino. It has multiple built-in features that enhance the safety and effectiveness of our personnel responding to calls for help.

The new piece of apparatus also features Green Star Technology. A built-in generator will kick on when the apparatus’ parking brake is set and has been idling for three minutes. This feature will save fuel, lower emissions, reduce maintenance cost and extends the lifespan of the apparatus.

The new truck is equipped with vital rescue equipment that includes the Jaws of Life to extricate victims that become trapped after a traffic collision, advanced life support equipment for paramedic services, ventilation and forcible entry tools for structure fires, and many other firefighting tools.

The previous ladder truck that has served the Chino Valley for 12 years will now serve as the reserve truck, retiring the District’s current reserve truck that is 22 years old.

Chino Valley National Junior Honor Society Inductees

Staff Reports

Chino Valley – Heritage Middle School announced their 2016 National Junior Honor Society inductees last week. The induction ceremony took place on April 20 at 6 p.m., where each of the recipients were honored.

The National Junior Honor Society inductees are students who have demonstrated high standards of scholarship, leadership, service, citizenship, and character.

Congratulations to the following 2016 National Junior Honor Society inductees:

  • Luis Acosta
  • Alicen Astorga
  • Camille Call
  • Madisen Cornelius
  • Magali Gomez
  • McKenna Harris
  • Jacob Hogan
  • Joelle Krogh
  • Kyra Mastin
  • Ashley McGuffey
  • Madison Morin
  • Brittany Pierce
  • Rachel Plumb
  • Emery Rock
  • Keller Rock
  • Rudy Rodriguez
  • Jessica Shuck
  • Melissa Soto
  • Emily Thompson
  • Arley Tucker
  • Keiana Vreyens
  • Abigail Watson

CVFD Announces Award Recipients

Photo courtesy: Chino Valley Fire District

Photo courtesy: Chino Valley Fire District

By Massiel Ladrón De Guevara

Chino Valley– The Chino Valley Fire District is proud to recognize former San Bernardino County Fourth District Supervisor Gary Ovitt and Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council founding member Ron Nadeau as the 2015 recipients of the Fred L. Burns Community Service Award. Both award recipients were instrumental in the implementation of programs that reduced the fire risk in the Carbon Canyon area. “These two members of our community are certainly well deserving of the Fred L. Burns Community Service Award,” Board President Brian Johsz said, “Mr. Ovitt and Mr. Nadeau have made a real impact on protecting our community and removing a fire threat to many homes in Carbon Canyon.”

The Fred L. Burns Community Service Award was established to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Chino Valley Fire District in the area of furthering the District’s Mission Statement and/or who has made a significant contribution to the Chino Valley Community in the area of community service in support of public safety.

Mr. Ovitt served as Fourth District Supervisor from 2004 to 2014. During his tenure as Supervisor, Mr. Ovitt demonstrated a commitment to public safety by supporting several projects related to reducing fire risks in the community. He was a strong supporter of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council, which was founded in 2001 under the guidance of the Fire District to support and implement programs and events related to fire safety within the Carbon Canyon community. Mr. Ovitt was instrumental in securing funds to remove overgrown vegetation that posed a fire danger in Carbon Creek. He also played a vital role in securing a location for a critical fire communications repeater in Carbon Canyon.

Mr. Nadeau has taken a lead with various projects that help protect Carbon Canyon from the devastating effects of fire. He has been instrumental with brush removal programs in the Canyon, wildfire defensible space planning and public outreach events. He also helped lead the arundo donax hazardous vegetation removal project in Canyon Creek that Mr. Ovitt helped fund. The overgrown brush in the creek is what helped fuel the fires that burned through the creek west of the San Bernardino County line during the 2008 Freeway Complex Fire.

Mr. Nadeau and Mr. Ovitt’s partnership with the Fire Safe Council has dramatically reduced the potential for loss of life, property destruction and damage to the environment that is associated with wildfire. The Chino Valley Fire District is proud to honor them for their work in keeping our communities safer from the detrimental effects of wildfires.

Chino Valley Percussion Teams Excel At World Championships

Chino Valley Unified School District

Chino Valley– Congratulations to three Chino Valley Unified School District percussion teams for their winning performances at the 2016 Winter Guard International (WGI) Percussion World Championships, held April 15 and 16 in Dayton, Ohio.

A percussion team from Ayala High bested 14 other high schools from across the nation to be named the 2016 WGI Percussion Scholastic World Champions on April 16. Ayala won first overall in the prestigious division. Ayala also took first in caption awards for music effect, visual effect, and visual. They won second in music.

Chino Hills High’s percussion team took second overall in the Scholastic World division. They also won first in music; second places in music effect and visual effect; and a third place in visual.

Ayala’s Scholastic Concert World team came in first overall in that division of five teams at the WGI Championships on April 15. Ayala also took first in music, and second in artistry.


Oxford Prep Charter Denied

Photo courtesy of Oxford Preparatory Academy OPA supporters

Photo courtesy of Oxford Preparatory Academy
OPA supporters

By Carol Heyen

The Chino Valley Unified School District school board voted March 17 to deny Oxford Preparatory Academy’s 5-year charter renewal, much to the dismay of over 1,500 school staff and supporters who attended the district meeting held at Don Lugo High.

Oxford Prep, or OPA, a charter school located in Chino, presently has a charter that runs through June 30, 2017.  OPA submitted a renewal charter school petition to the CVUSD on January 25, 2016, which would be for a 5-year term running from July 1, 2017-June 30, 2022.

The renewal charter, according to the school district, was denied because it has several flaws.  In a 77-page report, CVUSD stated that OPA is “demonstrably unlikely to successfully implement the program set forth in the OPA-Chino charter renewal petition.” The district also said that the petition failed to address eight of the 15 elements required by state law governing charter schools.

Superintendent Wayne Joseph, who was one of the original supporters of OPA’s charter in 2010, spoke at the meeting.  Superintendent Joseph said, “… it is really with a heavy heart that I come to you tonight, board members, and ask you to approve my recommendation to deny OPA’s current charter petition. Simply put, the petition OPA submitted on Jan. 25 of this year, unlike the other two petitions that were approved, is seriously flawed.”

CVUSD states that the charter petition is “not consistent with sound educational practice.”

One of the failures of the petition, according to the district, is that the OPA budget presents an unrealistic financial and operational plan for the proposed OPA charter school.  The school board said that they “cannot carry out its statutory fiscal oversight responsibility without the ability to review and audit all of OPA’s finances” the way the charter is now written.

The district’s concerns include OPA’s lack of sufficiently projecting enrollment or estimating Independent Study students, cash flow and reserve discrepancies, and timing of revenue. It also notes that OPA has not satisfied the California law that all students be admitted who wish to attend the school.  OPA’s enrollment runs in a lottery system, but children with siblings already attending the school, or parents who are OPA staff or founding members are exempt from the lottery and get first priority.

OPA is very popular with students and parents in the Chino Valley.  Test scores at the school have consistently been in the high 900s, and it has been named a California Distinguished School.

OPA’s supporters are vowing to keep fighting.  OPA Principal Sue Roche’s husband Terry told the crowd, “For eight years, I’ve heard from Mr. Joseph, from Mr. Na how great OPA is,” referring to Superintendent Joseph and board member James Na. “For eight years, every evaluation they gave us — every evaluation they gave us — financially, academically, was the best in California!”

Oxford Prep administrator Jared McLeod said that OPA will “…move on with our legal rights to prove this district wrong and prove what is legally right, which is that this is our school, for five more years!”


High School Hockey Team Makes Playoffs

Photo courtesy:  Chino Valley Flames Chino Valley Flames Hockey Team

Photo courtesy: Chino Valley Flames
Chino Valley Flames Hockey Team

Staff Reports

CHINO VALLEY– The Chino Valley Flames Hockey Team, part of the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, made it to the 2nd round of playoffs in their first year as a high school hockey team.

The Flames are made up of 18 high-school aged boys (and one girl) from several Chino Valley high schools: nine players from Chino Hills High School, five from Ayala, one from Don Lugo, one from Chino and three from outside of the CVUSD district.

Several well-known schools have teams that are part of the Ducks high school league, including Servite, Orange Lutheran, St John Bosco, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita.

The underdog Flames were in 11th place going into the playoffs, but won their first game with a major upset against Bishop Amat.  They lost their 2nd round game in overtime against the #3 seeded Edison Chargers.

This young team had an outstanding first season playing bigger and older kids as well as teams that have been established for years.

If you are a hockey fan, know a hockey fan or support young adults becoming actively involved with a sport, you can follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@ChinoValleyHockey) to see what awesome things are yet to come!

Facilities Master Plan Meetings Scheduled

Courtesy of CVUSD


CHINO VALLEY- The third round of CVUSD’s Facilities Master Plan meetings is underway.  Improving schools in the Chino Valley is a long-term investment for our community. Equipping our schools with the latest technology, heightening awareness of school facility safety and incorporating interactive learning environments into existing schools to maintain academic excellence were themes that resounded in group meetings hosted by Superintendent Wayne Joseph at all 35 schools during the fall months. The meetings are part of the Facilities Master Plan (FMP) update process that has been underway since early 2015.

Most of our schools were built decades ago, with some built in the 1950’s, and they need basic health and safety improvements. The Facilities Master Plan will allow the district to identify long-term facility needs based on demographics, facility assessment, and the district’s educational goals and then develop strategies to address these needs in a comprehensive manner. The FMP process will conclude with the production of a document that will outline facility needs into the foreseeable future for all of the district’s existing schools and district support sites. The last FMP was completed in 2009.

Per current state guidelines, a school is eligible for a complete modernization when it reaches 25-years-old. The state traditionally provides a portion of the funds for the modernization, however there are two requirements that school districts must meet to obtain those funds. The district must provide their own matching funds and they must have the Division of the State Architect (DSA) approved final plans to qualify for the state funds. The process to obtain the funds is very competitive, as districts throughout the state are all hoping to tap into the funds. In fact, those funds have been totally expended over the past six years, due to the state’s economic downturn, which makes competition fiercer than in previous years.

While we have been able to make repairs and upgrades to some of our schools, additional health and safety and other facility improvements are still needed.  The four tenets of the Master Plan are:

  • To build something that does not currently exist to address education needs;
  • Renovate/Repair existing facilities;
  • Complete improvements to the grounds such as play fields, black top surfaces or drop off and pick up routes;
  • Improve technology and update furniture.

Plan to join the conversation and provide important input on the priorities for our schools!

Meetings have already been conducted with school principals, and then again with the school’s instructional/support staff, and now it is the community’s turn.

Find your school and the meeting date and time on the list below.

Upcoming meetings in March:
• March 2 – Canyon Hills Jr. High at 9:30 a.m.
• March 3 – Walnut Elementaryat 8:30 a.m.
• March 9 – Eagle Canyon Elementaryat 8:30 a.m.
• March 9 – Adult School at 10:30 a.m.
• March 10 – Butterfield Ranch Elementaryat 9:00 a.m.
• March 14 – Anna Borba Elementaryat 8:30 a.m.
• March 14 – Don Lugo High Schoolat 3:00 p.m.
• March 16 – Rolling Ridge Elementaryat 10:30 a.m.
• March 16 – Rhodes Elementary at 6:30 p.m.
• March 17 – Dickey Elementaryat 8:15 a.m.
• March 17 – Briggs Fundamentalat noon

Meetings will also be taking place in April and May:

  • April 4 – Chino High School Library at 6:00 p.m.
    • April 5 – Hidden Trials Elementaryat 9:00 a.m.
    • April 6 – Cortez Elementaryat 6:00 p.m.
    • April 7 – Ramona Junior High  at 9:00 a.m.
    • April 8 – Townsend Junior High at 2:30 p.m.
    • April 12 – Country Springs Elementaryat 8:30 a.m.
    • April 12 – Chino Hills High School at 5:00 p.m.
    • April 13 – Litel Elementary at 9:00 a.m.
    • April 14 – Wickman Elementaryat 12:30 p.m.
    • April 14 – Dickson Elementaryat 3:30 p.m.
    • April 15 – Marshall at 8:50 a.m.
    • April 18 – Glenmeade Elementary at 8:30 a.m.
    • April 20 – Magnolia Jr. Highat 10:00 a.m.
    • April 21 – Liberty Elementaryat 9:00 a.m.
    • April 25 – Cattle Elementary at 2:30 p.m.
    • April 26 – Ayala High School MPR at 2:30 p.m.
    • April 28 – Woodcrest Jr. Highat 9:00 a.m.
    • April 28 – Cal Aero Academy at 12:30 p.m.
    • April 29 – Oak Ridge Elementaryat 9:00 a.m.
    • May 9 – Chaparral Elementaryat 8:30 a.m.
    • May 11 – Newman Elementaryat 8:45 a.m.
    • May 17 – Buena Vista High School at 9:00 a.m.

CHH Places in Top Five of County Academic Decathlon

Photo Courtesy of CVUSD

Photo Courtesy of CVUSD
Members of the Chino Hills Academic Decathlon team with County Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre (center).

Courtesy of CVUSD

CHINO HILLS-Chino Hills High’s Academic Decathlon team was among the top five teams in the San Bernardino County Academic Decathlon held in late January and early February in the San Bernardino and Redlands area.

The event featured 39 teams representing 21 high schools, competing in 10 subject areas. Each team included a mix of students with A, B and C grade point averages.

Chaffey High School was the top winner of the academic challenge for the fifth straight time.
Others in the top five were Redlands High, Rancho Cucamonga High, and Redlands East Valley High.

Chino High Wrestler CIF Champion

Photo courtesy: CVUSD Chino High Wrestler Erika Aguila

Photo courtesy: CVUSD
Chino High Wrestler Erika Aguila

Courtesy of CVUSD

Congratulations to Chino High School wrestler Erika Aguila, the 2016 CIF Central Division 150lb Wrestling Champion!

Chino High School wrestler Erika Aguila, is advancing to the CIF State Championship on February 26 and 27. She is the first Chino wrestler to qualify for State since 1998.

$50K in Scholarships Available for Class of 2016

Courtesy of CVUSD

CHINO– Tim Adams, of School Portraits by Adams Photography, provided the Board of Education with the largest check to date of proceeds from the “Hit the Greens for Scholarships” Golf Tournament held every November. Adams has been hosting the tournament for the district for six years. This year’s check in the amount of $31,329.29, added to funds available from previous years, enables the district to distribute $50,000 to students, the largest amount since the tournament began. To date, more than $145,000 has been given to 116 seniors.

“The opportunity to assist students as they choose to continue their education is something that we consider a privilege,” said Tim Adams of School Portraits.

The scholarships will be awarded to high school seniors at each of the following schools: Ayala, Buena Vista, Chino, Chino Hills, and Don Lugo. The application period has begun and will continue through Feb. 29.
Seniors at each of those schools may apply for one of the following:
• Spirit of Chino Valley Unified
Awarded to a student who has volunteered at school or in the community, has embodied school spirit by serving in a student leadership role, has participated in school activities that promote good citizenship, and has an outstanding attendance record.

• President’s Award
Awarded to a student in need of financial assistance to continue their education.

• Superintendent’s Award
Awarded to a student who has embraced academic rigor and excelled by earning an overall grade point average of 3.8 or higher.
The application is available on the District website (
www.chino.k12.ca.us) with a cover letter and checklist for submission.

National Signing Day in the Chino Valley

Courtesy of Facebook Emily Nguyen signs her letter of intent to Finlandia University in Michigan.

Courtesy of Facebook
Emily Nguyen signs her letter of intent to Finlandia University in Michigan.

By Carol Heyen

Chino Valley – Chino Valley Unified had more than two dozen seniors sign with universities on February 3 and 4, as part of National Signing Week.

The annual event allows America’s most talented high school senior student-athletes their first opportunity to sign a binding letter of intent to a NCAA school.  The event has become well-known as major colleges such as USC, Michigan, Alabama, Ole Miss and others sign their football recruits during this time.   The letter of intent restricts a recruit to signing with only one school in the NCAA.   National Signing Day is typically on the first Wednesday in February, according to Sports Illustrated.

Football is the big topic when talking about National Signing Week, but other sports are included as well.  Chino Valley Unified had several recruits sign this year in different sports such as softball, water polo, baseball, gymnastics and soccer.

Chino Hills High School’s Emily Nguyen, who will be majoring in Criminal Justice at Finlandia University in Michigan, said this week that while she will miss her family and friends in Chino Hills, she is excited for the change of scenery and the adventure that college holds.   “Signing day was one of the biggest days of my life; it meant that I knew I was going to do what I love while learning at the same time.”  She also said that Signing Day was especially sentimental because she got to sign with her best friend, Emily Luna, who will be attending Wilmington University in the fall.  The duo started playing together on a 8U Chino Hills Girls Softball team, and have been friends since.

Congratulations to all CVUSD student-athletes!

CVUSD Seniors Perform Community Service

Photos courtesy of CVUSD Caitlyn Broad surrounded by Navy sailors and the goodie bags she made them

Photos courtesy of CVUSD
Caitlyn Broad surrounded by Navy sailors and the goodie bags she made them

Courtesy of CVUSD

As part of a literary unit on heroism, 12th grade students from across the Chino Valley Unified School District devoted several volunteer hours in community service over the winter break. Projects varied from volunteering at food banks and homeless shelters to cleaning up trails and parking lots across the city. Students were asked to “pitch” a proposal to a panel of their peers and suggest projects that would be classified as heroic. As part of a culminating experience which emphasizes effective oral communication, students prepared and delivered five-minute speeches sharing their experiences and addressing major societal issues.

Caitlin Broad, an Ayala High senior, traveled to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach with 40 goodie bags she prepared as thank you gifts for active duty sailors. Caitlin’s experience was especially meaningful to her as she was escorted by her father and grandfather, who are both Navy veterans.

Another Ayala senior, Diane Eckstrom, relieved her relatives in the daily care of her 94-year-old grandmother and delivered a speech on the need for loving elder care.

Priceless Pets, a pet adoption and care facility in Chino Hills, was a favorite organization of the volunteers, who exercised and cared for the animals. Ayala senior Terrance Seki walked dogs for Priceless Pets as part of his volunteer experience.

Ayala High senior Jake Sears, who cleaned up litter at Chino Hills State Park, told his classmates, “It shouldn’t be that difficult to clean up after yourself.”

Ayala students Jacob Axton and Calista Ho worked at a local food bank.

Most of the students involved in the program said they did not believe their efforts should be labeled heroic but rather just the actions of responsible citizens.

The curriculum unit writers included this project as part of the District’s implementation of Common Core State Standards to create real world experiences to develop 21st century skills. Teachers were impressed with their students’ passion towards the less fortunate and their appeals to their classmates to do the little things to show care for their community.

Life After Lugo

Photo courtesy: CVUSD Brianna Smith Gunn (right), a 2008 Don Lugo High graduate, talks to Don Lugo seniors about her experience in the Army.

Photo courtesy: CVUSD
Brianna Smith Gunn (right), a 2008 Don Lugo High graduate, talks to Don Lugo seniors about her experience in the Army.

Courtesy of Chino Valley Unified

CHINO– Looking like she was addressing her police officers in a shift briefing, Chino Police Chief Karen Comstock told Don Lugo students that success is theirs if they just have the right mindset. Chief Comstock was among more than a dozen Don Lugo High graduates who spoke to seniors, juniors and sophomores on January 7 about going to college during the annual “Life After Lugo.”

Don Lugo counselors founded the event seven years ago “because they felt that giving students as much information about college as possible would ensure greater success,” said teacher Sophie Yu. She took over coordination of the event three years ago, when original coordinator Kathie Spaun transferred to Chino Hills High. This year, Ms. Yu increased the number of sessions a senior could take from two to three. “All presenters are Lugo grads and my goal is to have more career pathways,” Ms. Yu said.

“Commit yourself to a process of learning,” Chief Comstock said as she walked back and forth among students in the Don Lugo multipurpose room. “Even if you don’t want to go into college after high school, get into a learning environment…Success is all in your futures, if you want it,” she said “…You are from Chino; you’re from Don Lugo. We believe in you.”

Following introductions and the chief’s keynote speech, other Don Lugo High alumni spoke to small groups of students on a variety of college-related topics in different classrooms. Among the subjects discussed were campus life, military experience, engineering, networking, picking the right school, commuting versus dorms, studying abroad, personal finance, the AVID college preparation program, the Dream Act, and time management.

Brianna Smith Gunn, a 2008 Don Lugo graduate, said she managed a hotel for a while before going to college, and then joined the Army 4 ½ years ago. Although she is only 5-foot-3, she worked in corrections for the military at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba, where war criminals and other high profile prisoners are detained. She said at least three of the approximately 30 students in the class she was addressing would go into the military, based on statistics kept on military service. She told the students that many soldiers have lost their lives to ensure the freedoms of Americans.

Don Lugo graduate Albert Perez, who said he was the first in his family to attend college, talked about how three-dimensional printing is used in the bio-medical engineering field he is studying. He passed around two of the items he has made with a 3-D printer: a Batman symbol, and the words “#1 Mom” with a heart symbol behind it. He also talked about the fun he had exploring a new city while attending college.

Graduate Elizabeth Cho said her parents are immigrants who didn’t go to college, so they had a hard time helping her when issues came up about her college experience. She told the Don Lugo students there are resources and people on college campuses that can help new students adjust. She also talked about overcoming the “imposter syndrome” in which students don’t feel like they belong at their college or that they are not “good enough” to be at the school. She said it was a culture shock for her to be attending prestigious Wellesley College in Massachusetts because of the more affluent students who attend that school, the long distance from her home in California, and the colder weather there. “You grow a lot,” she said of attending a college away from home. She concluded her comments by showing a video of students who have experienced culture shock in college. Among those shown were students who were the first in their families to attend college.

Other Don Lugo graduates who spoke included Megan Johnston, Janette Armenta, Joseph Green, Nick Flores, Jacqueline Dana Valera, Samantha Ochoa, Kendell Langrell, Randall Brakob, and Frankie Torres. A luncheon was held following the event, with muffins, cookies, and water provided by Ms. Yu’s brother-in-law.

CVFD Hires Six Firefighter/Paramedics

Photo Courtesy of CVFD    (L-R):  Nathan Brooks, Conner Buck, Charles Addie, Miguel Lopez, Matt Robertson, Blake Lemke.

Photo Courtesy of CVFD
(L-R): Nathan Brooks, Conner Buck, Charles Addie, Miguel Lopez, Matt Robertson, Blake Lemke.

Courtesy of the Chino Valley Fire District


The Chino Valley Fire District welcomed six new firefighter/paramedics to the Fire District family on January 10th. The new hires will fill vacancies left by promotions and retirements.

After completing an intensive four-week academy put on by Fire District personnel, the firefighter/paramedics will be assigned to work at one of the seven fire stations in the District.

“We are excited to bring these new firefighter/paramedics onboard. They underwent an extensive testing process that ensures we are hiring the best firefighter/paramedics for the community” said Fire Chief Tim Shackelford.

The new hires include Charles Addie, Nathan Brooks, Conner Buck, Blake Lemke, Miguel Lopez and Matt Robertson. Firefighter/Paramedics Addie, Brooks and Buck were all former Chino Valley Fire District Fire Explorers.

The Fire Explorer program requires participants to pass an interview, physical agility test, and to complete 20 hours of volunteer work each year at various special functions and community events.