Tag Archives: Quail Summit Elementary School

Diamond Bar Students Make Their Mark

Courtesy: Kelli Gile
Dot Day! Quail Summit Elementary third graders, shown with teacher Criss Sykes, create artwork inspired by Kandinsky’s Squares with Concentric Rings watercolor

By Kelli Gile

DIAMOND BAR – Quail Summit Elementary took a spot-on approach to promoting creativity, art, and collaboration during Dot Day held September 14.

“It’s a day where we celebrate making a mark in this word, believing in yourself, and others,” said elementary learning specialist Leann Legind.

The annual event was inspired by the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynoldsabout a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark.”

What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper inspires people around the world to discover the power and potential of creativity in all they do.

“Dot Day is about not fearing creativity, but rather embracing it,” said Principal Frances Weissenberger.

In the past few years, Dot Day has become an international celebration with over 13 million students in 178 countries participating each September.

“Students were so excited to create art on this special day!” Legind said.

The children and staff members arrived at school decked out in polka dot clothing, hats, socks and headbands, with dotted t-shirts and jeans, and even a few spotted faces.

Teachers read The Dot to their students and classrooms created canvas dot art to be featured in a unique gallery.

The Quail Summit youngsters joined an outdoor collaborative art project throughout the day by painting designs on pink, purple, blue, green, green, yellow, orange, and red circles.

Each grade level also had the opportunity to learn about famous artists such as Wassily Kandinsky who created the Squares with Concentric Rings watercolor in 1913.

Third graders in Criss Sykes class painted their own Kandinsky-inspired masterpieces.

“Dot Day inspired me because anyone can draw anything if their heart wants to,” Macie Marquez shared.

“Even simple things can be art and art doesn’t have to be perfect. It teaches us to persevere and never quit,” added classmate Ian Xia.

“We connected the dots at Quail Summit to inspire creative teaching and learning!” Legind said.


Diamond Bar Students Rocking The Kindness

Courtesy: WVUSD

By Kelli Gile

Diamond BarQuail Summit Elementary students are rocking their commitment to spreading kindness.

On Wednesday, the 645 students at the Diamond Bar campus each took home a rock in their backpacks.

But these were no ordinary rocks.

The children painted colorful heart designs with personal messages of kindness, hope, joy, compassion, or strength on the small gray stones.

In the coming days and weeks, these kindness rocks, as they are called, will be left around the community, state, and even the world.

The school is marking its 30th anniversary with a week of caring and compassionate activities.

“We want to spread a positive message to others,” said elementary learning specialist Leann Legind.

The children hope that their kindness offerings will make a difference in the lives of the lucky recipients.

“I want our messages to inspire people,” said fifth grader Lanna Xiao, age 11.

“My rock says “You are special,” shared first grader Emma Johnson, age 6.

“I hope it makes someone feel good!”

“It was fun painting them!” said classmate Aiden Chang.

“I feel like I’m sharing kindness with the world even if it’s just one little way,” said 5th grader Evelyn Wu who decorated her rock with a heart and three flowers.

The nine-year-old penned “Have faith in your heart” on the back of the rock she plans to deliver while on vacation to Taiwan this summer.

Third grader Amy Song wrote “Even though you think no one cares, I care!” and classmate Kyle Chen declared “You are wonderful” on their rocks.

Each kindness rock also comes with a tiny card describing the schoolwide project.

“This gift is for you! Turn the rock over and know that these words came from a child’s heart to yours. Know that someone in this world cares about you!”

Recipients are encouraged to post a message on the “Quail Summit Rocks Kindness” Facebook page.

“I’m probably going to put it in our town!” Chen said.

Fifth grader Bethany Li decided to paint “Hopeful” on her kindness rock after singing at the school’s talent show.

“I performed a song called “Hopeful” with an anti-bullying message,” she said.

Another fifth grader, Wynnson Notomihardjo, age 10, wrote “Honor one another” on his gift.

“I picked it because even if you get mad you should forgive people,” he shared.

“I see many people who give up on their goals, said Anderson Zhu about his “Conquer your dreams” message.

“If you don’t succeed try, try again!” Saym Waraich, age 10, said on his kindness rock.

“A lot of people in this world give up. I believe you should try again until you get it!” he said.

The “School with a Heart” is hosting daily kindness activities including “I can make a chain-ge in this world” paper chains and kindness notes posted around the campus, and an 80’s-themed dress up day to commemorate the school’s opening.


It just takes One!


Quail Summit third grade students and staff with author Kathryn Otoshi. It just takes One!

Quail Summit third grade students and staff with author Kathryn Otoshi.
It just takes One!

DIAMOND BAR, CA —  Children’s author and illustrator Kathryn Otoshi brought her message of tolerance, acceptance, and kindness to Quail Summit and Castle Rock elementary students last week.

She read from her number books “One” and “Zero” that focus on standing up for each other and making sure everyone counts.

“These stories touch my heart!” commented Castle Rock 5th grader Nicolas Matias after a September 9 assembly.

The simply drawn pictures books feature symbolic characters with layered messages that teach children they can be part of the solution.

In “One,” when the quiet Blue dot is picked on by the hothead Red dot, the other colors don’t know what to do, until number One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count.

“Sometimes it just takes one to make a difference!” the author said.  Otoshi shared that she penned “Zero” to pay tribute to a new classmate from another country that was bullied during the fourth grade.  “I didn’t say anything because I was afraid,” she admitted.

Now, Otoshi circles the country to empower the next generation to become “upstanders” and not bystanders.  “Inside you lives courage and kindness. Don’t be afraid to tell someone in charge,” she urged.

A 15-foot mural was unveiled after assemblies at Quail Summit Elementary on September 8.  The painting features handprints of all 650 students and staff members inspired by Otoshi’s book “Beautiful Hands,” which was co-written with friend Bret Baumgarten who was battling pancreatic cancer.

For three days, artist and former parent, Margot Bloom carefully brushed red, green, yellow, or blue paint on every hand before positioning as leaves on the giant tree.

“The children all understood the connection of what we were creating,” said principal Jeanette Koh, who invited the author to add her handprint to the one-of-a-kind painting.

“It is our hope that the mural will be a ‘living piece of art’ that will inspire students, staff, and parents at Quail Summit to reach out and make a difference in the lives of others,” added elementary learning specialist Leann Legind.

Otoshi told students that Baumgarten would ask his young children “What will you do with your beautiful hands today?”  “If we do something meaningful for somebody we can touch their heart,” she said.  “Make a commitment to doing something kind for someone else. Spirits soar when we put our hands together!”

Diamond Bar: Quail Summit Student Wins National Chess Tournament

By Kelli Gile


Quail Summit student Jonathan Chen beat first grade challengers from different states and won the title at the National K-12 Championship in Orlando.

Diamond Bar – A 6-year old from Quail Summit Elementary has garnered the title of national champion. Jonathan Chen, a first grade student, represented his school during the National K-12 Championship held in Orlando, Florida. Chen won the first-grade division with a perfect 7-0 score. The contest was held December 12-14.

Players with the same scores were paired against each other during seven rounds of competition. Each grueling round could last more than three hours.

“I am very happy and very proud of the biggest trophy and national champion title for my school!” Chen exclaimed.

Chen hopes to start a chess club so that next year he can bring a team trophy back to the school.

The youngster from Diamond Bar has been playing chess for about two years. His father introduced the game to him at age 4. He’s had a coach since he was in kindergarten and earned the youngest champion award in the 2013 American Open.

Last June, Chen won the 3rd Place trophy in the International Youth Championship, under 14-year old division, held in Las Vegas.

A classmate asked Chen how he won all the games.

“I think it’s because I have more patience and more focus,” Chen replied.


Diamond Bar: Quail Summit Receives Tree Donation


Senior Field Rep, Jody Roberto, presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Great Enlightenment Society for their tree donation (shown with Michael Shen and Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo).

Senior Field Rep, Jody Roberto, presented a Certificate of Recognition to the Great Enlightenment Society for their tree donation (shown with Michael Shen and Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo). (Photo Courtesy: Kelli Gile)

Quail Summit students dig into the ceremony on March 11 (shown with Maintenance Manager, Sam Somoso).

Quail Summit students dig into the ceremony on March 11 (shown with Maintenance Manager, Sam Somoso). (Photo Courtesy: Kelli Gile)

Diamond Bar — The front landscaping at Quail Summit Elementary School now includes eight new trees planted last week. The lush green Japanese Maples, Camphor, and Australian Willows were made possible through a donation from the Great Enlightenment Lotus Society.  On March 11, the school held a ceremony attended by district and local officials to thank the non-profit organization.

 “It is a great opportunity for Quail Summit Elementary and the District to receive this generous tree donation from the Great Enlightenment Lotus Society and at the same time, to educate our kids about the importance and meaning of tree planting for our future,” said Walnut Valley Unified School District Board Member Dr. Y. Tony Torng.

 Quail Summit 4th and 5th Grade student representatives joined the planting celebration by drawing pictures and writing thank you cards for the event. 

 “It’s very important when someone gives you a gift that we say thank you,” said Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo.

 Student Body President 5th Grader, Brianna Hernandez, presented a poster and some fun facts about trees.  “With all the electronics we have in this era, sometimes it’s just nice to sit under a tree and read a book.  I’m proud to represent my fellow Quails to show that we care and love our trees.  We appreciate your help and sponsorship in planting these trees and beautifying our school,” she said.

 Another Quail Summit student, 4th Grader Kenzie Wilson, accompanied by 5th Grader Mara Firtat, sang an original song about beautiful trees.  Then all the students gathered around the last new tree and began planting with rich soil.

 Lead Grounds Maintenance Worker, Gene Kennebrew, shared information about the species, including its growth potential to a towering 75 feet.  “This is a Camphor tree and these were originally from Eastern Asia.  They were brought to Florida in about 1875. They are excellent for shade and have a nice aroma,” he said.

 “We are very happy here today to have Quail Summit Elementary students join us for this great event. When we realize the benefit of the forest, the tree-planting ceremony is very important and meaningful for our society and work,” said William Shen, Treasurer of the Bliss and Wisdom Foundation of North America, the organization that founded the Great Enlightenment Lotus Society.  Shen was presented with certificates from the Offices of Senator Bob Huff and Assemblyman Curt Hagman.

 “I’m not sure if you know it or not, but Diamond Bar is a designated Tree City,” said Jody Roberto, Senior Field Representative for Senator Huff.  “And your school is contributing to that. You’re lucky to be at this beautiful school,” she added.