By Kelli Gile
Walnut – A stellar group of Walnut Valley parent volunteers and community partners were honored during the Night of the Stars gala held May 7 at the Diamond Bar Center.
The inaugural event, sponsored by the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation, lauded exemplary parents, education and service partners, and distinguished alumnus.
Distinguished parent honorees were Sam and Nancy Castorena (Castle Rock Elementary); Amy Noiboonsook (C.J. Morris Elementary); Christina Kondo and Lily Eibert (Collegewood Elementary); Kathleen Strudwick (Evergreen Elementary); Anna Amezcua ( Quail Summit Elementary); Steve Hernandez (Maple Hill Elementary); Margaret Bersch (Vejar Elementary); Ted and Vickie Ohashi (Walnut Elementary); David Morales (Westhoff Elementary); Yara Sands (Chaparral Middle School); Monica McQuilkin (South Pointe Middle School); Cecilia Yeh (Suzanne Middle School); Rachel Chang (Diamond Bar High); and Diane Takahashi (Walnut High).
“I’m so thankful that the Foundation found this opportunity to publicly thank you for all that you do,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor said.
“It takes a village of dedicated parent volunteers and partners in education who generously donate their time and talents with our schools,” said Board Member Cindy Ruiz.
“Even if you can’t chair a fundraiser, every little bit counts and is appreciated!” added C.J. Morris honoree Amy Noiboonsook.
“This award is a tremendous honor that I will treasure forever,” said South Pointe parent, Monica McQuilkin, who is passionate about serving Walnut Valley students, teachers, and staff members. “My goal is to engage our families and communities because together we can accomplish the impossible!”
Walnut High 2014 graduate, Adanna Duru, an “American Idol” top 10 finalist, was named the Distinguished Alumni Honoree.
Distinguished Education Partner awards were presented to Steve Acciani, the Diamond Bar High Instrumental Music Director, and Schools First Federal Credit Union.
Rotary Club of Walnut Valley received the Distinguished Service Partner award and Penske
Mercedes-Benz of West Covina was honored with the Distinguished Business Partner award.
The celebration of education also featured standout Walnut High senior Jeffery Huang and alumni parents, Royal Morris and Sam Wright, who praised the school district’s exceptional teachers and staff members, academic programs, and parent support.
“Walnut Valley is a fantastic school district,” Wright said. “I’m proud every time I can help this district.”