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Walnut valley Unified School District

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WVUSD Trustees Recognize High School Stars

 June 1, 2017

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources

WALNUT, CA-- Outstanding students and community members from Diamond Bar and Walnut high schools received special tributes during this month’s Board Meeting.

Junior Zainia Siyed was recognized with the Super Star Student Award for Diamond Bar High.

Zainia is committed to developing STEM for girls and last year launched a FemSTEM robotics scholarship program for 10-14 years-olds.

The Brahma Tech Academy president began teaching robotics as a freshman.  

The teen worked eight hours per week developing and providing instruction to her team members.

“And it’s no surprise they took 1st place in a FIRST Lego League competition!” said Principal Reuben Jones.

Additionally, Zainia was a keynote speaker during the recent FIRST Robotics World Championships in Texas.

This month, she will be filmed by Disney on the topic of girls in STEM, which is typically a male-dominated field.

Zainia has also been selected for a Boeing internship and has applied for a TED Talk in London.

Sarbani Sharma, president of one of the school’s Magnificent 7 groups, received the Partner in Education Award.

Sarbani currently heads up the South Asian Parent Association (SAPA) and has been active in numerous activities that support Diamond Bar High.

The group’s signature event, Evening of Colors, is a scholarship fundraiser featuring student performances, music, and dancing.

“It’s truly a fantastic night that celebrates diversity at Diamond Bar,” Jones said.

Sarbani recently led a fundraising campaign to help the school’s robotics team, Sprocket, compete at the FIRST Robotics World Championships.

She also partnered with the Wellness Center to provide a free stress-management workshop for students.

Walnut High senior Sarah Kim was honored with the Super Star Senior Award.

“Sarah has done a lot of great things in her four years at our school,” said Principal Brandon Dade.

She served as ASB president, class president all four years, and peer counselor for two years.

“Sarah put on the best prom, turned the senior breakfast into a senior dinner, and has provided Walnut High seniors a wonderful experience they will never forget,” said class advisor Drew Johannson.

In addition, the senior class contributed $10,000 to help renovate the gymnasium flooring.

Sarah is empathetic and is driven to help students through the school’s peer counseling program

She’s given her time and energy to help students deal with sensitive topics and does all this with compassion and love that lifts up her fellow students in a way that’s life-changing, Johannson said.

“In the nearly 40 years I’ve been at Walnut High, I honestly can say that no student has done more for our school than Sarah Kim. Being able to work with her last four years has been an honor!”

Sarah will attend Stanford University in the fall.

Parent volunteer Rhonda Melton received the Partner in Education Award.

Rhonda has found a way to offer support for staff and students within the large and competitive high school.

“She has devoted hours of her time helping raise money that can be directly used to support students’ social-emotional needs on campus,” Dade said.

Walnut High’s Peer Counseling held over 450 personal appointments this year. These students consistently work out-of-the spotlight and serve without the recognition of support.

“Rhonda felt this group would benefit from additional support and through her dedication has truly made a difference,” Dade said.

She helped organize two e-waste recycling events this year that supported the Peer Counseling group and the school. She also participates in the Parent Think Tank.

“Rhonda spends a lot of time on our campus and we are very appreciative!” Dade said.

Shown:

Diamond Bar High junior Zainia Siyed was recognized with the Super Star Student Award. 

Board President Dr. Tony Torng presents DBHS parent volunteer Sarbani Sharma the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Reuben Jones. 

Board President Dr. Tony Torng presents DBHS parent volunteer Sarbani Sharma the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Reuben Jones. 

Walnut High senior Sarah Kim is honored as a Super Star Student. Shown with Board President Dr. Tony Torng. 

Walnut High senior Sarah Kim is honored as a Super Star Student. Shown with Principal Brandon Dade, Board President Dr. Tony Torng, Assistant Principal Petria Gonzales, advisor Drew Johannson, and family members. 

Walnut High parent volunteer Rhonda Melton receives the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Board President Dr. Tony Torng. 

Walnut High parent volunteer Rhonda Melton receives the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Brandon Dade, Board President Dr. Tony Torng, Cecilia Yeh, Clark Rucker, and family members.