October 18, 2019
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA—Walnut Valley Unified School District paid tribute and thanked an extraordinary group of educators during the 22nd annual Salute to Teachers on Wednesday.
The fifteen Teachers of the Year for 2018-2019 specialize in different subjects and grade levels, but share a passion for ensuring the best education for their students.
Over 300 educators, families, friends, and local officials gathered for the celebration of excellence held at the Diamond Bar High School Theatre on October 16.
Congratulations to the following Teachers of the Year: Julie Park – Castle Rock Elementary, Rich Langham – Chaparral Middle School, Kelly Revells – C.J. Morris Elementary, Diane Zell – Collegewood Elementary, Alice Choe – Evergreen Elementary, Teresa Hebert – Diamond Bar High, Vanessa Mabini – Maple Hill Elementary, Jennifer Fetchik – Quail Summit Elementary, Marla Rickard – Ron Hockwalt Academies, Crystal Dira – South Pointe Middle School, Priscilla Chan – Suzanne Middle School, Janine De Vera – Vejar Elementary, Henry Lin – Walnut Elementary, Garrett Lim – Walnut High School, and Danielle Hawkesworth – Westhoff Elementary.
The recognition ceremony included personalized tributes, awards, and student entertainment by the Diamond Bar High School Marquis Choir.
“Today’s fifteen special honorees truly represent the best of the best,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.
“I’ve been in all your classes and am both amazed and impressed by all that you do - you are awesome!”
“And to all our 600-plus teachers across the District, thank you for the commitment, dedication, and pride you have in your work,” Dr. Taylor added.
“And most importantly, the compassion and care that you show to our 14,000 students every day.”
At the culmination of the program, Superintendent Dr. Taylor announced music teacher Rich Langham as the 2019 District Teacher of the Year.
The 16-year education veteran taught choir and guitar at Chaparral for the past seven years, and recently accepted a position as choral music director at Diamond Bar High.
He was also named a semifinalist in the Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year competition.
Langham recalled that after fighting “his destiny of becoming a teacher for a long time”, he whole-heartedly committed himself to the craft of teaching.
“It dawned on me that my greatest joy and talent was working with kids; that teaching was my calling. Fascinating, intriguing people, from many cultures, walk into my classroom every year, and we can go on adventures together. We can explore, learn, be inspired, and reinvent the process of learning every day.”
Each Teacher of the Year received an apple bell award courtesy of the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation.
Honorees received rolling carts filled with gifts, school supplies, and certificates of achievement.
A special thanks to the following Salute to Teachers sponsors: Massage Envy, Benihana Restaurant, Schools First Federal Credit Union, Chaffey Federal Credit Union, Lifetouch Photography, Rubio’s, Nature’s Juice, and California Pizza Kitchen.
Honoring Our Best! Walnut Valley USD honors the 2018-2019 Teachers of the Year during the 22nd annual Salute to Teachers. Shown with Board Members Helen Hall, Larry Redinger, Layla Abou-Taleb, Dr. Tony Torng, Cindy Ruiz, and Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.
Ring the Bell! Walnut Valley USD pays tribute to the 2018-2019 Teachers of the Year during Salute to Teachers held on October 16. Shown: Front Row: Garrett Lim, Kelly Revells, Vanessa Mabini, Rich Langham, Jennifer Fetchik, Alice Choe, Diane Zell. Back Row: Julie Park, Danielle Hawkesworth, Marla Rickard, Janine De Vera, Priscilla Chan, Crystal Dira, Henry Lin, Teresa Hebert.
Diamond Bar High’s Marquis Choir, under the direction of Rich Langham, takes the stage to perform during the Salute to Teachers on October 16.
Board President Helen Hall congratulates Teacher of the Year Rich Langham.
At the culmination of the program, Rich Langham is introduced as the 2019 District Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor congratulates Rich Langham as the 2019 District Teacher of the Year during Salute to Teachers on Oct. 16.