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ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Walnut Valley USD Celebrates Star Students, Parents

October 26, 2020

By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources

WALNUT, CA—Walnut Valley USD Board of Trustees kicked off the October 21 meeting by recognizing stellar students and parent volunteers from Collegewood Elementary and Chaparral Middle School.

 Honored with Super Star Student Awards, Maya and Ezekiel Marquez are setting a positive example for their peers on campus and in their virtual classrooms. The Collegewood Elementary third and first grade student leaders have taken an act of kindness to extend the heart of the school out into the community.  After losing a family member to COVID-19 who resided in a convalescent home, Maya and Ezekiel have been drawing pictures and delivering them to people who are living apart from their family in convalescent homes during this time.  Their small act of kindness has filled people with hope and reminded them that are loved and not forgotten. 

“The Collegewood community is very proud of Maya and Ezekiel for making the world a better place!” said Principal Dr. Mary Wendland.

Two-time Community Club President Maggie Baca received the Partner in Education Award for Collegewood Elementary. The dedicated parent stepped into her role when volunteers were scarce.  Her friendly, calm demeanor positively impacted the culture of community, and people were drawn in willing to volunteer and help in big and small ways.  She helped welcome new parents into the school’s learning community and worked to put the needs of students at the forefront of every decision.  Maggie also began a new tradition with an annual family dance that creates a memory-making evening for students.

“Her ability to connect with people and genuine care for others has enriched the school and Collegewood is grateful Maggie Baca is part of the school community,” added Dr. Wendland.

 Chaparral Middle School 8th grader Lilia Dahhak received the Super Star Student Award. Lilia is an academic standout, earning a 4.0 GPA with A+ scores in all 24 grades reported during her first two years at Chaparral. Lilia is involved in school activities as member of Chaparral ASB, Band, and currently serves as Band President.  Lilia’s teachers describe her as intelligent, incredibly witty, and possessing the ability to elevate the level of discussion in every class.

“Chaparral is very proud of Lilia Dahhak!” lauded Principal Ron Thibodeaux.

Chaparral Middle School Community Club President Natalie Johnson was honored with the Partner in Education Award. Natalie wears many hats in Walnut Valley USD also serving as Maple Hill Elementary Community Club President and working as Quail Summit Elementary Office Assistant. Natalie brought a new and exciting energy with her to the Chaparral Community Club.  Although it has been extremely challenging during the pandemic, she has continued to diligently find creative ways to fundraise and support the school.

“Natalie has worked to recognize teachers ‘virtually’ anywhere and the Community Club is very fortunate to have her at the helm!” said Principal Thibodeaux.


Board President Larry Redinger presents Maya and Ezekiel Marquz Super Star Student Awards on Oct. 21.  Also shown with Principal Dr. Mary Wendland and parents. 

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, Collegewood Elementary staff members celebrate Maya and Ezekiel Marquez outside District Education Center. 

Board President Larry Redinger recognizes Collegewood Elementary parent Maggie Baca with Partner in Education Award.  Also shown with Principal Dr. Mary Wendland and family. 

Collegewood Elementary staff members gather outside District Education Center to celebrate Maggie Baca.

Chaparral 8th grader Lilia Dahhak receives Super Star Student Award on Oct. 21. Shown with Board President Larry Redinger.  Also shown with Principal Ron Thibodeaux, Assistant Principal Denise Loera, and family. 

Board President Larry Redinger presents Chaparral parent Natalie Johnson recognized with Partner in Education Award.  Also shown with Principal Ron Thibodeaux, Assistant Principal Denise Loera, husband David Johnson, and Quail Summit Elementary Administrative Assistant Anna Amezcua, and Parent Yara Sands.