February 11, 2021
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA—This week, Walnut Valley USD proudly continued a tradition of honoring excellence during the 23rd Annual “A Class Act” Cornerstone Awards.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual event celebrating a dozen classified employees premiered on February 10.
Congratulations to the following 2020 Cornerstone Award recipients: Lorraine Gomez, Secretary I – Ron Hockwalt Academies Independent Study; Steve Rowles, Maintenance Worker III Carpenter – Maintenance and Operations; Susan Valenzuela, Noon Supervisor – Maple Hill Elementary; David Arionus, Morning Aide – Suzanne Middle School; Melody Lewin, Office Assistant – Castle Rock Elementary; Hsui-Feng “Tina” Lee, Instructional Aide II-Bilingual/Bicultural – South Pointe Middle School; Lori Hildebrand, Health Clerk/Noon Aide – Chaparral Middle School; Yenny Ong, Nutrition Services Supervisor II – Diamond Bar High School; Julie Del Rio, Nutrition Services Supervisor II – Walnut High School; Rachel Hoffman, Library Media Technician II – Diamond Bar High School; Peggy Laine, Textbook Clerk – Diamond Bar High School; and Tamie Liptak, Administrative Assistant – Collegewood Elementary.
Honorees received special deliveries with engraved awards, gift cards, and lawn signs at their homes and schools.
The program included personal tributes and congratulatory messages from District officials.
“I am so proud of all our Cornerstone Award honorees - they represent the very best of our hundreds of outstanding classified employees across the school district!” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.
“It is without question that we depend on our classified employees to help the school district run effectively and efficiently.”
The Personnel Commission’s monthly Cornerstone Award recognizes classified (non-teaching) staff members who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in providing outstanding customer service to the District and community.
These essential staff members feed and transport students, nurture their minds, support teachers and administrators, and create a positive learning environment.
David Arionus was named the 2020 Classified Employee of the Year at the culmination of the program.
“I am honored and deeply humbled to be named the 2020 Classified Employee of the Year, which is only possible because of the amazing staff I love and work with and the extraordinary students I am honored to serve and help grow,” he said.
“Life is about being the best possible version of yourself and this is a great reminder that I'm on the right track!”
Since joining the Suzanne Middle School team in 2018, David has provided exceptional customer support while connecting with students on a personal level.
After his morning duties are complete, he always asks “How can I help?” or “What can I do?” and is the first to volunteer his assistance, including joining a Community Club Super Soaker event last year with 100 kids pummeling staff with water balloons, sponges, and powerful hydra blasters.
During COVID-19 school closure, David has cheered for students while collecting textbooks, taking photos, passing out yearbooks, and delivering 8th grade yard signs.
David, a trained chef, also prepared personalized meals for staff members out on medical leave.
He spent his own time and money to make connections with his Suzanne family and has been a source of positivity during distance learning.
The virtual recognition ceremony was hosted by Dr. Matthew Witmer, deputy superintendent of Educational Resources and Dr. Seth Bond, director of Human Resources.
A special thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support: Walnut Valley Educational Foundation, Chaffey Federal Credit Union, Schools First Federal Credit Union, Sandy Best-McGriff Insurance, and Walnut Valley Administrator’s Association.
The Cornerstone Awards virtual program may be viewed at: https://youtu.be/1t6BWdfsl8A.
Surprise Announcement! David Arionus from Suzanne Middle School was named the 2020 Classified Employee of the Year. The virtual "A Class Act" Cornerstone Awards premiered on February 10.