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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!  

WVUSD April Board Recognitions

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 18, 2013                                                                        Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

WVUSD April Board Recognitions

WALNUT, CA—The Walnut Valley Unified School District honored outstanding students, community members, and 39 young artists during the April 17 meeting.

Fifth grader Rebecca Taghaboni was recognized as the Evergreen Elementary Super Star Student.

“Rebecca is an outstanding student with great citizenship. In addition, she has taken a leadership role in Evergreen’s student ABC Anti-Bullying Club, which organizes activities for promote kindness at Evergreen,” said Principal Carolyn Wills.

The Diamond Bar student also took initiative to create a presentation on improving the club support, headed a committee that created school climate posters, led table activities for Mix-It-Up Day, and helped organize older students who read the book ONE about bystanders standing up against bullying to primary classes. 

“She has great ideas and is going to launch a Share a Smile Day at Evergreen. Rebecca does such great things to help our school climate and we’re very proud of her,” Wills said.

Wills also introduced three recipients of the Partner in Education Award for Evergreen Elementary School.

“We have such great support here at Evergreen!” she said.

UTC Aerospace Systems donated $2000 to Evergreen’s new Robotics Program. Then they visited the school and talked to our 5th graders about their amazing engineering company, that made Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit that he wore as he took “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, the helicopter hoists that rescued people from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and many other interesting products.  The engineers told them about their jobs and created interest in our engineers of the future, Wills said.

“The Siu Family is a new family at Evergreen and in just a few months, they have contributed in many ways to our new Robotics Program,” Wills said. First, the family gave a $500 donation, and then through a fundraising program at their East 180 Restaurant in Diamond Bar, Evergreen has received donations of almost $1,000 from this generous family. Joanna, their 4th grader is a wonderful student and talented musician on the Chinese horizontal harp.

Yara Sands is an example of how volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart,” Wills said. She is President of the WVUSD Coordinating Council, Evergreen Community Club President, Talent Show Committee Chairperson, Yearbook Committee Chairperson, Hospitality Committee Chairperson, and an integral part of Chaparral’s Community Club.

“Yara is the busiest person I know. She is fabulous and she always has a great manner of respect with all the people she deals with. We are so appreciative to Yara for all that she does,” Wills said.

Westhoff Elementary fifth grader Dallas Torres was honored with the Super Star Student Award.

Dallas came to Westhoff as a 2nd grader from North Carolina and appeared quiet and shy at his new school, Principal Denise Rendon explained. Today as a 5th grader, Dallas is a student who has made exceptional progress in all areas of school life.  His teachers report that Dallas is an enthusiastic learner and has a positive attitude to learning and encourages others as well.  Dallas sets a good example for his classmates and always gives 100% effort to all his endeavors.

“It turns out that this quiet shy young man is also quite the thinker.  Dallas is a history buff and loves to learn.   His high level thinking skills have kept his teacher Mrs. Kim on her toes to satisfy his amazing curiosity.  Dallas is a good friend to his classmates, kind to everyone and is well respected.  It has been fun to watch Dallas grow these past few years and we know he will continue to do exceptional things in his future,” Rendon said.

Two dedicated Westhoff parent volunteers received the Partner in Education Award.

Katharina Tang has been an invaluable partner in education for Westhoff Elementary School.  She is a wife, mother of Brianna and Brandon, a dental hygienist, and our Co-Community Club President.  Those are really four full -time jobs and she carries the responsibility with ease,” Principal Rendon said.

Westhoff teachers describe her as gracious, helpful, smart, creative, polite, nice, admirable, selfless, motivated, grounded, organized, generous and best of all –Kids First!

“Mrs. Tang’s leadership, vision, enthusiasm and energy have moved our school forward during the past two years.  Her unique way of bringing people together to work toward a common goal is admirable and appreciated.  She rises above and makes decisions based on what is best for our school and our students,” Rendon said.

“Westhoff Elementary School is fortunate to have a Partner in Education like Mr. David Morales. This gentleman stands head and shoulders above everybody,” Rendon said.

“This partnership began last year when he and his wife Teresa enrolled their children, Ian and Erin at our school. Not only did Mr. Morales begin volunteering his children’s classrooms, he quickly became a valuable asset to the entire school.  At first, he tried to balance his full-time job as a chemist, but with his new career as a Westhoff volunteer, when push came to shove (and probably much soul searching) he resigned from his life as a chemist,” Rendon described.

Day after day, in addition to becoming our co-Community Club President, we find Mr. Morales providing that ‘something extra’ to help make our school run smoother.  Here are a few examples of his recent activities: Kindergarten teachers had him painting the backdrop to their grade level Hoe Down play.  In first grade he was running copies, working the “book bags” and making clay penguins.  In daughter Erin’s second grade class, Mr. Morales works with small groups, iPads, garden projects, and painted the backdrop for the grade level’s performance.  Third grade reports that Mr. Morales “Is the only one who can manipulate the copy machine to the exact size necessary for their animal posters.”  He provided the Music Mobile assembly for third grade students.   Fourth and fifth grades have him working in the garden with GATE students, and planting poinsettias’ on within the playground planters.  Just recently, Mr. Morales provided chemistry lessons to all 5th graders and helped 5th grade with the Colonial Faire which meant he arrived to school well before the school day began, helped set up the centers, and then worked in the Colonial Etiquette Center, in costume, all day.  He also volunteered during the successful walk-a-thon fundraiser held last week.

“The teachers report unanimously that Mr. Morales has saved us tons of time and lightened our load with his help, energy, enthusiasm, and dedication to our school.  He inspires us with his positive attitude, devotion to his family and the genuine kindness he shares so freely,” Rendon said.

Board President Helen Hall recognized Gary Chow with a Certificated of Special Recognition for his outstanding efforts in funding the District’s elementary music program.  He received a standing ovation during the award presentation.

Three years ago, Chow was described as a community hero in response to the District’s budget crisis and impending cuts to the elementary music program. Mr. Chow began thinking outside the box for a solution and formed the “Gifts After Six” program to provide an opportunity for community member investments. It generated enough funds to pay 100% of the District’s direct costs of the elementary music program.

“He has given time, commitment, and a lot of money to the District,” Hall said.

“This is what our District is about – Kids First. And that’s what we as a whole do to provide the best for our kids, and whatever it takes to achieve that,” she added.

Thirty-nine talented young artists were also honored by the Board of Trustees for their award-winning entries in the 2013 “Draw a Cover for Music K-8 Magazine” contest.

Music Specialist Judy Brunelle introduced the winners who were presented with Certificates of Special Recognition. The top winners also received keepsake copies of their artwork that is also featured on the music magazine website at  

Congratulations to the following winners:

Top WVUSD Winner: 6th Runner Up - Pheobe Wu.

Top Finalists: Brandon Wong, Tori Kwon, Joseph Dong, Karen Shao, Valerie Chan, Fiona Liu, Yvonne Corpin, Catherine Lu, and Catherine Ma.

Most Humorous Finalist: Dylan Wong.

Finalists: Naomi Wiranatha, Shanuki Wickremasinghe, Kaitlyn Tran, Kelsey Liang, Sunwoo Bae, Aleona Quintua, Danial Iman, Delany Griffith, James Yang, Grace Lee, and Brandon Tanjuaquio.

Most Humorous Honorable Mention: Matthew Lien.

Promising Young Artist Honorable Mention: Jason Dong.

Honorable Mention: Cassandra Jeon, Hur-Hsin Chang, Peter Hseueh, Katherine Chang, Jeremy Hsiao, Sierra Sigmon, Alex Moon, Crystal Xiao, Jesse Dong, Yuki Keung, Dana Del Rio, Beryl Zheng, Kayla Wong, Sophie Nitti, and Elizabeth Peng.


Parent volunteer Yara Sands received the Partner in Education award for Evergreen Elementary School. Shown with Board President Helen Hall.  

Westhoff Elementary fifth grader Dallas Torres was honored with the Super Star Student Award.  Shown with Principal Denise Rendon and Board President Helen Hall. 

The Siu Family was recognized as an Evergreen Partner in Education. Shown with Principal Caroline Wills and Board President Helen Hall. 

UTC Aerospace Systems was honored with the Partner in Education Award for Evergreen Elementary.  Recipients Brea General Manager Johnny Wright and Engineer Emile Yakoub shown with Principal Caroline Wills and Board President Helen Hall. 

Evergreen Elementary fifth grader Rebecca Taghaboni was recognized as the Super Star Student. Shown with Principal Caroline Wills and Board President Helen Hall. 

Contest Finalists were honored by the WVUSD Board of Trustees on April 17. Shown with Board President Helen Hall. 

The Board of Trustees presented Gary Chow with a Certificate of Special Recognition for his outstanding efforts in funding the elementary music program. Shown with Board President Helen Hall.  
The Draw a Cover for Music K8 Magazine contest Honorable Mention recipients were recognized by the WVUSD Board of Trustees on April 17. Shown with Board President Helen Hall. 

The top WVUSD winner was Pheobe Wu, a 5th grader at Evergreen Elementary School, was the Draw a Cover for Music K8 Magazine contest 6th Runner Up. Shown with Music Specialist Judy Brunelle. 

On April 17, the Board of Trustees honored talented young artists from WVUSD elementary schools who were named Top Finalists in the 2013 Draw a Cover for Music K8 Magazine contest. Shown with Music Specialist Judy Brunelle and Board President Helen Hall. 

Westhoff Elementary School recognized parent volunteer David Morales with Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Denise Rendon and Board President Helen Hall.  

Westhoff parent volunteer Katharina Tang was honored with the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Principal Denise Rendon and Board President Helen Hall.