NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
May 9, 2013 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Castle Rock Dedicates Peace Pole
DIAMOND BAR, CA— A Peace Pole was dedicated at Castle Rock Elementary School during a school-wide assembly held May 9.
The hand-crafted wooden monument displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” that is translated in several different languages on each of its six sides.
Castle Rock’s Peace Pole stands five feet tall in the school’s courtyard.
During the celebration, several students said the morning greeting in three different languages –Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish.
The school’s youngest students from the new Transitional Kindergarten program kicked off the celebration in song. Then each grade level continued the ceremony with poetry and songs including It’s a Small World and We’ve Got the Whole World in our Hands.
Special guest Mrs. Peggy Vera was honored during the special occasion for ten years of service as the school’s International Baccalaureate (I.B.) Coordinator.
She worked for 23 years in many capacities at the district and school - as a teacher, educational learning specialist, and then came out of retirement to be the I.B. Coordinator.
“I have never met anyone with more enthusiasm, attention to detail, and energy and heart for students and staff. We miss your caring spirit and infectious laugh Mrs. Vera,” said Principal Carol Sullivan.
When she decided to retire for the second time, Vera requested that nothing be done for her – no parties, no gifts, Sullivan shared.
But there was one thing that she would love – a Peace Pole.
“When you plant a Peace Pole you are linking with others who also have them. There are tens of thousands in 180 countries planted around the world – all dedicated as monuments of peace,” Sullivan explained.
“Good morning Castle Rock - this is wonderful,” Vera said as she thanked the children for their special entertainment.
“I’m so appreciative of this and think that it’s an important aspect for our school to have a Peace Pole. I feel today that in lieu of me being dedicated, it should be dedicated to every single person here because they do so much. And it is Teacher Appreciation Day - so let’s give the teachers a big round of applause,” she added.
Vera said she wanted the monument for Castle Rock because she felt that it represents the school in many ways.
“This represents hope and peace for the world, and it represents all of you – your diversity, all of the different languages that we speak, and we get along so harmoniously here. I wish the world could get along as well as we do here at Castle Rock,” she said.
Vera also told the 570 students they represent the future.
“I hope you will continue to look for peace among yourselves, the school, the community, and in the world. I want everyone to think of this as your mission – that there will be peace in the world and and it starts with each one of us,” Vera said.
“Peace with everyone and I know that you will look for that in each other,” she said.
Mrs. Vera brought the gift of a peace rose for the school’s garden.
Principal Sullivan said a plaque would soon be installed on a rock adjacent to the Peace Pole dedicated to Mrs. Peggy Vera.
Its message will be: Peace begins with each person hearing about the world around them. Here at Castle Rock the Peace Pole is a place to remember, to reflect, and to empower everyone to spread peace.
The assembly culminated with a special gift from the students who sang a surprise song Lovin’ Kindness in honor of school employee appreciation week.
Principal Carol Sullivan introduced students for the morning greeting in three languages.
Fifth graders held flags of the world as they performed during the Peace Pole dedication at Castle Rock Elementary School.
Students recited a poem and sang songs by grade level. The assembly concluded with all 570 youngsters performing a surprise song in honor of employee appreciation week.
Castle Rock Principal Carol Sullivan and retired I.B. Coordinator Peggy Vera celebrate the school’s new Peace Pole dedicated on May 9.
A new Peace Pole at Castle Rock Elementary was dedicated on May 9 in honor of Mrs. Peggy Vera, shown. She served 10 years as the school’s IB Coordinator.