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Walnut valley Unified School District

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!  

Benihana Honors Walnut Valley Students

NEWS                                                                                   Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           880 S. Lemon Avenue
May 15, 2013                                                                      Walnut, CA 91789

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

Benihana Honors Walnut Valley Students

WALNUT, CA—Nine elementary students were treated to a delicious reward during Benihana Restaurant’s 15th Annual Lunch with the Principal held May 14.

Each of the nine elementary schools in Walnut Valley Unified School District chose a hard working student to honor during the special luncheon held at the City of Industry restaurant.

Congratulations to this year’s honorees: Trevor Parquette – Castle Rock; Donovan Wilson – Cyrus J. Morris; Aracelli Palmer – Evergreen; Jacob Rovira – Maple Hill; Yichen Zhao – Quail Summit, Adrian Carrasco – Vejar; George Fonseca – Collegewood; Peyton Avery – Walnut El; and Crystal Granados- Westhoff.

The students were selected for improvements in academics, citizenship, growth, and working well with others. Some had gone through challenges, yet they are making the best of the situation.

Benihana’s Lunch with the Principal provides an opportunity to recognize these youngsters for their determination and perseverance and to applaud it.

After enjoying a teppan-style lunch prepared by a personal chef, the students were personally honored by their principals.

“Jacob never gives up and is always smiling,” said Maple Hill Principal Nancy Stingley.

“Adrian is truly is loved at Vejar because of his kind heart, generous spirit and he has been working really hard on his reading.” said Principal Jennifer DeAnda.

“George turned lemons into lemonade and has excelled all year long. He exemplifies what it means to be a Collegewood Cougar,” said Principal Joan Perez.

“Aracelli always goes out of her way to help other people and we’re very proud of her,” said Evergreen Principal Carolyn Wills.

“Peyton is the coolest 5th grader and a role model at Walnut Elementary. I’m just so proud of her and we’ve had a wonderful time today,” said Principal Janet Green. 

The skilled chefs entertained their audiences by creating tiny smoking volcanoes from onion rings and flipping shrimp tails into their stovepipe hats. They even drizzled whipped eggs into the shape of the popular SpongeBob SquarePants character on the grills.

Cyrus J. Morris honoree Donovan Wilson said his favorite part of the show was when the chef at their table made the rice into the shape of a Mickey Mouse!

“I remember when I was a kid he and the teacher asked me to go to the principal’s office because I was always up to something no good,” Manager Raymond Chan shared.

“But today is different, today is all good! All the students here have done something awesome, something extraordinary,” he added.

Chan said his personal goal is that the event will make a long-lasting difference in the children’s lives.

Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin congratulated each student as he presented the certificates of recognition. The honorees also received a gift bag with Beninana red chef hats and posed for keepsake photos from the restaurant.

“Benihana is my family’s favorite restaurant. The chicken is the best!” said Westhoff honoree Crystal Granados.

Castle Rock Principal Mrs. Carol Sullivan proudly wore a tissue hand corsage that fifth grader Trevor Parquette helped make with his teacher Mrs. Nicole Rodgers.

“I’m so full!” said Maple Hill 5th grader Jacob Rovira after the meal.

“Every year this event gets better and better,” said Maple Hill Principal Nancy Stingley.

“It’s always so much fun to be with a student who’s never been here and is thrilled to see everything that happens and enjoy the exceptional food. And Jacob said it’s very healthy too!” she added.


Maple Hill and Cyrus J. Morris honorees and their principals enjoyed the entertainment provided by the Benihana chefs. 

Westhoff Principal Denise Rendon and honoree watched as their chef drew a SpongeBob SquarePants with eggs. 

During the luncheon chefs transformed stacked onion rings into smoking volcanos. Walnut Elementary honoree Peyton Avery, at right, enjoyed the show.

Collegewood Principal Joan Perez and student George Fonseca with Director of Educational Programs Jackie Brown watched the magic performed by their Benihana chef.  

Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin with Evergreen and Castle Rock principals and students enjoyed watching Chef Henry juggle at their table. 

Guests watched the chefs flip shrimp tails into their hats. At left: Vejar Elementary Principal Jennifer DeAnda and honoree George Fonseca. 

Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin presented each student with a Certificate of Special Recognition during the event. Shown with Quail Summit student Yichen Zhao and Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo. 

Benihana Restaurant honored nine Walnut Valley elementary students during the 15th Annual Lunch with the Principal event held on May 14. Shown with principals and administrators. At front:  Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin and General Manager Raymond Chen.