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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 Trustees Honor Students, Teachers, and Community Partner

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   880 S. Lemon Avenue
May 17, 2013                                                                         Walnut, CA 91789

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

Walnut Trustees Honor Students, Teachers, and Community Partner

WALNUT, CA--The Walnut Valley Unified School District honored students, teachers, and a community partner during the May 15 Board Meeting.

Maple Hill Elementary 5th grader Jacob Rovira was recognized as the school’s Super Star Student.  Jacob has been a Maple Hill student since Kindergarten.  Although Jacob has had multiple health and physical challenges since birth – he has never given up!” said Principal Nancy Stingley.

“We’re so very proud of him,” she said. Several teachers also spoke during Jacob’s recognition.

“He is amazing and has overcome so many obstacles. He is a true success story,” said kindergarten teacher Kristin Thomas.

“He’s very smart, very happy-go-lucky and has tons of perseverance,” she said.

 Jeanette Koh said he always came into her first grade classroom with a sparkle!

“What I remember and cherish was that any task or challenge I gave Jacob, he would say ‘I can do it!” with such a positive attitude - and he thrived. He also taught me the importance and strength he gets from his family. And I know how much he loves his grandfather!” she said.

Hard-working, can-do attitude, and having perseverance was how Jacob’s 2nd grade teacher Rhonda Barnes described the Super Star Student. Education Specialist Joanie Parke has been Jacob’s reading and math teacher for the past six years. She said it’s been fun to watch him grow from a little kindergartener to a big handsome fifth grader.

“We all love you so much and are so proud of you,” she said as they stood together at the podium.

Principal Stingley said the three things she will always cherish about Jacob are his can-do attitude, his infectious smile, and when he asked ‘is it Friday yet?’ because he lives for his weekends!

“Jacob exemplifies the best of the Maple Hill spirit. He has truly made a strong connection between performing his personal best academically and his wonderful caring and compassion for others. We are very proud of him as an all around great student, “ she said.

Marlene Cantrell of Cantrell Photography was honored with the Maple Hill Partner in Education Award.

“When we started with the new volunteer procedures for this school year, we were in need of a process to quickly and effectively identify our volunteers with photo identification badges, Principal Stingley said.

“We shared our situation with Marlene Cantrell and she instantly volunteered and donated their services to photograph and print ID badges for all of our parent volunteers. We had over 100 volunteers that took advantage of this opportunity,” Stingley said. They also shared the new identification process with other elementary schools connecting the school photographer as a valuable resource.

“We have partnered with Cantrell Photography and Marlene Cantrell for many years and they have always invested in Maple Hill. We are very grateful and appreciative of this partnership!” Stingley said.

Diamond Bar High School honored Evan York as a Super Star Student.  Principal Catherine Real introduced the senior who she described “as a story about growth."  

Since his freshman year, Evan had struggled with academic and behavior issues. But this year, he developed a plan with his GLC, coaches, and Diamond Bar staff on what he would like to do as a senior.

“I have seen Evan smile more as he has become a leader over these last 12 months. In fact, everyone can see his growth, athletic talent, maturity, leadership, intelligence, hard work, and tremendous potential that this young man has,” Real described.

“The fact that everyone can see this has made him a new person,” she said.

During his senior year he has maintained a 3.0 -3.8 GPA, member and starting defensive tackle on the Varsity Football team, was the starting Center of the Varsity Basketball team and helped them reach the 2nd Round of the CIF Playoff for the first time in six years. In just one year on the Basketball team, Evan earned his place as TOP 5 “shot blockers’ in Brahma history, along with Brian Hendricks, Oliver Chamberlain, and former NBA player Keith Van Horn.

“Most importantly, Evan’s experience at Diamond Bar High School has taught the staff some important lessons, or at least reminders. All students deserve a chance to redeem themselves. And even though that student may be 6’2”, 190 lbs., he’s still a kid who needs our guidance in navigating life’s ups and downs. And finally, sometimes the kids who seem to at first like us the least, need us the most,” she said.

During the presentation, Principal Real proudly announced that Evan York was the recipient of the 1st Annual Principal’s Recognition Scholarship for $1,000.

Twenty-eight BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment) Support Providers were honored for providing outstanding support to new teachers this year. Julie Sheldon, the BTSA Induction Coordinator introduced the following veteran teachers who received Certificates of Special Recognition: Kim DeWeese, Michael O’Shields, Ann Schnoor, Jennifer Flanagan, Judy Olmos, Terri Curri, Parchi Gammell, Nikki Elizalde, Joanie Parke, Drew Johannsen, Jennifer Murphy, Jessie Cadenas, Marc Natividad, Tami Barry, Shelly Yamashiro, Jennifer Murphy, Deb Dyers, Anna Chiavetta, Alice Torres, Jamie Kerkvleit, Kit Lee, Chiara Morgan, Kellee Lyons, Bill Bosanko, Becky Bevans, Lisa Pacheco, Sandie Harutunian, Jill Igarashi, Anna Landi, Erin Ortiz, Annie Kim, Marsha Dickerson, Steve Acciani, Enoch Choi and Jen Yi.

“This is a chance to honor some people who I think are the unsung heroes of education – our BTSA Support Providers,” Sheldon said.  The early years of practice are a linchpin time that can make all the difference in making and keeping expert educators.  For 15 years, the Walnut Valley BTSA Consortium has been providing excellent support and guidance to new teachers in seven districts and numerous private and charter schools. The key to the effectiveness and value of this program are our dedicated Support Providers, Sheldon said.

Support Providers are selected using criteria including teaching experience, school site, having a positive attitude toward students and teaching, a commitment to professional growth, a willingness to collaborate with others, and deep understanding of effective teaching practices.  Once chosen, they go through three days of intensive training.  Support Providers guide their new teachers through all aspects of teaching practices and help them continue in their professional growth.

By supporting even one new teacher Support Providers make a huge impact for students. And when being asked how being in BTSA has impacted their own teaching practice, every single one of our Support Providers said they have become more knowledgeable and effective in their own teaching.

“Their generosity of spirit, time, and expertise has a very long-lasting impact for new teachers, for their colleagues, for their school cultures, and most importantly for students. And I am in awe of them every single day,” Sheldon said.


The Board of Trustees recognized BTSA Support Providers during the May 15 meeting.  Sandie Harutunian, Jill Igarashi-Takahara, Anna Chiavetta, Alice Torres,Tami Berry, Chiara Morgan, Joanie Parke, shown with Coordinator Julie Sheldon, Board Member Nancy Lyons and Board President Helen Hall. 

Diamond Bar High School senior Evan York with Principal Catherine Real during his recognition as a Super Star Student. 

Diamond Bar High senior Evan York was presented with a Certificate of Special Recognition as a Super Star Student during the May 15 Board Meeting. Shown with Board President Helen Hall. 

Maple Hill fifth grader Jacob Rovira was honored as a Super Star Student during the May 15 Board of Trustees Meeting. Shown with Principal Nancy Stingley and Board President Helen Hall. 

Maple Hill Principal Nancy Stingley introduced Jacob Rovira who was honored by the WVUSD Board of Trustees as a Super Star Student. 

Marlene Cantrell of Cantrell Photography was lauded with the Partner in Education Award from Maple Hill Elementary. Shown with Principal Nancy Stingley and Board President Helen Hall.