Skip to main content

Walnut valley Unified School District

Main Menu Toggle
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!  

Teachers Make the Difference of a Lifetime

Meet our Teachers of the Year: 

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

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

Teachers Make the Difference of a Lifetime
2013 Teachers of the Year Honored

WALNUT, CA—Walnut Valley Unified School District paid tribute to the 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year during the 16th Annual Salute to Teachers held October 16 at the Diamond Bar High School Theatre.

Over 250 teachers, staff members, administrators, family members, and local officials attended the celebration recognizing excellence in teaching.

The fourteen outstanding educators were selected for putting “Kids First” each and every day.

Congratulations to the following 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year:  Bonnie Carren - Castle Rock Elementary, Maggie Stran -Chaparral Middle School, Laurie Eyestone - C.J. Morris Elementary, Therapi Kaplan - Collegewood Elementary, Steve Acciani - Diamond Bar High, Mona Warren – Evergreen Elementary, Vera Korneff - Maple Hill Elementary, Kris Rote - Quail Summit Elementary, , Kathy Johnson - South Pointe Middle School, Steve Cusson - Suzanne Middle School, Nadine Adnoff - Vejar Elementary, Susan Trautz - Walnut Elementary, Jeff Silva - Walnut High and  Kary Penzes - Westhoff Elementary. 

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Dr. Kathy Granger and Director of Human Resources Robert Chang hosted the recognition ceremony that included personalized tributes, awards and wonderful student entertainment.

A talented DBHS trio featuring David Yu-piano, Evelyn Wang – cello and Kevin Tsao – violin under the direction of Steve Acciani performed during the reception held before the ceremony.

The 30-member Solitaire choir performed ”Ride the Chariot” and the French madrigal “Je le vous dirai” under the direction of Patty Breitag.

The program culminated with recognition of Maggie Strand as the 2013 District Teacher of the Year. Maggie is celebrating her 10th year at Chaparral Middle School and 13th year in education.

“I feel incredibly grateful to have won this award in the midst of such amazing teachers. I am proud and honored to carry this title for Walnut Valley Unified and I promise to do everything I can to the best of my abilities every single day,” she added.

Maggie begins each new school year by telling her Design-Based Learning students that there are no wrong answers, only a place to start in her class. And every year it shocks them!  Her students become emerged in a place where they collaborate, engineer, create, experiment, laugh, become impassioned, design and absorb 6th grade objectives. Students who may have never felt success in a traditional class, feel it in Mrs. Strand’s classroom.

“Our students are only as good as I can dream they can be. And I want my classroom to facilitate that ideal” she said.

During the event, Superintendent Dr. Bob Taylor congratulated the honorees and all of the District’s educators for their dedication every single day to the children in Walnut Valley.

“When I visit our schools, the passion and commitment to our kids that I see in our classrooms is unmatched.  I am proud to be a Superintendent and to represent so many wonderful teachers,” Dr. Taylor said.

“If you ask any student or adult, they can recall a teacher that has made a difference in their life. There is absolutely no doubt the magic happens in our classrooms and that’s where our students excel. As we honor these fourteen teachers today, I hope you recognize how special you are!” he added.

Each Teacher of the Year received a personalized golden apple bell award courtesy of the Walnut Valley Educational Foundation and a rolling cart filled with gift cards and school supplies. A special thanks to our event sponsors Chick-Fil-A, Office Solutions, Roule Construction, Maintex, Massage Envy Spa, Complete Business Systems, P-Line Consulting, Southwest School & Office Supply, NSA Construction, American Diversity Business and Sehi Computer Products. Each Teacher of the Year also received certificates of achievement from U.S. Congressman Ed Royce, Senator Bob Huff, Assemblyman Curt Hagman, City Council of Diamond Bar, and City Council of City of Walnut. 

District Teacher of the Year Maggie Strand was presented with an engraved award, gift basket and a weekend getaway at the Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego. 


The 2012-2013 Teachers of the Year were honored on October 16 during the Salute to Teachers recognition event held in the Diamond Bar High School Theatre.  Shown: Front Row: Laurie Eyestone, Kary Penzes, Maggie Strand, Nadine Adnoff, Kathy Johnson and Therapi Kaplan. Back Row: Steve Cusson, Kris Rote, Steve Acciani, Jeff Silva, Susan Trautz, Vera Korneff and Mona Warren. 

Maggie Strand was recognized as the 2013 District Teacher of the Year. Shown with Superintendent Dr. Bob Taylor and Board Members Cindy Ruiz, Helen Hall ahd Nancy Lyons. 

Entertainment for Salute to Teachers was provided by a trio of talented musicians and the Solitaire choir. 
Each Teacher of the Year took the stage to receive their award.  

Chaparral teacher Maggie Strand was recognized as the 2013 District Teacher of the Year.