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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!  

5 elementaries distinguished at state ceremony

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   880 S. Lemon Avenue
June 11, 2014                                                                        Walnut, CA 91789

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

Walnut Valley elementaries distinguished at state ceremony

WALNUT, CA—Five award-winning Walnut Valley elementary schools were recognized during the California Distinguished Schools Ceremony on June 5.

Evergreen, Westhoff, Maple Hill, Quail Summit, and Vejar elementary schools received the state’s highest award in 2014.

Evergreen Elementary received an additional state prize for their Exemplary Arts Education Program.  Thirteen schools statewide were honored for incorporating Visual and Performing Arts Standards in five areas: Visual Art, Dance, Theatre, Music, and Media Arts. 

The Distinguished Schools event included student performances, remarks by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, lunch and awards presentations.

Each school received an engraved plaque and banner to display on their campus.

“This truly distinguishes Evergreen and the fabulous staff, talented students and supportive parent community that work together to create a truly extraordinary school experience for our students to succeed in school and in life! “said Principal Carolyn Wills.

“Excellent teachers, students and our parent community makes Westhoff a top notch school for students to learn and grow,” said Principal Denise Rendon.

“It is a testament to the quality instruction provided by our teachers, the outstanding work ethic of our students, and the fantastic support that is continually given by our parents and our support staff!” noted Principal Nancy Stingley.

“It is so rewarding for our dedicated and hardworking school community to be recognized as a 2014 Distinguished School,” said Evergreen Principal Carolyn Wills.

“I am so proud of our school's students and staff. Quail Summit is an extraordinary place for students to learn and grow,” commented Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo.

“The Vejar Family is proud to have been recognized for our hard work in closing the achievement gap. We are grateful to the entire community for their support in helping us to achieve California Distinguished School,” said Principal Jennifer De Anda. Vejar celebrated the state award during its year-end open house.

The honored schools have all earned the California Distinguished title in previous years: Evergreen in 2010; Westhoff in 2006 and 2010; Maple Hill in 2006; Quail Summit in 1998 and 2006; and Vejar in 1998 and 2010.

This year, 424 schools were named California Distinguished Schools for their innovative approaches to improving academic achievement.

Walnut Valley schools were honored among the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura county winners during a regional ceremony held at the Westin LAX in Los Angeles.

During the next several days,Torlakson is traveling throughout California recognize the state’s best public elementary schools.


Vejar Elementary fourth graders square-danced during a Distinguished School celebration. 

Vejar Elementary families joined  “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” activities during an Open House and Distinguished School celebration.

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson recognized Evergreen Elementary as a 2014 California Distinguished School and Exemplary Arts Education School. Shown with: Board Member Dr. Y.Tony Torng, Principal Carolyn Wills, teacher Lynn Otsu, and WVUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor. 

Westhoff Elementary staff members took a celebratory selfie at the Distinguished Schools Ceremony held on June 5. Shown principal Denise Rendon with teachers Raelene Waddell, Ron Kim, and Elaine Nakasone. 

Westhoff Elementary received a 2014 California Distinguished School banner during the celebration on June 5. Shown: WVUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor, teachers Ron Kim, Elaine Nakasone, Raelene Waddell, Principal Denise Rendon, Director of Educational Programs Jackie Brown, and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Dr. Matthew Witmer. 

Maple Hill was among five Walnut Valley Unified School District elementary schools honored as 2014 California Distinguished Schools on June 5. Shown: Board Member Dr. Y. Tony Torng, parents Cynthia Preciado and Steven Hernandez, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, Principal Nancy Stingley, teacher Tami Barry, and WVUSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor. 

Quail Summit Elementary School was honored as a 2014 California Distinguished School on June 5. Shown: Board Member Dr. Y. Tony Torng, teachers Jodi Yim, Cindy Giang, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, Principal Dr. Alysia Hobbs-Odipo, teacher Jessica Cabral, and Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

Vejar Elementary School Principal Jennifer De Anda with plaque and teachers Nadine Adnoff, Amy Smith, Mary Wendland, and Sara Schilz during the 2014 Distinguished School Ceremony on June 5.