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Walnut valley Unified School District

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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!  

Outstanding, innovative schools

NEWS                                                                                 Walnut Valley Unified School District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              880 S. Lemon Avenue

May 5, 2015                                                                      Walnut, CA 91789



Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources

(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204


Gold Ribbon goes to three Walnut Valley schools

Outstanding, innovative schools

WALNUT, CA--Walnut Valley’s three middle schools - Chaparral, South Pointe, and Suzanne – have been designated as 2015 California Gold Ribbon Schools for having exemplary standards and practices.

“These schools are academically successful, vibrant and innovative centers of learning and teaching,” said Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction. “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right — embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.”

The state’s highest recognition went to only 373 of the 10,366 public schools in the state.

In addition, all three schools were selected as having Exemplary Programs in Arts Education.

This was the first year the state issued Gold Ribbon awards. The program temporarily replaces the California Distinguished Schools Program while officials create new assessment and accountability systems.

WVUSD principals overwhelmingly attributed the achievement to the dedicated students, staff, and supportive community on their campuses.

“This is an honor that we at Chaparral are very proud of,” Principal Ron Thibodeaux stated. “We’ve put a lot into making our school a 21st century learning environment, and the Gold Ribbon validates the hard work of our learning community. Our teachers and staff, parents and students are wonderful.”

“South Pointe is proud to be recognized by the state for its innovative approach to implementing 21st century Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math programs,” said Principal Susan Arzola. “We believe that by putting the “A” (the Arts) in STEM, we provide all students a well-balanced, joyful learning experience. Come watch them STEAM ahead!”

“We are honored to receive the state’s Gold Ribbon Award!” said Principal Les Ojeda. ”It reflects the hard work by our Suzanne students, teachers, staff, and parents to ensure we develop students who are prepared academically and ready to face real-world challenges. I am very proud of our school.”

Schools applied for the award based on a model program their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies.

The WVUSD Gold Ribbon model programs are the 21st Century Classroom Initiative - Chaparral, STEAM Program – South Pointe, and Global Citizenship – Suzanne.

The new award is recognizing middle and high schools this year and elementary schools in 2016.


Walnut Valley’s three middle schools have been named 2015 California Gold Ribbon Schools. Shown: Chaparral students during Language arts class. 

Shown with teacher Sherry Robertson. 

Chaparral eighth graders arrange tiles to form tessellations. 

Shown with teacher Maggie Strand.