FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
August 18, 2015 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909)595-1261 ext. 31204
Back to Class!
Walnut Valley begins 2015-2016 School Year
WALNUT, CA--Over 14,600 students headed back to school in the Walnut Valley Unified School District on Monday, August 17.
At Diamond Bar High, over 3,000 students cheered with classmates during two superhero-themed pep rallies held in the gymnasium.
“We’re welcoming everyone back today!” exclaimed Janna Van Horn, United Student Body (USB) advisor.
The extravaganza featured Drumline, Dance Company, Pep, and Song performances, and highlighted fall sports programs.
“I love the spirit here and how everyone is involved in the 4 A’s – Academics, Activities, Arts, and Athletics,” senior April Song commented.
Forty USB members organized the event during the summer.
“We put in a lot of hours to help our students have a better time on campus – especially the rallies,” added Song, the USB finance director.
South Pointe Middle School’s KSPS broadcast class played the Two Truths and a Lie game on the first day.
The seventh and eighth graders arranged themselves in a circle for the get-to-know-you icebreaker.
Each player was instructed to tell three statements about themselves – two true and one false.
“One student’s lie was that he liked school,” shared technology teacher Crystal Dira.
“Why is that your lie?” she asked.
“Because, I really love school!” he responded.
At Westhoff Elementary, over 600 students and families waited for the first bell of the new school year.
Many took photos to mark the first day near welcome banners and helium balloons.
Mark and Rebecka Lozada waited at the front entrance with their three daughters Jadyn - 5th grade, Kaitlyn – 3rd grade, and Madilyn – kindergarten.
“The girls are very excited to go back to school,” the mother shared.
“It’s a little emotional this morning since this is the only year they’ll all be at the same school together!”
For the opening class activity, kindergarten teacher Roxanne Dennen read the ‘Kissing Hand”, a sweet account of a young raccoon who was nervous on the first day of school.
The children’s book details a mother raccoon comforting her little one by kissing its paw.
After the story, Dennen asked parents to kiss their youngsters’ hands, before saying goodbye.
“You’re ready for kindergarten now!” she exclaimed.
“You’re going to learn so much this year,” Dennen said as they sat criss-cross applesauce on lettered carpet squares.
Hyeyon Park’s fifth grade class worked together solving clues to a “secret” message from their new teacher.
Each letter could be found through a corresponding symbol including a fish, shoe, chick, hand, heart, and star.
When finished, the group read the greeting aloud.
“Welcome back to school. You will have a great year and learn a lot of new things.”
At C.J. Morris Elementary, Carol Martindale’s third grade students loved the “First Day Jitters” story because the teacher was also nervous about coming to school on the first day.
“It demonstrated that we all get excited and nervous about the first day of school and then we realize it is not so bad after all,” she said.
Collegewood Elementary fifth grade teacher Laura O’Donnell also had memorable first day.
At the end of last year, a fourth grader called to her and said, “Pick me for your class next year!” she recalled.
O’Donnell explained that she didn’t get to pick her students, but if she did she certainly would.
“As luck would have it, he was on my class list,” O’Donnell shared. “When I walked down the line today to greet my students, he looked up at me, smiled, and whispered, ‘You picked me!’”
School spirit showed during opening pep rallies held at Diamond Bar High on August 17.
Westhoff Elementary Principal Densie Rendon greeted students on the first day of school. Shown with 2nd grader Ethan Bablo.
Westhoff Elementary fifth grade teacher Vicky Kim greets her class.
Kindergartners heard the “Kissing Hand” during the opening activity of the 2015-2016 school year at Westhoff Elementary. Shown with teacher Roxanne Dennen.
Hyeyon Park’s fifth graders solved a mystery message from their teacher on the first day of school.
South Pointe Middle School teacher Crystal Dira leads opening activity with broadcasting class on the first day. Also shown: Principal Susan Arzola.
South Pointe sixth graders are ready to learn in their math class.
It’s the first day of school in Walnut Valley! Shown: South Pointe sixth grader Hector Magdalendo boards the bus on August 17.