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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!  

Walnut Teacher Jennifer Maletz Named Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction

NEWS                                                                                        Walnut Valley Unified School District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        880 S. Lemon Avenue

September 10, 2015                                                                  Walnut, CA 91789



Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources

(909)595-1261 ext. 31204


Walnut Teacher Jennifer Maletz Named Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction

 WALNUT, CA—Walnut High School teacher Jennifer Maletz was recently selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).

A role model to pupils, Maletz was nominated by honor student Tiffany Casillas for outstanding dedication and commitment to excellence in the classroom.

Maletz currently teaches junior and senior level English and has been an educator for nearly 20 years.

Student members of NSHSS have the opportunity to nominate the educator who has made the most significant contribution to their academic career.

The Educator of Distinction award recognizes these role models who have inspired their students to strive for excellence and made a lasting difference in their classrooms.

“Ms. Maletz is definitely a top teacher!” shared junior Casillas, who was a member of the Walnut teacher’s English class last year.

“She always helped me and made the lessons really interesting,” the 16-year-old recalled.

Maletz’ sophomores tackled a wide range of literature including Lord of the Flies, Fahrenheit 451, Things Fall Apart, and Julius Caesar.

“I honestly liked all of them!” Casillas commented.

Each major work focused on a certain theme, like censorship or government.

“Students also looked at non-fiction and additional materials connected with those ideas,” Maletz explained.

“She helped connect the ideas and brought other ways to look at it,” Casillas added.

The high-achieving student also joined the speech and debate club Maletz advised and now hopes to study law.

During the summer, Casillas attended an Intensive Law and Trial conference held at Stanford University.

Before the weeklong program, she turned to her favorite teacher for help with a course requirement – a constructive criticism letter.

Maletz received notice of the Educator of Distinction award when the new school year began.

“I’m really blessed to have students like Tiffany!” she exclaimed.

“There’s nothing that impacts my heart more than to get acknowledged for something that I love to do.”

Teachers always hope they’re making a difference, said Maletz.

“You don’t always know who you’re helping, who you’re touching, or who actually made a connection,” she said. “Sometimes you kind of just hope with fingers and toes crossed.”

“To have Tiffany feel like I actually contributed in some way to her success is amazingly rewarding,” Maletz added. “So to start my year off being recognized by a student that I loved and was so proud of completely rejuvenates and excites me for another year!”

Maletz has been invited to attend a Society conference at University of California, San Diego in November to be recognized and meet other members of the elite community.

Formed in 2002 by James W. Lewis and Claes Nobel, senior member of the family that established the Nobel Prizes, NSHSS recognizes academic excellence at the high school level and helps advance the goals and aspirations of high-achieving students through unique learning experiences, scholarships, internships, international study and peer networks. Currently, there are more than 1,000,000 Society members in 160 countries.


Walnut High School English teacher Jennifer Maletz has been named a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction. Junior Tiffany Casillas, shown left, nominated her favorite teacher for the award.