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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!  

Ideas Worth Spreading


NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    880 S. Lemon Avenue

May 12, 2016                                                                         Walnut, CA 91789



Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources

(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204


Ideas worth spreading

Chaparral students present “Best of TED” talks

DIAMOND BAR, CA--Chaparral Middle School 6th grader Haley Fetchik is opening doors to disability awareness among her peers.

The subject, which is very close to her heart, was the topic of a recent “Best of TED” talk where the 12-year-old shared about her younger sister who was born with a chromosome deletion.

“I wanted to spread awareness about special needs kids,” she said.

Her persuasive speech titled “Peyton, my sister, my hero” included photos and videos of the adorable sisters riding in a pink Barbie jeep and playing together.

“I like to teach her little songs,” Haley explained of their special relationship.

“I’ll ask her ‘What does the fox say?’ and she’ll say ‘Ding, ding, ding!’” 

Haley advocates acceptance and understanding as a key life skill.

“Without it, judging comes into hand.”

The three-minute presentation ended with a challenge for classmates.

“Find someone with a physical or mental disability and make a difference in their lives. Give them the friend they’ve always wanted and I guarantee they won’t take you for granted,” she said.

A total of 120 students in Sherry Robertson’s Language arts classes presented TED Talks after studying the art of argumentative writing and speaking.

The top four talks from each class (voted by their peers) performed an encore in the multipurpose room with topics ranging from immigrants to technology and animal cruelty.

“The kids wrote and presented amazing TED Talks to their peers,” Robertson said.

“Some were witty and clever, some were deep and moving, and all were thought provoking.”

Rayna Maggelet was also among the top 12 voter-getters who presented during “Best of TED.”

Rayna’s “Organ Donation” speech detailed the life-saving surgery her dad, Frank, received on January 12, 2016.

“I wanted to talk about why people should donate their organs,” she explained.

“My dad had polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and was really sick.” 

His miracle donor, Patricia Lovenstein, the wife of an old Coast Guard buddy from a decade ago, learned of the dire need on Facebook.

Days after the surgery, Frank got a chance to thank her as Rayna and her sister, Tayla, stood at the hospital bed holding a sign that said “Thank you, Patricia – You saved our dad’s life.”

As Rayna shared the inspiring and emotional story on stage, her dad jumped up from the front row to offer an encouraging hug.  The audience burst into applause.

“I am so proud of my students for pushing past their comfort zones to share powerful messages and become change makers,” Robertson added.


Chaparral Middle School 6th graders Haley Fetchik and Rayna Maggelet delivered inspirational “Best of TED” talks. 

Chaparral Middle School 6th grader Haley Fetchik took the stage to help spread disability awareness. 

Chaparral Middle School 6th grader Rayna Maggelet urged fellow students to consider organ donation during her “Best of TED” talk.