October 22, 2018
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA--The Walnut Valley USD Board of Trustees paid tribute to several stellar students and community members during the October 17 meeting.
Volunteer Sandra Bales received the Partner in Education Award for Maple Hill Elementary.
For the past five years, Sandra has been helping second grade teachers prep for classes on Monday mornings and then whisks off to the multipurpose room where she cues the music to teach 75 students to dance.
“It’s a true joy to witness Mrs. Bales in action and watch our kids shredding their unique dance styles and feeling pride in their achievement,” said Principal Kelly Morris.
The retired physical education teacher whose children and grandchildren attended Maple Hill has been teaching the Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, Bunny Hop, Two Step, Lollipop, and Thriller.
Morris said Sandra’s talents have never been more evident as she inspires seven-year-olds to shimmy, shake, twist, twirl, and boogie without trepidation.
“Because of her selfless service, she has embedded a love of dance with our children, given them an outlet for self-expression, and a safe place to find themselves and lose themselves,” Morris added.
“She is our true dancing queen and has given our Maple Hill students a stage to shine!”
Maple Hill Elementary spotlighted Evana Bragg, Ariana Garcia, Brianna Gomez, Jade Harden, and Lauren Owenswith Super Star Student Awards.
The Fab 5 students recently created a service project called Socks of Kindness with the guidance of school counselor Lorena Chavez.
The group worked during lunchtime and recess to plan the fundraiser, and then wrote scripts, presented in every class, created posters, and recorded a message for Maple Hill families.
The schoolwide campaign netted 354 pairs of socks for underprivileged and homeless youth in Los Angeles County.
“The Fab 5 was brave, courageous, dedicated, and a united team of girl power,” Morris described.
“We are very proud to recognize their accomplishments tonight!”
Chaparral Middle School honored 8thgrader Ahsha Jones with the Super Star Student Award.
The standout student was nominated by her science teacher for the UCI Tech Trek summer program where she participated in five days of STEM activities.
In addition, Ahsha played an integral part in helping the school secure its third league track championship and currently holds the 200-meter league record.
She is an ASB member and works with the non-profit Tabs of Love program to collect tabs from aluminum cans that are recycled with proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House.
“Ahsha is our Chaparral super star and she is wonderful!” said Principal Ron Thibodeaux.
Parent volunteers Yara Sands and Anna Amezcua,representing the Chaparral Community Club, were honored with Partner in Education Awards.
Each year, the parent organization donates thousands of dollars to the school in the form of grants for ASB and classroom teachers, Thibodeaux said.
Anna, the health clerk at Quail Summit Elementary, is a new member of the Chaparral Community Club and currently serves as vice president.
“Anna’s positivity and can-do attitude has made an immediate impression at Chaparral,” Thibodeaux praised.
Yara is a longtime volunteer at Chaparral and is currently serving her third term as Community Club president.
She has also taken the helm as president of the Evergreen Community Club and Diamond Bar High Brahma Foundation.
“Yara has tirelessly promoted Walnut Valley school causes and is so appreciated!” Thibodeaux added.
Together, under Anna and Yara leadership, this year’s Education Support Campaign raised over $60,000 for Chaparral students.
Steve Acciani, Natalie Chung, and Rachel Wangfrom Diamond Bar High School were honored with Community Hero Awards.
The trio was recognized as Community Heroes during Diamond Bar Day at the Los Angeles County Fair on September 13.
Steve Acciani is an award-winning teacher and band director at Diamond Bar High School who always puts “Kids First.”
Diamond Bar High senior Natalie Chung is the District Leo Club president of 40-plus clubs in the So Cal region, Leo Club publicist, Marching Band member and section leader, serves on the American Red Cross Club, 2019 Class Committee, National Honor Society, and volunteers at Kiddie Academy.
Diamond Bar High senior Rachel Wang has accumulated over 450 hours of community service, serves as Leo Club treasurer, member of 14 DBHS clubs, officer in three clubs, participates in City of Diamond Bar’s teen volunteer program, involved with Tiny Tots day camp, senior program volunteer, and created handmade cards for veterans.
Two WVUSD classified employees were recognized for going “above and beyond” to help a community member experiencing a medical emergency.
Dave Hernandez from Diamond Bar Highand Mary Lou Vargasfrom Quail Summit Elementary received a special Partner in Education Award for swiftly coming to the aid of a resident.
“Traffic was going around the stopped car and two people, Dave and Mary Lou, stopped to offer their assistance and probably saved her life,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Matthew Witmer.
“They are true heroes and we are happy to recognize them!”
“Dave and Mary Lou were willing to take the risk to step out and assist,” commented Board President Cindy Ruiz while presenting the award.
“These are the types of people with exceptional character that we have working with students in Walnut Valley!”
Maple Hill Elementary volunteer Sandra Bales received the Partner in Education Award. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz, Principal Kelly Morris, and staff members.
Maple Hill Elementary students Evana Bragg, Ariana Garcia, Brianna Gomez, Jade Harden, and Lauren Owens receive Super Star Student Awards on October 17. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz, Principal Kelly Morris, and staff members.
Chaparral Middle School 8thgrader Ahsha Jonesreceives Super Star Student Award on October 17. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz.
Chaparral Middle School parent volunteers Yara Sands and Anna Amezcua acknowledged with Partner in Education Awards. Shown with Principal Ron Thibodeaux and Board President Cindy Ruiz.
Trio of Heroes! Steve Acciani, Natalie Chung, and Rachel Wang from Diamond Bar High School honored with Community Hero Awards. Shown with Principal Reuben Jones and Board President Cindy Ruiz.
WVUSD Heroes! Classified employees Dave Hernandez from Diamond Bar High and Mary Lou Vargas receive standing ovation for their heroic act during Partner in Education Award presentation. Shown with Board President Cindy Ruiz.