A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School DIstrict.
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June 2016


This month, we celebrated the commencement of more than 3,000 graduates from the Whittier Union High School District, but there is no slowing down. Every day this summer, our talented teachers are working side by side to revise and improve our curriculum and instruction. It is also a summer of transition with familiar faces in new roles across the district including new Cabinet members and three new principals. It is an exciting time for us and I look forward to working with all of you to continue our culture of excellence that we have long been proud to be a part of. I wish everyone a restful summer with family, friends and loved ones.

California High School English teacher Mark Quintero recently earned National Board Certification, the most respected professional certification available in education, demonstrating advanced knowledge, skills and practices required of an outstanding educator. With the addition of Quintero, there are now 27 National Board certified teachers at Whittier Union, accounting for 5 percent of its teaching staff – significantly above the state average of 1.6 percent and national average of 3 percent.

Frontier High School teacher Anthony Gonzalez, who retired in June, was chosen as the 2016 WHO (We Honor Ours) Honoree for the Whittier Secondary Education Association (WSEA) in appreciation of his commitment to the teaching profession and his long-standing service to his students and colleagues. Gonzalez has served as a representative for a majority of his 34 years as an educator, often wearing multiple hats for WSEA and the California Teachers Association. His approach to representation has helped to establish a culture that focuses on the importance of serving students by ensuring that faculty are supported, respected and valued.

A drawing by La Serna High School student Elise Martinez will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for one year after taking the top prize in 38th District for the 2016 Congressional Art Competition, a national contest that recognizes and encourages artistic talent among high schoolers from across the country. Martinez was awarded best overall work for her drawing, titled “Great Egg in the Sky,” by U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, who represents 38th District communities spanning Monterey Park to Lakewood. The drawing – which also won second-runner up as best drawing – will compete nationally with high school winners from other congressional districts in the U.S. Additionally, a watercolor painting by rising junior Kevin Barrios won second place in the best painting category, as well as a scholarship. Click here to read more.

The Pioneer High School Football Program hosted the Sound Mind Sound Body College Coaches Football Camp at Pioneer High School June 16-17, bringing together more than 400 of Southern California’s top high school football prospects and 50 college coaches from around the nation. Held at the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, the Adidas Athletics-sponsored event provided students an overview of their athletic and academic responsibilities, the recruiting process and potential challenges. The camp culminated in three hours of football skills training and one-on-one competition. The top 25 athletes from the Pioneer Titan Football program participated in the events, with coaching staff and administration team members on hand to share the experience. Check out this event video, which features Titan students. Click here to read more.

To ensure that special education students receive high-quality services closer to home, Whittier Union this summer launched the PRIDE Santa Fe program, which will offer specialized instruction to students with emotional challenges who would otherwise have to attend private facilities. Adjacent to the Santa Fe High School campus, the program serves students from throughout the District with emotional, social and behavioral challenges. Seven students have enrolled in the program this summer and school officials expect the program to grow over the 2016-17 school year, with a maximum of 24 spaces for students.

Since 2013, students in Sierra Vista High School’s Freshman Fresh Start program have had the opportunity to start anew after facing challenges in their core academic classes at their comprehensive high schools, with many meeting the goals they set out to achieve. The Freshman Fresh Start program, which accepts students throughout the year, is designed to provide individualized instruction in math, science, English, physical education, art and nutrition. They are instructed by two teachers during the four-hour classroom period, with teachers tailoring lessons to fit individual students' learning styles and needs.

Whittier High School recently hosted a retreat for 90 Associated Student Body (ASB) members, providing them with opportunities to engage in team-building exercises and learn more about how they directly impact their campus environment. Members of the Whittier High ASB, which has grown in size every year, find ways to engage their peers, planning large- and small-scale celebrations on campus, including dances and Homecoming, crafting themes, brainstorming ideas and collaboratively putting their plans into action while keeping a keen eye on student interest. ASB also runs class council, which includes an additional 600 students.
Leighton Anderson
Martin Plourde

Tim Schneider
Loring Davies 

Dr. Ralph S.


Monica Oviedo 



Kevin Jamero 

Jeff Baird

9401 S. Painter Ave.,
Whittier, CA 90605-2798
(562) 698-8121
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