A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School DIstrict.
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July 2017


This summer has been filled with learning and enrichment opportunities for our students, and I commend our teachers and staff for steadily working to ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the 2017-18 school year. Although it is summer, one that I hope you are all enjoying with loved ones, we at Whittier Union have not slowed down and are preparing for another exciting year of exploration, academics and growth. We look forward to seeing everyone again in August.

California High School

California High School welcomed more than 425 incoming freshmen this summer for its High School 102 program, which aims to connect students with peers and their new environment. For three weeks in July, students attended the 3.5-hour daily program, meeting teachers and leaders on campus, and learning study skills and organizational skills while meeting new friends ahead of the first day of school. They also learned how to navigate high school, who to talk to when faced with challenges and what resources are available on campus to address their needs. The school's dean, local law enforcement, counselors, assistant principals and other significant figures on campus presented topics to help students achieve success and avoid common mistakes as they start high school. 

Frontier High School

Members of Frontier High School’s Associated Student Body this summer added an artistic element to the continuation high school’s entrance – blue and white plastic cups that were cut and shaped to fit the chain link fence that now reads Frontier. As part of their summer project, students placed the cups along the fence to help visitors easily identify where the school is on the Sierra Education Campus, which also houses the Whittier Adult School and Sierra Vista High School. Put-In-Cups are colored, diamond-shaped, plastic widgets that are designed to snap into the spaces of most chain link fences. They are colorful, inexpensive and an environmentally-friendly alternative to Styrofoam and plastic cups.

La Serna High School

Sharvonita Thedford, mother of La Serna High School senior Jeremy St. Julian, donned a black ribbon with the number 54, representing her son’s football jersey number, as she accepted his posthumous diploma with her husband, Engel, and daughter at a July 11 Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees meeting. There, Principal Ann Fitzgerald certified that St. Julian, who died the day before graduation in a hiking accident, met the requirements for earning his diploma. St. Julian's graduation robe, football jersey and a flower lei were draped over his chair during the June 7 commencement ceremony in his honor.

Pioneer High School

More than 600 Whittier-area middle and high school students celebrated the completion of the 27th annual Jaime Escalante Summer Math Academy at Pioneer High School during a July 20 ceremony. Students received certificates for completing the program, which provides them with the opportunity to get ahead on math classes and prepare for college-level courses. The six-week program, which began in June, included 15 classes covering Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Math Analysis and Calculus. Students who earned A's or Bs received 10 credits that will be transferred on their transcripts, enabling them to advance one course level. The program compresses a math class that is normally taught over an entire school year into 150 hours. Students come from each of the District’s comprehensive high schools, as well as Los Nietos, East Whittier, Granada and Hillview middle schools.

Santa Fe High School

Twenty-five Santa Fe High students in July participated in a College Prep Summer Camp, organized by the Long Beach Regional Cal-SOAP program and intended to give rising seniors a preview of what's ahead in all aspects of the college admission and financial aid process. Students who attended the camp learned about the application process for Cal States and UCs, searched for colleges and explored college majors, got a jump start on college application essays, learned about and prepared for financial aid applications, learned about college life both on and off campus, and visited a university campus. Cal-SOAP, which stands for California Student Opportunity and Access Program, is instrumental in improving the flow of information about post-secondary education and financial aid while raising student achievement levels in underserved communities. The week-long program was also held at Cal, La Serna, Pioneer and Whittier high schools.

Sierra Vista High School

More than 200 Sierra Vista students donned caps and gowns for their 2017 graduation ceremony, including 28 students who graduated with honors, 35 students who proudly wore an “Outstanding Spartan” medal and 14 Associated Student Body students. The valedictorian was Elisa Ruvolcaba and the salutatorian was Andrew Lund. Sierra Vista is an independent study school that provides students a second chance at success, as noted by student speaker Maddie Rath. “All of us graduating today are here because Sierra Vista offered us the choice to go in a different direction,” she said. “The four walls of a classroom and bell schedule of a traditional high school didn’t work out for us, whether because the complexities of our lives demanded flexibility or we felt that it wasn’t the right path for us. Sierra Vista is a school of choice. We make progress in classes when we master the content. We set up our own schedules and find ways to make them work.”

Whittier High School

For the eighth consecutive year, Whittier High School students attended the California Association of Directors of Activities (CADA) ASB Leadership Summer Camp held at UC Santa Barbara in July. The camp, a four-day leadership and hands-on activity program, is designed for student leaders who are interested in acquiring skills necessary to become successful school leaders. They work together and network with other students through camp councils. The advisor program, which is parallel to the student program, covers topics designed to assist advisors in developing the most effective strategies to meet their individual school activity plans. The CADA camp serves as a springboard for each upcoming year's many school activities and leadership topics. Sixteen Whittier High ASB leaders and three advisors attended the event through fundraising efforts of the Whittier High Alumni Association, which for the past seven years has sponsored students who attend the event, covering half the costs every summer.
Tim Schneider

Martin J. Plourde

Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco

Loring Davies 



Dr. Monica Oviedo 

Jeff Baird

Kevin Jamero 

Leighton Anderson

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