A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School DIstrict.
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June 2022


Dear Whittier Union High School District community,
June has been a month of both joyful celebrations and tearful goodbyes for the community of the Whittier Union High School District. Martin Plourde retired after serving the District and its community as Superintendent for six influential years. As I step into the position, I will continue his legacy by committing to do Whatever It Takes to ensure the District and its students “Achieve and Maintain Excellence.”
This month, we also bid our high school graduates farewell as they move on to continue their education or to join the workforce. We are incredibly proud of the Class of 2022, and celebrated their immense achievements at commencement ceremonies earlier this month that were full of happy tears, love and joy.
We would like to thank our teachers, counselors and staff for their continued commitment to our students and to the District. Our dedicated team of educators continues to work hard through the summer, with many participating in summer enrichment and training courses that will help enhance the educational experience for our students.
We hope that our students and faculty are receiving some much-needed rest and relaxation. We wish you all a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer break!
Dr. Monica Oviedo

United Sierra Education Center Graduates Celebrate Successes, Achievements

Graduates from the Whittier Union Adult School, Sierra Vista High School and Frontier High School celebrated their academic achievements alongside their family, friends and administrators during a collective commencement ceremony on May 31.

The adult school celebrated 80 graduates who walked across the stage, culminating their hard work and perseverance in completing academic courses, citizenship classes, career technical education job training and more.

Sierra Vista High School and Frontier High School boasted 250 and 140 graduates, respectively.

“Once arriving at the United Sierra Education Center, our backgrounds became less of an issue as the focus on earning credits and getting ahead became a real possibility,” Frontier High graduate Xavier Jacob Lee said. “We’ve realized that we have more similarities than differences between ourselves and one thing we have in common, besides having been offered a second or maybe a third chance, is a drive and desire to graduate. We will all be contributing citizens and make our mark…We will work to change the world for the better and we will model hard work. Thank you, parents, family, friends, teachers, counselors and principals, for never giving up on us.”

Click HERE to view this year’s commencement ceremony and HERE to access the photo album.

Santa Fe High School Celebrates 463 Class of 2022 Graduates

Santa Fe High School’s Class of 2022 beamed with pride as they turned their tassels from left to right, marking their milestone academic achievement during a graduation ceremony on May 31.

During the ceremony, 13 Summa Cum Laude honor students were spotlighted for their strong academic performance during their four years of high school.

The Board of Trustees also presented graduate Rebecca Bello with this year’s Board of Trustees Award. Bello graduated with a 4.43 GPA is matriculating to the University of California, Davis in the fall, where she plans to major in biology.

“From both sides of my family, no one has finished college or attended a university and the idea of breaking that trend and being the first to attend a four-year university motivated me to do my best at school,” Bello said.

To view Santa Fe High School’s 2022 graduation ceremony, click HERE. A photo album can also be accessed HERE.

California High School Graduates Honored for Academic Excellence

Six-hundred California High School graduates, joined by their family and friends, were celebrated for their strong academic performance during a commencement ceremony on June 1.
California High School also boasted 40 Summa Cum Laude honorees who were celebrated for their excellence during the ceremony.
Additionally, graduate Justin Toyoshiba was recognized as this year’s Board of Trustees Award winner and presented with an honor plaque. Toyoshiba will attend California State University, Long Beach this fall and plans to major in film.
“Just four years ago we were starting one of the most important phases of our lives and we have already looked back. Now it is time to look forward and be excited about all the things we have ahead of us,” Toyoshiba said. “My advice [to you] is not to waste the next period of your life chasing the acceptance of others. Start making decisions that make you happy and do the things that will catapult you into even greater success in the future. Congratulations Class of 2022.”

To view a full album of photos, click HERE. You can also view the full commencement ceremony HERE.

Pioneer High School Honors 257 Class of 2022 Graduates

Pioneer High School graduates cheered as they made their way down the stage ramp after receiving their high school diploma during a commencement ceremony on June 1.

Pioneer High celebrated 257 graduates and eight Summa Cum Laude honorees, who were acknowledged for their academic excellence during the ceremony.
“I am extremely proud to be a part of the graduating Class of 2022,” Summa Cum Laude honoree Fernanda Reyes said during the ceremony. “The fact that we made it here in the midst of a pandemic is a testament to our perseverance and commitment to excellence. I always despised the question of what do you want to be when you grow up, I felt pressured to be so sure in my answer. Instead, let’s ask who we want to be and chase our dreams and never give up.”
During the graduation, Board of Trustees Award recipient Melanie Zepeda was recognized for her academic successes while at Pioneer High. Zepeda is matriculating to the University of California, Irvine, with plans to study psychological sciences.
For this year's full graduation ceremony, click HERE. To access the graduation photo album, click HERE.

572 La Serna High School Graduates Honored During Commencement Ceremony

La Serna High School Class of 2022 graduates threw their caps in the air while streamers filled the stadium during a commencement ceremony on June 2.
La Serna celebrated 572 graduates and honored 20 Summa Cum Laude honor students during the ceremony.
This year’s Board of Trustees Award winners were Carla Rached and Ryan Anderson. Rached will matriculate to UCLA in the fall to study psychobiology and pre-medicine. Anderson will also attend UCLA in the fall and plans to major in political science.
“As a child of Lebanese immigrants, I often experience a feeling of emptiness without my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who remain in Lebanon,” Rached said. “However, traveling to Lebanon every two years helped to fill that void. Traveling and sight seeing has introduced me to different cultures and environments and I look forward to traveling more in the future to view the world in new eyes, unplug from reality, admire nature and expand my knowledge.”

Click HERE to view this year’s commencement ceremony and HERE to view La Serna’s graduation photo album.

Whittier High School Graduates Celebrate Academic Achievements with Family, Friends

Nearly 400 Class of 2022 graduates from Whittier High School filled the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, cheering and high fiving one another as they received their diplomas and turned their tassels during a graduation ceremony on June 2.

Whittier High School also recognized 10 Summa Cum Laude honor students, congratulating them for their high academic success and achievement while at Whittier High. During the ceremony, Hannah Ramirez, who graduated with a 4.38 GPA, was named this year’s Board of Trustees Award recipient and presented with a plaque to honor her excellence.

“I used to believe success was primarily based upon the amount of medals I earned, the amount of A’s I received and my family’s pride with my overall performance. I felt pressured to meet certain standards created by others and felt the need to please my family, teachers and those around me,” Ramirez said. “For so many of us, we feel that success isn’t valued without the validation of others. The reality is, we are all successful in what we achieve. Be your authentic self because the roads we travel will not always be covered in sunshine and rainbows, and that is okay. I have learned that success is an operative word, and the definition is unique for each and every one of us. Success is entirely up to you.”

Click HERE to view this year’s ceremony and HERE to access a graduation photo album.

Whittier Union’s Transition Program Celebrates Accomplishments of Graduates

Families, friends and the United Sierra Education Center team celebrated 20 graduates from Whittier Union’s Transition Program during a heartfelt ceremony on May 26.

Instructors introduced each graduate at the podium, presented a certificate of completion, and shared the student’s successes and favorite moments. The graduates and their guests were presented gift baskets and a floral arrangement from the student-run businesses, Sweet Transition and Petals on Wheels. The evening’s festivities concluded with a video of the graduates learning, working, and volunteering in the classroom and community to show their array of accomplishments.

The Whittier Union High School District’s Transition Program instructs students with disabilities from the ages of 18 to 22 in functional life skills that equip them with the necessary tools to be active members of their community.

Students are instructed in seven domains including functional academics, vocational, social-emotional, independent living skills, mobility, communication, and recreation and leisure. The program seeks to empower students and maximize their quality of life through employment, inclusion and independence in their home communities while transitioning from high school to adult life.

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Dr. Russell Castañeda-Calleros

Jeff Baird
Vice President

Leighton Anderson
Jaime Lopez

Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco

Dr. Monica Oviedo
The Whittier Union High School District provides all students with an engaging, quality standards-based instructional program delivered by a well-trained staff resulting in improved student achievement.  Whittier Union High School District works to achieve and maintain excellence in providing a comprehensive education for all students.
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