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


It brings me tremendous pride to see our students overcome challenges and obstacles and the role our schools, teachers and staff play in helping them triumph. The Whittier Union family is dedicated to helping our students find personal and academic success. With the help of our parents and community, these efforts bear fruit across all of our schools.

California High School

Jashandeep Anand came to the United States at 14 years old, apprehensive about the new environment he was walking into and struggling to understand an unfamiliar language and culture. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Anand’s concerns began to dissipate when he and his family first walked onto the California High School campus prior to his junior year. Affectionately known as “Jash,” Anand has been embraced by his Condor family, gaining a reputation for his hard-working nature, optimism and joyful demeanor. Since arriving at Cal, Anand has refined his American English, joined a variety of clubs and academically challenged himself to maintain a 4.0 GPA. For his dedicated efforts to overcome obstacles, Anand was recently recognized with an Award of Merit by the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees – showcasing the degree to which students can succeed when they embrace the full high school experience. To read more, click here.

Frontier High School

Frontier High School on Oct. 19 hosted senior college and career workshops for all of its students, allowing them to learn what opportunities are available to them post-high school. Coordinated by the counseling staff and work experience coordinator, and with support from Rio Hondo College outreach staff, students were able to participate in seven workshops. They included Rio Hondo College 101, application and FAFSA presentations, military, private sector entrepreneurship, job and resume information, and making a good first impression.

La Serna High School

A handful of Whittier Union students have been recognized as National Merit Commended Students, including three from La Serna High School. Demonstrating outstanding potential for academic success are Alyssa Lizarraga, Timothy Overbeck and Chanel Young. Santa Fe's Jesus Muneton and Cal High's Olivia Huizar also received the prestigious recognition. Approximately 34,000 students across the nation were recognized as Commended Students this year. Although they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Pioneer High School

Pioneer High School will hold its annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, during which students will salute staff members who have served in the armed forces and remember members of the Pioneer family who died while serving their country. The names of these veterans are displayed on a stone monument next to the flagpole in front of the campus. Pioneer High’s annual event includes a group of revered veterans lighting the Titan Torch and patriotic music playing across the campus quad. The event is sponsored and organized by the school's Associated Student Body. The ceremony is open to the public.

Santa Fe High School

Over the last three years, Santa Fe High School students, staff and community members have gathered monthly to create handmade fleece blankets to donate to local organizations serving children in need. Since then, the school has donated more than 700 blankets, inspiring more students to partake in the ongoing community service project, called the Gratitude Project. A group of about 75 students came together Oct. 12 to cut and knot blankets, which will then be sewn with labels that read: “Made for you with love by the Santa Fe High School family of students, staff, parents and neighbors.” Students and community members are invited to make blankets from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 16, Dec. 14, Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15, April 12 and May 17. To read more, click here.

Sierra Vista High School

Sierra Vista is ensuring that students are engaged not only academically, but socially as well. This is the fourth year that the school has provided an Associated Student Body (ASB), giving 20 Spartans an opportunity to plan school activities and create a festive ambiance on campus. Superintendent Martin Plourde visited the student leaders in early October, learning about the group’s next event – the fourth annual Holiday Craft Fair on Thursday, Dec. 8. ASB adviser Patricia Zazueta is helping students plan and invite the Whittier community to this much-anticipated event at the Sierra Education Center. This year, ASB also plans to promote and support other community service opportunities, as well as sports contests and a music festival. 

Whittier High School

A former foster child who found stability under the guardianship of her big sister, Whittier High School senior Florencia Valenzuela has found empowerment and resiliency at the Cardinal campus – becoming an academic mentor to her peers and earning a $10,000 scholarship from the Children’s Defense Fund-California for overcoming adversity. The 17-year-old, who dreams of studying social work or communications at USC, won the scholarship as part of the organization’s Beat the Odds program, which opens higher education opportunities for youths who have worked to overcome hardship. She will receive the scholarship at a ceremony in December.

Whittier Adult  School
The Career Technical Education (CTE) Department at Whittier Adult School has a long-standing relationship with local businesses, helping students increase their skills in such positions as medical secretary and administrative assistant and jobs in accounting and computer repair. The school’s job placement program also provides students training on interviewing and resume-building. At the heart of the program is Debbie Mineau, who over the last 24 years has worked to strengthen the program and bolster job opportunities for students. The school hosts a Business Advisory Council composed of local businesses and service agencies, who meet regularly to discuss employment trends and how the school can help supply a competent and highly trained workforce. Feedback is provided to CTE faculty to improve instruction and ensure all students to learn or improve new skills to be competitive in today’s job market.
Leighton Anderson
Martin J. Plourde

Tim Schneider
Loring Davies 

Dr. Ralph S.


Dr. Monica Oviedo 



Kevin Jamero 

Jeff Baird

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