A monthly update from the Whittier Union High School DIstrict.
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June 2021


Dear Whittier Union High School Community,
This month, we celebrated nearly 2,800 graduates with in-person commencement ceremonies, acknowledging their milestone achievement during a year unlike any other. We are so proud of each and every one of our Class of 2021 graduates, and are grateful to have gotten the opportunity to celebrate them alongside their family and friends.
As we move into the 2021-22 school year, Whittier Union will continue to build on the lessons we learned over the last year, augmenting our curriculum to enhance the learning experience for all of our students.
We continue to prepare for our full reopening on Thursday, Aug. 12, and are thrilled to welcome back all of our students for in-person learning. As always, the health and safety of our students and community will remain at the forefront of our decision making.
We are so excited to start this upcoming school year in a manner that feels more familiar to us all, and welcome our Class of 2025 as they begin their high school journey here at Whittier Union.
Whittier Union High School District is a family, made up of high-achieving students, and dedicated teachers and staff members who are continually working to meet the needs of our entire school community. At every turn, we continue to live up to our motto, “To Achieve and Maintain Excellence,” and we do it all together.
Please continue to be vigilant in keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe this summer, while enjoying the time off to disconnect and spend time with family and friends.
Have a great summer and we will see you in August as we kick-off the 2021-22 school year!
Martin J. Plourde

Food and Nutrition Services Summer Meals Curbside Distribution

Whittier Union’s Food and Nutrition Services Department is providing summer meals via curbside distribution until Thursday, July 15.
For those 18 years of age and under, Monday to Wednesday meal distribution will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On Thursdays, we will distribute bulk meals, including four breakfast and four lunch meals, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

You can pick up meals at all five of our comprehensive high schools and at the Whittier Public Library, 7333 Greenleaf Ave., Whittier.

Click HERE to view our summer meals menu.

Santa Fe High School Celebrates 494 Graduates During Commencement Ceremony

On June 1, Santa Fe High School Class of 2021 graduates filled the Dick Torres Memorial Stadium, cheering alongside their family members in the stands, and congratulating one another with high-fives and fist bumps.

During the ceremony, valedictorian Leslie Garay Belmontes and salutatorians Jorge Bautista and Mayra Lopez were recognized with the Trustee Award, presented by members of the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees.

Belmontes will attend Harvey Mudd College in the fall, where she will study computer science. Bautista will head to UCLA and major in chemical engineering, while Lopez will study psychology at Cal State Long Beach.

“We are the first class to have survived the challenges of a global pandemic,” Santa Fe High School graduate Savanna Aguayo said. “Sitting here today is a testament that each and every one of us will never give up on our dreams.”

If you missed the ceremony, you can view it by clicking HERE.

Sierra Vista High School, Frontier High School and Whittier Adult School Honor Class of 2021

Sierra Vista High School, Frontier High School and Whittier Adult School celebrated the Class of 2021 with a lively commencement ceremony held at Sandra Sanchez Thorstenson Stadium on June 1.

During the celebration, more than 250 students were honored for their perseverance and achievements during the 2020-21 school year.

Whittier Adult School graduate Aracely Reynoso led the welcome speech, commemorating the first commencement ceremony for the United Sierra Education Center.

Forty-seven students from Sierra Vista High School graduated with the Spartan Award, and 12 students graduated with honors. From Frontier High School, 32 students were honored with the Senior Project Recognition Award, and senior Alfredo Alvarado was recognized as the student with the highest credit production of the year – known as the school’s ‘Top Producer.’

“We, the graduating class of 2021, have come from a multitude of previous lives and backgrounds,” Frontier High School’s Aztec of the Year Michella George said. “Our final year of high school was unprecedented. We all have been affected by the pandemic and yet, here we are, continuing to move forward with our lives. We will work to change the world for the better and we will model hard work. Thank you to our parents, family, friends, teachers, counselors and principals for never giving up on us.”

You can view the full ceremony by clicking HERE.

Whittier High School Applauds Achievements of 392 Graduates 

Whittier High School’s 392 graduates cheered as they made their way onto the field at Dick Torres Memorial Stadium during their graduation ceremony on June 2.

The Class of 2021 graduates were recognized for their academic excellence, including graduating with honors and earning the California State Seal of Biliteracy.

Valedictorians Evelyn Barajas, Christian Lopez and Ashley Perdomo, along with salutatorians Angela Abou Zaki, Kiana Carbajal, Ashley Pedraza and Alejandra Santiago were honored in front of the Class of 2021 and presented with the Board of Trustees Award.

“We did not lose a year of high school; we gained a year of high school. We gained a year’s worth of creativity, we gained a year’s worth of perspective, and we gained a year's worth of strength – and that is a year worth celebrating,” Santiago said. “As we celebrate our commencement into society after high school and our country opening up post-pandemic, I dare you to unleash that year’s worth of curiosity and no longer move in silence – but to make your presence known and to celebrate proudly.”

In the fall, Barajas will attend Rio Hondo College and study visual art and animation; Lopez is attending the UCLA and majoring in political science; Perdomo will study public health at La Sierra University; Zaki is headed to Whittier College and will major in computer science; Carbajal is studying political science at the University of Chicago; Pedraza will attend Cal State Los Angeles and pursue a degree in biochemistry; and Santiago will major in public affairs at UCLA.

Click HERE to watch the celebration.

598 California High School Graduates Recognized During Graduation Ceremony

On June 2, 598 graduates from California High School celebrated their milestone achievement as they made their way across the stage at Sandra Sanchez Thorstenson Stadium.

During the ceremony, speeches recounting the hardships and triumphs of the past year brought tears of joy to the graduates and the family and friends sitting in the stands.

“We were all faced with many challenges, but we persevered through it,” valedictorian America Barrera said. “The past four years have been a rollercoaster of emotions but we have all learned a lot throughout this whole process. It has been an amazing journey but as we all know; this chapter of our life has to end so a new and exciting chapter can begin. I wish you all luck in your future endeavors.”

Alongside Barrera, valedictorians Cassandra Jurado, Erica Leal, Kambria Salido and Kayla Fortis were celebrated as they received the Board of Trustees Award for academic excellence.

In the fall, Barrera and Jurado will attend UCLA, majoring in mathematics and political science, respectively; Leal will head to UC Irvine and study literary journalism; Salido study medicine at Pepperdine University; and Fortia will major in neuroscience at Northwestern University.

Watch the full commencement ceremony by clicking HERE.

La Serna High School’s 615 Graduates Celebrate Milestone Achievement

During La Serna High School’s commencement ceremony on June 3, 615 graduates were recognized and celebrated by their teachers, administrators and family and friends in the stands while they walked the stage to receive their diploma.

Class of 2021 graduates Marco Ruiz, Ava Webster and Lola Meddock delivered speeches that told the story of their time in high school, the experiences they shared with their friends and peers and the La Serna High memories they will never forget.

“This is special because every single one of you will go forward in life having completely different experiences than the person sitting next to you,” Webster said. “This is encouraging because we are all our own unique individuals. It is our uniqueness that changes society into what we think it is and what we want it to be. As young adults we have the ability, willingness and power to determine our own life and the world we live in.”

Additionally, valedictorians Kaylie Ching, Jasper Lin and Isabela Ramirez alongside salutatorian Sophia Ramirez, were recognized in front of their family and friends for their outstanding academic achievements during their four years of high school.

As they move on to college and career, Ching will attend UC Berkeley and major in history and astrophysics; Lin will head to UCLA and study electrical engineering; Isabela will major in biochemistry at UCLA; and Sophia will study biology at Cal Poly Pomona.

Click HERE to watch the celebration!

Pioneer High School Recognizes 300 Graduates During Commencement Celebration

Pioneer High School celebrated the success and accomplishments of 300 graduating seniors during its in-person commencement ceremony on June 3.

The ceremony featured emotional speeches by Principal Lilia Bozigian, as well as student leaders who shared what being a Pioneer Titan meant to them and how they plan to use what they have learned in high school to reach even greater heights.

 “I stand here, in front of a graduating body of peers, living testament to our potential in the face of adversity,” Valedictorian Sofia Lagos said. “Here we are, finishing step one. The first step in our own individual paths to define our own successes. I hope you view your own accomplishments and future through your own lens and only your goals in sight. We must be able to truly see how the world is, and then dare to imagine how it could be – making that our motivation to open our eyes every morning and continue to defy expectations.”

Valedictorians Sofia Lagos, Michael Lagos and Xicotencatl Reyes and salutatorians Nicole Paredes and Karissa Tabarez were honored with the Board of Trustees Award, recognizing their hard work during their time at Pioneer High School.

In the fall, Sofia and her twin brother Michael will attend USC to study biomedical engineering and architecture, respectively. Reyes is headed to UC San Diego to study computer science; Paredes will attend UCLA and major in geography and environmental studies; and Tabarez will study psychology at USC.

Click HERE to watch the graduation!  

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Dr. Ralph S. Pacheco

Dr. Russell Castañeda-Calleros
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Jeff Baird
Leighton Anderson

Jaime Lopez

Martin Plourde
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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