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ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Innovative Ideas

June 2, 2021

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Community Resources

WALNUT, CA-- Collegewood Elementary fifth graders worked with Fomcore representatives this spring to create a special piece of furniture for the school’s new two-story classroom building.

Innovation Design team members Sydney Liptak, Alina Bovee Carter, Hunter Reed, Sophia Teodsoio, Rocko De Los Reyes, Brandon Zhang, Evan Romero, and Danika Pe brainstormed ideas during weekly after school Zoom meetings.

The resulting rocking foam “chill out” chair was unveiled during the first in-person assembly of the school year on May 25.

“This student designed chair will be in each classroom allowing our students to have a place to nurture their hearts so their mind is ready for learning,” said Principal Dr. Mary Wendland.

The new cushioned blue and white ground seat features inspirational graphics like Keep Calm and Smile.

“It looks so cool with all the designs on it!” said fifth grader Sydney Liptak, age 11.

“We all collaborated and worked really hard - and it paid off!”

“You guys are going to be able to sit on this, kick back, and relax!” shared Fomcore’s Dave Diller at the presentation.

During design meetings, the team came together in a fun and creative way to talked about furniture and spaces and how all those things make us feel, he shared with the group.

The concepts students most wanted were movement, action, something they could lounge in, and regulate their feelings and emotions.

Brandon Zhang, age 11, said that movement was at the top of his list and that the chair needed to be a comfortable place to take a break from learning.

He was very happy with the final result.

“When I first saw it, I thought you could relax here and deal with your emotions!”

In addition, Bill Wells from project partner Culver-Newlin school furniture presented a $1,000 Fomcore grant to Collegewood Elementary.

Dr. Wendland said funds will be used to provide resources for classroom calming spots. 

The school is in its third year of implementing a tiered social and emotional learning support to students across all grade levels. 

In addition to a school-wide wellness center called The Landing Spot, each classroom is equipped with a calming corner which serves as a safe space for students to take breaks during the learning day and regulate their emotions.

“We are grateful to Fomcore for helping to bring STEAM to life with this hands-on experience for our students,” Dr. Wendland added.

“It is especially rewarding for them to see their creativity result in a finished product that will be part of our school for years to come!”


For Students, By Students! Collegewood Elementary fifth grade Innovation Design team with “chill out” chair.

Chair Unveiling! Collegewood Elementary Principal Dr. Mary Wendland, 5th grade Design Team, Purchasing Director Suzanne Beach, Fomcore Representative Dave Diller, and Culver-Newlin Sales Manager Bill Wells.  

Collegewood Elementary Principal Dr. Mary Wendlend accepts $1,000 Fomcore grant from Bill Wells of Culver-Newlin. 

Fomcore representative Dave Diller chats with Collegewood Elementary design team members during chair unveiling assembly.