May 20, 2022
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA— Walnut Valley USD Board of Trustees kicked off the May 18 Meeting with special recognitions for outstanding students and partners in education.
From Diamond Bar High School, senior Jonah Reyes was lauded with the Super Star Student Award. “He is truly an exceptional young man,” shared Principal Dr. Reuben Jones during the tribute. Jonah embodies what it means to be a Brahma with outstanding student leadership, character, and high academic achievement. He is a four-year member of the marching band and wind ensemble and current band vice president. He is also a four-year member of the baseball team and winner of the Brahma award for encouraging and motivating teammates. Jonah is active in numerous clubs including Fellowship of Christian Athletes (President), Inkwell (President), American Cancer Society, Class Committee, and National Honor Society. He will head to University of California, Riverside in the fall with plans to attend medical school and become an oncologist.
Diamond Bar High Chinese American Parent Association (CAPA) President Cindy Huang received the Partner in Education Award for her extraordinary contributions. She has been involved with CAPA for four years and is a strong, well-respected leader. CAPA continued to be an involved and active parent group with the Magnificent 7, even during the pandemic. During the 2020-21 school year, CAPA donated $30,000 to provide technology devices to teachers during distance learning. CAPA donated large quantities of PPE including gloves, masks, touchless thermometers, and face shields. CAPA youth groups provided 11,000 homemade cookies for DBHS staff, food banks, hospitals, and churches. This year, CAPA donated $39,000 in mini-grants to numerous groups on campus including athletic teams, performing arts, clubs, yearbook, and wellness center. “Cindy, you are a true partner for Diamond Bar High School and for our District!” Principal Jones said.
Trustees recognized Diamond Bar High School Council of African American Parents (CAAP) and Stand and Deliver Oratorical Scholars. “CAAP is a very special club at Diamond Bar, but also a parent partnership and community leader,” Principal Jones added. The following students competed during the contest held at Cal Poly Pomona in December were honored: Joy Mitchell, Kyle Loquet, Gozie Ejike, Olivia James, and Joel Mwathi. CAAP Founder and President Ingrid Johnson shared the organization was established in Walnut Valley USD nearly 30 years ago and has now expanded statewide and beyond with college preparatory and planning programs for students and parents.
Walnut High School senior Daniel Ji was honored with the Super Star Student Award for the outstanding impact he has made on campus. As CyberPatriot president, the club ranked 7th in the nation during the Cyber Security competition season. Daniel is captain of the WolfCorps robotics team that placed first in Southern California and competed in the World Championships in Houston in April. He is FBLA vice president with 20 Top ten team finishers at the last event. “But, what makes Daniel stand out is his service to others,” shared Principal Dr. Ryan Maine. During the pandemic, Daniel held canned food drives and created 3D printer masks for those in need. He held youth robotics outreach programs to inspire others to pursue the fields of robotics and coding. And he has done all this while carrying a 4.0 unweighted GPA! Daniel will head to University of California, San Diego next year and major in Computer Science.
Walnut High School parent volunteer Betsy Castellanos received the Partner in Education Award for the pivotal role she has played on campus. She kicked off the year volunteering for the Walnut High Community Club as coordinating council representative and serving on the scholarship committee. She has also played a pivotal role in creating the Latinx Parent Alliance Group. When Betsy learned of two new students from Guatemala and El Salvador in need of Spanish speaking bilingual aides, she said, “I’ll be there tomorrow,” Principal Maine recounted. From that moment, Betsy worked on campus three-to-four hours each day to provide help with schoolwork. She always makes students feel welcome and has made a huge difference on campus. “Betsy, we cannot thank you enough for your sacrifice and service to others!”
Walnut High School sophomore wrestler Anaya Falcon was lauded as CIF Champion, Southern Section Master’s Champion, and the school’s first State Champion. “We call that the Wrestling Triple Crown,” Principal Maine shared. Anaya went 32-0 during the season and is now ranked third in the nation. She has a bright future and hopes to qualify for the Olympics one day. “We are proud to have Anaya represents the Mustangs, along with her amazing coach (and former Mustang CIF champion) Cecil Sebastian!”
Trustees honored Student Representatives seniors Vishnu Nair – Diamond Bar High School and Abbie Laurel – Walnut High School for their year of service. “I would like to thank you both, you have done an outstanding job representing your school during each Board Meeting,” lauded Member Helen Hall. “Thank you for keeping us informed and we wish you the best of luck in the future!”
Mercy Pharmacy and Brea Urgent Care were recognized with WVUSD Partner in Education Awards for extraordinary support during the COVID pandemic. Mercy Pharmacy Director Tram Hoang has worked with Human Resources to schedule over 30 vaccination clinics for staff, students, families, and community members. Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Parry and Dr. Pravin Shaw from Brea Urgent Care facilitated COVID testing for staff and students. They set up mobile testing clinics three days a week and ran countless clinics for student athletes. Their team worked in the rain, heat, and holidays to provide integral service. “We would like to recognize their dedication to the health and well-being of our District!” shared Director Dr. Seth Bond.
Diamond Bar High School senior Jonah Reyes was lauded with the Super Star Student Award during the May 18 Board Meeting.
Diamond Bar High CAPA President Cindy Huang received the Partner in Education Award.
Trustees recognized Diamond Bar High School Council of African American Parents and Stand and Deliver Oratorical Scholars.
Walnut High School senior Daniel Ji was honored with the Super Star Student Award.
Walnut High School parent volunteer Betsy Castellanos received the Partner in Education Award.
Walnut High School sophomore wrestler Anaya Falcon was lauded as the school’s first State Champion.
Student Representatives Vishnu Nair – Diamond Bar High School and Abbie Laurel – Walnut High School for year of service.
Mercy Pharmacy and Brea Urgent Care were recognized with WVUSD Partner in Education Awards for extraordinary support during the COVID pandemic.