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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!   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. 

Thank You, Community!

September 26, 2022

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources

DIAMOND BAR, CA— Walnut Valley USD celebrated the modernized 500 Science Building at Diamond Bar High School during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 21.

The official unveiling marked the completion of the nearly $14.3 million construction of the 38,790 square-foot building funded by voter support of Bond Measure WV passed in 2016.

“It’s wonderful to see the learning that is happening in this new building,” remarked Principal Dr. Reuben Jones.

“Measure WV allowed for this modernization and we’re so grateful for that.”

Parents, teachers, students, staff, community members, and local officials attended the grand opening that culminated with guided tours.

The new two-story building features 18 state-of-the-art chemistry, biology, and physics classrooms with collaborative learning spaces.

“I want to thank our community for their support of Measure WV,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

“We wanted to have facilities to match our top-notch science program here at Diamond Bar High,” he shared.

“I would say these are the best in the country and I’m really thrilled!”

Senior Zachary Asawesna explained that there was “always something missing” in his old science classes.

It all became clear when he walked into the new learning space on the first day of school.

“These new classes have more space, brighter wall color, and more of a laboratory setting – but most importantly they have windows!” he announced.

“Now learning science is more fun than it already was!”

The sprawling classrooms were designed to hold both lectures and labs with adjoining collaboration spaces located in the center of each floor.

“Seeing the conversations taking place as students are up moving and doing experiments is amazing,” commented instructional dean Jennifer Burns.

“And I can’t wait to see more!”

“Thank you to our parents and residents who passed Measure WV because now we have this great building for our kids,” said Board President Dr. Tony Torng.

“It’s almost like college!”

Longtime science educators Jennifer Bravo, Teresa Hebert, and Eric Sorenson were part of the initial design meetings with architects.

“Through the years, we had spent a lot of time talking about ideas for the new classrooms,” said Bravo who teaches chemistry.

“But, we were told we weren’t dreaming big enough when we shared what we had envisioned!”

The trio of teachers then visited a brand-new Orange County high school science building to get a firsthand look at available technology, classroom furnishings, design, and layout.

“So we could learn l how to dream!” chemistry and physics teacher Hebert shared.

“And that’s where we got the idea for an ice machine.”

“It’s actually for lab use!” she qualified after the audience burst into laughter.

“Science is fun to begin with, but now it’s a lot of fun and I think that really helps with the learning.”

The new 21st century classrooms have been outfitted with dual projectors, maker space workrooms, lab storage areas, and more.

“I’m excited that I can do experiments that I couldn’t do before – it makes it a lot more exciting,” Hebert added.

For the past 19 years, biology teacher Eric Sorenson was in his previous 975 square-foot retrofitted science class separated from other teachers.

“I was grateful and have a lot of good memories,” he said.

“But, over here I have 1,400 square feet and now I get to be with all my colleagues all under one roof!”

“It’s like we died and went to heaven!” he added.

 

Shown:

Grand Opening! Walnut Valley USD officials mark completion of 500 Science Building at Diamond Bar High School on September 21. Shown: Principal Dr. Reuben Jones, Board Members Larry Redinger, Helen Hall, Dr. Tony Torng, Cindy Ruiz, Layla Abou-Taleb, Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

Thank You, Community! “This building is for our kids and for many, many generations to come!” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor

Ribbon Cutting Day! Diamond Bar High School science teachers and staff celebrate the completion of the new 21st century learning building

Science teachers Jennifer Bravo, Teresa Hebert, and Eric Sorenson speak at ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Science classrooms were open for guided tours following the ceremony on Sept. 21. 

Principal Dr. Reuben Jones, flanked by science teachers and WVUSD leaders, welcomes guests to 500 Science Building ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 21.

“Now learning science is more fun than it already was!” exclaims Diamond Bar High senior Zachary Asawesna.