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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. 

Walnut Valley USD Hosts "A Class Act" Cornerstone Awards

February 14, 2023

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources

WALNUT, CA—Walnut Valley USD continued a tradition of celebrating excellence during the 24th annual “A Class Act” Cornerstone Awards.

The ceremony recognizing a dozen outstanding classified (non-teaching) employees was held February 9 at the Holiday Inn Diamond Bar.

The Personnel Commission’s monthly Cornerstone Awards, established in 1999, honor classified staff members for the pivotal role they play in the District.

Nearly 700 classified employees perform a wide range of essential work including making sure kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school busses, and creating a positive learning environment.

Congratulations to the following 2022 Cornerstone Award winners: Charlene Tsao, Instructional Aide II Bilingual/Bicultural – Walnut Elementary; Dodjie De Luna, Nutrition Services Driver – Diamond Bar High; Suzanne Ly, Instructional Aide II Special Education – Suzanne Middle School; Helen Chung, Morning Supervisor – C.J. Morris Elementary; Ena Mendez, Bus Driver – Transportation; Pam Huang, Budget Analyst – Fiscal Services; Leticia Acuna, Preschool Clerk Typist II/Receptionist – Child Care; Gloria Diaz, Secretary II– Educational Services; Carrie Yee, School Administrative Assistant – Diamond Bar High; Tiffany Brawley, Instructional Aide II Special Education –South Pointe Middle School; John Bowles, Electrician –Maintenance & Operations; and Nina Arita, Instructional Aide II Special Education – Maple Hill Elementary.

“Tonight, we get to honor a select few who represent the very best of our 700 classified employees,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.

“We have high student achievement and so many great things happening for our kids throughout the District – and it wouldn’t be possible without them!” 

Bus driver Ena Mendez was named the 2022 Classified Employee of the Year at the culmination of the awards ceremony.

Ena has been a dedicated, reliable, positive, and passionate member of the Transportation team for the past 32 years. She takes the time to get to know her students and makes long-lasting connections with families.

“She is the first to arrive each day, always ready to go, and always available in a pinch!” said Transportation Coordinator Samantha Horton.

“Ena is someone I would clone 50 times!”

The Cornerstone Awards program was hosted by Human Resources Assistant Superintendent Dr. Diane Perez and Director Dr. Seth Bond.

Entertainment was provided by a Diamond Bar High School string quartet under the direction of Steve Acciani and Marie Santos.

Honorees received engraved awards, gift cards, and certificates of recognition.

“Being named the Classified Employee of the Year has come with much surprise and honor,” Ena said of the award.

“It is my pleasure to serve our Walnut Valley students and families!”

A special thanks to the following sponsors for their generous support: Walnut Valley Educational Foundation, Massage Envy, Schools First Federal Credit Union, DC Architects, McGriff Insurance Services, Walnut Valley Administrator’s Association, and School Portraits by Adams Photography.


Bus driver Ena Mendez was named the 2022 Classified Employee of the Year during the Cornerstone Awards on Feb. 9. 

A Class Act! Walnut Valley USD honors the 2022 Cornerstone Award winners on Feb. 9. 

Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor congratulates Ena Mendez named the 2022 Classified Employee of the Year Ena Mendez. 

Walnut Valley USD Board of Trustees honor Ena Mendez named the 2022 Classified Employee of the Year.