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Baldwin Park Seniors Thank Elementary Teachers Ahead of Graduation

Baldwin Park Unified’s Tracy Elementary students raised colorful congratulations signs and cheered along to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” as they welcomed 41 of Sierra Vista’s graduating seniors during the high school’s inaugural Senior Walk on May 26. Seniors – wearing their caps and gowns – were greeted by more than 150 third- through fifth-graders and educators, who cheered and waved pom-poms to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating students. The Senior Walk returned Sierra Vista students to their educational roots to thank teachers for impacting and inspiring their academic careers. At each of the nine feeder elementary schools, more than 230 seniors presented teachers with invitations to attend their June 1 graduation ceremony.

Baldwin Park Unified Celebrates Sierra Vista High’s Class of 2017

Sierra Vista High School valedictorian Jeronimo Reyes, speaking to classmates at the school’s June 1 commencement, detailed the importance of improving the world through education, lessons learned and forgotten, the impact of helpful teachers and the philosophy of friendship delivered by the high school comedy “Mean Girls.” The event recognized the academic achievement of the school’s 408 graduating seniors, who were adorned with colorful leis, elaborately decorated caps and cheerful smiles as they earned their long-awaited diplomas to the roaring applause of more than 1,000 attendees.

185 Students Graduate from North Park Continuation High School

More than 180 graduating seniors received diplomas during an emotionally charged commencement at North Park Continuation High School on May 31 that featured an interlude during which students bestowed orchid leis on family, friends and mentors to recognize their support. The high school graduated 185 students, topping its 2016 graduation rate of 92 percent – one of the highest for continuation schools in the region.

Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Earns Doctorate

Baldwin Park Unified Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza – a professional educator in California public schools since 1990 – earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California on May 11. Mendoza, who took over leadership of the Baldwin Park Unified School District in February 2016, wrote his dissertation about the influence of globalization and multinational corporations on the instructional practices and interest in STEM topics in Ireland’s schools.Mendoza started his career as a substitute teacher in the Jurupa Unified School District before shifting to counseling and administrative posts for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. He came to Baldwin Park Unified in 2000 as coordinator of early childhood education. He served as associate superintendent from 2010 to 2015.

Baldwin Park Adult School Students Celebrate Graduations

More than 1,200 family members and friends cheered as 200 Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education students received career technical education certificates, diplomas and high school equivalency certificates on May 18. The event, held at Baldwin Park High School, featured a rainbow of robes: purple for high school diplomas, white for high school equivalency and yellow for career tech training. In all, 284 students graduated from the adult education programs.

Baldwin Park Adult Education Instructor Honored for Excellence by State Council

Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education (BPACE) instructor Mark Steimle has received a 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award from the California Council on Adult Education (CCAE), recognizing his contributions as a master teacher. Steimle, who received the honor May 6 at the CCAE conference in Long Beach, has been teaching at BPACE since 1988. His courses include English as a second language (ESL), adult basic education and adults with disabilities. He is currently lead instructor for the independent study program and teaches high school subjects and GED/HiSET equivalency exam preparation classes.

Baldwin Park Students Cultivate Vegetables and Nutritional Knowledge

More than 130 fourth-graders from Baldwin Park Unified’s Charles Bursch and De Anza elementary schools have carefully tended crops and transformed fresh produce into nutritious dishes as part of Kaiser Permanente’s Garden Gourmet program, a food preparation and nutrition education program. Students celebrated the end of the year-long program on May 5 at the Baldwin Park Community Garden.

Baldwin Park Unified Elementary School Transforms Classrooms into Tech-Infused Learning Centers

Baldwin Park Unified has transformed nine classrooms at De Anza Elementary School into tech-infused, flexible-design learning centers in which each student has access to a laptop, teachers can seamlessly integrate digital tools into instruction and desks can be quickly reconfigured to accommodate almost any lesson goal.The project’s roots stretch to 2015, when Baldwin Park Unified replaced aging portable classrooms at De Anza with Gen 7-style buildings. School leaders saved about $600,000 in matching funds – dollars that would have been lost if not dedicated to the project. So, they upgraded the classrooms’ digital footprint: a 36-laptop Chromebook cart, teacher laptop and tablet, and mobile big-screen TV. Modular, wheeled furniture allows teachers to create collaboration centers of two to five students.

Baldwin Park Elementary Showcases Dual-language Student Talent

Dual-language students from Baldwin Park Unified’s Tracy Elementary lit up the evening in bright blue, red and green garments and traditional Mexican attire as they danced and sang to popular songs by iconic singer Juan Gabriel on May 12. Alternating from English to Spanish, transitional kindergarteners through sixth-graders took the audience through Gabriel’s history and his impact on Mexican music and culture.

Baldwin Park High School Junior Wins 32nd District Congressional Art Contest

U.S. Rep. Grace F. Napolitano on May 6 named Baldwin Park High School junior Millyna Liu as the winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for her work “Off in the Distance,” a drawing that will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for the coming year. Honorable mentions went to Sierra Vista High senior Tam Do for “Glenda,” senior Leslie Davila for “Marvel Comic Fan” and junior Eduardo Lopez, for “Horse.”
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