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News

Audience: Homepage


Students from the Montebello Unified School District (MUSD) recently lent an artistic hand to the grand opening of the Montebello Mix, a newly redesigned shopping center located at the corner of Beverly and Montebello Boulevards.

 

The Montebello Mix, formerly known as the Montebello Mart, held its re-dedication ceremonies, Jan. 21, to mark the completion of the shopping center’s renovation, which today includes student artwork.

 

As part of the ceremonies, Montebello Mayor Vivian Romero and officials from Combined Properties, Inc., the owner of the property, honored MUSD student artists for their contributions to the shopping center.  The Mayor presented each student artist with a personally signed Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the City of Montebello.

 

Mounted replicas of student artwork are permanently displayed in the Montebello Mix Art Walk, which is located in the walkway adjacent to storefronts at the shopping center. Replicas of the student art contest winners can also be viewed at the MUSD District Office.

 

“Our students are very excited to know that their artwork now has a permanent place at the shopping center,” said Aida Hinojosa, Program Specialist, for the MUSD’s Pupil & Community Services Division, who coordinated the art contest. “The district would like to thank Combined Properties for sharing this amazing opportunity with our students. Students’ eyes lit up as their artwork was presented.”

 

Ms. Hinojosa worked with the Combined Properties to coordinate an art competition for students at district schools located in Montebello. More than 100 student entries of various grade levels were submitted under the theme, “The City of Montebello is Growing and Blossoming.”  Combined Properties reviewed each submission and selected the winning entries that are now on display at the shopping center.    

 

The winning entries were submitted by:

  • Sofia Fragoso, Grade 2, La Merced Elementary
  • Emilio Paredes, Grade 3, Wilcox Elementary
  • Kenneth B. Perez, Grade 4, La Merced Elementary
  • Ricardo Solano, Grade 4, La Merced Elementary
  • Kaitlyn A. Hernandez, Grade 4, Washington Elementary
  • Leslie Alejandra Pena, Grade 5, Fremont Elementary
  • Deziree Eni, Grade 6, La Merced Intermediate
  • Daniel Meneses, Grade 8, Eastmont Intermediate
  • Brianna Morales, Grade 12, Schurr High School

 

Brian Miller, Vice President of West Coast Asset Management for Combined Properties Inc., told the Whittier Daily News that public art was an important element of the shopping center’s redesign.

 

“Retail has evolved into an experience,” Miller said. “This is our second property that has locally-inspired art, which helps create a bond with the community.”

 

In addition to the art contest winners, Combined Properties acknowledged six MUSD students as Honorable Mentions.

 

  • Alekos Lopez-Aguayo, Grade 1, Washington Elementary
  • Emily Verdusco, Grade 1, La Merced Elementary
  • Donovan Murillo, Grade 2, Washington Elementary
  • Abcde Soto, Grade 4, La Merced Elementary
  • Karol Gonzalez, Grade 4, La Merced Elementary
  • Lizeth Chavez-Garcia, Grade 7, Montebello Intermediate School

 

District families and the Montebello community are encouraged to visit the Montebello Mix Art Walk and enjoy the work of up-and-coming student artists of MUSD.  

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 1/27/17




Audience: Homepage

WHAT:

As part of its ongoing commitment to strengthen its relationship with the community, the Montebello Unified School District Police Department will visit Potrero Heights Elementary School to donate school supplies and athletic equipment during a presentation ceremony on Monday, Oct. 10.

MUSD Police Chief Linh Dinh, MUSD Police Department officers, the MUSD PD community and partner 4R Kids, 4R Future will present students with soccer balls, goals, cones and tetherballs. The organization also provides backpacks, school supplies and other sports equipment to students.

Presenters will also explain to students the importance of physical activity and the positive effects of health, mental alertness and learning.

This is the fourth year that MUSD Police will partner with 4 R Kids, 4 R Future to donate supplies and equipment to District schools.

WHEN:

8:15 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10

WHERE:

Potrero Heights Elementary School
8026 E. Hill Drive, Rosemead

MEDIA CONTACT:

Juliette Funes, 909-447-2404

 

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 10/7/16




Audience: Homepage

WHAT:

The Montebello Unified School District is teaming up with its partners to bring the community together for the 8th annual War on Hunger Food Drive to assist needy local families.

Since 2009, Montebello Unified has helped thousands of students and families who have struggled throughout California’s budget crisis. This year, MUSD students, teachers, staff, community members, sponsors and elected officials will again rally together to support the initiative, which raises roughly 50,000 pounds of food every year.

The War on Hunger 2016 Food Drive will take place Oct. 12 through Nov. 4.

To commence the month of giving, the event will include comments from District leaders and community partners, a student performance and MUSD students showing their support of the project. Throughout the month and at all MUSD school sites, students and staff will be able to donate non-perishable food items or donate funds to help local hungry families.

Montebello Unified School District’s partners are Camino Federal Credit Union, Heart of Compassion Distribution and Montebello Council Parent Teacher Association.

Please note: All those attending the kickoff are asked to bring a non-perishable food item (canned goods, bagged rice or beans, etc.) to donate.

WHEN:

Wednesday, Oct. 12
Reception: 8:30 a.m.
Program: 9 a.m


WHERE:

Eastmont Intermediate School
400 N. Bradshawe Ave.
Montebello


WHO:

MUSD Board of Education
MUSD Administration
CSEA Members
AMSA Members
MTA Members
Heart of Compassion Pastor John Velasco
Camino Federal Credit Union CEO Ernesto Flores
MCPTA President Patricia Torres and Members
MUSD Students


VISUALS:

Students donating food items to kick off the MUSD War on Hunger Food Drive to help their local community and a student dance performance.

 

DONATION DROP-OFF: Monetary and non-perishable food donations can be made in person at the following locations:

Camino Federal Credit Union

520 N. Taylor Ave.

Montebello, CA 90640

MUSD District Office

123 S. Montebello Blvd.                                                  

Montebello, CA 90640

Families may be able to pick up food items at the Heart of Compassion Distribution Center or may contact Rose Hernandez, Program Liaison at 323-887-2133.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 10/4/16




Audience: Homepage


Potrero Heights Elementary Principal Lili Atoyan and Angelica Paz, a teacher on special assignment, hold a banner the school received in recognition of its Honor Roll distinction.

Potrero Heights Elementary has been named a 2015 California Honor Roll campus for demonstrating consistently high levels of academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time and closing achievement gaps.

The Honor Roll is presented by the Educational Results Partnership and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE), groups which campaign for cooperation between educators and businesses to improve student achievement in public schools.

Potrero Heights Elementary Principal Lili Atoyan attributed her school’s listing on the Honor Roll to its strong California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) English language arts and math scores taken in spring 2015, adding that her teachers collaborate to build a rigorous curriculum that prepares all students for college and careers.

“I’m very proud of our teaching and support staff,” Atoyan said. “They have the students’ best interest in mind and they work very hard to help foster learning in all of our students. Our staff and teachers are dedicated, committed professionals.”

Using the test scores they received in summer 2015, Potrero Heights teachers developed a plan to help students meet California’s new English language arts standards. Teachers who cover fourth to fifth grade at Potrero Heights use strategies from Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) to emphasize organization, notetaking and strong writing skills, while teachers in other grade levels utilize thinking maps and strategies that focus on vocabulary development to enhance student writing.

During the 2015-16 school year, teachers submitted students’ writing samples each month to Atoyan, who selected a few examples and honored the outstanding writers at an assembly.

Reviewing every Potrero Heights student’s writing required a lot of reading, but Atoyan said it’s very rewarding to see the growth and mastery students attain over time.

Potrero Heights Elementary also works hard to create a college-going culture so students know going to college is important, expected and possible.

“They know that everything they learn now is building a foundation for getting into and preparing for college,” Atoyan said.

The Educational Results Partnership is a national alliance of businesses and educators dedicated to improving educational productivity, and the CBEE comprises a group of California business leaders committed to improving public schools, closing the achievement gap and ensuring college readiness and success.

Potrero Heights previously made the Honor Roll in 2009 and 2010.

“The District is committed to providing all students with the highest quality education, and we are already seeing higher levels of student achievement throughout our classrooms,” Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “I look forward to seeing many more Montebello Unified schools being named Honor Roll recipients because of our hardworking teachers and students.”

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 9/19/16




Audience: Homepage

With overflowing backpacks filled with pencils, notebooks and binders, Montebello Unified, the third-largest district in Los Angeles County, kicked off another great school year on Aug. 18, welcoming back 53,000 students from transitional kindergarten to adult school.

With the passage of the $300 million Measure GS bond with a 77 percent approval rate, the District is planning facilities upgrades at all campuses to enhance libraries, computer and science labs, air conditioning units and much more. A majority of the funds will focus on technology upgrades, ensuring students know how to navigate the software and devices they will encounter in careers.

“We are dedicated in maintaining the high-quality classrooms and tools our teachers and staff deserve for all their hard work in preparing our students for their future,” Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “We are all very excited to witness the great accomplishments of our students, teachers and staff that will be coming our way soon. Good luck, everyone.”

In addition, football, soccer and track-and-field athletes look forward to competing on three recently completed fields at Bell Gardens High School, Montebello High School and Schurr High School, with all Montebello Unified students excited to represent their schools on home turf.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 9/19/16




Audience: Homepage

EAI-student.jpgRosario Meneses, a seventh-grader at Eastmont Intermediate School, was handed a huge $5,000 check at center court during halftime of a Los Angeles Sparks game on July 10 for winning the team’s 2016 #WeAreGirls essay writing contest.
 

 

 

 

This was the first year the LA Sparks held the #WeAreGirls essay writing contest, looking to empower young girls to write about their inspirations.

In her essay, Rosario shared that joining the school’s cheerleading squad encouraged her to be more outgoing to support her team. She also said being in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) college preparatory program helped her become more organized.

Rosario, who maintained a GPA above 3.5 last year, said she hopes to attend UCLA or Harvard University, keeping her grades up by always completing her homework before cheerleading practice.

“I think AVID is fun because it’s like a game and a challenge for me,” Rosario said. “My mom and teachers have shown me that going to college will help me get a better job, so I want to work as hard as I can now to get there some day.”

In the fall, she plans to start a community service club with her friends.

Rosario’s teacher, Monique Lopez, advised her to enter the contest because of how hard she works at school, cheerleading and helping her mother donate clothes and food to the poor.Lopez developed a close relationship with the Meneses family through teaching Rosario and her brother.

“They are truly a deserving family and I think this scholarship is the work of a higher power,” Lopez said. “I think her dad was looking out for her.”

Lopez drove Rosario and her family to the Staples Center on the night of the award ceremony and stood by while the seventh-grader received her award.

“I was almost in tears,” Lopez said. “I was so proud. I had never seen her smile so big. She really was the center of attention in this big stadium, which was almost full. I just thought to myself this is just the beginning for her because she’s going to go on to college.”

Eastmont Intermediate School principal Cecilia Ramirez believes that promoting opportunities for students to communicate through writing is integral to ensuring college and career readiness.

“We are so proud that Rosario took the initiative to submit her essay and that the Los Angeles Sparks recognized her great effort,” Ramirez said. “She has inspired our entire school community!”

Rosario plans to save most of the $5,000 for college but may use some before then for school supplies and books.

“The District cares deeply about seeing every student succeed and it’s wonderful to have organizations like the Los Angeles Sparks that take a special interest in supporting young girls,” Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “I join the entire Montebello Unified family in congratulating Rosario and her family on this achievement.”

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 8/31/16




Audience: Homepage

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Margie Torrez’s Culinary, Hospitality Opportunities Pathway (CHOP) students at Bell Gardens High School constructed a succulent garden as their social justice project after they attended the Rise Up for Humanity youth conference.

 

When Bell Gardens High School students returned to campus this month, they were greeted by a drought-tolerant garden and a video on Latino heritage meant to foster a more positive and tolerant outlook amongst students on campus.

Both are projects created by forty students who attended the first Rise Up for Humanity youth conference, held for 200 students to raise consciousness on societal issues and build a progressive youth network in Los Angeles County.

At the conference, students took part in various workshops that focused on topics related to homophobia, racism, media literacy, knowing your rights and more. Students also learned to change the narrative related to social justice issues through artistic tools such as video production, photography, song writing, poetry, writing, murals, gardening, cooking, yoga, meditation and theater.

The goal of the event, held in spring, was to inspire students to develop human relations projects through these various forms of art at their schools.

“It was a very inspiring experience,” said Margie Torrez, Bell Gardens High Culinary, Hospitality Opportunities Pathway (CHOP) teacher. “It made students and teachers more conscious of these social justice issues that are occurring in our society now.”

While students took part in their workshops, teachers networked with one another about methods to incorporate social justice-based student projects within their curriculum.

Upon returning to campus, Torrez brainstormed a social justice project to pursue with her students, deciding on a garden built with homemade cinderblocks to house succulents, a drought-tolerant plant.

“We wanted to beautify the campus and decided on a garden because the environmental pathway gardens on campus are hidden away, but this one is out in the open for everyone to see,” Torrez said.

Bell Gardens history teacher and boys soccer coach Miguel Ruiz attended the conference with five students – three from his Advanced Placement World History class and two from the soccer team.
“They’ve shown tremendous leadership skills and initiative in the classroom and on the field,” he said. “They decided to produce a video that brings awareness about being Latino and the issues they face that are affecting our community.”

Ruiz said the conference, with its clear and powerful message, exposed the students to something new.

“The conference opened up my eyes in appreciating the school I’m at,” said Anali Cabrera, a junior in Ruiz’s AP World History class. “I didn’t really appreciate Bell Gardens High as much as I do now, I’ve learned to appreciate where I come from and getting everything I can from my education.”

Montebello Unified Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said opportunities like the Rise Up for Humanity youth conference motivate students to take pride in their campus and make them excited to attend school.

“It’s important for students to understand social justice and how to advocate for themselves,” she said. “I am very proud of our teachers who have made this lesson a priority for their students. I look forward to seeing how these projects impact their fellow classmates.”


083016_MUSD_YOUTH2.png

Bell Gardens High junior Heidi Venegas talks about her Latino heritage pride in a video created by Miguel Ruiz’s students as a social justice project after attending the Rise Up for Humanity youth conference.

 

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 8/31/16




Audience: Homepage

Bell Gardens High School teacher Elizabeth Lowe has been named one of just five California winners of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Teacher Advocacy Award, an honor that recognizes exceptional AVID educators and comes with a $10,000 prize for expanding the program at her school.

Lowe was honored in front of 3,000 educators on July 12 at the Sacramento Summer Institute, where winners were celebrated for showing leadership in supporting AVID’s mission to help all students become ready for college. AVID is a nonprofit, college-readiness system that works to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges.

“To be recognized for this award, and stand alongside the most exceptional leaders of the AVID program, speaks to the work that we’ve done as a District in preparing students for college,” said Lowe, who teaches 11th- and 12-grade geoscience at BGHS. “It was very special to go to Sacramento and speak with people like former Sen. Gary K. Hart, who is one of the judges of this award and reminded us that aiding students is always the ultimate goal.”

Lowe coordinates the AVID program for Bell Gardens High, overseeing 650 students, seven teachers and all course sections that make up the curriculum. Many of her contributions happen behind the scenes as she supports the system’s educators and ensures there are no barriers when it comes to student success.

The Teacher Advocacy Award was established in 2013 by an anonymous donor who wanted to give back to educators in California, especially those who work with the AVID program. All recipients of the honor are nominated by colleagues and are given two years to use the funds for use in advancing their school’s AVID program.

Among Lowe’s early ideas for the money are new signs at the school promoting college and a mural to symbolize that Bell Gardens High is a burgeoning college-preparatory campus.

Lowe’s teaching and guidance practices have been recognized throughout the District, with Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith commending Lowe’s dedication to always helping students achieve their higher education goals.

“From classroom walk-throughs, teaching parents to understand transcripts and working with administrators on new advanced placement classes, Elizabeth has helped change the trajectory of BGHS and our District,” Contreras Smith said. “Her tireless work has helped build a strong college-readiness system which continues to impact the lives of our students within the AVID program and beyond.”

080816_MUSD_AVID.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bell Gardens High geoscience teacher Elizabeth Lowe, left, accepts her certificate for the Teacher Advocacy Award from AVID’s California Division Assistant Director Gail Shenkman at the Sacramento Summer Institute on July 12. Lowe is one of five California AVID educators awarded $10,000 for AVID implementation and growth at their schools.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 8/8/16




Audience: Homepage

The Montebello Unified School District hosted a series of workshops at Suva Intermediate School for parents to learn how to help their children prepare for college.

 

The Parent to Parent program is a 10-lesson curriculum based on the Padres Promotores de la Educacion program at Santa Ana College. Catered to Montebello Unified, the program teaches parents more about college and career options – and trains them to teach other parents in a way that’s conducive to building a network of knowledge.

 

Parents learn about school transitions, how to calculate their student’s GPA, high school graduation requirements, academic requirements to advance to University of California or California State University campuses, college options, financial literacy and how to support children attending college.

 

Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said it is particularly important for parents of elementary and middle school students to be exposed to these lessons early and often, so they can start coaching and planning before their children reach high school.

 

“We’re always working with the community to enhance resources, programs and services for all of our students and this is just another program in our tool box to make sure all students are prepared for higher education,” Contreras Smith said.

 

For information about future Parent to Parent workshops contact Alejandra Cortez, District Parental & Community Liaison, at 323-887-7900 ext. 7904 or Cortez_Alejandra@montebello.k12.ca.us.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 7/18/16




Audience: Homepage

The California Department of Education has named four Montebello Unified elementary schools Title I Academic Achieving Schools, a recognition of their success in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below poverty level.

 

Bell Gardens, Greenwood, Suva and Washington elementary schools received State Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s recognition during a regional ceremony held May 25. All four schools received Gold Ribbons from the state in April for model academic programs.

 

The winning schools use data to sculpt instruction to meet the varying needs of their students, including those who struggle with English language arts, math or who have had inconsistent schooling. Teachers collaborate to craft special methods, such as small-group and individualized instruction, to drive improvements in student performance. A discipline system that rewards positive behaviors helps to create a culture that supports learning.

 

Title I is a federal program that provides money to schools to help improve performance of disadvantaged students.

 

Statewide, 779 elementary schools received Gold Ribbons; 496 of those qualified for the Title I honor.

 

“I am so proud that our signature practices in math and English language arts instruction have led to improving student performance,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “What an honor the Montebello Unified School District has received with Title I recognition.”

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 7/11/16




Audience: Homepage

Panda Cares donated nearly 300 lunches for an end-of-school-year celebration attended by College Bound Today juniors in the Montebello Unified School District, as well as their adult mentors and parents, on June 11.


The 200 students who attended the event are mentored by College Bound Today, a nonprofit organization that coaches students on how to pursue college.


The Montebello Unified School District thanked Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of Panda Restaurant Group, for investing its resources in local schools.


College Bound Today was founded eight years ago in the Montebello Unified School District as a volunteer college access mentoring program that matches volunteer mentors who are college graduates from all over the Greater Los Angeles area with District high school students starting the 11th grade.


During each school year, 120 mentors work with students at their school sites on Saturday mornings on a monthly basis. Students visit area colleges, learn about financial aid, prepare for the SAT, become part of a college support group and learn how to prepare a strong college application.


Mentor Gia Pacheco nominated College Bound Today to receive these lunches through Panda Cares.


“College Bound Today helps the District in its mission to prepare all students for college and careers and it’s wonderful to have our local businesses supporting our mission,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said.


College Bound Today is currently recruiting 60 volunteer mentors. Please contact Stefania Nieto at nieto_stefania@montebello.k12.ca.us or call 323-887-7900 ext. 2435 for more information or to join.


Panda Cares donated nearly 300 lunches for an end-of-school-year celebration attended by 200 College Bound Today juniors in the Montebello Unified School District, as well as their adult mentors and parents, on June 11.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 7/8/16




Audience: Homepage

The Montebello Unified School District hosted its fifth annual Classified Employee Conference at Montebello Intermediate School on May 21 where classified employees learned how to elevate their potential, develop a healthy work-life balance and positively impact students.

 

The workshop topics at this year’s conference included: how passion drives professional growth, paths to a promotion, explaining payroll deductions and retirement benefits, technology innovation, healthy eating, retirement planning, workplace safety, the benefits of being a member of the California Schools Employees Association and how to use meditation, posture and laughter to relieve stress.

 

Montebello Unified’s Personnel Commission, led by Chairman Alberto Perez and Vice Chairman Charles E. Pell, and its staff are committed to providing district employees with the tools and assistance they need to develop a passion for their work.

 

“We put tremendous value on our classified employees and want to provide whatever guidance we can to help them advance in their careers and lead healthy lives,” Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 7/5/16




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More than 2,000 Montebello Unified students from Bell Gardens, Applied Technology Center (ATC), Montebello, Schurr and Vail high schools were honored as 2016 graduates on June 15 and 16 during commencement ceremonies that celebrated scholastic achievements of the past and exciting prospects for the future.

 

Schurr High School – 677 graduates

 

On June 15, the Spartans enjoyed commencement, highlighting a group of standouts that included valedictorian Gabriel Brossy de Dios, salutatorian Argenis Valdovinos and Principal’s Award winner Roberto Miranda. An exceptional budding writer, Miranda finished with a 4.4 GPA and is a national medalist of the Scholastic Writing Awards. He is the editor in chief of Schurr’s student publication and will be continuing his education at Harvard next fall.

 

De Dios was a speaker at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium, and in presenting to the crowd got a glimpse into his planned future career as a high school teacher. Finishing with a 4.42 GPA, de Dios was the second vice president of the California Scholarship Federation and will attend Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College. Valdovinos, a National Honor Society treasurer, hopes to be an actuary and will study math and science at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Montebello High School – 545 graduates

 

Salutatorian Kimberly Davila will be the first member of her family to attend college when she begins classes at Brown University, receiving the ultimate sendoff party along with her fellow Oilers on June 16 at Heaman Field. Davila has a 4.37 GPA and was recognized along with valedictorian Joseph Chavez who has a 4.41 and will also be an Ivy League student when he begins classes at Dartmouth.

 

Bell Gardens High School – 675 graduates

 

Valedictorian Erik Herrera addressed his fellow Lancers on June 16 at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium, earning his place at the podium thanks to a 4.37 GPA. More than just a scholar, Herrera was an avid member of the school’s marching and jazz bands and is now preparing to attend the California Institute of Technology where he will major in computational mathematics.

 

Salutatorian Alejandra Uribe graduated with a 4.33 GPA and a heart for engaging others as evidenced by her participation in Leo’s Club, which encourages youth to be more involved in social service activities, and the American Sign Language Club. She will attend UCLA to major in mathematics and will also be applying to the UCLA School of Engineering.

 

Applied Technology Center (ATC) – 126 graduates

 

The ATC Amphitheater was the site of the school’s festivities on June 16 when cheering family and friends gathered to watch the Iron Horses toss their tasseled caps. ATC trumpeted three of its top seniors all set to attend UCLA. Valedictorian Emanuil Parunakian is among them, boasting a 4.05 GPA while Anna Oganesian and Caroline Valadez each have 3.92 and will also join the college campus in Westwood.

 

Vail High School – 124 graduates

 

Vail High School Vikings marched into the Vail Amphitheater on June 15 to flip their tassels and collect their diplomas. ASB President Itais Cortez was named Vail’s top senior, graduating with a 3.0 GPA and set to attend East Los Angeles College to study psychology in the fall. ASB’s Vice President Natalie Vidal graduated with a 2.8 GPA and is headed to UEI College to study medical assisting.

 

“We are so proud to watch our students walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, marking the completion of one journey and the start of another,” Montebello Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “Our 2016 graduates are an exemplary group that is a tribute to their own hard work and ambition as well as the commitment and support of our teachers, parents, staff and community.”


Schurr High School’s 677 graduates took their first step toward college and careers at their commencement ceremony on June 15 at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 6/24/16




Audience: Homepage

Nearly 30 fifth-graders explored outer space, heart health, decomposition and the power of electricity during Montebello Unified’s second annual Science Fair – an event that combined science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and California Standards with fun.

 

The fair featured a competition among fifth-graders from 17 schools and an exhibition of projects by 24 students in grades six through 12. The top three fifth-grade projects received gold, silver and bronze medals.

 

“Yuck! What Happened to My Apple?” a project on decomposition submitted by fifth-grader Adrian Murguia of Montebello Gardens Elementary was among the creative entries to highlight student creativity and their knowledge of the world around them.

 

The project helped Murguia tie for third place with Rosewood Park student Kyra Yukihara Guerrero, whose project was titled “Testing Conductivity.”

 

A health-conscious Rebecca Fernandez of Wilcox Elementary asked “Does Caffeine Affect Heart Rate?” to tie for second place with “Electric Battle” by Thomas Morales and Henry Abrego of Greenwood Elementary.

 

First place went to Bell Gardens Elementary students Daniel Noriega, Xol De La Rosa, Dayana Cruz, Maya Alleyne and Kevin Nieves, who explored outer space to create “Amazing Gravity Proves 9th Planet.”

 

“This event highlights what is special about Montebello Unified,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “It shows what kind of kids we have and the great work they do in developing these creative projects.”

 


Montebello Unified’s Science Fair first-place medals went to Bell Gardens Elementary students, who explored outer space to create “Amazing Gravity Proves 9th Planet.”

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 6/23/16




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Nine students were recognized by the Montebello Unified School District Regional Occupational Program during a luncheon June 2 at the Montebello YMCA for their outstanding professionalism in a Districtwide competition.

 

Students received gold, silver and bronze medals based on how well they built a resume, completed an application and interviewed and presented a product to a panel of judges. These job skills are incorporated into the ROP curriculum for professional dance, financial services, health occupations, automotive technology, computer graphics, food service management and architecture, construction & engineering.

 

ROP teachers at the District’s high schools nominated students to compete in the finals of the 2015-16 ROP Outstanding Student Competition, showcasing their professionalism in a generic job interview and product presentation for a panel of judges in April.

 

Lizabeth Castillo, a senior at Montebello High School, took home a gold medal. Castillo said she was shy and not a very good public speaker until taking the ROP professional dance class.

 

“Dance is a very competitive industry so you have to present yourself well on- and off-stage,” she said.

 

The ROP professional dance class stands out from other dance classes offered at Montebello High School because students are able to perform off-campus. For Castillo that included dancing at East Los Angeles College and fundraisers.

 

Castillo plans to double major in dance and political science next year at California State University at Long Beach. She wants to attend law school and sees dancing after high school as a hobby.

 

This year’s gold medalists are Lizabeth Castillo and Elya Avalyan of Montebello High School and Brenda Estrada of Schurr High School. This year’s silver medalists are Karen Segura of the Applied Technology Center, Valerie Segura of Bell Gardens High and Priscilla Bueno of Montebello High. This year’s bronze medal recipients are Alberto Martinez and Edgar Ramos of Bell Gardens High and Alejandro Soto of Montebello High.

 

“I would like to thank our skilled ROP teachers for preparing an extraordinary group of students who were recognized at this year’s ROP Outstanding Student Competition,” Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “These students’ professionalism exemplifies the kind of career-readiness we’re instilling in our graduates.”

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 6/13/16




Audience: Homepage

More than six hundred Montebello Unified students – from transitional kindergarten to high school – joined together May 21 to celebrate the arts and showcase their artistic talents in front of an audience of parents, fellow students, community members and District officials.

 

The inaugural Visual and Performing Arts Festival, held in the Schurr High School, featured about 350 students in more than 30 performances of dance and musical renditions in the auditorium. The multipurpose room displayed nearly 350 original works of art – including paintings, photographs, sculptures, film presentations, among other media – from more than 300 students across the District.

 

“Whether it’s through performances, painting, photography or other media, art has its place in education – providing students an avenue to express themselves, build self-confidence and to learn about history and culture,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “On behalf of Montebello Unified, I want to thank our administrators, teachers and staff for their efforts in coordinating this first annual festival.”

 

The event’s program included words from Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith,  Schurr High School Principal Francisco Arregui, and Director of Pupil and Community Services Dan Garcia. The program’s keynote address came from award-winning actor Tony Plana. Schurr High Assistant Principal Dr. Phillip Nolasco served as master of ceremonies

 

“Thank you to the Division of Pupil and Community Services and the entire Schurr High leadership for helping us coordinate this inaugural event,” Garcia said. “This festival will no doubt be the start of a long-standing MUSD tradition.”

 

Attendees had the opportunity to vote on their favorite works of art in selected categories. Winning entries will be displayed at the Los Angeles County Fair this September.


More than six hundred Montebello Unified students – from transitional kindergarten to high school – joined together May 21 to celebrate the arts and showcase their artistic talents in front of an audience of parents, fellow students, community members and District officials.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 5/31/16




Audience: Homepage

State Sen. Ricardo Lara visited Bell Gardens Elementary School May 20 to talk to Leslie Hiatt’s fifth-grade class about state history, politics, and to remind them to remain dedicated to their dreams. Hiatt’s students also presented Sen. Lara with an award for supporting their classmates in passing AB146.

 

Hiatt’s fifth-graders in 2014-15 successfully teamed up with Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia and Sen. Lara to pass Assembly Bill 146, which requires state textbooks to include information about the deportation of Mexican-Americans during the Great Depression.

 

Current students invited Sen. Lara to accept the award bestowed by the Bell Gardens Elementary community and the District at a celebration held in December. They also discussed initiatives of his they are studying in class.

 

Multilingualism gives California an educational and economic edge, Sen. Lara told students during his visit. Employers across all sectors cite the need for those who can read, write and speak in more than one language, Lara said.

 

“With so many bilingual students, teachers, parents and community members within our District, we want to ensure that this skill is not only honored, but enhanced,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “Knowing another language, or many, is a gift that will help our students be better prepared for the society of tomorrow.”

 

Sen. Lara’s has authored the California Education for Global Economy initiative, which promotes multilingualism in California schools.


State Sen. Ricardo Lara visited Bell Gardens Elementary School May 20 to talk to Leslie Hiatt’s fifth-grade class about state history, politics and to remind them to remain dedicated to their dreams. Hiatt’s students also presented Sen. Lara with an award for supporting their classmates in passing AB146.

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 5/31/16




Audience: Homepage

Parents of high school students in the Montebello Unified School District learned tips on using computers, software and other digital tools to support their children’s academic pursuits on May 11 during the last event in this year’s popular Parent-Teacher Connection Workshop series.

                                                 

The series, which expanded to five workshops this year after launching with three in 2014-15, drew nearly 150 parents that were also held for elementary and middle school parents. The high school workshop took place at Bell Gardens High School.

 

MUSD teachers Gabriela Orozco, David Keys and Janice Shah created the high school program. Elementary school parents received kits that included building blocks to teach mathematics. The intermediate kit featured measuring tapes and elastic bands for exercises to determine proportions and percentages.

 

Parent involvement has a measurable impact on student academic performance as children generally achieve better grades, test scores and attendance, with more children completing homework assignments.

 

“Teaching becomes more effective when parents feel empowered with knowledge and validated as their child’s first teacher,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “The strategies we use and the procedures we have in place can all be passed on to our parents so they feel completely connected to their child’s learning environment.”

 

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 5/25/16




Audience: Homepage

Large numbers of empty milk cartons, plastic sandwich bags, and orange peels and apple cores filling trash bins to the brim are a thing of the past at Montebello Unified School District’s La Merced Intermediate School thanks to educators who were successful in teaching students about the benefits of recycling and living green.

 

La Merced was declared the winner of the sixth annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge run by Grades of Green, an environmental educational nonprofit that shows students how to recycle, reuse and reduce lunchtime waste. The school received a $1,000 grand prize Friday during Grades of Green’s Earth Day celebration at the school.

 

La Merced, which reduced trash by 75 percent, was the middle school winner out of 22 Los Angeles area elementary and middle schools during the year-long competition to reduce the most trash.

 

Through mentoring by Grades of Green staff, La Merced staff and students implemented a customized lunchtime waste reduction program that reduced trash to 10 bags daily, down from an average of 40 bags. The program includes recycling trays, composting of fruit and vegetable scraps, and reducing waste by bringing trash-free lunches when possible.

 

“La Merced is a shining example of what can be accomplished when students lead the way in creating environmental change in their school community, and we could not be prouder,” Grades of Green Programs Manager Allie Bussjaeger said.

 

Grades of Green provided La Merced with free educational assemblies, personalized eco-starter kits and waste reduction plans to guide students and staff through the competition. Schools then submit a final application at the end of the school year; the winning entry is based on actual trash reduction, sustainability, integration, and student leadership.

 

“It’s hard to believe what a small group of students accomplished,” said La Merced seventh grader and Green Trojans Club member Sophia Picon, noting that the trash-recycling group started with 15 to 20 students and grew to around 30. “I want to suggest that they use the money on the drought-tolerant garden we planted last fall.”

 

Picon writes for the school newspaper and plans to become a journalist someday.

 

Grades of Green hosted Friday’s celebration, which included congratulatory speeches by Cárdenas and school officials, entertainment and the grand prize presentation.

 

“It’s always exciting to see what’s happening in our schools, especially when it comes to seeing student leadership fixing a problem like reducing lunchtime waste,” MUSD Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “It’s important for us to show our students we support them in everything they’re doing – and what they’re doing now is going to make them future leaders in the community.”    

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Posted by: MUSD Webmaster
Published: 5/2/16