All five of the Whittier Union High School District’s comprehensive high schools on May 5 were named California Gold Ribbon Schools – the state’s highest award for academic excellence. Gold Ribbons were awarded to California, La Serna, Pioneer, Santa Fe and Whittier high schools; the latter three received an additional award for being Title I Academic Achieving Schools that demonstrate success in meeting the educational needs of all students.
Nearly 96 percent of the 2,812 seniors from the Whittier Union High School District’s five comprehensive high schools graduated last year, according to data released April 28 by the California Department of Education (CDE) for the 2013-14 academic year. Dropout rates among the schools fell to 2.7 percent.
Stunned, Aylin Arreola’s eyes filled with tears early April 15 as the Santa Fe High School senior was surprised with the news she had won a coveted $40,000 Southern California Edison scholarship that will make her dream of attending UC Santa Barbara a reality. Just 30 students were chosen from 2,768 applicants for the 2015 Southern California Edison Scholars program, which directs funds to first-generation college students with financial need who plan to major in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
A mock 9-1-1 broadcast blared through Santa Fe High School’s PA system during the late morning of April 1, alerting students that the “Every 15 Minutes” program had officially begun. The two-day program presents the devastating consequences of drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel by incorporating realistic scenarios, beginning with a simulated auto crash. Held in front of the school, the staged crash involved a Santa Fe High student “fatality” and an “injured” student who was transported via ambulance to a local hospital.
Santa Fe High School honored its best and brightest students during its Top 100 Recognition and Awards dinner held Feb. 5 in the Michael Mendez Gymnasium. Held annually, this year’s honorees included 17 freshmen, 22 sophomores, 30 juniors and 35 seniors, who received a medallion to mark their achievement. Additionally, 15 seniors received special recognition for making the Top 100 in each of their four years at Santa Fe.
The Whittier Union High School District is one of four school districts across the state selected to participate in a three-year case study administered by one of the world’s leading educational researchers and reform advocates who will observe the District’s successful use of collaboration to improve student achievement.
The number of students who are completing the courses necessary for entrance into four-year universities has nearly doubled since 2006, the highest rate in Whittier Union’s history.
The Santa Fe High School campus is one filled with spirit, tradition and Chieftain Pride – evident in the elaborate events, props and costuming that come to life year-round. Much of it is due to the efforts, sleepless nights and countless hours of planning by those behind the scenes: the Associated Student Body.
Ushering in the holidays with music ranging from uplifting classical works to fun Christmas favorites, the choirs of Whittier Union’s five comprehensive high schools celebrated the season during the District’s annual Choral Festival on Dec. 4. Choral ensembles from California, La Serna, Pioneer, Santa Fe and Whittier high schools performed their pieces and received critiques from this year’s adjudicator, Dr. Iris Levine, an award-winning composer and conductor and Cal Poly Pomona’s Music Department Chair.