The news that police arrested a predator who had approached two of our Sierra Vista freshman students serves as a stark reminder that all students - at any age, in every community - need to be wary of people they don't know. Each day we work to prepare our students for life beyond high school by teaching them critical thinking and decision making along with subject-based instruction. But with this incident, we are also reminded that life skills include the consistent reminders that we need to be cautious and aware of those around us. We are all fortunate to live in a safe community; but this happens in all communities, so we all need to be mindful.
-- Sandra Thorstenson, Superintendent
Whittier Union provides a rare example of a collaborative culture that successfully boosts student achievement and teacher development, according to international education expert Michael Fullan, who on Feb. 3 visited the site as part of case study on high-achieving school districts.
California High School student leader Sophia Aldecoa is a homecoming princess who dreams of one day becoming a brain surgeon. But fulfilling these lifelong goals has not come easy for the 18-year-old, who once grappled with a low self-esteem that stemmed from growing up in a difficult home. Still, the shy youngster never wavered from the high expectations she set for herself, persevering personally and academically while at Cal High, where she has been named a Top 100 Student for four consecutive years. Aldecoa was recently recognized with an Award of Merit by the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees.
With the valuable input of stakeholders from the Whittier Union community, the District has begun the process of updating its Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), a three-year guide required under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) that provides districts with flexibility on how to best address the needs of students. Community meetings will be held on March 2 and April 14.
To further strengthen community outreach and communication efforts among the school district community, the Whittier Union High School District has launched its official Facebook page, where it will distribute up-to-date news and information about its schools, activities and District initiatives.
Daisy Nahoul has faced significant hardships in her 18 years, including living out of a car as her family coped with financial difficulties. However, instead of letting her situation determine her future, the Santa Fe High School senior saw it as a challenge – one that would push her to unprecedented academic heights at the top of her class. She has been awarded a $70,000-a-year QuestBridge Scholarship to the University of Chicago. She will be the first in her family to go to college.