Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter recently returned to his old stomping grounds to be inducted into the Whittier High School Alumni Hall of Fame on April 17. Lasseter, who graduated in 1975, was among five alums to receive the honor during the Whittier High School Alumni Association and Educational Foundation’s 17th annual Hall of Fame dinner held in the school’s library. Additionally, $13,000 in scholarships were awarded to 12 seniors.
It takes some professional ballerinas a lifetime to gain recognition for their technical wizardry and skill, artistic musicality and grace, and unrivaled passion for their dance. For Whittier High School student Madeline Czekaj, it has taken just one year. In January, Czekaj, 15, competed against more than 180 dancers to tie third place in the San Diego Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) classical senior division, qualifying her for the YAGP finals in New York City April 22-29 and the opportunity to win a scholarship to one of the world’s 30 leading dance academies.
To drive home the perils of operating a car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving while distracted, Pioneer High School hosted an “Every 15 Minutes” program that featured a simulated car crash, rescue efforts and the dramatized deaths of students, as well as a vigil and mock funeral for family and friends.
Santa Fe and Pioneer high schools are among 24 schools in California to earn the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Schoolwide Site of Distinction award, a new honor given to a select few AVID schools for their extensive commitment to providing students with college preparation resources.
Whittier High School Principal Lori Eshilian, who has helmed the Cardinal campus for almost eight years, and Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Rich Russell, who has been with the District for 22 years, will retire from their posts in June.
Although Lisbeth Lozano enrolled at Frontier High School as a second-semester sophomore with zero credits, her desire to graduate early was anything but hindered. She received an Award of Merit for her devotion to rising above unprecedented challenges.
Pioneer High School senior Gilbert Sandoval is now among a select few to receive a nomination letter from U.S. Rep. Linda Sánchez to attend the U.S. Naval Academy – an extraordinary honor given to just a handful of local students every year.