Chalk Talk

by Anne Donofrio-Holter
January 15, 2014 • 305 views

El Monte Union High School District
Every Student, Every Minute, Every Day

EMUHSD Pajama Drive Benefits Those Less Fortunate

by Anne Donofrio-Holter

pj drive

Once again, El Monte Union High School District staff showed their generosity to others as staff, board members and consultants contributed 42 pair of pajamas in every size and color to be donated to the needy this holiday season. Spearheaded by the District’s grant writer Martha Schirn, at the conclusion of the clothing drive just prior to Christmas, the pajamas were delivered to Lillian Rey of the El Monte/South El Monte Emergency Resources Association to be distributed to the homeless. According to Schirn, for the past several years as the holiday season approaches, school district personnel have helped needy families in the community.
“Our thanks to everyone who gave so generously,” said Schirn. “I am extremely proud of our staffs at each school site, our students and district personnel, who give repeatedly to help those less fortunate in our community in 2013,” said Nick Salerno, superintendent.  “The Christmas pajama donation event has now become a tradition that helps many children and families in our community.”

South El Monte High School Awarded

Chevron Robotics Grant

by Anne Donofrio-Holter

South El Monte High School has been awarded a $1,250 Chevron grant for a VEX robotics kit which students will build for the next VEX robotics competition. “When we learned of the grant, it was too late for us to build a robot for the high school world championships, however, it enabled us to attend the competition and hopefully all that we learned will be put towards the building of a robot for the next one,” said South El Monte High School teacher Javier Solorzano.  “This will allow us time to learn all the necessary skills to build a competitive robot and allow us time to do fundraising for any expenses the grant may not cover.”Chevron Vex web
The VEX Robotics World Championship “is a gathering of top robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with and against the best of the best.”  The competition provides students with opportunities to design and build robots using the skills that they have learned in class and to compete at local, state, national and international competitions.
According to Solorzano, in preparation of the next competition, students will apply math concepts and engineering principles to develop their design, apply computer design skills, especially scale and dimensioning, build models, modify designs to meet the required criteria, evaluate and redesign to improve outcomes and participate in various competitions. Solorzano will evaluate student learning through pre and post quizzes and record levels of participation, responsibility and interaction during group work as well as measure success in critical thinking, thoroughness and creativity in VEX robotic endeavors.
“Thanks to Chevron, this grant helps fund the first VEX robotics team in the history of South El Monte High School,” he said.  “I’m confident that our team will be successful and will learn many skills such as teamwork, good communication and hard work.”
“We are very grateful to Chevron for giving our South El Monte High School students this wonderful learning opportunity,” said El Monte Union High School District Superintendent Nick Salerno.  “The students are excited about the project and look forward to its outcome.”

South El Monte High School Band

Fares Well at Band Review

by Anne Donofrio-Holter

SEM BandThe South El Monte High School band did itself proud at the recent Loara High School Band Review, capturing first place in the 3A division.  A band review is a competition where up to 40 bands compete against each other, this one, hosted by Loara High School in Anaheim.
According to South El Monte High School Band Director Raul Guerrero, all competing bands, color guards and drill teams are broken up into divisions based on where each group is expected to rank.  1A is the lowest division and 6A, the highest.
“Our band also beat schools in higher divisions and two of the schools in the 6A division,” said Guerrero.  “The band also earned the seventh highest score overall of the 40 bands competing from Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.”
The band’s score at Loara of 91.9 also marked the highest score by a South El Monte High School band in the school’s history.
“We also easily beat our District competition,” added Guerrero.  “Mountain View, El Monte and Arroyo High Schools.”
Many of the higher division ranked bands tend to have large numbers of participants, as many as 80 to 100, or more.
“South El Monte’s high score and placement of seventh overall is very impressive because we only marched a band block of 22 musicians,” said Guerrero.  “We are currently marching the smallest parade block in Southern California and are still able to compete at a high level.”
The school’s drill team won sweepstakes (best overall) for the fourth year in a row in the 3A division with color guard coming in fourth.  Drum major Alicia Delgado took fifth place overall.
The band has since reached a new high, 92.15, after competing at the Chino Invitational Band Review.
“We are very proud of our band students on reaching this new level and all our students in the band program that continue to be a source of pride for our school,” said Principal Oscar Cisneros.

Arroyo, Rosemead

Graduates Honored by

Pasadena City College

by Anne Donofrio-Holter


El Monte Union High School District graduates Huong Dang (Arroyo HS), Vivian Lo (Rosemead HS) and Olivia Tieu (Rosemead HS) have received “Honors at Entrance” recognitions from Pasadena City College.
The Pasadena City College Parent, Teacher and Student Association (PTSA), along with the Pasadena City College Scholarship Fund Association, sponsor the Honors at Entrance program to acknowledge the academic excellence of incoming freshman that are 2013 high school graduates.
To be considered for this honor, students must have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better in grades 10 through twelve, must be first time students entering Pasadena City College from a high school within the United States and must enroll in 12 or more units for the fall 2013 term.
Recipients were honored at a special ceremony where they received a $500 scholarship and will have the designation of Honors at Entrance posted to his or her permanent academic record.  Each recipient also qualifies for membership in Alpha Gamma Sigma, a community college honor society.
The Pasadena City College PTSA is one of only two PTSAs based on a community college campus and has been serving PCC students, faculty and staff since 1941.
“We are very proud of our graduates and wish them continued success as they pursue future goals,” said El Monte Union High School District Superintendent Nick Salerno.

                Calendar

1/20 – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
1/22-24 – Final Exams
1/27 – Student/Teacher Free Day
1/28 – Second Semester Begins
2/05 – Board of Trustees Meeting/6pm
2/10 – Lincoln’s Day Holiday
2/17 – President’s Day Holiday

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