News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

CHALK TALK – November 14, 2012

John Kovac

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El Monte High School Art Instructor Scores a Hole in One

By Anne Donofrio-Holter

El Monte High School art department chair John Kovac recently scored a hole in one while playing a round of golf with the Alhambra Men’s Club.

“I’ve been playing golf for two years now and am a student of Peter Kenny, PGA golf pro at the Alhambra Golf Course,” said Kovac, whose foursome included Gordon Johnson, Gabe Gonzales and Pancho Jimenez.  “The ace occurred on the par three eighth hole.”

To celebrate his achievement, Twohey’s restaurant owners hosted an open fountain later that day.

El Monte Union High School District Schools Increase API Scores

By Anne Donofrio-Holter

Results issued recently by the California Department of Education show five El Monte Union High School District schools each raising its API (Academic Performance Index) scores over last year.

“With regards to school growth in API scores since 2005, our five comprehensive high schools are in the top seven of the 72 for growth over that period of time,” said Nick Salerno, superintendent.  “I believe that is something to celebrate.”

The API is an annual measure of test score performance of schools and districts conducted by the California Department of Education.  It is calculated each year from the results of the STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) test students take each spring and the CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam).

High school students were tested in several areas including English and language arts, algebra, geometry and science.  A score on a scale between 200 and 1,000 indicates how well students are performing.  According to the California Department of Education, a score of at least 800 is the goal.

In points gained, Rosemead High School led the district raising its score from 775 last year to 796 in 2012.  El Monte High School raised its score from 704 to 722.  South El Monte High School had a six point gain over last year, raising its score to 748.  Mountain View High School was next raising its score by five points to 690.  Arroyo High School was up one point over last year to 793.

“Our staff and our students have worked extremely hard to improve academic achievement,” said Salerno.  “This hard work has paid off in significant growth in recent years.”

El Monte High Choir Performs National Anthem at Chivas USA Game

By Anne Donofrio-Holter

 The El Monte High School Acappella Choir was invited to perform the national anthem prior to the start of the Chivas USA vs. San Jose Earthquakes soccer game.

“This is the third time we’ve performed the national anthem at a Chivas game at the Home Depot Center,” said choir director Joel Whisler.  “I believe someone from the Chivas staff found our choir on YouTube and that’s how we got started performing at the games.”

According to Whisler, the performance went very well and the crowd seemed to respond well to the students.

“Out of the 29 members of the choir, 24 are new to the group this year so I was very proud that we were able to do something like this so early in the school year,” said Whisler.

Whisler said the “students found it very exciting to perform in front of the crowd, to see themselves on the big screen and to hear their voices echoing through the large stadium.”

“We are all very grateful to the Chivas USA organization for giving us such a great opportunity to showcase El Monte High School,” said Whistler.

Arroyo High School Students Selected for Honor Choir

By Anne Donofrio-Holter

Congratulations to Arroyo High School students Christina Nguyen, Raul Del Cid, Benjamin Mercado, Aaron Ngo, Elizabeth Luna, Sabrina Meza and David Nguyen who were accepted into the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA) honor choirs.  Over 600 students auditioned with 240 ultimately selected.

According to the SCVA, “students who have participated in SCVA honor choirs in the past have regularly cited the experience of singing in our honor choirs as musically highly satisfying, deeply inspiring, and even life-changing.  Participants will have the unique opportunity of working with some of the most distinguished conductors in our field, and preparing a concert with the most accomplished choral students from Southern California.”

According to principal Oscar Cisneros, Arroyo High School has a record number of students participating this year.  The performance takes place November 17 at Santa Monica High School.


11/21: Student/Teacher Free Day

11/22-23: Thanksgiving Holiday

12/05: Board Meeting/6 pm

12/21: Student/Teacher Free Day

12/24-01/04: Winter Break

01/07: School Resumes

District Office and All School Sites Will Be Closed Monday-Friday, 12/31/12  – 01/04/13

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
CHALK TALK – November 14, 2012