A candidate’s forum ahead of next month’s Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Governing Board election took a contentious tone as candidates questioned the questions they were being asked by a controversial event moderator, which largely centered around topics of critical race theory, abortion, birth control and gender identity.
The forum with the eight candidates was hosted Sept. 15 by the La Mirada Chamber of Commerce and was broadcast live on La Mirada Blog TV. Those competing in the election are incumbents Norma Amezcua, Narcis Brasov, Rob Cancio and Jorge Tirado, as well as challengers Casey Chattle, Becky Langenwalter, Rudy Miranda and Lorena Vidaurre. (more)
The La Mirada Community Foundation is now accepting applications for its Scholarship program for high school seniors residing in La Mirada. Scholarships include the Bob Jenkins Community Service Scholarship and the Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship.
La Mirada residents will notice new street banners along Adelfa Drive in front of La Mirada High School. The new banners were created as part of a College Banner Program to honor La Mirada High School students who recently graduated and plan to continue their education at a college or university the following year. The banners feature a photo of the graduate, the graduate’s name, a noteworthy achievement, as well as the college or university they plan to attend. The class of 2018 is the first graduating class to participate in this new program.
The idea for the college banners was developed and proposed by the Youth in Government students at the February 27 City Council meeting. Through the Youth in Government program, La Mirada High School students have an opportunity to learn about local government and recommend programs to enhance the community.
The College Banner Program was approved by the City Council and implemented this year in collaboration with the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.
“We are extremely proud to highlight the achievements of our La Mirada High School graduates with this new College Banner Program,” says Assistant City Manager Anne Haraksin. “We hope these banners serve as an inspiration and encouragement for other high school students to pursue a college education or trade.”
Similar to the “Presidential Portraits” banners and the military banners, college banners are installed on light poles along Adelfa Drive between Foster Road and Alicante Road. The college banners will be replaced every year with new La Mirada High School graduates.
For additional information on the College Banner Program, call Community Services at (562) 943-7277.
The annual La Mirada Community Foundation is still accepting applications for their Scholarship Program from qualified high school seniors. The deadline to submit all required documents is Thursday, April 12, at 4:30 p.m. at La Mirada City Hall, located at 13700 La Mirada Boulevard.
Applications are available at La Mirada City Hall, the Resource Center, and local high schools. They are also available on the City’s website cityoflamirada.org.
The Foundation offers three scholarships: the Bob Jenkins Community Service Scholarship, the Ray Haugh Vocational Scholarship, and Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship.
The Bob Jenkins Scholarship is available to students who have provided significant community service, reside in La Mirada, and have applied to an accredited college. Applicants must complete an essay on the value of community service and their involvement in the community.
The Ray Haugh Vocational Scholarship is available to students who have provided community service and/or volunteered in La Mirada, reside in La Mirada, and are enrolled in a vocational training program or trade school.
The Southern California Edison STEM Scholarship is available to students who plan to major in Business, Computer and Information Systems, Engineering, Mathematics, Engineering Technology, Natural Resources and Conservation, and Physical Science. The STEM scholarship is available to students who reside in La Mirada and have applied to an accredited college.
Scholarship recipients are selected based on meeting academic requirements, the scope and duration of their community service, and their impact in the La Mirada community. For additional information, call (562) 943-0131.
Norwalk~Benton Middle School art teacher Jennifer Hodge has been recognized as Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year for inspiring her students to adopt a lifelong appreciation of the arts and apply their creative, critical thinking skills in other subject areas.
“It's such a privilege to work alongside students as they gain the confidence and skills to communicate an important message and use art as a creative tool for self-expression,” Hodge said. “It's a pleasure to work in a district that allows student choice in selecting electives and pathways that inspire them.”
Hodge started as a substitute teacher at Gardenhill Elementary School 16 years ago and transitioned into Benton’s visual and performing arts magnet as an art teacher in 2010.
She immediately noticed Norwalk-La Mirada Unified’s high value on teacher input and collaboration, and various professional development opportunities. Hodge also takes part in the annual Caring Beyond the Classroom event, when teachers provide school supplies to students at the beginning of each year.
“It's an incredible honor to represent the hard-working and highly qualified teachers of Norwalk-La Mirada Unified,” Hodge said. “I look forward to spreading awareness about the great things our teachers do to help students be the best versions of themselves at school and at home.”
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified recognizes outstanding teachers, staff and administrators at each school during its annual Stars Award Night April 6. District-level recognitions went to:
• Chris Moton, Student & Family Services: District Administrator of the Year
• Michael Gotto, Benton Middle School: School Site Administrator of the Year
• Darlene Reyes, Educational Services: Classified Manager/Confidential Employee of the Year
• Heather Yeager, Hutchinson Middle School: Classified Employee of the Year
“Jennifer is an example of the high-quality teachers we have throughout our schools who inspire our students to pursue their dreams,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Congratulations to all of our teachers, staff and administrators who were recognized for their hard work.”
Earlier this month, under a rainbow of blue, white and yellow balloons, 16 La Mirada High School student-athletes signed their letters of intent on National Signing Day Feb. 1, making official the colleges and universities they will attend in the fall on full athletic scholarships.
As their friends, family and fellow students cheered them on, 10 members of the 2016 CIF State Champion football team, and six members of the 2016 State Champion girls soccer team declared their intention to continue their athletic careers at schools that stretch from the Ivy League to Hawaii.
“There is a lot of Matadore pride today,” LMHS Principal Lisa Reed said. “This is a real testament to all the hard work and dedication of our students, who not only excel on the field, but also in the classroom. Our teachers and coaches work together to instill a student-first culture that starts on the first day of school and continues until graduation day. Congratulations to our amazing kids!”
Dulles Elementary students held two performances of the musical “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Jr.” at Benton Middle School on Jan. 27 and 28.
Adorned by top hats, green wigs and golden tickets, Dulles Elementary School students heralded the arrival of the “Candy Man” and brought to life the timeless characters of Charlie Bucket and the Oompa-Loompas during two performances of the musical “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Jr.” held recently at Benton Middle School.
The two-act musical, adapted from Dahl’s beloved children’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder, highlighted the talents of 60 Dulles Elementary K-5 students and incorporated musical numbers, choreography, elaborate set changes and star turns for its featured players.
“This is a very exciting night for the Norwalk-La Mirada community,” Dulles Principal Shanti Gallegos said. “This is an opportunity for all Dulles Dolphins to participate in a musical and it has been an extraordinary learning experience for our students as they develop skills in leadership and the arts. This was a total community effort, and I would like to thank the District, the Dulles school staff and PTA, the Center Stage Theater and all of our Dulles families for their hard work and dedication.”
“Willy Wonka, Jr.” is Dulles’ inaugural music production, designed to give all students, from kindergarten to fifth-grade, an opportunity to enhance their appreciation of art, as part of Dulles’ science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) curriculum.
“The musical production of ‘Willy Wonka’ perfectly encapsulates all of the positive qualities of the Norwalk-La Mirada educational experience, providing a rich cultural climate for our students to excel in, while engaging parent and community participation,” NLMUSD Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Congratulations to Shanti Gallegos, the Dulles PTA and our budding thespians for putting together such a wonderful show.”
TOP: La Mirada High School horn players Yasmin Lozano (left) and Aaron Muzzicato (right) were selected to perform in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band on Jan. 2.
BOTTOM: La Mirada High School students, from left to right, Cristina Navarrette, Catrina Calvillo, Clarisa Soto and Carina Calvillo were selected as color guard performers.
Eight high school students from the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, including six from La Mirada High School, have been selected to perform in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade Honor Band.
The students were selected from a pool of about 500 musicians throughout Southern California and will join more than 100 Honor Band members consisting of instrumentalists, a flag pageantry and the Pasadena City College’s Lancer Marching Band.
The NLMUSD students practiced their routines throughout the year, while continuing their music instruction and performing in their high school bands and other music programs.
“It’s such an honor for our students to be chosen because it was a rigorous audition process,” said Fabio Kayama, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified visual and performing arts teacher on special assignment. “Our students get to perform with top musicians from across Southern California and showcase their talents.”
This year, the student musicians chosen from the District are:
• John Glenn High: Mya Sanchez, senior, euphonium; Giovanni Gallegos, senior, trombone;
• La Mirada High: Yasmin Lozano, junior, clarinet; Aaron Muzzicato, senior, alto saxophone; Carina Calvillo, senior, pageantry; Catrina Calvillo, senior, pageantry; Cristina Navarrette, senior, pageantry; Clarissa Soto, freshman, pageantry
La Mirada High School Director of Music Geena Biondi held clinics and workshops to prepare her students for the auditions. Biondi, a Pasadena City College alumni, performed in the Tournament of Roses Parade as a member of the Lancer Marching Band as a junior and senior in high school.
“These students are ones that are leaders in the classroom and very disciplined,” Biondi said. “Their willingness to rehearse during the break shows their desire to grow into better musicians.”
The students began practicing for the Rose Parade the second weekend of November, and will continue to rehearse every weekend in December and through most of winter break. They will march over 50 miles in preparation for the six-mile parade down Colorado Boulevard.
“The Tournament of Roses Honor Band prides itself in playing the entire route of the parade,” John Glenn High School Band Director Frank Hinojoz said. “I’m very proud to have two members from our school in the ensemble.”
The NLMUSD students will also perform with the Honor Band at Disneyland on Dec. 28 and for Bandfest at Pasadena City College on Dec. 30 and 31.
“I’m so proud that our students are being recognized as some of the best musicians in Southern California,” Superintendent Hasmik Danielian said. “These are exemplary students who not only shine in their academics, but who now have the opportunity to demonstrate their passion and talent on a national scale.”
The 128th Tournament of Roses Parade will kick off at 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2.
|Some of the 552 ex-students of La Mirada High School anxiously wait in line to receive their diplomas from district officials at the school's 55th commencement ceremony Friday at Goodman Stadium. Photo (c) 2016 La Mirada Blog, Alondra Urizar |
La Mirada~Once the gates to La Mirada High School's Goodman Stadium opened at 5 p.m., friends and family packed the bleachers to the brim to attend the 55th annual commencement ceremony.
The lines to enter both gates extended around the corner onto Foster Road until most were settled in after the beginning of the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Traffic was also affected in the surrounding communities with heavier traffic in both La Mirada and Norwalk.
The graduating class of 552 seniors were introduced by the high school's graduation band before 2015-2016 class president, Nestor Guerrero, opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. The valedictorian, Lawrence Koh, received the National AP Scholar award and gave his address after the national anthem sung by the La Mirada Chamber Choir.
After the jazz ensemble played "One Love" by Bob Marley, Princeton-bound salutatorian Vittorio Reynoso-Avila, gave his address.
“The best grad speech I've heard in a long time,” said head basketball coach and teacher at La Mirada Bryce Jones via his Twitter account.
The ceremony finished at approximately 8:30 p.m. where graduates walked away from the stadium and met overjoyed families and friends outside.
La Mirada~30 Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District middle school students will showcase their musical talents at 10 a.m. and noon Tuesday, April 19 when they perform with the La Mirada Symphony at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
The annual music program highlights the District’s stellar visual and performing arts program. Two NLMUSD music teachers – Vanessa Trevino and David Yamamoto – will serve as guest conductors. The 1,000-student audience will include advanced band, orchestra and guitar students from District middle schools and the entire fifth-grade class.
The District offers every NLMUSD student the opportunity to take a music class upon entering sixth-grade. These performances with the La Mirada Symphony will allow potential VAPA students to experience the benefits of the program and inspire them to take advantage of the education opportunity.
In other Symphony news, their upcoming American Masters POP concert this Saturday night will feature revered works from George Gershwin, Morton Gould, and Leroy Anderson. They're also thrilled to premiere two new pieces from modern composers, Chris Anderson and Cody Gil.
For tickets to Saturday's performance and more information visit the Symphony's website here.
La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada.