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.
La Mirada~Escalona Elementary will be hosting several events for Red Ribbon Week that allow parents, students, and staff members to "give back" to the community.
Each day, the school will have a dress-up day that corresponds and encourages ways for students and others to give back.
MONDAY: On the 26th, the school we will be hosting a blood drive in coordination with PIH Health from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Also, students are encouraged to wear red and a “Just Say No” assembly will be held in cooperation with La Mirada Public Safety.
TUESDAY: Students will be wearing red, white and blue and writing letters to soldiers.
WEDNESDAY: Crazy Hair Day. Several students are either donating hair previously cut or cutting their hair in front of the school. The hair is being donated to the "Wigs for Kids" organization.
THURSDAY: Crazy Sock Day. Students are bringing in a pair of new socks to donate to a local shelter.
Contact Renee Ivy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign-up to donate blood.
La Mirada~Often, being called into the principal’s office means you’re in trouble. However, Norwalk-La Mirada’s Dulles Elementary is turning that stigma around.
This month, first-grader Nicolas Diomedes said he enjoyed being called to the principal’s office to be highlighted as the Student of the Month.
The reward program, coupled with the Staff of the Month award, is part of Dulles’ Positive Behavior System to employ recognition to foster good student behavior and recognize the work of teachers and staff who have made a “Dulles Difference” by contributing to a supportive learning environment.
Norwalk~The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District is inviting students and parents to attend its annual District College Fair from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the John Glenn High School gymnasium.
NLMUSD Board President and Glenn alumni, Jesse Urquidi will kick off the event at a 5 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony, symbolically opening the door to an exciting future for all students.
The fair is open to the public and will feature more than 50 college representatives and several college workshops in both English and Spanish.
John Glenn High School is located at 13520 Shoemaker Avenue in Norwalk.
Follow-up: More than 4,000 students in Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District attended the District’s fourth annual College Expo on Oct. 21 at Glenn High School – nearly doubling last year’s attendance.
The Expo was part of an expanding stable of District programs aimed at boosting college- and career-readiness for students. Students and families met with more than 50 college and university representatives, attended workshops and learned about career pathways.
Interactive exhibits featured the District’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) and Project Lead The Way programs; a VIP reception was catered entirely by Norwalk High’s Culinary Arts students using a mobile kitchen designed and built by Norwalk High’s automotive class.
Louisville, Ky~ Students from technical education programs in area high schools and colleges won the nation's highest awards at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference here last week.
Industry leaders representing more than 600 businesses, corporations, trade associations and unions recognized the students for demonstrating excellence in 100 hands-on occupational and leadership competitions, such as robotics, criminal justice, aviation maintenance and public speaking. All competitions are designed, run and judged by industry using industry standards.
Top student winners received gold, silver and bronze medallions. Many also received prizes such as tools of their trade or scholarships to further their careers and education. The SkillsUSA Championships is for high-school and college-level students who are members of the 360,000-member SkillsUSA organization.
For La Mirada, Team MF (Vanessa Lechuga, Dalia Nute, Alyssa Perez), was awarded the High School Gold medal in Career Pathways - Human Services.
Norwalk/La Mirada~Nearly 1,500 graduates from the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Class of 2015 received diplomas as family members cheered their academic achievements during six commencement ceremonies held throughout the District this week.
Each ceremony featured student speakers who recounted the joys and struggles that constituted their scholastic journeys, and expressed appreciation to the friends, family and instructors who kept them focused on their studies and on the path to success.
Southeast Military Academy and Law Enforcement High held the first of the six commencement ceremonies on June 15, followed by John Glenn High that evening with 320 grads. On June 16, El Camino Continuation High celebrated its 91 grads and La Mirada High held a ceremony for its 510 grads. On June 17, Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School held commencement exercises for 54 grads followed by Norwalk High with 460 grads.
Norwalk~The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified Board of Education on May 18 appointed veteran educator Dr. Hasmik Danielian as the new district superintendent.
Known for her passion and commitment to academic excellence for all students, Danielian comes to the district after serving as Superintendent of Brawley Union High School District in Imperial County for the past four years. She will begin in her new post July 1.
"Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District has earned the much-deserved reputation for providing remarkable educational programs for all students in an exceptionally supportive community environment,” Danielian said. “It will be a privilege to serve as the Superintendent of NLMUSD with such an established culture and tradition of excellence."
Before serving at Brawley Union, Danielian was associate superintendent and assistant superintendent of secondary schools at Hacienda La Puente Unified, which experienced significant gains in student achievement at all secondary schools during her tenure.
She got her start in education at Glendale Unified, where for 17 years she served as a teacher, dean of students, high school assistant principal in charge of special education and state and federal categorical programs, and high school principal. During the period when she served as principal of Glendale Unified’s Toll Middle School, the campus was named a California Distinguished School, National Blue Ribbon School and Title I High Achieving School.