Los Angeles County honors local schools for academic achievements
INDUSTRY - A bad economy and budget constraints didn't stop local school officials from getting a pat on the back from the county for a job well done.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education recognized about two dozen schools from the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier area Friday at the Pacific Palms Resort with a noon lunch banquet.
The schools had been awarded recognition as California Distinguished Schools, Title I Academic Achievers and National Blue Ribbon Schools for their performances in the 2010-11 academic year.
"We're really pleased that L.A. County has provided the opportunity to allow us to celebrate success," said Donna Perez, superintendent for Alhambra Unified. "These schools worked very, very
Alhambra Unified's Repetto and William Northrup elementary schools received Title I Academic Achievement awards.
Blair High School from Pasadena Unified, South Pasadena Middle School from South Pasadena Unified and La Rosa Elementary from Temple City Unified were the other Pasadena-area schools also recognized for their achievements this past academic year.
The California Department of Education usually hosts the event annually but canceled this year because of budget constraints, said Rick de la Torre, county education office spokesman.
The county was able to gather some resources to hold the event after receiving numerous inquiries from local school districts, he said.
"I believe that even during difficult economic times we need to celebrate our successes," said Jon Gundry, Los Angeles County superintendent of schools. "It's something we can't discontinue."
Hollencrest Middle School Principal Hector Galicia said the West Covina Unified school succeeds by giving students two periods each of mathematics and language arts.
"Our school culture and climate is to look at the whole child," Galicia said. "The counseling department works intensively with (students)."
The other East San Gabriel Valley school recognized for their achievements this past academic year were Suzanne Middle from Walnut Valley Unified, Roynon Elementary from Bonita Unified, Workman Avenue Elementary from Covina-Valley Unified, Fairgrove Academy from Hacienda La Puente, Killian Elementary from Rowland Unified, Willow Elementary from Charter Oak and Merced, Orangewood and Vine elementary schools from West Covina Unified.
Rudy Gonzalez, principal of Morrison Elementary in the Norwalk La-Mirada Unified district, said Morrison was one of the few schools who received an academic achievement award three years in a row.
"It is a tremendous honor," he said.
Other Whittier-area schools recognized for their achievements this past academic year included Rivera Middle School from El Rancho Unified, Ceres Elementary from East Whittier City, and Jersey Avenue, Orr and Studebaker elementary schools from Little Lake City.
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**Shown: Killian Elementary Principal Jason Gass with Rowland Unified Superintendent Dr. Maria Ott