Superintendent’s Message Thank You and Farewell It has been said, “Everything has a beginning and an end.” As you are aware, I will be retiring from Bonita Unified School District on June 30th. I am truly humbled to have had the opportunity to serve the students, staff, and parents within the Bonita Unified School District community. To all of the wonderful School Board members, teachers, administrators, support staff, students, parents, and community members whom I have had the opportunity to work with over the past 8-1/2 years…THANK YOU! I leave Bonita Unified School District with great confidence in the people here and know that together you will continue the path from “good” to “great” to “exemplary.” I wish all of you every success for the future. With warm regards, Gary Rapkin, PhD Superintendent Kurt Madden Named New Bonita Unified Superintendent of Schools The Bonita Unified School District Board of Education concluded their yearlong search for a new Superintendent of Schools by signing a contract with Mr. Kurt Madden at the May Board meeting. Madden will take his post July 1, 2015, succeeding Dr. Gary Rapkin who announced his retirement at the beginning of the school year. Madden has served as Superintendent of the Bear Valley Unified School District since 2011. Prior to that, he has served as a middle school and high school principal, high school assistant principal, science teacher, and physical education teacher. “In our interviews, Mr. Madden demonstrated his skills with communication, his passion for team building, and his ability to set a vision,” Board President Diane Koach said. “He is in tune with what we were looking for.” “I am intrigued by the eight areas of focus the Board has set—they have done a great job setting a framework for success,” Madden said. “My first objective is to reach out and develop relationships within the District and the community in order to formulate trust with the stakeholders so that we can multiply the collective genius within the community and together build on the great works this District has already accomplished.” “Kurt shares with the school board and the community, a vision that the Bonita Unified School District is an exceptional educational organization striving to provide the best available learning opportunities for all our students,” Board member Chuck Coyne said. “He will be an inspirational and invaluable member of the BUSD leadership team as the District faces challenges as well as exciting opportunities in the coming years.” Board member James Elliot said, “In our view, Kurt Madden brings to Bonita Unified that special combination of skills and personality traits that are essential for our success. The relationships and partnerships that have been so carefully crafted and built over the years throughout Bonita Unified, are very precious to us and our District family. From the classroom to our principal corps, to the District Office, to the communities we serve locally, regionally, and at the state level, we believe that Kurt is the right person to lead us into the future.” Board member Patti Latourelle said, “I have found Kurt to be thoughtful and very knowledgeable. He exhibits the knowledge base that is critical for a Superintendent. He also has the personality traits that we were looking for.” Outside of his professional endeavors, Madden is a triathlete. Despite temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's at the Ironman Triathlon in Houston in May, Madden finished 397th out of 2,800 competitors, first in his age group, which is considered an Ironman North American Age Group Champion. His success in that race qualifies him for the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii in October. Madden and his wife Kelly currently live in Big Bear, but are “ecstatic to relocate into the Bonita Unified Community. As a former middle school principal, Kelly is thrilled about supporting the schools and the community in any way she can,” Madden said. Together, the Maddens are advocates for art, athletics, and community connections. Kurt Madden was selected to be Bonita Unified School District’s next Superintendent of Schools. Christopher Regan Selected as new Lone Hill Principal Lone Hill Middle School will start the 2015-2016 school year with a new principal. As Sean Grycel takes a new role at Kranz Intermediate School in the Mountain View School District, Christopher Regan joins the Bonita Unified family. Regan is currently an Assistant Principal at Malibu High School. “I applied for the position because I was looking for a school and district that has high expectations for their students, a dedicated staff and a collaborative environment,” Regan said. “I like the sense of family that I have found in the District and community as a whole. In my first year, I plan to focus on getting to know the school, teachers, staff, parents and students. I want to start to build relationships of trust and caring so that the school community can work together to be a great place for everyone.” Regan began his career as a Spanish teacher at Calabasas High School and more recently has been serving as an Assistant Principal in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District, at Malibu High School, and John Adams Middle School. Regan holds two masters degrees, one in Education and the other in Educational Leadership. Current Principal Sean Grycel has taken a position in the Mountain View School District. “I have thoroughly enjoyed being principal of Lone Hill for the past two years, and being a part of the Bonita Unified School District for the past eight years,” Grycel said. “I am excited to now be taking on a new challenge as principal of Kranz Intermediate School.” Christopher Regan was selected to be the next Principal of Lone Hill Middle School. Employees of the Year and Retirees of BUSD Honored at May 19 Reception Bonita Unified School District honored a host of retirees and three District Employees of the Year at a reception on May 19, 2015, at the Meeting House at Hillcrest. Nominating committees sited the following achievements in their selection of the District Employees of the Year: Certificated Employee of the Year: Kelly Leyva In her tenure as Lone Hill Middle School’s band teacher, Kelly Leyva has transformed the band program from two partially-filled classes to four stage-filling bands. Students under her tutelage progress from beginning, to intermediate, to advanced, to jazz bands. Leyva has led her student groups to victory in several band competitions this year. Both the Advanced Band and the Jazz Band received a Gold Rating at the San Francisco Heritage Festival in April. Jazz Band took first place in their division at the Western States Jazz Festival in February and third place in the Riverside Community College jazz band competition in May. Classified Employee of the Year: Debbie Mc Garry Debbie Mc Garry is an office clerk at Oak Mesa Elementary School, but her service to the school and the community goes far beyond the title. She is caring and thoughtful as she interacts with students. She puts her training as a Registered Nurse to practice by assisting the health office and plays a big role in monitoring the budget as she orders supplies and administrates the details of field trips. She is also the treasurer of the St. Vincent de Paul in the Holy Name of Mary conference, which allows her to meet with families in need to assist with emergency financial issues. Management Employee of the Year: Dr. Gary Rapkin Gary Rapkin joined Bonita Unified in 2006 as Superintendent of Schools. With a focus on high achievement in a culture of mutual respect, Dr. Rapkin has led this District to increases in student achievement and national, state, and regional recognition. “We have gone from a District focus to a school focus during his tenure,” one nominating employee wrote. “Gary’s focus is the student; he brings us back to this in meetings and in all of his speeches.” The following individuals are retiring from service at Bonita Unified School District. The District wishes each one well as they go. Certificated Retirees (Teachers) Harriet Arreguin Janice Cromer Kathleen Curtis Cynthia Davis Brian Elliott Keith Ensman Caryl Fitzgerald Elaine Henspeter Linda Horoshak Christine Johnson Joann Label Julie Lizcano Peggy McBeath Michael Morgan Jan Reck Ron Sintek Dennis Tannen Naomi Tozier Classified Retirees (Administrative & Support Staff) Anita Avila Rosemary Coronado Julie Courtice Carole Gilbert-Jones Roseann Gracza Irene Jaime Eileen Johnson Ralph Jorquez Daryl Matson Kassandra Quick-Vana Management Retirees Tom Davis Shelley Eishtadt Bob Ketterling Barbara Litwin Dr. Gary Rapkin Student Art Competition Winners Announced CONGRESSIONAL ART CONTEST WINNERS Students from Bonita, San Dimas and Chaparral High Schools participated in the 32nd Congressional District Art Competition. Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano sponsored the event, which included 305 entries from high schools throughout the Congressional District. Five BUSD students placed in the competition: Top 3 Finalist: Dayna Murri, “Daffodils,” grade 12, Bonita High Judges Choice Award: Thomas Beach Tucker, “The Land Forgotten,” grade 12, Bonita High Judges Choice Award: Lilianna Fournier, “Cactus Flowers,” grade 12, Bonita High Honorable Mention: Dallas Bagshaw, “The Misty Meadow Music Maker,” grade12, Bonita Dimas High WESTERN ART SHOW RESULTS Students from Bonita, San Dimas and Chaparral High Schools took part in the Western Art Competition sponsored by the San Dimas Festival of Arts. Interpreting their views of “California Images and History,” the students created original paintings and ceramic pieces. Board of Education President Diane Koach coordinated the student program for the competition. Best of Show Artist Devin McGilvra, “California Gridlock,” grade 12, Bonita High School Most Promising Artist Lindsey Hughes, “Trail of Tears,” grade 12, San Dimas High School Division 1: Two Dimensional First: Thomas Beach Tucker, “The Land Forgotten,” grade 12, Bonita High Second: Bryn Riihimaki, “#1 With Animal Style Fries,” grade 12, Bonita High Third: Dayna Murri, “Daffodils,” grade 12, Bonita High Honorable Mention: Dallas Bagshaw, “The Lily Garden,” grade12, Bonita High Honorable Mention: MacKenzie Reyes, “California Symbols,” grade 12, Bonita High Honorable Mention: Kathleen Geiger, “The Sweet Life,” grade 12, Bonita High Honorable Mention: Rebecca Harding, “Cruising on PCH,” grade 12, Bonita High Division 2: Three Dimensional First: Victoria Cirrito, “Sky Full of Stars,” grade 11, San Dimas High Second: Sarah Calderon, “The Hawk,” grade 9, San Dimas High Third: Natalie Carter, “The Golden State,” grade 11, Bonita High Honorable Mention: Summer Blanco, “Young Horse,” grade 12, San Dimas High Honorable Mention: Miranda Barbiere, “We Are One – Cowboys & Native Americans,” grade 12, Bonita High Ed Foundation Recognizes 85 Students for Kindness, Perseverance and Achievement in Spite of Challenges June 1, the La Verne / San Dimas Educational Foundation recognized students from each school in the Bonita Unified School District for kindness, perseverance, and achievement. Two Acts of Kindness Awards are given by the Foundation annually to students who have accomplished something remarkably kind in their community. Nominations are sought from the community, and this award is given in honor of former Board Member Ed Jones who gave much of his life to the schools and his community. The 2014-2015 Acts of Kindness Awards are given to: Owen Hughes from La Verne Heights Elementary School and Celine Peltekci from Chaparral High School. The Perseverance Award is given to two students in grades three through eight at every elementary and middle school who have persevered through hardships in their lives. The Foundation salutes their courage and admires their ability to continue in spite of great difficulty. The Ed Foundation’s college scholarships are given to commend Bonita Unified high school students who have faced significant challenges, but succeeded in spite of them. Sixteen students from Bonita Unified high schools received scholarships from the Ed Foundation this year. Schools in the Spotlight Lone Hill Middle School Academic Olympiad Teams Earn First Place Lone Hill’s Science Olympiad and Math Olympiad teams both had a tremendous year. The Science Olympiad Team led by Dr. Craig Benzel and parent volunteers finished in fourth place at the LA County Regional Competition in February. This achievement qualified the team to compete in the State Finals competition for the first time in Lone Hill’s history. The team finished in twenty-sixth place, which is in the top twenty percent of teams in California. Two team members, Sean Ono and Elissa Zhang, finished fifth in the state in the Entomology category. Lone Hill’s Science Olympiad Team Competed at the State Finals in February. The L.A. County Office of Education’s Math Field Day is a contest to demonstrate knowledge of mathematics through competition and celebration. All three of Lone Hill’s grade level teams, led by Alecia McGill and Alyssa Doniak, placed in the top two categories at the competition in April. The sixth grade team took home a gold medal in the Problem Solving category. The seventh and eighth grade teams both took home silver medals in the Conceptual Understanding category. Lone Hill’s Math Olympiad 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teams earned gold and silver medals at the L.A. County Office of Education’s Mach Field Day. Lone Hill Lions Roar at Local Music Competitions Students participating in the Lone Hill music department have also had a very successful year. The Jazz Band took first place in the Western States Jazz Festival in February, and then won the Adjudicator’s Award at the San Francisco Band Festival in April. The Advanced Band also took home the Gold award at the San Francisco Band Festival. The bands are led by the recently named Bonita Unified School District Teacher of the Year, Kelly Leyva. Lone Hill’s Chorus students, led by Alyssa Cossey, have been busy performing in numerous concerts and festivals throughout the year. They recently achieved the Superior rating at the Southern California Vocal Association Festival in April. ASB Receives 7th Consecutive Outstanding Student Leadership Program Award Lone Hill’s ASB leadership students, led by Leslie Sandoval, recently participated in the California Association of Student Leaders conference. During the conference, the ASB team received the coveted Outstanding Student Leadership Program Award. This marks the seventh year in a row that Lone Hill’s ASB team has received this award! Track Team ‘Breaks Tape’ in Several Races Lone Hill’s track team, led by Keith Ensman and Daniel Lopez, just completed a very successful season. At the final meet held at the University of La Verne where over a dozen teams competed, Lone Hill had three first place winners. Aidan Ferguson won both the 400 and 200-meter events. Austin Rivera won the 800-meter event, while Stephen Manalo won the High Jump event. Shull Elementary School Shull 4th Graders – HEART Detectives In May, Shull Elementary School was chosen by the Heart Education And Research Team (HEART) from Pomona College in Claremont, California to participate in a “Health Detective” project. The HEART Team is composed of pre-health students interested in the challenge of community health promotion. As mentors, these college students engage young students, like Shull’s 4th graders, to become problem solvers. The HEART Team first taught 4th grade students about research and how to use a worksheet to ask meaningful interview questions. As “HEART Detectives,” their mission is to discover healthy snacks that get everyone through the day. The Shull 4th graders are now collecting data from parents, relatives, neighbors or school personnel by asking 14 questions about snacks they enjoy and snacks for on-the-go lifestyles. Through this collaborative learning lesson, the HEART Team will help transform our students’ efforts into a creative list of advice on snacks designed for the busy lifestyles of families in our communities. After the students collect the data, the HEART team will compile the data and present the results to the students. Shull students will share their “healthy snack” advice through the school’s website and through a website created by the HEART Team. Vincent Little, Scarlett Munoz, and Kaiden Melnyk, fourth graders from Shull Elementary School, interview Principal Chris Ann Horsley as part of a collaborative research project with Pomona College. The Heart Education And Research Team (HEART) are helping the school develop and publish a list of healthy snacks for on-the-go families. Ramona Middle School In late May, all sixth graders and their 8th grade Where Everybody Belongs (W.E.B.) leaders met at lunch for a play day and a celebration of the successful completion of sixth grade year. Through the W.E.B. program, hand selected eighth grade students acted as mentors to incoming sixth grade students. It began with a special half day summer camp in 2014, to which each incoming 6th grade student is invited by their W.E.B. leader. That day, the students learned a little about each other and the campus. In addition, they practiced all things middle school, like opening a combination lock, setting goals, and traveling from class to class. Throughout they year the W.E.B. leaders and their mentees met during lunch, checked on goals, solved problems, played games and had fun! Current seventh grade students have submitted applications to participate in W.E.B. for the 20152016 school year and are anxiously awaiting their chance to be part of this special class. Dates for W.E.B. Orientation for next year’s class are Aug 12 and 13.
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