Two Rialto Schools Receive Top Honors In New Recognition Program

Two of Rialto Unified School Districts schools were awarded the new level of top distinction from the state of California. These two schools have been labeled Gold Ribbon Schools here in the state of California. The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems.

Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The award recognized middle and high schools last year.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.

The two schools that were awarded in Rialto Unified School District are Helen L. Dollahan Elementary School and Myers Elementary School.


“I am ecstatic to be a part of the Dollahan family and to achieve the recognition of a California Gold Ribbon School,” smiled Dollahan Elementary School Principal, Daniel Husbands. “It is such a huge honor for our students, staff members, parents, and community to be recognized for all of their hard work and dedication to building the next generation of leaders through The Leader in Me process.”

david emarick

Dollahan Elementary School fifth grade teacher, David Emrick, added, “As a teacher here for several years, I have seen an incredible amount of commitment to student learning and development from all areas of our community. Our secretaries, custodians, various support staff, teachers, administrators, parents, and local businesses have truly collaborated to make our school worthy of our Gold Ribbon status. We are extremely grateful to be recognized with this honor and vow to continue the effort to create a superb learning environment for all of our students.”

The “Leader In Me” program at Dollahan is one of six schools in the county and part of a collection in the state. The program was made possible by the Panda Cares Foundation that has dedicated thousands of dollars to making sure that these Rialto students have a program that will provide accountability and self worth. The program is so appealing the City of Rialto looking for something to fill the GRIP program last summer used the Leader in me program to show that they were trying to do something with the $4 million grant they received.

Myers Elementary School was equally excited about the news from the State. “This award serves as testament to the unwavering dedication exuded by our teachers for all of our students. In the midst of academic reform, our teachers took the initiative to press forward and create a sacred place for learning and discovering. Our teachers adopted the 21st Century skills of Communication and Collaboration. They have taken on the challenge to define and implement the distinct characteristics of this school-wide approach to create college and career bound students. Our accomplishment would not have been possible without the support of our parents, staff members, students, and community volunteers. It is an honor to have been bestowed this prestigious award,” stated Myers Elementary School Principal, Johanna Cuellar.

Teresa Chandler, second grade teacher, at Myers Elementary School, cheered, “It is truly an exciting event on many levels for me as an educator. It validates all the energy that we extend daily as a cohesive team of teachers, administrators, and support staff to help each of our students reaches their unique and maximum potential as individuals. As an educator, such a road taken at times may be stony and difficult, but it is without doubt a magical journey!”

“These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st Century college and careers,” stated State Superintendent of Instruction, Tom Torlakson in his CDE press release. “California teachers are developing an education model for the nation, training the students of today to be problem-solvers, inventors and pioneers of tomorrow.”

Rialto Unified School District Board of Education will formally honor Dollahan and Myers Elementary Schools on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 7:00 p.m., at the televised public school board meeting held at 182 East Walnut Avenue in Rialto.