State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Comes To Rialto

On Friday April 12th Rialto had the honor and pleasure to host State Superintendent Tony Thurmond as he formally received and recognized the Green Ribbon School winners from Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. The event took place at Morris Elementary School, with site visits to Milor High School, which showcase the amazing efforts taking place at both schools that promote environmental literacy: environmental impact, wellness, and sustainability.

Additionally, Rialto USD has also been nominated to compete in the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition program, which honors schools and districts that conserve resources while promoting health and environmental literacy. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond came in and spent extra time before he sat down shaking hands and acknowledging the students in attendance at the event. Mr. Thurmond even asked his former colleague Eloise Reyes to join him at the podium for a moment as he thanked her for her dedication and service.

After the formal event that recognized Twenty-Four different schools and school districts Mr. Thurmond took a tour of Morris Elementary and Milor High Schools. At Morris Elementary he looked out at a butterfly garden and enjoyed the school’s outdoor classroom and garden area that he wanted to stop and enjoy a meal right then and there. Mr. Thurmond spoke to every child he came across and never took himself too seriously making jokes laughing and enjoying the schools garden.

At Milor High School Mr. Thurmond said he didn’t want to keep the students waiting with photos and walked right over to the students. Mr. Thurmond asked Desiree Ramos, George Falcon and Arianna Ordonez their names and what they wanted to do after high school. Then Mr. Thurmond asked something that threw the students at first “What can we do to support you?” He told them don’t answer now but think about it and handed them his card. Next the students showcased the serenity room a place where students can care for their mental needs. The room offered different areas for groups and individual counseling plus Thrive Thursdays where the students could do yoga. The room was so amazing that School Board President Edgar Montes asked if the School Board could use the room.

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Rialto Middle School Holds Annual Career Day

On Wednesday February 27th Rialto Middle School held their annual career day where fifty three different presenters came out to expose the students to a wide variety of potential careers. Many were your traditional careers like law enforcement, teaching and the medical field. Yet there were many presenters that were from career fields we may not think of when we are preparing kids for their future!

One presenter was John Merchant a local voice actor, professional beat boxer and a radio DJ personality. John Merchant showed off his latest project he worked on was the Missy Elliot Project where musician Christina Hall pays homage to one of the most influential female rappers of the 20th century. John also spoke to the kids about how to be successful in life with something you are passionate about. John Merchant didn’t talk at the students he spoke with them.

We came to this interview unprepared because we thought that Kenny Landreaux just worked for the Dodgers organization in the front office. We were not aware that he played professional baseball. Kenny came to speak to the filed of being a professional athlete and working in other facets in the professional sports arena. It was pretty cool to see that Rialto Middle School had him out to speak to the kids.

We wanted to see Mike Kindrich’s presentation just because of our knowledge of what his employer Mercy Air does. Mercy Air operates private air ambulance service helping get critically injured people to a care facility as quickly and safely as possible. When we found out Mike was a helicopter mechanic that was even better. Mike spoke to his body of work and the many different opportunities that existed in the field he worked in. Mike is a A&P Mechanic this A&P license has given Mike the ability to work as a civilian for the army, a ride mechanic for Disneyland and now a Mechanic for Mercy Air.

One thing that was clear at this career day was that the staff were invested in seeing the students succeed now in school and in the future. This career day event was inventive, exciting and totally an out of the norm type of event for a public school. This event was something you normally see in a private school not a public school setting. I was honored to be able to get a chance to attend and cover this event.

Big thank you has to go out to Mr Rod Campbell who invited us to this event, the principal who was so welcoming, school counselors for going the extra mile and the school security staff that always had a smile each time we saw them on campus!

 

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Rialto Leadership Lacks The Ability To Lead ALL of Rialto

With homeless population increasing every single day and the core of the city falling into disrepair many of the regular unconnected people in Rialto are asking if our leaders still have what it takes to lead all of Rialto. There is development happening in the North and South ends of the city but as you move closer to the city center the decay becomes quite evident. This question isn’t just something whispered about in quite circles but people are asking it out loud in public forums and there really isn’t any answer to the questions.

At the Rialto Unified School Safety Seminar the question was asked multiple times about what the city and schools are doing to deal with homelessness and the crime and consequences that come with them. Rialto Police Lt. Cameron Nelson said that the police departments hands are tied by new public camping laws (nobody ever references a specific law). The problem has become so bad that parks and schools are now dealing with homeless living in the or near them. One are that was brought up at the school safety seminar was the walking trail behind Rialto Middle School and Warner Elementary School. Both of these schools have access gates that open up into this trail. This BLOGGER brought up many concerns with this trail and having access gates to the schools. The powers that be said I was crazy and just trying to get in the way of progress. Now we have unstable people living where kids walk to school and have access to the schools. Does a child have to be hurt or go missing before anyone listens?

When it comes to what our leaders it seems that most of them are ok with Rialto becoming an homeless magnet. Mayor Deborah Robertson seems on a fast track to begin opening housing shelters in Rialto. When new laws are thrown in the public’s faces as the reason that more isn’t being done to fix the problem I wonder what benefit we get from the HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of $$$$$ we spend on lobbyists and having our elected officials travel with our tax dollars to Washington and Sacramento.

Some if the worst areas of our city are the main corridors that people travel every single day! Areas like Route 66 that are full of shuttered businesses, graffiti and homeless are far from the beacons of progress and prosperity that our leaders preach about.

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Eisenhower Principal and Head Football Coach Come To an Agreement

Last week we reported to you that Eisenhower High School Coach Alvin Brown of the CIF Division Champion Eagles football team was forced to step down as Eisenhower’s Varsity Football Coach over continued stalling over offering him his teaching contract allowing him the ability to care for his family..

Well after our story broke Eisenhower and Rialto Unified School District staff stepped up and began talking to Coach Brown again. Coach Brown reached out to us on Thursday February 21st to say that he and Principal Camacho came to an understanding and he will remain as Eisenhower’s Head Coach of the Varsity Football program. This is amazing news because nobody was happy to hear about the possibility of Coach Brown’s departure. Parents, staff, teachers and community leaders all spoke out about the possibility of not having Coach Brown at the helm of Eisenhower’s Varsity program.

Coach Brown wanted to thank everyone for their kind words and support now and as the team forged forward this season. No details on what the agreement that Coach Brown and Principal Camacho came to outside of the fact that Eisenhower will not have a leadership change on the football field for the 2019-2020 football season!

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Eisenhower Brings Home the CIF Title

Two teams that looked evenly matched on paper collided Saturday night in Rialto.

The stats would not predict what happened on the field Saturday night in Rialto. The passion of a team destined to return to greatness would overcome any stat or nay sayer. These young men and young woman would show everyone that this was their time, it was Eisenhower’s time!

Eisenhower High School Varsity Football team led by #5 Cesar Ayala at QB, #11 Jordan Goodloe & #2 Joel Ayala plus the ever so constant foot of female kicker #33 Taylor Jackson propelled Eisenhower Football into greatness as they won another CIF Championship for the once famous high school.

A school that has won CIF Championships before and has had multiple students go on to the NFL and win super bowls hit a 25 year dry spell that Coach Alvin Brown vowed to end. Coach Brown and his staff and student athletes came into this season thinking we want to go 1-0 each week. Coach Brown said the teams success came from the team listening to the coaching that they were given and executing each week.

Highland High School looked more impressive on the stats sheet than they did on the football field. Eisenhower pushed forward and kept to their game and came out triumphant in this CIF Championship.

You could see it in the kids faces they were so excited to have went from back to back 2-8 seasons to undefeated CIF Champions. Eisenhower has a long legacy of greatness and that can be a lot to live up to, but this team showed they were equal to the task of getting the job done and making the school and alumni proud!!!!

Principal Frank Camacho said “we are proud of the coach and the players making Eisenhower proud and bringing a ring back to Eisenhower High School football” Varsity Coach Alvin Brown was proud of his players and coaches for sticking to the game plan and forging forward with their plan of taking the season one win at a time.

Eisenhower ends an amazing season to Kaiser High

Eisenhower coming off an amazing run in the CIF Southern Section playoffs had one more team to conquer Saturday night. Coming off a CIF Southern Section title win against the Highland Bulldogs the team now had to put that behind them and focus on yet another big game.

On yet another cold night these two CIF champs took the field. It was clear early on that Eisenhower had their hands full with the D8 CIF Champion Kaiser Cats. Kaiser had a beast of a Running Back that accounted for all of Kaiser High School 7 touchdowns Christian Hunter. Eisenhower seemed to struggle to stop the 6’ 190 Senior as he sliced his way through the defense with some well done blocking.

The Eagles had some amazing highlights as Dayveon “Special” Benton blocked and extra point kick. A majority of the scoring and heavy load was on the backs of the teams key go to players Joel Ayala, Jordan Goodloe and Cesar Ayala.

Eisenhower relied on a combination of ground and air assault to push their offense down the field. Kaiser on the other hand used a powerful and effective running game that had Eisenhower scratching their heads.

Even though Eisenhower was down three touch downs early they managed to claw their way back into the game and pull within eight points of the Cats. It looked as though Eisenhower would have just under 2 minutes to try and find the endzone as they stopped Kaiser short of a 1st down but Dayveon Benton was called for a facemask giving Kaiser a new set of downs and sealing Eisenhower’s fate.

Coach Alvin Brown said one of the reasons this game was so hard was because they got away from the game plan that worked so well over the last 13 games, they were looking to Sacramento and the finals rather than going 1-0 each week.

Kaiser Coach Bill Cardosi when asked how he felt after this win he said “exhausted”. Coach Cardosi has a connection to Eisenhower as his father was Ronnie Lotts basketball coach. Coach Cardosi credits the win to “outstanding student athletes and stuck to the game plan and came out victorious”.

Rialto Unified Head Football Coach Resigns

Only in Rialto can you have a Head Coach of a popular local football program treated poorly and tossed aside.

Normally when coaches are forced out it has to do with poor performance from an amazing team or issues with parents & players. In Rialto we seem to mess things up in a very special way! Three years into his time at Eisenhower High School Head Coach Al Brown has resigned his position with the Football program in Rialto. This news comes on the heels of the Eisenhower Eagles return to greatness with a Division CIF Title the first one in 20 years and a very close second in the State Semi Finals against a very powerful Fontana Kaiser Cats football team.

Things all changed with the removal of Eisenhower High School Principal Scott Sparks who brought on coach Brown three years ago in an effort to return the football program to its former greatness. Coach Brown worked hard for two years under the support of Principal Scott Sparks to build a program that brought Eisenhower to its former glory but more importantly created amazing student athletes that are pillars in the community. The goal was to grow young student athletes that would continue to make Rialto proud.

Coach Brown not only raised up some amazing student athletes but he brought a CIF championship back to the Ronnie Lott stadium! Being close to Coach Brown and some of his prior players (now playing college football) this season was tough on Coach Brown. It was tough because the CTE (career Technical Education) class Life Management was not offered to Coach brown this year as new Principal Frank Camacho took over for the departing Scott Sparks. So in order to feed his family and remain available to coach Eisenhower’s Varsity team this year Coach Brown was forced to take substitute jobs. Working as a substitute offers no job security or medical benefits, also coach Brown had to be prepared for a different teaching situation each day. This fact alone made his CIF season even more amazing given what the coach was dealing with this season.

One constant face at Eisenhower High Football games was former Principal Scott Sparks. The former leader of Eisenhower High and a childhood friend of new Eisenhower High Principal Frank Camacho was at as many of Eisenhower’s games. Scott Sparks watched what he started blossom into a season and record that Eisenhower Alumni could brag about!

According to Coach Brown he was told that he would have a teaching contract this week solidifying his place with the Football team. When the deadline to offer this contract came and went coach Brown had no choice but to resign. Eisenhower High School staff have not been happy this year talking about how much life at the school has changed in just one year. Many people close to what Coach Brown was going through this school year hoped that the CIF season would be enough to prove to Eisenhower Administration that Coach Brown was a vital piece to the positive school culture at Eisenhower.

This writer is left wondering what is going on at District Office and what does Dr Avila and the School Board think this latest problem will do to moral and the culture at Eisenhower? According to Syeda Jafri the Communications Director from Rialto Unified “the district has not received a formal resignation from coach Brown, so it would be difficult to comment further on this matter”. Since posting this story it has come to light that the team is still waiting for the end of the year banquet. We have heard from sources that the school district is waiting for the CIF rings to come in so that they can be presented at the banquet. The rings can take 6 weeks to be ready.

One thing that we learned about this year was how difficult it is for schools in low income communities to get their rings. Kaiser High in Fontana was gifted a grant at the Inland Valley Classic Football game on January 26th to buy their CIF rings. Eisenhower High Schools rings are being taken care of by District Office. 

Most gut wrenching about this move is the $300k video that Westbound Communications did for San Bernardino on how hard Cajon High School in San Bernardino worked to keep an amazing sports program together. People gave up jobs and changed their lives to keep the coach in place and make it impossible for him to want to leave. One thing that Athletic Director Richard Imbriani says in this video is we teach kids life skills and how we don’t quit on people. Well apparently Rialto has a lot to learn from San Bernardino!

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