By Bella Quintanilla
During this time of confusion and fright amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Temecula Valley Unified District (TVUSD) has made it a priority to continue to help their students and families learn while staying home and staying safe. The district has provided many resources and continues to update others on their plans and expectations through the final months of the school year.
On March 18, the district sent an update stating that they would begin taking applications for families to pick up a device that would allow their child to continue their education through online distance learning. They have since been able to provide over 7,500 computer devices to students in need of them. District Board member, Mrs. Barbara Brosch, added that the district “is providing MiFi wireless devices to families upon request who do not have internet access at home.” She also explained that the district has online help desks in order to assist with log-in, device, and program issues. Since access to distance learning has been the district’s goal, this device distribution and assistance have been a huge help for those in need of it. It has allowed many students to receive an education while they are prevented from physically going to school.
TVUSD was also able to set up a meal program for students to pick up a sack lunch/breakfast. They called this “Grab N Go Meals.” Students are able to go to any of the three locations between 12PM and 1PM to get a nonperishable meal for the day. Through this program, “TVUSD’s Nutritional Services Department is serving an average of 2,400 grab and go meals daily,” according to Brosch. Those working these drive-through stands are able to hand families sack-lunches from under a plastic barrier, allowing them to continue social distancing.
In order to support its staff, Brosch claimed that “TVUSD leadership continues to provide teachers with professional development and virtual training tools,” in order to support the continuation of distance learning. The counseling teams are also continuing to provide social-emotional services for students as well as college and career planning.
Besides physical services, the district has also listed on its website many different resources that families can contact for further assistance, such as child care, internet access, phone services, and learning opportunities for children. According to Brosch, TVUSD is “also currently working with the Temecula Chamber of Commerce to create a resource page with information for families from our Temecula and surrounding area vendors that are offering free or reduced services” With this page, the district hopes that families can get any assistance they are in need of while staying healthy and practicing social distancing.
With the many services that TVUSD has provided and will continue to provide, families throughout the district are able to give their children an education without the risk of compromising their health. These families are able to get meals throughout the week, receive devices, and reach out to other services for assistance. The district has truly put the families within Temecula before themselves and have been working hard to keep others happy and calm.
By Emma Carrero
When host Drew Carey, for the game show The Price is Right, read off the final price for the ultimate win, high school student Junior Jordan Renner glowed with anticipation and hope that he had guessed close enough to the overall amount. Having to beat the second contestant’s cost difference, the life-changing numbers are said. The high-steaks game ended with Renner’s profound victory worth almost fifty grand in rewards.
Formerly known for having adults on the show guess the price of everyday household items, this season of The Price is Right had a week focusing on kids. Beginning with preschool students and climbing all the way to high school, Renner had the fortune to be called up first on the contestant stand for a chance to win a new smartphone along with three other students from different high schools. He recalled, “It was honestly unbelievable and I didn’t actually hear my name so my friends who were with me told me I got called so I was overwhelmed with excitement.” Onto the starting game, his first guess for the price was $700, just $290 off the real amount. However, he regained himself in the second round, which had the four teens come up with the cost of two surfboards. Renner was the closest to the $700 charge with his answer of $580. His face was flustered with disbelief and shock that no words at all were able to express his excitement. On his turn, Renner’s game to play was called squeezeplay. In order to win a vacation to Hawaii, Renner had to remove a middle number from 116857 to attempt to guess his prize’s cost. Surprisingly, his luck had no limit as he got the cost correct, moving him to the next round along with winning the trip.
After a couple more contestants gave it a go at winning, the time to spin the wheel came. Since the first to participate spun over $1.00, it gave Renner the advantage to either get a higher number or a dollar on the wheel. He spun a total of two times, the first landing on twenty-five and the second miraculously landing on seventy-five, equaling to one dollar and rewarding him with a spot in the showcase showdown and $1,000. With that amount, Renner said, “I plan to use the money to take acting classes and pay for the taxes on the prizes that I won.” Then, it was time for the ultimate prize. Only two participants remained and the excitement was exceeding level by level. Renner was competing for a New York trip, a basketball hoop, and a brand new car while the other contestant was playing for another set of prizes. Whoever was closest to the actual price was the winner. The other player went first guessing $18,500. Like a miracle, Renner’s answer was only off by around four-thousand dollars, completely winning him the grand prize. The teenager explained, “Ultimately the experience was super exciting and overwhelming in the best way I could have ever imagined and I’m so grateful to be blessed.” Of course, anyone in the same position would likely feel the same.
While the credits roll, Renner lets out his happiness and is completely taken away with his new car. He also plans on taking his father and fellow friends on the trip. With the number of rewards he won, it would be difficult for anyone to keep it a secret until the airdate, which was a month later than the actual film date. All in all, luck was definitely on Renner’s side, giving him great fortune.
By Bella Quintanilla
Each year a classified staff member is celebrated for their hard work and vigor with the Classified Employee of the Year award. This year that award goes to Mrs. Edith Garay, Assistant Principal's secretary, a woman who has made a strong first impression to the staff and students of this school. This year, having been her first year back to work after eight years of unemployment, Garay was very surprised to have been honored with this award. She was able to take on a very busy job and fulfill it to the best of her ability.
Nominating staff and other staff who spent much of their time near Garay would agree that she brings a vibrant energy to the workspace and fits in as a Puma very well. Olsen explained that to be a Classified Employee of the Year means to be “someone who is all in! Someone who loves being a Puma! Someone who puts others before themself,” which Olsen and other staff would agree accurately describes the attitude Garay had when she first began working at this school and continues to carry to this day. Assistant Principal, Mrs. Krystal Fielstra, applauded Garay saying that “she cares for [the] students, participating in Chicanos Unidos meetings, ELL lunches and activities, and showing up whenever a student invites her.” Clearly, Garay has truly earned the praise of her peers and she has proved her deserving of this award.
Family is extremely important to Garay, they are always her first priority. She and her husband have five children, two of whom have already moved out. During this time, she has been helping her three youngest children adjust to online school work. She stated that her husband and children “keep [her] grounded and in touch with who [she] is” and make her the best version of herself. Her biggest inspiration in her life comes from her parents, who raised her to work hard, be kind to those she meets and do all that she can even when it is not asked of her. With all that her parents have done for her and her sibling, she shared that she “[tries] to honor them with always doing [her] best at everything [she] attempts.” Having a big family, Garay always puts them first and constantly does all that she can for them, and in return, they make her the bright woman she is today.
Garay explained that this year has been very unique, having made some very good friends with the other ladies in the office and being able to experience all the different events and activities. She added that her favorite aspect of the school is “the people. The staff here is incredible and always looking to make this school the best possible experience for the students.” Garay also shared that her coworkers have become like family to her and make each day special. Not only has she become very fond of the other staff on campus, but she has found that the students have also been a “privilege to be around.” She enjoys the creativity involved in spirit days and the all-inclusiveness of the events and activities. These aspects are what made her first year so welcoming.
This humbling award has made Garay very happy and feel very accepted by her peers. She thanks her coworkers for being so supportive and welcoming. Hoping to get back to the office next semester, Garay is grateful for this award and hopes to work just as hard next year.