News from Across the Rowland Unified School District (3/1/24)

Villacorta Elementary Featured on

National Public Radio Podcast

Above: Villacorta Elementary student Samantha Nicole Tan is interviewed by National Public Radio Reporter Sarah Gonzalez at an assembly announcing the "Bubble Run" school fundraiser.

Below: Villacorta Elementary Teacher, PTA Treasurer and Legend, Maria Lares.


For the past year, National Public Radio reporter Sarah Gonzalez has worked on an in-depth feature on Villacorta Elementary surrounding the topic of school fundraisers. The reporter has attended the school's fundraisers such as their Bubble Run and has interviewed students as they sold popcorn.

In this 27 minute podcast, the story follows Principal Dr. Herrera and his amazing PTA's journey to reach their $20,000 fundraising goal so that students in every grade can experience a field trip. 

Stay tuned and keep an ear out for an additional radio feature segment on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" in the next few weeks!

Nogales High School Celebrates

Black Culture With Art, Music, Fashion & Poetry at Student Organized Event

Written by Nogales High School Students Brian Haley Jr. and Gavin Strange

This is an excerpt - CLICK HERE for the entire story!

For over 30 years, Brothers and Sisters in Unity (BSU) has played a huge role at Nogales High School. It has become home for many different students. Nogales High School Teacher and Advisor Donna Nelson has helped to motivate and inspire students to become leaders in the BSU and on February 16th, students and staff came together to host The Black Culture Celebration. “In my experience with the club it has been amazing, you can find people you can connect with and socialize with. This is important in a club because you can get more involved the more you feel comfortable,” said Nogales Noble student Brian Haley Jr., a senior and BSU leader. “For example, I didn’t like public speech but during the 'Black Culture Celebration' I was able to grow the confidence and stature to introduce a poem by Marianne Williamson called ‘My Deepest Fear.’ BSU is not only for African-American students, it is multicultural, accepting anyone no matter their ethnicity or race. BSU teaches young up-and-coming adults about Black Culture and how it is important to learn and never forget.”

“In a society where we tend to lose our originality and our identity, learning about ourselves is important," said Nogales High School Senior Gavin Strange, another BSU leader. "The reason why learning about black culture is so important to us is because in the past we came from slave backgrounds. Hundreds of years ago our ancestors were taken from their homes and were placed on slave ships to the “New World.” With the transition into the colonies, we lost our history and our story was lost over time. By learning our past we can better understand the fundamentals that are at play now. Things don’t just happen because of skin color. Rather, there is a logical reason why certain things may happen to us in society. Our history is really our answer to the many problems we have today. It is important to look upon the past to pave our future. Our past is not to be forgotten but is our inspiration,” said Strange.

History Comes to Life For

Hurley Students


Hurley Elementary Students were taken back in time to the 1920s to learn about "Cool Papa Bell," James Thomas Bell, the fastest man to play baseball in the Negro Leagues. The presentation was thanks to the Music Center Performing Artists in Schools and Neighborhoods program with storyteller Rochel Coleman who shared the history of Black Baseball.

Rowland High School FCCLA Students Headed for State Competition

Rowland Raiders show off their medals at the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America competition at Orange Coast College.

Rowland High School’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA chapter) competed at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa on Saturday, February 10, 2024 and not only brought home awards, but students are headed for the state finals! 

Advisor Tracy Taylor accompanied 51 students who competed in 11 different events and levels. The Qualifying Competition specifically awards the top 5 places and the next step is the opportunity to compete against others throughout the great state of California at the State Competition April 27-30 in Riverside.


Event categories students placed in include:

·        Entrepreneurship

·        Focus on Children

·        Food Innovations

·        Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation

·        Interior Design

·        Menu Planning & Table Display

·        Nutrition & Wellness

·        Professional Presentation

·        Repurpose & Redesign

·        Salad Preparation

·        Sports Nutrition


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