News from Across the Rowland Unified School District (4/25/24)



TONIGHT AND TOMORROW: Giano's first musical production,

"You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" April 25 & 26 at 6 PM at the

RUSD Performing Arts Center at Rowland High School.

Tickets $10 at the door.

Giano Intermediate Drama Teacher Natalie Burge with students Ashley Hernandez (VIOLET GREY), J.Ethan Sanchez (CHARLIE BROWN)

and Karen Mateo (LINUS).

The spitfire theater teacher is literally bubbling with excitement...and her students can’t seem to get enough of her energy that radiates in the room. Giano’s Natalie Burge shares that for the first time ever, Giano will be performing a musical and it is the full Broadway version of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” that opens tonight at the Rowland Unified School District Performing Arts Center.

“The most exciting part of this year’s drama production is that we have worked really hard to make drama fully inclusive, so we have a variety of students from all neuro divergent abilities and capabilities and physical abilities. It’s been a treat to watch our students come together and form this inclusive family,” says Burge. “About 30 % of our cast is on the autism spectrum or has an IEP of some kind. That’s the best part of drama. This is a place to belong, a place to become and a safe place for ALL students. It goes with Giano’s Unity Motto – You Matter, You Belong, We Are ONE.”

Giano Intermediate was named a 2024 California Distinguished School last month and will be recognized at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on May 3, 2024 for this prestigious honor. Principal Carlos Ochoa says they provide students opportunities to grow academically, athletically, and in other extracurricular related activities such as drama, band, and leadership where students feel connected to the campus. Students at Giano feel emotionally safe to simply TRY. Failures are learning opportunities and indicate that "I am not there yet." It is an exciting time to be at Giano and I am so proud of the work of our students and amazing staff each and every day.”

Burge started the drama program in 2020, when their first production was “The Twilight Zone” and completely on Zoom. Each year has grown from a one act show and now a full-length musical. “This year I came to realize that when you raise the bar, they will climb and do what they need to do. These students are running rehearsals, singing, dancing, working, fixing a set piece that needs to be fixed, painting sets, learning tech. We rose the bar this year and they are stepping up and it’s SO COOL!” Speaking of stepping it up, just wait for next year when they will perform the musical, “Footloose.”

Seventh grade student Karen Mateo plays Linus and giggles as she describes her experience as a new drama student. “I like how there are a lot of people I can communicate with, and everyone is really talkative. I wanted to make my confidence stronger, so my parents suggested I take drama as my elective. I love Ms. Burge, she is an amazing teacher, she is really energetic, and she makes us feel safe.”

J.Ethan Sanchez was nervous but excited when he learned he had the lead part of Charlie Brown. The eighth grader says drama is his favorite class of the day and his classmates are “cool.” When asked why we should go see the show, he simply says, “It is pretty entertaining and funny to watch!”


Watch Our Latest Videos

BUILDING FUTURES: The New Oswalt Academy Measure R Modernization Video 
The Rowland Unified School District wants to thank our community for their support of the Measure R Bonds and our community's unwavering support to invest in the educational learning spaces for student learning now and for the future.
Our beautiful new TK-8 campus of Stanley G. Oswalt Academy features new two-story innovative learning spaces, playgrounds, improved parking areas and more!
Red Ribbon Ceremony held on May 15, 2024 at 5 PM.
Rowland Unified's Facility Upgrades Video
Rowland Unified School District is proud of the significant facility improvements that have taken place in our schools to prepare students for the future of their choice.  Our modernized facilities ensure that innovative learning for all continues to thrive in our schools and for our students.


April 25, 2024 Questions? Contact RUSD News Editor

Proud to Serve Our Communities of Rowland Heights, La Puente, Walnut & West Covina
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram