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By Veronica Jacuinde
Wasco Tribune 

WIHS: A school above the rest


Last updated 5/26/2022 at 5:29pm | View PDF

Veronica Jacuinde | Wasco Tribune

Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Medina, Ms. Gonzalez, Ms. Martinez, Mrs. Castillo, Mrs. Benavides, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Prado, Mr. Castro, Mr. Rowland and Mr. Dominguez.

Wasco Independence High School took home all of the awards at this year's 2022 California Continuation Education Association conference.

The school was named Model Continuation High School. Rob Cobb was awarded Superintendent of the Year. Selected as Administrator of the Year was Principal Rusvel Prado, and recognized as Counselor of the Year was Ms. Vianney Gonzalez. Their Orientation Program was given the title of Exemplary Program.

At the three-day conference held in Long Beach, WIHS beat out 430 continuation schools based in California.

"It was special to be honored for our hard work at the state level," said Gonzalez. "We are so grateful and proud of our staff, students, parents and community members for helping make WIHS the amazing place that it is."

It is not the first time that WIHS has won awards from the CCEA.

In 2018, the school took home Model Continuation High School. Their principal at the time, Martin Lonza, was honored as Administrator of the Year and campus supervisor Angie Benavides was acknowledged as Support Person of the Year.

"This is a testament to how we strive to create the best possible environment for our students to learn and thrive," said Gonzalez. "It highlights the energy and love that every one of us has for our students."

The awards help change the perspective that WIHS is a school for bad kids.

"Instead, we are a school that gives a second chance to those students that might not have fit in at a traditional high school. We give them a place to call home and grow," said Gonzalez.

WIHS serves 120 youth. Their curriculum is diverse and intended to help prepare students for the next chapter of their lives post-graduation. The school seeks to provide resources and services that lead to optimal intellectual, physical and social development.

"We instill in them the power to excel and reach for the stars. With these recognitions, we know we are on the right track by supporting them to realize their full potential," said Gonzalez.

The awards send a positive message to the community.

"With these awards, it demonstrates to the city of Wasco, and beyond that we have a remarkable school, one of the best in California," said Principal Prado.

"It shows that our students are getting the same, if not better, education than a comprehensive high school."

It was a team effort.

Veronica Jacuinde | Wasco Tribune

Counselor Vianney Gonzalez proudly displaying her award.

"The staff, students, parents, and community enable us to bring our best foot forward in education. It has been a challenging two years because of the pandemic. However, with all of their support, we have not only been able to overcome this, but we have also experienced tremendous success."

The staff was overjoyed.

"We are all thrilled that we did so well at the conference. It shows we are cutting edge and leading the way in education," said Principal Prado.

The future is bright for WIHS and its students.

"For this coming year and years to come, we will continue on this journey to keep pushing forward and being the best that we can be for our kids and community."


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