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Student Chef Cook-Off Contest Recap Video!
Andrea Torres

HLPUSD is thrilled to share a recap of our second annual Student Chef Cook-Off Contest held on June 13, a collaborative and inspiring event that has not only enhanced the student voice and choice but also celebrated creativity. Most importantly, it has spread the crucial message of incorporating scratch cooking into the District’s menu, inspiring healthier food choices for our community! 

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our Director of Nutrition Services Celeste Calubaquib, Supervisors Brittney Rodriguez and Jennifer Ruiz, and our exceptional Cafeteria Manager coaches. Your commitment to finding innovative and unique ways to encourage our students to make healthy food choices is truly commendable. 

All four of our finalists demonstrated their culinary prowess by crafting delectable menu items, each earning well-deserved recognition. We extend our warmest congratulations to Michael Jiao, an incoming eighth-grader at Mesa Robles Middle School and the reigning Cook-Off Contest champion, for securing the first place with his mouthwatering carne asada fries accompanied by a refreshing side of cucumber.

Click here to watch the video!

First page of the PDF file: HLPUSD_CTEPathways_Flyer_FINAL_Web
Andrea Torres
First page of the PDF file: HLPUSD_CTEPathways_Flyer_FINAL_Web


Hacienda La Puente Unified School District is committed to preparing students for both college and careers through its 16 diverse and robust career technical education (CTE) pathways that provide students with real-world, hands-on experience across various industries.

From biotechnology and engineering to public safety, culinary arts, business management, and an exciting new aviation pathway, students have the opportunity to explore their passions early and gain a competitive edge in their desired careers.

HLPUSD’s extensive CTE programs offer access to valuable certifications and internships, giving students a head-start in their chosen fields.

Click here to enroll in one of our stand-out CTE pathways today!

Hacienda La Puente Unified Youth Cinema Project Students Win First-Place at Latino Film Festival
Andrea Torres

California Elementary School's Youth Cinema Project (YCP) student filmmakers are celebrating their 2024 Best Film for Elementary Schools award from the Latino Film Institute for their movie “The World is Yours,” which premiered at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on June 1.

Hacienda La Puente Unified's YCP students returned to the festival for its second year, where they walked the red carpet outside the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Students were joined by District officials, YCP mentors, staff, and families to watch their films alongside other participating YCP students.

"I have never witnessed such a vibrant bus ride in my life," California Elementary School YCP teacher Kathleen Cook said. "Our students, with their unwavering dedication, produced four remarkable films this year. The journey was challenging, but the sheer joy on their faces as they saw their creations on the big screen made it all worthwhile.”

“The World is Yours” tells the compelling story of a student who defies campus rules to sell soda cans to his peers to save enough money for a video game. After running into trouble with his school principal, he soon learns the dangers of greed.

Students from Sparks Middle School and La Puente High School also showcased their films from the 2023-24 school year at the festival. These films shared a common theme of moral challenges and lessons, highlighting the consequences of unethical behavior and the importance of making honest choices.

YCP mentors Miguel Mendoza and Summer Young invited District officials, Cook, principal Yesenia De La Pena, and families to join a Zoom call on June 3 to share the news with the students.

"When I joined the Zoom call with my classmates and my mentors, I had no idea it was to surprise us with news that we won," said Ivan Salguero, incoming sixth-grader, director of photography, and lead actor of “The World is Yours.” "Thank you to my teacher Ms. Cook, and mentors Miguel and Summer for teaching me so much. I cannot wait to make more films next year."

Throughout the school year, Mendoza and Young educated students on pre-production, production, and post-production, as well as the various roles involved in filmmaking, such as writer, director, producer, gaffer, sound mixer, and editor. Students then wrote summaries to express their desired positions and justify their selection. Once roles were assigned, mentors collaborated with Cook and received support from De La Pena to guide students in creating unique, meaningful final projects.

"YCP is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to build communication skills,” De La Pena said. "This opportunity opens career paths for students in scriptwriting, filmmaking, acting, and behind-the-scenes roles, which are potential future careers for our students. In YCP, students find a voice and can express themselves creatively. We are grateful for this program and opportunity."

The YCP, founded by award-winning actor, producer, and director Edward James Olmos, aims to close the achievement and opportunity gap for today's learners by empowering students to write, produce, and direct their own films. The program helps nurture their creativity and critical thinking skills and inspires them to explore potential careers in the film industry.

In celebration of student talent, the District will host its first-ever Film Festival at Mt. San Antonio College later this fall. Additionally, YCP students will be recognized at the Board of Education meeting on June 13.

"We are immensely proud of our students at California Elementary School and all our YCP students for their cinematic masterpieces," Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez said. "This program exemplifies the power of arts in education in developing well-rounded, innovative thinkers. It enhances our students' academic experience and gives them the skills and inspiration to pursue their dreams. Congratulations to all the students, teachers, and staff involved."


HLPUSD_YCP_1: Academy Award-nominated actor and Latino Film Institute founder Edward James Olmos joins students on the red carpet during the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on June 1.

HLPUSD_YCP_2: California Elementary School Principal Yesenia De La Peña, Youth Cinema Project teacher Kathleen Cook, and students gather outside the TCL Chinese Theater after participating in the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on June 1.

HLPUSD_YCP_3: California Elementary School Youth Cinema Project’s film poster for “The World is Yours” is shared at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival on June 1.


Hacienda La Puente Unified Earns Spot on 2023 Honor Roll for Bolstering Student Achievement
Andrea Torres

Hacienda La Puente Unified is among 109 districts included in the Educational Results Partnership’s (ERP) 2023 Honor Roll, a prestigious recognition highlighting California’s top-performing school districts for their exemplary efforts in closing achievement gaps and preparing students for success in college and their future careers.

Glen A Wilson High School, Baldwin Academy, Bixby, Grazide, Los Molinos, Mesa Robles and Wedgeworth elementary schools and Newton Middle School were all recognized among the top-performing schools.

For its ninth year, the non-profit organization ERP and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE) have spotlighted the highest-performing public schools, Districts, and charter schools across California. Hacienda la Puente Unified is among the top 14% of all eligible districts in the state to receive the recognition.

"Our inclusion on the Honor Roll is a testament to the collective effort and unwavering dedication of our District's stakeholders to student achievement and equity," Board of Education President Christine H. Salazar proudly declared. "We are thrilled with the significant growth we have achieved and remain steadfast in our commitment to providing all our students with the necessary opportunities for success. This recognition serves as a powerful motivator, inspiring us to continue our pursuit of excellence in all facets of education."

Hacienda La Puente Unified cultivates supportive and engaging environments across all campuses. This school year, the District has been recognized with a Model School Attendance Review Board award, four National Blue Ribbon School awards, and four Civic Learning awards. These accolades highlight the District’s efforts to nurture each student's potential through positive intervention strategies, robust programs, college and career resources, and a rigorous curriculum.

The Honor Roll recognitions, determined through comprehensive data analysis from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, are part of ERP's national efforts to raise awareness of the importance of high-quality educational systems that yield life-long, career-ready skills among learners, particularly in economically challenged communities.

"At HLPUSD, we are dedicated to fostering a learning environment that equips our students with the essential skills they need to excel in their academic and professional lives," Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez expressed. "We are honored to earn a spot on the ERP Honor Roll this year. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our educators, staff, students, and community for their unwavering dedication and invaluable contributions to our students' well-being. Your support is truly appreciated and valued."


May Superintendent's Update
Andrea Torres

Dear Hacienda La Puente Unified Community, 

May was an exciting month for Hacienda La Puente Unified, as our District celebrated the end of a successful school year and highlighted student accomplishments with various end-of-the-year festivities.  

We kicked off the month by gathering as a District to share the unique and creative ways our scholars have been engaging, experiencing, and connecting during our New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) Spring Showcase held May 2. During the event, students, teachers, and administrators presented demonstrations, projects, and various initiatives worked on throughout the school year. Click here to watch a video recapping the fun-filled event.

Our graduating students radiated joy and pride as they celebrated their accomplishments during senior sunsets, proms, pep rallies, and visits to local elementary and middle schools, igniting a spark of excitement in the young scholars about their futures at HLPUSD.

Our District community, a vital part of our students' success, also gathered to celebrate our Class of 2024 during our annual Senior Award Nights on May 14 and 16. During the event, students were presented with certificates, stoles, and scholarships for achieving academic, athletic, artistic, and philanthropic excellence. Each high school’s gym was filled with celebratory spirit as the audience, including HLPUSD Board members, teachers, principals, and District sponsors applauded each scholar called to the podium. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all our generous donors who support our students each year. Check out our photo gallery to view photos from the award ceremonies. 

In heartfelt recognition of Classified School Employees Week, our campuses showered their classified employees with gifts, flowers, and hand-written notes.

The District also delivered cookies to all schools and job sites – a small token of our immense gratitude for the hard work and dedication of our staff.

We also took a moment to express our deep gratitude to our exceptional employees and the entire school community, celebrating School Principals Day, National School Lunch Hero Day, Mother’s Day, and Teachers Day, acknowledging their invaluable contributions to our District.

I want to give a shout-out to our students from Mesa Robles, who secured a remarkable third place out of more than 200 competing teams across Los Angeles County during the Conga Kids Finale. Your hard work and dedication this year have been truly commendable. I also want to applaud our Student Chef Cook-Off Contest finalists from Mesa Robles and Glen A. Wilson High School. Your culinary skills have been recognized by students from across the District, and we are eagerly awaiting the cook-off contest on June 13 to taste your delicious and nutritious menu items.

We ended our festivities by celebrating our Class of 2024 graduates with five high-spirited commencement ceremonies and recognizing our promoting students with events honoring their academic achievements. 

Thank you to our Board of Education, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and community members for your hard work and dedication to ensuring this school year’s success.

Hacienda La Puente Unified remains committed to providing enriching learning opportunities for students in the summer months, and we look forward to seeing you all for the 2024-25 school year in August!

As always, we are #ProudtobeHLPUSD.



Dr. Alfonso Jiménez