Dr. Van Setten supports his students from start to end


Brandon Du, Staff Writer

When a young Bob Van Setten started pastoring in the school’s multi-purpose room in 1986, he didn’t expect to retire in 2023 with a doctorate and 20 years worth of memories.

Van Setten originally wanted to become a professor for a college which helped to drive his desire to finish his doctorate.

As one of the 10 teachers in special education, Van Setten teaches  life sciences, social sciences, civics and economics. He also has periods dedicated to Directed Studies, which sets aside time for students to interact with their teachers and receive help to complete their assignments. 

Van Setten began substituting as a way to supplement his income and did so for about eight years. With the help of recommendations from former teachers like Janet Dutton and Kelly Bruce, this resulted in the eventual hire of Van Setten in 1999. Van Setten formed a strong bond with the 15 other teachers who were also hired that same year. 

“[My] favorite memories were the relationships I made with people and colleagues over the years that developed over time,” Van Setten said. “With those 15 colleagues, [we’ve] worked through hardships, which has created connectedness.” 

Van Setten is grateful for all that Walnut has done to keep its identity and spirit unique and welcoming.

 “[I’ve] wanted to say thanks to the Walnut Valley Unified School District superintendents and to the school itself, as well as show my appreciation for the current administration and staff for their positive influence around the school. [They’ve] influenced me to have a positive attitude towards my home here at Walnut,” Van Setten said.