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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

A restored image of renewed intent with Ron Hockwalt Academies

Dragging their finger over the touchpad, graphic designers from zero period Advanced Graphic Design finalize an ad using Adobe Illustrator’s pen function. The students first began working on Ron Hockwalt Academies’ (RHA) project when WVUSD’s Educational Technology Specialist Kevin Wendland introduced the idea. The project ended up being their end-of-semester project. 

RHA, a continuation high school within Walnut Valley Unified School District, used to be a school that helped students with disciplinary problems, but over time, their focus shifted to students who were falling behind and needed an educational reset, and not just for students who have had bad habits in the past.

Jennifer Sorbara, former WHS Academic Design Program math teacher and current teacher at Ron Hockwalt Academies, explains the original intent of the rebranding project. “A long time ago, this school was about discipline problems, but it’s not about that anymore. We really want students and teachers to understand that,” Sorbara said. “The class is helping us get the message out about what Ron Hockwalt Academies is as well as to dispel the message about what Ron Hockwalt Academies used to be.”

Over the years, RHA has changed its curriculum, providing classes that prepare students for jobs and resumes as well as giving leadership opportunities within the learning curriculum. To help improve RHA’s image, the district has also helped promote the academy on social media. 

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“Since we’re putting the project up on social media, we want people to not scroll past it. We want to keep it engaging and somewhere where teens or kids who are struggling somewhere today can have a meaningful connection to it. That’s the type of school it is. I never knew that because most people don’t know what the [school] offers since it’s not [out] there,” junior Hillina Ulloa, a member of the social media team, said. 

Since class sizes at RHA are smaller compared to others, this also enables RHA teachers to be more engaging with their students and work with them one-on-one. In this way, teachers can target the individual challenges that students face, providing help that the students may not have been able to receive otherwise.

“All of [my students] are extremely talented at what they do. They see a vision, they know how to create it and they learn how to execute it professionally,” project supervisor Alorro said. “A lot of the admins are pleased with this class, but I give all the credit to them. The kids are so extremely talented and they don’t know it but I have the privilege to pull it out of them.”

The product will be finalized this week, with a client meeting scheduled Dec. 6, and both RHA and the students have high hopes for its success. 

“I think it’ll be a positive message, especially because the message is coming from the students. Students can speak to each other better than an adult can speak to [them], especially with things like image and perception. I think the students will do better in getting the message out and properly portray who we are,” Sorbara said. 

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Elise Chen, Feature editor
Hi, my name is Elise Chen, I'm in the 10th grade, and I'm the Feature editor for The Hoofprint. Besides writing for The Hoofprint, I am also on the Science Olympiad team. I enjoy playing chess and reading.
Rylyn Wang, Feature editor
Hi my name is Rylyn Wang, I'm in the 10th grade, and I'm the Feature editor for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I am in several clubs. In my free time, I enjoy reading and scrolling through my phone.
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