In celebration of its 15 years of educating the students and community of Santa Clarita, Golden Valley High School held a quinceanera celebration Saturday.
Complete with a discussion on the history of quinceanera’s presented by GVHS students Juan Palara and Itzel Perez, mariachi music, folklorico dancers and a taco bar, close to a hundred community stakeholders and those with ties to Golden Valley attended the free event.
Palara, a sophomore enrolled in AP Spanish Literature at the school, said the event was a commemorative event to celebrate the school.
“More than anything, it spreads awareness of the Latino community and how predominant it is in this community,” said Palara. “It also recognizes all the students’ efforts and the cultural diffusion into the school.”
“We have one of the largest Latino populations on a campus, and we need to be recognized and celebrate the culture,” said Isaac Zamora, a GVHS English teacher and a lead organizer for the event. “This is a community event … and we have a couple resource programs within the community that we were trying to make sure families know about.”
One such resource in attendance at the event, the Golden Valley Parent Awareness, Workshops and Support (PAWS) Center, was there and distributing free bags full of day-to-day essentials as well as free informational pamphlets about what PAWS provides for local families in need.
“We have toys, cereal, water bottles, soccer balls and flyers about our center (in the bags),” said April Rego, a coordinator at the PAWS center.
“This is a way for us to love on our community of people,” Cindy Takamoto, another member of the PAWS team. “We just want to make sure they are loved in other ways besides just getting their education and the school is more than just grades, credits and test scores.”
Also in attendance at the celebration were a number of “original” staff members, faculty members and teachers who have been with the school since it first opened in 2004.
“When we first opened, we had no running water and the bathrooms were a bunch of Andy Gumps out on the dirt football field,” said GVHS Office Manager Lynn Lien, the first classified staff member hired. “We missed the 10 year anniversary … but this 15 year (anniversary) is big.”
“We decided to run with it and plan this event, and the students bought into it,” said Zamora. “We hope the school continues to grow, and continues to grow not just as a community, but also with our test scores and how we reach out to our families.”