July 23, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Hughbanks Teacher Inducted Into Inaugural CSUSB Alumni Hall of Fame

3 min read

Highlighting a career marked by passion, dedication, and tireless advocacy for students, Juan Carlos Luna, a teacher at Elizabeth T. Hughbanks Elementary School in the Rialto Unified School District, stood tall as he was celebrated among the first cohort of inductees into the Alumni Hall of Fame at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), underscoring contributions in education.

The event, held on February 16, 2024, showcased the achievements of eight distinguished individuals who graduated from CSUSB and have made significant contributions to their communities and professions.

Luna’s moment in the spotlight captured the essence of the evening. With more than two decades of experience in education, the Latino educator’s journey from growing up in San Bernardino to becoming a student at CSUSB, and then making a difference as an educator is marked by a commitment to education and leading with passion in the RUSD.

“Wow, first and foremost this award means the world to me,” Luna stated ahead of the ceremony. “I’d like to share this award with my community. For all the students out there, I want to say, ‘This award is for you.’ Dream big and believe big things are possible. I am getting into the Hall of Fame at a prestigious university while coming from humble beginnings in the South side of San Bernardino. Of course, I want to give a shoutout to the Rialto Unified School District community that has embraced me as one of its teachers. It’s given me the best nine years.”

Luna holds multiple degrees from CSUSB, including a B.A. in Liberal Studies (2002) and two master’s degrees in Education and Educational Administration (2004 and 2006). Luna is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership at CSUSB. He exemplifies a lifelong learner dedicated to continual growth and excellence in his profession.

A graduate of San Gorgonio High School, where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2017, Luna’s roots in the community run deep. His commitment to education and service has been evident throughout his career, which spans multiple school districts including Fontana, Colton, and San Bernardino City Unified. Currently, in his ninth year at Hughbanks Elementary, Luna’s impact on the lives of his students goes far beyond the classroom.

As Luna’s name was called during the ceremony, the room erupted in applause, a testament to the impact he has had on his students, colleagues, and community. Mr. Luna gave a passionate speech at the event, highlighting his comment on using education to uplift others. He was joined by a large supportive crowd at the event that included RUSD Board of Education Clerk Mrs. Evelyn P. Dominguez and Member Mrs. Stephanie E. Lewis, Dr. Rhea McIver Gibbs, RUSD Lead Strategic Agent, Hughbanks Elementary School Principal Dr. Danielle Osonduagwike, members of the Hughbanks Elementary School staff, and more than 50 family members and friends of Luna.

Among the Hall of Fame inductees were Ellen Weisser, recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award; William Stevenson, honored with the Coyote Spirit Award; and Alberto Jasso, recognized with the Emerging Leader Award. Joining these esteemed individuals were recipients of the Paw Print Awards: Luna, Scott Keagy Smith, Tae-Wook Chun, Anthony Donatelli, and Mary Jane McCoy. Each of these individuals was acknowledged for their outstanding achievements and contributions to their respective fields.

Luna’s induction into the CSUSB Alumni Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor, highlighting his unwavering dedication to education and his tireless efforts to uplift and empower the next generation.

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