June 13, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Rialto Unified School District Leaders Honored with State, Regional Awards

4 min read
RUSD Honors 2023

The Rialto Unified School District continues to bring in major awards with several leaders in the District being recognized recently for state and regional honors for their outstanding work.

From administrators to support staff, these individuals have been acknowledged for their excellence in education and commitment to their work. The honors are as follows:

Dr. Rhea McIver Gibbs, RUSD Lead Strategic Agent, has been named the 2023 San Bernardino County Education Medal of Honor award in the Excellence in Education/Student Alumni category.

Dr. Manuel Burciaga, RUSD Lead Academic Agent: Secondary Innovation, was selected as an Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators in (ACSA) Region 12.

Dr. Kyla Griffin, Milor High School Principal, was named Administrator of the Year by the California Continuation Education Association Plus (CCEA Plus), Mr. Edwin Carranza, Milor High School Clerk Typist III, earned CCEA Plus Classified Employee of the Year, and Milor High School’s Manhood Project was named Exemplary Program by CCEA Plus.

Dr. McIver Gibbs is a graduate of the RUSD and has worked in the District for more than three decades. She was appointed as the District’s Lead Strategic Agent in October 2022. Dr. McIver Gibbs will be honored at an awards ceremony held on April 24 at the Dorothy Inghram Learning Center in San Bernardino.

“I am so humbled by this recognition,” Dr. McIver Gibbs stated. “As a proud student alumnus of the Rialto Unified School District, I have had a gratifying career in education spanning over 32 years while serving the students, families, teachers, classified staff, and administrators of this community. It has been a work of ‘heart,’ and I truly love my profession and my District.”

Dr. Burciaga, who joined the District in 2021, will be honored as an Administrator of the Year at the ACSA Region 12 Spring Celebration Ontario Doubletree Hotel on May 1 alongside Eisenhower High School senior Kayla Bodon, who is an ACSA Region 12 High School Scholarship Recipient.

Dr. Burciaga was nominated by Dr. Griffin. She stated that Dr. Burciaga has been there to support her and others in the district with actions, not just words.

“He didn’t just say, ‘I’m here to support.’ He rolled up his sleeves and was present.” said Griffin. “I appreciated that, and I believe that made him the Administrator of the Year for ACSA, Region 12.”

Of the award, Dr. Burciaga stated: “Receiving this award is a great honor for me and the Rialto Unified School District community. To be named Administrator of the Year validates the hard work me and my colleagues put in day in and day out.”

In 2022, Milor High School was named Model Continuation High School by CCEA Plus and teacher Mr. Jeffrey Whisman earned Teacher of the Year. The Mustangs have another set of honors from the organization this year with Dr. Griffin, Mr. Carranza, and the Manhood Project all being recognized by CCEA Plus, a State organization that advocates for the interests of continuation school students and staff. They will be honored at CCEA Plus 2023 State Conference in San Diego on the weekend of April 27-30.

Mr. Carranza has served for the last three years as the Clerk Typist III. He was nominated for the award by Dr. Griffin, who said that he goes above and beyond to assist students.

“His professionalism is authentic,” Griffin stated. “I appreciate that about Edwin, and I think he should be recognized for that. In every area of professionalism from customer service, punctuality, being a team player, being adaptive, and being flexible Edwin is outstanding.”

Carranza has served for the last two years as the Clerk Typist III at Milor High School. He was nominated for the Classified Employee of the Year award by Dr. Griffin, who said that he goes above and beyond to assist students.

Carranza stated that the best part of his job at Milor High School is interacting with students, getting to know them on a first-name basis, and helping them succeed.

“I am humbled and grateful to be receiving this award,” Carranza said. “It feels good to be recognized.”

Dr. Griffin has served as the Principal at Milor High School for four years. She was nominated for the award by Mrs. Kristy Streff, Milor High School Assistant Principal.

“Dr. Griffin is passionate about building Milor High School into a place where all students feel safe, respected, and supported,” Mrs. Streff stated. “With her outstanding leadership, we have fostered that very environment on campus. Her motto for Milor High School is ‘Success Starts Here’ and she is the living embodiment of it as well.”

On her Administrator of the Year honor, Dr. Griffin stated: “It is an honor to be recognized within the context of alternative education. To have a panel of experts who understand the infrastructure of alternative education recognize me, is such a rewarding feeling.”

Dr. Griffin helped bring the Manhood Project, which is being recognized as an Exemplary Program, to the school two years ago. The program is a social-emotional learning development program for male students. Led by Mr. Phil Black, Manhood Project founder, the program helps to build morally strong, capable, and confident young men.

“The program has given so much to our students. To have it recognized is our way of paying it forward,” Griffin stated. “(Through the program), you see an increase of maturity and dedication to personal goals that naturally have an impact on the school.”


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