Two RUSD administrators, parent leaders, among honorees by Rialto Democratic Club 

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Photos RUSD: Wilmer Amina Carter High School Principal Dr. Robin McMillon, right, earned the Excellence in Education Award at the Rialto Democratic Club’s annual “Who’s Who Awards” recently. Dr. McMillon, pictured with Rialto Democratic Club President Daphne Hawkins, has served students in the Rialto Unified School District for eighteen years in a variety of positions.

The Rialto Democratic Club recently held its annual “Who’s Who Awards,” awarding 14 individuals for excellence in the community, including several members of the Rialto Unified School District education community. 

Wilmer Amina Carter High School Principal Dr. Robin McMillon earned the Excellence in Education Award from the Club. Meanwhile, Dr. Manuel Burciaga, RUSD Lead Academic Agent, Secondary Innovation, and Mirna Ruiz and Dakira Williams, both parent advocates within the RUSD, were both honored with the Rialto Superstar Award, along with fellow honorees: Velma Zenon and Cindy Nemecek as winners of the Rialto Superstar Award.

Dr. Manuel Burciaga (center), Rialto Unified School District’s Lead Academic: Secondary Innovation, and Mirna Ruiz (pictured third from the right), an RUSD parent advocate, were each honored with the Rialto Superstar Award at the Rialto Democratic Club’s annual “Who’s Who Awards.” Joining them for a photo were, from left, RUSD Board of Education President Edgar Montes, Evelyn Dominguez, parent advocate and candidate for the RUSD Board of Education, RUSD Superintendent Dr. Cuauhtémoc Avila, 40th District Assemblymember James Ramos, Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price, Rialto Democratic Club President Daphne Hawkins, and Dr. Kelly Erving, candidate for Rialto City Council.

The star-studded event was held at Sierra Lakes Golf Club on October 13, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. The keynote address was delivered by 40th District Assemblymember, James Ramos. Ramos delivered a speech entitled “United in Democracy,” which electrified the crowd of 220.

Additional awardees included: Michael Green, Labor Leader & Consultant, Excellence in Labor Award; Sool Lee, Excellence Community Service Award; Paston  Dwaine L. Harding, Veteran Champion Award; Terrance Harper, Business Champion; Channing T. Hawkins, President of the West Valley Water District, Elected of the Year; Terrace Stone, Founder & CEO of Young Visionaries, Nonprofit Champion Award; Congresswoman Norma Torres, President’s Excellence in Servant Leadership Award; and Barbara Chavez, Lifetime Achievement Award. Nemecek also earned the President’s Volunteer of the Year Award along with her Rialto Superstar Award honor. 

Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price also attended to support Dakira Williams, his stepdaughter, who was being honored. 

“It was a sensational evening,” said, President of the Rialto Democratic Club, Daphne Hawkins. “It is a great honor and privilege to host the Who’s Who awards each year on behalf of the distinguished Rialto Democratic Club. Congratulations to this year’s honorees. Thank you for your commitment and service to the great City of Rialto and throughout our Inland Empire region. The servant leaders honored this year demonstrated vision, dedication and commitment to improving our communities for all. When we do not have compassionate and passionate people representing our communities interest, the people within our community suffer!

During the last eighteen years, Dr. McMillon has held a multitude of instructional positions at both the elementary level and secondary levels within the Rialto Unified School District. Dr. McMillon served as a Middle School History Teacher at Frisbie Middle School, Assistant Principal at Wilmer Amina Carter High School, Elementary Principal at Lena M. Preston Elementary School, Middle School Principal at Rialto Middle School, and currently as Principal of Wilmer Amina Carter High School. 

Dr. Burciaga has served as an educator for 25 years. He began his education career as a high school teacher in Idaho and then moved to Southern California. He has taught Spanish at the high school level for 14 years. His past 11 years have been in education administration. Dr. Burciaga has been a Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, and High School Principal. The veteran educator has been at the RUSD since 2020 and is currently the Lead Academic Agent of Secondary Innovation in the Rialto Unified School District.

Ruiz has been a Rialto resident for 17 years. She has been an RUSD volunteer since 2003 and part of the Parent Teacher Association since 2004. She is currently the President of the Rialto Council of PTAs, Vice President of Alianza Latina, a parent advocacy group, Correspondence Secretary for the Rialto Democratic Club, and Secretary for the Chicano Latino Caucus. 

Williams has been a Rialto resident for over eight years and is very active in the community. She has served on the Parent Advisory Council for Meyer’s Elementary and as Trapp Elementary’s District Advisory Committee representative; she currently serves as president for Trapp Elementary’s School Site Council and is a member of its PTA.