Rancho Santa Gertrudes Unveils "Healthy Living" Cafeteria Mural on January 22, 2014

On January 22, 2014, Rancho Santa Gertrudes Principal, Octavio Perez, unveiled the new “Healthy Living” mural outside of the school cafeteria. The mural concept was developed by the 70 students in the afterschool art club and with input from school advisors. Muralist, Jeanine Hattas, then took the concept and developed it into a mural depicting healthy living, exercise, and family.

Principal Perez welcomed invited guests and the Rancho student body before he introduced student speakers, Osmar Martinez and Casey Defrene. The students described the process of the mural development, as well as the concern about health issues in the Los Nietos and West Whittier communities. Superintendent Vasquez spoke of the importance of making healthy choices in life in order to take advantage of the quality education students receive in the Los Nietos School District. “Rancho and the Los Nietos School District will prepare you to go to college academically, but if you don’t make healthy choices you won’t be able to take full advantage of the opportunities your Los Nietos education will provide you”, Superintendent Vasquez said.

PIH Health Director of Community Benefits, Vanessa Ivie, also spoke to the students about the commitment PIH Health is making to the Los Nietos School District under the “Healthy Los Nietos “ program. One of the medical residents was also on hand to discuss how the PIH Health staff meets regularly with students, staff, and parents in the Los Nietos School District in an effort to raise awareness of health issues and provide education for healthier lifestyle changes.

The final speaker at the ceremony was Director of Nutrition Services, Kurt Chou, who spoke about the implementation of Rancho’s new salad bar that was being opened today at lunch. Ada S. Nelson School was also scheduled to open their salad bar today meaning that as of January 22, 2014, Los Nietos has 100% implementation of salad bars at all of its schools. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Principal Perez and staff advisors presented the 70 students certificates of appreciation for their participation with the healthy living mural at Rancho Santa Gertrudes.