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Temple City High School’s HelioTech team will compete in the Solar Car Challenge in Texas this July 

Temple City High School students are revolutionizing the road with their exciting solar based project, HelioTech. This student-led club and team isn't just dreaming of a greener future; they're making it happen by crafting a one of a kind solar-powered vehicle to compete in the annual Solar Car Challenge this summer.

This project is a full-throttle, multidisciplinary effort, with students tackling everything from the nuts and bolts of mechanics to the sunny side of solar panels and sponsorships. Students began by building a plan, setting a budget, began fundraising and most importantly, they learned how to engineer the car and manage the project. The TCHS HelioCar team is made up of committees focused on different aspects of the project including mechanical, solar, composites, exterior, operations and finance. Despite their demanding schedules, which included classes, homework, family responsibilities, sports and other commitments, the Heliotech team devotes 30 hours a week to the project. All this hard work is leading them to the national competition at the world-famous Texas Motor Speedway in July 2024, where their car will compete. TCHS HelioTech will be one of thirty-two high school teams, four from California, from across the United States heading to Texas for the 31st annual Solar Car Challenge, which begins July 14. During the four day challenge they will race around Texas Motor Speedway to see which team’s car goes the greatest distance. The race is not just about speed; it's about sustainability to see which car completes the most laps. 


        The Solar Car Challenge, which is a finalist in the 2024 D CEO Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards in the Innovation and Education category, was established in 1993 by educator Dr. Lehman Marks. The program is designed to help motivate students in the fields of science, technology and alternative energy. Students built the cars using their own ideas and started from scratch. Students who take part in the Solar Car Challenge have a 23% greater chance of going into a STEM career than students participating in other STEM programs. This is the top project-based STEM program in the country. 

        As the July competition draws near, the team is intensifying their efforts, meticulously refining every aspect of their solar car. From welding to suspension, from engineering to fundraising, these students aren't just acquiring skills; they're reveling in the experience. The car is approaching its final building lap, with final touches taking place and test drives in full swing.  Before the race, their cars will face “scrutineering” – rigorous evaluation by a panel of experienced judges – at the speedway from July 11-13.  During the race, car breakdowns, weather conditions and team experience will limit the number of miles a team can drive each day. The team driving the most miles accumulated over the four days of racing at Texas Motor Speedway will be declared the winner. The student team will have to prepare for the inevitable problems that can happen with the car and stay focused through four grueling days of racing. 

        Temple City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Art Cunha says, “We are so proud of the HelioTech team. They are an impressive group of students and with the tremendous progress they’ve made, we fully expect them to dominate!”



Senior Kai Hirayama competed in the CIF State Championships on May 29, 2024 at San Gabriel Country Club in hopes of securing a place at the top. After missing the state finals by a stroke last year, Hirayama stayed focused on advancing to these finals.

It was a great end of the season for Hirayama, who advanced to the state finals after shooting a 5-under 69 at the CIF/SCGA Southern California Regional championship, where he finished in a tie for sixth. Kai then shot a 4-under 67 after an 18 hole journey at the State Championship, securing a second place finish. 

He came up just short of a first place finish but he was proud of his performance, “It is special to be here and even play this beautiful course in the finals,” Hirayama said. “Playing this well on this course is an achievement. It is what it is. I came up short by a shot, but that’s golf.”

Hirayama will continue his golf career at UC Berkeley next year. 




Temple City High School celebrated a “Farewell Friday Night Lights” event with hundreds of alumni and community members as it launched construction on a new Sports Complex

The TCUSD community gathered in large numbers for the Final Farewell Friday Night Lights and Sports Complex Groundbreaking. It was a delightful community event, attended by numerous alumni, current families, students, as well as former coaches, band directors, and teachers. Many individuals came together to bid farewell to the grounds that had been the venue for over 60 years of track meets, football games, soccer matches, graduation ceremonies, and even the swearing-in of the 1960 Temple City City Council.







The event began with an official groundbreaking ceremony for the new sports complex, complete with shovels, balloons, construction equipment and the blow-up TCHS Rams tunnel. The ceremony, mc'd by Clark Macy, included a national anthem performance by alumni Brighterside Singers, under the direction of former teacher and Choral Director Roger Lockie. In addition, the Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. Art Cunha and Temple City High School Principal Elena Li stepped forward to break ground on our new sports complex. The Pride of Temple City band, color guard and pep squad filled the event with school spirit and extraordinary music. Long time TCUSD Instrumental Director Emmett Houlihan was a guest conductor for the TCHS band, as they played the fight song when we officially broke ground. Additionally, Temple City High School‘s longest tenured band director, Bert Ferntheil, was a guest conductor as well. 


When the groundbreaking concluded guests enjoyed a variety of activities, indulged at the snack bar and visited booths hosted by many high school sports teams. The Temple City Historical Society also hosted a museum display that included many historical pieces like Cheerleader uniforms, old sports articles, trophies from championships and so much more. Guests reminisced about the football team’s 1973 forty-six game winning streak, tying the California state record. Additionally the field was home to girl’s soccer’s 47 game winning streak in the early 1990s. So many memories flooded the field as alumni shared endless stories, all while looking forward to the future. 

It was a night that will not soon be forgotten. Construction on the new sports complex has begun with an estimated completion date of summer 2025. The field and track will be changed to a composite material allowing for more lanes and a custom turf field will be installed. The home bleachers will be expanded and will be ADA compliant and more accessible. The field will be topped by a state-of-the-art press box for full event and game coverage. Field events will be moved to the east end of the new field, complete with all the necessary equipment. The snack bar is moving to a building on the west end of the field that will also include storage, locker rooms, restrooms, and a classroom for our outstanding Sports Medicine class. The baseball field and softball fields will be modernized and updated with Temple City High School logos. Behind the new bleachers, the current practice field will be replaced with brand new tennis courts. This will bring all the outdoor sports together in a complete complex to take Temple City High School into the future. In addition this space will be used to showcase TCHS’s talented band, colorguard and pep teams as well as a home to pep rallies, graduations and community events. This sports complex will improve the student and athletic experience for generations to come. 



Oak Ave Intermediate students had an enriching weekend at Astrocamp in Idyllwild. Students stayed onsite, immersing themselves in the diverse offerings of the camp. Engaging in a range of STEM activities and adventurous tasks, they explored the beautiful tree lined surroundings.

Among the highlights were a variety of thrilling ropes courses. The Power Pole activity challenged students to ascend a towering pole, taking a daring leap into open air to strike a dangling ball. Partnering up, they then experienced a unique zipline adventure by having a friend hoist them to a desired height and then release a ripcord, allowing them to fly through the air. 

The students did some more exploring in an expedition where students scaled the walls of Valles Marineris, one of the solar system's largest canyons. The Astrolympics added a fun competitive element to the experience, with students facing off in various activities. The picturesque property also saw students enjoying hikes and embarking on a meteorite hunt armed with powerful magnets. Each student found their own piece of the solar system to take home.

Evenings were adorned with stars as students gazed at the night skies from two onsite observatories. They marveled at close-up images of stars and the moon. Diving into STEM subjects, students delved into the properties of pressure, temperature, and density as they experimented with different gasses to understand the atmosphere. Balloons filled with these various gasses showcased the explosive nature of these substances. Additionally, students constructed and launched two-liter bottle rockets into the atmosphere.

This experience proved to be a valuable opportunity for the students, offering them insights into science and the world of space! 




Temple City, CA - “Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek….” And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Yes, your favorite ogre is back in the hilarious stage spectacle based on the Oscar-winning, smash hit, DreamWorks animated film. This reimagined production brings the show back to its roots – giving it a new kind of love emphasizing the importance of loving ourselves and one another. 

A cast & crew consisting of nearly 200 members from Temple City High School is set to bring "Shrek the Musical" to life at the San Gabriel Playhouse on March 8, 9, and 10. Since their initial rehearsal in November, these dedicated students have invested significant time and effort, meeting daily for 4-5 hours throughout the school week to refine the script, songs, and dances. By the time the curtain lifts, the entire cast will have contributed between 800 and 1200 hours or rehearsal, delivering a truly unique and stellar experience to the audience. This student-run production is guided by the mentorship of Executive Producer/Technical Director Elias Bourjeili and Director Michael Kidd. Bourjeili, with extensive experience in professional productions, eagerly anticipates the opening night, emphasizing that "Shrek The Musical" is a different experience from the movie with funnier jokes, cuter characters, a plethora of additional songs, and the dynamic element of live theater.”

Dragonflicks is the Temple City high school media and stage crew team. The students in Dragonflicks take care of all of the technical elements of the show. This includes building the set, programming lighting, making props, scene changes, audio, special effects, etc. Bourjeilli describes the show as innovative with many new elements, “There are TONS of new special effects that are TCHS firsts, along with amazing lighting and smoke effects and cryogenic effects. We are also introducing puppetry this year, which you will see with the use of a large dragon.” He continued with more exciting additions to the show, “It is also the first time we will be having automated scene changes with a motorized turntable built above the existing stage at the San Gabriel playhouse. The technical elements of this show will come in 3 fully packed semi- trucks…the largest we have ever received!” 

Caymin Tran is playing the role of Shrek and has perfected his dancing, singing, acting and “Shrek” voice for the production. He is looking forward to putting on a great show, “We have an amazing cast. This is one of the biggest musicals we've done. It’s a really fun musical to watch and it'll it's a really big crowd-pleaser. It is very funny, but also has meaningful drama, something for everyone!” 

Director, Michael Kidd is proud of the high level of production, “When you come to this show you will see a production that would easily cost $100 a ticket somewhere else.  The fire breathing dragon alone is worth the price of admission. What makes this production special is the talent of the students performing in it.  The actors, the crew, the orchestra are all student performers working with a broadway level script, music, set and costumes.” This is truly a show for everyone in the family to enjoy, from the storyline to the set, there is something for everyone.

The musical has many show stopping performances. When asked what performance will be his favorite, Director Kidd shared, “My favorite song will undoubtedly be I Know It’s Today which will feature young Fiona, teen Fiona and Princess Fiona harmonizing as the many sides of our complex heroine.” Bourjelli added, “My favorite song is Who’d I’d Be, the finale of Act 1. Most shows are written with a VERY strong conclusion to the first act, and this production is no exception.” 

Shows are March 8 at 7:30pm, March 9 at 7:30pm and March 10 at 2:30pm. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster or at MissionPlayhouse.org. See you there!




Emperor Elementary is paving the way for future female engineers. Girls were given the opportunity to apply to be a part of a special after school program, Bridge Engineering Club 4 Girls. Students were provided with the chance to learn from experienced engineer Karen Cormier, who was the Resident Engineer for the newly opened Sixth Street Viaduct Bridge in Los Angeles. The main goal for this club was to give students exposure to the methods of science and technology while learning a new computer-aided tool and building their design into a scale-model product. In addition it encourages a supportive, collaborative, and cooperative environment. 

Cormier was also a professional educator teaching students from the elementary through middle school level. She created an interactive and hands-on curriculum for grades 3-8. Over the course of eight weeks, a committed group of students were introduced to bridge engineering, design and construction. The class began with education on various bridges and bridge building. Using books, students constructed a cantilever bridge and learned about suspension bridges. They also attempted to create a bridge from a single sheet of paper. 

In Addition to learning some basics of bridges and structures, the students were introduced to the interactive West Point Bridge Designer (WPBD) program that provided students with a realistic introduction to engineering through an authentic, hands-on design experience. The software provided the students with the tools to model, test & optimize a steel highway bridge, based on realistic specifications, constraints, and performance criteria.  After learning the basics of the West Point Bridge Modeling program, each team designed a truss bridge. Students were mindful of cost and the materials they used and were able to improve the design of their bridge through multiple design iterations. A 2-D template of the truss provided the basis for construction of each truss. Bridges were made with craft sticks, straws, cardboard for gusset plates, and lots of glue. The model, to represent the 44-ft span, was 44 inches long and each of the craft stick trusses were scaled to the same length. Each team then built a three-dimensional model of their truss using craft sticks to represent bar members and straws to imitate tubular members. Craft sticks and straws were doubled to account for very large member sizes. Students then discovered innovative ways to fabricate the bridges, including cardboard jigs to temporarily support the bridge while trusses and cross-members were glued together. Students then painted, decorated and named their bridge.  Students culminated the Club meetings with a load bearing test. They loaded finished bridges with boxes of Pink Pearl erasures, loose erasures, and even boxes of binder clips. Five boxes containing 24 Pink Pearl erasures was equivalent to 6 pounds. Bridges were loaded to model failure, which was defined as instability (the bridge tipped over) or broken joints and/or members. 

It was not all about how much the bridge could hold, students were to design truss bridges that were also efficient, and economical. Students were proud of their bridge designs and were very excited to see how many pounds their bridge could hold. The suspense was palpable as each box of 6 pounds was placed on the center of the bridge and measurements were taken. In the end, they were awarded certificates based on cost ranking, efficiency, aesthetic and load at failure. The gold award for the bridge that was able to withstand the most weight went to team K & S MV Bridge, whose bridge held 28.5 pounds and did not fall. K & S MV Bridge also won the gold award for the most aesthetically pleasing bridge. The gold award for cost ranking went to Angels & Devils Bridge, whose real life bridge would have cost less than $280,000. The King Burger Bridge won gold in the efficiency category. This engineering club offered students a diverse range of hands-on lessons that gave students real insight into possible engineering careers.

As the class came to a close, Karen Cormier closed the sessions encouraging students to explore STEM careers, “You were a remarkable group to work with. Remember currently only 15% of engineers are women, we need more girls in STEM and you can be one of them!”

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The Board of Education of Temple City USD will review and approve the District's Annual Developer Fee Report and Five Year Report at its scheduled regular board meeting on 12/13 at 6:00pm at Temple City USD board room at 9700 Las Tunas Dr. Temple City, CA 91780. The Report has been posted on the TCUSD website. Please send any written request for mailing the public notice and the report to the Business Services Department, Temple City Unified School District. 

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New Sports and Activities Complex at Temple City High School

TCUSD family, we have some exciting news to announce!

We are thrilled to share the first official mock-ups of the new state-of-the-art sports and activities complex at Temple City High School. This complex will take our sports scene, band performances and district events to new heights.

This magnificent facility will be a game-changer for our athletes, providing them with modern amenities and endless opportunities to pursue their sporting passions. This sports complex will feature cutting-edge facilities, including a new turf field for our Football and Soccer Athletes, new tennis courts, a renovated baseball field, a new track, shot put corner, long jump pit and training areas. In addition there will be elements to acknowledge our alumni and athletes, time capsule spaces, new locker rooms, bathrooms, and new spectator seating spaces. There will also be an event center hub with concessions, a press box and state-of-the-art scoreboard. 

We are very excited for the amazing opportunities this new complex will bring to our entire Temple City Unified community. Construction is set to begin in the summer of 2024, with a majority completion date of May 2025, in order to host graduation.

Let's embrace this exciting new chapter as we create an even better place for our students to play and thrive.


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Assemblymember Mike Fong, D-Alhambra, presented 17 Inaugural Outstanding Educator Awards at East Los Angeles College on Thursday, Aug. 10. We are so proud to have had three of our very own TCUSD educators honored. The event highlighted educators from the 49th Assembly District who have displayed “dedication, passion and tireless efforts to empower and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Wyndelyn Barz received the Outstanding Educator Award. Ms. Barz is currently a Counselor at Emperor and has been with the district 16 years.

Shelley Scanlan received the Outstanding Educator Award. Ms. Scanlan is a 6th grade teacher at Emperor and just celebrated 25 years with TCUSD.

In addition to the two honorees above, Marlisse Reina was also honored but was unable to attend the ceremony. Ms. Reina is a Science teacher at Oak Avenue and is celebrating her 10th year with TCUSD. Congratulations Ms. Reina and thank you for all you do for our students and we look forward to celebrating Ms. Reina soon. 

Congratulations to these wonderful educators. 

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Temple City High School Ranked Top 6% in the Nation

Temple City High School earned high National and metro-area rankings in 2023-2024 Best High Schools, which U.S. News released this morning. TC High School ranked in the top 6% in the nation.

We take immense pride in the ongoing accomplishments of our high school students. We extend our thanks to the dedicated staff, teachers, and administration who work behind the scenes to foster high-achieving learning environments and cultivate an active and inviting campus atmosphere!

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