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Schlenz, Gilmore, Chicca-Wilding earn honors

January 9, 2013


Linda Schlenz seems to always have a smile on her face — especially when she’s talking about the accomplishments of her students.

Schlenz, an English teacher at Lucerne Valley High School, was selected as a Staff Member of the Month honoree. LVHS also selected Victoria Gilmore as Student of the Month, and Shania Chicca-Wilding is the Lucerne Valley Middle School Student of the Month.

Schlenz has worked at LVHS for 13 years and first came to Lucerne Valley 21 years ago with her husband, local pastor Gary Schlenz. She has a wall full of newspaper clippings in her classroom celebrating the various academic and athletic accomplishments of students at the school.

“I think what I love the most is that we’re small enough that we’re a family and we really get to know our students,” Schlenz said, noting that some students’ accomplishments might get overlooked on a bigger campus. “Everybody gets a chance to get their moment in a small school. … There’s so much that the staff does that nobody even knows, but it’s all for the kids. And that’s what’s great about (LVHS Principal Patricia Courtney), it’s all about the kids.”

Gilmore, in addition to being a standout student, is the freshman class president and is involved in the FFA program. Gilmore said she enjoys English and science classes.

“I really love reading, so getting to read different kinds of books is really fun,” Gilmore said. “And in science, I just like learning about all the different kinds of rocks.”

Gilmore said she loves animals – especially exotic ones like tigers – and dreams of becoming a veterinarian one day.

Chicca-Wilding’s mother is a teacher at the elementary school, and she lives in Big Bear. The seventh-grader said she chose to come to Lucerne Valley Middle School because she gets along well with other kids at the school and likes the warmer climate.

“Up there, it’s always so cold,” Chicca-Wilding said of Big Bear.

She said she enjoys math because “It’s just easy for me. I get it.”

Chicca-Wilding said she’d like to become a teacher one day, possibly a dance teacher.

The honors were given for the month of October; the November and December/January winners will appear in the Leader in the coming weeks.