Dance Teacher Moves To USB

Frances Wu, Asst. News Editor

Once the mastermind of Diamond Bar High School’s award winning dance department, Janna Van Horn said goodbye to her dancing shoes and hello to student leadership. Van Horn has recently replaced former activities director Chelsea Grunseth, who left the position to serve as the Vice Principal at Townsend Middle School.

Before taking her new position, Van Horn, formerly known as Lindenberg, managed the Dance department of DBHS. When Van Horn heard about the open position, she jumped at the opportunity to apply and immediately went through a thorough interview process.

“I was excited at the idea of being more involved in supporting all the amazing things that happen here at DBHS,” Van Horn said in an e-mail.

Now that she has become the Activities Director, Van Horn will no longer be able to coach dance and DBHS must find a replacement instructor.

“It would be unfair to both programs for me to split my time … Of course, I am still on campus to help with the transition as needed. There is no doubt in my mind that the program will continue to thrive and grow,” Van Horn said.

After graduating from DBHS in 1996 and later from Long Beach State University, Van Horn returned to DBHS to work as a Performing Arts coach and was later hired full-time to oversee the entire dance department. During her time here, her dance teams have earned Regional, State, and National recognition.

The former dance coach also established the school’s All-Male dance crew. She has been so successful that she was named Teacher of the Year last year, and was a finalist in the Music Center’s Bravo Award in 2010.

Many students will miss Grunseth, including USB Council Chairperson Kevin Lee, who says, “She taught me to always aim higher and that there are no impossible tasks.”

Grunseth has previously taught Journalism and served at summer school for at-risk students in the Bridge program. While many USB students will miss  her greatly, it seems that not everybody feels the same way.

“It is hard to say that Mrs. Grunseth lived up to the high expectations we had for a new activities director. We felt her style of supervision, as also witnessed in her years as journalism advisor, was not conducive to learning leadership and responsibilities,” Justin Park, class of 2013 alumnus commented. Park was in USB for four semesters and was also in Grunseth’s Journalism class.

The current advisor has endless enthusiasm towards supporting USB and continuing to better the school.

“I am looking forward to creating new traditions as well as supporting the staff and student body to make this a place where everyone is happy to be,” Van Horn wrote.