Lena M. Preston Elementary School’s Vision and Mission Statements
Preston Elementary School will maximize students’ academic, social, and cultural development, so students can acquire knowledge and skills to live meaningful and productive lives.
The mission of Preston Elementary School, an AVID community of excellence and unlimited possibilities, is to kindle passion in each student to become life-long learners who will achieve and maximize the full potential in their personal and global endeavors to safeguard their future, through a vital system distinguished by stable social and academic foundations, high expectations for student achievement, vast educational opportunities, academic integration and access of technology for all, and value and appreciation of cultural diversity.
Preston Elementary School 1958
Lena .M. Preston
Lena Marie Preston was born on a farm in Germany in 1877, and came to Rialto in 1905. In addition to caring for her own large family, she turned herself into an unpaid one woman welfare agency for Rialto, at a time before any government welfare agency existed. There was never a call for help that she was not the first to answer. At times, when Lytle Creek was so full of water that San Bernardino doctors were not able to cross the wash in their buggies to reach Rialto, she delivered many babies herself. Dr. Walter Cherry, an early Rialto doctor, recalled that “Whenever I need to transport someone to the hospital and could not break away, I simply called Mrs. Preston and it was as good as done. I don’t know why she wasn’t on my payroll”.
Lena Preston’s social life centered around two organizations, the First Methodist Church and the Rialto Women’s Club. In both organizations, naturally, she was the Welfare Chairman. Members of the Women’s Club who were contacted said, “You never had to be concerned over a welfare project if Mrs. Preston was there. She just quietly organized it”. She did an enormous amount of volunteer work with the Red Cross during both World War I and II, where she was a whirlwind of energy on the Red Cross Board. She worked with sewing groups and mailed gifts overseas.
Mrs. Preston distributed food to the needy during the depression years, and did medical and child welfare volunteer work for the Community Chest for many years. Perhaps her best known contribution to the Rialto schools was in starting a free milk program. She made sure that little children received milk, and also insured that no family was deprived of milk because they could not pay their bill. Many times she just quietly paid the bill from her own pocket.