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Students, Community Members Heralded As Everyday Heroes

Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees honored several youngsters and a member of the community during the Jan. 16 school board meeting.

Article courtesy the Walnut Valley Unified School District

Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees honored several super students from Castle Rock Elementary and South Pointe Middle schools and community partners during the Jan. 16 meeting.

Each recipient was presented with a Certificate of Special Recognition from Board President Helen Hall.

Castle Rock Elementary fourth grader Jacqueline Mirada was named the school’s 2012-13 Super Star. Principal Carol Sullivan said she was chosen for making a thoughtful inquiry during an International Baccalaureate unit about going green.

Jacqueline took the lead asking many questions that led to research and then more questions last year in Mrs. Diane Roddy’s third grade class. She was particularly concerned about the emissions from leaf blowers and why trees were trimmed when students needed them for shade, Sullivan said.

As a result of her questions, and questions by her classmates, Board Superintendent Dr. Dean Conklin and Director of Maintenance and Operations Jeff Bloedorn made a special visit to their room to listen to and address their concerns.

As a result, the district made some changes procedural changes, officials said.

“I am proud to present this Super Star Award to Jacqueline for being an excellent example of the International Baccalaureate attitudes of confidence, commitment, curiosity and respect,” Sullivan said.

Cantrell Photography was honored as Castle Rock’s Community Partner.

“Owner Marlene Cantrell and her staff have always gone above and beyond to provide excellent service to Castle Rock. In fact, they have always been just a phone call away,” Sullivan said.

Cantrell has served as the school’s photographer for more than 30 years.

“From taking great yearbook pictures, to providing our volunteer badges, they personify customer service and always deliver an excellent product in a timely way. Thank you, Cantrell, and we look forward to many more years of partnership,” Sullivan said.

South Pointe Middle School honored parent Gordon Mize with the Community Partner Award.

“This is a remarkable man,” said Principal Arzola.

Arzola told officials that Mize is at South Pointe on his days off and before he goes to work. Rain or shine he will put on his hat on and picks up trash in the parking lot, or running papers in the workroom. He sees a need, grabs his gloves and takes care of it, Arzola said.

“We find him everywhere. He is fast, smart, efficient, and we LOVE having him around the Pointe!” Arzola said.

South Pointe Middle School eighth grader Angeleena Escamilla was recognized as the 2012-13 Super Star student.

Angeleena plays the bass clarinet and French horn and has just been chosen for the 2013 All-State Honor Band. Only 200 middle school students in the State are selected to play in this elite ensemble, including only eight bass clarinet players.

Angeleena is an Honor Roll student. She is not just a good student -- she is a good person who is kind, caring and a first responder in any situation. She also helps care for her younger siblings. Angeleena is preparing herself for success in life and has the tenacity to accept any future challenges, Principal Arzola said.

“We’re very proud of Angeleena and we think you needed to meet her because she’s somebody you’re going to see and hear about,” Arzola said during the meeting.

South Pointe Middle School officials honored Joseph Aguilar as a Super Star.

“Last year, we implemented the Guardian Angel program. We all got to choose students that we wanted to advocate for. Assistant Principal Mrs. Jean Chung said, ‘I get this one,’” Principal Arzola explained.

Joseph is currently a freshman at Walnut High School.

Every morning Joseph gets himself and his little brother ready for school.  After the school day ends, and he’s finished football practice, Joseph helps his stepfather fix cars into the night.

Joseph was described as a great athlete, a great mechanic, an extremely intelligent young man, and a super student.

“He is compassionate, a hard worker dedicated to school, his team, his friends, and he puts family first -- sometimes even before himself. We are very proud of his accomplishments and his successful transition to Walnut High,” Arzola said.

“And whether or not he knows it, Joseph will always be part of our Panther Pride!” she added.

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