BY KELLI GILE
Walnut – The Walnut Valley Unified Board of Trustees recognized the Vejar Elementary Super Star Student and Community Partners on Sept. 17.
“Andrew Osorio was selected as our Super Star Student for his bravery, his hard work, and his positive attitude that exemplified not just the Vejar Values, but a strong human spirit,” said Principal Jennifer De Anda during the Board Meeting.
During the presentation, she showed slides from a visit with Andrew at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles earlier this month. Andrew had been on a transplant list due to a congenital heart problem.
“I had the honor of presenting him with Super Star recognition,” De Anda said.
She then recalled some memories of the special Vejar student.
“There were times when Andrew would come into the office due to his condition because he couldn’t participate in physical education,” De Anda explained. “And so during that time he would come in and rest. When other students came in because they were injured or weren’t feeling well, Andrew would console them, he would joke with them, and read them stories. He was very sweet and caring,” she said.
Andrew sadly passed away on September 3.
De Anda shared that Andrew’s unending smile and his brave “thumbs up” were inspirational to the Vejar community.
Last spring, teacher Jamie Highstreet, Office Manager Yadira Gostel, student leaders, and the community club rallied around Andrew to help raise money for his medical expenses. Kelli Gile, Public Information Liaison, and Rich Irwin, San Gabriel Valley Tribune reporter, received the Partner in Education Award for their help with the fundraiser.
“Thanks to them, our Have a Heart campaign made the newspapers and brought in even more money,” the Vejar principal explained. “They both went out of their way to publicize our fundraiser to help Andrew’s family. They spoke with him and with the family with the kindness and empathy that helped them feel at ease,” she said.
As a result, the school was able to give the family nearly $3,000 from the Walnut community.
The Osorio family has invited students, staff, and community members to share their favorite memories of Andrew at www.AndrewOsorio.Foundation.