By Kelli Gile
WALNUT—The Walnut Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees paid tribute to star students and community partners during the January 17 meeting.
C.J. Morris Elementary 5th grader Madeline Toh received a certificate of special recognition as the winner of the 2017 “Holidays Around the World” greeting card contest. Madeline’s submission depicted ornaments decorated with a globe and flags of several countries. She also received a gift certificate courtesy of Yogurtland in Walnut.
Walnut Elementary 5th grader Quinton Mendoza was saluted with the school’s Super Star Student Award. The multi-talented student is a scholar, athlete, and speaks multiple languages. He has been described as compassionate, humble, kind, and funny.
“Quinton is a lot like gravity – a quiet force that affects everyone,” said Principal Robert Chang.
One example of Quinton’s big heart is his willingness to give up his morning recess each day.
He reports to the bus drop off area and picks up the tots kindergartners to make sure they arrive safely to their special education class.
On days he has 100-mile running club practice, Quinton makes sure to notify his substitute, whom he personally trained.
“Quinton doesn’t do these things for recognition, he simply acts from his heart and reaches for his goals,” Chang said. “He’s one of a kind and makes our school a better place!”
Longtime parent volunteer Molly Mendoza, and Quinton’s mom, was presented with the Partner in Education Award.
“Molly has done so many wonderful things for our school and truly deserves this honor,” Chang said.
The Community Club president has devoted countless hours organizing and participating in fundraisers, activities, and field trips.
“Molly always gives 110% and has been a part in everything going on at the school,” Chang said.
“You have not only left shoes that will be extremely difficult to fill, but have left footprints in hearts and changed our lives for the better.”
Ron Hockwalt Academies (RHA) senior Demetrius Lowery received the Super Star Student Award.
“He’s a great kid and has been a blessing on our campus,” said Principal Dr. Donna Hunter.
Demetrius has done a lot of hands-on work in the school’s HOPE garden and has a gift at fixing things, she explained. The teen even brought a crate of oranges to present to the Trustees.
The school’s HOPE program is designed to help students create a future they want. HOPE stands for Heart, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Excellence
“He’s showing HOPE and heart for all his schoolmates, staff, and school. We are very proud of Demetrius!” Hunter said.
Ernie Quejado, founder of the Sanlo Homestay Foundation, was honored with the school’s Partner in Education Award.
Ernie has adopted RHA and for the past three years has donated a $1,000 each year for student leadership.
“We’re a small school and these funds go a long way,” Hunter explained.
RHA is able to provide field trips, incentives, and activities through this generous support.
“We appreciate him and his support for our campus!” Hunter said.