Tuolumne County schools have announced Students of the Month for December:
Alyvia Cromwell, fifth grade, Belleview Elementary — Alyvia, the daughter of Christina Montalvo and Floyd Cromwell, “has a shining character,” said teacher Carmel Portillo. “She embodies our core values, most especially through her qualities of responsibility and teamwork. She comes to class each day ready to learn and with a big smile on her face. She is dependable and notices when someone needs help. She currently holds the class job of librarian, not only giving extra care to organizing our class library each day, but also sharing her great love of reading and books with everyone. If there’s a task or a game, she jumps right in with a positive attitude, encouraging others and trying her best. .”
Aaron Ruedas, fourth grade, Chinese Camp Science Academy — “Aaron is a great student, friend and role model for others who would like to succeed in school,” said school staff. “He has come to school nearly an hour early almost every day this school year to build his reading and spelling skills, and his extra efforts are definitely paying off in the classroom. Aaron gets along with everybody and always has positive words to say to his peers and teachers. Even when given a challenging assignment, he does not complain, and will ask questions in order to do his very best on the task. Outside the classroom, he loves sports and PE activities.” Aaron is the son of Juan and Ana Ruedas, of Jamestown.
Natalia Sosa, fifth grade, Columbia Elementary — Natalia, the daughter of Karla and Ty Bowman, of Sonora, “is a hardworking and motivated student,” said teacher Lauren Edward. “She is an enthusiastic learner who is highly regarded by the staff that have had the pleasure of working with her. Natalia is a truly kind and polite individual that does the right thing, even when no one is watching. Her peers both like and respect her.”
Lynnea Uhl, eighth grade, Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy — Lynnea’s teachers said “This kid is pretty amazing. She is a hard worker, is kind to others and generous with her time. She auditioned for and will be participating in the Tuolumne County Honor Music Festival in the spring. Lynnea regularly goes above and beyond and always has a big smile on her face.” Her teachers love her positive attitude, work ethic and bright personality. Lynnea is the daughter of Bert and Christy Uhl, of Sonora.
Sziszi Hites, 12th grade, Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy — Sziszi, the daughter of Andy and Julie Hites, of Columbia, “has been an amazing student in Connections for the past four years,” said school staff. “This month she showcased her talents as a musician by rocking the saxophone for our Jazz Band and Orange Crush Band in several parades and our winter concert. She is also a key member of Jazz @8 and can be heard singing with the group around the county Christmas tunes and more. Her band teacher said the following about Sziszi. ‘She maintains a rigorous performance schedule and still remains polite and kind to everyone she encounters. She is humble and willing to reach outside herself to be helpful to others.’ Academically, she has been outstanding and has a 4.11 GPA.”
Abram Dambacher, third grade, Curtis Creek Elementary — Abram, the son of Justin and Betzaida Dambacher, of Sonora, “is an amazing third-grade boy,” said teacher Beth McIlroy. “He excels in all areas of school. I am most impressed by how much pride he takes in his school work. He is an excellent reader and is equally strong in math. When I give directions Abram follows them to the last detail. I have observed Abram with his peers in the classroom and on the yard. He is a true leader. He is patient and kind with all students. Abram has absolute respect from his classmates. I chose Abram as our third-grade student of the month because he has an amazing balance in all areas of school: academic, social, and athletic. I can count on him to hear my directions the first time I say it. He is the perfect role model wherever we may be.”
Anastasia Medina, 12th grade, Dario Cassina High School — “Anastasia (Annie) is a student who values her education while also taking the necessary steps to build a solid foundation for her future,” said counselor Eric Knapp. “Every day, Annie arrives to school on time, maintains excellent attendance and completes her work. She stated, ‘Since I have attended Cassina High School, I have grown as a person and like who I am becoming.’ ” Anastasia is the daughter of Beki and Bobby Medina, of Sonora.
Bradley Medlin, 10th grade, Don Pedro High — Bradley “is a very enthusiastic student,” said school staff. “During class discussions he always participates with insightful questions and comments. He works hard on his academics endeavors and is always quick to lend a helping hand. He is a dedicated member of FFA, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), Mock Trial, and the Law Enforcement Club. Bradley wants to be in law enforcement after high school.” Bradley is the son of Michael and Sarah Medlin, of the Don Pedro area.
Estrella Holmes-Torres, sixth grade, Foothill Leadership Academy — “Estrella is a natural leader and the president of the Student Lighthouse Team,” said teacher Bridget Eller. “She is always mindful and respectful of her peers and teachers alike..” Estrella is the daughter of Jennifer Torres, of Soulsbyville.
Katherine Aldridge, 10th grade, Gold Rush Charter — “Kat exemplifies what it means to be an independent-study student,” said teacher Denise Thomas. “She seeks out knowledge for her own curiosity and always pushes herself to excel in what she does. Kat recently represented Gold Rush Charter School at a Poetry Out Loud competition and made it to the county finals. Excelling in her schoolwork for both Gold Rush and Columbia College, nothing is going stop this girl.” Katherine is the daughter of Hollie and Joseph Aldridge, of Sonora.
Carson Werner, eighth grade, Hickman Charter — Carson, the son of Jake and Trish Werner, of Sonora, has leadership skills that “have enhanced our school environment,” said teacher Sarah James. “For example, he asks students their reading interests and pulls library books for them. Also, when he notices a student needs encouragement in the classroom, Carson is at their side, ready to help. He is also involved in our community by running a website for his church and volunteering at the Tuolumne County Museum. These are just a few reasons why he is a fantastic role model for the other students. His school work is completed with precision while welcoming feedback to improve it. As a teacher, I look forward to his creative writing pieces, which are full of suspense and humor.”
Carina Weber, fifth grade, Jamestown Elementary — “Carina is the kind of student every teacher hopes to work with,” said teacher Mikki Williams. “It isn’t always easy to be the ‘new kid,’ but Carina has become a Panther through and through. She is kind, caring, generous and fun. She has gone beyond the classroom to represent Jamestown at the county Dinner With a Scientist. Her classmates even chose her to receive the Citizenship Award this year.” Carina is the daughter of Glenda Weber of Jamestown and Joseph Weber of Valley Springs.
Tryniti Takash, fifth grade, Lake Don Pedro Elementary — “Tryniti is a hard-working student, and she always does her best,” said teacher Liz Huber. “Her work is usually very well done, and she gets ahead frequently. She puts her mind to her work. She has many friends and is kind and friendly to everyone..” Tryniti is the daughter of Brandi and Theodore Takash, of La Grange.
Madelyn Myers, seventh grade, Mother Lode Christian — Madelyn, the daughter of Justin and Candice Myers, of Sonora, “is a joy to have in class,” said teacher Hannah Walker. “She always shows up prepared and with a smile on her face. Maddie is driven, determined and confident but never hesitates to be compassionate and kind to others.”
Irelynd Speer, eighth grade, Sonora Elementary — Irelynd, the daughter of Israel and Jessie Speer, of Sonora, “is quite an impressive athlete, having participated in cross country, basketball, volleyball and track,” said school staff. “She also plays club volleyball and basketball. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends and family and also likes to travel. For her, the best part of living in Sonora is being connected to a small community. Next year, she will be attending Sonora High and looks forward to the opportunities of representing Sonora High in athletics. After high school, she would like to attend USC or a school in Los Angeles. Irelynd is very successful in school and attributes that success to trying your best at everything. Her teachers describe her as a leader, a role model, kind, humble and conscientious.”
Jayanna Scott, 12th grade, Sonora High — “Jayanna is a wonderful kid,” said school counselor Alissa Clifton. “She is always kind and polite. ayanna is one of those kids that just gets things done. She is involved in sports, ag, and our leadership program. The Leadership teacher supported this nomination with this statement, ‘She is an amazing ASB president! She comes in early on Wednesdays and runs the ASB Executive Council meetings. She is organized and poised when dealing with all things leadership.’ ” Jayanna is the daughter of Jason and Nancy Scott, of Sonora.
Wyatt Diede, fourth grade, Soulsbyville Elementary — “Wyatt is a caring student at Soulsbyville School,” said teacher Karen Cedros. “He takes great effort to understand what is expected of him and often will check in to make sure he is on track to understand the lesson and social expectations. He cares about learning and he cares about other students and teachers.” Wyatt is the son of Kandis Taylor and Jeremy Diede, of Soulsbyville.
Kenidee Ballard, eighth grade, Summerville Elementary — Kenidee, the daughter of Chad and Kimberlie Ballard, “sets an amazing example of respect and work ethic for her peers and gives her best with everything she does,” said school staff. “She has a great attitude and is extremely kind. Kenidee works hard and participates in discussions, comes to class prepared and willing to work and is helpful to other students. She is well liked by her peers and is a good friend to her classmates. Kenidee also participates on a traveling gymnastic competitive team.
Markus Warnock, 12th grade, Summerville High — “Markus is a top student at Summerville High and an outstanding citizen,” said Deputy Principal Stephen Sweitzer. “Here are a few comments about Markus from his teachers: ‘Markus is is a pleasure to be around, kind, and a hard worker. Summerville is lucky to have him.’ ‘Markus is a hard working, polite, conscientious individual with an open future in front of him. He has the personality and academic foundation to move forward in whatever career path he chooses.’ ‘Markus is such a hard worker! If there were more Markuses in the world we would have a near perfect world!’ ‘He is also helpful and kind to his fellow classmates. Markus is goal-oriented in his classes, athletics and his activities in and out of school.” Markus is the son of Ken and Tami Warnock, of Twain Harte.
Zedalynn Blue, fourth grade, Tenaya Elementary — “Zeda Blue was chosen as student of the month because she exhibits the habits of a true learner; she questions, hypothesizes, tries things out, and perseveres throughout her schooling,” said teacher Lydia Loera. “She does this with a delightful disposition and exudes creativity in everything she does. She is a friend to all and can always be counted on to have integrity.” Zedalynn is the daughter of Dusty and Abby Blue, of Groveland.
Jessica Dunn, 12th grade, Theodore Bird High — Jessica, the daughter of Jennifer and Greg Dunn, of Sonora,” is an excellent choice for Student of the Month due to her exemplary work and motivation to further her education,” said teacher Sandra Myers. “Jessica is intelligent, friendly and well-liked by the staff at Ted Bird. Due to her diligence in completing her work, Jessica graduated from Ted Bird High School on Dec. 14, 2018, a full semester ahead of schedule. In addition, Jessica works an average of 35 hours per week as a kennel technician at Sierra Veterinary Care. She plans on furthering her education by first completing her general education at Columbia Community College, then transferring to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.”
Abigail McKinney, kindergarten, Tuolumne County Schools Program — “Abi is a hard-working student,” said teacher Sarah Reid. “She is often the first one to finish her center work and helps her friends. She has made great growth this year. Abi’s spunky personality is a welcome addition to our classroom.” Abigail is the daughter of Melissa McKinney, of Sonora.
Zahara Bisset, fifth grade, Twain Harte Elementary — Zahara, the daughter of Erik and Daphna Bisset, of Twain Harte, is new to Twain Harte this year, and we are so thankful for the ‘can do’ attitude she brings to everything,” said teacher Mary Bickley. “She is an avid reader, a diligent writer, and an intentional participant in class. Zahara’s kind demeanor and friendly disposition are a part of the reason she shines so brightly. She is most deserving of this recognition.”