Tuolumne County schools have announced Students of the Month for September.
Sierra Drake, eighth grade, Belleview Elementary — “Sierra is a joy to have in class,” said teacher Mary Lindsley. “She is a stellar student and athlete who works just as hard in the classroom as she does on the basketball court. Most of all, she is respectful, responsible, and kind.” Sierra is the daughter of Kevin and Tereasa Drake, of Sonora.
Brooke Pardini Quilici, fifth grade, Chinese Camp Science Academy — “Brooke makes people smile,” said teacher Sheri Betz. “With a perpetual grin on her face, she exudes happiness anytime I see her on campus. She matches her attitude with her physical enthusiasm as she communicates excitement for learning and a willingness to try new things. Being the only one in my class among those who have known one another for at least a year, she had to overcome the challenges experienced by any new student. Brooke didn’t seem the least bit daunted by this position as she has figured out the classroom routines and now has many friends at school. It is no wonder that kids gravitate toward Brooke, she is kind hearted and positive. I also like the fact that she is extremely hard working in all areas of school. Because she is conscientious, I can trust her with any classroom duty as I know it will be done well.” Brooke is the daughter of Denise Quilici, of Sonora.
Thomas Andrews, first grade, Columbia Elementary — Thomas, the son of Kaitlin and Dallas Andrews, of Columbia, “is a very respectful student,” said teacher Crystal Collum. “He has been showing respect to his teacher and classmates since the first day of school. When students near him are talking and off task, he politely reminds them to get back on task. He also was one of my students that make the class Dojo 50 Point Club.”
Sabrina Silos, eighth grade, Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy — Sabrina Silos is the daughter of Wei Choon and Doreen Silos, of Copperopolis. Her said the following things about her: Her “diligence and work-ethic are admired by students and staff.” “She is kind to her peers and always respectful of her teachers.” “Sabrina is always full of enthusiasm and consistently demonstrates a positive attitude.” “Her passion for learning is contagious, and she sets the example for her peers by treating others with kindness. Sabrina is always eager to learn and push herself to try new things.” “Her passion for dance and the arts is inspiring to everyone around her.”
Kaila Lloyd, 12th grade, Connections Visual and Performing Arts Academy — Kaila, the daughter of Barry and Jennifer Lloyd, of Cold Springs, “is Connections values personified: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship,” said her teachers. “Beyond her outstanding academic performance, Kaila was instrumental in getting the mock trial program off the ground. She was a student trial attorney as a sophomore, competing in San Joaquin County, a trial attorney as a junior, competing in Tuolumne’s first mock trial competition and at the state level in Sacramento, and continues this year in the same role for the county’s second competition. Additionally, she has maintained an impressive 4.25 GPA while participating in many extracurriculars including cross country, track, mock trial, and academic decathlon. She is also exceptionally kind and is willing to help other students with schoolwork and with any problems they may have.”
Vincent Meder, transitional kindergarten, Curtis Creek Elementary — “Vincent is a terrific student,” said teacher Linda Jacobi. “He is kind, respectful and helpful. He is learning all about going to school, working together and following directions. He makes sure to do his best work and is eager to help his classmates. Vincent is a great role model for other students.” Vincent is the son of Greg Meder and Trayce Groves, of Sonora.
Mekhi J. Holm, 12th grade, Dario Cassina High — Mekhi, the son of Cheryl Holm, of Jamestown, “is a great student,” said counselor Eric Knapp. “He has excellent attendance, is respectful and takes his school work seriously. Due to taking an additional class this block, he was able to and succeeded in earning 19 out of 15 credits.”
Angelina Johnson, 12th grade, Don Pedro High — “Angelina continues to go above and beyond in all she does for school, FFA, EPIC, SADD, ASB, friends and family as she utilizes her leadership skills and works diligently to be responsible in any task set before her,” said teacher Penny Shuey. “She is currently one of the team captains on the volleyball team and holds officer positions in all clubs involved. Not only is Angelina extremely active in her high school career, she also helps to care for her mom who suffers from a debilitating chronic illness requiring care twenty four hours per day. After graduating, Angelina plans to attend University of Wisconsin to earn her Bachelors of Science prior to transferring to UC Davis where she plans to study Veterinary Medicine in hopes of owning her own Veterinary practice one day. Her potential is unlimited and we are all looking forward to seeing her succeed in the future.” Angelina is the daughter of Jeremiah and Julissa Johnson, of Don Pedro.
Chance Bourguet, ninth grade, Gold Rush Charter — “Chance joined us a couple weeks into the semester, and that can be a tough hurdle to overcome socially and academically,” said teacher Dan Webster. “However, Chance quickly found his groove and has proved himself a good student and classmate. He has excellent attendance — always a key step to academic success — and applies himself while attending to assigned work, labs, and Science Friday Packets in earth science. Furthermore, Chance is a positive-minded young man, displays good manners, and helps to make the school atmosphere better for his being a part of it. It is a privilege to be a teacher to such a student.” Chance is the son of Ryan and Cassandra Bourguet, of Columbia.
James Tague, first grade, Jamestown Elementary — James, the son of James and Lindsay Tague, of Jamestown, “is always willing to help his classmates,” said teacher Jenni Lertora. “When he finishes his work, he is the first to ask others around them for help. He teaches them how to find the answer on their own, and then helps them check their work. His classmates are confident in going to James for help, knowing that he is always willing and happy to do so. He is always positive, hard working, and happy to be at school.”
Caitlyn Denys, eighth grade, Lake Don Pedro Elementary — Caitlyn, the daughter of Jennifer Denys, of La Grange, “has never failed to arrive with a smile on her face and a happy outlook on the day,” said teacher Beada Wilkie. “She is creative as well, and anime is one of her passions. She carries a notebook filled with drawn pictures that she is happy to share with others. In addition, Caitlin is attentive in class and eager to participate in discussions to deepen her understanding of a subject. I look forward to watching her accomplishments this year and beyond.”
Kaylee Karpus, fourth grade, Mother Lode Christian — “Kaylee is a diligent student all day, every day and completing her work well is important to her,” said teacher Laura Baker. “She takes assignments seriously and puts in extra time at home. She is a quiet and respectful student and she readily participates in class discussions with insight and experiences. She really is an all-round student, which makes me certain she will be one of those, life-long learners. She enjoys reading and participating in band. She is a trustworthy student who is willing to help out any of the staff or students.” Kaylee is the daughter of Paul and Amber Karpus, of Sonora.
Melino Halaholo, eighth grade, Sonora Elementary — Melino, the son of Daska Babcock and George Halaholo, and the stepson of David Winslow, “has found his niche in music, having played the trumpet and the drums for our Bobcat Band,” said school staff. “He has represented Sonora Elementary in wrestling, track, and basketball and started the successful SES Chess Club. He also volunteers his time playing music for senior citizens at the fairgrounds and tutoring our younger students in music. He believes the key to his success is having a strong work ethic. Next year he will be moving on to Sonora High School and looks forward to joining the Jazz Band at SHS. Our staff describe him as kind, a leader amongst his peers, organized, helpful, of strong character and work ethic, and very considerate of others.”
Kiley Thomas, 12th grade, Sonora High School — “Students like Kiley Thomas make Sonora High School a better place, said counselor Courtney Castle. “Kiley is a well-rounded student leader who challenges herself in the classroom and selflessly gives her time to the school and community. Kiley serves as a positive role model for youth as an assistant coach for recreational basketball. As our ASB President, Kiley leads by example. She is a mature, respectful and kind young woman. Further, Kiley is involved with various on-campus clubs and organizations. In the classroom, Kiley is a student who embraces an academic challenge. She has been dually enrolled at Sonora High School and Columbia College as a member of our Middle College Program and has successfully completed some of the most rigorous courses that both programs have to offer.” Kiley is the daughter of Shelly and Raymond Thomas, of Sonora.
Sahara Farkas, seventh grade, Soulsbyville Elementary — Sahara, the daughter of Sasha and Charla Farkas, of Sonora, “is a hard-working and a thoughtful student,” said teacher Mike Skutches. “She participates positively in class each day. Sahara’s kind manner improves the classroom environment for everyone.” Teacher Lauren Huff said, “Sahara is such a joy to have in class. She always works hard and does her best. She is kind and exemplifies what it means to be a Soulsbyville Falcon.”
Judah Scheu, first grade, Tenaya Elementary — “Judah has shown great responsibility since the first day of school,” said teacher Penny Williamson. “He is always happy, kind and willing to help. He shows great leadership skills and is a wonderful friend.” Judah is the son of Michael and Kimberly Scheu, of Groveland.
Scout Joplin, 11th grade, Theodore Bird High — “Scout is an excellent choice for Student of the Month because of her strong work ethic,” said teacher Sandra Myers. “She is always on time for her appointments with all of her assigned work completed. In her spare time, Scout enjoys camping, crocheting, painting, wood carving and reading. She is considering attending community college spring semester to get a head start on her college education. Scout is an intelligent and intellectually curious young lady, and it is truly a pleasure to have her as one of my students.” Scout is the daughter of Staci Criswell, of Jamestown.
Jaydon Spires, 12th grade, Tioga High School — “Jaydon Spires runs to school,” said Principal Ryan Dutton. “I pass him every morning as I drive down Ferretti Road a little after 7 a.m. when other students may just be getting out of bed. He’s an amazing runner, setting records year after year, placing first in San Joaquin sub-sections and sections in 2018, and a three time first place finisher at the Mountain Valley League championship. And the running reveals more than just his athleticism; it shows his work ethic and self-discipline, his desire to achieve excellence. Ellen Jeffrey, a coach and mentor said,” it is not his running … that amazes me. Nor is it his determination on those gruesome intervals or the long, lonely miles he runs from here to there and back again, but rather the person he is — a senior possessing humor, courage and that smile which it is impossible not to return. I hope he is as proud of himself and all that he is as those who know him are.” He is the son of Melissa and Leland Pratt, of Big Oak Flat.
Kirsten Henderson, eighth grade, Twain Harte Elementary — Kirsten, the daughter of Jordan Henderson, of Mi-Wuk Village, “ is an extremely hard worker and a wonderful person,” said teacher Molly Rose. “She always strives to push herself to her fullest potential and has set very high goals for herself in the future. In addition to being a successful student, she is also a dedicated athlete who takes part in basketball and volleyball. Kirsten is someone that we can always count on to be doing the right thing and being a good friend to all of the students in the school. She is a quiet leader who leads by example.”