1040 Whitley Ave., Corcoran CA 93212   |   Phone: (559) 992-3115
CUSD Star Students Camila Aldaco, Kayla Sepulveda, Joaquin Garcia, Rafael Baeza, and Kayla Hernandez, (back row) CUSD Trustees Karen Frey, Sam Ramirez, Patty Robertson and Robert Alcorn.

Corcoran Unified School District recently named their Star Students for the second quarter. One Star Student is chosen from each of the local school sites. Students are chosen based on over-all improvement, character and other criteria. The students are nominated by their teachers. This quarter’s students include:

Camila Aldaco was chosen from Bret Harte Elementary School
According to Camila’s teacher Rafael Mendoza Camila sets an excellent example for her classmates to follow.
“She does a fantastic job in following the classroom expectations and always staying on task.  Camila demonstrates fairness and kindness by treating all her peers with respect. She models herself after our lessons provided in the Paths (social and emotional) program. For example, she advised a student to take a deep breath and relax when upset.
Camila demonstrates integrity in her actions with honesty and compassion. For instance, whenever she finds an item that does not belong to her, she quickly returns it to the owner,” Mendoza said.
Camila started kindergarten only knowing a few skills and Mendoza said has made tremendous progress in all academic areas. She is a second language learner, so mastering another language has not been easy for her, but she is constantly improving in both ELA and Math.
Bret Harte Principal Laurie Haas also recognizes the example Camila sets for others.
“Camila is currently a student in Mr. Mendoza’s kindergarten classroom. Although quiet, she is a shining example for other students to follow and epitomizes what it means to be a Bret Harte student. She is respectful and follows all of the classroom and school rules and expectations. She is kind and empathetic with her fellow classmates, and can frequently be found encouraging and comforting others. She is a wonderful student and has a great attitude about learning! Congratulations on a job well done,” Hass noted.
Michael Oliveros Trujillo is the Star Student for John C. Fremont Elementary.
Trujillo’s helpful attitude is what his teacher Dory Pearce has noticed.
“Michael is always very helpful to me and always willing to do anything extra for me.  He has helped other students when they are struggling, supporting them by having the student read to him and helping them sound out words.  Michael is always reminding others of what they should be doing, and he has started to take great responsibility in his work,” Pearce commented. “At the beginning of the year, Michael had a hard time working with others and listening to instructions but has done an excellent job turning that behavior around. He has taken the initiative in his work and has helped others around him as well. He is turning into a wonderful young man who respects others and is tremendously helpful.”
Michael has been a great asset to the classroom by helping his teacher and other students and he continues to grow and follow all PBIS expectations.
For Mark Twain Elementary School Rafael Baeza is the second quarter Star Student.
Baeza’s teacher is Jill Boyett.
“Rafael is a role model in our classroom and our school. He is a great leader because he is extremely responsible because he follows all the rules, and will help reinforce the rules to others if they seem to have forgotten them.  He always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude when he walks through the door each day. He has been caught cleaning up after others, even when he had nothing to do with the mess,” Boyett said. “He has come into class many times with empty water bottles that he found on the playground and will recycle them, just because he doesn’t want to have a dirty campus. He is also very trustworthy, and students know they can count on him to help them in any way, whether it be academics, cleaning up after a project, or just being a good friend to talk to.”
Boyett added that Rafael looks at obstacles as a chance to improve. When he struggles with something, he doesn’t get discouraged or give up. He will either look at it as a chance for improvement and challenge himself to do something new, or he will ask for help to understand better. He never gives up though, no matter what stands in his way. He is the ideal role model for growth mindset.
Principal Michael Anderson praises Baeza’s attitude.
“Rafael has the attitude and work ethic that will take him far in life beyond the walls of our school,” Anderson noted. “Mark Twain School would like to congratulate Rafael for representing the Eagles by demonstrating what a great student with a terrific attitude should do every day!”
Joaquin Garcia was chosen as the Star Student for John Muir Middle School.
Garcia’s teacher Mikaela Olham is very proud of Joaquin.
“I am proud to recognize Joaquin as the student of the quarter. Joaquin is an exceptional student and possesses positive character traits. Joaquin demonstrates qualities that make him a leader including being trustworthy, honest, responsible, and kind to everyone he interacts with. Joaquin puts effort into his academic courses and extracurricular activities. In addition to excelling in his academics, he also participates in the kinesiology club and serves as a classroom aide. Joaquin has made honor roll numerous times throughout his academic career at JMMS. Joaquin’s teachers describe him as a hard worker, role model, and an overall asset in the classroom,” Olham commented. 
John Muir’s Vice Principal James Jay says, “Joaquin has stretched himself this year and has been placed into a much more rigorous math class, and truly pushed himself in order to find how high he can reach,” Jay added.
John Muir Principal Dave Whitmore noted that Joaquin helps everyone inside and outside the classroom, no matter who they are.
“He is one of the best examples of character on our campus,” Whitmore said.
For Corcoran High School Kaylee Sepulveda is the second quarter Star Student.
Leanring director Gabriela Cruz says Kaylee is very involved at CHS.
“Kaylee is heavily involved in the Corcoran High School’s ROTC program.  In this program, she has climbed all the way up to Cadet Squadron Commander of the ROTC program, which oversees all of the cadets of the program.  During her time in the ROTC program, she has done various community service hours for Corcoran,” Cruz noted. “Kaylee is a natural born leader. She is willing to help whoever needs it and is very dependable.  Kaylee is ranked first in her class.  She challenges her self with as many AP courses and college classes as possible and has passed every class with an A.”
Kaylee has received the following awards: Leadership–Captain of Presentation Team during an inspection in which AFJROTC unit received Distinguished Unit with Merit and a score of “Exceeds Standards”–Cadet Squadron Commander of JROTC Unit oversees entire staff; and Collaboration–worked alongside Marksmanship Team captain to ensure that safety protocols were followed, and inventory is logged and managed.
Kayla Hernandez is the Star Student for Kings Lake Education Center.
Her teacher Douglas Grimsley says Kayla is extremely motivated.
“Not only has Kayla completed additional coursework, but she is also on track to graduate a semester early.  She has made a big difference for a couple of her friends.  Kayla has encouraged them to get on track.  She takes the initiative in going over her graduation checklist and is determined to stay ahead of the required pace.  This student has dealt with missed class time due to illness and has also changed schools a number of times in her high school years, despite this she has a real opportunity to finish early,” Grimsley said.

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