Group shares student’s fight with leukemia with SUSD

SUSD school nurse and Castaic Union School District Board Member Laura Pearson presents SUSD board members with "Fight Like a Unicorn" shirts, on March 19, 2019. Caleb Lunetta / The Signal.

Saugus Union School District board members heard from a Castaic Union School District board member about a little girl at Rosedell Elementary who is “fighting like a unicorn” against her acute lymphatic leukemia during the Saugus District’s board meeting Tuesday.

SUSD school nurse Laura Pearson, who also happens to be a CUSD board member, spoke about Addison Rivera, her battle against cancer and how the community has been buying “Fight like a Unicorn” shirts to financially support the family through this time.

After she spoke about Addison’s encouraging words about her battle, which has gained international attention despite her being only 8 years old, Pearson then presented Saugus school board members Julie Olsen and David Barlavi with the shirts they had purchased to support the Rivera family.

“I just wanted to comment (to the board) members about them purchasing the shirts, and to be a board member from another district and see them go outside their regular jobs to support a student … I just thought that was really cool,” said Pearson.

Dual immersion update
Additionally, the board members also heard from Assistant Superintendent Isa De Armas about the district’s upcoming dual language immersion program.

After close to a year of planning and development, SUSD officials had offered two informational meetings in late January for parents to learn about the new program, which hopes to teach children both Spanish and English consecutively through a “90 percent Spanish, 10 percent English” model.

De Armas said that more than 100 families in the district have expressed interest in the program and the district is now looking to hire the teachers who will teach the classes.

Students honored
The board also recognized seven students for their inspiring positive behavior: Nico Gabriel, Bridgeport; German Ventura, Cedarcreek; Auston Griffiths, Emblem; Penelope Celaya, James Foster; Jolie Lahey, Charles Helmers; Kaitlyn Hernandez, Highlands; Ethan Song, Tesoro del Valle.

“These students were selected for their leadership and citizenship and were recognized by the board and cabinet with a certificate,” district officials said in a news release. “We thank these students — and their parents and teachers — for being real role models for the rest of the district.”

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