While the Saugus Union School District governing board regularly celebrates student achievement at its board meetings, Tuesday’s meeting was special: Each district school honored its Student of the Year for the 2022-23 school year.
The winners are selected by the site administrators of each site, “For consistently demonstrating great academics and citizenship throughout the school year and being a positive role model,” according to an email Thursday from Saugus Superintendent Colleen Hawkins.
“Saugus Union (School District) desires to celebrate the amazing qualities of its students through its regular governing board awards,” Hawkins stated. “Each meeting there is a specific award related to qualities of students that align with the core values of integrity, respect, learning, teamwork and enthusiasm. The students who received the Student of the Year awards were recognized because they exemplify those values.”
The winners are:
- Bridgeport Elementary School: Erin Buliga
- Cedarcreek Elementary School: Adrian Villa
- Emblem Academy: Michael Sanchez
- James Foster Elementary School: Colton McKinley
- Charles Helmers Elementary School: Lily Medina
- Highlands Elementary School: Aanya Churi
- Mountainview Elementary School: Olivia Oates
- North Park Elementary School: Cameron Worden
- Plum Canyon Elementary School: Audrina Messina
- Rio Vista Elementary School: Alexandra Espin
- Rosedell Elementary School: Fayed Malone
- Santa Clarita Elementary School: Valentina Palau
- Skyblue Mesa Elementary School: Lauren Lomeli
- Tesoro del Valle Elementary School: Ruvielle Valerio
- West Creek Academy: Kayla Samhakson
“I think the thing that always strikes me the most — I mean, obviously … they’re all very strong in academics — but they’re also all very strong in compassion and kindness and respect,” board President Katherine Cooper said. “And that’s what fills my heart.”
She said one of her favorite parts is hearing the stories of how one student went out of their way to make friends with a student who was sitting by themselves, and other instances when students went out of their way to exhibit kindness.
“You know, people worry about the future,” Cooper said, “but nights like that make me worry significantly less about the future.”