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Middle School Students Earn Top Honors
Students of the Month named recently at El Portal Middle School were, from left, seventh graders Kira Castellanos, Emma Guevara, Audrey Kuennen and eighth grader Sebastian Perez-Castellanos. Marg Jackson/The Times

The Students of the Month for September, named recently at El Portal Middle School, included three seventh graders and one eighth grade student. They were recognized at a breakfast meeting of the Escalon Kiwanis Club, which sponsors the recognition program.

Honorees were seventh graders Kira Castellanos, Emma Guevara and Audrey Kuennen, along with eighth grade student Sebastian Perez-Castellanos.

Kira Castellanos was nominated by teacher Ken Baptista, who pointed to her positive leadership and outstanding citizenship as reasons for the nomination.

“Kira is off to a wonderful start in World History,” said Baptista. “Every day she comes to class with a smile on her face and ready to learn. She demonstrates outstanding work ethic and leadership routinely in class and is a positive role model to her fellow students.”

Baptista was also the teacher nominating Emma Guevara for the honor. She was cited for outstanding citizenship and positive leadership on campus.

“She is a very hard worker, who asks thoughtful questions in class discussions,” Baptista said of Guevara’s work in his World History class. “She is a respectful and positive role model to her other classmates. She also has a great sense of humor and is a pleasure to have in class.”

Teacher Tim Tanis provided the nomination for Audrey Kuennen and highlighted her academic growth and outstanding citizenship in his remarks.

“Audrey is a great student in Art – she works hard on all her projects and has a great attitude,” Tanis said. “Audrey is also very respectful and obviously cares about the quality of craftsmanship with which she completes her art projects.”

The lone eighth grader honored this month, Sebastian Perez-Castellanos, was also recommended for the recognition by teacher Tanis. His outstanding citizenship and academic growth were the reasons for his selection.

“Sebastian goes about his daily work in Art with a very quiet confidence,” Tanis noted. “He also has a respectful attitude, and he clearly has artistic skills and abilities. The only thing I’m disappointed about is that he is in eighth grade and I won’t get to have him in Advanced Art next year at El Portal.”