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Student Trio Tapped For El Portal Honors
Named recently as the Students of the Month for El Portal Middle School were, from left, Casey Vassallo, Hannah Underwood and Stephanie Torres. Marg Jackson/The Times


Three Middle School students were recognized recently for their outstanding achievements and efforts, rewarded with Student of the Month honors through the Escalon Kiwanis Club program.

Casey Vassallo, Hannah Underwood and Stephanie Torres were the three honorees.

Sixth grader Casey Vassallo was nominated for the honor by teacher Mrs. Irion, who cited the youth in a number of areas, including being an example of a model student.

“Casey is a polite, hard-working young man who encourages other students and is always looking for more tasks to complete,” said Irion. “He has done science experiments at home that correspond with our curriculum and has come back to report what his experiments were and their outcomes to both of my science classes.”

The sixth grade student has also shown that he can work well with a team in math class, said Irion, which “will be an important skill as he moves forward through school and beyond.”

Hannah Underwood, a seventh grader at El Portal, was chosen for academic growth and outstanding citizenship by teacher Mr. Tanis.

“Hannah is a joy to have in Art class because she is incredibly self-motivated to accomplish her artistic goals,” said Tanis. “She works diligently on a daily basis in order to develop her art skills and her creative style.”

Teacher Mr. Bartelink offered the nomination for eighth grade student Stephanie Torres, recommending her for positive leadership, outstanding citizenship, service to school or community and her academic excellence.

“It has been a pleasure to have Stephanie in class this year,” said Bartelink. “She is a very bright individual, but always goes above and beyond what is expected of her. I appreciate her hard work and commitment to her education and for being an excellent example for her peers of what a well-rounded student looks like.”

Bartelink added that she has consistently shown great leadership skills as she has served as El Portal’s student body president.

“I cannot think of a student that is more deserving of this award,” said Bartelink.