Lake Elsinore Unified School District

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LEUSD Citizen Awards Announced

Six honorees will be honored on May 10, 2016

2016 Citizen Awards Announced

LAKE ELSINORE—The District is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s new “Citizen Award” following an open nomination-judging process that culminated last month. The Citizen Awards Program recognizes students (elementary, middle school and high school), community partners, and parent volunteers who serve as role models for their peers, and community.

“Taking notice of students and community supporters reinforces everything we do in education,” said Superintendent Doug Kimberly, “the Citizen Awards Program launched this year reflects the value we place on parental and community involvement.”

LEUSD’s 2016 Citizen Awards recipients include:

Alexander Mendez Gonzalez (Student-Elementary)—Alex attends Machado Elementary School. Because of his strong desire to succeed despite learning and physical challenges, Alexander is an inspiring example of how a motivated child can thrive academically, socially, and physically—with a nurturing and encouraging school family to cheer each successful step.

Erik M. Aguilar (Student-Middle School)—Erik is an 8th grader at Elsinore Middle. His nomination serves as an inspiration to never underestimate a middle-school student’s full potential, as Erik has realized through his own growth and self-improvement. Erik takes ownership of his actions, impressing teachers with his accountability and ability to transform through positive change.

Mallie Donohoe (Student-High School)—Mallie is a senior at Elsinore High School who embodies EHS’s values of tradition, caring and respect. She is a powerhouse of service to others, from coordinating the school’s annual blood drive, to her servant leadership of EHS’s annual Relay for Life and other fundraisers (e.g., H.O.P.E, Cops for Kids, Inc.). She is active in ASB and sits on the Superintendent’s student advisory group. She is a true scholar-athlete (earning the Sunbelt League MVP and team MVP as captain of EHS’s varsity volleyball team), not only organizing countless extracurricular activities, but balancing school life with a part-time job in a doctor’s office, while maintaining a 4.02 GPA.

Amy and Daryl Hickman (Community Partner)—for over ten years, Mr. and Mrs. Hickman have quietly provided holiday gifts and organized the annual Christmas visit from Santa Claus for LEUSD’s Head Start program. They work on this all year as a labor of love. Santa is also bilingual, ensuring all 194 students in Head Start have a memorable holiday. The Hickman’s have been avid supporters of school athletics (especially basketball), and supporting the annual School Games/Special Olympics. Daryl is a Lake Elsinore City Council member, and serves as a substitute teacher for LEUSD. In his position on the City Council, he has recognized LEUSD student athletes, Students of the Month, and other school successes.

Don Tunison (Parent Volunteer)—when off duty from work for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California as a Water Treatment Operator 3, Mr. Tunison is the enthusiastic anchor of Ronald Reagan Elementary School’s Watch D.O.G. program, and PTA. Don has devoted vacation time to implementing an anti-bullying campaign during Yellow Ribbon week, including writing and performing unforgettable skits for students. He has organized the school’s successful Fall Festival event, and donated and constructed several “buddy benches” at his own expense, so kids can make new friends on the bench. He models harmony, spirit, and soul for students who look to the D.O.G.S. (dads of great students) for mentoring and support.

These six honorees will be presented with the Citizen Award as part of LEUSD’s Appreciation Reception honoring Teachers of the Year, Employees of the year, and retirees, May 10, 2016 at Pins ‘n Pockets, in Lake Elsinore.

The Citizen Awards Program preserves a tradition of community recognition, while updating the mission to encourage parent involvement and community engagement, among eight state priorities to promote student college and career success.

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