Listening to the achievements of Clovis Unified intermediate students brings to mind “The Greatest Love of All” lyrics sung by the late Whitney Houston:
“I believe the children are our future/teach them well and let them lead the way.”
If the five Hope of America honorees are any indication, the future looks bright.
The Kiwanis Club of Old Town Clovis for the last 16 years has recognized one student from each Clovis Unified intermediate school with the Hope of America Award.
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Honorees are nominated by their school principals for demonstrating academic accomplishments, leadership, community service and good character.
“We’re looking for students that are going to give back to the community,” said event chair and club treasurer Carol Dogey. “Clovis Unified doesn’t have a graduation ceremony for the intermediate schools ... so we like to recognize these students.”
This year’s honorees were Alta Sierra’s Carson Ruth, Clark’s Taylor Bedwell, Granite Ridge’s Bella Taglione, Kastner’s Analis Marrone and Reyburn’s Chloe Schultz.
The students, their families and school faculty were honored with a luncheon May 18 at Classic Catering in Old Town Clovis. The honorees were presented with $50 cash scholarships.
“We need you to stay focused on being involved in mind, body and spirit,” Kiwanian and CUSD school board member Brian Heryford told the group of students. “This is our way to honor you for the things you’ve done in middle school.”
Carson Ruth — Alta Sierra Intermediate School
As student body vice-president and a leadership student, Carson works diligently on community service projects such as Red Ribbon Week, canned food drives and Coats for Kids. He also volunteers at the Poverello House and Valley Animal Center.
Carson also excels in academics; he’s on track to win the Principal’s Medallion Award by maintaining a 4.0 GPA all four semesters.
He’s also a star in the pool and on the field. He was on the boys’ soccer, water polo and swim teams.
“I’ve coached a number of kids over the past 30 years and Carson is the epitome of sportsmanship,” said his coach, John Devere. “Throughout the water polo season he will do whatever it takes to ensure that the team is successful, not just his play or stats.”
Taylor Bedwell — Clark Intermediate School
Taylor is a leader on the Clark campus. She sings in the choir, is part of Where Everyone Belongs Leadership, is a Safe School Ambassador, and is a California Junior Scholarship Federation member. She is also on the cheer team and volunteers at the Poverello House.
Taylor is a leader in the classroom as well; she will receive the Principal’s Honor Roll for earning all A’s during her seventh and eighth grade years.
“Taylor has high expectations for herself both inside and outside of the classroom and models that behavior daily,” according to her nomination letter. “What makes Taylor stand out from others is that she is not just smart, but she is one of the hardest working students on campus.”
Bella Taglione — Granite Ridge Intermediate School
It’s a wonder how Bella has time for all that she does. The 4.0 student has volunteered more than 100 community service hours, including at Special Olympics events at Granite Ridge, and is a five sport athlete. She has been a leader or captain on all of the varsity teams she’s been involved in — soccer, badminton, softball, basketball and volleyball.
Bella has been part of the leadership program at Granite Ridge and has already been accepted into the Clovis North leadership class. She hopes to attend UCLA after high school and become an orthodontist.
Analis Marrone — Kastner Intermediate School
Analis has held a 4.0 GPA throughout her junior high school career and is set to receive the Principal’s Medallion and Principal’s Honor Roll awards. She is a also Kastner’s student body president, a WEB leader and a multi-sport athlete.
Analis was on the soccer, volleyball and cheer teams and the school’s competition pep team.
On weekends, Analis helps with activities at Fort Washington Elementary School, including the father/daughter dance and Destination Imagination. She is also an active participant in her church.
“She models the attributes of a thoughtful, responsible, trustworthy young lady who desires to improve on her strengths, be a positive role model … and a committed team member,” according to her nomination letter.
Chloe Schultz — Reyburn Intermediate School
Even with a heavy academic course load — Chloe is a Gifted And Talented Education student taking honors courses — the class president has also made time to excel as a three-sport athlete.
Chloe runs cross country, plays soccer and competes in track and field.
She has earned the Principal’s Medallion for earning a 4.0 GPA every semester and is a CJSF Honor member.
Chloe emcees all of Reyburn’s rallies and volunteers at campus events and for community nonprofits such as Animal Rescue of Fresno.
“Chloe has had an extremely successful intermediate school career and she isn’t about to slow down heading into high school,” said her nomination letter. “Her dedication, drive and demeanor will help her exceed her goals in life.”