Academic All-Stars

May 30, 2014

Fourth grade, Lanie Murrieta, Fremont Elementary-Fowler

Those close to Lanie Murrieta knew she had the fourth-grade Academic All-Star award in the bag. "She has been nominated two years in a row now, so we had high hopes," said her mother, Andrea Murrieta.

Those close to Lanie Murrieta knew she had the fourth- grade Academic All-Star award in the bag. "She has been nominated two years in a row now, so we had high hopes," said her mother, Andrea Murrieta. Lanie's fourth-grade teacher, Ashley Ryan, said she "felt like Lanie had a really good chance because of her academics and extracurricular activities."

Indeed, Lanie's impressive résumé and varied interests brought home the gold this year.

Lanie is an exemplary student in all facets. Her favorite subject is math, but she holds different career aspirations from math-driven occupations such as computing or engineering. "I want to be a fashion designer," she said.

RELATED: Full list of Academic All-Star nominees; download a certificate

Ryan praised Lanie for her outstanding character in addition to her intelligence.

"She is a role model for all students and always offers to help others," Ryan said.

Her willingness to help is evident. She rang a Salvation Army bell at Christmas; volunteered at Kids Day, a benefit for Children's Hospital Central California; and donated to Locks of Love, which takes donated hair and makes wigs for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Lanie also spends every summer helping a preschool program. "I have been doing it for four years," she said. "I help with the kids and do a lot of activities with them." The hours volunteering have earned Lanie four straight Presidential Volunteer Service awards.


Age: 10

School: John C. Fremont Elementary Home: Fowler

Parents: Joaquin and Andrea Murrieta


Isabella Cruz, 10, Kerman

School: Sun Empire Elementary, Kerman Unified

Parents: Aydee and Jesus Cruz

Achievements: Isabella Cruz delivered a well-rounded punch for Sun Empire Elementary in Kerman. She was a straight-A student, a student counsel representative, a two-sport athlete and an active volunteer. Her teacher, Kary Garcia, praised her for tutoring a few of her struggling classmates and called her "a model citizen."

Isabella took second in her age group in the Fresno County Office of Education Martin Luther King Jr. Speech Contest. . She also donated her time to school fundraising events, sold newspapers for Kids Day, a benefit for Children's Hospital, and donated recess time to assist teachers. Garcia said Isabella has embraced her Mexican heritage by participating in folklorico dance.

Kendall Chrisman, 9, Shaver Lake

School: Pine Ridge Elementary

Parents: Josh and Julie Chrisman

Achievements: Kendall Chrisman relentlessly pursues knowledge, especially in mathematics. Her teacher, Susan Hogenson, said that she would meet with Kendall in class to give her advanced mathematics instruction and that Kendall will often make up her own difficult math equations to solve. The straight-A student also looks to share her knowledge with others. Kendall is also an athlete, actress and volunteer.

Lucas Winton, 9, Fresno

School: Copper Hills Elementary, Clovis Unified

Parents: Michael and Georgette Winton

Achievements: Lucas Winton's commitment to helping others earned him the prestigious St. George Medal, which is awarded to Cub Scouts who volunteer generously in the name of the Orthodox Christian faith. Lucas and his fellow scouts collected over 500 health kits containing towels, toothbrushes, soap and other necessities and sent them to charities in Greece, Syria and Uganda.

He put a similar effort into Chelsea Toews' fourth-grade class, where he earned a 4.0 GPA and perfect attendance. "Lucas' mother Georgette said he exercises his eagerness to learn by reading the newspaper.

2014 Academic All-Stars

First grade, Gianna Manfredo, Quail Lake Environmental Charter

Second grade, Juliette Ann Vazquez, Fort Washington Elementary

Third grade, Kyle Derksen, Maple Creek Elementary

Fourth grade, Lanie Murrieta, Fremont Elementary-Fowler

Fifth grade, Nevyn Albert Santillan, Fremont Elementary-Fowler

Sixth grade, Victoria Sanchez, Eric White Elementary

Seventh grade, Trevor Amarante, John Sutter Middle

Eighth grade, Neil Maitra, Edison Computech Middle

Ninth grade, Emma Marie Boone, Clovis West High

10th grade, Onkar Sandhu, Clovis North High

11th grade, Madison Meredith, Monache High

12th grade, Henry Lee, Clovis West High

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