The 2010 Academic All-Stars excel in and out of the classroom -- all are well-rounded individuals who work hard in school and still find time to help others.
These standout students are among the 677 from across the central San Joaquin Valley who were nominated for The Bee's Academic All-Stars, now in its 15th year.
Some have overcome daunting challenges. Third-grader Andres Iniguez was born with a congenital ear deformity. Along with missing school because of surgeries, he has had to deal with the death of his father in a motorcycle accident. Andres persevered and is a straight-A student who enjoys helping others.
"Nothing has been handed over to Andres Iniguez," said his teacher Patricia Pike. "He has created his successes through effort and hard work."
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And 10th-grader Hunter Jameson, a cancer survivor who missed a year of school, continues to push himself academically. He maintained honor roll standing while battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
All are masters of multitasking. Seventh-grader Xena Senn earns all As and raises goats along with a host of other animals, and she recently won the right to represent her school in the state science fair. Ninth-grader Jordan Rochelle Wanderer is a straight-A student who manages a hectic schedule that involves several bands, honors classes, ballet -- yet she still finds time to volunteer.
Even the youngest, Ethan Cordova, is smart and altruistic. One of the best first-grade readers in his school, Ethan takes time to help his classmates. "He has great compassion, patience and empathy" for his fellow students, wrote his teacher Julie Stevens.
Their stories, and those of the other All-Stars, are inside today's Bee. You also can read about the students who were chosen for honorable mention recognition, and the judges who combed through hundreds of nominations to find the region's best and brightest.
"It's our privilege and our pleasure to tell the stories of the Valley's remarkable young people," said Betsy Lumbye, executive editor of The Bee. "Every year they give us so much to celebrate."
Please join us in saluting the 2010 Academic All-Stars.