Academic All-Stars

Fifth grade, Alexandra Cota, Fugman Elementary

Alexandra Cota


Fugman Elementary (Clovis Unified)

Age: 11

Home: Fresno

Parents: Stefanie Krause and Tony Cota

Alexandra Cota can always be spotted helping others, whether they have two feet or four.

The fifth-grader at Fugman Elementary is a cross-age tutor, scientist, animal shelter volunteer, singer, dancer and athlete.

Alexandra is a member of her school's robotics team that recently created cell phone apps for seniors.

"The team met every Sunday and we'd come up with ways to help people," she said. "This project helps seniors learn more about technology."

Alexandra also loves acting and being on stage, singing in choir and playing the piano. But if the 4.0 grade-point average student had to choose one, she'd be the star of at an animal hospital dress in lab coat with a clipboard in hand.

"I love performing," she said. "But if I had to choose, I would do more science because I love science and animals."

Alexandra's love for animals is obvious as she has five pets at home (two dogs, two fish and a rat) so it's no surprise she wants it to be a career.

"I'm going to be a vet someday," she said confidently. "I love the animals and I want to help them because a lot of them don't have homes and get really sick."

Last year for her 10th birthday Alexandra took donations for "The Big Fix," a spay and neuter project of the Central Valley Coalition for Animals, where she's volunteered for the past five years. At the coalition, she helps foster homeless dogs for the animal compassion team.

Her schoolmates selected her for the 100 Grand Award at Fugman. The award is given out to students who give 100,000% in everything they do.

"I just like being there and helping other people," she said. "It's like school, I always get stressed with B's so I start to work harder on the subject."

Honorable mention

Adrian Crisp, 11, Fowler

School: John C. Fremont Elementary School

Parents: Aaron and Kristy Crisp

Achievements: As a straight-A student, Adrian Crisp is always finding ways to help his classmates achieve high marks in and out of the classroom. "Adrian is a leader," teacher Kathy Yager said. "His positive attitude about learning is contagious in the classroom." Highly involved in extra-curriculars, Adrian plays tight end and lineman for the Fowler Redcats community football team. He is a team leader at the school's first LEGO Robotics Team and won the Math Master Award in his class. But more than anything, Adrian loves helping others, volunteering at his church and after school program. "He has a soft heart that makes him a great friend to others," Yager said. "He reaches out to students who feel alienated and makes friends with anyone he can strike up a conversation with."

Isabel E. Cervantes, 11, Fresno

School: River Bluff Elementary (Central Unified)

Parents: Phillip and Elaine Cervantes

Achievements: Isabel is student body secretary at River Bluff Elementary, plays clarinet in the school band and is sports and health editor for the school newspaper. She's been named to the Principal's Honor Roll and was given the U.S. Presidential award for her community service. When Isabel isn't at school, she plays soccer for her club team and volunteers for the Community Food Bank, Toys for Tots, and the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Auxiliary. Year-round, she makes holiday favors for the VA Hospital and Alzheimer's center. Her teacher, Alison Hower, said "Isabel is a real leader who will not hesitate to take on that role, but will also allow others to lead."

Teagan Tovsrud, 10, Fresno

School: Dailey Charter Elementary (Fresno Unified)

Parents: Sean and Debbie Tovrsud

Achievements: Teagan is student council president at Dailey Charter Elementary, where she excels in class subjects and character. She received the Principled Award at school for always doing what is right, being honest and showing integrity. A classroom ambassador for Room 19, Teagan has straight A's and works hard to make her school a better place. Said teacher Alison Hower: "She is caring not only about her grades, but also about everyone in her school community."

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