Meet the 23rd class of Fresno Bee Academic All-Stars, students who get the most out of school and community – and usually are the ones giving the most back, too.
They’re active in difficult classes, of course. But they also play sports, from softball to martial arts, tennis to twirling and much more. They act and play music. They look out for others, participating in charity such as Random Acts of Kindness and helping at senior homes. They raise animals in FFA and 4-H programs.
For the older ones, thank goodness for a driver’s license, says the mother of Eden Maile Mika Hussey, the 11th-grade honoree from Yosemite High. “She’s a lot more independent now that she’s driving.”
Nearly 250 central San Joaquin Valley students were nominated.
“Lots of fun to judge again!” said Lisa Birrell, communications and public relations officer for the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools who served as a judge and helped assemble a blue-ribbon panel of fellow judges.
Most of the students who were reviewed have résumés a mile long. But that’s only half the story, say those who know them best.
Take the 12th-grade honoree from Sunnyside High, Mehikpreet Sidhu, for instance. Academic counselor Shelley Kiritani describes her:
“The list goes on and on of what Mehikpreet Sidhu has done to help others, what she has done to get involved in school and in the community she lives in. When you meet her you will be struck by her sincerity, her kindness. You will like her immediately.”
The 2018 Academic All-Stars:
First grade: Mari Gabriel, Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School
Second grade: Lucy Freeman, Manchester GATE
Third grade: Jonas Maxey, Dailey Elementary Charter School
Fourth grade: Leo Jimesanagnos, Dailey Elementary Charter School
Fifth grade: Sophia Rose Milton, T.L. Reed Elementary
Sixth grade: Madison Samuelian, Cedarwood Elementary
Seventh grade: Alexandria Bella Perkins, John Sutter Middle School
Eighth grade: Lexi Padgett, John Sutter Middle School
Ninth grade: Megan Riley Jenkins, Fowler High School
10th grade: Mary Topoozian, Bullard High School
11th grade: Eden Maile Mika Hussey, Yosemite High
12th grade: Mehikpreet Sidhu, Sunnyside High School
- Lisa Birrell, Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
- Krista Cantrell, Clovis Unified School District
- Michele Copher, Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
- Janie De La Cerda, Fresno Unified School District
- Francine Farber, retired educator and past president of the League of Women Voters of Fresno
- Murray Farber, retired co-managing editor of the New Haven Register in New Haven, Conn.
- Jennifer Freeman, Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
- Jason Horsman, Central Unified School District
- Lisa Houston, Fresno Unified School District
- Janet Wile, Central Unified School District
- Ellen Wilson, Fresno Unified School District
Again this year, grade winners received a family four-pack for a visit to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, courtesy of the zoo.