Mountain Empire student essay winners honored
By Jo Moreland
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce
For The Alpine Sun
Kindergarten student Audrey Stroud, who is blind, really likes Descanso Elementary School!
“I like school because I get to see my friends every day,” she wrote in Braille for her entry in the Mountain Empire Unified School District’s 2nd Annual Essay Contest. “My favorite thing about school is my Mr. Mountbatten (Brailler writing machine). And I love music time.”
Audrey and 50 other winning students from TK through eighth grade were honored on June 2 at the 2016 Essay Writers Awards Recognition dinner at the Mountain Empire High School auditorium.
“I think the best thing is just having the students and families all gathering together to celebrate the kids,” said Principal Donna Burton of Descanso Elementary School. “It was a real team effort by everybody in the community.”
More than 200 people attended the event, presented again this year by the Mountain Empire Unified School District and the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce.
Major sponsor Sycuan Casino provided a lasagna dinner with cookies for dessert. Mountain Empire High School Associated Student Body members served.
Chamber members San Diego Gas & Electric Co., Alpine Creek Town Center and Mountain Health and Community Services also sponsored the celebration. So did the Monday Nite Car Club and Jacumba Shell.
This year’s essay themes were “What makes your school special” for TK through third-grade students. “What is one thing that makes your school special and that other schools can emulate?” was the topic for grades 4-8.
“The thing I like about my school is that everyone gets along,” wrote winner Sebastian Chait, a Potrero Middle School eighth grader. “Every student gets along in this school even if they don’t want to.”
The other winners were:
Campo Elementary School ---- Savannah Lanzar, Kimberly Rosa, Symone Washington, Josalin Shawcroft, Izabelle Burke, Gian Miller, Jose Santos, Shayden Kaiser, Silvia Leon, Thomas Kellar, Achilles Pratt, Paolo Katanchi, Austin Grogan, Danny Obed, Shawna Paine and Amanda Barrett.
Clover Flat Elementary School ---- Shae Ruiz-Waddell, Leyla Lara Medina, Logan Skains, Leilani Chavez, Shiattea Lindholm and Joseph Townsend.
Descanso Elementary School ---- Lincoln Daniels, Delayna Mallon, Hudson Daniels, Daniela Villerral, Pamela Gorel, Sage Munday and Hailee Lutrick.
Potrero Elementary School ---- Julian Medina, Citlalic Acosta, Kyla Free, Dario Grijalva, Dania Lopez, Derek Lucio, Natalia Esparza, Brandon Salmeron, Larisa Carmona, Aracely Garcia, Matthew Diaz, Johanna Mendoza and Roy Hernandez.
Jacumba Middle School ---- Nakai Lindholm, Joseph Maldonado and Clayton Guy.
Pine Valley Middle School ---- Victor Santos, Meghan Damery and Brisa Calderon.
Area legislators U.S. Congressmen Duncan D. Hunter, U.S. Congressman Juan Vargas; State Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblyman Brian Jones and County Supervisor Dianne Jacob provided impressive Certificates of Recognition for each winner’s free goodie bag.
An array of treats, toys, other items and discounts in the bags were donated by All Service Property Management, Alpine Chill, Alpine Orthodontics, Barons Market, California Bank & Trust, Coldwell Banker, Comfort Keepers, Golden Acorn Casino, Grossmont Healthcare District, Rubio’s, Southern Indian Health Council, Starbucks, Usbourne Books and the Viejas Outlet Center.
The Alpine Stagecoach Lions Club and the Chamber gave the students dictionaries and thesauruses.