Spirit of San Juan 2014-15

  • The annual Spirit of San Juan awards honor individuals and groups in our school communities who exhibit exceptional character. This year we received 196 nominations for 170 people, the most ever. 

    The honorees for 2014-15 are:

    • The Rotary Club of Orangevale, community group

    Orangevale Rotary Nominated for extensive support of Trajan Elementary
    Quote from nomination form: “Our special education students overcome personal obstacles every day and were positively impacted by the generous financial donation to purchase needed sensory equipment for the students; as well as by one member in particular, Bryan Daniel, donating his talented time, labor, & materials to make equipment, t-stools & Balance Boards, to benefit the students.”

    • Joy Wake, parent

    Joy Wake Nominated for her work with the Parent Engagement Group and efforts to boost parent voice
    Quote from nomination form: “Joy has been an inspirational example of community involvement and support for education by organizing, coordinating and facilitating ongoing monthly meetings to engage families and community members to support and address concerns for student education and to advocate for improvements.”

    • David Burbridge, Sylvan Middle School teacher

    David Burbridge Nominated for his promotion of positive school culture and dedication to at-risk students
    Quote from nomination form: “While other teachers throw their hands up with our more challenging behavior students, Mr. Burbridge not only creates relationships with them, he invites them to be his TAs, encourages them to join his after school 88s club, and teaches our students to be better human beings. He is willing to take on the most challenging students, when other people are ready to give up.”

    • Anna Chriss, Arcade Fundamental Middle School student

    Anna Chriss Nominated for her efforts to start a care package drive for the homeless
    Quote from nomination form: “Because of her altruism, over 140 people in our homeless community were shown a tangible act of kindness. She strives for her own personal best but also works to lead others to better themselves as well. If you're in a group with Anna you can expect to be challenged and encouraged.”

    • Kennith Brown Jr., Del Campo High School student

    Kennith Brown Nominated for his work mentoring a Barrett Middle School student
    Quote from nomination form: “Kenny unlocked an entire new way to communicate for a student! Kyle, who is deaf and autistic, had refused to type or text. No amount of teaching, begging, or even bribing had worked to get Kyle to reach out. By reaching out and just being a caring friend, Kenny acted as a catalyst for the development of an entire new mode of communication.”

    • Davion Johnson, San Juan High School student

    Davion Johnson Nominated for his leadership at school and his work mentoring freshmen 
    Quote from nomination form: “Davion is my son's mentor at San Juan High School. From the start of his Freshman year, my son has had Davion to look up to in every aspect of high school life. He has made an everlasting impact on a nervous boy, going way beyond welcoming him to the school. He looks out for Delano in every aspect of his experience.”

    We received 196 nominations this year, more than tripling our previous record. Due to the high volume of nominees, the Strategy Six team is honoring 9 additional finalists in addition to the 6 primary honorees. 

    The finalists for 2014-15 are: 

    • Andy Wu, Student, Bella Vista High

    Nominated for his courage in overcoming obstacles  
    Quote from nomination form: "The summer of 2014, Andy was injured in a diving accident which resulted in partial upper extremity paralysis and complete lower extremity paralysis. His positive attitude and outlook has been amazing and an inspiration for everyone."

    • Denise Seymour, Parent, Will Rogers Middle

    Nominated for her extensive support of students, staff and families
    Quote from nomination form: "Denise Seymour is one of the most caring individuals I have ever worked with in my career. She never stops trying to find ways to support San Juan families. She is always helping people find clothing, school materials, rides to school, and she finds ways for parents to engage in the school community."

    • Donald & Barbara Brincka, Community members, Will Rogers Middle

    Nominated for their caring and commitment to  Will Rogers Middle School
    Quote from nomination form: "Donald and Barbara Brincka volunteer at the Our Lady of the Assumption Food Locker.For the past several years they have donated Countless food items to our SDC-ILS class at Will Rogers Middle School.We have been able to distribute items to numerous families and students in need....as well as contribute to our healthy cooking skills program. Without fail this dedicated couple delivers every Thursday rain or shine."

    • Glenn Alejandrino, Staff, Arden Middle

    Nominated for his tireless efforts to support students at Arden Middle School
    Quote from nomination form: "His passion for helping Arden shine is contagious and every program he focuses on thrives. He consistently uses all means of communication to show support and encourage students to be the best they can be. He gives 110% to teaching, leadership, and being positive and the kids rise to his example."

    • Janet Simpson, Staff, Encina Preparatory High

    Nominated for her tenacity and dedication to the students of Encina Preparatory High School
    Quote from nomination form: "Mrs. Simpson is very tenacious, she fights an up hill battle everyday at Encina. Her school is filled with many children who are underprivileged, neglected, and starving for positive reinforcement. Mrs. Simpson cares for every student at Encina, opens her doors early, and stays late for students to have a safe place. She connects with them, offers advice, and listens. She fights for them, writes letters for courts, colleges, and future employers."

    • Laurie Struckmeyer, Staff, Thomas Kelly Elementary

    Nominated for her devotion to arts programs at Thomas Kelly 
    Quote from nomination form: "Laurie dedicates much of her free time to the Theater Arts Department at Thomas Kelly elementary school. In fact, she runs the whole thing. She has been putting on plays at this school for 3 years now."

    • Si’Nia Davies, Student, Winston Churchill Middle

    Nominated for her honesty, respect and example to other students 
    Quote from nomination form: "Si'Nia lives her life each and every day with the spirit to inspire others. [...] Si'Nia is not only a role model for her peers, she's a role model for adults. Si'Nia acts in a way that is embodies every positive character trait listed on a daily basis! She treats all people with kindness, respect and honesty, regardless of who they are."

    • Tammi Shelton, Staff, Lichen K-8

    Nominated for leading by example for colleagues, families and students 
    Quote from nomination form: "I cannot pick just 1 of the millions of things Tammi Shelton does for our school, families, community and even me. She is always there with support, a hug, a smile, a tissue or whatever else one might need in that moment. It's almost like she has a magic wand that helps someone through, gets the job done, or makes things happen."

    • Vanessa Nichols, Staff, Bella Vista High 

    Nominated for displaying responsibility and caring 
    Quote from nomination form: "Vanessa works with autistic kids like no one I have ever seen work with them before. She not only works with them at school but works with them in their homes.The outcome she has with them is so wonderful and the relationship she gains with them and the parents is even better."
Last Modified on January 10, 2018