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Spirit of San Juan

The annual Spirit of San Juan awards celebrates individuals within our school communities who exhibit exceptional character, remove barriers, and provide an inclusive environment for all.

San Juan Unified School District rolled out the red carpet at Rio Americano High School’s Center for the Arts on Thursday, May 4 for the district’s 10th annual Spirit of San Juan Awards. During the ceremony, six honorees were recognized for exhibiting exceptional character, removing barriers and providing an inclusive environment for all.

Photos from the event can be found on the district’s Facebook page.  

Learn more about the 2023 Spirit of San Juan honorees by watching their highlight videos below.

Ronnie Brown
Custodian, Carriage Drive Elementary School

Ronnie is a custodian at Carriage Drive Elementary School who is described as a positive and caring individual who lifts the school’s morale. Teachers and staff describe him as a “celebrity” who lights up every room he walks into.



Freddie Bryant

Athletic Director and Teacher, San Juan High School

Freddie always goes above and beyond the call of duty. Whether he’s mentoring students or coaching them on the field, Freddie is making a difference on his campus and in the community.



Luis Cruz Solache

Coordinator, Family and Community Engagement

Luis takes down barriers and pushes for inclusion. His efforts have made resources more accessible for families of all languages and backgrounds.



Howe Helpers

Student advocacy group, Howe Avenue Elementary School

The Howe Helpers are an advocacy group at Howe Avenue Elementary School. Together, they work to dispel negative stereotypes about the unhoused population and create care packages for those experiencing homelessness.



Tiba Jasim

Fifth-grade student, Whitney Avenue Elementary School

Tiba is an active agent of inclusivity. She participates in student council, volunteers for attendance enrichment projects and uses her time to make and translate instructional videos for assemblies.



Surina Naran

Twelfth-grade student, Rio Americano High School

Surina is making a difference by impacting district-level policies and elevating student voice. As a member of several committees, she has used her position to listen to the students’ concerns and use their feedback to make changes at the district level.



A special thanks to our sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and SMUD for helping make this event possible.

A special thank you to our Career and Technical Education Programs (CTE) staff and students, and our many volunteers for helping with the awards ceremony.

  • Casa Roble Fundamental High School Floral Design Pathway

  • San Juan High School Culinary & Bakery Pathway
  • San Juan Unified Technology Services Department

  • Salome Ospina - Rio Americano High School student musician, piano

  • Colin Thowtho - Rio Americano High School musician, trombone