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Dutcher students honored for responsibility
dutcher kids
Dutcher Middle School students Lucas Bartell and Rayana Plancarte are Turlock Unified School Districts Character Counts students of the month for the trait of responsibility. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Dutcher Middle School students Lucas Bartel (7th grade) and Rayana Plancarte (8th grade) were recently honored as the Turlock Unified School District’s Character Counts students of the month for the trait of responsibility.

Lucas and Rayana share many similarities, including their impressive grade point average of 3.57, and they are both enrolled in Spanish language immersion classes. The biggest similarity between them is they are both known as responsible students and members of the DMS community.

At the Jan.3 TUSD Board of Trustees meeting Lucas blew away the audience and trustees with a nearly flawless public speaking voice and delivery.  He also made it clear that his future goal is to sit in the TUSD superintendent chair — currently held by Sonny Da Marto. Lucas certainly has the family example to guide him on his quest; his mother is an assistant principal and his grandfather was the superintendent of the Delhi Unified School District.

Rayana’s life goals are equally impressive as she hopes to become an attorney. One of her teachers at DMS, Alexandra Prasard, praised her passion for helping other students.

“She is incredibly responsible; in class she feels responsible for her classmates and her group. She is always willing to help her classmates understand the material and she never leaves them behind,” said Prasard. “She is always on time with her work and on time for class. She is a good role model for others.”  

Both students spoke about how they demonstrate the character trait of responsibility and how continuing to be responsible will help them reach their dreams.

“I think being responsible is to help others and I think that being organized and completing your work will help me gain the respect to be held in high regard for me to become a lawyer,” said Rayana.

Lucas said responsibility can lead to leadership.

“It starts with the small things in everyday life, like doing your homework or turning in a wallet if you find one. By doing those things you will gain the respect of your peers and they will see you as a leader and appoint you as one,” he said.

Rayana’s favorite subject in school is Spanish and Lucas likes language arts. In her free time Rayana enjoys playing soccer as a midfielder for a Modesto travel team, spending time with her brothers and playing hoops and baseball.

Lucas swims numerous strokes for the Turlock Sea Dogs Swim Team, plays water polo and golf. He has recently taken a role as a prince in the DMS upcoming play “Into the Woods.” Drama Teacher Ann Cordell said his excellent public speaking voice and confidence carries over well into theatre.

“He is very responsible because he makes all the rehearsals and still keeps up with his school work,” said Cordell.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.