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Honoring TUSD students and staff
tusd rotary teachers
Rotary Teachers of the Year - photo by Photo Contributed

The Turlock Unified School District’s annual Scholar and Staff Recognition Event took place Wednesday at Pitman High School. Those recognized included the TUSD Volunteer of the Year, Superintendent’s Scholar Senate, Every Student Succeeding, Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments Maximum Score, State Seal of Biliteracy, Character Recognition for Scholars and Staff, Employees Making a Difference and Rotary Teacher Recognition.


Turlock and Modesto Rotary Teacher of the Year nominees honored were Chelsea Alton (Brown), Deborah Beyer (Crowell), Jessica Souza (Cunningham) Lucille Mendonca (Earl), Marilyn De Sousa (Dutcher), Amanda Weimer (eCademy Charter), Julia Chea (Julien) April Brown (Medeiros), Adriana Diaz (Osborn Two-Way Immersion) Eva Lear (Pitman High), Natalie Sylvia (Roselawn High), Mike Brown (Turlock High), Jill Harlan Gran (Turlock Junior High), Yaneth Moreno (Wakefield), Shelby Avilla (Walnut), Oscar Zagazeta (Roselawn) and Jane Cluff (Turlock Adult School).


Being honored as part of the Employees Making a Difference program, which annually recognizes the efforts of outstanding classified employees, were Jackie Bernaciak (Brown), Lila Becerra (Crowell), Nelly Tobar (Cunningham), Renee Dagio (Earl), Erika Alonso (Dutcher), Tina Lindo (Julien), Barbara Bjarnason (Medeiros), Diane Springer (Osborn) Linda Nelson (Pitman), Yadira Valencia (Roselawn), Julie Trainor (Turlock High), James Sinford (TJHS), Josephine Rodriguez (Wakefield), Katie Warda (Walnut), Rhonda Davis (Child Nutrition) and Angie Magana (Special Education). Bjarnason and Sinford have also been recognized at the county level while Nelson has been recognized by the county and state.


The annual Every Student Succeeding program honors students who have flourished in the face of adversity. This year’s award recipients were lan Riddle (Brown), Muhammad Rustam Khail (Crowell), Arianna Barrera (Cunningham), Naya Al Krad (Earl), Sarina Jackson (Dutcher), Andrea Vargas (eCademy Charter), Chase Dahlquist * (Julien), Adelyn Conner (Medeiros), Elijah Mendoza (Osborn), Yvette Zuniga (Pitman), Mateo Vaughan (Roselawn), Jessica Reynoso *(Turlock High), Abigail Heilman * (TJHS), Jose Ruedas Ocegueda (Wakefield) and Ramieel Moghadasi-Vardeh (Walnut). Dahlquist and Moghadasi-Vardeh were also recognized at county level.

tusd every student succeeding
Every Student Succeeding - photo by Photo Contributed

The following scholars and staff who were recognized for their character: Liliana Stephan (Brown) Jagger Garcia Crispin (Crowell), Arianna Barrera (Cunningham), Camila Plascencia (Dutcher), Leonardo Sanchez (Earl), Cody Rardin (eCademy), Jamal Sulieman (Julien), Mason Maciel (Medeiros) Hannah Parra (Osborn), Samantha Robison (Pitman) Maria Cruz (Roselawn), Kristian Guerrero (Turlock High), Ava Foreman (TJHS), Nayeli Valle Garcia (Wakefield), Lydia Barnes (Walnut), Julie Von Berckefeldt (Brown), Emily DeLay (Crowell), Nelly Tobar (Cunningham), Mary Duffy (Earl), Jean Zimmer (Dutcher), Amanda Weimer (eCademy), Cierra Rodriguez (Julien), Karina Aguilera (Medeiros), Francisco Vega (Osborn),  Brian Hofsteen (Pitman), Rachel Moran (Roselawn), Kristin Cole (Turlock High), Kelsea Overstreet (TJHS), Kyle Nicolson (Wakefield) and Sima Nazi (Walnut).


Jeffrey Lewis, president and C.E.O. of Legacy Health Endowment, and Allie Jeffrey, Associate Director of Research Cohorts, were selected as TUSD Volunteers of the Year! In partnership with Legacy Health Endowment, Mobile Health Clinics were made available for free to TUSD students and their families. In 2023, the TUSD Family Resource Center also received a grant from EMC Health Foundation of $3,000 to be used to assist the district in purchasing products to help all students with hygiene and related health issues. They also partnered with the Family Resource Center on a Family Information Night on “Tools for Improving the Mental Health of Our Youth.”


Thirty-eight scholars who earned the maximum score on the 2022-2023 Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in ELA and/or math were also celebrated, as well as the nearly 100 students who received the State Seal of Biliteracy by demonstrating proficiency in both English and another language, mostly Spanish. Many of the students participated in the TUSD Two-Way Immersion program.


Also recognized were the 180 students representing all TUSD school sites for Superintendent Dana Trevethan’s Superintendent Scholar Senates. These scholars provided insight and informative feedback to Trevethan on behalf of their peers.


tusd employees making a difference
Employees Making a Difference - photo by Photo Contributed