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Local students recognized for succeeding despite setbacks
EVery student succeeding
Five Turlock students were honored during the 16th annual “Every Student Succeeding” program last month.

Despite challenging circumstances in his life, seventh grader Elija Beasley is an exemplary student at Turlock Junior High School and regularly displays what his teachers call promise and grit. 

Beasley’s 3.71 grade point average, great work ethic and positive attitude make him “a true pleasure to have in class,” said one teacher, and also earned him recognition as one of five students to be honored during the 16th annual “Every Student Succeeding” program last month. 

Since 2005, the Stanislaus Association of California School Administrators charter and the Stanislaus County Office of Education have honored students like Beasley who have succeeded against their challenges, gone beyond expectations or simply won the hearts of their teachers and staff through the yearly program, which this year was held virtually in a video format.

“Each school day, courageous students work to overcome tremendous obstacles to reach their goals of academic excellence, often with the assistance of dedicated educators,” Stanislaus ACSA President Tracy Manzoni said. “Their success is our success and their powerful stories are our inspiration.”

This year, 23 local students were nominated by 14 different school districts to be honored at the county-level event. A student from Modesto High School, Trinity Prado, was selected to move on to the regional level of the program and also received a $500 scholarship.

“Each year, I have the unique privilege of reading these student stories and each year I am overwhelmed by the patience, kindness, bravery and persistence that these students embody,” Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Scott Kuykendall said. “They are a true testament to the strength and hope of the human spirit.”

First grader Ellem Dominguez Soto was also recognized by the program thanks to her positive attitude which has earned her the adoration of students and staff alike at Keyes Elementary School. Teachers describe her as a “special girl with a can-do attitude” who loves to make friends and help others. 

At Brown Elementary School, teachers agree that the “Every Student Succeeding” recognition for fifth grader Colton Luke is the first of many accolades he’ll go on to receive in life. Despite facing daily struggles, Luke is praised for his daily perseverance and positive attitude. Every teacher who has worked with him said his school work is excellent whether he’s distance learning or attending class in person, and that he shows great ambition for his future.

Turlock High School principal Gabe Ontiveros nominated junior Alonso Gonzalez Macias, stating that he’s extremely competent, talented and works hard to meet the high standards he sets for himself and his schoolwork. Another high school junior, Fusion Charter student Natalie Martinez, was recognized for her commitment to her education; she’s on track to graduate high school at the end of her junior year and will soon begin college classes.

“She’s turned her life around and is well on her way to achieving her current and future goals,” her nomination read. 

To view the award celebration video, visit