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Medeiros students show character
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Medeiros student Julio Torres is one of this months character counts students of the month. This months character trait is fairness. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

DeletMarch Pillar of Character: Fairness

Color: Orange
From an early age, you've probably had strong opinions about what is fair and what isn't. Everyone does. Fairness is, however, one of the most difficult Pillars of Character, or core ethical values, to define clearly. People often simply see those decisions that help them as "fair" and those that don't as "unfair."
Only one thing is clear when it comes to fairness: it is often a matter of perception. Although some decisions are clearly unfair, there is often more than one fair choice. To ensure that choices are fair to as many people as possible, the rules of the decision-making process should be very clear to all involved and everyone should abide by the rules. Everyone must be treated the same under the rules.

Fairness Dos
• Treat all people fairly.
• Listen to others and try to understand what they are feeling and saying.
• Consider all the facts, including opposing views, before making a decision.
• Make impartial decisions, using the same criteria, rules, or standards for everyone.
• Correct your mistakes.

Fairness Don'ts
• Don't take advantage of other people's mistakes or ignorance.
• Don't take more than your fair share.
• Don't let personal preferences, prejudices or other feelings improperly interfere with decisions which should be based on merit.

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Medeiros sixth grader Maddie Heidman and fourth grader Julio Torres are the Turlock Unified School District’s Character Counts students of the month for the character trait of fairness.
Both students earn top marks on their report cards and both are very well liked by their fellow students and teachers.
Maddie’s sixth grade teacher Robert Kackley and her fifth grade teacher from last year Jennifer Hanshew nominated her for the student of the month.
“Maddie always puts others before herself and she goes above and beyond to help others, both in and out of the classroom,” said Kackley.
The sixth grader has volunteered her time collecting money and coats for the needy through 4-H and she recently made Valentine’s Day cards for patients at a local rehabilitation center.
“I think it’s important to help others and to place their needs before your own sometimes,” said Maddie.
She said she learned the trait of fairness through her extensive involvement in sports. She plays softball, soccer and tennis. She also plays the piano and she is on the student council at Medeiros. In her free time she enjoys reading. She hopes to become a writer when she grows up.
Julio also learned much of his respectful demeanor through sports, but mainly he learned character from his hardworking parents, Banesa and Cervantes Torres.

“If you were to ask teachers to describe Julio they would use adjectives such as awesome, kind, hardworking, respectful and responsible,” said his teacher Marlene Bergstrom, who nominated Julio. “Most of all he appreciates the value of an education.”

His third grade teacher Aimee Hendrix also nominated him.

“Respect, fairness and trustworthiness have helped me to be a great friend. Being a good citizen will help me to have a good life and to be an example to others, especially my little brothers. Above all, inspiration is not just about being the best, but doing you best, each and every day,” said Julio.

Julio excels in all academic areas but he loves art and math. In his free time he enjoys playing soccer and riding dirt bikes. He hopes to become a soccer player when he grows up — or a dirt bike racer.

“Maybe both,” he said.