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Wakefield siblings learned fairness in the home
character coutns pic
Cassandra (left), Nathaniel and Mackenzie Stanhope were all nominated for the March Character Counts trait of fairness by Wakefield Elementary Assistant Principal Luisa Salinas because of their willingness to help others in the classroom. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

March Character Counts Profile: Fairness

Student Feature: Cassandra, Mackenzie and Nathaniel Stanhope, Wakefield Elementary School

Nominated by: Luisa Salinas, Wakefield Assistant Principal


When all three children from one family are known for their fairness it’s clear to see that they learned the character trait at home, from their parents.

That is exactly the case when it comes to the Stanhope siblings from Wakefield Elementary in Turlock. Cassandra, 12, Mackenzie, 10, and Nathaniel, 9, have the hearts of angels and a level of fairness far beyond their years.

Cassandra serves her school as student body president and volunteers her lunch time and recess to play and read with autistic children in Wakefield’s on-campus special education classes.

 “Our parents have always told us to be nice to others or they won’t be nice to us and we won’t have any friends,” said Cassandra.

A simple truth from a young lady who wants to be a veterinarian and enjoys playing with her friends in her free time.

At home the Stanhope kids learn fairness from their parents, Bart Stanhope and Evangelina Lopez.

“We teach them that everyone should be treated equally and that everyone should have the same opportunity,” explained Bart. “In our family we appreciate the truth and appreciating what other people do, congratulating and building others up.”

Mackenzie, a fifth-grader, serves her fellow students as vice-president of the student body. She excels in mathematics and is known for encouraging others to try.

“I always raise my hand but I don’t shout out the answer because other people have to have a chance,” she explained.

Mackenzie wants to be a teacher when she grows up and in her free time she likes to play with her friends.

Excellence in mathematics appears to be a family trait, as Nathaniel, a fourth-grader, is always willing to help others in the difficult subject.

“We put other people before us and we know to share,” said Nathaniel, who wants to be a doctor when he grows up and likes to play on the monkey bars.

Wakefield Elementary Assistant Principal Luisa Salinas nominated all three kids together.

“They are great with their everyday interactions with everyone on campus and in the class they are all very successful. They have that intrinsic value and intense motivation to do their best all the time,” Salinas said.

It is clear their drive to succeed in learning is something internal, but behavior can be changed by a person’s environment. The vast majority of parents tell their kids to be fair to others but not all children are.

“I think it takes consistency. When kids do something wrong you (as a parent) don’t give in to them, and when you praise them make sure they understand why,” said Evangelina.
Both parents are extremely proud of their children.

 “Everyday I’m proud of my kids, they are exceptional, I’m very lucky and God has blessed us,” said Bart.

“I’m extremely proud, I know my kids are great kids but I never expected a phone call telling me that they would be recognized like this,” said Evangelina.

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