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Walnut brothers live by Golden Rule
Respect feature pic
Walnut Elementary students and brothers Ulisses and Cesar Luquin are proof there are still children who know the meaning of the word respect. The two were recognized for their good behavior through the Turlock Unified School District’s Character Counts program. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

February Character Counts Profile: Respect

Student Feature: Ulisses and Cesar Luquin: Walnut Education Center

Nominated by: Robin Swartz, Walnut Vice Principal 

If you talk to teachers nowadays about student behavior it is common to hear that students can sometimes lack respect for their teachers, peers and administrators. But at Walnut Elementary Education Center in Turlock, a pair of brothers, Ulisses (11) and Cesar (9) Luquin are proving there is plenty of hope for the future.

Starting at a young age, the boys’ parents, Josesina and Sergio Luquin, installed the belief that the boys live by the “Golden Rule” of treating others as they would like to be treated; with respect.

Each day at school the boys are known around the Walnut campus for their smiles and excellent manners.

“When I see either boy on our campus and say ‘Good morning, how are you?’ they always respond with ‘Good and you?’ Sometimes they even beat me to the’ good morning.’ They play soccer daily and always show respect to their teammates,” said Walnut Vice Principal Robin Swartz.

In addition to their cheery demeanors and excellent manners the boys’ actions speak volumes about the type of home and character they come from.

Mary Cotton, the campus supervisor at Walnut, noted the Luquin boys’ willingness to help.

“Every single day they help me gather up all the equipment (balls, jump ropes) after lunch or recess. They’ve never been asked to do that, they just do it. It is just who they are as people, those two boys deserve a paycheck for all the work they do for us,” said Cotton. “And they have the confidence to be polite. There are a lot of good kids but they are shy and lack the confidence to be polite. It is pretty rare to see kids with that much confidence.”

The Luquin family believes in sitting down for dinner as a family every night, offering  a helping hand, not judging people based on what they look like or where they live, and to respect other peoples’ opinions.

“These are what will make them better people in the world. We live on the Westside of town and it can be hard to keep kids out of trouble. We make it a point to talk to our kids, and have them active in sports and go to church,” said Josesina.

When Josesina was told that her boys had been chosen for a feature in the newspaper based on their character she broke down in tears of happiness and proudly said “this makes me so happy, this is the best thing that I could ever want.”

 “My mom and dad always say you aren’t just given respect, you have to earn it,” said Ulisses.

Sound advice from a young boy who comes from a good home.

In their free time the boys love playing soccer, both want to be soccer players when they grow up. Ulisses would also like to be a doctor. Cesar’s favorite subjects are science and math and Ulisses enjoys science and reading. Both boys like to play video games in their free time, on top of playing soccer, of course.

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