Senior Memorial Awards
Recent graduates of KCSOS’s Alternative Education program honored with annual Senior Memorial Awards
Three recent high school graduates from KCSOS’s alternative education program were honored on June 13 with the 2017 Senior Memorial Awards.
Honorees Phillip Diaz, Alex Tapia-Peralez and Berenice Casillas were selected from a pool of nominees and were chosen because they represent specific qualities of Alternative Ed. colleagues who have passed away, but whose legacy and memory still continues to impact students.
“Our colleagues Tami Gibson, Jerry Elisondo, and Alton Patterson who the memorial awards are named after, believed in the incredible potential their students had, to go on and do great things,” said alternative education co-director Christian Shannon. “The office supports these awards because we recognize that all students need to be inspired by what others see in their potential.”
The three recipients received a plaque and a $250 scholarship for the next step in their quest for life long learning opportunities.
The awards provide a means for recognizing outstanding achievement by the recipients, many of whom had to overcome extreme hurdles and barriers on their way to graduating from high school.
Tami Gibson Memorial Award
The Tami Gibson Memorial Award for Integrity is given to a student who has exemplified this character trait. Integrity is defined as “having a moral compass that does not waiver.” It means doing the right thing in a reliable way. This award is given in memory and in honor of Mrs. Gibson who showed her integrity daily in the way she interacted with her students and in her dedication to her profession.
Phillip Diaz was nominated enthusiastically by his teacher Mr. Purdy at CLC Tech to receive this award. Phillip has been described as disciplined, responsible, and diligent about completing all tasks assigned to him. Phillip was the first student to class and the last to leave, and in Mr. Purdy’s words, “one of the most teachable students I have ever worked with.” Phillip took responsibility for his actions and encouraged fellow students to do the same. His integrity demonstrated accountability for his own success or failure and was a model for other students to follow. Phillip was recently married and plans to attend Bakersfield College. His future goal is enlistment in the United States Marine Corps.
Jerry Elisondo Memorial Award
The Jerry Elisondo Memorial Award for Empathy is presented in honor and in memory of Mr. Elisondo to a student who exemplifies this trait. Empathy is the ability to identify with another person’s feelings. Jerry always knew how to put himself in his students’ place and how to develop a plan to meet their unique learning needs. He did this with compassion, caring, and a positive outlook.
Alex Tapia-Peralez was nominated by his teacher Ms. Fedorsin to receive this award because of the empathy and selflessness he has shown toward his family. When a challenging situation arose in the family, Alex recognized his need to sacrifice to ensure his family was provided for. He did this willingly and with the intent to improve opportunities for his children in the future. His teachers communicate that Alex has been through a tremendous transformation this year in both his attitude and approach to future opportunities in life. He sees how bright his future can be and is ready to take that challenge head on. Alex plans to attend BC in the fall and focus on welding science.
Alton Patterson Memorial Award
The Alton Patterson Memorial Award for Optimism is presented to a student in honor and memory of Mr. Patterson. Optimism is shown through thinking positively and always seeing the bright side of things. Optimism defined how Alton approached every day, every problem, every student. He always saw the best in everyone and his smile and positive energy were contagious.
Berenice Casillas was nominated by her school’s career associate Ms. Sarah Samms to receive this award because she is joyful, ambitious, and tenacious in pursuing her academic goals. No matter what the day holds, Berenice will greet you with a cheerful smile and encouraging word. In spite of many obstacles, Berenice has beaten the odds and is finding success both academically and in her role as an intern at the Blanton Child Development Center. Berenice plans to enroll at Bakersfield College in fall semester and is considering studying criminal justice. She is the super proud mother of her son Isaac and is excited about the next step in their adventure.