IUSD Stellar Student Spotlight

City Honors International Preparatory School- Mikala Nwachukwus

Mikala Nwachukwu is living the American dream in Inglewood! This 10th grader at City Honors International Preparatory School immigrated to the U.S. earlier this year from Lagos, Nigeria, and is already making her mark academically and socially. Mikala boasts a 3.95 GPA, plays forward position on the girls soccer team, and her school counselor describes her as someone who “takes full advantage of student opportunities and immerses herself into all things CHIPS”. 

Aside from being stellar academically, Mikala also has a heart for serving her community, wherever in the world that may be. As a student in Nigeria, she regularly helped build classrooms, and collected school supplies for orphans in underserved communities. Additionally in Nigeria, she was on the “CDC Day” planning committee, where she organized school fundraisers for charity. Mikala was also awarded for excellence in ELA and Biology at Nigeria’s “Prize Giving Day”, and won 2nd place at the “Private School Games” soccer tournament in Lagos.  

Mikala would like to attend Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, or University of California, Berkeley for college, major in Biology, and become a Doctor of Internal Medicine one day. She has always loved science, and watching her aunt fight cancer inspired her to want to help people in meaningful ways. After becoming a physician, Mikala would also like to return to Nigeria temporarily to open schools for girls in impoverished areas. Mikala’s hobbies include playing soccer, hanging out with friends, video games, shopping, and teaching herself guitar, and violin. She says her greatest inspiration is her mom, because she is a hard working single mother who makes sure her children never lack.   

Mikala has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Once you speak what you want into the world, you’re already a step closer to achieving it”.

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Crozier Middle Schsool- Daniel Sanchez
Daniel Sanchez has a bright future as a top chef and is also at the top of his class! This 8th grade “foodie” at Crozier Middle School ranks #1 in his class and has a 4.0 GPA. Daniel wants to attend culinary school at the Institute of Culinary Education after high school, and would like to become a chef and food critic one day. He would also like to open his own restaurant, specializing in traditional Mexican cuisine and Mexican bakery items. Daniel says he wants to serve food that represents where his family comes from, Jalisco, Mexico, known for its Birria and Pozole. Daniel’s dedication to cooking stems from the love and dedication to the recipes that have been in his family for decades.

During the pandemic, Daniel became known in his family for his delicious carne asada burritos, and enjoys baking cakes and cake pops with his mom for family gatherings. Daniel says his favorite recipe to make with his mom is Pozole. His mom, and You-Tuber and travel/food blogger Will Sonbuchner of “Best Ever Food Review Show”, are his greatest inspirations. Daniel’s mom inspired him to become a chef because he always helps her cook at home. Daniel says Will Sonbuchner inspires him because he travels around the world and explores food from various cultures. Besides cooking, Daniel’s hobbies include playing video games, and spending time with his family.

Daniel has this quote of advice for his fellow IUSD students: “Your education is like cooking - if you put in the right ingredients, you will get the right results.”

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, email [email protected].

Oak Street TK-8 School-Montzerrat Borjas


Montzerrat Borjas has a desire to change the world! Montserrat, 6th grader at Oak Street TK-8 School was the grand prize winner of the most recent “Water is Life” art contest, sponsored by the West Basin Municipal Water District. Her art piece, entitled “Every Drop Counts”, was selected from 850 submissions, and was awarded an Apple iPad to continue her artistic efforts. In addition to creating art, Montzerrat enjoys playing volleyball, running, biking, and swimming. Her dream college where she plans to attend is the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA). Montzerrat would like to become a news anchor when she grows up, because she loves to read and wants to connect with people in her community and address their needs.

Montzerrat has received various acknowledgments every year that she has been a student at Oak Street, such as the student of the month award, achievement awards for grades and citizenship, and a perfect attendance award. Not only does Montzerrat believe in academic achievement, but she also believes in serving her community. At her church, she volunteers at fairs and other events where volunteers are needed. Montzerrat says that her greatest inspiration is her parents, because they work hard no matter what difficulties they face and they always encourage her to go to college and find success in life.

Montzerrat has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Trusting in yourself, working hard, and setting goals will help you have more control over your life”.

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, please email [email protected].

City Honors School-Madison Robinsons

Madison Robinson is a STEAM superstar! This incoming 9th grader at City Honors International Preparatory School received a full scholarship from Crozier Middle School to attend The Engineer Factory’s summer STEAM camp. During the five-week camp, Madison mastered 55 math topics on EdReady, built a model Piper Computer, where she installed all of the electronics and major computer systems, and completed 24 levels of coding! She and the other campers also had a VIP, STEM-focused tour of SoFi Stadium, and went on a college tour of Cal Poly Pomona.

Madison is no stranger to achievement. She has been a winner since Hudnall Elementary School, where she won the spelling bee in 3rd grade, the Martin Luther King speech contest in 1st grade, and received annual honor roll awards. During her time at Crozier Middle School, she continued her winning streak by receiving the Principal’s Honor Roll award at the 8th grade commencement ceremony for her 3.9 GPA, and by winning the 8th grade spelling bee. Additionally, Madison has been a member of the Southern Area Youth Juniors Golf Association, where she has participated in multiple golf tournaments, and has won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place trophies. 

In addition to being a stellar student, Madison volunteers at a daycare in her community during the summer because she enjoys helping others, especially children. She wants to become a pediatrician one day to help children live healthy lifestyles. Madison says that her greatest inspiration is her older sister (who is also a Crozier alumna) who attends Cornell University. She has inspired Madison to get good grades and never just do the bare minimum, but to always strive for more. 

Madison has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Work hard even when the work’s hard.”  

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, email [email protected].

Inglewood High School- Brianna Posada image

Brianna Posada is Inglewood High School’s 2022 valedictorian. This senior has a 4.5 GPA, and has received a full scholarship to University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)! Brianna has already completed 8 El Camino College classes, is on the Inglewood High School’s varsity volleyball team, and the academic decathlon team. At UCLA, she will major in Political Science, and wants to become a criminal defense attorney. Brianna’s inspiration for this career path has been the injustices her brothers have experienced. She says she has seen them move in and out of the judicial system for crimes they sometimes did not commit. Brianna wants to advocate for justice reform and provide fair representation for people in low-income communities.

Although her brothers have inspired her, Brianna’s greatest inspiration has been her 2-year old daughter. Becoming a mother her sophomore year of high school created unexpected challenges, but Brianna faced them with determination and without fear. She has stayed positive, broken barriers, and exceeded expectations!

Brianna has this piece of advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: "Don’t settle for less; strive for greatness."

City Honors School- Edgar Diaz image

Edgar Diaz is City Honors International Preparatory School’s 2022 valedictorian. This senior boasts an outstanding GPA of 4.69, and has received a full scholarship to Stanford University! Edgar will major in Symbolic Systems, which is a blend of computer science, psychology, and philosophy. After college, he plans on attending medical school and aspires to become a pediatrician. Edgar says he wants to help children because he “loves how authentic and fearless they are”.

While at City Honors, Edgar took El Camino College courses, participated in the “USC Board Scholars” program, the “Experience Berkeley” program, and co-founded the “Gears Club”. He was elected student council treasurer and also is a member of the Senior Committee. Edgar serves his beloved Inglewood community by tutoring younger students at local schools and tutoring his nephews. He identifies his older brother as his greatest inspiration. His older brother was undocumented, faced many challenges, became an American citizen, and eventually a college graduate. Edgar says that his brother always stressed to him the importance of education as a pathway to success.

Edgar has this piece of advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: "Don’t let fear of the unknown stray you away from the greatness that is to come; fear isn't your friend but rather a burglar in disguise."

Morningside High School- Jaquelynne Latin Barrera image

Jaquelynne Latin Barrera is Morningside High School’s 2022 valedictorian. This stellar senior has a 4.6 GPA, and has received a full scholarship to University of California Davis (UCD)! Jaquelynne will major in psychology, and would like to become a therapist or a nurse. She says that she wants to improve the health and mental health of people in her community, especially after the multiple traumas brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Jaquelynne says her mother is her greatest inspiration, because she always encouraged her to pursue education and work hard at anything she attempts.

Jaquelynne has completed multiple advanced placement classes, and even a college course, during her time at Morningside. She is the historian for the Morningside club “My Sister’s Keeper”, which encourages female empowerment and entrepreneurship. Through this club, she has volunteered her time for the Girls Empowerment Summit and also organizing activities for senior girls. Additionally, Jaquelynne is a member of the Morningside Environmental Club, and Hispanos Unidos, which celebrates and honors Latinx culture. Lastly, Jaquelynne received an award for her partnership with the Bioflex program, which is a mentorship program where students learn social skills, job application skills, participate in STEM workshops, and a paid internship.

Jaquelynne has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “To be successful, it’s okay to receive help and support; however, you must ‘meet in the middle’ and do your part by putting forth the effort.”

City Honors International Preparatory School- Brooklynn Wintersimage

Brooklynn Winters’ life imitates her art, and they are both outstanding! This senior at City Honors International Preparatory School was accepted into the Ryman Arts Program as an 8th grader, earlier than most applicants. This 3-year art program teaches students fundamental art skills in preparation for college, and a career in the arts. She attended California State Fullerton and Otis College of Design for two months each year to develop her craft and immerse herself in all things art and design. She has also participated in our Engineer Factory summer program and the Aerospace Bridge Program.

Brooklynn has maintained a GPA over 4.0 throughout high school, and has taken 7 college classes through City Honors’ dual enrollment partnership with El Camino College. She has been offered the Presidential Scholarship and the Diversity Scholarship at Otis College. She would like to double major in Studio Arts and Women’s Studies, and aspires to have 3 careers in her lifetime: a freelance artist, an art teacher, and a museum curator. 

Brooklynn excels in painting and drawing, but also enjoys sculpting and digital art. Her other hobbies include reading action/adventure books, knitting, and spending time with her family. Brooklynn has been a key player on the Inglewood High School girls’ volleyball team, serving as team captain this year. She gives back to her community by volunteering at the annual “Make Your Mark in the Park” event, where she teaches art to community members of all ages. In addition, she donates books annually to the City Honors book drive.  

Brooklynn has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “The biggest mistake you can make is not asking for help, support gives us strength.”

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, please email [email protected]

Bennett-Kew Elementary- Israel Jimenez

IUSD Stellar Student Spotlight
Israel Jimenez puts the “leadership” in Bennett Kew Leadership Academy of Excellence School! This 5th grader is a scholar and a true leader, as shown by his actions on campus. He guides his peers to make good decisions on campus, as seen through his work as a member of “Paw Patrol”.  He volunteers to help others so that all his peers WIN in the end. Israel has been on the principal’s honor roll every school year as well as selected as Student of the Month. Additionally, he has received multiple awards for his school leadership and perfect attendance. 

Israel is stellar in all academic areas, and is determined to learn new and challenging concepts, while always completing his assignments on time. You can often find Israel on task, attentive, and willing to help others who are struggling. Israel goes above and beyond on school projects, presenting exemplary work in his Ecosystem and 13 Colonies projects. He loves to participate in class discussions and loves school! He is a great help in the classroom as well, and often offers to stay behind to help clean up.

Israel would like to attend UCLA for college and medical school. He wants to become a plastic surgeon one day, so that he can help patients needing reconstructive surgeries feel better about themselves. His hobbies are playing outside with his brother, playing video games, and hiking. 

Israel has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Always do your best, and success will come.” 

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, please email [email protected].

Crozier Middle School- Taniyah Storey

IUSD Stellar Student Spotlight Crozier Middle School 7th grader Taniyah Storey is a real MVP! She was nominated for the Stellar Student Spotlight by her basketball coach who says that she is his most dedicated player. Coach Goldman says that Taniyah has never missed a practice or game, and is the first player to show up at practice. He adds that she also has one heck of a crossover dribble, which he has witnessed her work very hard to perfect. In addition to being a key player on the Crozier girls basketball team, Taniyah is also on the Crozier dance team, and a part of the Crozier mentoring program “Tea Time”. Taniyah’s hobbies are dancing, video games, and acting.

Taniyah’s mother, a dentist, passed away when she was only 3 years old, so she is being raised by her aunt and older sister. Taniyah says that they are her greatest inspirations because she sees how hard they work, and despite challenges, they still find a way to take good care of her. Taniyah would like to follow in her late mother’s footsteps and join the medical field when she grows up. She would like to become an emergency room doctor so that she can help save lives. Her dream colleges to attend are Harvard or UCLA.

Taniyah is known by her teachers and peers as being kind, helpful, hard working, and a leader. She serves her community by assisting her elderly neighbors with carrying in groceries and helping keep their porches clean. She also babysits her neighbors’ children when needed.

Taniyah has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “If you try your hardest at everything, you will be the best you can be at everything.”

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Highland TK-6 Elementary- Brandon Guardado


IUSD Stellar Student Spotlight Brandon Guardado is an honor roll ace! This 6th grader at Highland TK-6 school has received 2 student of the month awards this school year, as well as the principal’s honor roll award. Not only is he a stellar scholar, but he is also a stellar citizen. Brandon is the 6th grade “ambassador” at Highland, which means he was selected by his principal to take on responsibilities such as passing out notices to teachers, helping students when they are hurt or get bullied, and also assists the principal and teachers with other tasks as well.


Aside from being a leader amongst his peers, Brandon also has a heart for his community. He regularly donates food, clothing, and blankets to the homeless at the local Salvation Army with his mom. He wants to become a firefighter when he grows up because he says he wants to save people, and their homes, in the Inglewood community. Brandon’s hobbies include playing his cello, playing basketball, watching anime, and playing video games. 


Excellence is not foreign to Brandon. According to his teachers and principal, Highland students and staff all regard Brandon as a caring, respectful, and dedicated student. Brandon shares that his greatest inspiration is his older brother who is a junior with a 4.1 GPA at Inglewood High School. Brandon’s mother is extremely proud of her sons, and shares that they will be first generation high school graduates in their family. 


Brandon has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: Anything is possible when you believe in yourself!”


To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted email [email protected]. 

Centinela K-8 School - Valentina Quiñonez
Valentina Q.By Maygan Orr
Valentina Quiñonez is a shining star at Centinela K-8 School! This 8th grader with a 3.5 GPA has received various awards for honor roll and class participation. She also received a perfect attendance award for attending every class during the pandemic! Valentina volunteers at a local animal shelter because she loves animals and wants to improve their lives by helping to provide them with loving and quality care. Her hobbies include playing volleyball, softball, the ukulele, and spending time with her family. 
Valentina strives to make this country a better place, particularly for immigrants. Her goal is to attend college at either Harvard or UC Berkeley, and become an attorney specializing in immigration law. She has seen family members miss opportunities due to their immigration status. Valentina's mother, a Guatemalan immigrant, has always had a talent for creating floral arrangements, and dreamed of owning her own flower shop, but was unable to achieve this goal because of her immigration status.
Valentina plans to turn her passion to purpose, and make the immigration process more attainable for people like her mother. 
Valentina has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Life will throw many challenges your way, but never giving up is the way to handle them.” 
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Frank D. Parent - Jay'Ceon Flucus
JayCeon FlucusBy Maygan Orr 
Jay’Ceon Flucus has a running start in life! This Frank D. Parent 2nd grader has been running cross-country since he was 6 years old, and will be competing in the national Junior Olympics on December 10th with his team, the L.A. Jets. He has been training 5 days a week, while still making honor roll grades. Jay’Ceon participated in the Crown City Classic Screenland 5k race and the Jet to Jetty Race, where he ranked 1st place, and he also ranked 3rd place out of 40 runners at the L.A. Jets’ 2000 yard invitational. Additionally, Jay’Ceon placed 7th at the Regional Championship, and placed 6th at the Association Championship. 
Jay’Ceon’s teacher describes him as eager to learn and helpful. He assists his teacher with passing out papers, being a class monitor, and is always ready and willing to tutor his fellow classmates. Jay’Ceon says that he would like to become a pediatric dentist when he grows up, so that he can help kids have the best smiles. His greatest inspiration is Buhia Singh from the documentary “Marathon Boy”. Buhia overcame great adversity to become one of the greatest runners in India at only 5 years old. Like Buhia, Jay’Ceon wants to be an inspiration to others. Aside from running, Jay’Ceon’s hobbies include boxing, playing Minecraft, and playing with his action figures, Spiderman is his favorite. 
Jay’Ceon has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Anything is possible- NO BRAKES!!"  
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted email [email protected].

Crozier Middle School - Justen and Branden Key
Justen and Branden Keyby Maygan Orr
These Crozier Middle School students are the epitome of brotherly love! Seventh grader Justen Key and eighth grader Branden Key are brothers who are standout students in and out of the classroom. Both brothers attended Highland for elementary school, and were consistently on the honor roll and principal’s honors list. Justen and Branden have won medals and trophies for their sportsmanship and skills playing for the Jr. Clippers traveling basketball team. At Crozier Middle School, they both maintain a 3.2+ GPA and play for the school’s flag football team and the basketball team.
Justen’s dream college is Stanford University, where he wants to major in Chemistry. He says he wants to become an astronaut one day, because he wants to “go places that no one has ever gone”. Justen’s hobbies are playing football, basketball, video games, and boxing. Branden’s dream college is Duke University, where he would like to play basketball and major in Biology. He wants to be drafted into the NBA one day, but his plan B is to become a scientist, so that he can help cure diseases such as Cancer, and find solutions to food insecurity. Branden’s hobbies are basketball, video games, skateboarding, and boxing. Both Justen and Branden serve their community with their fellow church members by helping to feed their neighbors experiencing homelessness. They also take time out of their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations to feed those experiencing homelessness.
Justen has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Always believe in yourself, work hard, and persevere.”
Branden has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Never give up on your dream- anything is possible when you have faith.”
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Crozier Middle School - Genesis Aguilar
Genesis AguilarBy Maygan Orr
Genesis Aguilar is finishing this school year off right! As a top scholar at Crozier Middle School, this 7th grader has earned a 3.4 GPA in her honors classes, setting the bar high for being a stellar student as well as a student leader. Genesis attended Oak Street Elementary School, and while there, she assisted her math teachers with grading, and creating homework assignments that were interesting and meaningful to her fellow students. Math has always been her favorite subject because she enjoys problem solving. Her hobbies include drawing buildings and tropical scenes and listening to Spanish music- specifically Banda and Corridos. Genesis would like to attend UCLA for college one day and become a graphic designer. 
This school year, Genesis demonstrated her leadership skills in the Beverly Hills West (CA) chapter of the Links, Incorporated’s GEMS program- (GIRLS EMPOWERED, MOTIVATED, and STRONG). GEMS is an after-school program designed to prepare middle school girls to meet the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood, make positive life choices, and maximize their authentic potential as young ladies of color. Through the GEMS program, Genesis attended virtual workshops with guest speakers twice a month, and took on volunteer leadership roles within the workshops, such as introducing guest speakers and creating slide shows. Some of the workshop topics during the 2020-2021 school year were: virtual field trips to Ghana, Senegal, and Paris, skin care, Earth Day, celebrating Women’s history, STEM, Black and Latinx artists as well as the inauguration of Links, Inc. member- Vice-President Kamala Harris. Genesis shared that her favorite event was the Women’s History month workshop, because it increased her confidence and inspired her to become a woman that serves her community.  
Genesis has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “We all start at 0, so we can all get to 100.”

To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Centinela Elementary School - Oswaldo Garcia
By Maygan Orr
OswaldoGarciaOswaldo Garcia knows how to represent the city of champions! This goalkeeper for the Inglewood Galacticos soccer team has not only won 3 regional soccer championships, but has also won honor roll awards, perfect attendance awards, and an IUSD award for outstanding achievement!
As a 7th grader at Centinela K-8 School, Oswaldo is a straight A student, and a leader amongst his peers. As student body president, he facilitates the planning of school fundraisers and events. Oswaldo has also been active in Boy Scouts since he was in 3rd grade. He believes being a Boy Scout is important because he is able to give back to communities through activities, such as painting murals at schools, feeding the homeless, and hosting fundraisers like “Pinewood Derby” where the scouts design and make cars out of wood and race them. In Boy Scouts, he also learns about honor and service.
Oswaldo’s favorite subject is Math because he loves a challenge. His dream college is UCLA. He would like to become a veterinarian one day, because he enjoys researching how to help his two pet Chihuahuas when they are hurt or sick. Oswaldo’s hobbies are playing soccer, drawing cartoon characters, and playing classical music on the piano.
Oswaldo has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Any kid, or adult, can achieve anything in their lives as long as they put in the time, and put their minds to it.”
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Crozier Middle School - Destiny Agbagwu
Destiny AgbagwuBy Maygan Orr
Destiny Agbagwu is not only at the top of his game but also at the top of his 8th grade class at Crozier Middle School with a 4.0 GPA! Destiny and his family moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2016, in search of a better life and greater opportunities. Destiny shared that his father is his greatest role model, because he has shown him all the rewards that hard work can bring. According to Destiny, his father has exemplified the balance of work and family. 
Education is of the utmost importance to Destiny, and his favorite subject is math. He would like to attend UCLA, Brown, or Howard University for college and major in computer science. He is interested in becoming a lawyer one day to effectively argue for causes that he believes in, such as social justice and civil rights. Destiny believes that he has been called to serve.  He has a heart to give back and provide service to others. He is a regular volunteer at his church, and a primary Bible reader in his youth Bible study classes. 
Destiny has received numerous awards, including honor roll, the IUSD Academic Excellence award, and the Youth Leadership award from his church. His hobbies include playing video games, soccer, and conducting youth Bible studies.  
Destiny has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “There is only failure when there isn’t an attempt.” 
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, email [email protected].

City Honors International Preparatory High School - Ja'Cobe Simms
Ja Cobe SimmsBy Maygan Orr
Beginning his football career with the Inglewood Jets at the age of 6, Ja’Cobe Simms has become a stand-out athlete. He is currently a senior at City Honors International Preparatory School (CHIPS) and plays the guard position for the Inglewood High School Sentinels. Ja'Cobe recently received offers from 6 colleges but accepted an official offer on February 3, 2021 from Arizona Christian University (ACU), where he will play next Fall as an offensive lineman and major in Business. In January 2021 he toured ACU, a Christian faith-based school with a family-like community, which is important to Ja’Cobe and one of the reasons he fell in love with the campus. He also likes that ACU isn’t too far from his family in California.
Although Ja’Cobe will be out of state for college, he wants to maintain his roots by opening an Inglewood barbershop one day. Ja’Cobe is a self-taught barber and an entrepreneur who wants to start his own clothing brand called “Hustle Vision”. The inspiration behind his brand comes from his personal experiences, and his artistic skills. Growing up Ja’Cobe sometimes struggled in school, but later realized the importance of staying motivated to be his best, which is why he plans to include inspiring messages on his brand pieces. He hopes to spread this positive message to everyone who sees it. In addition, he also enjoys drawing and wants to use his original designs for his clothing brand.
Ja’Cobe loves the City of Inglewood and has bettered his community through mentoring local youth at the Boys and Girls Club, as well as volunteering at the Red Cross. Ja’Cobe has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “No matter what you have been through, never give up.”
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, please email [email protected].

La Tijera Academy of Excellence - Cree Suttice

CreeSutticeDon’t underestimate this 3rd grader! Our Stellar Student for February is La Tijera Academy of Excellence’s best classroom secretary - Cree Suttice. Cree has served as class secretary for her second and third grade years at La Tijera. Her exceptional work ethic and passion for helping others has impacted her teachers and peers. She takes her class secretary role very seriously, even during online learning. Cree is always assisting other students and her study buddy through Zoom. She has shown true leadership and has set a shining example for her classmates.
Not only is Cree a great help to her class, she is also an outstanding student. She enjoys learning, and her two favorite subjects in school are math and English. Her love of math allows her to use her critical thinking skills and work through difficult math problems. Having begun spelling at the young age of two, Cree has become a great storyteller and artist, who enjoys writing short stories as well as illustrating them. Over the years she has finished 6 of her own original stories. Her love for math and English are reflected in her grades and recent diagnostic test scores, where she scored at the 6th grade level in both subject areas! Cree’s hobbies include playing soccer and basketball with her cousins and listening to classical and hip hop music. She was also an assistant at her church before the pandemic. Cree’s dream job is to become a pediatrician because she loves to help people. Her kind nature is seen through her acts of service, and will continue to carry on in her bright future!  Cree has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD Students: “Don’t let what you can’t do, interfere with what you can do.” (by Maygan Orr)
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, please email [email protected].

 La Tijera Academy of Excellence - Pamela Ruiz Zermeno

Pamela ZermenoShe has big plans for 2021! This 8th grader at La Tijera Academy of Excellence has decided to create a task force to clean up her community in Inglewood. She says she is tired of seeing trash in her neighborhood, and wants to inspire others to be better stewards of the Earth. She also hopes to create an application one day that will bring awareness to issues that adversely impact our planet, such as excessive tree-cutting (deforestation), animals becoming endangered, and pollution.   
Pamela has always been dedicated to service. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Pamela has always found a way to assist her teachers, whether it be organizing papers, or taking attendance. She has also helped to organize functions at her church. Pamela’s favorite subject is Math and her hobbies are computer programming, running, and reading.  
Pamela would like to attend UCLA, Harvard, or Stanford for college, and plans to major in computer science. Her dream is to work for Facebook or Amazon as a game and application designer. Her teacher, Mr. Wilson, who nominated her, describes her as an outstanding student with perfect attendance. Pamela has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Fight for your dreams. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, because many doors will open afterward. Always remember that every sacrifice has its reward." (By Maygan Orr)
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month, email [email protected]

Crozier Middle School - Gerardo Gonzalez

GerardoGonzalezGerardo Gonzalez is a shining star at Crozier Middle School! This 7th grade student exemplifies excellence in all of his classes, even virtually! He has perfect attendance and a 3.5 GPA. He not only attends every class, every day, but is eager to participate in class lessons and activities. He never misses a chance to shine!
Gerardo’s teachers describe him as hardworking, polite, and ready to learn. They deem his work habits and citizenship as outstanding. Gerardo enjoys playing outdoor games such as tag and hide and seek, and loves to draw video game characters with his cousins. At home, he enjoys helping his mom with his baby sister. He would like to attend UCLA or USC for college, and wants to become an environmental scientist one day. Gerardo says that he would like to find ways to save plants and animals from becoming extinct.

Gerardo has this advice to share with other IUSD students: “Believe in yourself and try your best. If you fail, try and try again- never give up.”
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

City Honors International Preparatory High School - Justyn Martin

IHS_Justyn Martin photoWe are excited to share Inglewood High School starting quarterback Justyn Martin who is ready for football season! Justyn is a junior at City Honors Preparatory High School, and a 4-star athlete. He maintains a 4.0 GPA, and demonstrates excellence in all that he does.  Justyn has participated in community service such as making sandwiches and delivering them to the homeless. He also helps clean Rowley Park and helps the staff set up sports equipment. Justyn is not only focused on his grades and football, but also wants to make this world a better place. He wants to be an NFL football player one day and use his platform to create social change. Justyn has this advice to share with his fellow IUSD students: “Embrace your role as a person and never become complacent.”      
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted next month email [email protected].

Payne K-8 Students - Giselle and Jocelynda Anguiano

Payne-Giselle-and-Jocelynda-Anguiano photoGiselle Moreno and Jocelynda Anguiano are the pride of Payne STEAM Academy! These two 7th graders have been volunteering to raise awareness and assist families with completing the Census 2020. Both students were inspired to volunteer in response to the State Board of Education's 9/10/2020 News Release regarding the new "State Seal of Civic Engagement Award", and their principal, Dr. Brian Coffey’s call to action. For this Project-Based-Learning activity, the students learned about civic duty and researched the census to be informed and share information with families coming to Payne's “Grab and Go” meal distribution. They have a booth set up with a Chromebook for families to complete the Census survey on the spot, and IUSD community liaison, Ms. Subrina Miller, provided Census-themed goody bags to pass out.      
Giselle and Jocelynda plan to write about their experience and share what they learned with their U.S. History classmates, and possibly be "guest teachers" in primary grade classes to impart their wisdom on younger students. They aspire to continue this platform to raise awareness surrounding the November election, and their hope is they will inspire other classmates to join them. Giselle and Jocelynda have this advice to share with their fellow IUSD students: “Encourage every adult you know to VOTE and be COUNTED—everyone should use their voice.”
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted email [email protected].

Frank D. Parent 7th-Grader - Saraiyah Slack

Saraiyah SlackShe maintains a 3.7 GPA, is a student fundraising leader for the Associated Student Body (ASB), and a student representative on the School Site Council (SSC). Saraiyah would like to become a computer science entrepreneur.
Saraiyah believes in making her school the best it can be through service. She volunteers her time in the student store and also volunteers as an Algebra Club peer tutor, where she tutors fellow students struggling in math. She enjoys art, and is a member of the Art Club, and also was a Frank D. Parent cheerleader.
Saraiyah would like to attend UCLA, USC, Harvard, Brown, or Yale for college one day. She is preparing herself for the financial world, by participating in the Stock Market Game competition (both National and Regional levels). Frank D. Parent has six teams in participation, among 244 teams in the middle school level competition. Saraiyah is on “Team Black Pantherettes”, which ranks 66th out of the 244 Southern California teams!
Saraiyah has this advice to share with her fellow IUSD students: “Always use integrity in your everyday life, because it is integrity that builds a better person."
To nominate a stellar IUSD student to be spotlighted email [email protected]