Local students overcome obstacles to excel
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
Mar 07, 2013 | 2140 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Seth Fairchild
Seth Fairchild
slideshow
Monserrat Valdovinos
Monserrat Valdovinos
slideshow
Seth Fairchild is battling physical ailments as he works toward graduating from Patterson High School. Monserrat Valdovinos hasn’t missed a day at Grayson Charter School except for doctor appointments for her cystic fibrosis.

The two students will represent Patterson Joint Unified School District at the Association of California School Administrators county meeting at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, at the Peterson Event Center in Modesto.

ACSA’s Every Student Succeeding program honors students who have gone above and beyond expectations as well as the teachers and staff who support them.

Students from every school in the PJUSD previously were recognized at the local Every Student Succeeding Breakfast on Jan. 22 at Damasco Fine Food & Spirits in the Best Western Plus Villa Del Lago Inn.

Phil Alfano, PJUSD superintendent, said Fairchild and Valdovinos have inspired all they have met.

“Both students have chosen to make education their top priority even though life has placed significant obstacles in their way,” Alfano said

Shawn Posey, assistant superintendent of human resources, child welfare and development, said the students are heroes who make being in education worthwhile and rewarding.

Seth Fairchild: Patterson High School

Fairchild, a junior at Patterson High, hurt his leg going through a turnstile at an amusement park in April 2012 in what seemed to be a normal injury that would take a few days to heal. After several days of pain, his parents, Robert and Pamela Fairchild, took him to the doctor, who X-rayed his leg and discovered possible osteosarcoma — or bone cancer. At the same appointment at Stanford Medical Center, the doctor discovered two small dots on his lungs, but did not know at that point whether it was cancer.

Over the past year, in Fairchild’s long road to recovery. Fairchild has remained focused on school, according to his teachers. The teachers made the necessary arrangements to make sure his finals would be available. Fairchild has spent the 2012-2013 school year under home and hospital care, but he remains on track for graduation in 2014.

Monserrat Valdovinos; Grayson Charter school

Monserrat, first-grade daughter of Maria and Juan Valdovinos, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at an early age. She has grown up in a loving extended family according to school administrators, but challenges have been a regular part of life, including the loss of her brother in 2008 from complications related to cystic fibrosis.

Despite spending 30 minutes on therapy each morning, she has not missed a day of school except for her doctor’s appointments at Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera.

Rafael Villasenor: Apricot Valley Elementary

A lump was discovered in third-grader Rafael Villasenor’s neck about halfway through the last school year. After a few visits to the doctor, it was discovered that the lump was cancerous. Rafael went through a series of treatments, including surgery and chemotherapy, that required long hospital stays. During all these appointments, he never lost sight of his studies, and continued to work hard, according to teachers. Rafael has learned how to become a leader, as other students gravitate toward him due to his calm and confident demeanor. He achieved advanced scores on both the Language Arts and Mathematics portions of the California Standardized Testing and Reporting test.

Kajeane Davis: Creekside Middle School

Early in her academic career, eighth-grader Kajeane Davis struggled with reading. Throughout her early schooling, she showed little improvement in this area. Kajeane began being home-schooled by her mother, and shortly after, she told her mom she wanted to return to public school. Kajeane returned to Apricot Valley. With much determination and the assistance of the school’s special education department, academic success soon followed. Kajeane credits her mother and her grandmother for guiding and helping her mature. During her seventh-grade year, she exited from the resource program, achieved a proficient rating on California Standards Tests in both Language Arts and Mathematics, and enrolled in pre-Advanced Placement classes at Creekside Middle School.

Chelsea Rogers-Dolzadelli: Del Puerto High School

Chelsea Rogers Dolzadelli enrolled at Del Puerto High School on her 16th birthday. Through her grandmother’s guidance, Rogers-Dolzadelli was determined to make schoolwork and find success. Then, she discovered she was pregnant and through h her pregnancy and birth of her daughter Elisa Cristina, Rogers-Dolzadelli: found purpose. By the time her daughter was born, she was on track for graduation and ready to start college early. Because of Rogers-Dolzadelli:’s dedication and guidance, the baby’s father also caught up on his credits and is on track to graduate. She was accepted into Modesto Junior College this year and has plans to continue to a four-year college and be a pediatric nurse.

Aasin Hall: Las Palmas Elementary School

Fifth-grader Aasin Hall was born with a rare form of cancer that left him with many challenges. His family was told he would most likely never walk, write, talk and play like other children. Aasin overcame hardships and did everything the doctors said he could not do, following many years of dedication and physical therapy that includes scoring advanced on his California Standardized Testing and Reporting language arts test last year. Teachers say Aasin completes his homework everyday with neatness and thoroughness and can be trusted with any task or responsibility. He shows compassion for people in need and worries about everyone around him and shows compassion for people in need, they say.

Nallely Puentas: Northmead Elementary School

Fifth-grader Nalley Puentas came to Northmead last year knowing only a few words of English. She began her academic journey by working on a computer to learn her sounds and reading along with stories. Before long, she had the courage to speak up in class using her newfound English vocabulary. As she pushed to learn, she began reading stories out of anthologies that she had missed, not being at Northmead in the first through third grades. She tackled math in fifth grade and is now at grade level in both mathematics and language arts. Nallely wants to complete college on the road to becoming a veterinarian.

Oscar Alvarez: Walnut Grove Elementary School

Fourth-grader Oscar Alveraz came to the U.S. at age 6 as a first-grader at Walnut Grove. He immediately showed the desire to learn and quickly began absorbing all the knowledge he could. By the end of third grade, he stopped receiving special services and entered regular education classrooms. Oscar is doing well in the fourth-grade, and continues to grow academically each year with no signs of slowing down, teachers say.

• Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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