Denair Charter Academy Honors 76 Graduates

Submitted by Denair Charter Academy

Denair Charter Academy proudly celebrated the academic achievements of the 76 members of the Class of 2019 at a graduation ceremony Wednesday night at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Students Jasmine Solorio, Eddie Gomez and Catalina Serpa all spoke in addition to Principal Breanne Aguiar and Superintendent Terry Metzger.

Solorio delivered a welcome address for students, their families, Denair Unified board members and others in attendance. Gomez dedicated a poem to his fellow classmates and Serpa provided a student message.

DCA offers a rigorous independent study school option for students whose academic needs cannot be met in a traditional environment.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of each and every one of our students,” Aguiar said. “They have all traversed challenging obstacles, but have persevered and are on their way to pursuing their lifelong goals. To see our students walk across the stage was powerful. This is when you know you are making an impact. This is what we live for as educators.”

Mobile Medical, Dental Clinics Serve Nearly 200 Students

For the first time Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Denair Unified School District offered free medical and dental care for nearly 200 students thanks to a series of partnerships with regional providers.

The medical care – immunization shots, sports physicals, primary and basic health screening – involved more than 150 students. They were seen at a mobile health RV owned by Castle Family Health Centers in Atwater. It was staffed by Castle nurses and medical assistants along with medical residents from the UCSF Fresno training program.

The cost was picked up by Legacy Health Endowment, whose mission is to provide financial and technical support to improve the health of people living in Stanislaus and Merced counties. The nonprofit was created in 2014 as part of Tenet Healthcare’s acquisition of Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock.

The dental clinic was provided by Big Smiles, which brings dental services to schools in 19 states.

In all cases, parents filled out permission slips ahead of time allowing doctors, nurses and dental professionals to treat the students. School officials created a schedule to minimize wait times.

The timing of the clinics occurring on the same day – which also was the final day of school – was intentional, said Denair Superintendent Terry Metzger.

“We wanted to offer them both together,” she said. “This allows us to get our student athletes to get their sports physicals for summer practice and fall and winter sports. And our principals tell us that dental care is actually a bigger need for our families than medical care. It’s a gap for them.”

Jeffrey Lewis, the CEO of Legacy Health Endowment, said the goal of the medical clinic is to “keep kids healthy and help parents understand that they don’t have to pay for health care, that we can use charitable dollars to help families access free medical care.”

With that in mind, there already are plans for the medical team to return to Denair on July 31.

The dental team was comprised of licensed local dentists and dental hygienists. Services include an examination, cleaning, fluoride, X-rays and sealants.

Each child received an oral health report card to take home after the dental visit. Patient care coordinators will contact parents of students needing additional follow-up by mail or phone. One first-grader had such a positive experience that he told a staff member walking him back to class that he likes the dentist. “My teeth feel good,” he said. “I want to go back.”

Denair High Graduates Make Lasting Impression on Younger Students at DECA, DMS

Submitted by Denair High School

The Denair High School Class of 2019 provided real-life inspiration to their younger peers Thursday morning, donning their purple and white caps and gowns and marching through the Denair Elementary Charter Academy and Denair Middle School campuses.

It was the first step in a daylong series of events, including a mid-morning graduation practice walkthrough, leading up to Friday night’s commencement ceremony. Graduation begins at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Thursday’s third annual Grad Walk was the brainchild of high school Principal Kara Backman and middle school Principal Amanda Silva. It was modeled after similar events they saw three years ago at a No Excuses University conference.

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Top Denair High Students Sandoval, Villa, Gomes Reflect on Quality of Education, Academic Success

L to R, Reyna Villa, Alondra Sandoval, and Rachel Gomes

Submitted by Denair High School:

Alondra Sandoval and Reyna Villa are the Denair High School Class of 2019 valedictorians thanks to their 4.18 grade-point averages. The salutatorian will be Rachel Gomes, who compiled a 4.08 GPA in her four years.

The graduation ceremony will be Friday, May 24 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are not required.

After students receive their diplomas, there will be a Sober Grad Night party in the gym.

Sandoval, Villa and Gomes recently took time to answer 10 questions about their high school experiences.

Question: What are the key things other students should know about your academic success and how you achieved it?

Sandoval: All it takes is motivation. No matter how much work it is, just keep pushing.

Villa: My academic success was not easy to achieve. There were countless nights where I had to stay up late in order to finish my work. School became my priority and there were even times where I wouldn’t get out of my room at all because I would be studying or doing homework. I have succeeded academically because I have put the time and effort into my work. Nothing came easy for me.

Gomes: I achieved academic success through a lot of time and patience and hard work. 

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Steffin Winston Qualifies for Masters Track Meet; Denair Rebels basketball team wins tournament

Finals may be looming and graduation is just around the corner, but it still has been a busy time for a number of Denair athletes. Here is a quick recap of what has happened in the past week:

Track & Field

Steffin Winston was the only one of 15 Coyotes competing at last week’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Meet in Stockton to qualify for this week’s Masters Meet in Davis.

Winston, a senior, won the triple jump with a leap of 46 feet, 5½ inches – setting a school record and obliterating his personal best of 44-11 established just the week before. The 46-5½ is the second-best mark in the 200-school Sac-Joaquin Section this spring, positioning Winston as one of the favorites this week.

“If all goes well, he’ll do well,” praised Denair Coach Jim Wagner. “He’s continued to get better this entire season, but that 46-5½ still was surprising. He’s been consistently pushing himself and hitting his marks.”

Winston also is one of the Section’s top long jumpers, but chose to go on his Senior Trip to Disneyland last week rather than compete in that event.

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