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
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.”
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
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.