Last month, Dunbar Elementary School selected fifth-graders Isabella Magnani and Elias Casolla as the school’s Students of the Year.

A student at Dunbar Elementary School since the third grade, Isabella Magnani was an “instant hit” with teachers, staff and her classmates. She is well-liked and a leader at the school. She excels academically and exhibits hard work and perseverance. Her schoolwork always reflects her best effort and teachers describe her as “a natural fit for our new common core standards as she works well with others and demonstrates perserverance and creativity.”

Outside of class, Magnani is very active in extra-curriculars. She is a member of the school’s Student Leadership group and she is known to set a great example of kindness to others. Recently, Magnani began helping a retired teacher with a new after-school reading program. She is active in Girl Scouts, softball, volleyball and she even participated in the recent Witchie Poo theatrical production in town. While quiet and soft-spoken, Magnani’s character and attitude are admired by staff.

Since coming to Dunbar in kindergarten, Student of the Year Elias Casolla has embodied the qualities that the staff most value – scholarship, leadership and empathy for others. He is consistently included on the honor roll and he is part of the district’s Gifted and Talented Education program.

Despite English being his second language, last year Casolla achieved an “advanced” score on both English language arts and math on the STAR tests. Casolla is always willing to work cooperatively, is always eager to help out and he is an excellent role model for his peers. He has an excellent attitude, never speaks poorly of others and he is always respectful. According to his teachers, Casolla’s unique combination of scholastic merit, leadership, friendship and moral compass are far beyond his years.

Congratulations to these hard-working and inspiring young students on this honor and to their families and teachers for encouraging their academic and personal success.

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This article is the fourth in a series that profiles each Student of the Year honored in Sonoma.