Sonoma’s El Verano School names ‘students of the year’

“I just really like school,” sa?id El Verano fifth grader Zoe Vanzant, ?upon being named El Verano Elementary School’s ?Student of the Year for 2016-17.

Zoe’s attitude toward learning exemplifies El Verano Elementary School’s motto of “Imagine, Inquire, and Inspire.” ?While it is evident that her teachers? ?each? l?eft their mark, Zoe is the kind of student who also leaves an impression on her teachers and classmates.? ?According to staff, she? i?s the kind of student that teachers gush about? – ?and? ?is the kind of student that teachers cross their fingers for before seeing their new class rosters for the year.

Zoe? ?is known for a work ethic that makes? ?school appear effortless. During countless recesses,? ?teachers report that she asks, “Would it be OK to just keep working on my morning work?”

Zoe is also a self-directed learner. She is the student who is constantly seeking out a new challenge, and finding a solution. It is this constant seeking of a new challenge that has led her to participate in the? ?district’s gifted and talented offerings.

Zoe is also involved in school in ways that go beyond academics. Her love of the arts has compelled her to join the Valley Vibes Orchestra program at ?the EV? campus. In previous years, she has also eagerly participated in the afterschool GLEE club. O?utside of school hours, ?Zoe loves animals and can be found at the horse stable, the animal shelter, or in a corner of her house, curled up with one of her family’s many pets.? Staff say that her big heart also touches upon her family, both immediate and extended, whom often make guest appearances in her writing and stories.

?If you speak to teachers who have had the opportunity to teach Jesus Arellano Perez, ?t??hey say that to describe Jesus simply as a “good student” would not fully encompass why he is the perfect selection for El Verano’s Student of the Year. ?

Jesus is known to be a hard worker ?who? is always actively engaged in the intellectual labor of school. ?Teachers say he is a student who works purposefully to apply new concepts that he learns in class. He strives to make connections across content and across curriculum, often pulling his teachers aside to tell them what he sees and what he thinks, displaying a genuine interest and understanding of what he learns.? ?

Jesus’s eagerness to work, learn and apply himself ?also enriches the lives of those around him.

He is the kind of student ?who? brings out the best in the students around him, not only through his modeling of what it takes to be the caliber of learner that he is but through his shear enthusiasm for learning. ?

His teachers say that ?Jesus elevates any class discussion he is a part of by asking thoughtful questions and providing insight beyond his years.

He is a student that other students in his class strive to emulate, and he never hesitates to lend a helping hand to a classmate in need.? His teachers say that he makes not only our district, but the town of Sonoma and the world a better place to be. ?

He carries himself with a sense of empathy and kindness, and has the courage to do what is right, even if that’s not the quick and easy way. ?

“?The quality of Jesus’s character as well as his academic excellence makes Jesus an invaluable member of the community at El Verano?,” said Principal Maite Iturri. ?“Jesus has not been given, but rather has earned the honor of being selected El Verano’s Student of the Year.”

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette