Banning Unified School District held their annual Language Celebration at Banning High School on May 15.

The event honors students who have worked hard to reach all the requirements necessary to be reclassified as fluent in English.

The celebration also recognized the students who are participating in the BEST Awards Essay contest.

The Language Celebration honored the hard work of students throughout BUSD, which included Cabazon Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Hemmerling Elementary School, Hoffer Elementary School, Nicolet Middle School, Banning High School, New Horizons High School, and Banning Independent Study School.

The celebration also had two fan dance performances by Lydia Liu, the Chinese Dual Immersion teacher at Central Elementary School and a Folklorico dance done by Laura Guerrero’s first grade class.

One of the fan dances features bright red fans and slowly paced rhythmic dancing, and the second featured very fast paced music with brightly colored pink and green fans, as well as rhythmic motions, such as moving from side to side, up and down, and even flips and formations.

At the end of the award ceremony there were door prizes. During this, Felicia Adkins, director or educational services, and Alfredo Andrade, school board president, gave one as a gift to the San Gorgonio Educational Foundation.

Students who were reclassified as having met the requirements for becoming fluent English speakers were given award certificates. They were also called up, by Adkins and Andrade, by schools along with their names.

However, the feeling of accomplishment went much deeper than just their award certificates, it also was very emotionally and mentally accomplishing for both students and parents.

“It feels pretty good. I’ve been learning a new language my whole life because my family speaks only Spanish,” said Thiago Mesina, a student at Central Elementary School.

The students were glad not only to know a new language but also because it is now easier to understand the people around them.

“It feels great because I can communicate with other people and can understand their language,” said Jazmin Plata, a student at Central Elementary School.

Their parents also felt good about their children working so hard and accomplishing so much.

Amanda Romero, mother of Lilyanna Bejarano, said that she is proud of her daughter and how well she is doing.

“I’m proud of them. They are in the Chinese Dual Immersion program,” said Jennifer Smith about her twins.

The path to success may be hard for these students but they also understand the hard work and perseverance a person needs to get where they want to go.

“Don’t give up. It’s hard but it’s worth it,” said Smith.

Language Celebration Award Recipients

Cabazon Elementary School

Sebastian Osornio

Angel Antonio Perez

Nathaniel Orozco

Avelina Villaseñor

Ruben Vasquez

Kaylee Garcia Martinez

Central Elementary School

Uriel Martin

Vianca Zuniga

Ivan Gomez

Brian Calderon Gutierrez

Josue Perez

Isaac Pitsikos

Eber Chavolla

Alyssa Martinez

Diego Caballos Martinez

Azucena Perez

Thiago Mesina

Julianna Zolorzano

Alan Canela

Julianne Gordillo

Zarela Ruvalcaba

Juan Godinez

Johnny Salazar

Juan Villalobos

Malina Rodriguez

Jose Medina

David Shibalovich

Mariangel Alcaraz

Andrew Yang

Valerie Sierra

Fred Salgado

Jazmin Plata

Rafael De Jesus Campos

Karla Labrada

Alexia Yang

Fernando Morales

Valerie Cruz

Elienai Rocha

Alex Lopez

Christopher Zuniga

Izabel Zuniga

Jose Martinez

Perla Jacobo

Angel Castro-Mederos

Xavier Diaz

Jasmine Garcia Santamaria

Jonathan Gonzaeles

Nylea A. Smith

Hemmerling Elementary

Abdiel Lizardo

Edgar Garcia

Eitan Tamayo Macedo

Mia Meksavanh

Alan Martinez

Crystal Enciso

Joseantonio Curiel

Vivian Aguirre

Ringo Abarca

Assael Lopez

Jahzeel Anzola

Natalie Moreno

Melissa Gutierrez

Vanessa Parra

Gabriela Brizuela

Gabriel Perez

Gabriel Silva

Hoffer Elementary School

Raymond Santana

Dillan Sann

Zachary Yang

Citclaly Garcia

Diana Raygoza Marquez

Erwin Midence Reyes

Christian Altamirano

April Romero

Fernando Tovar Jr.

Denise Yazzie

Jonathan Antunez

Jocelyn Mendoza

Dulce Rivera

Angeles Santiago

Andee Thao

Isai Cayente

Nataly Delgado

John Padilla

Manuel Mendoza

April Gutierrez

Evelyn Montenegro

Melody Enriquez

Jazmin Orozco

Joshua Alvarado

Sergio Leal-Huerta

Cesar Vazquez

Shongleng Yang

Gabriela Camacho

Nicolet Middle School

Ana Ambong

Tracy Ambong

Manuel Blancas

Jeremy Lopez

Joceline Mata

Marie Rincon

Thania Sanchez

Michael Trang

Jamilette Uriostegui

Teresa Elizabeth Zavala

Diana Valdes Robles

Banning High School

Grecia Paola Enriquez Felix

Bryan Gonzalez Bustos

Carlos Lucero Maya

Jocelyn Mondragon

Josue Vasquez Rodriguez

New Horizons High School

Guillermo Loza

Banning Independent Study School

Samuel Flores

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