Students of the Month were honored for their achievements, including Banning High School students (from left) Hiya Intawala, Natalie LuGrain, David Mills and Elyssa Salas, who was a Student of the Year honoree.

Four students won scholarships at the third annual Student of the Year Dinner held May 8 at the Four Seasons community in Beaumont.

Students who were invited to the ceremony had previously been a Student of the Month at their respective schools.

They were examples of individuals who have demonstrated “dedication and commitment to their community while overcoming challenges in life,” explained emcee Karena Zermeno of Altera Credit Union in Riverside, which was a Gold sponsor for the event (having contributed at least $1,000 toward the program).

Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Gorgonio Pass CEO Amy Herr, a former Banning school board member, told those assembled, “As someone who is from Banning and Beaumont, it liberates my heart to see so many people supporting our youth.”

Banning High School Principal Matt Valdivia noted that a few Students of the Month were relatives of his, and explained, “It’s not an easy process to select students. It’s an involved process of people coming up with names of students facing challenges, who also exhibit character.”

The Students of the Year, winning $2,000 scholarships each, were Shaun M. Cannady (Student of the Month for March at Beaumont High School), Elyssa Salas (Student of the Month for September at Banning High School), Aissatou Niane (Student of the Month in March at Glen View High School) and Janet Salgado-Guadarrama (Student of the Month for March at Coombs Alternative Education).

Other candidates who were students of the month at their respective schools included (Beaumont High School) Skylar Valdivia (September), Jonathan Kleffel (October), Briana Rodriguez (November), Jhon Luna Vergara (December) and Shumirai Soda (March).

At 21st Century Learning, Lillyanna Pimentel (October), Juliet Ortega (December) and Davina Guzman (February).

For Glen View High School, Kade Zuniga (September), Ivan Antunez (November), and Mathew Carmona (March).

At Banning High School, Michelle Candelario (October), David Mills (November), Adriana Contreras (December), Hiya Intawala (January), Natalie LuGrain (February) and Kamya Sann (March).

For Coombs Alternative Education, Shawna Hammer (September), Ralph McGahey (October), Alexia Linton (November), Samantha Escobedo (December), Kailynda Salas (January), and Yasmin Osuna (February).

The event’s main sponsors were Banning and Beaumont school districts, Custom Trophies & U-Neek Awards, Waste Management, Altura Credit Union, Anady’s Trophies and Engraving; Bank of Hemet, Riverside County Board of Supervisors 5th District, Lynn Bogh-Baldi, Riverside County Office of Education, San Gorgonio Pass Rotary Club, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin, Mt. San Jacinto College, Molina Healthcare, San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and the Soroptimist International of Beaumont-Banning.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.


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