Valor Middle School nominates three students as Kiwanis Terrific Kids in December

Galilea Lopez Chiquito

COURTESY PHOTO - Galilea Lopez ChiquitoGalilea Lopez Chiquito, 11, daughter of Claudia and Miguel Lopez Chiquito and sister to Miguel, Jose Carlos and Daniel, is in the sixth grade.

Her favorite class is band. This is her first year learning an instrument; she plays the trumpet. "I like that I can play music along with my friends," she said. "Ever since fifth-grade orientation, when I saw the band students, I wanted to learn and play an instrument. We had our first concert a few weeks ago and I was so happy that my whole family was there to see me play."

One of her favorite activities is club soccer — her team that she has been on for two years is called Thunder. She is considering trying out for the Valor team next year.

Her favorite thing to do outside of school is to spend time with her family, especially outdoors, and playing with her little brother. She also volunteers with her church.

Her future goals are to go to college and become a teacher. "I like helping out and helping others learn," she explained. "I moved up to the seventh-grade math this year, and sometimes I help my friends with their math work. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in fourth grade. I was inspired by Mr. Lopez at Nellie Muir because of how he helped his students."

Her teacher, Ms. Cogburn, wrote: "Galilea is one punctual student. She is engaged in class and helps by keeping other students accountable. She is kind, funny and nice, and always has a smile on her face. Her attitude is always positive and she advocates for herself and others. She is such a wonderful student!"

Alexander Cruz Gabriel

COURTESY PHOTO - Alexander Cruz GabrielAlexander Cruz Gabriel, 12, son of Araceli Cruz and brother of Brianna, is in seventh grade.

His favorite class is math. "I like to work a lot with numbers," he explained. "Math has always been a subject I do well in. I really like having a challenge and working to find the solution. Middle school math has become more challenging because you work faster and on new concepts that I have never seen before."

His favorite activity at Valor is with publications, which include the yearbook and a newspaper class.

His favorite thing to do outside of school is to help his mom take care of his new baby sister, who was born on Dec. 1. "I love having a new sister but it has also been the most stressful week of my life," he said earlier this month.

His future goal is to go to college, but he's not sure what is the best college for him. "I dream of studying hard and going to classes," he said. "I also love art so I hope to find a school that has a good art program so I could consider being an artist."

His teacher, Mrs. Kresin, wrote: "Alexander is a fantastic student. He works very hard in his classes and cares deeply about his education and his future. Something I have noticed about Alex in class is that he is a reserved student but also very cooperative and friendly to others. He has a great sense of humor and is a very talented student. We are excited about what the future holds for Alex!"

Ivon Quintero Hernandez

COURTESY PHOTO - Ivon Quintero HernandezIvon Quintero Hernandez, 13, daughter of Maria Hernandez and Israel Quintero, is in the eighth grade.

Her favorite class is math. It is her favorite class because she said she likes working on math problems and because it's fun. Her second favorite class is her ESOL (English speakers of other languages) class with Mr. Meyers. "I just exited the program, which means I no longer need the extra help in English," she said. "But I really liked the class because we learn a lot of new things and our teacher is really specific about the details and meaning of the words."

Her favorite activity is to spend time with her family, especially shopping together. "We are always laughing about something," she said.

Her teacher, Mr. Meyers, wrote: "Ivon is an awesome student! Even though she is new to our school, she has already stood out for her positivity, her hard work and her kindness to others! Ivon continues to challenge herself and is open to taking risks and trying new things. She is a joy to have in the classroom and her peers appreciate her willingness to help and her calm demeanor. A great kid!"

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