Photo: Steve Thurston
Nine high school students throughout the county's public school system were honored for their leadership at the Thursday night Oct. 4 Arlington Public Schools board meeting.
School staff read short biographies of the students as prepared by the school principals and teachers who nominated them.
Kevin Villeda Garcia (Arlington Career Center HILT Institute) has lived in the country for three years, and helps others who have newly arrived, the staff at his school said. He has already earned 9 college credits through the Northern Virginia Community College Governor's Academy program. He is the treasurer of student government and chair of the fundraising committee.
"She had perfect attendance last year," principals said of Elsy Portillo Lopez (Arlington Mill High School). "She's always eager to help others in class." To help make her classmates feel comfortable, she cooks for them.
Though shy in middle school, Carlos Ramos-Quevedo (H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program) has grown as an academic and social leader, his teachers and principal said. In six years he has rarely missed the Tuesday after school tutoring program where he mentors younger students. He is a graduate of the Leadership Arlington program.
Alejandro Gabriel Martinez Funez (Langston Secondary Program) volunteers at the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) as well as at his church, teachers and school staff reported. "His greatest passion is to share his boxing ability."
Elias Argueta (New Directions Program) is known to the school administration for his consistency, his perfect attendance. He established the first school garden and worked with Marymount University on its food drive.
According to her teachers, Karla Vasquez (Teenage Parenting Program) is a "gifted student who is blossoming into a great leader. " She tutors other students and helped create the school community garden. She won a poetry out load and a nook reader contest. "She was selected as a speaker for the graduation ceremony," school staff said.
Carla Astudillo (Wakefield) is active in drama, performing leading roles in several productions, the staff at Wakefield High School said. She helped to create an anti-bullying program, has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and teaches Zumba.
Veronika Lozano (Washington-Lee) is an International Baccalaureate candidate. She is focused, and caring, the school staff said. She volunteers at the library, and has volunteered at an orphanage in Peru. "The faculty and staff of Washington-Lee are very proud of her."
Erika Rodriguez (Yorktown) volunteers during Sunday school at her church and assists in two assisted living facilities. She has been part of the Smithsonian YES program at the Museum of Natural History and worked at Georgetown University. She has a double black belt in Tae Kwon Do.