ELEMENTARY

Name: Hannah Hill

School: Cameron Elementary

Grade: 2

At just 7 years old, Hannah Hill is setting an example in the Barstow Unified School District as “an outstanding citizen at Cameron Elementary,” according to school staff. Hill, a second-grader, is described by Cameron staff as “a conscientious student” who is “organized, dependable, cooperative and very confident in learning."

Hill is well-liked by her peers, while also serving as a student leader, purely by example. “She is a leader by being respectful to all, and inspires her peers by encouraging them to do their best and ‘just try,’” school staff said. “She is diligent in completing tasks and assignments on time, and always ready to help anyone in need.” Hill was also nominated for the school’s “Mason’s Award” to honor her “excellent work” and “good attitude” during the first trimester of the school year.

JUNIOR HIGH

Name: Maria Urquidez

School: Riverside Preparatory Middle

Grade: 8

Maria Urquidez’s teachers and counselor agree that she is a standout student who consistently “goes above and beyond” in the classroom as an eighth-grader at Riverside Preparatory Middle School. “Maria has a great work effort and shows true signs of great potential,” RPM teacher James Wiggins said. He added that she has “wonderful team-building skills,” voluntarily helping her classmates with their work. “She is kind and caring towards her peers — always a pleasure to have around,” teacher Amy Sarkesian said.

In addition to her academics, Urquidez is a babysitter and tutor to her siblings and niece. At school, she serves as the treasurer for the Safe School Ambassador Club. “She shows initiative and takes responsibility for her duties as treasurer,” teacher Diane Lopez said. “She shows respect for her teachers and peers and always follows through on classroom tasks. She also encourages the other ambassadors to strive for their best.”

HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Alexa Walkovitz

School: Lucerne Valley High School

Grade: 12

As a senior at Lucerne Valley High School, Alexa Walkovitz sets the bar high — she hopes to one day be the first woman U.S. president who is also African American and Jewish. “I have to break all the glass ceilings at once,” Walkovitz told LVHS Principal Douglas Ferber, who described her as “a natural leader, respected by both students and staff alike.” Ferber said Walkovitz is ranked No. 1 academically at LVHS, “probably headed to an Ivy League school” and is also “deeply involved” in the Future Farmers of America, currently the sectional president for the High Desert FFA and regional vice president.

She traveled to Indianapolis in October to serve as a delegate at the National FFA Convention and has earned second-place awards in both regional and state FFA speaking competitions. She’s also the Associated Student Body President, a title she’s held since the last school year. “She is a pleasure to have on campus and makes us all proud,” Ferber said. Walkovitz plans to study political science in college and may thereafter attend law school.