On Tuesday, May 6, the Optimist Club awarded “Student of the Month” honors to Itxhel Aguilar, an 8th grader at Paul Revere. Itxhel received a plaque at the Optimist Club breakfast meeting, which took place at Aldersgate.
Both of the middle-school student’s parents, Alejandro and Gloria, were present, along with Paul Revere Principal Fern Somoza and English teacher John Slavin.
“She’s just shown such improvement in the last three years. I mean just moving along and taking whatever comes her way… I can’t get over what a really great asset she is to our campus,” Somoza said of Itxhel. “The kids around the school really admire her.”
“We all think Itxhel is amazing,” said Joy Kobashi, a 7th-grade counselor at Paul Revere. “We can’t say enough good things about her.”
Itxhel said she likes the teachers and the staff at Paul Revere, especially her English teacher Slavin. Itxhel’s first language is Spanish and she is taking English language development classes, but she plans to re-designate soon.
Slavin described Itxhel as having leadership skills, focus, confidence and determination.
“Her friends and classmates look up to her as a model student and look to her when groups need leaders,” Slavin said via email.
“It felt welcoming,” said Itxhel, who saw the award as recognition for her three years of accomplishments at the school.
“She was terrific [accepting her award] at the breakfast,” Somoza said. “She came up and she thanked everybody.”
Itxhel, who loves to write, said she is looking forward to attending Palisades High School next year and becoming a volunteer in school clubs.
The mission of Optimist International is “Bringing Out the Best in Kids,” and the Palisades chapter is a very active organization within the community. The Student of the Month award is open to students at a local public or private school who have overcome obstacles and achieved success over a wide spectrum.