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Newport-Mesa Recognizes Six Seniors as Part of the Annual Superintendent Character Trait Awards

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) recognized six high school seniors for their exceptional character leadership traits. For the fifth year in a row, Superintendent Dr. Fred Navarro recognized one graduating senior from each high school who exemplifies one of the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.


Each high school is asked to submit the names of six seniors they believe are exemplars of each pillar of character. A district team reviews the 36 nominations and selects one student from each school that best represents one of the six pillars of character. In May each student received a surprise visit at their school from and was presented a letter of recognition and an invitation to be recognized by the Board of Education at the June 13, 2017 Board Meeting. A banner for each student will be displayed in the district lobby with a photo of each student, name of their high school and their character trait. The banners will remain throughout the 2017-18 school year.


“This is one of my favorite awards because it allows us an opportunity to acknowledge students for just being genuinely good people,” said Superintended Dr. Fred Navarro. 


Congratulations to the following students selected as Character Trait Award Winners:


Philandell Campaner

Philandell Campaner
Back Bay High School

Character Trait: Respect


Back Bay High School administration shared the following about Philandell:


As a student of martial arts Philandell applies the philosophy of the sport to those around him. He shows restraint, is slow to anger, and uses his thoughts as a tool to help others. He learned early in life that to be successful in school you had to do the work, question the content not the teacher, and ask for help. He demonstrates his respect for the classes he is in by engaging in the course work and participating in discussions. He learned not to judge others who have failed because he himself has failed and from his own failures he learned to empathize with students who are struggling. He has volunteered as a math tutor on campus and supports other students in the classroom. He also embraces discipline and restraint. As a site council member Phil was able to participate with adults and staff members and joined in discussions.


Haley Cohen

Haley Cohen
Corona del Mar High School

Character Trait: Caring


Corona del Mar High School administration shared the following about Haley:


Haley is known to have a genuine compassion and concern for others. She exemplifies kindness in all walks of her life. She is especially mindful of caring for nature, wildlife, the local environment, and making the world a better place to live. She is a responsible citizen of the planet and is dedicated to recycling and learning about renewable resources. Reaching out to others comes naturally for Haley. She will stand up for others, be inclusive of all, and do the right thing, even when no one is looking. She has a warm and welcoming spirit which draws people to her. Haley has a natural propensity to help and serve anyone in need. 




Cassidy Crandall
  Cassidy Crandall
Costa Mesa High School

Character Trait: Trustworthiness


Costa Mesa High School administration shared the following about Cassidy:

Cassidy is trustworthy, authentic, spirited and mature. As the current Associated Student Body President she takes initiative, shows up on time prepared for classes and school activities and she is well respected by her peers. She is without a doubt going to be missed next year and we are excited that she is pursuing her passion in special education and desires to be a teacher. Cassidy is always willing to help others in need and future students will be so lucky to be loved by her.



Andrew Mance

Andrew Mance
Early College High School

Character Trait:  Fairness


Early College High School administration shared the following about Andrew:

Andrew is a member of the Associated Student Body and is very dedicated. However, his true strength is his personality. He is affable, light hearted and sincere. Andrew is always willing to participate in class and he always treats his peers with kindness. He listens to their ideas and if he disagrees he does so respectfully. His body language and mannerisms during class discussions also speak to how intently he listens to others and respects their perspectives. He cares about the well-being of his peers and is balanced in his judgment.



Yvonne Padilla
Yvonne Padilla
Estancia High School

Character Trait: Responsibility


Estancia High School administration shared the following:

Yvonne Padilla represents responsibility in all ways and forms at Estancia High School. For the past three years, Yvonne has had an active and positive role on campus. She is president of the World Cultures Club and National Honors Society. In addition, Yvonne is one of the most reliable and positive leaders in our Associated Student Body Program on campus. Yvonne shows responsibility on campus and off campus due to the fact that she is an organized person and plans ahead every day to ensure that she takes care of her personal and student obligations. She works well under stress and she is someone that works efficiently and consistently. She is a committed individual who helps everyone when they are in need. In addition to showing dedicated responsibility she is fair with everyone. She is full of integrity and exhibits true leadership skills every day as she undertakes many leadership roles on campus. She is impressive! A true hard working and dependable student! 



Jose A La Torre
Jose A La Torre
Newport Harbor High School

Character Trait: Citizenship


Newport Harbor High School administration shared the following:

Jose is a genuinely friendly, funny, hardworking, determined, resilient and a talented young man. He truly knows he is blessed with great educational opportunities and doesn’t take it for granted.  He engages in class and develops positive relationships with his teachers. He is willing to help his peers in class when they are struggling. He found out how rewarding this was and decided to volunteer as a tutor for a local elementary school last year and is now tutoring current peers. Jose is active in school and is currently the Associated Student Body Vice President, Drum Major of the marching band, and has held leadership positions with several other campus clubs. He makes his family very proud because he is not only a good student and leader but a reliable and helpful member of the family.


Congratulations to the 2017 Superintendent Character Trait Award Winners!


Posted by: Matthew Jennings, District Admin, Newport Mesa Unified School District Published:5/17/17
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