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2016 Pillar of Character

District Award for Responsibility

character award

From left, Supt. Fred Navarro, Back Bay High School assist. principal Michael Wagner, Back Bay student Menzin Echols, Administrator Kelly Davis, Echols’ mother Deliceia Echols, Back Bay teacher Tracy Camarano and Back Bay counselor Joy Facer pose after Echols was announced as a recipient of the fourth annual Superintendent Character Trait Awards.

By Alex Chan, Daily Pilot, May 18, 2016

For the fourth year in a row, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District has recognized one student from each high school with Superintendent Character Trait Awards.

After the district accepted nominations from teachers, counselors and other school employees in March, a small committee led by Supt. Fred Navarro made the final six selections.

Navarro made trips to Back Bay, Costa Mesa, Early College, Estancia and Newport Harbor high schools in late April and to Corona del Mar high earlier this month to personally deliver the news to each student awardee.

The young learners were acknowledged with one of the Six Pillars of Character, a concept established by the Josephson Institute, a nonprofit that supports ethics in all areas of life.

Back Bay student Menzin Echols earned responsibility; Corona del Mar's Ryan Kassel, respect; Costa Mesa's Nora Vartanian, citizenship; Early College's Kaitlynn Kistler, trustworthiness; Estancia's Clarissa Barragan, fairness; and Newport Harbor's Peyton Espley-Jones, caring.

"We have a wealth of incredible students, and it is gratifying to annually recognize a few of them," Navarro said in a statement. "Getting to know students and their genuine good-natured approach to life is something that I look forward to each year."

Each of the honorees will have a banner designed for them featuring their portrait and the trait they were awarded.

The banners will be hung in the school district lobby in Costa Mesa at the end of May and will be displayed throughout the following school year.

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