WINCHESTER – Winchester Elementary School staff is always looking for new ways to encourage their students to think about their future. Principal Mark Delano believes that it is never too early to have students thinking about college and career pathways.
Winchester students and staff are part of the No Excuse University, a network that believes that all students can achieve and succeed when the “Six Exceptional Systems” are implemented. Staff have implemented all areas of these systems: culture of universal achievement, collaboration, standards alignment, assessment, data management and intervention, so all of the students on campus are being supported. In addition to these systems, the belief of No Excuse University aligns with Hemet Unified’s goal of ensuring all students graduate college or career ready.
In addition to the NEU network, staff has created an Advancement Via Individual Determination scholarship for former Winchester Elementary students.
For the past seven years, staff has held a “Coins for College” drive for students to donate change on a yearly basis, along with other small fundraisers throughout the year. Students from Winchester Elementary’s two feeder high schools, Tahquitz High School and West Valley High School, apply for the NEU scholarship. A committee reviews all of the student applications and chooses two deserving students.
At a Flag Friday ceremony, Christina Muoio from West Valley High and Bethany Lamb from Tahquitz High were announced as NEU’s AVID Scholarship winners.
Bethany Lamb told students that she attended Winchester Elementary from first through fifth grade. During third grade, she was introduced into a field of study that she will pursue when she attends California State University Fullerton in the fall; she read a book about marine life and discovered where her passion lay. When her degree is completed, she plans to start a career at a marine mammal center. She said during her collegiate career and beyond she will live by the motto, “No Excuses.” Living a life with no excuses means living a life of hard work and dedication, and Lamb knows with this attitude she will be able to succeed.
Christina Muoio spoke to the students about her time at Winchester Elementary and how it helped her throughout her educational career. She shared about her time in fourth grade and how the prospect of college was introduced to her. Her class was given the task of researching the educational levels of their parents. This project opened her eyes when she realized neither of her parents had attended a 4-year college, and she promised herself that she would be the first in her family to graduate college. She is now graduating from West Valley High and will attend University of California Santa Barbara to major in English. She said despite adversity she has lived by the motto of “No Excuse” and has challenged herself to move forward. She finished her speech and said, “Thank you Winchester, for my love of reading, my ability to dream of a successful future and my perseverance. Thank you for everything.”
Principal Delano took the stage next.
“This is what graduation means,” he said. He spoke of the adversity each student will face in college, but to remember the “No Excuses” motto to help them carry on and reach your goal. In addition to the $500 scholarships, staff provided a $100 scholarship to Malik Lofton from West Valley, Esmeralda Penalver from West Valley and Rhyan Massie from Tahquitz.