7th, 8th, 9th

For seventh grader Ana Montano Alanis, one of the most memorable moments of the past year was when Aeries shut down. It reminded her that even if there are many hard things, like difficulties communicating during distance learning, we can still find ways around it. (Provided by Ana Montano Alanis)

7th Grade: Ana Montano Alanis

When asked why seventh grader Ana Montano Alanis would like to be an octopus if she could be any animal, she responded, “multitasking. I can finish everything and do whatever I want. I’d also want to color change.” She would use her octopus powers to open jars as well. 

Before COVID, she would visit the library frequently. Although she does not go as often now, she still loves to read, especially anything by Rick Riordan. She has not seen the Percy Jackson movies and she intends to keep it that way. 

If she could change one thing about her daily routine, she would want to go to bed earlier. “My sisters have zoom classes for dance, by the time we all finish it’s 8 or 7, it’s pretty late before we get into bed.” Her sisters are in kindergarten, second grade, and sixth grade respectively. Although sometimes it can get a bit loud, especially around 10:45 when everyone is connected at the same time, most of the time it is manageable. 

Waking up early has been one of her greatest challenges. She states, “At home, you can get comfortable and … wake up at the wrong time.” She even missed a class once because she overslept. Another challenge she has faces is internet issues, although she states, “I can’t really control the last one, but I can work on the first one.”

“In the end, I feel like you feel this responsibility to go to school, that’s what makes you attend, and to be honest, the classes are pretty fun too.” Her favorite classes are math, english, and science. If she could be famous for anything, she would want to be known for making a scientific discovery. She also has an affinity for spanish. One of her proudest moments was when her spanish teacher congratulated her and said she could advance up to AP Spanish 4. “I worked really hard, so being recognized for that feels really good.”

To others who are thinking of becoming Student of the Month, she states that they must remember, “EVERYTHING MATTERS! In capital letters! Don’t just not do your work, even if you turn it in late, still do it.” She advises people to not make excuses for themselves and to choose to be productive. “I got here because I worked hard, and you can do it too.”

Eighth grader Sarah Janelle Clomera enjoys math and science, partly because of her teachers, Ms. Barr and Mr. G. She says that Ms. Barr is really nice, and that Mr. G is fun and will always help you out. (Sarah Janelle Clomera)

8th Grade: Sarah Janelle Clomera

In her free time, eighth grader Sarah Janelle Clomera likes to play Roblox with her sister. They also play with their dogs; two of them, Piper and Paco, recently had a litter of puppies together. They also paint, although it can get really messy. When they have the time, they go to their aunt’s house to swim. 

If she could be any animal, she states that she would be a dolphin. “They’re really smart and I really like the ocean.” One of the highlights of her year has been going to the beach in Oceanside for around half a week, where she got to eat a lot of good food. She is considering becoming a marine biologist, along with a surgeon, doctor, or a lawyer.

If she could be famous for anything, she would want to be an actress in something fantasy, like with mermaids or witches. She adores everything fantasy. “It’s fun to read about magic; you get to use your imagination.” Currently, she is reading Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh and enjoys it so far. She also likes the TV series The Vampire Diaries. 

One of her proudest moments was when she got ‘Top of the Class’ in seventh grade. “My parents were really happy,” she states.

Her dad and her have recently started working out. One of her biggest challenges has been her self-esteem. She was concerned about her weight, mainly due to social media’s influence. She is happy at where she is now with all the exercise.

Her mom works from home and when she was little, she taught her a lot. Her mom got upset when she procrastinated in seventh grade. The transition to UP was hard for her. “I was really stressed out and would cry a lot.”

She suggests that others should learn from her mistakes and do their work early. They should also “let things happen, don’t stress out too much, and still have fun.”

She believes she was chosen for Student of the Month because she pays attention in class and works hard. She wants others to know that she is friendly, and that people can come talk to her whenever. 

Freshman Cesar Lopez enjoys consuming all types of media, especially video games. He also enjoys movies and TV shows that focus on character development and world-building. If he had to pick a favorite, he would choose Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. (Cesar Lopez)

9th Grade: Cesar Lopez

Freshman Cesar Lopez has many interests, one of them being video games. He states that the majority of games are enjoyable in one form or another. He says, “I like browsing the kinds of games that are acclaimed to be difficult.” He enjoys many games like Hollow Knight because of its “various challenges, unique art style, the story/lore.” He also loves Enter: The Gungeon because of its “intense difficulty, adorable style, a decent story, and tons of unlockable items to get.” His final favorite game is Celeste because of its “difficulty, storytelling, and emotional characters.” 

He used to attend art club in seventh and eighth grade, and would like to continue once he returns for certain. He wants to wait until vaccines are approved for teens and “things are back to the way they were, y’know?”

Lopez says that when it comes to school, he likes to give teachers the attention they deserve. “When teachers really put in the effort for us to learn (and trust me, the teachers this year are WORKING), I really just see that as a genuine care for our education. To pay it back, I do my best to follow rules and keep up with class standards.”

He feels that most of the time, the work teachers assign is not as hard as people make it seem. He states, “It just annoys me when a teacher is going through with their lesson or a student is speaking to the class and these people just don’t pay attention. The least I can do is listen to what they have to say.”

When asked why he thought he got Student of the Month, he said that he guesses it is because of his good grades and because of how much he pays attention in class. Lopez states that he is working on bettering his 3.8 GPA to make it a 4.0, although he thinks learning is more important than grades. Cesar Lopez overall just likes to put effort into school; he enjoys getting good grades and is happy that he has won the Student of the Month for April.