By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Thomas Jefferson Middle School names February Cougars of the Month


Last updated 3/22/2021 at 6:22am | View PDF

Top row from left: Elianna Sanchez (7th Grade), Danny Arellano (Principal), Alex Mendoza (8th Grade) Bottom row from left: Patrick Acosta (V.P.), Samantha Castillo (6th Grade), Yahir Torres (6th Grade). Not pictured: Gabriel Sepulveda (7th) and Kierdyn Wilson (8th).

While under restrictions due to COVID, Thomas Jefferson Middle School staff is continuing with the Cougar of the Month Award.

The Cougar of the Month Award is designed to spotlight students who best "Respect the P.A.W." (Perseverance, Attitude, Wise Choices) through distance learning. The following students have stood out in the month of January to their teachers for working hard, joining class sessions on time, and being active participants.

6th Grade Cougars of the Month

Samantha Castillo has worked hard from the start of the school year to adjust to distance learning. What's helped her keep her 4.0 GPA is setting schedules for her, finding quiet places to study in and believing in her. Samantha recognized the difficulty of the pandemic and the adjustments that have been made, but also appreciates that she's continued to make new friends through this virtual experience. By persevering through and finding ways to self-motivate, Samantha has earned the recognition of Cougar of the Month.

Yahir Torres has persevered through the online transition to do the best he can. To date, he has perfect attendance and works at keeping his grades up. His greatest challenge has been his LP class, but it doesn't keep him from working hard and doing the best he can. Yahir has stood out as a positive role model to his teachers and has earned the recognition of Cougar of the Month.

7th Grade Cougars of the Month

With a lively attitude, Elianna Sanchez has continuously shown her dedication to her education and hasn't let up throughout the year in distance learning. Elianna carries a 4.0 GPA with perfect attendance and receives praise from her teachers for her excellent work/participation in class. Elianna is a well-rounded student who represents the P.A.W. and has earned the recognition of Cougar of the Month.

Gabriel Sepulveda has worked hard throughout the first three quarters to hold a 4.0 GPA. Along with his family, he is very proud of this recognition. Gabriel is also a perfect attendance cougar and has earned recognition for his all-around academic achievements. His wise choices in the classroom have earned him the recognition of Cougar of the Month.

8th Grade Cougars of the Month

Distance learning has taught Kierdyn Wilson better study tactics like minimizing distractions by turning off her phone and using earplugs to block outside noise. Kierdyn's biggest challenge has been adapting to working independently and not having that physical support from peers to get through the day. She has done an excellent job; however, and carries a 4.67 GPA with all honors and perfect attendance. Kierdyn is an active member of Leadership and hosts a weekly video podcast called "5 Minutes With.." in which she interviews a TJMS staff member. She looks forward to what high school will bring and we have no doubt she will leave a mark as she has done so here. Kierdyn has undoubtedly earned the recognition as Cougar of the Month.

Alex Mendoza has been a stellar student working hard in the classroom to achieve high marks. Alex is recognized by his teachers for his work ethic and great attitude. Showing up to class every day has helped him in staying on top of his work, even in classes where he struggles a bit. He has not let it hold him back and persevered through the challenges to do the best that he can. Carrying a full load of honor classes has its challenges yet Alex has shown he can work hard and do well. His perseverance has earned him the recognition of Cougar of the Month.


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