Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy, Read Award-Winning Essays

PUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art PiecesPUSD Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.\'s Legacy in Award Winning Essays, Visual and Performing Art Pieces

By BRANDON VILLALOVOS

4:16 pm | January 16, 2017


Public officials, community leaders and Pasadena Unified staff and students gathered Monday morning in the Charles W. Eliot Arts Magnet Academy auditorium for a special Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration to recognize award winning student work that echoed moving themes from America’s iconic civil rights leader.

The celebration is the signature event hosted by the Pasadena MLK Coalition that featured live readings from first place essay winners and performing art demonstrations from elementary, middle and high school students.

“As a District, we believe so much in making sure that we espouse the principles of Dr. King especially as it relates to tolerance. As educators we teach children to explore and learn everyday. The Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations demonstrate to the young people in our schools that individuals, neighbors and communities can come together to find solutions to some of our most pressing issues. It shows them that individual volunteering and working in the service of others can and do make a visible and meaningful difference,” said Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Brian McDonald.

The MLK Community Coalition has sponsored the Martin Luther King Essay Contest for 26 years as a means to encourage students in the Pasadena Unified School District and local private schools to write essays addressing different aspects of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.

Over 300 students participated in this years’ contest that also included both visual and performing arts categories alongside essay writing.

“We appreciate appreciate this partnership with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Coalition and having community members who are responsive and proactive about keeping his dream alive. All of our students can grow by taking time to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the promise of equality and equity,” said Julianne Reynoso, PUSD Assistant Superintendent, Elementary Education.

The auditorium—which included audience members Mayor Terry Tornek, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senator Anthony Portantino, Rev. James Stevenson and more—was treated to live essay readings from first place student winners that followed varied themes taught by Martin Luther King, Jr. followed by brief performing art demonstrations in the form of spoken word and interpretive dance pieces.

“I want to thank the Martin Luther King Community Coalition for always making sure that the children are honored and also that we do not forget the principles of equality and compassion that Martin Luther King stood for and that shaped this nation’s history. Martin Luther King, Jr. showed us that we can create a country that is more caring, more just and more whole and I know that together we can continue to work so that we can make sure that generations to come will benefit,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration is the final event that is a part of a month long series of events that include the Rekindling the Light of Peace, The Essay and Art Contest and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Interdenominational Service.

Over 20,000 Pasadena area students have participated in the contest since its debut nearly thirty years ago.

“My challenge to each of us today is to choose one or more of Dr. King’s values or objectives that we will pursue in the face of those who would divide us and instill fear in our community. I will commit to you that the city will do everything it can to pursue his goals and his beliefs,” said City of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek.

The celebration was presented in conjunction with the Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Aspires West Pasadena, Friends Indeed, Scott United Methodist Church, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority-Pasadena Chapter, and the City of Pasadena.

Here is a detailed list of all the student winners:

Art Contest – Elementary School Winners
Yanelli Flamenco – 1st Place
4th Grade
Madison Elementary
Teacher: Ms. Rodriguez

Giovana Novaes – 2nd Place
5th Grade
Altadena Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. Alfonso

Brandon Yan – 3rd Place
4th Grade
Don Benito Elementary School
Teacher: Mrs. Seger

Art Contest – Middle School Winners
Nicole Kwan – 1st Place
7th Grade
McKinley Middle School
Teacher: Mr. Gray

Andres Olmos – 2nd Place
6th Grade
Marshall Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Szklarski

Joselyn Lopez – 3rd Place
7th Grade
Blair Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Martinez

Art Contest – High School Winners
Alana Conner – 1st Place
Blair High School
12th Grade
Teacher: Mrs. Martinez

Anna Givens – 2nd Place
Pasadena High School
10th Grade
Teacher: Ms. Gorecki

Pauldamyel Chavez – 3rd Place
Blair High School
11th Grade
Teacher: Mrs. Martinez

Essay Contest – Elementary School Finalists
Maya De Cunto – 1st Place
4th Grade
McKinley Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. Tammy Harvey

Emma Griffith – 2nd Place
5th Grade
San Rafael Elementary School
Teacher: Ms Marta Rosales

Ruby Chew – 3rd Place
5th Grade
Sierra Madre Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. Tina Ogron

Essay Contest – Middle School Finalists
Kylie Way – 1st Place
7th Grade
Marshall Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Lisa Yamanouye

Savion Scott – 2nd Place
7th Grade
McKinley Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Tovar

Ian Macklin Sims – 3rd Place
7th Grade
Blair Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Christine McLaughlin

Essay Contest – High School Finalists
Enzo De Cunto – 1st Place
9th Grade
Marshall High School
Teacher: Mr. Ganschow

Keira Minamizono Von Imbior – 2nd Place
9th Grade
Marshall High School
Teacher: Mr. Ganschow

Sol (Melodie) Ahn – 3rd Place
9th Grade
Marshall High School
Teacher: Mr. Ganschow

Performing Arts Contest – Elementary School Finalists
Tremaine Woodard – 1st Place
5th Grade
Altadena Elementary School
Teacher: Mrs. Miller

Zayriah Curry
5th Grade
Altadena Elementary School
Teacher: Mrs. Miller

Cedric Hill
5th Grade
McKinley Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. Gangi-Hall

Performing Arts Contest – Middle School Finalists
Nicole Kwan – 1st Place
6th Grade
McKinley Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Rachel Zonshire

D’Anra “Dolly” Rogers
6th Grade
Eliot Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Amber Plummer

Vanja Tapia Park
7th Grade
Eliot Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Amber Plummer