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Fontana Unified Middle School Student Recognized for Leadership with ACSA Every Student Succeeding Award

Matthew Barrera

FONTANA, CA –Sequoia Middle School eighth-grader Matthew Barrera was recognized by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 12 Board of Directors with the 2021 Every Student Succeeding Award, celebrating his academic achievement and leadership in the classroom.

Barrera will receive a $1,000 scholarship and be recognized in the ACSA Region 12 online award ceremony on May 10.

“I feel really honored about this. I have received awards before, but nothing this big. It feels really special,” Barrera said. “I would like to than my aunt and uncle for their love and support, and also my teachers and classmates, who inspire me.”

When Barrera was 11 years old, his mother died and he relocated from Idaho to California to live with his aunt, uncle and cousins. Barrera has risen to the challenges posed by this life-changing event, becoming a straight-A student, emerging as a student leader and distance learning mentor, offering classmates encouragement when faced with tough assignments and greeting students at the beginning of class.

Barrera, who has a 4.0 GPA, is a member of Sequoia’s Renaissance class – where he helps to identify and support student academic leaders – as well as one of the main contributors to Sequoia’s video news program, Eagle News. Barrera is also a member of Sequoia’s Gifted and Talented Education program.

“Matthew is one of those students who make the lives of everyone he encounters better,” Sequoia Middle School Assistant Principal Kim Moyer said. “Matthew is unapologetically positive, always willing to help and a leader among leaders. When a special student like Matthew comes around, it renews my hope that our students can push past expectations and do something bigger than I could have ever imagined.”

When Barrera came to Sequoia, teachers and support staff saw his need for social-emotional support to develop his potential. Barrera has expressed his gratitude by taking challenging courses and sharing his knowledge with others.

As a Microsoft Showcase Incubator School, Sequoia is committed to providing students with the technology tools to succeed in the 21st century. Barrera serves as an eager student and as a resource to his classmates, making screen recordings and preparing tutorials for students struggling with technology.

“We are proud of Matthew Barrera’s achievements and his well-deserved recognition by ACSA,” Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “I would also like to commend Sequoia Middle School’s administration, teachers and staff for helping to nurture and develop Matthew’s academic abilities and fostering a spirit of leadership.”