Portola students honored at school board meeting

By Roni Java

Special to Plumas News

Two top Portola students were recognized for outstanding achievement at the online Oct. 14 meeting of the Plumas Unified School District’s Governing Board of Trustees.

School Board President Leslie Edlund and Trustees Dave Keller, Joleen Cline and Traci Holt welcomed the students, who logged on remotely and were introduced by their principals from C. Roy Carmichael Elementary (CRC) and Portola Junior-Senior High School (PJSHS).


Kirsten Boyd earns CRC Principal’s Recognition Award

CRC sixth-grader Kirsten Boyd received the Principal’s Recognition Award. Photo submitted

CRC Principal Melissa Leal acknowledged Kirsten Boyd for academic excellence and said the sixth grader was logged on with her parents Anna and Wesley Boyd.

“I’m super excited that your teachers chose you for this awesome recognition,” Leal said happily, adding that she will enjoy presenting Kirsten with her Principal’s Recognition Award in person when school reopens on Oct. 26.

Leal quoted three CRC teachers for their praise of Kristen and said she agreed 100 percent with their kind words.

The educators described their pupil as an exceptional student who makes teachers want to come to school every day. They also said Kirsten’s energy and humor “spill into the class and it helps make school a more enjoyable experience for all.”

Kirsten earned the award for being enthusiastic about learning, engaged in her lessons and demonstrating skills beyond academics. CRC teachers described her as a talented athlete and entertainer and a great friend to her classmates.


In addition, the student frequently shows a willingness to help others in her classes, especially if they appear to be struggling. Principal Leal said one teacher described appreciating Kirsten’s “big heart” and the way she sincerely cares about her classmates and school.

“She always volunteers for everything and does it with such a positive attitude,” Leal told the school board. “She has proven to exemplify respectful, responsible and safe behavior and she finds a way to make others smile.”

Quoting another teacher, the principal also said with all the changes everyone has experienced due to distance learning under the COVID-19 pandemic response, Kirsten’s “joy and positive attitude certainly made going through this strange life easier.”
Principal Leal concluded her remarks for the school board by congratulating the student and her family.

“Kirsten is eager, always on time, ready to learn and always participates,” Leal said. “She’s an absolute joy to have in class, stays on task and goes above and beyond in all she does. Great work Kirsten!”


Isabell Allingham receives PJSHS Principal’s Recognition Award

PJSHS senior Isabell Allingham earned the Principal’s Recognition Award. Photo submitted

Portola High School Principal Sara Sheridan presented her winning recipient of the Principal’s Recognition Award, Sophomore Isabell Allingham, who was logged on with her parents Brandy and Skyler Allingham.

“It is my honor and privilege to recognize 10th grader Isabel Allingham,” Sheridan said. “When we put out nominations for this award, Isabell’s name came up over and over again.“

The principal described Isabell’s accomplishments in the words of the PJSHS teachers who know her best. She said the student exemplifies respectful conduct and is the first to do her work and submit assignments on time.

Isabell’s teachers also sent word that they wanted to recognize her for being an outstanding student overall and one who “wants to learn from her mistakes.” They appreciated her dedication to her studies and her school, saying she is always willing to put in the extra effort to get an assignment right.


Principal Sheridan told the school board that English Teacher Sara Murphy said she hoped her comments wouldn’t be “too much, but that we know it’s 100 percent true.”

Quoting Murphy, the principal said with pleasure, “Isabell has always been a good student, but this experience with distance learning has confirmed her beautiful inner character. She has shown leadership, resilience, empathy, grace, kindness and bravery.”

Murphy added that she hoped “we all can learn to face our challenges and struggles just like Isabell has this school year.”

Principal Sheridan concluded with her own praise and said, “Wow, Isabell! That’s a pretty amazing comment from Miss Murphy. And on behalf of the whole staff at Portola Junior-Senior High School, we would like to congratulate you. You will be getting this beautiful award when we see you on Oct. 26.”

Special thanks from school board members
The school board meetings are being held online via Zoom teleconferences while Plumas County’s public health response continues to address safety in the ongoing COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.


School Board President Leslie Edlund and the other board members expressed their support and appreciation for the achievements of each student.

Edlund also smiled on screen from her remote location and said, “Ordinarily, we would love to shake hands with each of your students. Thank you for sharing these awards with us and introducing us to these wonderful students. This is always one of my favorite parts of the board meetings.”