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 Student Spotlight: Julian Kelley

This month's student representative on the San Diego County Board of Education is Julian Kelley, a senior at La Mesa Community School.

Julian is kind and goal oriented, said Principal Valentin Escanuela.

"He has a great sense of humor that brings life to the classroom and gives us a good laugh from time to time," he said. "He is a great role model to his peers and does what he can to support and encourage his peers."

When he graduates from high school, Julian plans to study business at college. He hopes to someday own his own business. He is already taking 13 units at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges.

"Put the time in and get the work done," Julian said. "It pays off."

Everyone at La Mesa Community School contributed to his success there, Julian said.

"They were supportive and helped me with all my needs," he said. "They are truly caring and want what is best for their students."

Each month, the County Board of Education recognizes a student from the San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) Juvenile Court and Community Schools program at its regular meeting.

"In addition to giving the board a chance to honor a student, participation in the meeting also gives students valuable experience in leadership," said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools.

La Mesa Community School offers classroom, blended, and independent-study programs for students in grades 8 through 12 who are referred by probation, social services, or school districts.

SDCOE's Juvenile Court and Community Schools program educates nearly 5,000 students each year who are either wards of the court or have been referred by social services, Probation, or one of the county's 42 school districts. Services are provided at more than 20 sites across the county to students who are incarcerated, pregnant or parenting, in foster care, expelled, chronically truant, in drug treatment centers and group homes for neglected or abused children, and experiencing homelessness.

Photo: Julian Kelley with board Member Alicia Muñoz.