FAIRFIELD — Heavy Medal Wednesday produced a gym packed with parents and children who cheered – as loudly as during the final seconds of an overtime basketball game – for academic success at the school that’s home to almost half the youths who achieved double-perfect state test scores in the Fairfield-Suisun School District.
The awards ceremony at Nelda Mundy Elementary School, an event that means students may wear more than a dozen medals they’ve won over time, included recognition of the seven youths for their success on the California Standards Test. Hundreds of children had medals placed around their necks to recognize their academic achievement.
Fifth-grade teacher Greg Aldridge said the culture at the K-6 school of about 860 children celebrates learning.
“It’s cool to be smart,” he said.
Aldridge said sports provides a lesson for test-taking, too.
“The test is something to be beaten, versus something to be feared,” the teacher said.
A solid triangle of parent, child and teacher forms at the school for successful learning.
“It’s pretty tough to break that triangle,” Aldridge said.
Parent Ken Smithour said when he and his wife Marlyn moved to the area, they knew that Nelda Mundy was one of the better schools. It’s gotten even better, Smithour said.
The couple’s 9-year-old son Timothy is one of the children who got a perfect double score. Their 17-year-old son Christopher, who attended the school, is now at Rodriguez High School, where he’s been recognized as a scholar-athlete for his success in school and swimming.
Meghan Johann teaches sixth grade and said no child is overlooked at Nelda Mundy.
“We all work together to make sure they’re successful,” Johann said.
Parent Traci Rush said that pays off.
“Nobody gets forgotten or left out,” she said. “Nobody gives up.”
Moreover, said parent Amalia Garcia, Nelda Mundy communicates very well by email and phone with parents.
“They know what’s going on with each student,” she said. “They have a really great system.”
Principal Kristen Cherry, who as a student went to Green Valley Middle School and Armijo High School, said amazing teachers at Nelda Mundy – along with parents who work very hard with their children – make a partnership that pays off academically.
“I don’t say, ‘my teachers’ or ‘my school,’ ” Cherry said. “We’re a team.”
“It’s ‘our kids.’ It’s ‘our teachers,’ ” she said.
Niket Bansal, twin sisters Gabriella and Isabella Biscocho, Jonathan Gibson, Erin Park and Caleb Strong – along with Smithour – had double-perfect 600 scores on the state test.
Sixth-grader Andrew Baskerville, 11, said Nelda Mundy makes learning matter.
“Students really concentrate and focus on their work,” he said.
Madison Metcho, 11, said the effort makes for what is known at the school as Heavy Medal Wednesday, when children celebrate.
“I like to see all the kids happy,” the sixth-grader said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.