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UPS and The Sharks Foundation Honor 8th Grade Leaders

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are used to having great leaders come through the Shark Tank, including current Captain Patrick Marleau and the team’s first captain and current Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. But on April 3, a whole different group of leaders took over HP Pavilion during the 2007 UPS/Sharks Foundation 8th Grade Leadership Awards Dinner.
This awards program, now in its 10th year, is sponsored by the UPS Corporation and The Sharks Foundation and is supported by the Office of Education in both Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. It is designed to recognize the outstanding leadership qualities of local middle school students both in and out of the classroom.
Santa Cruz WinnersIn total, 64 students were selected by their school administration for their efforts. Each school is responsible for determining their own criteria for an outstanding leader and this year’s group represented a broad range of leadership activities and skills.
“What is leadership exactly? What does it look like?” asked Laura Johnston, Sharks Foundation manager and emcee for the evening. “Tonight it comes in many forms. Some of you are the student council president or captain of the volleyball team and others are the student everyone turns to for help in math or the oldest sibling in a single parent home who makes dinner each night. No matter what the act, you are all amazing leaders.”
For their efforts, each student was invited to the awards dinner at HP Pavilion where they were presented with a commemorative plaque, a puck autographed by Sharks right wing and program spokesman Mike Grier and two tickets to the Sharks vs. Calgary Flames home game on April 5.
Though Grier was unable to attend the ceremony because of the team’s road trip, he did address the group via video. The Sharks forward talked of the importance of leadership from both a team and individual standpoint and what skills a leader needed to possess in order to inspire greatness in others.
Other speakers for the evening included Benn Camicia, San Jose operations manager for UPS; Malcolm Bordelon, executive vice president, business operations for the San Jose Sharks; Michael Watkins, the superintendent of education for Santa Cruz County; and Colleen Wilcox, the superintendent of education for Santa Clara County.
Bordelon not only congratulated the students on their current success, but reminded them of the challenges leaders face heading into the future.
“Leadership skills are most evident when times are hard and when things appear most bleak. Successful people still encounter disappointment and frustration, but it is the way they respond to problems that makes them different from those who are overwhelmed by difficult situations,” he said. “Continue to hone your leadership skills and be confident in the choices you will make.”
The evening concluded with the presentation of the first UPS/Sharks Foundation Community Award, which was presented to an outstanding UPS employee for their volunteer and leadership efforts in the community. During each Sharks home game, UPS provides volunteers to The Sharks Foundation to assist with Silent Auction fundraisers, Fremont Bank “Reading Is Cool” Book Drives, Second Harvest Canned Food Drives and other community initiatives. This year’s Community Award was presented to Stan Chew for his efforts at these and other events throughout the year.
 “UPS is proud to be a part of such a wonderful program and as an organization, we are humbled by the incredible examples each of you are to your friends and classmates,” said Camicia. “We’re glad to have our own outstanding leader as well.”
Santa Clara County 8th Grade Leaders
Kristen Pham Bernal Intermediate School
Connor Nunley Blach Middle School
David Lee Ramirez, Jr. August Boeger Junior High School
Nikki Dronek Lewis Britton Middle School
Martha DiazEspinoza Brownell Middle School
Taylor Lucero Buchser Middle School
Jacqueline Bustamante Luther Burbank School
Nestor Gallardo Peter Burnett Academy
TaKara Burse Cabrillo Middle School
Amie Molley Campbell Middle School
Scott Harano Chaboya Middle School
Cassandra Valenzuela Charter School of Morgan Hill
Derek Frazier, Jr. Crittenden Middle School
Mariah Chen Cupertino Middle School
Nina Montazeri Dartmouth Middle School
Felicia Elena Segura Caroline Davis Intermediate School
Kelsey Ayers Egan Junior High School
Nicholas Caleb Robinson C. T. English Middle School
Danuel Rivera J. W. Fair Middle School
Maricarmen Batres Clyde L. Fischer Middle School
Eric Schnell R.J. Fisher Middle School
Brandi Lynn Williams Graham Middle School
Clair Lee Bret Harte Middle School
Kimmai Nguyen Leonard Herman Intermediate School
Jaqueline Perez Herbert Hoover Middle School
Chloe Lee Hyde Middle School
Julia Edholm Jordan Middle School
Saurabh Davala Kennedy Middle School
Daan Vanadrichem Sam Lawson Middle School
Ilaina Duron George LeyVa Middle School
Brianna Ramos Lee Mathson Middle School
Joey Sparacino Moreland Middle School
Kristy Le Morrill Middle School
Savelio Fa'asolo John Muir Middle School
John R. Kellett Martin Murphy Middle School
Liliana Gonzalez Ocala Middle School
Kyle James Abraham Orchard School
Danielle M. Horwitz Marian A. Peterson Middle School
Erik Huynh Piedmont Middle School
Matt Urakami Ida Price Middle School
Derek Tang Quimby Oak Middle School
Veronica Flores Rancho Milpitas Middle School
Jay Lee Redwood Middle School
Samantha Jones Rolling Hills Middle School
Lynn T. Nguyen Thomas Russell Middle School
Joecell Agamata William L. Sheppard Middle School
Peter T. Nguyen Shirakawa School
Nila Le Sierramont Middle School
Melissa Kay Gjerde Ascencion Solorsano Middle School
Dani Hemeon South Valley Middle School
Ashlyn Spierling Sunnyvale Middle School
Jessica Le Sylvandale Middle School
Gabby Iseman Willow Glen Middle School
Amanda Flores Windmill Springs School
Santa Cruz County 8th Grade Leaders
Jessica Stief Aptos Junior High School
Angie Banez Branciforte Middle School
Andrew Johnson E.A. Hall Middle School
Nora Britton Mission Hill Middle School
Constantine Samios III Pacific Collegiate School
Salvador Hernandez Pajaro Middle School
Elizabeth Jara Rolling Hills Middle School
Nate Wood San Lorenzo Valley Junior High School
Christopher Youmans Scotts Valley Middle School
Tom Knight Shoreline Middle School
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