Hesperia has numerous outstanding students, but few are as inspirational as Alexis Garza, an 11-year-old who just completed sixth grade at Topaz Elementary.


With an American Girl smile, complete with braces, and a heart bracelet on her wrist, Alexis is the embodiment of wholesomeness. Next year she's likely to participate in Hesperia Junior's AVID and Leadership programs. If ever there was a young lady going places, this is the one.


Like most young people with promising futures, she didn't do it all alone. She talks to her mother every day -- on the phone. The mother and daughter share niceties and girly stories, but the one who has truly made a difference in her life is her grandmother, Veronica Garza, who adopted Alexis when she was 2.


While some youngsters need endless cajoling to get out of bed, Alexis can't wait to get up and head for Topaz. "I love school!" the girl says. Not surprisingly she isn't inclined to miss school. In fact, Alexis has never missed a day of school in all of her seven years at Topaz. At the end of the school year she received a Perfect Attendance trophy to accompany her numerous certificates and awards.


Oh, but this girl isn't a pushover. While she minds her manners and follows direction, she also enjoys a good-natured debate. Generally her grandmother doesn't mind, but sometimes she wishes her child would stop arguing -- and winning -- her point. Not surprisingly, Alexis, is considering pursuing a career as a lawyer.


But her No. 1 choice is one that is close to her heart: becoming a teacher. Alexis has already taught those around her by demonstrating a devotion to school and education itself. While certainly her presence will be missed at Topaz, students and staff at Hesperia Junior better get ready. Here comes Alexis.


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What events the recent graduations at the San Manuel Pavillion were! Wow, they were celebratory and exciting. For students, parents, friends and family of the high school graduates, the events will be etched in our memories.


One complaint, however. The parking. After drivers are herded into the bumpy, rocky expanse, they're left on to fend for themselves.


Then there's the walk up that hill. For those who are fit, it's a pleasant stroll. But for the elderly or less active it was a royal pain!


And a curious question: Since the pavillion at Glen Helen is currently sponsored by a Native American tribe does that mean graduates and their guests were in a sovereign nation for three-plus hours? Or does that only pertain to casinos?