HMS Students Earn Respect by Demonstrating It

Sofia Rodriguez was one of more than a dozen HMS students honored with a Good Citizenship Award.

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.

Sarah Tran always arrives to her classes with an attitude that one of her teachers said is “joyful, upbeat and positive,” Liam Thomas proved to be “a fantastic role model to his peers,” and Amelia Hu was observed being “helpful and kind to a student who is new to Huntington Middle School.”
Those and many other acts were the reason the three received Good Citizenship awards, along with 15 other students, at a special breakfast that was held Sept. 23 in the school’s library. It was the first of 10 gatherings that will be hosted by Principal Daryl Topalian and Assistant Principal Mary Hazlett to acknowledge students for character traits such as honesty, courtesy, responsibility and service inside the classroom.

Honorees are nominated by teachers and staff members and receive a breakfast as well as a popular swag bag, filled with an HMS T-shirt and a license plate frame that declares the recipient one of “Huntington’s Best.”
The first ceremony acknowledged students for showing respect.
“I feel it was wonderfully well received by the students,” said Hazlett, who was overseeing her first Good Citizenship breakfast. “I could tell they were pleased and excited to be there and felt it was an important ceremony. Since it was the first one of the new school year, I think they felt honored and special. At this age, the students still like being publicly honored as long as there are others who are also being honored.”

Now in his 25th year at The Tribune, Mitch Lehman is Editor and Sports Editor in addition to being the public address announcer for ten sports programs at San Marino High School. Mitch is one of only a handful in the community to receive the ‘Very Special Person Award’ from the San Marino PTA at the annual Founder’s Day ceremony, was acknowledged as a 'Terrific Titan' by the San Marino High School PTSA, was named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of San Marino and received a National Honorary Merit Badge in Journalism from the Boy Scouts of America. He has received two independent Pulitzer Prize nominations and in the past three years, Mitch has won seven awards and is a thirteen-time finalist in the California News Publishers Association's Better Newspapers Contest. In 2015, the press box at Titan Stadium was re-named 'Lehman's Loft' in his honor. You can reach Mitch at

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