Edward Jones Award
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Edward Jones, Hoffman family recognize excellence at THS

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Trinidad High School junior, Jimmy Torres, stood in front of the Trinidad School District No. 1 Board of Education meeting on Wednesday to accept the Edward Jones “Most Improved Award” from mother and son, Lori and Andrew Hoffman, with Edward Jones in Trinidad.

Both of the Hoffman’s described winning the same award as high school students themselves and what it meant to them and their confidence at that age. Lori Hoffman was asked what the Hoffmans and Edward Jones gets out of presenting these high school awards. She pointed at Torres and asked reflexively, “Did you see his face? That’s it. That’s it…”

Torres was one of three students to earn an award from Edward Jones. The other honorees were senior Henry Xu, who won the “Academic Award” and senior Audrey Marilyn Arlene Valdez, who earned the “Service Award.”

Andrew Hoffman explained the criteria for the awards. For the “Academic Award,” school administrators were tasked with identifying an exceptional individual in academics. For the “Service Award,” Andrew Hoffman said they were looking for someone who is always giving and has made an effort to serve as much as possible. Meanwhile, Torres’ “Improvement Award” is meant to identify a student that has made outstanding improvement in academics and other areas through their high school career.

“Everyone of these students also works nearly full-time jobs,” pointed out high school counselor and teacher Louis Rino. “For students this award is a way for them to brag about themselves when they go to fill out their applications to college, or the military, or on resumes. We try to encourage teachers to recognize kids that might not get recognized like this regularly. There are some kids that are highly recognized and highly competitive and there are other kids that are overlooked because they are quiet, or aren’t self-promoters. For those kids, this is a big deal.”

Said Andrew Hoffman, “It’s something that, at that age, just meant so much. Our youth are very much underserved. There is only just so much the school can do to recognize these students. We just want to be an outside force that reinforces what they are hearing in school, or elsewhere.”

Lori Hoffman recalled memories of getting her award as a high-schooler in Anoka, Minn., and Andrew received the Edward Jones “Most Improved Award” also as a high-schooler in Trinidad. “As sappy as it sounds,” said Andrew Hoffman. “I still have mine.”

Edward Jones award winners

Service award: Audrey Marilyn Arlene Valdez

Grade: Senior

Parents: Francisco Valdez and Heather Johnson

Favorite subject: Math and science

Plans after graduation: Wants to go into nursing, or the medical field.

Academic award: Henry Xu

Grade: Senior

Parents: Guiping (Ming) Wu and Shiming (Nancy) Xu

Favorite subject: Math and science

Plans after graduation: Wants to major in pre-dentistry courses.

Most improved award: Jimmy Torres

Grade: Junior

Parents: Rosemary Ruiz and Juan Torres.

Favorite subject: Math

Plans after graduation: Plans to go into the military.  

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