For The Madera Tribune
CTA Recipients Paulo Soares, left, and Hansel Kern.
Camarena Health and Kern Family Farm each received a Crystal Tower Award August 27 at the 16th Annual Business and Education Shareholders’ Luncheon hosted by the Madera County Compact.
The two businesses were recognized for their partnerships with Madera County schools in front of more than 160 business and community leaders.
Camarena Health was nominated by Elizabeth Puga at Madera South High School. Camarena Health has been a partner with the school for more than five years.
Camarena Health recently built a school based health center on the Madera South High School campus. They also provide opportunities for students including job shadowing, health career days, equipment donations, and have provided money to help Madera Unified focus on mental health issues.
Kern Family Farm was nominated by Michelle Dungan at North Fork Elementary School. Kern Family Farm has been a partner with North Fork Elementary School for the past 15 years.
Along with monetary donations, owner Hansel Kern volunteers all day in the school garden every Friday. This allows all students on campus to tend to various areas in the garden such as the greenhouse, vineyard, fruit trees, and garden crops. The garden now grows produce that is used in the cafeteria salad bar. The family store, The Gnarly Carrot, also donates snacks for the students.
Both businesses exemplify the Madera County Compact’s mission, “Working in partnership with education to prepare young people for the increasing demands of society and the workplace.”
“It is amazing the amount of dedication these businesses have for our students and the community as a whole, said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “We are so privileged to work alongside these businesses to help shape the future and promote success in our students.”
The luncheon highlighted the exceptional student work Madera County has to offer. Many high schools in Madera County contributed to the success of the luncheon.
Minarets High School’s choir show band sang for the guests and Madera High School’s Public Safety Academy students presented the flag. Yosemite Union High School students created table centerpieces and Pioneer Technical Center students acted as servers.
A video featuring the Crystal Tower Award recipients was produced by the Madera South High School video production class. The video was shown preceding the acceptance of the awards.
Angel Reyna, the new president of the Madera Community College Center presented information on the current state of the Madera Center and future goals for the campus.
The luncheon was hosted by the Madera County Compact and was held at the office of the Madera County Superintendent of Schools. It was sponsored by Camarena Health, Educational Employees Credit Union, Madera County Superintendent of Schools, The Specialty Crop Company, Agriland, First 5 Madera County, and California Health Sciences University.
The Madera County Compact is a group of business, community and education leaders working collaboratively to support efforts to improve the quality of life in Madera County.
They promote business partnerships with schools to improve the achievement levels and skills of students and prepare young people for the increasing demands of college and career.
Past recipients of the Crystal Tower Award include A/Dolphin Associates, B-K Lighting, Bridge Store, Robert Brosi, D.D.S., Citizens Business Bank, Delaware North (Tenaya Lodge), Educational Employees Credit Union, Evapco West, Greenleaf Orchards, JBT (formerly FMC) FoodTech, Kings Valley Industries, Kuckenbecker Tractor, Madera Agricultural Services, Madera Community Hospital, Madera Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Movies Madera, Mowers Plus, Oakhurst Physical Therapy, Ozterity Lighting, Pacific Ethanol, Pete’s Sport Shop, Ponderosa Telephone, Rancho San Miguel, Round Table Pizza, Sierra Ambulance, Sierra Telephone, S & J Lumber, Valley Bowl, The Vineyard Restaurant, Vulcan Materials, WestCoast Products & Design.