Rotary honors Silva Valley fifth-grader and applauds his teachers and parents.


Just call him "The Little Engine That Could."

That's how Silva Valley Elementary teachers describe fifth-grader Justin Heckman, the Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills' Student of the Month.

"He has the attitude of 'I think I can, I think I can'," said special education teacher Karen Schott. "Justin is one of those students who is unforgettable."

Fifth-grade teacher Cori Alameda applauded Justin's work ethic and willingness to ask for help. "He has worked really hard and I know  he's going to be successful at what ever he does," she said.

That sentiment was echoed by tutor Michelle Presnall, who also teaches at Silva Valley. All three women also credited Justin's parents, who worked with their son's teachers to get him on track. Proud mom Kelley Heckman said, "This kid has worked so hard and I'm so proud of him." Dad John Heckman noted that his son willingly does his homework before playtime — a fact that impressed Rotary Club President Wayne Lowery, who presented Justin with a plaque and $50.

Lowery called Justin an future leader and said if every child had the determination and support Justin received the future would be in great hands.