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Five Buffs ace STAR testing
pic MHS-5-aces
Manteca High principal Doug McCreath honored those five students Tuesday who scored perfect grades in the California Standards Test, including, from left, Kenneth Williams, Josh Nkwocha, Derek Benson, Brooke Mejorada, and Zorana Cachu. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Manteca High wants to be known not just for athletics.

Doug McCreath, the first-year principal at the school, hopes that the Buffalo green and white will also signify academic success.

He indicated that most folks may only be familiar with the wins and losses involving Manteca High sports.

“But we want people to know that academics here are where it’s happening,” McCreath said on Tuesday.

The first to step up to the plate are four freshmen and a junior.
When the California Standards Test – part of the Standardized Testing and Reporting or STAR – were administered last spring, Derek Benson, Zorana Cachu, Brooke Mejorado, Kenneth Williams and Josh Nkwocha posted perfect scores of 600 in their respective subject areas.

The CST consists of four different tests for high school and incoming high school students: Social Science, Science, Math and English.

Ninth-grade students Benson and Cachu, who arrived to MHS via Woodward and Veritas, respectively, attained the highest possible grades in Algebra 1.

Mejorado and Williams attended Lincoln last school year, with both acing the Life Science test.

Nkwocha, who is a member of the Buffalo football squad, was a sophomore when he scored 600 in Life Science.

A junior, Nkwocha enjoys science. His future plans include going to college and studying genetic engineering with a possible minor in medicine.

For that same reason, Benson had no problem with the Algebra 1 exam.

Cachu, who, along with Benson and Mejorada, was placed in the accelerated Geometry course based on her proficiency in the math portion of the STAR. She was quite familiar with the Algebra 1 material.

“The (Algebra 1) test was easy,” Cachu said.

As for Williams, he initially thought he was in trouble when he received the call to go to the principal’s office.

Instead, he was honored for his academic accomplishments.

Plans call for the five students to receive further honors at an upcoming Manteca Unified school board meeting, according to McCreath.

Their names and accomplishments have already been posted on the electronic message board in front of the MHS campus.

“Manteca High isn’t just about athletics,” McCreath added.