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Rio is VFW Citizenship Teacher honoree

Jared Rio received quite a surprise in his classroom on Monday.

Michael Cearley, Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander of Jimmie Connors Post 6311, paid a visit to his classroom at Sierra High.

He was there to announce Rio as the proud recipient of the VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award.

The current Social Studies and Leadership Class instructor, Rio doubles up as the school’s Activities Director and club advisor for the Community Leaders of America chapter.

The latter is one of Sierra’s most active clubs – CLA, for example, conducts activities around campus and throughout the community such as the Veterans Day BBQ, Flags over Manteca, and care packages for troops serving abroad.

VFW recognized Rio for “patriotism and honor” being in the forefront of his lesson plans both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.

Along the way, his students learn and appreciate the experiences, services and sacrifices of people who have done likewise, both past and present.

“Mr. Rio does a tremendous job of modeling great leadership students,” Sierra High Principal Steve Clark said. “He is very organized, maintains a calm demeanor in stressful situations, connects with the community in positive ways, and inspires others.

“He is a tremendous asset to our community, Manteca Unified, and the students and staff at Sierra High.”

Rio’s nomination will be forwarded to the district level. He’ll be celebrated locally this spring at Jimmie Connors Post 6311, 580 Moffat Blvd., Manteca.