Marisol Medina is a local hero at McKinley Elementary School.
She was honored at a school assembly Monday morning when the
student body filed onto the playground to acknowledge Medina’s
contribution to the country as a sergeant in the Army National Guard
reserves, where she works in administration.
“You may know her as a school nurse,” Principal Sue Holliday told
the children, “But many people know her as a peace builder for our
Medina, 25, a school district health services assistant, said she
could be sent abroad if the nation goes to war.
“Right now, I found out that I’m not going, but you never know,”
Medina’s brother, Richard Espinosa, 20, is a Marine on active duty
in Kuwait, and Medina said her mother worries about her children
being in harm’s way.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Medina was called to
active duty, and was assigned to airport security at Van Nuys
When she spoke at the assembly, Medina urged the students to pay
attention to their parents, their teachers and all positive role
In addition to honoring Medina, the students sang “Happy
Birthday,” to their school’s namesake, President William McKinley,
who was born Jan. 29, 1843.
At the assembly, the school’s Peace Builders program student
officers received certificates for their leadership.
Officer Hailey Larson, 9, explained that her responsibility as a
peace officer is to hand out slips during lunch and recess to
students who perform acts of kindness toward others, and she takes
these duties seriously.
“You have to be responsible,” Hailey said solemnly.
Fifth-grader Mary Randon said the assembly sent a good message to
her and the other students about heroes.
“My mom and dad are my personal heroes. They’re very strong and
they taught me everything I know,” Mary said.