When students and teachers at the Agassiz Elementary School in Jamaica Plain filed into the school auditorium on March 15, they were expecting to hear Mayor Menino and BPS officials launch a new technology initiative. Instead, the Mayor surprised them with the announcement that third grader Brenda Tejeda Baez had won the first BPS "Absolutely Incredible Kid" contest. Brenda was nominated by her current and former teacher and was selected from among nearly 100 nominees citywide. Mayor Menino, Superintendent Michael Contompasis and School Committee Chair Elizabeth Reilinger congratulated Brenda for her high academic achievement despite personal challenges, including a daily commute to the Agassiz from Worcester while living in a homeless shelter. Brenda and her mother Dolores received gifts and prizes, including tickets to the Boston Red Sox, Duck Tours, and two weeks at a summer day camp. The next day, Brenda was featured in a front-page story with a full-color photo in the Boston Globe.
The celebration took place on the 11th annual national Absolutely Incredible Kid Day sponsored by Camp Fire USA. Also cited for honorable mention were six other BPS students: Anthony "D.J." Ramos, Blackstone Elementary School; Kristeon Mesa, Winthrop Elementary School; Tibisay Pena, Cleveland Middle School; Adryonna Montgomery, Mildred Avenue Middle School; Enrico Joseph, Parkway Academy of Technology & Health; and Angelina Rodriguez, Boston Community Leadership Academy. Congratulations to all of the students who were nominated!