Photo by Kim Rabe

Cruz Joseph “CJ” Fregoso is shown with his display area during his time as Jody Munsterman’s Student of the Week. CJ brought in a couple of Pokemon binders for trading cards and a picture frame of photos from his first year.

Jody Munsterman’s most recent Student of the Week for fourth grade at Crescent City Grade School is Cruz Joseph “CJ” Fregoso. He is the son of Karen Perez of Crescent City, a teaching assistant at Nexus, and Cruz Fregoso of Chicago, an apartment manager. He has a brother, Sam, 22, and there are three dogs: Dexter, Coby and Toby. CJ received Dexter for Christmas in 2019 and Coby and Toby were recently acquired.

Besides his family and pets, CJ loves basketball. His best friends are Sky (Skyler Norder), Brehna Berry and Parker Wolfe. When he’s not out playing basketball, he is enjoying games. Blue is his favorite color, “Naruto Shuppden,” a Japanese anime, is his favorite television program, and Jack Black is his favorite actor. He’s a Cubs fan because “my cousin, Zach Taylor, plays for the Cubs;” 13 is his lucky number, he likes the Nike line of clothing, “Wishing Well” is his favorite song, “Dog Man” is his favorite book, he enjoys rap music and “Juice World” is his favorite group.

His pet peeve is “when someone tells me to do something and I am already doing it.”

Fourth grade is combined with the fifth grade at CCGS this year. He likes math the most but isn’t fond of social studies. In the past, Mrs. Munsterman’s class would conduct a mock election in November of an election year. CJ was disappointed that didn’t get to take place last fall (due to Covid-19). And, in speaking of politics, he said he wouldn’t want to be mayor of Crescent City as he thought the position “seems like a really hard job.” The US presidency doesn’t interest him either as “that job takes a lot of responsibility.” But, if he were to be elected president, he’d “make even more vaccines” to help fight the Coronavirus.

CJ said he understands what Covid-19 is but for his family“nothing really (changed)” at home. However, at school, he said “Sometimes we have to go on remote learning (and) some kids have gotten Covid in our school. We have to wear masks (and) we didn’t get to do the mock election with polling booths in November.” To him, the pandemic may have been handled better if people had stayed home. He encourages those who can to “get their vaccinations and stay home.” Remote learning was “kindda boring because we don’t have all of us together,” noting he’d much rather be in the classroom.

If he could have anything in the world, he would want “to meet my Grandpa.” He is easily embarrassed when “I forget how to do something.” He comes from a family with close ties and his family relationship is what he considers his most prized possession. Asked who has been his biggest inspiration, he said “My Mom … she helps me with my problems.”

His favorite teacher is Mrs. M. Due to the pandemic and weather, the class hasn’t started its gardening project but is looking forward to it once the weather stabilizes. CJ thinks it will be a fun and educational project and feels he’ll probably learn things he will use later in life.

Mrs. M had this to say about her student: “CJ is a great kid! He has lots of ability to be successful in life. I enjoy watching CJ in class, especially when we play ‘Vanna White’ during ELA. His brain is ticking away as he solves word puzzle after word puzzle. CJ has a laid-back personality as he goes with the flow. (He) is well-mannered, respectful of authority, and likewise, gets along with his peers. (He) is nice to everyone, an admirable character trait I respect in CJ! I have enjoyed CJ as a fourth grader in my combined fourth and fifth grade classroom. He has matured quite a bit during his fourth grade experience.”

CJ thinks Crescent City is pretty good as it already is so he didn’t offer any ideas for improvement as “I wouldn’t change a thing! Our town s already good.” He thinks school could be improved by allowing the students to play board games at the end of the day. To improve the world, he offers “to end Covid so we can get back to a normal life.”

He hasn’t given much thought as to which high school he’ll attend but he does want to be a veterinarian in Florida so college will definitely be on the agenda.

Over the recent spring break, CJ went to “Pigeon Forge, Tenn. We had lots of fun – we went to a fair, got to see my aunts and uncles, went to arcades, got to ride go-carts; stayed in a cabin that had a pool table, hot tub, jacuzzi and arcade table with gaming systems, and we spent the last day at a motel with a pool.”

As an adult, CJ wants to be a veterinarian in Florida, have a Tesla and have a family.

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