On Friday, Dec. 4, Travis Ranch School students and parents gathered for a community unity event honoring fourth grade student Jack Benson, who has been bravely fighting cancer for two years.
Travis Ranch Principal Cindy Freeman presented Jack with the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) “Challenge Coin,” which is given to someone who exemplifies the four core values of the district — “Excellence, Collaboration, Integrity and Innovation.”
Further, Travis Ranch has a “superhero” theme, which aligns with the district’s values. To be a Travis Ranch superhero, “You must be brave, protect, always wear a cape, be kind to everyone and everything, love, be a good friend, speak kind words, do your best, be strong, and be extraordinary.”
Jack Benson represents all these ideals.
During the special ceremony, Principal Freeman explained: “[Jack] is the bravest young man I know. Despite his multiple surgeries and many chemotherapy treatments, he faces these challenges with superhero attributes. In fact, he is going to another chemo treatment later today. It is with great pride and love that I present Jack Benson with this coin, along with my own superhero cape. Jack, when you go for treatment at the hospital, wear your cape, walk in with your head up and remember you are our Travis Ranch superhero!”
Principal Freeman presented Jack with her PYLUSD coin, and tied her long red cape onto Jack’s back. Travis Ranch Elementary Assistant Principal Kristen Petrovacki then presented Jack with a superhero quilt and pillow, in which staff and students made squares of encouragement.
There were lots of tears, hugs and encouraging words from Jack’s current and former teachers as he accepted the quilt. Jack received a rousing ovation from his classmates, parents and guests.