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2024 Graduate Rene Hurtado


Valley Oak High School Senior Rene Hurtado

Rene Hurtado’s advice for future NVUSD graduates: “Focus on yourself and what you want to do in life. You’ll find friends wherever you work, but don’t let them dictate your goals. Choose your influences wisely and stay committed to your path.”

We are thrilled to introduce Rene Hurtado, a proud graduate of Valley Oak High School. Rene has shown incredible dedication and growth, particularly through his involvement in the Fields of Opportunity internship program, which has played a pivotal role in shaping his future career.

Counselor Stefanie LeMarca shares, “Rene impressed me so much with how enthusiastic he was to apply for the Summer Mentor Fields of Opportunity program last year. He followed through with the application and interview process and was chosen for last summer. When I saw him at the beginning of this school year, he was eager to show me pictures and videos of the work he had done and the skills he was gaining in welding and other hands-on parts of the job. His enthusiasm and dedication over the summer made him an obvious choice when Jill Durfee met with us asking if there were any students who might like to 'pilot' the mentor program during the school year. Rene has worked hard all year and will most likely continue to work at Trefethen Winery. I’ve seen Rene really grow and mature since being involved with Fields of Opportunity, and he has goals of moving forward into other trades, as well.”

Rene’s educational journey began at Salvador Elementary School, continued through Redwood Middle School, and included a stint at Vintage High School before he found his place at Valley Oak High School. His passion for mentoring younger students and volunteering at his former elementary school helped shape his desire to give back to the community.

Through the Fields of Opportunity program, Rene discovered a passion for welding and agricultural mechanics. “When I attended the presentation at Valley Oak, I learned about the various career paths available through the program, such as hospitality, construction, and vineyard work. I was particularly interested in the hands-on skills and the opportunity to get paid while learning,” Rene explains.

Rene’s dedication paid off when he secured an internship with Constellation Brands, working at a shop in Oakville. “I worked on a variety of equipment, from John Deere tractors to cutting and spraying machinery. The broad spectrum of tasks allowed me to learn different skills, including welding, electrical repairs, and hydraulic systems,” he shares.

Thanks to the support from Mrs. LaMarca and the Fields of Opportunity program, Rene has been hired as an agricultural mechanic at Constellation Brands. “This job provides great benefits, and I’m set for life. I plan to start saving for retirement early and aim to retire by the age of 45 to 50,” he adds.

Rene’s journey is a testament to the value of hands-on learning and the opportunities available through NVUSD’s programs. His advice to current students is to focus on their goals and not be swayed by peer pressure, emphasizing the importance of choosing the right influences and staying dedicated to personal ambitions.

We congratulate Rene Hurtado on his accomplishments and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. His story is a testament to his hard work, the support of his family and educators, and the invaluable opportunities provided by NVUSD.

Congratulations, Rene!

  • 01 - Elementary Schools
  • 02 - Middle Schools
  • Valley Oak High School