STANISLAUS COUNTY -- The Literacy Network of Stanislaus County celebrated its successes and contributors for 2012 during its annual ceremony March 1.
Mary Elena Ramirez was honored as the agency's top English as a second language learner. Esther Hernandez, whose formal education ended at age 14, won the literacy award.
Anthony Alrid, a high school dropout, was the agency's GED winner. The Betty Mulnix Service Award went to Lorna Van Gilst, a retired educator who has volunteered at El Concilio since 2010.
And the Jean and Clyde Dunlap Award went to Keith Boggs, Stanislaus County's assistant chief executive officer. In 1990, he initiated a mentoring program that has been extremely successful. More than 500 county employees and members of the community have provided more than 20,500 hours of mentoring over the years.
Oakdale author D.B. Jackson will be honored by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum as the winner of the outstanding Western novel for 2012. Jackson's book, "Unbroke Horses," is his second novel. Previous winners of the honor include Larry McMurtry, James A. Michener and Barbara Kingsolver.
He'll receive his award April 20 in Oklahoma City.
Jackson also won recognition for his 2010 novel, "They Rode Good Horses," receiving the Will Rogers Medallion Award for best fiction.
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