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High school custodian aces naturalization test

A local school custodian not only passed the U.S. citizenship test recently, he got a perfect score.

Ready for a little quiz?

  1. How many amendments does the U-S Constitution have?
  2. When was the Constitution written?
  3. Can you name one of the writers of the Federalist Papers?

Those are just a few of the things you need to know to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.

A local school custodian not only passed that test recently, he got a perfect score. Edison Montiel Espina has been the night custodian at Merlo Station High School in Beaverton for five years.

“Edison is funny,” said teacher Bob Wood. “He wants to make sure that each of us has had a good day. He looks out for us.”

Montiel-Espina came to the United States 16 years ago to escape a very dangerous situation in Venezuela. And since he arrived he has had the same dream, to send his children to college and to become a U.S. citizen.

“It’s my dream every day. Every day.” Said Montiel-Espina.

A dream that has now come true, because after studying for a solid year, he not only passed his naturalization test, he got 100 percent.

To celebrate, Merlo Station High School held a “graduation walk” for Edison, where all the students and staff line the hallways to offer hugs and high fives. It was a surprise.

“All of the sudden he turned the corner of the school,” Wood said, “and there was the entire school lined up just welcoming him to this new status.”

Wood arranged the celebration because he thinks Montiel-Espina offers the students something that can’t be found in books. He is a real-life example of what perseverance and hard work can do.

“I always teach my kids that their actions say a lot about them,” explained Wood, “so that fact that he worked so hard to get a perfect score just showed how much this meant to him."

As for Montiel-Espina?

“It’s amazing,” he said, “I still don’t believe I am an American citizen.”

By the way, the Constitution was written in 1787 and has 27 amendments.

James Madison was one of the writers of the Federalist Papers.

If you didn’t know the answers, don’t feel too bad. A study done a few years ago shows a full one third of native born citizens would fail the naturalization test.