Ten Temecula high school seniors were honored as Students of the Month on April 16th by the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The students were recognized by their families, teachers, school administrators, the business community and local elected officials.
This year, the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month program celebrates twenty years of honoring students who are making a difference.
TVHS Counseling Technician, Carol Youmans describes Hayden as “loyal, honest, trustworthy, fun, responsible, and compassionate.” She says, “Hayden is everything a ‘Golden Bear’ should be!” Hayden says asthma and other health-related issues have provided him with a challenge in his pursuit to become a Varsity Basketball player. Still, he says he believes that “Only you, yourself can judge how successful you are in something that you do”. With a 3.89 GPA he plans to attend the University of Oregon to study history and hopes of one day becoming a high school basketball coach.
Administrator Ben Gaines says he nominated Katrina because she is not only a hard worker, but because she is “a positive role model and a successful leader on campus”. Mr. Gaines says Katrina is a very giving person with a genuine concern for others. Katrina comes from a large, Mexican-American family which she says taught her “to become the person I am today”. Katrina has a 4.17 GPA. After graduation, she hopes to attend college and major in sociology. Ultimately, she would like to earn a doctorate degree with the goal of becoming a gerontologist or clinical psychologist.
English teacher Mrs. Brunner says she nominated Ryann due to her work ethic and excellent attendance. Mrs. Brunner says, “Ryann is quite respectful to peers and adults. She reads her way through the class and she earns high grades by completing all of her work.” Having been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Ryann says she has been able to manage her ADD without the help of medication and instead uses techniques such as keeping lists. With a GPA of 3.58, Ryann hopes to attend community college after high school and become an elementary school teacher.
Nelson High School teacher Mitch Brown says he nominated Eddie, “because of his consistency over the past three years and the characteristics that make him the successful independent study student that he is.” Eddie describes himself as a non-traditional learner. He says, “Independent Study has had a positive influence on my attitude towards education.” Eddie’s greatest life lesson came from a car accident last June. After spending his summer in a wheel chair and learning to walk again, he says he has greater respect for his health and his future. After high school, Eddie would like to attend a vocational school or train to become a power plant operator.
Teacher Ted Hemeyer says he nominated Taylor for being, “the woman behind the scenes making Linfield run”. Having taught Taylor in Media/Film Production as well as Speech & Debate, Mr. Hemeyer describes her as many things, such as “efficient, smart, professional, funny and personable”. Taylor says she comes from a family of “hard-working parents who have gifted me with their same work ethic”. With a 3.60 GPA Taylor says she has learned that “hard work equals flexibility and with flexibility you can do anything”. After high school, she plans on majoring in technical theater and pursuing a career in lighting design at the Disneyland Resort.
English teacher Melissa Blades says she nominated Hayden because, “He is someone who makes Linfield a better place – he has incredible joy that he shares with everyone.” Described by Mrs. Blades as “cheerful, witty, hard-working, compassionate and talented”, Hayden says he finds balancing work, golf and school challenging, but rewarding. Hayden says he comes from a background that is dedicated to working hard at anything you do. He says he has learned that nothing is handed out and you must work for it. He has a 3.28 GPA and upon graduation plans to study exercise science rehab at Concordia University, then attend a physical therapy school to ultimately become a Physical Therapist.
Erika is a member of the Interact Club, National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and soccer club at Great Oak High School. She says she hopes to attend college in the fall, but is undecided about future career goals.
Bentley was nominated by Social Science teacher, Carolyn Husband. Bentley says he has a love for music, specifically guitar and drums, as well as drawing and painting. After graduation, he plans to go to Mt. San Jacinto Community College and then transfer to an arts school. He would ultimately like to study audio engineering, illustration or business management.
Mary Campo, Kiara Velasquez’s counselor nominated Kiara for her “academic excellence and service to others”. Mrs. Campo describes Kiara as hard-working, compassionate and confident. Kiara was born in Guam and moved to California when she was five years old. Kiara has a 4.06 GPA and is President of the Athletic Training Club where she has dedicated over 2,000 hours to helping injured athletes in first aid and minor physical therapy. Kiara is also VP of Activities for Chaparral’s California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and an active member of the Interact Club. Kiara’s greatest life lesson is to not be afraid challenging yourself for fear of failure. “It is with overcoming that fear we are able to appreciate success even more.” Kiara plans on either attending Boston University or UC Davis to pursue a career in medicine.
Jung Hyun Choi
Jung Hyun Choi’s counselor, Elizabeth Cooke says she nominated Choi because, “he is an excellent scholar, active participant and a kind human being.” Mrs. Cooke describes Jung as compassionate, joyous and kind-hearted. Jung came to the U.S. from South Korea in the fifth grade. He says both the language barrier and the financial impact brought his family closer together. In an effort to help support his family, Jung worked extra hard to come as far as he has. He has a 4.34 GPA and says he wants to attend a graduate school and conduct research to build robots with feelings.
-- By Melanie Norton, spokesperson for the