What a glorious time this is - end of a school year and graduation. You meet some of the most delightful young people at this time of year - too bad you won't see much about it in other media.
This morning I had the privilege of attending the 14th Annual Murrieta Student of the Year award ceremony presented by the Murrieta Chamber of Commerce. Ever month the Chamber, in association with numerous community sponsors, recognize an outstanding student of the month from our three current high schools. Today's event selects from among those recipients to recognize students who have made a truly outstanding contribution to their school and our community.
WOW! What a group. This morning 6 Murrieta students - a male and female recipient from Murrieta Valley, Vista Murrieta and Creekside, were introduced to a group of education, civic & business leaders. The recognition of their scholarship includes $1,300 in monetary awards per student as well as city, county and state proclamations and gift bags donated by business sponsors.
Here's a thumbnail summary of the very deserving award winners. I wish I had been taking notes.
- Vista Murrieta grad Brian Choi carries a 6.0 GPA. In addition to nailing straight A's in Advanced Placement courses, his list of accomplishments and accolades is a mile long. This son of immigrant farmers, Brian will be attending Harvard this fall.
- Creekside graduate Crystal Farr completed a spectacular high school career in spite of numerous difficulties. Among other goals, Crystal plans on volunteering for military service as part of a family tradition. After the ceremony we discovered that the 'difficulty' that led to Crystal attending the continuation school was her frequent absences to care for her brother, an amputee veteran. She will be attending San Diego State to be closer to her brothers hos[pital.
- MVHS' Nikki Salazar will be attending Stanford.
- Vista Murrieta's Ashley Scott will be attending Berkeley.
- MVHS Jacob Levy plans to pursue a career in law/politics/advocacy. He has not only posted a superlative GPA but has been a student activist on behalf of a number of causes during his matriculation. His teacher and Principal alike praised his ability to get diverse groups to reach common ground. If the state survives that long, I'd vote for this kid in about 20 years.
- Creekside's Miles Ten Brinke dropped out of school for 'a couple years'. When he finally decided to re-enroll in the continuation school, he 'found himself', as his teacher said. He completed the required coursework in months rather than years and has been attending MSJC since October.
Introduced by their Principals, both MVHS Superintendent Dr. Stan Scheer and our County Superintendent gave some words of encouragement. The students made a few comments on their plans and extended thanks to the sponsors, their teachers and especially their parents. To say these students are highly motivated, focused and possessing of poise far beyond their years would be an understatement. You come out of one of these events with a little more spring in your step - they give you a little more hope for a future generation.
Thanks also due to Margaret Jones, who has served as Program Chair for many years and Rex Oliver, CEO of the Murrieta Chamber for their long-time support of this event. Special thanks to Student of the Month Program, Inc. and its founder, Sally Myers of Sizzler Restaurants. It's a great accomplishment to make sure these outstanding student and future leaders are recognized and encouraged.
It's just a shame the only place you'll read about it is here.