■ Chronicle News Service
Editor’s Note: An error appeared in last week’s article about the September students of the month. The entire article has been reprinted so the proper students receive recognition. We regret the error.
Students from Hemet Unified and San Jacinto Unified were recognized as Students of the Month at an awards breakfast held at the Sizzler Restaurant Sept. 21 in Hemet. Students were selected from the following high schools: Hemet High, West Valley, Tahquitz, Hamilton, Helen Hunt Jackson College Prep, San Jacinto High, and Mountain View High School/Mountain Heights Academy.
Mariah Harper was nominated as Hemet High’s student of the month by her teacher, Ashley Salsgiver, for her perseverance and dedication to her goals.
“Mariah has overcome more than most grown adults have in their lifetime, while managing to also be one of the greatest leaders I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Salsgiver.
Mariah is the FFA Chapter president, Riverside Section FFA president, and the Southern Region FFA vice president. She has maintained straight A’s, even with her involvement in FFA and other extra-curricular activities. Mariah plans to attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo or California State University, Chico to major in agriculture business and minor in crop production. She said she hopes to then come back and share her love of agriculture with those residing in the valley.
Andrew Weishaar’s leadership on campus and the unwavering focus he has for the JROTC program, his studies, and his community were just a few of the reasons he was chosen as West Valley High School’s student of the month. Andrew is the cadet leader for the NJROTC program at West Valley and the first West Valley recipient to receive the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement. Andrew is also a football player, has a 3.8 GPA, and has volunteered more than 1,000 hours to his school and the community. Andrew, who is in the process of enlisting in the United States Navy, also spearheaded an effort to collect food, clothing, and other items for those that were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
DeLauren Grant was selected as Tahquitz’ student of the month by her history and AVID teacher, Trish Ayotte. Ayotte said she nominated DeLauren for being an exemplary student at all times, being a leader on campus, and her involvement in her school community. DeLauren, who has been class president since her freshman year, is ASB president and plays several sports. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her high school career while taking rigorous honors and AP classes. She said she works hard to fight the stereotype of being labeled unintelligent for being African American and puts her all into everything that she does. She plans to major in biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, attend medical school and ultimately become a neurosurgeon.
Nathaly Avalos was selected by teacher Ann Mohn at Hamilton High School for being a model student. Mohn said Nathaly is a joy to have in class and is always the first to help other students or teachers. Nathaly is currently a top 10 student on campus, ASB president, California Honor Society president, California Scholarship Federation president, a Peer Leaders Uniting Students member, and Interact member. She plans to attend California State University, Fresno and pursue a career as a social worker.
Sean Garrett was nominated as Helen Hunt Jackson College Prep High School’s student of the month. Teacher Felice Hill nominated Sean for making changes in his life that have had a positive effect on himself and those around him. He has transformed from an “F” student into student of the month and has not wavered from his positive attitude or work ethic, said Hill. Sean is currently enrolled in Dual Enrollment classes through College of the Desert and plans to pursue a trade like HVAC. He said he now has pride and puts effort in everything that he does.
Gabriel Ambriz was nominated by AFJROTC Instructor Senior Master Sgt. (retired) Richard J. DeMarti for San Jacinto High School’s student of the month. DeMarti shared that Gabriel is a well-rounded cadet who takes advanced placement and International Baccalaureate courses all while leading the Color Guard. Principal Luke Smith agrees that Gabriel is an outstanding student and has worked through any hardships with unwavering discipline, including recent economic stress that forced his family to leave their home. He attributed the purpose and structure of ROTC and the camaraderie within the program for helping him overcome obstacles and achieve academic success throughout high school. Gabriel plans to attend a private university after serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Zack Weir was nominated by math teacher Dr. Jordan Smith for Mountain View High School’s student of the month. “Zack is a perfect example of a Mountain View Warrior – he’s polite, prompt, present and productive,” said Smith. Principal Ken Swanson also noted that Zack encourages others on campus, and has really worked hard over the past two years to regain credits. Zack explained that his first two years of high school he earned zero credits, a decision he still regrets. However, Zack has only five credits left to complete to earn his diploma. Since his mother and grandmother were not able to attend the breakfast, Zack brought his best friend Cody Kile, a former Mountain View High graduate who is now an MSJC student. Principal Swanson noted that Kile helped Zack through his requirements for high school and is now leading the way for continued education. “Zack has always been my ‘go-to man’ and I’m happy to share congratulations for his selection as student of the month,” said Cody.
Sponsors of the Student of the Month Program donated backpacks filled with gifts, gift certificates, a plaque, and more. The students thanked their families and teachers who have supported them and helped them plan their future life goals.