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Outstanding high school students honored


Last updated 10/10/2013 at Noon

From left, Alex Contreras, Tessa Fieri, Jesse Robinson, and Sarah Grantham are the Fallbrook Students of the Month for October.

Four students in the Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) were honored for outstanding achievements in academics, community involvement, and being leaders among their peers at the Fallbrook Student of the Month program on Oct. 3. Those lauded were Jesse Robinson of Oasis High School and Alex Contreras, Tessa Fieri, and Sarah Grantham of Fallbrook Union High School. The students were presented with many awards and gifts in recognition of their efforts at a breakfast event held at the Fallbrook Community Center.

“This is a very exciting time for us to get together and celebrate the accomplishments of these students,” said Dale Mitchell, Ed.D, superintendent of FUHSD.

The first award presented to each of the four students was the Lamp of Knowledge medal, presented by Frank Larkin and Karl Fekete, representatives of American Legion Post 365.

Jesse Robinson was nominated for the Student of the Month honor by Oasis High teacher Heidi Fouret.

“Jesse is a modest, compassionate, strong, and driven young woman,” said Fouret. “She has an unwavering commitment to a high standard.” Fouret went on to report that Robinson would be graduating a full semester early and has maintained a consistently high grade point average. She has also earned national and international championships in gymnastics, holds a third degree black belt in martial arts, and volunteers her time to a number of charitable causes.

“I want to thank God for presenting me with this opportunity,” said Robinson. “I also want to thank my family for their love and support, and Mrs. Fouret for believing in me and being there for me. I especially want to give special thanks to our veterans that are here this morning and everywhere for what they do for our country.” Robinson said in the future she plans to further her education in the field of exercise physiology.

Alex Contreras was selected for the Student of the Month honor based on the recommendation of FUHS teacher Tracy Markham.

“Alex has quiet consistency; he is always present, prepared, and does very well,” said Markham. “He gets along great with other students and because of his accomplishments he has many opportunities available to him.” Markham said Contreras is a leader among students, volunteers his time with church projects, and competes in track and cross country for the school.

“I want to thank Mrs. Markham, the (student of the month) committee, and the community for this award,” said Contreras, “During my journey at Fallbrook High School, both students and teachers have helped shape me into who I am today.” He said he has applied to various colleges and hasn’t yet made a selection, but wants to focus on either psychology or criminal justice in his advanced studies.

Tessa Fieri was nominated by FUHS Associated Student Body (ASB) director Mike Lilly for the Student of the Month honor.

“Tessa is an accomplished piano player and dancer; for three years she has run the HR aspect of ASB and organized the toy drives and blood drives,” said Lilly. “In addition, she is the ASB treasurer and handles all her duties seamlessly. She has class, focus and dignity.”

“Tessa is not going to be a success, she already is a success,” he added.

Fieri thanked Lilly and said, “I have always loved ASB, but Mr. Lilly has made me realize that getting people involved in their school is the best thing. I really love Fallbrook High School and I am always astonished at how tight-knit this community is and how it has helped me. I will take that with me .” Fieri said she is also in the process of applying to colleges and is interested in studying public relations and/or marketing.

Sarah Grantham was honored at the recommendation of Fallbrook High teacher Estay Paulsen.

“Sarah is quiet, but has a very competitive nature and always does the best she can,” said Paulsen. “She is an extremely caring person. As a teacher, you want all your students to have the kind of work ethic Sarah does. She is an all-around wonderful person.” Grantham is an Advanced Placement (AP) student and involved in her church. As a student athlete, she has participated in track and field, and volleyball at Fallbrook High. She currently serves as a captain of the girls volleyball team.

“I want to thank the community sponsors for making this award possible,” said Grantham. “I am so blessed to have my family’s love, support and motivation. As far as my future, I have applied for an Army ROTC scholarship since it offers an opportunity to serve my country as well as be challenged mentally and physically.”

Rod King, principal of Fallbrook Union High School, shared his observation of the four students honored. “The character trait I see in all four of these individuals is humility and that is the quality that impresses me the most.”

Alex Contreras is presented with a Lamp of Knowledge medal by American Legion Post 365 representative Frank Larkin at the Fallbrook Student of the Month awards breakfast on Oct. 3.

Event emcee Greg Coppock added his admiration for the honorees. “These students lead by example.”

The Fallbrook Student of the Month breakfast is funded by generous local businesses and organizations, including Major Market, Pedro’s Tacos, Robert P. Mohr D.D.S./M.S., Fallbrook PTSA, Fallbrook Vintage Car Club, and Sheri’s Flowers. A special gift bag, filled with certificates of recognition from elected officials and gifts from numerous local businesses and organizations, was presented to each honoree.

“I want to voice my appreciation for the community organizations, businesses, and individuals that support this recognition activity,” said Mitchell.

To nominate an FUHSD high school student for this honor, email


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