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Sisters honored as Students of Month

The Fallbrook Community Student of the Month Program kicked off the new year with sisters Maribel and Yesica Perez of Fallbrook High School and Brooke Telarico of Oasis High School as its honored students for January 2009.

The buffet breakfast celebration was held at Fallbrook Golf Club’s Hukilau Restaurant on January 8.

The Student of the Month Program has marked its 12th year and has honored 390 superior students.

“You are here so we can show you how special you are,” said emcee Sue Johnson, focusing on the three honorees. “We love rewarding you and hearing about what you have done.”

Out of 3,000 students in the Fallbrook Union High School District, these three sisters were selected for the honor.

Seniors Maribel and Yesica earned a total of six teacher nominations from Fallbrook High School.

The young women were nominated for the honor by Dave Evans and co-nominated by Mary Begley, Rebecca Dawson, Susana Isakson, Marin Pinnell and Jesse Schuveiller.

Isakson, a teacher, explained to the audience how Maribel and Yesica arrived to the United States in September 2005 and did not speak English.

“If you have ever learned another language, you know that it takes about seven years to become proficient,” said Isakson. “In less than three years after they got here, Maribel and Yesica were reclassified to be proficient in English.”

Isakson described the sisters as a true testament of perseverance and said she was “honored” to have them in her class.

“[Maribel and Yesica] epitomize exceptionalism,” said Dawson.

Known as a true motivator, Maribel is described as a committed student who is involved in the Migrant Ed Program, carries a 3.89 GPA and is in the top seven percent of her class.

“One of the difficult challenges I faced was learning English; it was difficult, but then I got used to it,” said Maribel.

In looking to her future, Maribel said she will attend a university where she can study criminal justice.

“I would like to help investigate crimes and punish offenders,” she said.

Out of 661 students, Yesica is rated number 22, taking her to the top three percent of her class, with a 4.03 GPA.

Yesica is described as a student who excels culturally and linguistically; she has raised funds for the AVID program.

Thanking her parents for the sacrifices they made, Yesica pointed out that it was her family and friends who inspired her.

College plans for Yesica include either studying to become a math teacher or doctor. “I want to teach people that math isn’t that hard or I want to be a doctor so I can save other people’s lives,” she said.

Continuing to learn the English language, the Perez sisters have worked diligently to maintain their impressive grade point averages and class standings.

Begley summed it up by mentioning that Maribel and Yesica have “great character, grace and dignity.”

Brooke Telarico was nominated for the Student of the Month award by Oasis teacher Bennielyn Verrett.

A challenging goal that Brooke had set, said Verrett, was to complete her senior year this February. Through hard work, Brooke has attained this goal.

“Brooke is a very committed student,” said Verrett. “[She] goes beyond what is required in her work and takes pride in what she does.”

Verrett said she is in awe of how Brooke puts words together and gets her point across in written assignments. “It is so impressive for a high school student,” said Verrett.

Since Brooke is artistically and musically gifted, Verrett said she looks forward to the day when she can listen to her on the radio.

“I am so proud of you,” said Verrett. “All your hard work has produced a fantastic young lady who will be an asset to our community.”

Brooke was delighted to be chosen as Student of the Month. “I am really honored to have been nominated, let alone win,” she said.

Brooke’s educational plan is to attend a junior college and then transfer to a university to pursue art and music.

Johnson closed the celebration by saying, “In this room we have three amazing individuals and we are celebrating you.”

Friends, family, members of business and service communities of Fallbrook and representatives of elected officials were in attendance at the event.

To recognize their outstanding efforts, the students were presented with gifts and certificates that had been donated by area businesses and organizations.

Sponsors and donors for the Fallbrook Community Student of the Month Program include: Angel Society, Bonsall Woman’s Club, Dr. Randy Carlson, Coldwell Banker Landmark Group, Fallbrook AAUW, Fallbrook High PTSA, Fallbrook Republican Women Federated, Fallbrook Village Rotary, Fallbrook Woman’s Club, Dr. Daniel Flores, Dr. Richard Goble, Kiwanis Club of Fallbrook, Major Market, North County Orthodontics – Dr. Michael Allen, Rally for Children, Soroptimist International of Fallbrook, American Legion Post 365, Pacific Western Bank, Fallbrook Golf Club and Hukilau, Fallbrook Printing, North County Times and Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News.

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