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Nunez, Doss, Zumstein and Mapston honored as exceptional students

Karen Nunez of Ivy High School and Deanna Doss, Taylor Zumstein and Michael Mapston of Fallbrook High School were honored as the April 2010 Fallbrook Community Students of the Month on April 1 at a breakfast celebration held at the Fallbrook Golf Club’s Hukilau Restaurant.

Emcee Rod King, principal of Fallbrook High School, introduced Fallbrook Union High School District superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell who said to the four students, “This is a very uplifting event and we are very proud of all of you.” After the four students were introduced to the audience, they were each presented with a keepsake medal depicting the Lamp of Knowledge by Frank Larkin, representing American Legion Post 365.

Students selected for the Student of the Month honor have made notable academic achievements as well as contributions to the school or community. They are commonly viewed as outstanding examples for their peers.

Karen Nunez was nominated for the Student of the Month honor by Ivy High School teacher Kelly Walker.

“Karen was a student that got off track and did not attend school for two years,” explained Walker.

“She moved here from East L.A. where she had made poor choices and been involved in drug and gang activities.” Walker said that after Nunez moved in with an uncle who lived in Fallbrook, her life began to change. “She turned her life around. She started and Ivy at turned her life around. She thought she’d never finish high school, but she is and she is now planning on going to college.”

Described as enthusiastic, polite, and possessing a good sense of humor, Nunez was forthcoming about her personal struggles. She explained to those in attendance that after making some bad choices in life, she became involved with a Faith-based rehabilitation program and through the support of many has successfully overcome many challenges.

“I want to thank God for me being able to be here today,” said Nunez. “I went through a rough childhood and never had anyone to look up to. I just wanted to give up. But God came into my life and changed everything. Otherwise I think I would be dead.”

Deanna Doss was selected as a Student of the Month based on the recommendation of Fallbrook High teacher/coach Kathy Waite.

“It’s been great to watch Deanna grow,” said Waite. “She is very responsible and has many wonderful qualities – the biggest being integrity. She is also a natural athlete and a fun person. She has a twin (April) and they definitely both have a sense of humor.”

Doss is an avid soccer player who has competed on numerous teams at a competitive level and has served as captain for several seasons. Described as “very ethical,” Doss has also been a teacher’s assistant at the high school and is currently competing on the school’s track and field team. She is also a member of the high school’s Link Crew and volunteers her time assisting freshmen students.

“I want to thank Mrs. Waite; she is a great teacher,” said Doss. “I also want to thank the community because this is a great program and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Doss explained that she hopes to attend Cal State San Marcos in the fall where she would like to play soccer and compete in track and field events.

Taylor Zumstein was recommended for the honor of Student of the Month by Fallbrook High teacher Tim Oder.

“[Taylor] works very, very hard,” said Oder. “She has very high goals, is highly motivated, focused, and helps others.”

Zumstein, involved for four years in the high school’s agriculture program and Future Farmers of America (FFA), was described as a strong leader with a great deal of perseverance. She currently serves as the FFA Chapter Historian. In raising animals such as lambs and steers, she is said to provide outstanding care. She has also been a participant in the Interscholastic Equestrian League.

“I am truly honored to be recognized today,” said Zumstein. “I am very grateful for this award and plan on attending Cal Poly Pomona next year where I want to study agriculture business.”

Michael Mapston was nominated for the Student of the Month award by teacher Dave Evans.

“Michael has impressed me since the first time I met him,” said Evans. “He is richly deserving of this honor. He is an exceptional student and young man, and in the top five percent of the Class of 2010.”

Mapston was described at the breakfast as a scholar athlete. Playing both football and rugby, Mapston has served as captain of his respective sports teams. He is also said to volunteer his time as a tutor to fellow students and also gives him time assisting younger students that are enrolled in a home school program. Mapston was recently notified that he had been selected for a four-year ROTC scholarship at San Diego State University out of 70 applicants.

“I can’t thank everyone enough,” said Mapston. “Mr. Evans has shown me so myself in how to apply myself. This is really an honor and I hope to accomplish many things in the future.”

In summary of the accomplishments and characteristics of all four student honorees, King said, “The recurring theme here is leadership, determination, perseverance, honor and integrity. These words represent all these students.”

Family, friends, and members of the business and service communities, as well as representatives of elected officials, attended the prestigious event and provided certificates of achievement and gifts to the students honored.

The Fallbrook Community Student of the Month program is organized by a committee of the same name and is funded by generous local businesses and organizations, including the Angel Society, Coldwell Banker Landmark Group, Fallbrook AAUW, Fallbrook High PTSA, Fallbrook Republican Women Federated, Fallbrook Village Rotary, Fallbrook Vintage Car Club, Fallbrook Woman’s Club, Kiwanis Club of Fallbrook, Major Market, North County Orthodontics – Dr. Michael Allen, Rally for Children, Village Kitchen, American Legion Post 365, Fallbrook Golf Club & Hukilau, Fallbrook Printing, Pacific Western Bank and the Fallbrook/Bonsall Village News.

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