By Jeff Pack

Students honored as May Students of the Month


Last updated 5/10/2019 at 8:16pm

Caleb Marroquin, Katelin Hutzler, Hannah Diverde and Isai Soto were named Fallbrook High School's Students of the Month Thursday, May 2. Jeff Pack photo

For the final time in the 2018-2019 school year, the Fallbrook Student of the Month Committee welcomed the public to North Coast Church to honor four students who have excelled in various aspects of student life at Fallbrook High School.

Celebrated Thursday, May 2, were Hannah Diverde of Honor House, who was nominated by Anthony Morrow, Ph.D .; Katelin Hutzler of Freedom House, who was nominated by Kathy Beal and Lisa Mastea; Caleb Marroquin of Freedom House, who was nominated by Debbie Berg and Alana Milton, and Isai Soto of Honor House, who was nominated by Lauren Jones and Milton.

Morrow thanked the committee for making the event happen month after month.

"What you guys are doing for our students is so important," he said. "It is a huge deal that they get recognized. For the ones in the front row, they're just doing, they are just being who they are. They don't even realize how exceptional they are in a lot of cases.

"So, I think us taking the time to let them know how exceptional they are is extremely important," he said.

Morrow introduced honoree Diverde who will be the first Fallbrook High Advanced Placement Cornerstone diploma graduate and the only student to achieve the honor this year.

"I am 100% convinced – 100% – that she is going to do phenomenal things in the future, and I think we're all going to be able to be proud to say that at some point we were in her life hopefully had some sort of positive influence and can take me on some inkling of credit for whatever it is that she's going to do," Morrow said.

Diverde said she will attend University of California Berkeley and major in literature and composition and minor in journalism.

"I don't know where that's going to take me, but I have plans and I'm not scared," she said. "Because I know that whatever I am going to do, I am going to love and I'm going to be passionate about."

Hutzler will attend University of California San Diego and study to become a physician.

"Kaitlin is a student who sits in the front of the class," Mastea said. "She is there to ask questions; she's there to learn. She's very quiet about it; she's not imposing, she knows about quietly learning and working toward achieving her goals.

"Really she does embrace the hills, she does embrace the journey," Mastea said.

Hutzler is excited about her future.

"I'm not quite sure about which field I am going to dive into yet, but that's kind of the fun part of embarking on the journey in figuring out where exactly I'm going," she said. "I'm super excited and humbled to be able to take on this amazing opportunity that so many people, unfortunately, don't have. I look at it as the biggest blessing, and I thank God to just attend this wonderful school.

"I couldn't have done it without my wonderful family, my siblings for leading the way and teaching me what not to do, and my friends and loved ones and all the staff and faculty at Fallbrook High School for gearing me to be a well-rounded, well-driven student," Hutzler said.

Marroquin credited his teachers for encouraging him to excel throughout his academic career and said they were a huge influence in convincing him to pursue a career in teaching.

"I wouldn't be doing this if my teachers hadn't somewhere down the line been saying 'Go for it,'" Marroquin said. "That is why I try so hard because my teachers have always built me up and told me that is something I can do, am capable of, and will do.

"The reason I am able to do all this stuff is purely because of other people," he said.

He said he didn't know what he wanted to do when he got into school, but he said he decided within his first two years that he would like to teach someday.

"I didn't just want to teach because I like music, but because I like people," Marroquin said. "And because I realized how much of an impact my teachers have had on me. If I am able to do that for someone else, that has been done to me for other people, that would be awesome."

Band director Derek Lee talked about his appreciation of Marroquin.

"I wouldn't be anywhere near as organized if Caleb wasn't there to be the person behind the whole band program to make sure things were running as smoothly as possible," Lee said. "It's really awesome to see how Caleb has grown and helped the program develop to be the way it is."

Soto was introduced by Jones.

"Isai is incredibly kind and genuine," Jones said, breaking down into tears. "He has a wisdom and a sense of purpose and a sense of humor that I think is rare to see in someone his age."

Jones said she often wonders what the students she teaches will become one day and hear about their amazing accomplishments.

"I have no doubt at all," she said. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when and how long that takes and I guarantee it won't take very long."

Margaret Chapman is an adviser with the Fallbrook Future Farmers of America program and worked with and taught Soto.

"We're just proud of him and when I say we, our whole department and all the other advisors and teachers he's worked with," Chapman said. "He's been that person to step up and get involved. He's stepped up to the plate to become a leader and give back to his community. We're so proud of him."

Soto came to Fallbrook High after leaving a private school environment and said it was a big change, but he said getting involved in school changed everything.

"If you're going to come to Fallbrook High School, get involved in something," he said. "Because I truly believe in the power of these extracurriculars – whether it's being in the ASB, being in the Tomahawk newspaper – just, something that excites you above academics."

Soto said those groups and activities help develop lifelong skills.

"I have just been so privileged to come to Fallbrook High School, to be a part of the Future Farmers of America program, who thought that was going to happen? Being a part of the marching band with Caleb and to be on the diving team... I never thought that first day of public education that that was going to happen.

"Overall, I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had here," Soto said.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at


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