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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

FUHS students honored at Student of the Month Breakfast


Last updated 10/10/2019 at 4:59pm

Jeff Pack photo

Trevor Skiffington, Biviana Flores, Chiara Curnow, and Dean Olivo were named honored at the Student of the Month Breakfast on Thursday, Oct. 3 at North Coast Church in Fallbrook.

Fallbrook Union High School students Chiara Curnow, Biviana Flores, Dean Olivo, as well as Trevor Skiffington from Oasis High School were honored as Students of the Month for September at the Student of the Month Breakfast in the morning on Thursday, Oct. 3 at North Coast Church in Fallbrook.

"This is a great way to start my day," said new Fallbrook Union High School District Superintendent Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez in welcoming everyone to the event. "I wish every day started like this. It would be absolutely fabulous. I mean, it is a pleasure for me to be here with you today. I recognize so many faces already, which speaks to the support that all of our high school has from the community. That community support is invaluable."

Garza-Gonzalez thanked the nominating teachers for being in attendance and nominating the students.

"I know that in your busy days to take time to make a nomination may seem to the rest of us like something easy to do," she said. "But it gets extremely busy and you have so many students for you to take the time to actually nominate someone, write something of value is very, very important. So, thank you."

New FUHS Principal Dr. Narciso Iglesias then took the stage and talked about why the event is so important, citing a statement by Father Greg Boyle, CEO of Homeboy Industries, about hope.

"This morning is about the abundance of hope," he said. "People say, 'no hope is not a strategy.' I beg to differ today. We'll hear from teachers, families, students, all about hope."

First to be honored was Curnow, nominated by Anna Gravenkamp and Estay Cazares.

"It is an absolute pleasure to have been able to nominate Chiara," Gravenkamp told the audience. "I'm going to read because I love this young lady so much that the tears will happen.

"She displays the qualities of the type of young people we need on our Fallbrook campus. Mr. and Mrs. Curnow you have raised an incredible person."

Curnow carries a 4.16 grade point average, according to Gravenkamp.

"She just excels at everything that she does," said Cazares. "And just like Mrs. Gravenkamp said, just such a deserving human being, she just is destined for absolute greatness."

Curnow thanked her teachers for inspiring her.

"I want to go to a four-year university and major in biology in hopes to become a teacher," she said. "So, it's great to have Mrs. Gravenkamp and Mrs. Casarez as wonderful examples of teachers that I could be too."

Dr. Iglesias then honored Flores who was nominated by George Herring, who could not make it to the event.

"She did a research project on happiness where she spent a whole month learning to meditate," her teacher wrote in a statement. "Another month decluttering her house and a third month taking time for friends.

"I taught some amazing (International Baccalaureate) students when I worked in Virginia, but I can tell you Biviana is the best IB diploma student I've ever encountered."

Flores got her dates wrong, so she rushed to the event at the last minute, even though her family could not attend. Her friend, Stephanie, gave her a ride to the event.

"I was like, 'I need to show up, I need to go," Flores said. "I just can't miss this opportunity to be surrounded by these people."

Stephanie helped Flores, who was very grateful, get to the event and made it happen for her friend.

"Having people in your life, having someone like Mr. Herring in my life is just so amazing," Flores said. "The other students, they talk about the teachers that nominated them – you form bonds, you form connections. I love community and everything. So, being able to be in this presence and to feel the energy is just so overpowering that I had to cry."

She said she wants to study international relations and linguistics when she graduates.

"I think it's an incredible way to communicate," Flores said. "And I think the relationships we form with people are one of the most important things you can do in the world."

Olivo was then welcomed to the stage and he was nominated by Estay Cazares.

"He is on the varsity baseball team and anytime he had a game he would come in ahead of time and wanted his work," Cazares said. "Now that may not seem like a big deal but most times kids will say, 'Oh, I'll get it the next day,' and then they forget. But no, he wanted to make sure he had it ahead of time.

"He just strives for excellence, for success. I mean a very well rounded human being. Just a phenomenal, phenomenal student."

After thanking his parents and teachers for their support, Olivo noted that he's not ready to leave Fallbrook High just yet.

"I'm not in a hurry to get my senior year done and over with, there's no senior-itis kicking in as of yet," he said. "After high school, I plan to go on to college and my goal is to get a bachelor's of science in nursing and possibly later a master's and become a nurse practitioner, but that would be much later on down the road."

Oasis High School student Skiffington was nominated by Bennie Verett.

"I've been wanting to nominate Trevor since he came to me in ninth grade," Verett said. "That's how long I have been waiting to get this guy up here. So, when I had the opportunity to do this, I was like, no questions. I got the person. And so here he is.

"He respectful, friendly, displays humble gratitude for what he has. He's dependable, trustworthy, honest, thorough and hardworking. He's well-spoken both orally and written. (He) is a good writer with an extensive vocabulary.

"He's a young man who is genuine, knows what he wants, stands up for what's right and follows through on his word."

Skiffington thanked Verett for the nomination and his family for teaching him at homeschool.

"I think what has always helped me as a student is the path of homeschool," he said. "You know, I thank my mother for choosing that, my father as well, and continuing with Oasis, I think played a big part in how I performed academically because it was something I was familiar with and I think it suited me."

Skiffington said after high school he plans to go to a four-year university and get a degree in marketing.

"But most of all my plans are to serve my country," he said. "I've always been passionate about it. I've always loved it. So I've always been willing ever since I first decided to do something that I wanted to serve my country. As I've grown, I developed a great love for my country.

"I plan on afterwards hopefully getting into the CIA and serving with the intelligence community."

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at


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