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Mashburn, Baur, Morelli and Young recognized as Students of the Month

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

Four students – Timothy Mashburn, Arden Baur, Sophia Morelli and Katja Young – were honored as Students of the Month for November by the nonprofit organization recognizing high-achievers in the Fallbrook Union High School District. They were recognized at a Nov. 3 breakfast at North Coast Church.

The students selected received a yard sign, bag of gifts from community organizations, and recognition by school staff and their families. Members of the USMC led the Pledge of Allegiance. MC Crystal Gates from the organizing committee introduced Superintendent Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez, who in turn introduced the two principals in the district.

Mike Gray, principal of Oasis High School, introduced the first student, Timothy Mashburn, saying the senior is a "hard-working young man." Mashburn was nominated by two teachers, Tracy Markham and Debbie Berg.

Markham, his English and literature instructor, recalled the student as a freshman stating he planned to earn all A grades. "Sure enough, he's earned nothing less than an A for four years," she said. Markham also noted he was a National Merit Award winner and also participated in the Academic Decathlon for Fallbrook High School.

Berg is an advanced math instructor at Fallbrook High. Mashburn took a single class at FHS the past two years because he was beyond the class level at the independent learning school, she explained.

Mashburn, standing with his teachers and family at his side, told the audience he wanted to study to become a doctor, leaning towards being a psychiatrist.

His mother, Jenny Mashburn, said her son made parenting easy and that it was when he was in fourth grade that he decided to be a doctor. "I helped prepare him to be two years ahead in math," she said. She also cited his courage in life.

Rob Mashburn said he was proud of his son combining intelligence and hard work. The student's grandparents also spoke.

The other three students attend Fallbrook High School and were introduced by Principal Lauren Jones.

Baur was nominated by Alana Milton, her psychology and U.S. history instructor. The teacher noted that Baur is an overcomer, reaching high school during the introduction of Covid. "She's resilient and has worked hard," Milton said.

Spencer Osborn, high school pastor at the church, shared his opinion: "Arden is a leader and will be a success in anything she does because she has influence on others."

Baur's parents, Matt and Mara Baur, also spoke. Her mother thanked God for Arden's decision to follow God.

The student, a standout water polo and swimming athlete, said her college decision hasn't been reached. She would like to pursue a career in foreign government diplomacy.

Morelli was nominated by Estay Cazares, her Spanish teacher.

Christine Morelli spoke first, saying her daughter was independent, driven and kind. "I admire her responsibility to herself and confidence," she said.

The student's grandfather, Dan Allegro, said the honored student was loving, thoughtful, compassionate and caring for others. "She will succeed with anything she pursues," he said.

Morelli was an outstanding field hockey athlete at FHS and said she plans to attend a four-year college and major in business administration and later work in commercial real estate.

Young was nominated by Marin Pinnell. "We met when she was in 10th grade, online, and she turned the camera on. That's always a great first step," the teacher said, noting that wasn't the case for all students. "She is loving, disciplined and caring as the oldest of four."

The student is Pinnell's teacher's assistant for chemistry and said Young is also an excellent water polo and swimming athlete.

Adam Young, her dad, shared the story of the church praying for a healthy birth when there were potential complications, and the importance of faith in their lives. "Mom and I prayed for you nightly and you've turned into being a godly woman of character," he said.

Alicia, her mom, said, "God has selected you to be on earth for others, to live intentionally and have wisdom to lead others to hope."

Grandfather Jim Thomas pointed out that the student was independent in not always taking the most academic classes, instead taking agricultural classes and being involved with the church.

Young said she would like to attend a four-year college but was undecided on which one. "I'm praying for guidance to where God wants to put me," she said. She noted that church is meaningful because she knows there are people who have prayed for her from when she was young.

Financial sponsors of the program include Dr. Ramos OD, Major Market, Fallbrook PTSA, and Republican Women of CA-Fallbrook.


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