Special to the Village News
Comments from school administrators, sheriff deputies and other community members in attendance all seem to agree: the Student of the Month awards breakfast is their favorite event of the month. It's when the village comes together to recognize exceptional students in the Fallbrook Union High School District.
Once again, four students were honored March 2 at North Coast Church in Fallbrook. Students were nominated by school staff and selected by a nonprofit organization. Seated with their respective family members and school representatives, they were invited onto the stage, one group at a time, to recognize each student. Everyone is given the opportunity to speak, and the students usually announce their post-high school plans.
The four female seniors selected were Will Good from Oasis High School, and Bailee Aguila, Erin Hale and Mira Walton from Fallbrook High School.
Each received a Lamp of Knowledge medal from representatives of the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, as well as a yard sign and "goodie bag" of gifts including scholarships. Financial sponsors include several local businesses and nonprofits.
Mike Gray, principal at Oasis, the district's homeschool program, introduced the veteran teacher who nominated Good, Matt Parker.
"In my 28 years teaching, Will is one of my most accomplished students in her ability to navigate life," Parker said. "She is a person of few words, but when she speaks, it's important and I listen. She is not your typical student, but I'm certain she will be one of my most successful students."
The teacher shared about the student's interest in zoology and read a statement from Good, explaining that at Potter Junior High School, she had trouble navigating with the number of students and early start of the school day. "Oasis allowed me to work at my own pace at home," she said.
The student said she would continue studies at a community college, volunteer at an animal shelter, and continue her interest in photography.
Good's father, Timothy Amanda, said he was proud of his daughter and thanked the school for its unique program.
Lauren Jones, principal at Fallbrook High School, introduced the three students from her school, beginning with Aguila. Counselor Alydia Han, who nominated the student, described her as being very humble and resilient. Han remarked that Aguila has a 3.8 GPA and has taken eight AP classes. She is also an outstanding volleyball player.
Aguila thanked her parents and family for their support and said she planned to attend a four-year college. She said that as captain of the volleyball team this year, she learned to help "pick up" and motivate team members and that strengthened her goal of helping others, especially youth and students with mental challenges. Her college goal is for a master's degree in clinical psychology and using that degree in a practice to help children be successful.
Her father, Angelo Aguila, thanked the school for its role in educating his daughter.
Hale was nominated by Thomas Smith, who leads the JROTC program at the school. He said Hale excels in all areas at the school and exhibits poise and confidence. He attributed her comment about JROTC doing push ups during the FHS football games as the catalyst for a popular Warrior tradition.
Amylene Cabrera, her math instructor, described Hale as a strong leader.
"I want to thank all the teachers and staff who made a difference in my life," Hale said. "They provided structure and guidance." She said plans are to attend college and major in pre-law or something in the medical field.
Her father, Donald Hale, said one word describes his daughter: "Blessing." The student's friend, Meadow Sanders, also spoke, calling her "a special person."
Walton was also nominated by Smith, mentioning she would be attending Humboldt State University and major in teaching.
She had a busy workload at FHS with JROTC, three sports, and being in the agriculture program. "JROTC pushed me to succeed," Walton said. She added with excitement, "God is good!"
Her parents and aunt also spoke. The aunt shared an acronym of the student's first name: Motivated, Inspiring, Righteous, Authentic.
The next students will be recognized on Thursday, April 13. For reservations or details, email [email protected].