Special to the Village News
There were five students – instead of the usual four selections – at the April 13 breakfast meeting to recognize the Fallbrook Students of the Month. The students are Antonia Magana from Ivy High School, and Annie Riley, Kimberly Rodriguez Bautista, Joseph Tygart and Lily VanHaeren from Fallbrook High School.
The monthly awards program was hosted by North Coast Church in Fallbrook. Each student had a table where family, friends and/or teachers could sit together except when they went on stage for speeches. The event is sponsored by Fallbrook Student of the Month, a non-profit community organization. The final event of the school year is on May 4.
Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez, superintendent of the Fallbrook Union High School District, gave the opening remarks, reminding the audience, "Every day, every decision is an appointment to make change."
Mike Gray, principal at Ivy High School, called the Magana family to the stage and commented, "We are so proud of Antonia. She is very willing to help others and has overcome difficulties." He then introduced David Cruz, the continuation school teacher who nominated Magana. Cruz said the student's journey with structure has resulted in her growth. He also noted she has a very welcoming personality.
Roberto Magana's, the student's father, said it has been a hard season for the family. "My motivation every day is my daughter," he said. "I'm so proud of her." Later, his daughter said, "My dad was who motivated me to do well in school."
Her goal after graduation is to attend a school to become a phlebotomist.
Riley was nominated by Mara Baur, librarian at Fallbrook High School. "I was impressed how Annie strives to be better in the classroom and sports," Baur said, giving the example of Riley competing in a variety of sports: diving, pole vault and volleyball.
Diana Whalen, Riley's world language teacher, also complimented the student's scholar and athletic achievements.
The student has committed to Cal State Long Beach and plans to compete in beach volleyball.
"Annie involves herself in everything," said Andrea Riley of her daughter. "Her passion is the ocean and marine science, and she's going to love beach volleyball. She's not afraid of anything."
The student had a brief comment: "I'm super-excited for the future."
Rodriguez Bautista was nominated by Adriana Lopez, her government teacher. "Kimberly is a determined learner and well deserving of this honor," Lopez said.
The student said her goal was to become a kindergarten teacher by first attending Palomar College for two years, then Cal State San Marcos. "I've been motivated by my teachers and family," Rodriguez Bautista said.
Her father, Ramiro, thanked God for his daughter saying, "She is a leader and an example for others to follow."
Baur, the librarian, also nominated Tygart, commenting on his Eagle Scout achievement and that he is a pilot with the Civil Air Patrol, has a 4.0 GPA, and was a doubles tennis player for the school. Another teacher, David Carrillo, also congratulated the student.
Robert Tygart, the student's father, thanked the school for helping his son realize his potential.
The student said is on the UC Davis "wait list" and if that is not successful, he will attend SDSU, with plans to major in international relations.
Yearbook adviser Heather Smith nominated VanHaeren commenting on her Girl Scout leadership and dedication to the yearbook.
"Lily has always been a shining star," said Rose Gill, VanHaeren's grandmother. "She's always shown passion and compassion."
"It's an honor to see her recognized," said the student's mother, Fawn Gill. "Lily has excelled in every subject through hard work, and she'll be a success in life."
The student said she plans to attend MiraCosta College and then transfer to a UC program, studying environmental science – "to make a big change in the world."
Financial sponsors of the program include the Angel Society, Coldwell Banker Village Properties, Del Rey Avocado, Fallbrook Vintage Car Club, Fallbrook Village Rotary, and Youngren Construction.