Melanie Haigh of Oasis High School, and Jacob Klingsberg, Halee Olsen, and Simone Stubbs of Fallbrook Union High School (FUHS) were honored as the April Students of the Month for the Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) at a celebratory breakfast held April 7 at the Fallbrook Community Center.
Event emcee Greg Coppock welcomed the honorees and guests to the event before testimony was heard as to the reason each student was selected as an honoree.
Fallbrook Union High School principal Larry Boone told the crowd, “It’s always a pleasure to come to this breakfast. I am proud to be here to hear the wonderful things said about our students.”
Students are nominated for the honor and the Fallbrook Student of the Month Committee selects the final awardees based on those who have made significant strides in academics, community service work, peer leadership, and more. Common traits include commitment, perseverance, and excellence.
Melanie Haigh was recommended for the Student of the Month honor by Oasis High School teacher Kevin Kent. Oasis High School is the independent study program in the Fallbrook Union High School District.
“Melanie is an excellent candidate for this honor,” explained Kent. “At Oasis, she has always carried a 3.73 grade point average or higher every semester. She is meticulous and organized with her assignments. She is very bright and cheerful and one of my most favorite students I have ever had.” Haigh has also been a member of the school gymnastics team.
When asked to share her thoughts with the audience, Haigh said, “I want to thank Mr. Kent for being such an amazing teacher. I was behind in credits when I went to Oasis, because I had been going through a lot of things. He helped me get fully caught up. I am really grateful to have won this award.” Haigh said she is still contemplating which college to attend following graduation.
Jacob Klingsberg was honored as a Student of the Month based on a nomination by FUHS math teacher Debbie Berg. Since Berg was unable to attend the breakfast, career counselor Tony Morrow read information about Klingsberg that Berg had prepared.
“Jacob is an absolute joy to have in class,” Berg wrote. “He is a leader in my classroom and other students look to him for help. I think he is a natural teacher. He has a huge heart and loves to learn.”
Klingsberg has played basketball and water polo for FUHS, and competes on the swim team. Berg wrote, “While he is a gentle giant in class, he becomes a beast on the basketball court!” It was noted that Klingsberg is a volunteer swim teacher for children. To the audience, Klingsberg said, “I want to thank everyone here today. Mrs. Berg is the best teacher I have ever had. I am completely honored to get this award today. It’s just such a great honor to be here. I have worked very hard.”
Klingsberg said he wishes to continue playing water polo in college and plans to pursue a career in accounting.
When Klingsberg’s mother spoke about him, she said early in life he was thought to have a developmental disability, but clearly had overcome any challenge that had presented itself.
Halee Olsen was recommended for the Student of the Month honor by music/vocal arts department teacher Heather Smith.
“Halee is extremely talented,” Smith said. “She is a member of the Madrigals (elite vocal group), a dedicated student, and a hard worker. For the past two years she has been named to the regional honor choir.” Olsen has also served two years on the Miss Fallbrook court, supporting dozens of community events.
“She is a lovely young woman, kind, and thoughtful,” said Smith. “I am so humbled by her work ethic and drive.”
Olsen told the audience, “Thank you for nominating me and
honoring me. It’s been such a great experience to be involved in the community. I am beyond grateful for all the people I have been able to meet and create relationships with.” She also told the audience that she has had to learn to work around “a hearing loss” through her life.
“I just want to say that no matter what type of disability you have, you can push through it, you can overcome obstacles,” said Olsen.
Olsen will attend Brigham Young University next year on scholarship. “BYU has the most incredible music program. I have always dreamed of going to that school. I’m not sure what my exact career path will end up being, but it will involve music.”
Simone Stubbs was recognized as a Student of the Month based on the recommendation of FUHS dance teacher Anna Gravenkamp.
“To say that Simone is deserving of this honor is an understatement,” said Gravenkamp. “She is one of my dance captains, my teacher’s assistant, and a tutor. She leads with a caring and a motivating spirit. She constantly impresses me.”
Stubbs has been involved as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher at the CAST Academy in Fallbrook since 2013, it was noted.
“She is also Miss Fallbrook 2015 and a role model for all young women in the community,” said Gravenkamp. “She has been involved in Girl Scouts since first grade. I know she will be a great success in life.”
Stubbs credited the dance program at the high school for enriching her life. “The dance program has been a major part of my life,” she said. “It is amazing.”
Stubbs said she has narrowed her college selection down to two possible choices. “I have found two universities that offer six-year accelerated programs to become a pharmacist. That is my dream job. I hope to continue to teach dance as well.”
In closing the program, all four students were recognized for their achievements and lauded by the audience.
“These students represent what it means to knock down obstacles and succeed,” said Coppock.
At the recognition breakfast, the student honorees were each presented with a Lamp of Knowledge medal by active duty military representatives LCpl Andy Bonilla, LCpl Carson J. Chandler, PFC John C. Reilley, and PFC Brandon K. Thompson. In addition, the students were presented with many certificates of honor from organizations and legislators as well as a bag full of gifts from local organizations and businesses for their accomplishments.
The Fallbrook Student of the Month breakfast is funded by generous local businesses and organizations. For the 2015-2016 year, the platinum sponsor is the Angel Society of Fallbrook; gold sponsors are Coldwell Banker Village Properties and Law Offices of Faunce, Singer & Oatman; silver sponsors are Fallbrook Republication Women Federated and Fallbrook PTSA; and bronze sponsors, Fallbrook Vintage Car Club and Dr. Daniel Flores.
Teachers, school staff, or community members can nominate a FUHSD high school student for this honor. To learn more, email [email protected]