Vanessa Magana of Ivy High School and Peter Dunckel, Logan Hutto, and Hannah Oppermann of Fallbrook Union High School were named the Fallbrook Students of the Month for January at a special recognition breakfast held Jan. 10 at the Fallbrook Community Center. They were selected for the honor based on their academic performance, community service work, leadership skills, and other noteworthy achievements.
Following the opening of the program by emcee Greg Coppock, each of the students was presented with a keepsake medal depicting the Lamp of Knowledge by American Legion Post 365 representative Karl Fekete.
Vanessa Magana was nominated for the student of the month honor by Ivy High teacher Sheri Ryan.
“Vanessa is an amazing young woman,” said Ryan. “She has so much poise and is mature beyond her years. She came to Ivy because she had a child, but she resumed her studies right away. She works very hard and I know she will do great things.”
Magana, who has a seven-month-old baby boy, said Ivy High allowed her to get “back on track.”
“High school began on a rough note for me due to my pregnancy,” said Magana. “I am very honored at this time to be recognized as a student of the month. I would like to thank the student of the month committee, my teachers, and my family. I have a goal of going to college and majoring in child development.”
Peter Dunckel was recommended for the student of the month honor by Fallbrook High teacher Kathy Beal.
“Peter is infectiously enthusiastic,” said Beal. “He has a great passion for life. I see him as a total leader.” Beal explained that at the school Dunckel has been involved in football, tennis, and organizations such as Warriors for Christ and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“He has a high grade point average,” said Beal, adding that he has done volunteer work at the Fallbrook Community Center and with the youth group of his church.
“It is so great being honored like this,” said Dunckel. “Ms. Beal is so great; so passionate about her work. I want to honor my parents also because they have been so influential in my life. They are such hard workers. My grandparents are a blast; they are so active with us.”
Dunckel said he plans on attending California Baptist University and majoring in computer engineering.
Logan Hutto was honored as a student of the month based on the joint recommendation of Fallbrook High teachers Heather Schulte and Doug Sehnert.
“Logan works very actively in the high school’s ag department,” said Schulte. “She would come to my [physical education] class at 5:45 a.m. so that she could get finished in time to go to the ag department to take care of the goats.” Schulte said Hutto is the student manager of the goat department and also serves as an officer in the ag department. “She has a lot of responsibility,”
“She is a fabulous student and she promotes the ag program to younger students in the feeder schools,” said Schulte.
“Logan is a really neat kid,” added Sehnert. “She is a good role model and leader. She is very well-rounded and has great common sense.”
Hutto said the ag department has made a great impact in her life.
“Ag at Fallbrook High School is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” said Hutto. “I also want to thank my parents because I wouldn’t have been able to have such a great experience without their support. It is a great honor to be recognized today.” Hutto said she plans to further her education in college and study for a career in veterinary medicine.
Hannah Oppermann was nominated for the student of the month honor by Fallbrook High teacher Connie Fellios.
“Hannah is dependable, extremely intelligent, unassuming, and humble,” said Fellios. “She is a natural leader in all arenas. [Hannah] is a strong role model who makes a positive difference. She is a quick thinker and works diligently to achieve her goals.”
Fellios explained that Oppermann has served on the school’s academic team, including being a co-captain last year.
“Her peers listen when she speaks,” said Fellios. Oppermann carries a 4.4 grade point average, Fellios said, and is a student athletic trainer, works part-time, helps raise funds to fight breast cancer, and is a volunteer with her church.
“I want to thank the student of the month committee, the sponsors, my family, and everyone who supports this program,” said Oppermann. “I am planning to go to college; I have applied to several universities so far and so far I have been accepted at Baylor.” Oppermann said she is undetermined on her major at this time. “But it could possibly be sports medicine,” she said.
The Fallbrook Student of the Month breakfast is funded by local businesses and organizations, including Major Market, Pedros Tacos, Robert P. Mohr D.D.S./M.S., Fallbrook PTSA, and Sheri’s Flowers. Gift bags filled with donations and gift certificates from numerous local businesses and organizations are presented to each honoree.
To nominate a student within the Fallbrook Union High School District for the student of the month honor, email [email protected]
Debbie is the managing editor of the Village News. A multiple award-winning writer of 35 years, her expertise is in reporting on breaking news, crime, and legal matters.