Moises and Emmanuel Maciel of Oasis High School, and Shavonne Donoghue, Mackenzie Kuran, and Roldolfo Medina Rivera of Fallbrook High School were honored April 11 as Fallbrook Students of the Month. At a special breakfast held that morning at the Fallbrook Community Center, the students were introduced to an audience including representatives from local businesses, community service organizations, and governmental agencies. The students were selected for the honor based on their noteworthy achievements – including academic performance, community service work, and leadership skills.
The first award given to each of the students was the Lamp of Knowledge medal, presented by Frank Larkin and Karl Fekete, representatives of American Legion Post 365.
Moises and Emmanuel Maciel were nominated for the student of the month honor by Oasis High School teacher Bennie Verrett who said she could not pick just one of the twin brothers to nominate. She has worked with them for three years and has watched them grow academically and physically, “I saw them come as boys; they are now gentlemen ready to tackle the world.”
After a rough freshman year, the twins came back determined to work hard and finish early. They will graduate this year as 11th graders, with a perfect attendance record. They are also involved in the community through their church. Verrrett said, “I am going to truly miss them because of what they contribute in my classroom and in my teaching.”
Moises thanked everyone and Emmanuel explained why he chose to go to Oasis, “It was once a week; I though it was cool. I didn’t have to get up early to go to school.” He added, “[Verrett] is pretty cool too.” The brothers plan on attending community college specializing in auto mechanics. Their goal is to open their own shop.
Shavonne Donoghue was nominated for the student of the month honor by Fallbrook High teacher Heather Smith. “Shavonne brings a smile to my face every day without a doubt…what sets her apart is her heart. The other students know they can always go to and count on Shavonne,” said Smith.
The middle of five children, Donoghue was described as “a peacemaker,” “the most amazing student,” and an expert Sudoku player. She runs cross country, competes in pole vaulting, takes AP classes, is in her fourth year on the academic team as well as in the music program, and is president of the newly reorganized Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Donoghue thanked Smith and said, “If I didn’t have that musical outlet (Smith’s class), I don’t know where I would be.” She said she is torn between UCR and Cal Poly Pomona for college and plans to major in aeronautical engineering.
Mackenzie Kuran was selected for the student of the month honor by Fallbrook High teacher Remy Kirkham. “It has been a great joy to have Mackenzie this year. She is very sincere and honorable…it is her compassion and integrity that earned her this honor,” said Kirkham.
Kuran was said to be “not only well rooted in academics but in community service,” “quite an artist,” and she has shown dedication and perseverance in dealing with injuries. She is captain of the water polo team, is on the honor roll, helps teenagers with special needs and participates in the American Sign Language (ASL) program. She was voted to the Prom Court, but declined the honor due to a previous commitment.
She was offered two different scholarships to play water polo and is “trying to decide between Concordia and Cal Lutheran,” she said. Kuran added, “I want to be an interpreter for deaf people, but neither of those colleges has ASL so I will major in communications and fine art, and play water polo.”
Rodolfo Medina Rivera, aka Rudy, was chosen by Fallbrook High counselor Mike Perales. In a math tutorial, “my only problem with him is he won’t stop talking,” Perales said of Rivera. He added, “His laugh is infectious; he’s a great guy to have around, great in math and science.”
Rivera said, “I am extremely happy to be chosen; it is a sign my hard work is paying off.” He thanked his parents, “They are the reason I am here today; they got me here.” He also said, “It pays off to never give up,” which includes staying up until 3 a.m. doing homework. He wants to study engineering and plans on attending a four year university, either UCR or Cal Poly Pomona; CSU San Marcos is his back-up plan, he said.
Principal Rod King thanked the Student of the Month committee for keeping the program going, especially Lynne Grantham, “for showcasing our students.”
The Fallbrook Student of the Month breakfast is funded by generous local businesses and organizations, including Fallbrook High School PTSA, Major Market, Pedro’s Tacos, Robert P. Mohr D.D.S./M.S., Fallbrook Coffee, Fallbrook Vintage Car Club and Sheri’s Flowers. A special gift bag, filled with certificates of recognition from elected officials and gifts from numerous local businesses and organizations, was also presented to each honoree.