Alexia Schuster of Ivy High School and McKenna Diverde, Micah Marroquin, and Sam McDaniel of Fallbrook High School were honored as the Fallbrook Students of the Month for November at a celebratory breakfast held Nov. 1 at the Fallbrook Community Center. The students were selected for the honor based on their noteworthy achievements – including academic performance, community service work, and leadership skills. in leadership of the program that has honored students for many years. Emcee was Greg Coppock.
At the beginning of the event, each student honoree was presented with a special medal depicting the Lamp of Knowledge by 2nd Lt. Leslie Grantham, USMC on behalf American Legion Post 365.
Fallbrook Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell said he was pleased the program was back on track.
“It is exciting to be back together for this opportunity,” said Mitchell. “As you know, the program hadn’t occurred for a few months and we recognize the fact there needed to be a transition in leadership and a revised commitment from the community.”
“I am extremely grateful our community has taken the leadership role and continued to honor our students,” he said.
Alexia Schuster was selected as a student of the month based on a nomination by Ivy High School teacher Greg Keener.
“I am honored to present Alexia as a student of the month,” said Keener. “She was selected in a consensus of our staff at Ivy. Her qualities include strength, maturity, and a determination to succeed. She has fantastic qualities that deserve to be celebrated.”
Schuster explained to those in attendance how in her sophomore year of traditional high school, she “gave up.”
“It went bad; I hated school,” she said. “When I went to Ivy I found a place where no one judged you. It was a small school and everyone was just getting their work done, so I relaxed. Everyone was so nice that it changed my mind about school and I love school now.”
Schuster said her future plans will include either attending Palomar College or joining the military.
McKenna Diverde was recommended for the student of the month honor by Fallbrook High School teacher Pam Munro.
“McKenna was my top student last year,” explained Munro. “She is a student that sees what needs to be done and just does it.” Munro said Diverde serves as senior class president, is an academic star, holds the current valedictorian spot, and is a member of CSF and the academic team. She also volunteers her time to raise money for Breast Cancer Angels organization, volunteers at her church’s nursery and has done mission work in China.
“While getting top grades, she still finds time to give back to the community and help others,” said Munro. “She is a brilliant young leader and a powerful young woman.”
Diverde said she is interested seeking a career as a physician.
“I love being a part of this community,” said Diverde. “My life in Fallbrook and everyone here has made me who I am. I want to thank Ms. Munro; I have learned a lot from her. I also want to thank my family. I plan on being a physician and working in California. I am planning on attending UCLA, USC, or Stanford.”
Micah Marroquin was honored as a student of the month on the recommendation of Fallbrook High School teacher/football coach Joe Silvey.
“Micah is one of my favorite people,” said Silvey. “He is a great student in the classroom and is a tremendous role model who demonstrates decency and kindness.” Silvey explained his respect for Marroquin as a member of the varsity football team as well, congratulating him on his work ethic.
“He displays courage, resolve, and leadership,” said Silvey. “I think he will have a successful life.” Marroquin expressed his happiness regarding his years at Fallbrook High School.
“I feel like I am just having a great time in high school, playing football and everything,” said Marroquin. “I feel like I am just being me, nothing special. I just want to thank everyone for accepting me for who I am.” He went on to tell the crowd and his coach that he had just received an acceptance letter from Baylor University in the mail.
“I just found out last night that I had been accepted at Baylor,” said Marroquin.
Sam McDaniel, who had been nominated by Fallbrook High teacher Connie Fellios, was the fourth student to be honored with the award for November. Fellios was unable to attend the event, so fellow teacher Pam Munro read a letter of commendation on her behalf about McDaniel.
“[Sam] is mature and wise beyond his years; he makes a positive difference to everyone in his life,” read Munro. “His teachers, coaches, and classmates all respect him.” Described as an Advanced Placement (AP) student, member of the academic team, four-year swim team member, two-year water polo player, and dedicated church volunteer, Fellios called him “a diligent student athlete.”
In listing McDaniel’s athletic awards, Fellios said, “He has broken two school records – for the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard freestyle relay.”
McDaniel was also credited with helping revive the campus organization known as Fallbrook Christian Athletes. “He is the treasurer of the organization,” stated Fellios. “The group now has 100 students involved. It is an inspirational program.”
“[Sam] never stops giving in all that he does,” wrote Fellios. McDaniel said he is still deciding on which college to attend but does have some goals in mind.
“I have applied to many colleges but haven’t made a choice yet,” he said. “I know I would like to swim in college and work toward making the Olympic trials one day. I am still deciding on what career choice I want to make.”
The Fallbrook Student of the Month breakfast is funded by generous local businesses and organizations, including Major Market, Pedros Tacos, Robert P. Mohr D.D.S./M.S., and Sheri’s Flowers. Gift bags filled with donations and gift certificates from numerous local businesses and organizations were given to each honoree. Representatives of various elected officials attended the event and presented certificates of achievement to the students as well.
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The Nov. 1 event was the first of its kind since May, due to a change