Monica Robinson of Oasis High School and Selina Eich, Gustavo Tarango and Kylie King of Fallbrook High School were honored as the Fallbrook Students of the Month for December at a congratulatory breakfast held Dec. 6 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.
Before introducing the students, event emcee Greg Coppock said, “They exemplify what it means to walk with integrity…they are great examples in this community.”
At the beginning of the breakfast, each student honoree was presented with a special medal depicting the Lamp of Knowledge by Frank Larkin of American Legion Post 365.
Fallbrook Union High School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell said,
“We are delighted to celebrate the achievement of students; we very much value and appreciate your commitment to learning and to the community.”
Monica Robinson was selected as a student of the month based on a nomination by Oasis High School teacher Dave Major. Major said that Robinson is “self-motivated to achieve her goals.” She was described as a “gifted artist” with a GPA over 4.0, besides being the Avocado League champion in tennis. Last month, she signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Notre Dame on a full tennis scholarship. He added, “She is a delightful young lady.”
Robinson thanked Major for nominating her. She explained that she went to Oasis “to catch up with my tennis” as she did not start playing until she was 12 years old. “Oasis was an oasis for me, let me put in the hours [for both school and tennis], and has a wonderful support system. Fallbrook, you all have a special place in my heart.” Tennis coach Dave Ramirez said that besides ranking in the top 50 players nationally and top 10 in So. Calif., Robinson is a wonderful kid; I enjoy being with her.”
Selina Eich was nominated for student of the month by Fallbrook High teacher Deborah Schafnitz. Eich took Schafnitz’s health class as a freshman. “It was easy to see she was going to be an engaged student in class and on campus,” Schafnitz said. Besides competing in the pole vault, cross country, rugby and gymnastics, Eich has an extensive resume in community service and leadership including link crew, ASB council, vocational industrial club (took auto mechanics), CSF, principal’s honor roll, as well as volunteering on Camp Pendleton and at St. Peter’s Church. Schafnitz added that Eich is “kind, generous…represents the heart of Fallbrook and represents an outstanding Warrior; an example of why teaching can be one of the most rewarding professions of all.”
Eich said she moved here just before kindergarten, it is “rewarding to volunteer in the community.” She is looking into majoring in science, engineering or physical therapy and has applied to UCLA, UC Irvine, Loyola Marymount, Stanford and USC.
Gustavo Tarango was chosen for the honor based on a nomination from Fallbrook High teacher Pam Munro. “Being here is my most favorite thing in the world, besides chocolate,” said Munro. She had Tarango when he was a junior in her AP English Lit class and “he has been going about the business of being excellent.” He was described as being on the principal’s honor roll every year, in the top two percent in his class, on the academic team, an AP scholar, cross country captain, on the Link crew and a volunteer at Arts in the Park. He also was chosen for a youth leadership conference on national security. She added he is “everything we want people to be [with] the art of positive thinking.”
Tarango said, “I do have a very specific dream, to attend the Air Force Academy and become a 2nd Lieutenant. I’m also thinking of becoming a pilot. If that doesn’t work, then work for the office of special investigations.”
Kylie King was recommended for student of the month by Fallbrook High teacher Sharon Griener. King is “an excellent academic, over 4.0, plays soccer, has been captain of the team since her sophomore year, and is liked by everyone,” said Griener. She also talked about another side of King who was six when her family moved here from Los Angeles. “Fallbrook partially shaped who she is…growing up with the same kids, the kids are family to each other,” Griener said.
With the support of her family and a community that comes together to help each other, King is “compassionate, caring, considerate and focused on her dreams,” Griener added. She wants to go to UCSD and do something in medicine focusing on cancer because of her father’s experience with the illness.
King said McKenna Diverde, who has been like a sister since second grade, “pushed me to be the best I can be. My sisters Leah, Kendal and my parents push me to be the best too,” King said.
The common traits possessed by all four students are academic ability, athletic ability, a positive attitude and a willingness to be an active member of their community, all of which earned them this month’s honors.
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., 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.