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Outstanding students honored by Rotary

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From page A6 | February 12, 2013 | Leave Comment

The Sunrise Rotary Club of Davis honored 10 Davis and Da Vinci high school students as Students of the Month for January. They are:

* Michael Dohn, nominated by world language teacher Naoko McHale, who wrote, “I am very fortunate to have taught Michael in my Japanese classes the past four years. He is a hard-working, responsible and enthusiastic student who loves learning the Japanese language and culture. He studied independently during the summer to learn the Japanese 4 curriculum, and now he is one of the top Japanese 5AP students. Michael’s interest has grown from Japan to East Asia. He represented the city of Davis when he visited our sister cities in Korea and China last year, and he will travel to Japan to visit our sister school this coming summer. He will represent of our school. I am very proud of Michael.”

* Rana Eser, nominated by science teacher Tim Peevyhouse, who wrote, “As Rana’s teacher for both AP biology and zoology/botany, I have the pleasure of seeing her two times a day and have been able to interact with her in different settings. She always impresses me with her determination and high academic standards; she does not settle for merely adequate understanding of the concepts but seeks to truly gain a deeper knowledge in everything she studies. She is one of my top students this year in both classes.”

Aaron Hirst, nominated by math teacher Nick Pasquale, who wrote, “Aaron has shown remarkable leadership in the classroom, and his enthusiasm and theatrical talents are appreciated by the students around him and by me. At our most recent Friendship Day, Aaron played an integral part in the whole group of students to foster a sense of community and well-being. His personal warmth, acceptance of others, and drive to build relationships should be help up as an example of the best type of character we hope our students attain.”

Adrian Jimenez, nominated by counselor Linda Preciado, who wrote, “Adriana Jimenez has worked diligently and continues to be a model student. Her compassion and kindness to others is exemplary. She is part of the LEAD class where her bilingual skills are a decided asset. Her high potential for success coupled with her self-motivation deserves recognition.”

* Angelina Leigh, nominated by social science teacher Katie Wi, who wrote, “I am very fortunate to have Angelina as a student this year as she is quite deserving of this nomination. As a student in my psychology course, Angelina has showcased an impressive stamina for academic rigor. I am always blown away at the investigative questions she asks. Her genuine interest and curiosity in the subject allows her to ask questions that others never think to ask. Like a true lifelong learner, she is never satisfied until she fully understands a concept and doesn’t allow herself to settle for anything less than that.
“Angelina has also shown unwavering respect for herself and others. She consistently displays a level of maturity and grace that is well beyond her years. Even if she may not realize it, she is looked up to by her peers and never fails to inspire and motivate. She does not demand respect by her peers — instead, she commands it through her work ethic, behavior and attitude. She truly earns the respect she deserves, and I appreciate having a student with such sincerity in my class.”

* Isaiah Matthews, nominated by English teacher Widgen Neagley, who wrote, “I honor Isaiah Matthews for the hard work he’s done this year to turn his academic life around. Isaiah is in my ACES class — an academic support class. He has raised his grades astonishingly from his sophomore year. Isaiah enrolled in college prep classes, is receiving A’s and B’s this year. I am so proud of Isaiah’s hard work, perseverance, optimism and dedication. His achievement certainly deserves the Student of the Month award.”

* Ekam Sandhu, nominated by Da Vinci physics, chemistry and environmental scienc teacher Zach Powers, who wrote, “Ekam is like an artichoke … it takes time to fully appreciate every layer of his personality and talents. He is incredibly diligent and polite, a supportive group member and seems interested in everything. He sits calmly, quietly… listening, absorbing, working … always producing great products. As you work your way through his outer layers you think, “man, this artichoke is a great piece of produce.” Then, at some point, you reach the heart and realize that there is something completely different, and perhaps even tastier there.

“That moment came when I saw Ekam appear in his chemistry group’s spoof of ‘That ’70s Show,’ as Fez, wearing a paisley shirt and making out with himself. I knew I had found that last, richest and most exquisite layer. Somewhere deep inside Ekam there is a hidden comedic genius that emerges only after waiting patiently for the right moment. I feel lucky to know Ekam, and to bear witness to his multitude of talents — they are worth the wait.”

Casey Schmidt, nominated by special education teacher Ryan Carr, who wrote, “Casey is a peer tutor working with students who have moderate to severe disabilities. She was thrust into a typical elective class with minimal training and asked to help the student be included into the daily functions of the class. She showed no signs of hesitation and seemed very comfortable in the role, which is rare. From the beginning of the year I knew I had a good peer tutor. When the mentoring para educator was out an entire week during September I was confident that Casey would continue what was in place and take the lead. Casey has learned a wealth of knowledge from this position and I expect the memories to stay with her a lifetime.”

Emma Soberano, nominated by Da Vinci social studies/psychology teacher Lynn Fowler, who wrote, “Emma is a student who is so multi-talented it’s hard to sum up her qualities in a paragraph. I have the pleasure of working with Emma during first-period economics/government class. She is always on time and fully ready to participate. She is thoughtful, insightful and her work is always of the highest quality. She is a very precise and clear thinker and she articulates herself masterfully in discussions.
“She is perhaps the finest writer I have seen, but the special part about Emma is that she wants to help others improve in those areas in which she excels. She has spent many hours mentoring other students in their writing and considering how best to help others, through her role as editor for our school newspaper and simply as a caring peer. Her creativity and her artwork are inspiring, and she brings all of these talents into social studies as well, where I see her apply complex ideas in new and innovative ways.”

Jessie Wang, nominated by physical education teacher Pamela Trokanski, who wrote, “Jessie Wang has exemplified excellence in multiple ways; in class attendance, punctuality, preparation and in the presentation of consistently high-quality work. In addition, she has often taken time to help individual students understand the class work by breaking down steps and explaining choreography to others. She has also integrated her classroom work to extensions outside the class; as secretary of the Dance Club (Momentum) she keeps minutes, maintains our paper work with ASB, and learns choreography for performances outside of her ongoing class work.”

There are three Rotary clubs in Davis, which meet at noon Mondays, 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 7 a.m. Fridays. Members provide service to their community and internationally. For more information about Rotary, contact Dennis Lindsay of the Sunrise club at dlindsay@pacbell.net, Samer Alassaad of the noon club at sameraldds@yahoo.com or Steve Boschken of the Sunset club at steve@boschken.com.

Enterprise staff

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