Friday, September 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Rotarians honor outstanding DHS, Da Vinci students

Julia Blizzard

The Sunrise Rotary Club of Davis recently recognized 12 students at Davis and Da Vinci high schools as June’s Students of the Month. They are:

* Da Vinci student Ariel Amon, nominated by internship coordinator Susan Kirby, who wrote, “Da Vinci junior Ariel Amon participated with the Patwin Elementary School Nature Bowl team as an intern. Ari was also a part of this team during his elementary days at Patwin. His task was to be in both a supporting role for the team leader by helping her and teaching the kids as well as creating activities for the kids and helping out during their weekly meetings.

“Ari says this internship helped him improve his communication skills by learning to work more effectively with his fellow interns and leader. Ari also told me he loved getting his hands dirty and teaching the kids about their environment.”

Julia Blizzard, nominated by social studies teacher Tracy Stapleton, who wrote, “Julia Blizzard is a delightful student in my second-period economics class. She always brings a pleasant attitude, asks excellent questions and participates fully.”
Christopher “C.K.” Hicks, nominated by math teacher Nick Pasquale, who wrote, “C.K.’s dedication to his studies and his perseverance in mathematics inspires the students around him. He is always a focal point of positive energy and productivity in class. Students seem naturally drawn to working with him because of his wonderful attitude, humorous wit and his modesty. Certainly, there are students who would not have been as successful without C.K. in class. Furthermore, he has been able to balance academic success with recognition through sports. C.K. is truly a student all-star.”
* Sasha Hill, nominated by foreign language teacher Lili Floyd, who wrote, “It gives me great pleasure to recognize Sasha Hill as the outstanding student in German. For the past two years, she has done a phenomenal job. For one, she placed in the 99th percentile in the National German Exam while enrolled in German 2. Mid-year, I asked her to move to German 3 where she continues to hold her own.
“But it isn’t only her academic performance that is so impressive — she gives so much of her time to help others. For many of the German Club events, she has baked, cooked and played music. I especially applaud her dream of traveling around the world next year, not to just see the sights, but to lend a helping hand to those in need. In all, Sasha is one of the most unique students I have ever met.”

* Hannah Kaplan, nominated by fine art teacher Doug Wright, who wrote, “Hannah Kaplan has been on of my top art history students this year. She sits in front, pays attention, takes notes, asks questions and does well on exams. She seems genuinely interested in the subject matter and attends class regularly. She has been a joy!”

Margaret Lawson, nominated by foreign language teacher Lili Floyd, who wrote, “Not many students have traveled around the world to visit as many countries as Margaret Lawson has. As a result, she has a profound love and respect for languages and cultures. I noticed Margaret in my French 3 class right away because she spoke French from our first encounter and continues to do so every day.

“Mid-year, I found out that she skipped French 2 to take French 3; nevertheless, she got the highest grade on the January final and placed the highest of all my French 3 students in the National French Exam. At the open house, she flawlessly and beautifully recited a fable by La Fontaine called ‘Le Corbeau et le Renard’ (‘The Crow and the Fox’). She takes so much joy in learning that it impacts all who have the pleasure to know her.”

Tyler McCall, nominated by campus safety coordinator/administrator Kathleen Hunter, who wrote, “T.J. has been our student for three years. T.J. is always striving to be the best he can be academically and behaviorally. He loves working on cars and would like to work in the automotive field when he graduates. He is a loyal friend with a kind, gentle heart. We would also like everyone to know that he is a good cook who can make a mean stadium hot dog.”

* Sophie Meads, nominated by social studies teacher Pete Haws, who wrote, “A cross country and track star, Sophie Meads is a humble, hard worker. Sophie has done what it takes to stay an ‘A’ student despite her demanding schedule and a grade setback or two. She puts in great effort and maintains a friendly demeanor always. We are blessed with many successful scholar-athletes at DHS, and Sophie is among the cream of the crop.”

* Cinthya Rosales-Flores, nominated by health teacher Pam Eimers, who wrote, “I’ve had the pleasure to have Cinthya in class twice. Cinthya is not one who wants to be in the spotlight but she does things that definitely deserve recognition. Last semester I was impressed watching Cinthya help another student who was struggling in class. She quietly guided that student as necessary to keep her on track in class, ensuring that that student completed work and passed. It’s the kind of help teachers never have enough time to give every day, so when a student steps up as Cinthya did it makes a measurable difference. … A day without Cinthya’s warm smile and laugh is a dull day indeed.”

* Da Vinci student Elliot Schoenig, nominated by internship coordinator Susan Kirby, who wrote, “Elliot Schoenig spent the spring of 2012 doing an internship with the Patwin Elementary School Nature Bowl. Elliot was also a part of this team while he was a student at Patwin, and one of those years his group won the state competition. Now as a high school student he was coming back to share his expertise and experience with these students.

“Elliot was asked to prepare a topic and give a presentation to the kids, a skill he uses often at Da Vinci. Because of his strong fascination with reptiles and amphibians, he was able to teach the students about what kinds were found right here in Davis.Elliot said this experience of teaching and learning helped reinforce his goal of studying biology in college and working in the field after graduation. What a gift he has given back to these young minds.”

Clayton Webster, nominated by math teacher Karl Ronning, who wrote, “Clayton is a student in my third-period geometry class and every day he comes to class ready to learn. Clayton enjoys a good challenge and takes pride in his ability to reason through complex problems. Clayton may come across as being quiet and laid-back, but underneath that calm exterior is a student who is determined to excel to the best of his ability. He is well-liked and respected by his peers. Overall, Clayton has been a positive addition to my classroom.”

Zhongxia Yan, nominated by science teacher Wayne Raymond, who wrote, “Zhongxia Yan is outstanding in my AP Chemistry class. His enthusiasm, interest and skill at science in general is amazing. Zhongxia joined the DHS National Science Bowl Team and led the team to a second-place finish in the regional competition, only narrowly defeated by the Mira Loma team that took third place in the national competition. He also was one of two DHS students to earn a perfect score in the 2012 National Science League Chemistry competition, helping to propel the team to a second-place national ranking.”

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.

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