Friday, December 19, 2014

Student role models honored by Sunrise Rotarians

From page A6 | February 23, 2014 |

The Sunrise Rotary Club of Davis honored nine Davis, Da Vinci and King high school students as Students of the Month for February. They are:

Kevin Armer, nominated by Da Vinci Principal Troy Allen, Vice Principal Scott Stephen Bell and office staff Adela Johnson, Debbie Martin and Marguerite Fleming, who wrote, “It is difficult to forget a 15-year-old when he walks in to your world studies course with a bigger and more impressive beard than your own. Kevin began as a quiet, gentle sophomore too nervous to speak much in class, and has matured into a strong junior who is not afraid to lead a team, speak publicly or advocate on behalf of himself or another student.

“This year, Kevin serves as an office teaching assistant and does a sterling job. Even more importantly, during his before- and after-school time, Kevin has been serving as an unofficial mentor/support buddy for a student with severe special needs. Kevin plays video games with this student, allowing the student to forget their struggles, and enjoy the simple act of playing on an equal basis.

“We truly enjoy Kevin and his gentle, insightful ways: He is a true boon to our office and our community.”

Isabella Babich, nominated by math teacher Lyn Liuzzi, who wrote, “Isabella is a wonderful student to have in class. She is on task all the time. She is interacting, arguing, teaching and discussing with her classmates. She is really enjoying doing Algebra II. She has an upbeat attitude all the time and is rarely without a smile on her face. She brings the sun into class when she arrives. She has demonstrated responsibility in turning in late work and making-up missed tests. She makes my experience of teaching a joy every day.”

  • Naomi David, nominated by Sharon McCorkell, a teacher at King School, who wrote, “Naomi David is a stellar student at Martin Luther King High School. Naomi is known, liked and respected for her persistent positive outlook, determination and hard work. She has the ability to get along well with every student in the school and probably with almost every human being on the planet!

“Here is a student who likes school and eagerly accepts new challenges. Her questions reveal curiosity, intelligence and the desire to master the material and skills presented in class.

Naomi has earned a CNA certificate and plans to go into the field of nursing. She also hopes to travel to her parents’ home country, Romania, and visit relatives there. She has a very bright future.”

Ryan Dockter, nominated by physical education teacher Julie Crawford, who wrote, “Ryan has been showing a lot of improvement and self-motivation in physical education for second quarter. I appreciate him putting forth his best effort in class and I can tell that he is really determined to earn a good grade in P.E. Keep up the good work!”

  • Mirna Engkabo, nominated by agriculture teacher Ellie Michel, who wrote, “Mirna is a hard worker, dedicated learner and kind-hearted person. She comes to class prepared and ready to do her best. She is improving her leadership skills by joining the FFA impromptu public speaking team and getting involved in her supervised agriculture experience project.

“Mirna is also one or the kindest students I have. She is respectful and caring toward everyone. She helps anyone who asks her and has a positive attitude with everything she does.”

  • Gloria Laguna, nominated by Learning Center teacher Bill Wheeler, who wrote, “A word that defines Gloria is dedication. Whether it be reviewing for a U.S. history exam with color-coded note cards, writing an excellent warm-up paragraph in my English class, or completing a basic auto class assignment, Gloria has her eye on the prize. She is succeeding as a Blue Devil and will continue to do so in college, professionally, and in life.”

  • Wyatt Millstone, nominated by music teacher William Zinn, who wrote, “Wyatt is a very accomplished musician. In addition to making his own strong contribution to Jazz Choir performances, he voluntarily offers his skills to assist his fellow performers whether in leading sectional rehearsals or accompanying others on the piano.”

Kennedy Rodarte, nominated by Da Vinci High School internship coordinator Susan Kirby, who wrote, “Kennedy is doing her third internship at Da Vinci. She joined us as a junior last year and has stayed busy since her arrival. Her first internship involved helping co-teach a children’s drama class at the Davis Art Center.

“Her desire was to work with kids and the arts because of her love for both and of her interest in teaching. She got to do a little script writing, costuming (safety pins became her best friend backstage) and practicing with the kids. She said this experience opened her eyes about the teaching world and how it isn’t always easy.

“Last fall she worked at the Davis Senior Center. Kennedy said it was one of the best things she’s done in her short life. She worked with Connections Café, a joint project with the city where seniors can learn how to use all sorts of electronic devices. Kennedy said patience and repetition in her instruction helped a lot.

“This spring she’ll intern at the Pence Gallery, going back to her love of the arts. Both of her internship supervisors commented about how she is a patient, kind and likeable young woman. We are grateful to have her as a part of our Da Vinci community.”

* Darya Taghadomy Saberi, nominated by English teacher Eric Morgan, who wrote, “Darya is an integral part of my third-period English 10. She approaches our work with a tremendous and infectious sense of humor, keeping us all laughing, which establishes a friendly and cooperative tone in class. She is a strong and courteous classmate as well, assisting her peer in the writing we develop in class and the personal struggles they face outside of it.

“Her personal work reveals the inquisitiveness and dedication indicative of a strong, life learner — astute questions, willingness to incorporate feedback and the daring to experiment and try new approaches. In a class filled with 30 other learners, Darya is a known, valued classmate and appreciated by her peers.”

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, Samer Alassaad of the noon club at or Steve Boschken of the Sunset club at



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