Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sunrise Rotary honors Students of the Month

From page A5 | May 16, 2013 |

Alana Quinn

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

* Lily Batchelor, nominated by Spanish teacher Christina Bernadac, who wrote, “Lily is in my Spanish 3 class as a 10th-grader. Making the transition to the high school has been a challenge, but she has shown resilience and a wonderful attitude. Her efforts are bearing positive results as she has shown admirable improvement. During this time, she has maintained great grades and composure, inspiring other students. She is friendly and helpful to her classmates and very respectful of all even when the classroom gets a bit crazy.”

Camila Biaggi, nominated by Da Vinci counselor Carol Curinga, who wrote, “Camila is an extraordinary young woman. She came to us mid-junior year after being home-schooled and growing up and then attending school in a fairly isolated community in Mendocino County, but where she took advantage of her opportunities and participated in poetry contests and cross country and volunteered at the local library while she lived there. In my experience, it is rare to see such joy and success in a new school in such a short period of time.

“In search of a healthy academic and social life, her family made the difficult choice to let her move away from home in order to live in Davis with her grandmother. She misses her family but Camila jumped into our school with both feet with vigor, embracing the new style of learning and excelling. In addition to school, she embraced a number of different community activities, such as golf; working as actor, crew member and light designer at our local community theater, Acme Theatre; and volunteering at our local charitable nonprofit consignment store. In addition, she decided to take on an internship doing web design.

“Camila loves to learn, embraces new situations and has a contagious enthusiasm. Of all of the students this year, she is the one with whom I would most like to spend time, if given the opportunity. She is respected by staff and peers and has made a mark in just a short time. She will be an excellent scholar and community member in her college.”

* Trevor Eliander, nominated by Learning Resource Center teacher Elizabeth Allen, who wrote, “Trevor deserves this distinction of Student of the Month. He possesses qualities that every teacher could hope for in a student: excellent attendance, strong work ethic, he participates, he is polite and he is conscientious. Not only does Trevor take care of his own business, he is always willing to help others in class when there are questions.

“I think what I enjoy most about Trevor, now that I have had the year to become acquainted with him, is his stealthy sense of humor. He is usually quietly working in class, and then once in a while he will spontaneously whip out a joke that will cause the entire class to erupt in laughter. Trevor has given our class some great moments this year, and he is a delightful, hard-working young man.”

Nora Kasapligil, nominated by Da Vinci counselor Carol Curinga, who wrote, “Nora is an excellent student who has taken rigorous college prep courses at Da Vinci Charter Academy. She continues with a fourth year of math and has taken additional courses at Sacramento City College.

“Nora has many accomplishments outside of school and has regularly worked in addition to going to school. Nora is extremely reliable and motivated. She just gets it done. She currently rises early at 4 a.m. on Saturdays and drives to San Francisco and back, a 160-mile round trip, to work at the Farmers Market. She also serves as a restaurant host weekly and has for the past year. She also has had the responsibility of a sole lifeguard on duty for several summers. Her employment is steady with the same employers, which speak highly of her skills and work ethic.

“In addition to the regular life challenges of adolescents, she has also encountered open heart surgery twice in her life for repairs to her heart and she apparently exhibited amazing courage at a young age as she faced some very serious situations.”

Joshua Osborne, nominated by social studies teacher Bill Williams, who wrote, “Joshua has demonstrated a great interest in the world civilization class. He positively adds to class discussions by bringing up interesting ideas. His work is of utmost quality, and he is supportive of his follow students. Joshua is open to new ideas and he shows this on a regular basis in class. He also represents our class in the Student Forum, where he brings back campuswide concerns for our class to consider.”

Alanna Quinn, nominated by science teacher Ann Moriarty, who wrote, “Alanna is in my Advanced Placement biology class. At the beginning of the year she struggled with the material and how to study for tests. She came to see me and we discussed effective learning techniques. She was able to figure out what worked best for her, brought her grade up and has not looked back since. She continues to maintain her efforts. I am most impressed with her performance.”
Derek Tully, nominated by Da Vinci English teacher Elizabeth Blake, who wrote, “Derek Tully is a presence, whether in the classroom or in the water polo pool, and he has a voice to indicate that presence. He is the consummate team player, seen every day in my English class with the energy and interest he brings to his projects and table groups at Da Vinci. As a senior, he knows both how to lead as well as how to effectively contribute to the group’s collective success.
“Recently, I saw his leadership, and his insightful writing skills, put to good use with our study of Mark Twain’s ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’; after leading the class through an analysis of one of the novel’s chapters, a few weeks later, he then led his group in the creation and scripting of an original satire that echoed Twain’s socially inspired work. I will be using Derek’s model work to inspire future students to see the opportunities around us for sensitive, often humorous, but always relevant commentary and satire.”
Laurel Wilkinson, nominated by counselor Ann Crook, who wrote, “Laurel is modest and self-effacing. She deserves recognition for her consistently high level of work and effort. Laurel is an excellent and capable student. She is conscientious, thoughtful, responsible and pro-active in her academic planning. She has grown and matured in self-confidence. She is learning to trust herself to make decisions about courses that are best for her and suit her interest. I have appreciated Laurel’s ability to consider the importance of school while also remembering the other valuable parts of her life.”
Elizabeth Winder, nominated by journalism teacher Kelly Wilkerson, who wrote, “Liz goes above and beyond in her role as a peer tutor in my beginning journalism class. While she is only required to help her student during class time, she often gives up lunches and after-school time to help this student succeed in my class. She has mattered all the basics of multimedia journalism in order to assist her assigned student. Liz’s patience and empathy are exemplary.”
Yuexin Xiang, nominated by English teacher Anthony Vasquez, who wrote, “Yuexin is a conscientious and hard-working student, an exemplar to her peers, and a joy to have in class. She has a creative and thoughtful mind, quickly mastering new content and then helping friends and neighbors. What’s more, she is a talented artist, golfer and is working on becoming trilingual!”
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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