TEMECULA – Six Temecula high school seniors were honored as Students of the Month on February 13 by the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC). The students were recognized by their families, teachers, principals, the business community, and locally elected officials. This is the 23rd year the TVCC Student of the Month Program has honored students in the Temecula Valley.
Chaparral High School – Adrian Iliescu
Adrian Iliescu says the greatest obstacle he’s overcome in life so far is himself. He says that at the beginning of his high school career at Chaparral High School, he was struggling with his grades and felt he was lacking confidence. At the beginning of his junior year, he knew something needed to change. He decided to commit himself to school, assert himself more and not be afraid of judgment. Adrian says, “I’ve learned that all I need to do is ‘pretend’ to be confident and it will come.” Adrian’s digital photography teacher David Carlson says, “Adrian is quiet, but confident when he’s working with computers and programs. He’s on top of his game and is always willing to lend a hand.”
Adrian loves working with computers and aspires to major in computer science and ultimately work in Information Technology (IT) after college.
Linfield Christian HIgh School – Madison Pledger
English and AP Language teacher Melissa Blades describes Madison as, “joyful, articulate, and hard-working.” She says, “Madie is honestly one of my favorite people. She is strong and courageous in her beliefs and she has become such an amazing leader on campus in recent years.” Madison says she did not become a real Christian until her sophomore year and that it has been, “the best decision I have ever made.” Madison is both a soccer player and a student leader. Mrs. Blades says, “Despite her busy schedule, she always gives 100% of her effort in all she does.” Madison will be attending Point Loma Nazarene University next fall where she will study nursing.
Rancho Christian High School – Baron Huang
Baron Huang came to Rancho Christian High School from his native China knowing very little of American culture or the English language. In a short time, he has adapted to the lifestyle, learned the language and is living much like the typical American teen. He picked up the game of football so quickly that he was named “Lineman of the Year.” AP Chemistry teacher Michael Rea says one of Baron’s finest traits is that “he doesn’t compromise his standards.” Mr. Rea says, “Baron is an intelligent, hard working young man with a great deal of ambition.” Upon graduation, Baron says he hopes to stay in California and study mechanical engineering.
Temecula Preparatory High School – Jeanette Burke
Temecula Preparatory Principal Terri Marek says, “Jeanette is the type of student who is comfortable in her own skin.” English teacher Shannon Jonker says, “Jeanette is one of the most unique, passionate, and responsible students I’ve had. She’s herself no matter where she is, and she always sticks to what she believes in.” Mrs. Jonker has taught Jeanette in English as well as in the ASB student council for the past three years. She says, “Jeanette is anything but a follower. She will stay true to herself and her vision, follow through with her commitments, and make everyone feel included and inspired.” Jeanette says the greatest lesson she has learned in life so far is to “finish what you start.” She says, “Once you make a commitment to something, you should follow it through.”
Great Oak High School – Roge Karma
English teacher January King says, “Roge is insightful and articulate, and he has a sense of humor and maturity that separates him from the crowd.” An accomplished academic and athlete, Roge carries a 4.6 GPA and plays travel ice hockey, high school hockey, and lacrosse. He says, “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is to manage my time and persevere.” Mrs. King says a trait she finds most impressive about Roge is that, “Intuitively he knows how to improve a situation, whether it be moving it forward through insight, or through using his natural charisma to lighten the mood. It is a skill that I believe cannot be taught, and he carries it with him effortlessly.”
Roge says he has always been interested in both lawmaking and the political process and would like to pursue an undergraduate degree in history or political science and then go on to law school. He has been accepted to the University of Michigan and UC Berkeley.
Temecula Valley High School – Brian J. Hizon
AP Environmental Science teacher Anthony Mendez describes Brian as, “a leader both in the classroom and on the field. He is very intelligent and constantly performs at a high level on all assignments and exams. Brian is the kind of student every teacher wants in class, and he is the type of student you know will accomplish great things in life.”
Brian has a heart condition that required surgery at age 13. He says the experience has taught him to, “live in the moment and always live life to the fullest”. Mr. Mendez says, “Brian is a leader both in the classroom and on the field. He is very intelligent and consistently performs at a high level on all assignments and exams.”