|Pictured left to right are December’s Students of the Month; Dr. Jonathan Greenberg, Superintendent, Perris Union High School District; Grant Bennett, Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce; Dorothy Wolons, CEO, Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce; Sandy Thai, Perris High School; Kimberlee Heuer, Paloma Valley High School; Anthony Castillo, The Academy; Jorge Esmerio, Heritage High School; Mayor Daryl Busch, City of Perris; Councilman Greg August, City of Menifee; and Councilman Julio Rodriguez, City of Perris.|
Each month during the calendar school year, the Menifee Valley and Perris Valley Chambers of Commerce collectively present their prestigious Student of the Month awards to four outstanding local high school seniors. December’s hard-working students have a lot to celebrate beyond the holiday season. Nominated by their teachers and faculty at each campus, the chosen students are standouts who possess integrity, a love of learning, ability to persevere and overcome challenging circumstances, and dedication to community service.
Perris High School: Sandy Thai
Principal Dr. Lynne Sheffield describes Sandy as a quiet leader who is both liked and admired by her peers. Her Spanish teach, Mr. Espinoza, proudly shares that in three years having Sandy as a student, she has never missed a homework assignment. She continues to challenge herself to learn and succeed and maintains a 4.2 GPA, all while playing sports and participating in the academic decathlon.
Sandy has struggled with the loss of her mother but has still continued to flourish. She plans on attending college, where she will major in chemical engineering and continue to give back to her community.
Paloma Valley High School: Kimberlee Heuer
One of Kimberlee’s teachers, Ann Campbell, describes her as an exceptional student who is extremely enthusiastic about learning. As a student leader for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, she has helped to enact positive changes at her campus.
Kimberlee shared she is very passionate about helping others to succeed and she likes encouraging her peers to excel. She plans on attending either Cal State Fullerton or Cal State San Marcos, where she will study toward becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
The Academy Community Day School: Anthony Castillo
Anthony’s teacher, Joe Rossi, explained how hard Anthony has worked to get to where he is in his education, learning to take action rather than react after the fact. He has strived for success and currently holds the highest grade in his class.
Anthony shares that there was a rough patch of poor decisions in his past but he working ever so diligently to get his life back on track. He plans to continue his education and to eventually study to become an attorney.
Heritage High School: Jorge Esmerio
Jorge’s counselor, Melina Gonzales, says that while he has only been at Heritage for a year, he has already proven to be an amazing and determined young man. When he first came to Heritage, he did not speak English and since then, he has come a long way, showing eagerness to learn. He has a nearly perfect math grade and participates in the National Honor Society.
Jorge humbly shared how difficult it has been to leave his family in Mexico, but how grateful he is for the recognition and his education. He hopes to attend UCLA, where he will major in engineering and math with a goal to work for NASA.
All of these students absolutely shine and their community, facility, and proud families commend them for the excellence. If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, contact founder Sally Myers at 951-506-8024.