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Hemet Unified and San Jacinto Unified school districts award September Students of the Month


Last updated 10/19/2018 at 6:18am


Students from Hemet Unified and San Jacinto Unified school districts celebrate the September Students of the Month, including from left, Alyssa Alto, Samantha Torres, Kirsten Pellegrino, Jeverdy Barro, Anaya Crouch, Dylan Carter and Tahereh "Maddy" Moghadass, who is not pictured.

HEMET – Students from Hemet Unified and San Jacinto Unified were recognized as Students of the Month at an awards breakfast, Sept. 13, at the Sizzler restaurant in Hemet. Students were selected from Hemet High School, West Valley High School, Tahquitz High School, Hamilton High School, Helen Hunt Jackson College Prep High School, San Jacinto High School and Mountain View High School/Mountain Heights Academy.

Kirsten Pellegrino was selected as the Hamilton High School Student of the Month. Pellegrino was nominated by her teacher Adam Bishop, for her ability to overcome diversity. Bishop said, "I only know of some of the struggles that Kirsten has had to go through, but she still comes to school with a smile on her face every day." Pellegrino is on the school's cheer, soccer, softball and track teams. She plans on attending college after high school to pursue a career as a pediatric nurse, so she can help others.

Samantha Torres was chosen as Hemet High School's Student of the Month. Torres was nominated by her teacher James Walsh due to her perseverance and work ethic. She is currently a member of the school's Mock Trial team, a Trig Star, Math League member and an athlete in track. In her spare time, she volunteers at Hemet Hospital and the Hemet Public Library. She hopes to attend University of California Los Angeles to pursue a career as a physician or surgeon.

Tahereh "Maddy" Moghadass was selected as Helen Hunt Jackson College Prep High School's Student of the Month. She was nominated by multiple teachers for her responsible, hard-working and articulate nature. Moghadass is currently ASB president, a yearbook staffer and community volunteer. After high school, she plans on attending University of California Los Angeles and becoming a physician assistant.

Dylan Carter was selected as the Tahquitz High School Student of the Month. Carter was selected for his determined attitude. His nominating teacher, Kacy Simpson said, "There are things that Dylan has had to experience in his life at such a young age that would break an older person. However, this young man has persevered and works harder than most." Carter is currently in the Advancement Via Individual Determination program; he is Club AVID historian, member of the Key Club and senior captain for Color Guard. He plans on attending a four-year college and pursuing a career in health care.

Jeverdy Barro was nominated as West Valley High School's Student of the Month. Her teacher Mr. Dawson nominated her for her consistent excellence. She is currently ranked No. 1 in her class academically at West Valley and is working to become the school's valedictorian. Barro considers herself a realist and works hard to ensure her goals are met. She plans on attending college to major in mathematics and possibly become a math teacher.

Alyssa Alto was nominated by teacher Harry Ebeling for Mountain View High School's September student of the month. "Alyssa is the perfect example of a very, very giving person," Ebeling said. "She reaches out to new students or those that are uncomfortable and makes them feel welcome." Principal Ken Swanson also congratulated Alto for being the first student in the 2018-2019 school year to graduate and shared that Alto was honored in May by the Riverside County Bar Association for outstanding citizenship. "I'm very interested in studying cosmetology," Alto said in her remarks to the breakfast audience. "I like makeup and helping my friends and others look great." Alto's oldest brother Jared spoke at the breakfast about her ability to face challenges and her leadership. "You are a leader, Alyssa," her brother said. "Some may say there is no rush, but you need to follow your dreams."

Anaya Crouch was nominated by English teacher Matt Corum for San Jacinto High School's September student of the month. "I first knew Anaya as a junior, and even then, I would ask myself, 'How does she do it – between sports, art, clubs and her studies?' ...and I'm still not sure," Corum said. New interim Principal Courtney Hall also described Crouch as a very busy student, which includes student board member for the board of trustees and secretary for a new school club called Adult-ing 101. "Anaya is the face that belongs with the mission statement for San Jacinto Unified," Hall said as she recited the characteristics of academic excellence, personal growth and social responsibility. Crouch said that she had an insatiable need to be perfect in her work and was not accepting of failure, and the stress from that mindset was holding her back. "I learned that I needed to acknowledge my fear for growth," she said. Crouch's plans after high school are to study graphic design in New York, where she said she needs to be willing to take risks and be ready to network.

Sponsors of the Student of the Month Program donated backpacks filled with gifts, gift certificates, a plaque and much more to each student. The students had an opportunity to thank their families and teachers who have supported them and helped them plan their future life goals. The Student of the Month committee congratulated the students, teachers, principals and family members.

Submitted by Hemet and San Jacinto school districts.


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