Chamber of Commerce Honors Students of Month

Back row, from left: Patrick Kelley, MVUSD superintendent; Margaret Jones, Student of the Month chair; Jen Pham, SOM Chair; Patrick Ellis, M...

Back row, from left: Patrick Kelley, MVUSD superintendent; Margaret Jones, Student of the Month chair; Jen Pham, SOM Chair; Patrick Ellis, Murrieta Chamber of Commerce. Front row, from left: Woody Gotz, Calvary Murrieta Christian High School; Paige Knickerbocker, Murrieta Mesa High School; Megan Chan, Springs Charter School; Layla Sengul, Creekside High School; Alli Kim, Vista Murrieta High School; Dakota Brubaker, Murrieta Valley High School.
Photo courtesy of KC Photography

The Murrieta Valley Chamber of Commerce and Murrieta Valley Unified School District recently honored six Students of the Month from area high schools.

Murrieta Valley High School senior Dakota Brubaker is ASB President and a full IB Diploma candidate. In addition to being involved in student leadership at his school, Dakota has been on the varsity swim team for three years and is a member of National Honor Society. He is also working with student leaders at Murrieta Mesa and Vista Murrieta high schools to raise money for ALS. Dakota maintains a 3.95 GPA. He said he is grateful for the opportunities he has had at Murrieta Valley and he has learned that hard work and persistence can lead you anywhere. Dakota hopes to attend West Point and he wants to go into business and politics.

In her first year at Creekside High School, senior Leyla Sengul served on the Student Advisory Committee and helped to develop the school’s leadership program. Leyla has overcome several challenges which contributed to her falling behind in school. Since enrolling at Creekside, she has worked hard to make up 80 credits in four months and she has gained independence and confidence. Layla graduated early from Creekside and she is now enrolled in Mt. San Jacinto College. She said she has learned that she can do whatever she sets her mind to and after she finishes at MSJC, she plans to transfer to Cal State Long Beach. Layla said she has always admired her teachers and she would like to become a history teacher.

Murrieta Mesa High School senior Paige Knickerbocker is an outstanding student who maintains a 4.1 GPA while taking five AP Classes. Paige is involved in Mesa’s Medical Pathway and she is a varsity athletic trainer. She has also served as an intern at ICare Urgent Care. Paige is involved in Student Senate, California Scholarship Federation, National Honor Society, the Cultural Power Ambassadors and the Environmental Science Club. Paige was her school’s ambassador on a trip to China and she teaches Chinese in the elementary school Explorer Program. She hopes to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo or UC Santa Barbara and study animal science or zoology. Her career goal is to be a veterinarian and she would someday like to work with Vets Without Borders.

Springs Charter School Senior Megan Chan will have earned 42 units of college credits by the time she graduates from high school. Megan is National Honor Society President and she is on the Robotics Team. In addition to her high school classes, she is taking Physics and Chinese at MSJC. Megan is a well-rounded student and she has been actively involved in the community, participating in ballet, martial arts and piano. In addition, she has helped with Robotics camps for special needs students and has been a martial arts instructor. Megan plans to major in industrial engineering at a four-year university -- hopefully Stanford. Megan is kind and she always has a smile and a positive, can-do attitude.

Calvary Murrieta Christian High School Senior Woody Gotz grew up abroad with his parents serving as missionaries. While it wasn’t always easy living in Albania and the jungles of Belize, Woody said the most significant lesson he learned is that God loves everyone. Woody is a diligent student who maintains an A average. He plays football and basketball and he is an inspiration to his peers on campus. He puts others ahead of himself and his positive attitude is infectious. Woody plans to go into the ministry.

Vista Murrieta High School senior Alli Kim is a quiet leader on campus. She has been a member of ASB and Student Senate all four years of high school and a member of Link Crew. She has played varsity golf for four years and she is this year’s league champion in women’s golf in the competitive Southwestern League. Alli’s quiet confidence, character and commitment to excellence are the keys to her success. She goes above and beyond in her efforts to succeed and she has taken advantage of all the opportunities available to her at Vista Murrieta. Alli will play golf on a scholarship at UNLV, where she will major in biology. Her goal is to pursue a career as a medical examiner.

If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, contact Sally A. Myers, founder, at 951-506-8024. If you are interested in sponsoring the Student of the Month program, contact Margaret D. Jones, Chair of the Murrieta Student of the Month Program, at 951-677-4856.

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