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Top ROP students earn medals at annual recognition event

Posted: May 4, 2010 3:04 p.m.
Updated: May 5, 2010 3:01 p.m.

Gold medalists at the ROP Awards Ceremony are (l-r) Michael Wright, Dalton Bond, Rachel Ward, Jasmin Robles, Edger España and Austyn Walline.

 
Eighteen outstanding students in the Hart District's Regional Occupational Program came away from the annual ROP awards ceremony with medals attesting to their excellent academic achievement and positive attitudes in the career-oriented ROP classes in which they are enrolled.

As a highlight of the program, Rachel Ward from Canyon High School was named to the ROP Hall of Fame as ROP's Outstanding Student of the Year.

Instructors in ROP classes chose the outstanding student in their class, according to criteria established in advance. All 94 outstanding students were then invited to participate in interviews before a panel of professionals in one of six industry clusters.

Once the gold, silver and bronze medalists were chosen, the gold medalists were invited to a second interview to determine the Hall of Fame winner.

Ward was nominated by teacher Debbie Pepe as the outstanding student in her Animal Care and Services class. "Rachel Ward could best be described as a go-getter," Pepe said. "She is a hands-on, not-afraid-to-get-her- hands-dirty type of person."

The nomination noted that when most students are sleeping in on Sunday mornings, Rachel arrives at Hart Park at 5:30 a.m. to start her animal caretaking chores of feeding and cleaning the animals.

"Even in the rain, Rachel was on time and wearing a smile," Pepe continued. "She is confident without arrogance (and) always a pleasure to work with."

Dalton Bond from Saugus High School is the gold medal winner in the Building Trades & Transportation cluster. He was selected by his ROP Plumbing teacher for his positive attitude, good attendance and strong work ethics.

Runners up in the industry cluster include Joshua Murray, Canyon High School, silver medalist, chosen by his Exploring Engineering Technology teacher. Bronze medalist is Tanner Griffin, Saugus High School, from the ROP Automotive Technology class.

Michael Wright from Saugus High School, gold medalist in the Design, Marketing & Finance industry cluster, was named by his Virtual Enterprise teacher, Summer O'Brien.

Michael currently holds the position of Chief Financial Officer of Acoustic Cakes and Apparel, the virtual company created and run by the class. "He has an infectious smile and sense of humor and is a pleasure to have in class," O'Brien commented.

Runners up in the industry cluster include Shogik Yeremyan from Hart High School, silver medalist, from the Virtual Enterprise class. Bronze medalist is Steven Sehrer from Valencia High School, named by his Banking Occupations teacher.

Gold medalist in the Health & Child Development industry cluster is Jasmin Robles from West Ranch High School, selected by Pam English, her Dental Assisting teacher. "She does not hesitate to help in class and, as a result, she is looked up to by all class members," English said. Her nomination also noted the extra time and effort Robles added to create an exceptional portfolio showing her work in the class.

Silver medalist in the industry cluster is Taylor Zimmerman from West Ranch High School, chosen by his Physical Therapy Assistant teacher. Hwiwon Park from Canyon High School, selected from her Pharmacy Assistant class, earned the bronze medal.

Nominated in her Animal Care & Services class, Rachel Ward from Canyon High School earned the gold medal in Hospitality, Tourism & Natural Resources cluster and went on to receive the annual Hall of Fame award.

Other medalists in the industry cluster include Sara Soliz from Canyon High School, who received the silver medal on behalf of her Advanced Animal Care & Services ROP class. Cynthia Lapos from Canyon High School was named by her Culinary Arts teacher and earned the bronze medal.

In the Media, Product Development & Information Technology cluster, Austyn Walline from Saugus High School earned the gold medal. John Moskal, her teacher in the Entertainment/Performance Occupations class, called her "one of the finest character actors I have ever had. Not one class goes by without Austyn rendering help/advice to her fellow actors."

Silver medalist in the cluster is Madyson Statley from Hart High School, representing her Screen Printing class. Bronze medalist Rikki Clark from Hart High School, was chosen by her Digital Photography teacher.

Edger España, an adult student in the Advanced Fire Technology Academy, was selected for his help to other students and his strong skills. "He is well respected by his fellow cadets and all instructors," commented his teacher, Kelly Chulick. España is class captain this year.

Michael May from West Ranch High School is silver medalist in the cluster, representing the ROP Fire Technology Academy. Bronze medalist is Conor LeBlanc from Saugus High School, named by his Wildland Fire teacher.

All six gold medalists were recognized by the Olympic Chapter of the California Association of Regional Occupational Centers/Programs and given a $100 scholarship. As Hall of Fame winner, Ward will have her name engraved on a perpetual plaque which will be on display for the coming year at Canyon High School, her home school.

The awards ceremony carried a 1960s theme, "Come together...with ROP," with Beatles-themed entertainment by students in the ROP Entertainment Performance class.

The winning poster was designed by the ROP Digital Photography class, using photos shot in various ROP classes across the valley and ROP students in ‘60s fashions superimposed against a giant peace sign. LaCandace Danridge from Valencia High School and Kevin Gabellieri from West Ranch High School were mistress and master of ceremonies.

The Hart District's Regional Occupational Program offers a wide array of career-driven classes designed to meet industry needs and offer students skills that will provide them with meaningful jobs during and after high school and, in many cases, inspire them to pursue higher education within their chosen industry.

ROP classes are open to students 16 years and older. They are free to high school students and available at a nominal charge to adults on a space available basis.

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