December Students of the Month
The Perris and Menifee Valley’s Chambers of Commerce have announced their five Perris Unified High School District Students of the Month for December. Nominated by teachers and staff at their respective schools, the students are selected for their character, integrity, love of learning, perseverance to overcome challenging circumstances, community service, and the manner in which they make a difference on campus.
The recognized students and their families were honored during a celebratory breakfast sponsored by the chambers along with local businesses and organizations. The attending business and government representatives are presented first-hand accounts of the student’s accomplishments, as told by the educators. Each honoree received certificates of recognition, numerous gifts and hearty congratulations and encouragement to continue their paths.
The Perris Valley Chamber and the Menifee Valley Chamber wish them the best in their endeavors. If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, please contact founder, Sally Myers at (951) 506-8024.
Lucas Brown — Perris Lake High School
“Being a young, transgender man — on top of that, being a young, African American man — makes things hard on its own,” Lucas Brown said, “but having supportive mentors and a supportive family can make it a lot easier and a lot more helpful.”
“He’s a leader among other students,” his teacher Gary Miller said. “He’s able to bring the best out of them.”
And that, Miller said, makes things easier in his class.
Lucas Brown’s sister, Lexie Trejo also attends “The Lake.”
“Having her (sic) as my brother — my support system — makes it easy for me to feel welcomed and comfortable there in my skin.”
His mother, Michelle Partee, says that going from a female to a male takes a lot of courage.
“The staff and the students on campus are very involved in the change in Lucas’ life,” she said.
For now, Lucas says he wants to keep his life’s path open.
“I have multiple options. I’ve been looking into — like being a firefighter, being a tattoo artist, being a mechanic, a welder.”
Luis Daniel Garcia – Liberty High School
Luis Daniel Garcia’s vice principal at his previous school declared to Luis’ mother that her son was not college material.
The determined mother immediately pulled him out and enrolled him at Liberty High School.
The first thing Luis could say was to thank everyone at Liberty High.
“They have been so kind to me,” he said. “They have taken me into campus being a transfer student . . . and they have shown me so much.”
Yes, he’s indeed going to college, and is aiming high. He’s hoping to attend Stanford University or U.C. Berkeley.
“I would like to major in biomedical engineering and business. After that, I’d like to go to dental school and be an orthodontist.”
Later, he says, he’d like to establish a line of dental clinics — oh and become a part-time stock trader.
In the meantime, he’s taking every Advance Placement class he can, while playing soccer, has earned a black belt in Karate, and he’s active in ASB, the Associated Student Body.
Luigi Garibay – Heritage High School
It seems that everyone who knows Heritage High School’s Luigi Garibay sees him as driven and energetic.
“He’s a student who has stopped me in my tracks,” Principal Lindsay Chavez said, “He is fiercely independent, intelligent, and stubborn, but kind — and the hardest worker in the room.”
His American Government teacher, Katrina McPhail calls him “the instigator of discussions.”
“I don’t know how he does it — he’ll bring up something I didn’t know,” she says.
Then, she says, she has to go look it up herself.
Luigi, however, credits the educators and fellow students there for steering him away from what he calls his “great depression.”
“Had it not been for these people, I probably would have been homeless — or fallen into addiction.”
“Given the struggles and barriers that he has faced,” his counselor, Guadalupe Fierros said,” he’s always beenable to stay determined.
“He’s always worked hard.”
Luigi plans to go to Cal State Fullerton and get a business degree.
Elsie Elizabeth Sisson —Paloma Valley High School
“She’s the epitome of the word ‘exceptional,’” Paloma Valley High School Interim Principal Julie Blied said of Elsie Elizabeth Sisson.
“Not only she’s an athlete — she’s a tri-sport athlete, so she’s literally at school till about 10 p.m. every single day.
“Her teachers call her kind, hardworking — never a complaint out of her mouth.,” Blied said.
Elsie credits her parents.
“They are honestly my motivation for everything I do,” she says.
“I want to major in biochemistry and become a pediatrician and go into the medical field like my mom did — to help people like my dad who has some medical issues.”
She received a “full ride” scholarship to Haverford College in Pennsylvania. She says the biggest lesson she has learned is perseverance.
“Keep fighting through everything,” she said. “Sometimes it’s difficult . . . but if you really put your mind to it and just pay attention, and struggle with the people around you, and lean on them for support, then almost anything is possible.”
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