2013-06-07 / Schools

Outstanding seniors of MHS

Stephanie Sumell

Moorpark High School

Moorpark High School’s Class of 2013 will graduate June 11.

Among the many accomplished seniors in this year’s class are the following standout students.

Giovanni Rosalez
Giovanni Rosalez Giovanni Rosalez

The youngest of five siblings, Giovanni Rosalez is the first in his family to attend college.

The son of Filiberto Rosalez, the 18-year-old said he looks forward to studying business at Cal State Northridge.

“My father did not obtain a middle school diploma,” Giovanni said. “ Being a resident on campus will provide the college experience my family never had the chance to obtain.”

During his high school career, Giovanni volunteered at Westminster Free Clinic in Thousand Oaks and was a member of Future Leaders of America, Spanish Honor Society and Movimiento Estudiantl Chicano de Aztlán, an organization that promotes Chicano empowerment through political action.

He said he enjoyed taking part in AVID, a program that prepares students for college.

“It is a class where friendships are extended to a whole different level,” the senior said. “My AVID classmates are considered family that I’ve shared countless memories with throughout high school.”

Although Giovanni’s mother died when he was 5, she nevertheless has been the biggest influence on his life.

“Throughout the challenges I faced in order to reach my goal to attend a four-year college, my mother was spiritually always there helping me along the way,” he said.

The teen, voted by his classmates as most likely to become famous, won first place for his original music composition in the Moorpark Business Academy’s talent show.

After college, he hopes to pursue a career in music.

Froylan Aguirre
Froylan Aguirre Froylan Aguirre

Froylan Aguirre, the son of Manuel and Silvia Aguirre, was a member of Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society and French Club during high school.

The 17-year-old was also a member of the Minecraft Club, a group of students who enjoy playing the online computer game in which players work together to build structures to protect against nocturnal monsters.

In addition, Froylan volunteered for the California Coastal Cleanup, the Moorpark City Library and the First Five Friendship Club, a program that helps children with special needs develop social skills.

The teen said he most enjoyed taking physics in his sophomore year.

“It was the most difficult class I ever took because I really had to think and analyze to solve every problem,” he said. “We had to be extremely familiar with concepts and think creatively to solve problems. I could no longer simply memorize concepts and equations and expect to perform well.”

A former technician for IDD Process and Packaging—a supplier of custom process and packaging systems to brewing, wine-making and other beverage industries—Froylan plans to study computer engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall.

“In 10 years, I see myself . . . designing better computer software,” the young man said. “I also see myself being active in (the) community, helping with food distribution for charity and other humanitarian purposes.”

Deena Abdelhalim Deena Abdelhalim ena Abdelhalim

Deena Abdelhalim, 17, said her parents, Ayman Abdelhalim and Hala Morsi, have encouraged her to forge her own path in life.

“They always encourage me to follow what I believe in rather than what others think,” said Deena, a member of the National Honor Society. “They are my greatest mentors and, at the same time, my greatest fans.”

Co-captain of the Moorpark High School basketball team, the scholar-athlete was named the most valuable player and best defensive player by her coaches. To share her expertise with others, she volunteered as a basketball coach for the Arroyo Vista Recreation Center in Moorpark.

Deena, who has a 4.3 GPA, served as vice president of her mosque’s youth group and as secretary for Health Occupations Students of America, an organization that prepares students to enter the healthcare field. She was also a membership coordinator for the American Red Cross of Ventura County.

She said she enjoyed taking math classes with Jennifer Steiner and Craig Carlyle.

“ Mrs. Steiner was always here for me academically and personally in all my hardships (and) Mr. (Carlyle’s) passion for teaching is contagious,” Deena said. “(He) allowed me to love math just as much as he does.”

Among the top 18 students in her class, the senior plans to study molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley before pursuing a career in medicine and starting a family.

Elizabeth Sutton
Elizabeth Sutton Elizabeth Sutton

An award-winning dancer, Elizabeth Sutton plans to study dance and nutri- tion at the University of Arizona. The teen wants to dance professionally or to have a career as a dietician following college.

“I’m very thankful to have been accepted into the selective program,” said the 18-year-old, who was named “most dedicated dancer” of Moorpark’s varsity dance team. “I can’t wait to follow my dance dreams while at the same time learning about nutrition so I can stay healthy and encourage others to do the same.”

Named Outstanding Freshman of the Year in 2010 and a three-time recipient of the Principal’s Award—given to varsity athletes who maintain a 4.0 GPA or higher—Elizabeth said she enjoyed serving as the teacher’s assistant for her school’s intermediate dance class.

“I was able to model dance technique, choreograph and teach dances to students,” said the National Honor Society member.

Elizabeth twice played the role of Clara in the Moorpark Civic Ballet and Dance Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker.”

She said her parents, Kevin and Julie Sutton, were a big reason for her success in high school.

“They . . . encourage me to always be the best version of myself I can be.”

The former Miss Teen Twin Counties for Ventura and Los Angeles counties, Elizabeth has volunteered for Flory Academy of Sciences and Technology, Mountain Meadows Elementary School, Pam Rossi’s Dance Ten and First 5 California, an organization that improves the lives of children and families through education, health services and childcare.

Brianna Johnston Brianna Johnston na Johnston

Briana Johnston said she’s thankful to have a strong support system.

“My foster mom (Geraldine Carter Yuhl) has been the biggest influence in my life so far,” the senior said. “She has always supported me and believed in me even when I didn’t really believe in myself. She has pushed me to be the best I can be in whatever I do and she has taught me that success can often be a very personal achievement.”

The 18-year-old scholarathlete was a member of her school’s water polo and swim teams.

She also swam for Class Aquatics, a competitive swimming club in Ventura County.

Briana, secretary of Moorpark’s Anime Club for four years, said she enjoyed taking Victoria Weiss’s English classes.

“Ms. Weiss conducted the most entertaining class I have ever had,” said Briana, who volunteered for Luther’s Attic Christian Thrift Store last summer. “She cared about us learning and succeeding (and) most importantly, she was willing to help out all her students.”

Briana will attend California Lutheran University, where she will be a member of the swim team and of Air Force ROTC, a program that prepares students for a career in the United States Air Force.

After graduating from college and serving as an officer in the Air Force, Briana said, she plans to attend graduate school.

“(I see myself) finding my true passion and pursuing it as a career,” she said.

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