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  • December Student of the Month


    Pictured are December’s Students of the Month; Front Row: Ariana Garcia, Perris High School; Joseph Jara, Paloma Valley High School; Carlos Serrato, Heritage High School; not pictured, Christopher Reed, Perris Lake High School. Back Row: Juan Santos, Principal - Perris High School; Nancy Salazar, City Clerk - City of Perris; Grant Bennett, Superintendent - Perris High School District; Councilmember Bob Karwin - City of Menifee; Mayor Michael Vargas - City of Perris; Lee Alfred, Principal - Perris Lake High School; Dr. Jennifer Thomasian, Principal - Paloma Valley High School; Dalia Bahu - Riverside County Superintendent of Schools; Lourdes Medrano, Assistant Principal - Heritage High School.

    The Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce kicked off the 2022-2023 Student of the Month program in September. The students are nominated by their teachers and staff at their respective school sites and are chosen for their character, integrity, love of learning, ability to persevere and overcome challenging circumstances, community service, and how they make a difference on their high school campus.


    December’s students and their families attended a breakfast sponsored by the Perris and Menifee Chambers of Commerce along with local businesses and organizations. Principals and teachers from each high school shared stories about the students and they each received certificates of recognition, numerous gifts, congratulations and encouragement from local, county, state and federal dignitaries.

    Paloma Valley High School’s Student of the Month is Joseph Jara. Joseph currently holds a 4.1 GPA and is in the top 25, out of 780, in his class. He has taken multiple AP and dual enrollment classes. According to the Principal, Dr. Jennifer Thomasian, Joseph is very polite and respectful. “Parents have mistaken him for a staff member, sometimes,” she said. Joseph is actually responsible for bringing esports to Paloma Valley. He shared that when covid started and education went online, he focused on building a membership for esports as it was in its infancy. As it turns out, the club saw its biggest increase in membership during that time. “We saw amazing interpersonal relationships being created here, through esports teams or kids that just wanted to find a friend to play with even though they couldn’t play face to face,” he said. Joseph plans to attend UC Irvine majoring in computer science in hopes of seeking a career in esports.

    Perris Lake High School’s Christopher Reed is December’s Student of the Month. Lee Alfred, Principal of Perris Lake, shared that Christopher was dealing with some anxieties, along with other things going on at home, and therefore, could not make the event. However, Mr. Alfred reminded everyone that even something as great as a day like Student of the Month and celebrating that moment, sometimes in life there’s nothing bigger than what a family might be going through. Christopher’s teacher, Mr. Walter Maciel, shared that Christopher is that student who shows up and has this great attitude. “Not only does he do his stuff, but he makes a conscious effort to make sure that those around him are coming along with him. If they don’t understand something, he steps in and helps them out with what they need, he’s very selfless in that way” he said. Both Mr. Alfred and Mr. Maciel shared they were excited to go back to bring Christopher his awards to take home and provide them something to celebrate at home.

    Ariana Garcia is Perris High School’s Student of the Month. Ariana currently holds a 3.7 GPA and is very active on campus. She is involved in AVID, FFA, NHS, and is the DJ for ASB. Ariana shared that she feels her greatest contribution to Perris High is the spirit that she brings which she does through the various activities that she is involved in. “I think being in high school is one of those things that students actually get a groove and figure themselves out before they go out and experience what life has to offer,” she said. ASB advisor, Ms. Angelica Osuna shared how she admired Ariana’s dedication to help change the culture of the school. “She is kind, intelligent, humble, and she is always trying her best to ensure the culture of our school is moving in the right direction,” she stated. Ariana has received a Dean’s scholarship to Cal Baptist University where she will enter the nursing program to become a travel nurse, and eventually a pediatrician.

    Heritage High School’s Student of the Month is Carlos Serrato. Carlos’s parents immigrated to the US from Mexico for a better life for their children. As a first generation to attend high school, Carlos has taken full advantage of the opportunities afforded to him at Perris High. His current GPA is 4.3 and he is number eight in his class. All of his classes are AP courses with the exception of peer tutoring. As a part of Link Crew, Carlos helps and mentors freshmen as they transition into high school. Aside from sports, this is his favorite program. “I love seeing them as they grow and later on become a part of Link Crew. It’s good to see the community grow around you and know that you were a part of that and you helped them,” he said. Carlos plans to attend a four year college, hopefully UCLA. He will be majoring in microbiology and immunology before transitioning to a medical school to become a surgeon.

    All of these students demonstrated a desire to work hard and have a drive to exceed others and their own expectations. 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.