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  • October Student of the Month

    Pictured are October’s Students of the Month; Front row - Said Castaneda, Heritage High School; Meagan Macatangay, Paloma Valley High School; Emmanuel Garduno, Perris Lake High School; and Jasmine Lomeli, Perris High School. Back row - Sally Myers, Founder; Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto, 67th District; Lindsay Chavez, Principal, Heritage High School; Mayor Bill Zimmerman, City of Menifee; Dr. Jennifer Thomasian, Principal, Paloma Valley High School; Robert Brough, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, Perris Union High School District; Lee Alfred, Principal, Perris Lake High School; Juan Santos, Principal, Perris High School; Alejandra Herrera, Riverside County Office of Education; Nancy Salazar, City Clerk, City of Perris; and Heidi Flores, Legislative Intern, City of Perris.


    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.


    October’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.


    Perris High School’s Student of the Month is Jasmine Lomeli. If you were to ask anyone at Perris High who has influenced the school most, they would say it was Jasmine. Having been part of ASB all four years of high school, Jasmine has established herself as a true leader. According to her new ASB advisor, Ms. Angelica Osuna, Jasmine was instrumental in helping her transition into the role of advisor. “I’m very grateful to her; it has been her guidance and support that has been my saving grace”, she said. In addition to ASB, Jasmine is involved in AVID and is vice president of the Youth Advisory Council, where she collaborates with the City of Perris helping to organize various community projects. On top of all that, she manages to maintain a 4.0 GPA while taking a number of AP courses, and is in the top ten of her class. Jasmine plans to continue her education at Stanford majoring in human biology to enter the medical field.


    Heritage High School’s Said Castaneda is October’s Student of the Month. Said was nominated by three different teachers which clearly indicates how much he is respected on campus. Once an extremely shy student, Said decided to break out of his comfort zone and join Link Crew. The skills he has learned and the relationships he’s made, have turned his high school experience around. Said discovered that he loves to mentor, and attends multiple tutoring sessions for freshman classes. In addition to Link Crew, Said is involved in School Site Council, NHS, and CSF as a club officer. Being involved in these organizations has taught Said valuable skills in leadership and character. He has also learned not to waste any opportunities and will take these lessons with him to college. Said has also discovered that he is good at math. He wants to expand on his math skills and attend either UC Irvine or UC Riverside to major in mathematics.


    Emmanuel Garduno is Perris Lake High School’s Student of the Month. As in most school districts, many students struggled during Covid with online instruction. Manny, as he likes to be called, was one of those students. After not being able to graduate last year, his mom enrolled him at Perris Lake. Almost immediately, Manny felt welcomed and treated as family. The support he has received from teachers, staff, and at home have encouraged him to push and stay on track to graduate. In fact, his hard work has paid off in that he will be able to graduate in December. Manny shared how this experience has taught him some valuable lessons in being able to achieve his goals in life. “A lesson I’ve been taught by my family and teachers is that hard work and dedication can get you anywhere in life,” he said. Manny plans to continue his education through the military to pursue a degree in marine biology.


    Paloma Valley High School’s Student of the Month is Meagan Macatangay. Meagan is involved in numerous clubs and organizations (10 to be exact) including Youth Leaders of Menifee, Asian Culture Club, ASB, and Hospital Occupation Students of America, just to name a few. On top of all that, she has maintained a 4.3 GPA while taking a number of AP and Honors courses. Meagan shares a passion for helping others which is evident in the activities she is involved in. She devotes a lot of her time in club activities and participating in community service programs. “I believe that I make use of my time well by being a part of something bigger than myself,” she stated. Meagan shared her dream would be to attend UC Irvine to obtain a bachelor's degree in nursing. She would then extend her medical training to specialize in pediatric neonatology/perinatal medicine.


    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.