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Murrieta's December Students of the Month Announced

The students recognized Dec. 5 were: Patrick Xu, Kendalyn Pease, Shelby Stiefel, Princess Joy Jolly, Nadya Dooley and Saul Vela.

Pictured from left to right (bottom row) are: Patrick Xu, Kendalyn Pease, Shelby Stiefel, Princess Joy Jolly, Nadya Dooley and Saul Vela. (Photo: Blinkit Photography)
Pictured from left to right (bottom row) are: Patrick Xu, Kendalyn Pease, Shelby Stiefel, Princess Joy Jolly, Nadya Dooley and Saul Vela. (Photo: Blinkit Photography)

The following six Murrieta high school seniors were honored Dec. 5 as part of the Murrieta Valley Chamber of Commerce High School Student of the Month Recognition Program:

Kendalyn Pease, Murrieta Mesa High School

Nadya Dooley, Riverside Springs Charter School

Princess Joy Jolly, Creekside High School

Shelby Stiefel , Calvary Murrieta Christian High School

Patrick Xu, Murrieta Valley High School

Saul Vela, Vista Murrieta High School

Pictured with the students in the attached photo are, from left to right: Sally A. Myers (Founder); Patrick Ellis (CEO, Murrieta Chamber of Commerce); Margaret Jones (Chair) and Jennifer Mejares-Pham (Coordinator).

Provided by Karen Parris, Murrieta Valley Unified School District, here is some information about each of the students’ accomplishments and aspirations:

Murrieta Mesa High School Senior Kendalyn Pease is an excellent student who is both creative and analytical. She has taken classes in the Medical Pathway at her school all four years. Kendalyn has been President of her school’s Patriot’s Club which supports military-connected students plus she is in Student Venture, National Honor Society and the Advanced Women’s Ensemble. Kendalyn plans to attend Grand Canyon University and pursue a career as an obstetrics nurse. After watching her step-father battle leukemia, Kendalyn said the most important lesson she has learned is how important it is to appreciate life and give back to the community. Kendalyn is known as a humble, self-starter who goes out of her way to help others.

River Springs Charter School Senior Nadya Dooley has a dedication to academics that is unique. Her passions range from robotics and violin to Karate and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)  Nadya began taking community college classes when she was 13 and she will graduate from high school in three years.  She has travelled around the world and she will soon embark on her seventh trip to India where she plans to take robotics equipment to a children’s home and hold a robotics camp. Nadya wrote, illustrated and published her first novel when she was in middle school.  She attended a STEM summer camp at UC Davis and she has coached several robotics and STEM camps. Nadya is applying to several colleges including UCSD and UC Davis. She is interested in pursuing a career in animal science and plans to use her skills and to make the world a better place.

Creekside High School Senior Princess Joy Jolly spent her Freshman and Sophomore years at Vista Murrieta and enrolled in Creekside High School at the beginning of her Junior year. Since coming to Creekside, Princess has excelled and she will graduate this month, a semester early. Princess serves as Creekside’s student representative to the District’s Board of Education and she provides the Board with a monthly report at their meetings. Princess has also played an active role in student leadership on campus and she models and promotes positive behavior.  She plans to attend college and become a registered nurse.   

Calvary Murrieta Christian High School Senior Shelby Stiefel said academics never came easy for her but she discovered the importance of perseverance - in the classroom and on the basketball court. At one point Shelby realized she was going to have to work harder than other students to get the grades she desired so she forced herself to go in before school and stay late to get the extra help she needed.  Her efforts paid off with excellent grades and she was named Captain of her basketball team this year, in spite of her petite size. Shelby is known for her determination, unshakeable faith and for her kind and gentle spirit.  Shelby has traveled to Mexico on a mission trip and she will soon be going on a trip to Haiti. She plans to go to Azusa Pacific University but she is undecided on her major.

As a Second Lieutenant in the JROTC at Murrieta Valley High School Senior Patrick Xu is not only a leader in that program, he is a leader on campus. Patrick is on-track to earn a full International Baccalaureate diploma. He has taken the most rigorous courses his school offers, including six AP classes, while maintaining a 4.6 GPA. Patrick is applying to MIT and Stanford and he plans to major in electrical engineering. Patrick is a well-rounded young man who strives to invest himself in activities and pursuits that are meaningful and significant such as the Science Olympiad Club. In addition, he is an accomplished pianist,  the unofficial ambassador and translator for the Chinese students who are enrolled in his school and through his involvement in the National Honor Society he mentors other students. Patrick also plays the piano for the senior center and his church and he has taken two trips to China by himself to do charity work.

Senior Saul Vela is known as the quiet young man who is always behind the camera on Vista Murrieta High School’s campus. He has been involved in video production since his freshman year and this year he is the Chief Editor of the daily Bronco News program which is shown in all the classes on campus. Saul is also involved in the Video Production Club and he has spent countless hours of his own time capturing video of games and every extracurricular activity held at the school, from band concerts to pep rallies. Saul has also been instrumental in helping stream live coverage of Vista Murrieta’s championship football games. Saul has earned the respect and admiration of his peers for always going above and beyond to ensure that other students get recognized. Last year Saul won an iPad for winning the V-Brick video contest for a Public Service Announcement video he created. Saul plans to attend California College of the Arts in San Francisco to study film.

If you wish to learn more about the Student of the Month Program, please contact Sally A. Myers, Founder at 951-506-8024.

If you wish to learn more about sponsoring the Student of the Month program, please contact Margaret D. Jones, Chair of the Murrieta Student of the Month Program at 951-677-4856. 

If you have any additional questions, contact Karen Parris Murrieta SOM Publicity Coordinator 951-696-1600, ext. 1022.   

"The SOM Program greatly appreciates your support and interest in the lives of our young people," Parris said.

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