Student of the Month (SOM) Marcos Morales put in the effort to achieve at Ivy High School.
Sponsors, students and teachers alike enjoyed returning to the SOM breakfasts! The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Marines of MAG-29, Marine Air Group, Women’s Club,  Fallbrook Vintage Car Club,  Fallbrook Village News  and American Association of University Women (AAUW)  members happily found their seats for the celebration. Rotarian Jen Weeks attended for Fallbrook Village Rotary. Master of Ceremonies Greg Coppock, Pastor from SonRise Christian Fellowship, announced that he was glad to see everyone, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Chace Stevees provided the invocation. Two  Marines --- one from MAG-39 and one from the Marine Air Group -- led the Pledge of Allegiance and medal presentation. Along with Ivy High School student Marcos Morales, there were three other honored students: Viviana Lasley, Jett Leeman and Carl Maier from Fallbrook High School. 

Teacher Marty Camacho became impressed by Marcos’ work and asked him why he chose Ivy High School.  Marcos let him know he wasn’t able to put in the effort previously but was ready to do it now. Marcos came to school at 6:30 a.m. and stayed late to catch up with his schoolwork. He gained ten credits in a short amount of time.
When he started high school, Marcos said he felt anxious and couldn't do well . His family had hard times financially in pandemic. Even today, they were working and were unable to join him in the SOM celebration. Upon attending Ivy, he decided that he needed to study hard to have his own business. His future would be better with a college scholarship. He focused on a Business degree after taking Ms. Walker’s economics class. He might have own skate clothing company. He says, “Life is a puzzle to enjoy!”

Teacher Marin Pinnell called Viviana Lasley a breath of fresh air. Viv is one amazing student that brings air into the room. She takes Advanced Placement (AP) classes and participates in the  International Baccalaureate (IB) program. To help other students, she has been a tutor since the pandemic.Teacher Pinnell enjoyed online classes including Viv, who always kept her camera on. Her film teacher said Viv met all the requirements of an IB — Inquirer, thinker, communicator,  balanced, and  effective. Her Dad, who is college teacher said FB high prepared her with excellent math, science, and yearbook experience. She got an excellent score on SAT, so her SAT tutor said she could have his job.

Viv called SOM  the Oscars of Smart People.  She thanked her parents and teacher. She plans to attend a UC and take  …maybe … chemistry.


Jett Leeman’s introduction included his recent award: Commended Student by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation due to his PSAT score. Teacher Pinelli said he is like the perfect Cappuccino froth that can handle the heat and pressure. His first AP class pressured him during his sophomore year. The AP test put on the stressful heat. He made it with a stronger resilience and continues to achieve high AP scores.

With tears in her eyes, his mother said he has always pushed hard even in childhood sports. He did everything the hard way with his right hand until his family discovered he was left-handed. Now, he is ambidextrous!  He still pushes every day to get through difficult classes and focuses on his future. She appreciated Ms. Pinnell as her son’s role model.

Jett thanked everyone and said he plans to attend a  UC, Stanford, or Yale.


Presented by Teacher Ashley Amato (top photo), Carl Maier won two College Board National Recognition awards: National Hispanic and Rural Small Community. He is a leader and participates in Future Farmers of America (FFA). Carl Maier's mother, who was the second mom to get teary-eyed during the presentation, talked about all the intellectual opportunities her son lost during COVID.  He continued to excel in his classes without complaints. She talked about her son's mentorship of incoming freshen during the pandemic. When he saw food being distributed, he started helping at the Fallbrook Food Pantry.

He thanked everyone for the award and plans to attend a UC, Stanford or Yale.


These diligent students worked so hard they earned certificates from both the California State and California Assembly Certificates of Recognition.  It will be exciting to see what these students have planned for their next achievement.