Eight valedictorians top PHS Class of 2009
by Maddy Houk | Patterson Irrigator
May 28, 2009 | 3219 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 2009 Patterson High valedictorians are (first row from left) Lesley Scheuber, Alma Lomeli, Mandeep Singh, Chelsea Taylor; (back row from left) Sharon Lizotte, Gerardo Cortez, Alexandra Halland and (pictured separately) Maria Ayala. Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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At a glance

• WHAT: Patterson High School graduation ceremony

• WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, May 28

• WHERE: Patterson Community Stadium, Ward and Salado avenues; no air horns, please.

• INFO: 892-7450

Eight Patterson High School valedictorians, tops in the 2009 class, will lead the school’s 297 seniors at a graduation ceremony Thursday at the Patterson Community Stadium.

Students with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages through all four years of high school are Maria Ayala, Gerardo Cortez, Alexandra Halland, Sharon Lizotte, Alma Lomeli, Lesley Scheuber, Mandeep Singh and Chelsea Taylor.

Principal Dave Stubbs praised the students who worked hard on their studies and participated in school activities.

“The staff at Patterson High School is very proud of the eight students who have met the requirements to be named valedictorian,” Stubbs said. “Their hard work and dedication to academics is admirable. We wish them the best in the future, and we are confident they will be successful in whatever they do.”

The valedictorians have received numerous awards and scholarships from local organizations, including Patterson Recognizing Individuals Determined to Excel, also known as PRIDE, and from the colleges they plan to attend.

This year’s valedictorians are:

• Maria Ayala, 18, daughter of Patricia and Fernando Ayala. At Patterson High, Maria was in the Mexican American Student Association, Advancement Via Individual Determination classes and Teens Impacting Politics in Patterson as well as stage manager for the school play, “Beauty and the Beast.” She was also a member of the California Scholarship Federation.

Maria has received PRIDE scholarships, the Academic Block P Award, a California Golden State Seal Merit Award and a Bank of America plaque for liberal arts.

Maria plans to attend Holyoke College and major in biochemistry.

• Gerardo Cortez, son of Jose and Nati Cortez, has played varsity soccer for four years at Patterson High. He has also been on the Ceres Earthquakes competitive soccer club for six years. At Patterson High, he was in the Kids Helping Kids community service group and was a member of the California Scholarship Federation for one year. He was on the varsity track and field team in his freshmen and junior years. Gerardo was a scholar athlete for four years. Gerardo was the soccer team’s most valuable player in his sophomore year, and he earned all-league honors each of the last three years.

Gerardo is hoping to be drafted into Major League Soccer, or he would like to be a sports psychologist. He also received the PRIDE scholarship awards and the Academic Block P Award all four years of high school. Gerardo wants to attend Santa Clara University and major in psychology with a minor in Spanish

• Alexandra Halland, 17, is the daughter of Matthew and Gaylene Halland. During high school, she has been involved in leadership clubs, Associated Student Body, cheerleading, track, yearbook and dance.

Alexandra’s honors and scholarships include the Academic Block P Award and PRIDE scholarships that include Knights of Columbus, IDC Irrigation and Del Puerto Health Care District. In the fall, Alexandra will attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and major in communications. She plans to get her master’s degree and possibly go on to become a lawyer.

• Sharon Lizotte, 18, daughter of Frank and Myoung Lizotte, played four years in volleyball and two years in tennis, in addition to two years in theater at Patterson High. Sharon is Associated Student Body secretary and takes AVID classes at Patterson High.

Sharon’s awards include Western Athletic Conference scholar-athlete, PRIDE and Academic Block P honors.

After graduation, Sharon wants to attend University of the Pacific, major in psychology and one day have her own private practice

• Alma Lomeli, daughter of Yolanda and Antonio Lomeli, is 18 years old. Alma is Associated Student Body vice president, Spanish Club vice president and has been in the AVID program all four years. Alma also played basketball for three years, and she is employed at Anytime Fitness.

Her scholarships include the Del Puerto Health Care District scholarship, J.P. Correia Memorial, Lions Club and PRIDE awards.

Alma plans to attend University of California, San Diego, in the fall and major in business, aiming toward a career in marketing.

• Lesley Scheuber, 17, is the daughter of Rick and Susan Scheuber. Lesley, who is the Associated Student Body President at Patterson High, has played softball for four years and was a cheerleader for four years, serving as captain.

Her awards include the Stanislaus County Bar Association and PRIDE scholarships. Lesley also earned a Bank of America plaque in math and science. Lesley is also the reigning Miss Patterson for the 2008-09 year.

She wants to attend the University of California, Berkeley, and major in business with a career goal of becoming a corporate lawyer.

• Mandeep Singh, daughter of Harminder P. Kaur and Darshan Singh, has played tennis at the high school for two years. She has also attended Modesto Junior College for four years, completing 52 units. Mandeep has tutored students in math, volunteered at the Sikh Temple and has been in the AVID program at Patterson High for three years.

Her awards include PRIDE Scholar, Academic Block P, National Society of High School Scholars, California Scholarship Federation member and Bank of America plaque in math and science.

Mandeep plans to attend University of California, Berkeley, and major in astrophysics. She is not sure of her career goal yet, but would not mind being a millionaire and hopes to obtain her doctorate.

• Chelsea L. Taylor, daughter of Carmen Taylor and Jay Endersbe and Harry Taylor, is 17 years old. Chelsea’s time has been devoted to the West Side Democratic Club, volleyball, competitive dance, the California Scholastic Federation and Academic Decathlon.

Her awards include the Dell Scholarship, Gates Scholarship, Bank of America plaque in liberal arts, California Golden State Seal Merit Award, PRIDE scholarships and the University of Southern California Dean Scholar Award.

Chelsea wants to attend USC and major in biological sciences and communications. She’d like to be a doctor and possibly specialize in oncology.
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