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The Scarlet Scroll

Year’s first Monarchs of the Month recognized

Kristen Castillo, Managing Editor

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In recognition of their Monarch character, seniors Christine Nguyen and Corey Smith were selected as the first Monarchs of the Month for the 2017-18 school year on Sept. 6. Every month, one senior boy and girl are nominated by faculty and staff for their academic and personal successes.

“They’re both amazing Mater Dei students and each, in their own right, has contributed to the Mater Dei campus in terms of either being successful in academics or with ASB or with the sport that they play,” Activities Director Diana Neustadt said. “I think that they are a good representation of the student body.”

Nguyen chosen for the ‘amazing things’ she has accomplished

Senior Christine Nguyen | Photo by Kristen Castillo

As ASB president and an active member of the Mater Dei community, Nguyen hopes to leave her mark on the school.

“I hope that I am able to be a good leader and I hope that I am able to fulfill my responsibilities of servant leadership to the best of my capacity,” she said. “I hope to be known for my kindness and my quirkiness and that people are able to be quirky and be themselves because I was quirky and I was myself.”

Nguyen has learned many valuable lessons during her time as a student leader at school. She said the most valuable lesson she has learned is that she should “be open and listen to what everyone has to say.”

“Everyone comes from a different background and they all have different perspectives, so I think that it’s so important to listen to those perspectives and to learn from them,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen has been able to learn and grow from her time as a leader on campus, especially from her extensive work in ASB, Campus Ministry, school peer tutoring programs and the Speech and Debate Team. This summer, for example, Nguyen spent most of her free time preparing for to lead ASB.

“Christine has done amazing things all summer long for the school,” Neustadt said.

Despite her busy schedule of various extracurricular activities, Nguyen takes mostly Advanced Placement classes and one honors class.

Nguyen’s dream job is to be a lawyer in New York City and is primarily looking at California colleges such as UCLA, USC, Stanford and Cal Berkeley.

As her time at Mater Dei comes to an end, she hopes that her senior class has a “fantastic last year together” and that they “bond as a family” and “not abide by stereotypes and cliques.”

Varsity swim team captain selected for his leadership and academics on campus

Senior Corey Smith | Photo by Kristen Castillo

Smith, the captain of the boys swim team, is known in the school community for his leadership.

In fact, one of the reasons Smith was selected as Monarch of the Month was because he attended Boys State, a government leadership program organized by the American Legion to educate students around the United States about local, county and state government. 

“I had never heard of [Boys State] before I was nominated by Mrs. Rollinson, however when I looked into it and saw the competitive atmosphere and the history of excellence I was inspired to pursue this opportunity,” he said.

Laurie Rollinson, the social studies department chair, taught Smith last year and said she enjoyed having him in her class.

“I am confident that he will have success in college and go on to make a worthwhile contribution to his community, his country, and his church,” Rollinson said.

This year, Smith hopes to lead his team to success in the new season by serving as a role model.

“Though I may not be the fastest swimmer at Mater Dei, I try to bring a work ethic and attitude that I hope others will follow,” he said. “Additionally, I try to get people who are struggling to push through and work harder for the team over themselves.”

In addition to leading his No. 2 ranked team, Smith also takes four AP classes.

“I take AP Physics, AP Gov, AP Lang, AP Calc BC and then I take Christian Lifestyles and comparative next semester,” Smith said.

Smith takes pride in knowing that Mater Dei is able to build “really good character” in its students. He said that he and his fellow classmates have done “a lot of maturing and development” during their time at school, especially through their religion classes.

“I like how real it gets, you know?” he said. “You’re there the first day, you don’t know anybody …  and at the end of the year we’re all good friends and you can talk to any of them … open up to them and talk to them about stuff. I guess it’s pretty cool.”

Smith wants to become an architectural engineer and study at a California university, particularly Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

He anticipates that he and his graduating class is able to end their high school years with great enthusiasm and spirit.

“I hope we continue this positive attitude at our football games,” he said. “I’m hoping that that trend continues and we keep that positive attitude and good vibrations.”

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Year’s first Monarchs of the Month recognized