October Monarchs of the Month: Stacy Phan and Dante Rovere

Seniors Stacy Phan and Dante Rovere were chosen as the October Monarchs of the Month. Every month, faculty and staff nominate a senior boy and girl for Monarch of the Month, a tradition that recognizes students’ Monarch character, as well as their accomplishments during their four years at Mater Dei.

Phan nominated for her success in academics and extracurriculars

As captain of the junior varsity girls golf team, captain of the robotics team, and president of the Team NEGU club, Stacy Phan makes a difference inside the classroom and out. 

“Being a leader at Mater Dei means guiding the student body, setting examples and bring your best to be a role model…” she said. “I get involved on campus because I want to be apart of of the whole school experience and making more friends.”

Being a female captain of the robotics team is unique for most schools. In fact, the Monarch Robotics Team is made up of five girls and 30 boys. 

“It’s challenging because in the robotics team it’s mostly made up of boys,” she said. “You’re working with a lot of them and a lot of them and some have strong opinions so you have to really put yourself out there and stand up to them when you think your idea is good and your ready to contribute to the team.”

Phan is also the president of her club, Team NEGU, which stands for “Never Ever Give Up.” The club focuses on charitable acts for kids at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. One may recognize her club from the frequent boba sales held on Heisman Lane. Phan enjoys the boba sales, which Team NEGU one of the most successful on campus for fundraising. 

“My family owns a boba shop so that started from there and I thought everyone loves boba so we’d give it a shot and it was a huge success,” Phan said. “The first time we sold out within 5 minutes. So we’re trying to do it monthly.”

Phan has many aspirations after Mater Dei like attending a prestigious college and going on to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.

“I guess it’s more the innovation in the medical field. It’s beyond and there’s always more you can do and new discoveries to be discovered,” she said. “I also like idea of patient interaction and helping them get through difficult times.”

Phan has many favorite things about Mater Dei but one of those is the lively student section.

“Everyone is friendly and they’re all fun to hang out with,” she said.

Rovere seeks to excel in academics, wrestling

As a senior, Rovere said he wants to set an example for underclassman through his hard work and dedication to his studies and extracurriculars. Having been selected to attend Boys State – a government leadership program – Rovere believes that if one works hard they will compensated with opportunities and success.

“I’m happy that some of my hard work has paid off … I like [Mater Dei] a lot and it’s helped me a lot,” said Rovere, who said he is inspired by the school’s “culture of excellence.” “It’s really important to me because I hope [underclassmen] learn the same things I learned and they gain the same benefits that I earned.”

On campus, Rovere serves as one of the wrestling team’s co-captains. He said that many of his favorite memories during his time at school has been with the wrestling team.

“It’s just fun and we just mess around with the guys,” Rovere said. “It’s a great time.”

Outside of campus, Rovere created an organization for veterans, Earned Valor, which celebrates and supports members of the military. On the group’s Facebook page, Rovere has posted several videos featuring in-depth interviews with members of the armed forces in order to “honor and raise awareness for our active and retired military.” In addition to his organization, he volunteers to help veterans in homeless shelters. With several family members in the military, Rovere said it is important to help the veteran community.

“They do and sacrifice so much for us, yet are sometimes forgotten or under-appreciated,” Rovere wrote on his group’s Facebook page.

During his last year at the school, Rovere said he seeks to work harder academically in order to hopefully attend a military school such as West Pointe Academy. He said he is challenging himself this year by taking several AP classes and leading his team in hopes of making it to the wrestling state championship. However, Rovere said that academics come first.

“It’s student athlete, so the student part is more important than me,” Rovere said.