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Students of the Year: Sonoma Valley High School honors seniors

Sonoma Valley High School Students of the Year Itzel Macedonio, Ishqa Rousseau-Fearonce and Jack Murphy.

Sonoma Valley High School Students of the Year Itzel Macedonio, Ishqa Rousseau-Fearonce and Jack Murphy.

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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Last month, Sonoma Valley High School selected three seniors – Itzel Macedonio, Ishqa Rousseau-Feronce and Jack Murphy – as its Students of the Year.

Student of the Year Itzel Macedonio Santiago was chosen because of her tremendous work ethic, desire to succeed and academic curiosity. She was also named the high school’s AVID elective (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Student of the Year.  Over the course of her time at the high school, Macedonio has taken three Advanced Placements courses as well as Math IV. She has participated in the 10,000 Degrees, AVID and the Boys & Girls Club’s College Bound programs. She is a role model for the younger AVID students and she gives back to the community through her leadership of a campus literacy club, the Keystone Club at the Boys & Girls Club, working the Katmandu Festival and her volunteer work with the Health Corps. Teachers at the high school describe Macedonio as incredibly hard-working and say that she is “sincere and truly interested in learning.”  Outside of school, she is an academic tutor for third-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and she is currently learning Braille as part of her work with a visually impaired high school student. To earn money, Macedonio works and walks more than a dozen dogs each week. Next year, she plans to pursue studies in biology and international relations at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Ishqa Rousseau-Fearonce was named Student of the Year by the high school in recognition of her academic accomplishments, leadership capacity and kindness.  Rousseau’s teachers describe her as “a treasure to our campus and school system” and add that those who have had the opportunity to work with her and know her have been changed for good. Rousseau has taken three Advanced Placement classes at the high school while captaining the dance team, serving as senior class president, vice president of the Earth Club and an active member of the Key Club. One teacher said of her: “Ishqa is a superb leader who represents the vision and wishes of her fellow classmates with integrity, determination and respect.” Outside of school, she earns money working music festivals with her mother. For her senior project, she designed and sewed her own prom dress. Next year, she will attend the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she plans to study business administration.

Student of the Year Jack Murphy is the Salutatorian of the Class of 2014.  He is known around campus for his leadership, work ethic, positive attitude and unparalleled drive to do the right thing. He has been a member of the California Scholarship Federation for all four years of high school and he is a four-year member of the Superintendent’s Honor Roll. Outside of school, Murphy and his “slate” were elected as the student body governing board and he serves as the financial advisor for the slate. He has participated in varsity baseball and basketball since his sophomore year, as well as serving as a peer tutor and as president of the First Saturdays community service project. Last summer, Murphy represented the high school at the American Legion’s California Boys State program and he attended a medicine and health care leadership conference held at Harvard University. Next year, Murphy will attend the University of Michigan, where he plans to study engineering.

Congratulations to these hardworking and inspiring young students on their honor and to their families and teachers for encouraging their academic and personal success.

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This article is the last in a series profiling each Student of the Year honored in Sonoma.