Four students at Taft Union High School have been honored as students of the month for November. They are: senior Matt Smith, junior Brad Odom, sophomore Kassandra Galaviz and freshman Chase Brown. The students were selected by the Renaissance program, which promotes academics.
“Matt (Smith) is quite the entertainer! He does good work, and keeps me entertained at the same time. Great to have in my class!” said Mark Fitzsimmons, graphic communications teacher.
“Matt is a smart student and reads his parts in English class with gusto and often with the appropriate accent. I’m glad he is one of my students,” praised Jim Carnal.
“Brad (Odom) is a great leader and talented musician. … He plays baritone in the marching band … trombone in the jazz band and … tenor drums in drumline,” band director Amanda Posey said. “Most importantly Brad encourages people to do their best and has a great attitude. He works hard EVERY DAY to help make the band sound better. He also has a great way of holding people accountable for their actions without losing his temper. Brad is very brave and will stand up when he feels someone is being treated poorly. He will speak his mind and defend other students when they are being picked on. Whenever we are around other schools at band events he always does his best to make friends and when it is time to leave he manages to get a ton of hugs from his new friends. Brad has a heart of gold.”
“I had the pleasure of having Bradley as a student during his freshman year … and (now) as junior,” English teacher Alan Popejoy said. “It is rewarding to see a student who has grown as much as Bradley has; he has made tremendous gains with … his academic performance and … his overall character.”
“He is polite, respectful, and has just the proper amount of silly,” geometry teacher Stacey Haiungs said. “Brad applies himself, works hard and puts in the extra effort to ask questions even after class to further his understanding. I admire all of these qualities and believe he will be successful in life because of them.”
“Kassandra (Galaviz) is the most energetic, positive student at Taft High. She comes to class in a good mood every day and actually hums or sings while she is working independently. She is a favorite with the other students and with me,” praised English teacher Jackie Peavyhouse.
She “works constantly and is always 100 percent engaged in her learning and advancing her abilities with English. She’s constantly reading and brings a fabulous attitude and work ethic every day. She is sweet and intelligent and a total doll,” reading teacher Lisa Polk added.
Page 2 of 2 - Freshman Chase Brown has already made a big impact. “He may be a little guy but he has a huge personality. Chase is a hard worker and very creative. He is so much fun to watch during performances in Beginning Drama. There is never a dull moment when Chase is around,” according to drama teacher Kelly Morris.
“Chase is a charismatic, entertaining, intelligent, young man. His genuinely radiant demeanor is contagious,” praised English teacher Alan Popejoy.
“He is an excellent student. He has a great attitude and enjoys school. He is very well respected by his classmates and makes others around him better,” concluded science teacher Eric Newton, who nominated Chase.