ROP Students Heading For Olympic Chapter Competition.
Six “shining stars” from the Hart School District’s Regional Occupational Program (ROP) will represent the local program in Olympic Chapter competition following their selection as gold medal winners in the local ROP competition for career students. In addition, Wesley Ellsworth from the Hotel Operations class was named Hart ROP Outstanding Student of the Year at the recent ROP Awards Banquet and Advisory Committee dinner.
Eighteen outstanding ROP students received awards at the event, earning gold, silver or bronze medals in six occupational categories.
Top winner of the evening is Wesley Ellsworth, a senior at Opportunities for Learning, a private charter school which operates under the Hart District umbrella. He was nominated by John Moskal, teacher of the Hotel and Restaurant Occupations course for his academic achievements in class, high test scores and outstanding business ethics. Ellsworth selected BJs Restaurant for his on-the-job training site and was the first student in the class to be hired by the restaurant.
Gold medalist Breck Csicsai from Valencia High School was nominated by her instructor at Newberry School of Beauty, which partners with the Hart District to offer the ROP Cosmetology class. “She will be a welcome and productive addition to the industry, and we are very proud of Breck’s accomplishments,” her nomination form reads.
Senior Johnathan Ellis from Saugus High School was nominated by Kelly Chulick, who teaches the Fire Fighting Technology class. “He is always top in his class with the class work and physical training,” Chulick said of the award winner. Ellis also was lauded for his leadership qualities, helpful manner and punctuality.
Kira James, a junior at Saugus High School, earned her nomination from the Animal Care and Services class. “She joined ROP to learn more about animals because she wants to eventually work in research or laboratories developing the pharmaceuticals,” said instructor Debbie Pepe. James has a full school schedule, including enrollment in Advanced Placement classes, and was one of the first students in the ROP class to start her on-the-job training.
Saugus High School senior Jessica Mastrobuono was nominated by Chris Faldmo, her teacher in the ROP Physical Therapy class. “She performed well all semester long and was the top student, achieving over 100 percent with bonus work and extra credit,” Faldmo explained. “She was even kind enough to give a thank-you card to say thanks for the class. How many students ever do that?”
Daniel Smith, a senior at Valencia High School, was nominated for his gold medal through the ROP Automotive Technology class. His teacher, Chris Houser, cites his work ethic and his willingness to ask the important questions. Smith uses his skills to help other students, stepping beyond the role of student and becoming the teacher on occasion.
Silver medals at the banquet were presented to Jacqueline Santillan, West Ranch High School; Nicole Hannasch, Canyon High; Anthony Pietro Sozio, Canyon; Sarah Grate, Saugus; Sarah Lawrence, Hart; and Kay-La Thornton, Saugus.
Bronze medalists included Samantha Turner, Saugus; Rachel Davis, West Ranch; Stephen Stickles, Hart; Alyssa Kessler, Golden Valley; Clark Harney, Hart; and Sabina Couturier, Canyon.
The 18 medalists were selected from a record field of 78 students nominated by their ROP teachers. Winners were selected on the basis of teacher recommendation, a completed job application and personal interviews before a panel of business and community leaders. Gold medal winners were interviewed by a second panel to select the ROP Outstanding Student of the Year.
The awards program included dinner served by students from the Hotel and Restaurant Services class and a stylized version of “Catch a Falling Star” by students from the Entertainment class. Theme for the evening was “Reach for the Stars.” More than 200 ROP students, parents, teachers and Advisory Committee members attended the program at Rio Norte Junior High School.
Winners of the Olympic Chapter competition will be announced May 15 in Pasadena. Finalists in the Olympic Chapter competition represent the best of more than 180,000 students currently served by RegionalOccupational Centers and Programs within Los Angeles County.