Solana Santa Fe honors its inspirational students


Solana Beach School District schools presented their annual Inspiration Awards at the board’s May 23 meeting. Seven Solana Santa Fe students were among the winners honored in the categories of leadership, courage, self-improvement, effort and community service.

Principal Matt Frumovitz and the students’ classroom teachers proudly presented the students with their awards in front of a full house at Solana Pacific Elementary School.

Kindergartener Sarai Marques was honored for leadership, being a positive example for all of her peers in Marilyn Tajalle’s class.

“Every day she comes to school ready to learn and works very hard on all her class projects. She is gracious and respected by all of her classmates,” said Frumovitz.

First grader Arya Afshar received an Inspiration Award for fellowship. Her teacher Natalie McPheters said Arya always has something kind to say, a smile to share and a hand to lend.

“Arya is one of those special kids that everyone loves to have as their friend and every parent wants their child to be friends with,” Frumovitz said.

Kayla Khadivi, a second grader in Julie Gusman’s class, was honored for leadership and for leading fellow students in her kind and gentle way.

“There is no job too big for Kayla and there’s no problem she can’t solve. Her drive to seek knowledge inspires others and she’s always humble in her accomplishments,” Frumovitz said.

Third grader Keira Sweeney was honored for effort and for having a positive influence on Marsi Hays’ classroom learning environment, handling learning challenges with an energetic attitude and perseverance.

“She has a determination that drives her to succeed no matter what obstacle stands in her way. Her approach in learning is with an expectation of success and she uses every tool at her disposal to make this a reality,” Frumovitz said.

Fourth grade teacher Alicia Park said award winner Jayce Huff is a wonderful example of demonstrating self-improvement, taking on new learning opportunities with confidence.

“His strong work ethic and willingness to help others have made such an impact on his academics and sportsmanship on the playground,” Frumovitz said.

Fifth grader McKenzie Brown won the award for effort—teacher Suzanne Gurley said she is an “unsung hero” who works hard and strives to improve in everything she does from the classroom to athletics.

“McKenzie is a quiet, hardworking girl who always 100 percent of the time does the right thing,” Frumovitz said.

Sixth grader Daniel Velazquez was honored by his teacher Stella Erkam for his leadership this year. Frumovitz said he is an “outstanding school citizen” who takes the initiative to be good friend to students who need a friend or a project partner.

“He’s a natural leader who respects and understands his classmates. Daniel is a model of kindness and empathy toward all,” Frumovitz said.