Three students received Student of the Month honors for February from the Manhattan Beach Coordinating Council at a luncheon last week.
Peter Zinsli of American Martyrs, Lauren Tong of Manhattan Beach Middle School and Taylor Lewis of Mira Costa High School were also feted by personnel from their respective schools. In addition, Manhattan Beach Mayor Wayne Powell gave a presentation.
American Martyrs Principal Camryn Connelly told the audience that Peter was not getting the award because he has leukemia but rather because of how he has inspired everyone during his battle against the disease.
“We sent home his homework and he almost always got it back before we had more to send," she said. "When he was able to take a walk, he would come by the school and wave to his friends.”
In an emotional speech, she lauded his courage and the wonderful example he has set for fellow classmates. She also acknowledged Peter's parents and American Martyrs students for their support of him.
Lauren Tong, called “a go-to person who leads by example and doesn’t demand attention" by her teacher Rachel Thomas of Manhattan Beach Middle School, is a diligent leader, particularly in journalism and English. Lauren is also known for keeping fellow students on task and making excellent contributions when working in a group setting. In addition, she is a synchronized ice skater who competes in national competitions.
As the co-secretary general in the Model United Nations program at Mira Costa, Taylor Lewis and fellow students recently won Best Large Delegation at an MUN conference in Montreal, Canada. Forty schools from around the world participated. MUN’s coach, Wayne Knutson praised Taylor for her effort and drive. Taylor is also team captain of the girls’ basketball team and the president of Friendship Circle.
In his presentation, MB Mayor Wayne Powell emphasized the strong financial state of the city, with its triple A bond rating, and mentioned recent accomplishments in open government, the elimination of second-hand smoke, and programs for older adults.
The lunch was held at Verandas on Rosecrans Avenue and was chaired by Coordinating Council President Jill Brunkhardt. The next lunch will be March 21 when three more students will be honored and the School Attendance Review Board will make a presentation.