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Star Graduate: Christopher Bott of Desert Oasis High School

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Desert Oasis High School Star Graduate Christopher Bott is a paragon of academic achievement. He is an inspiration to others, as he embodies a rare confluence of aptitude and hard work.

Chris was valedictorian at DOHS, sporting a perfect 4.8 GPA along with a lofty ACT composite score. His academic achievement was unmatched, yet he is grounded with humility and grace.

Chris was in student government throughout his high school career, and was instrumental in leading the student body as an elected officer. He still found time to volunteer within his community. He tutored DOHS students in math after school and also assisted elementary students at Stuckey Elementary School.

Chris represents a combination of brilliance, diligence and selflessness. This fall, he plans to attend USC.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Christopher Bott of Desert Oasis High School!
To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

Star Graduate: Robert Nailen of Centennial High School

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Star Graduate Robert Nailen of Centennial High School has continuously worked hard to improve his life while being in the foster care system. Due to his age, he hasn’t always had the opportunity to be placed with a family, and has spent much time with the foster care facility as his home.

Robert worked hard and maintained a GPA above 3.0. Additionally, he was instrumental in developing kindness activities at Centennial. He was often seen helping fellow students with conflict resolution.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Robert Nailen of Centennial High School!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

Star Graduate: Yednkachew “Yed” Assefa of Valley High School

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Star Graduate Yednkachew “Yed” Assefa of Valley High School is an amazing young man who has accomplished many things academically. Yed was selected for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, and as such, he took the most challenging classes available at Valley High School. He earned a 4.713 weighted GPA and is ranked 6th out of 664 students.

Yed’s extracurricular activities demonstrated his commitment to his school and his community. Yed served as president of both the National Honor Society and the Black Student Union. Through these organizations, he participated in volunteer work and in civic causes. He takes great pride in his Ethiopian and Eritrean culture and was a founding member of the Ethiopian Students Association.

Yed is also fluent in his heritage language, Amharic. He taught himself to read and write in that language.

Yed hopes to make a change in the world by increasing the representation of persons of color in the STEM field. He also hopes to return to Africa and support STEM students and their academic ambitions.

Yed plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania and was recently selected as a Gates Scholar.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Yednkachew “Yed” Assefa of Valley High School!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

NWCTA Graduate Taylor Kloos Earns National Speech & Debate Award

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Northwest CTA 2018 graduate Taylor Kloos has earned the National Speech & Debate Association’s Academic All American Award. This coveted award recognizes academic rigor, competitive speech and debate success, and personal excellence. From more than 141,000 student members of the National Speech & Debate Association, fewer than 1,000 students nationwide earn the Academic All American Award every year. This tremendous accomplishment places Taylor among the top one percent of all student members across the country. This distinguished award recognizes students who have completed at least five semesters of high school; earned the degree of Superior Distinction in our Honor Society; achieved rigorous criteria for GPA and/or test score requirements; and demonstrated outstanding character and leadership. For more information, call Joshua Symmonds at NWCTA, (702) 799-4640.

Star Graduate: Vanessa Kasminoff of Nevada Learning Academy

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Star Graduate Vanessa Kasminoff of Nevada Learning Academy is a Salutatorian with a 4.432 GPA, and graduated with an Advanced Honors diploma and high honors.

Vanessa is a personable and motivated young woman who excelled in a rigorous online program. Her communication and writing skills are exceptional.

In addition to her academics, Vanessa also held the secretary position for NVLA’s National Honor Society for two years.

Vanessa loves spending time with her family; she has an older sister and three younger brothers for whom she frequently serves as babysitter.

She will continue her studies at the College of Southern Nevada where she plans to major in accounting before moving on to complete her bachelor’s degree at UNLV. Her career goal is to become a lawyer.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Vanessa Kasminoff of Nevada Learning Academy!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

Star Graduate: Shanya Espy of Legacy High School

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Legacy High School Star Graduate Shanya Espy is a conscientious young woman who worked extremely hard to overcome obstacles in her path toward success.

Throughout her high school experience, Shanya worked tirelessly to achieve personal goals in addition to participating in programs to benefit others.

She acted as a student ambassador for the Legacy Project, which focuses on student leadership and community service. She was also a teen leader for the City of Las Vegas Batteries Included program. Shanya also served as a member of the Black Student Union (BSU) and participated in Metro’s Explorer Program.

Shanya will attend Grambling University, majoring in Mass Communications.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Shanya Espy of Legacy High School!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

Star Graduate: Rosy Rose of Las Vegas High School

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In late November of her sophomore year, Rosy Rose joined the students of Las Vegas High School, coming from out of the country.

With the radiating positivity that she brought with her, she began to make friends quickly and took every opportunity to speak as much English as she possibly could.

She attended tutoring every day it was offered, and while striving to learn English, she did not allow setbacks to discourage her. She led other students by example as well as her siblings, showing them that it was okay to make mistakes and that they could learn the language as long as they were willing to try.

She worked hard to overcome the barriers of language but also of starting high school late, and earned all of the requirements for graduation.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Rosy Rose of Las Vegas High School!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

Star Graduate: Denise Coyco of Las Vegas Academy

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Star Graduate Denise Coyco of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts is a piano major and has been at the top level for two years and plays in the Las Vegas Academy Philharmonic.

She was a member of Student Council, served on the school’s SOT and has been part of the Student Generated Funds committee. Throughout her high school career, she was well respected by her peers and the LVA administration.

Denise is also involved in her community, volunteering at her church, the Rescue Mission and the V.A. Hospital.

Denise took AP courses and dual credit while maintaining her active schedule, and graduated at the top of her class.

She will be attending UNLV in the fall and plans on studying either physical or occupational therapy.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Denise Coyco of Las Vegas Academy of the Arts!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.

Sun Stanout Awards Honor High School Athletic Achievement

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Clark County’s finest high school athletes, coaches and support staff members were recognized during the Las Vegas Sun’s Third Annual Standout Awards, held at the South Point on May 23. Among those honored was longtime Chaparral High School football coach Paul Nihipali (pictured), who received the Hank Greenspun Lifetime Achievement Award. Nihipali, who has retired, said, “I heard (the saying) somewhere — ‘If you don’t like the kids, get out.’ Very simple, and that hit me real hard — obviously it’s not for the money but when you see (a student-athlete) excel.” (Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun.)

Star Graduate: Jhoceline Rojas-Pascual of Western High School

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Star Graduate Jhoceline Rojas-Pascual of Western High School is an Advanced Honors graduate with a 4.0 grade point average. Her strengths and ambitions are shaped by her diverse and intricate family who immigrated to the United States to achieve their aspirations of economic and educational independence.

Jhoceline overcame a language barrier due to English being her second language. She has turned that hurdle into a beneficial service as a translator for others who are in similar circumstances learning English.

Jhoceline is an active member of CHISPA, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting Latino communities that are disproportionately exposed to pollution. She dreams of opening her own non-profit animal sanctuary as a way of giving back to her community.

This fall, she will be attending UNLV to pursue a major in Business.

Congratulations to Star Graduate Jhoceline Rojas-Pascual of Western High School!

To learn about other Star Graduates, click here.