2017-06-15 / Schools

SENIOR STANDOUTS

CALABASAS HIGH


Bleidner Bleidner Olivia Bleidner

Singing, acting and creative writing are the driving forces for Olivia Bleidner, who will attend UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies for Writing and Literature.

An aspiring television and film writer, Olivia participated in five theater product ions at CHS. She was a member of the Theater Arts Club and the varsity ComedySportz team. She sang with the all-girl a cappella group Bare Rhythm and in the advanced women’s choir Vivace.

CHS counselors say Olivia is a gifted writer. While she, her mom and younger sister drove from Connecticut back to California last summer, Olivia wrote a blog that is “simply beautiful,” counselors said.

Olivia has also had two stories published on the Huffington Post website, one describing the economic distress she saw in rural America and the other conveying the feelings and experiences she had while visiting her grandmother in a beachside town on the East Coast.


Padilla Padilla Olivia thanks her parents, Irene and Larry Bleidner, for their guidance and support. She also recognized choir teacher Joshua Barroll for inspiring her to be the best she can be in all aspects of life.

As for the future, the graduate is keeping an open mind.

“I don’t want to expect anything because life has a funny way of taking our expectations and turning them upside down. But, despite all the hairpin turns life throws, I do trust in myself to know that I will always be happy,” she said.

Alissa Padilla

An aspiring forensic scientist with an affinity for anthropology, Alissa Padilla will attend Sonoma State University to major in biology.

The daughter of Rene and Alma Padilla was recognized for her volunteerism by Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez.


Mamelak Mamelak CHS counselors say Alissa is a positive and kind student who was able to combine a love for her rescue dog with an understanding of military experiences due to the deployment of her cousin.

She investigated and connected with a group that rescues, trains and places dogs with military veterans, and began a campus club called Paws and Stripes, which helps to unite homeless dogs with veterans in need.

At CHS, Alissa was involved with the Key Club and was writing editor of the 2016-17 yearbook.

Though she will study biology in college, she is passionate about the English language.

“English is the only subject taught in school that truly fosters creativity and breeds individuality among students,” she said.

Alissa said her family and the LVUSD community inspired her to do her best in school and in her personal life.


Rayburn Rayburn “Each one of them has inspired me in different areas of my life, and I will forever be grateful,” the graduate said.

Aaron Mamelak

A National Merit Scholar with an affinity for math and science, Aaron Mamelak maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and made time to contribute to the community in a variety of ways.

Aaron will attend UC Berkeley this fall.

In addition to taking STEM classes at CHS, Aaron participated in programs through the Congress of Future Medical Leaders and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

He was a youth coordinator for Color the Life of a Child Foundation, a tech commissioner for the Associated Student Body and a team captain for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation. He volunteered for UCLA’s neuro-oncology program Art of the Brain, an organization dedicated to brain cancer research.

CHS counselors said Aaron is kind, driven and altruistic. He raised and trained a guide dog for a blind person; worked closely with an organization providing supplies to schools in Colombia; and organized events for people dealing with diabetes and brain cancer.

The son of Gina de Paiva and Adam Mamelak won a Regents and Chancellor’s Scholarship at UC Berkeley. He is undecided on his major but is considering cognitive science, molecular cell biology and public health, or he may transfer into Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

He recognized Pam Berman, the recipient of the guide dog, Gumbo, that he helped to raise, and Andrea Camacho, his AP calculus BC teacher, for the influences they had in his life.

Maureen Rayburn

After serving two years on the high school’s Associated Student Body, Maureen Rayburn has developed a passion for political science and she hopes to eventually be an advocate for societal change.

Maureen will attend the University of Oregon and major in political science. She later plans to attend law school and possibly work in Washington D.C.

The daughter of Cassandra Shivers and Anthony Rayburn, Maureen was a California Scholarship Federation member and a Gold Seal Bearer. She also was on the academic honor roll all four years of high school and earned a President’ s Education Award.

While on the CHS Associated Student Body, Maureen served as an executive board member, a unification commissioner and a volunteer on the Peer Support Program that provides emotional and mental wellness services for students.

She also participated in the Link Crew program, which helps freshman transition to high school, and served as a CHS student representative on the Las Virgenes Unified School Board.

Maureen’s favorite classes at CHS were AP government with Mr. Boelman and English with Mrs. Nonhoff-Zieg.

“Both of these teachers went above and beyond to support me, which made all the difference in my high school career,” the graduate said.

But Maureen said the person who has had the biggest influence on her life so far is her mother.

“She has shown me how to break through every boundary society creates and how to work hard and be independent. She has also ingrained in me a commitment to treating every person with respect and kindness.”

GRAD FACTS

Calabasas High School

Number of Graduates
460

Honors
25 valedictorians
19 salutatorians

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