Class of 2019 Juanita Haugen -
High School Community of Character Awards
Recipients from the Class of 2019 are:
From Amador Valley High School: Sander Head, son of Sam and Susane Head and Paulina Umansky, daughter of Anna Umansky.
From Foothill High School: Zara Fatteh, daughter of Saira and Parvez Fatteh, and Ellen Ebbers, daughter of Jenny and Jason Ebbers.
Sander Head is a senior at Amador Valley High School, his parents are Sam and Susane Head. He is proud of his Latino and Canadian heritage, and is fluent in Spanish, completing the Dual Immersion program at Valley View Elementary and Pleasanton Middle School.
In Leadership at Amador, Sander led Red Ribbon Week, starting the “Donuts with a Cop” program, giving students an opportunity to chat with local police officers. He was elected as Junior Class Vice President and co-planned the Junior Prom. Currently on ASB Executive Council, he co-leads the Amador-Adopt-A-Family program, and mentors underclassmen. Selected as a Mr. Amador participant for 2017-18, he helped raise $125,000 for George Mark Children’s House in San Leandro.
Sander is a goalie on Amador’s Varsity soccer team and since age four, has played club soccer with Ballistic United. For the last three summers, he has traveled with Rock Bible Church to volunteer as a builder and lead Spanish interpreter on mission trips to Mexico. He works as a youth soccer referee, and also tutors elementary and middle school students in math. He is a member of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, volunteering as a youth leader for Vacation Bible School. Sander continues to build on his core values and is thankful to family, teachers, neighbors, and friends for their support. He plans to study finance/economics in college, where he will carry forward these core values, “I have learned that honesty and integrity will help me in the long run... I guess all those years of learning about the Community of Character values did stick with me.”
Paulina Umansky is a senior at Amador Valley. She gives her mother, Anna, all the credit for providing her with opportunities and for being a “constant role model in selflessness.”
Throughout high school, she's become invested in protecting the environment and animal rights. In her junior year, she advocated for a PUSD-wide policy requiring schools to recycle and compost, which was passed last spring. In addition, due to her concern about fish being experimented on in schools, she helped create the “Humane Classroom Act,” which would protect animals in classrooms and could become legislation in California in the near future.
In Pleasanton, she’s helped run an Earth Day event at the library, worked with Girl Scouts so they could receive their environment badges, and is working on implementing recycling and composting at Amador and in our community. She also teaches elementary schoolers through an after-school science program. At the Chabot Space and Science Center, she works with children and creates activities for visitors, and is also the captain of the teen Astronomy Team, which has contributed to an exhibit at the center.
She aspires to be an author and study environmental policy, and has already started writing her first book.
Zara Fatteh is a senior at Foothill High School. Her parents are Saira and Parvez Fatteh. Zara has always been proud of her heritage as a Pakistani Muslim girl. In the fourth grade she sold bracelets to donate funds to Pakistani flood victims and was the lead singer in a music video to raise awareness about the issue. She is a Girl Scout of ten years and received the coveted Gold Award this past summer. For her project, she implemented a Special Needs program at her local mosque in order to create an inclusive environment there for the Muslim Special Needs community. Through this initiative, she organized events for Special Needs families to meet other community members, spearheaded a Special Needs parent-sibling support group, and moderated a panel of healthcare and social work professionals who spoke about eradicating the stigma against people with mental and physical disabilities.
She currently leads MEDLIFE and UNICEF chapters to assist disadvantaged families throughout the world. As a MEDLIFE volunteer, she went on a service trip to Cusco, Peru, where she assisted doctors and dentists at mobile clinics and is currently the president of the Foothill chapter. She is also president of the Foothill UNICEF club, raising funds for the organization. Zara is an award-winning delegate of the Foothill Model United Nations program and is on the “We The People” team for her school. For the past three years, she has volunteered with Alameda County Jail’s “Start with a Story” program, reading and distributing books to children visiting their incarcerated parents. She is also a volunteer at Stanford Valley Care in Pleasanton. She stated that “Compassion is a pivotal value for me, as I spend as much time as I can giving back to the disadvantaged.”
Ellen Ebbers is a Foothill Senior, daughter of Jenny and Jason Ebbers, her mother is a teacher in Pleasanton, her father’s death at age five was tragic for their family, but provided many challenges to overcome. She is a four year varsity softball player on the 3 time league championship and teams and received All-League honors. She also played varsity basketball. She has earned a softball scholarship to Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ellen has been in high school leadership for the past three years and serves as the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Commissioner of Red Cross Blood Drives. She has loved being a counselor at Outdoor education for the last three years and also serves as a Team Lead at STRETCH camp every January. She teaches Sunday School at her church and was a Night to Shine Buddy for people with Special Needs. She stated that “It takes a lot of pride, self-discipline and respect to reach your full potential as an athlete, a student, and as a person. Through the ups and downs of life, I am slowly but surely learning who I am and who I want to be. Everything in my life up to this point has helped me become me."
Alexis is a senior at Village High School. Not only is Alexis a young woman of integrity but also a loving, caring and hard working person who has overcome adversity with dignity and maturity. She cares deeply for her classmates and teachers and is a true leader on our campus and serves as an outstanding recipient of the Community of Character scholarship
Isaac is a senior at Village High School. Isaac is a mixture of quiet sincerity and experienced maturity. He is the kind of student who has the restraint and wisdom to take actions and make decisions in the best interest of the class. He makes key contributions to every class discussion and to the culture of our school every day. For these reasons and many more, Isaac serves as an excellent recipient of the Community of Character scholarship.