Flexibility to Pursue Your Passion

Here are some of the activities Mt. Everest Academy students are involved in, as they pursue their passions as well as meet their educational goals.

Selina Lin

Selina Lin, Top American Trap Shooter!
Selina Lin
Selina (Hanfei) Lin, grade 11, is one of the best Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) female shooters. In the past two years, Selina has won over 10 world-class (American & Canada) tournaments trophies, including 8 champions and over 50 state and western zone level tournaments trophies. In 2017 she bested the former ATA Autumn Grand Tournament highest record for the Lady I category by 11 targets. In January 2018, she was one of the cover figures in Trap&Field, official ATA magazine. She was selected for the Academics Integrity Marksmanship (AIM) 2018 All-Star-Team, the highest level of recognition for national youth trap shooting; she was 3rd ranked out of 15 and the only girl in the junior category. She ranked No. 1 at California Golden State Trapshooters Association (CGSTA) 2017 High Averages Female shooters list. She was a California State Team member in both 2017 and 2018. Currently, she is focusing on international trap shooting and aiming to attend the Olympic Games in the near future.

Selina transferred from Christian High School in El Cajon to Mt. Everest Academy in her junior year. This innovative school gives Selina the flexibility she needs to practice and compete at shooting ranges around the country. At the same time, it ensures her a rigorous set of courses and sets a high standard for academic performance. Thanks to Mt. Everest, she can chase her Olympic dream while preparing for college!

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Arenui Frapwell, Photographer
are pic of wave Arenui Frapwell, 11th grader, makes the most of the flexibility available through Mt. Everest Academy as it enables him to travel around the world as a young photographer. Tahiti, Fiji, and Indonesia are some of the places his passion has taken him to. Arenui's main focus is taking surfing photos, having worked as an intern for Surfing and Surfer Magazine, and he's taken shots of some of the best surfers in the world! Given Arenui's accomplishments at such a young age, it's clear that he has already laid the groundwork for a great career as a photographer.

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Adira Rosen, Theatre Director
Adira Rosen, grade 12, pursues her passion right here at Mt. Everest Academy!

Adira has always loved theatre, and at the age of 15 she knew what she wanted to be "when she grew up." Her experience of acting in almost 20 productions developed into her passion for directing theatre.

During her junior year Adira founded the Mt. Everest Academy Theatre Company on campus, putting on the following shows: The Snow Queen, 10-Minute Play Production, and The Magic Flute. Adira masterfully managed ALL of the components of putting together the productions: fund raising, scripts, auditions, scheduling, rehearsals, costumes, sets, and advertising. Her direction, teaching and coaching of the students who were acting or working behind the scenes gave them each a memorable and fun learning experience, as well as a sense of pride in what they accomplished under her tutelage!

Adira will continue her education at Carnegie Mellon University, and then she plans to return to San Diego to found her own theatre company.

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Jose Bravo Signed to Professional Soccer Team!

Soccer player and former MEA student, Jose Bravo, recently got signed to a professional team, the Acatlan Juarez Futbol Team, in Guadalajara. Jose plays the position of goalkeeper and has been working towards this goal for years! One of Jose's coaches recommended him for a tryout with goalkeeper coach Jorge "Gato" Lopez. He passed the tryout and then went to Guadalajara on his own to train with "Gato" for 2 weeks. On the third week Jose was presented to the Acatlan Juarez Futbol Team and got signed!

Jose says that as well as being physically prepared, it's especially important for a goalie to be mentally prepared. And that a goalie is considered a lonely position - because you talk to yourself, think by yourself, celebrate by yourself, and cry by yourself. Also goalies tend to get hit a lot, and get blamed when other teams make a goal! Jose quoted a famous goalkeeper that said, "A goalie must be a clown (love his job so much that he always smiles) and know how to dance the tango (how to maneuver the goal area). So Jose, keep smiling and "dancing the tango" as you pursue your passion!

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Dohyun Lee, soccer player

Dohyun Lee, grade 11, is currently playing on the USSDA (US Soccer Developmental Academy) Nomads SC U15/16 Academy team. For a little background on the Academy, it's the highest level of youth soccer in the United States. The league features youth academies and youth clubs from various organizations, including Major League Soccer (professional first division league in the US). Dohyun participates in two trainings per day and weekly games in a 10-month season, including trips to places like Seattle, Florida, Texas, and Canada.

Before Academy soccer, Dohyun played in four Surf Cups where he and his team have gone semis once. Dohyun feels that Mt. Everest Academy offers a better curriculum and the time to achieve greater things in school while still allowing a lot of time to do what he's passionate about. After spending a little over a year here, he feels better prepared for college and says that Mt. Everest Academy has allowed him to become more disciplined, flexible, and motivated.

Dohyun's ultimate goal is to attend an ivy league school or a top liberal arts college.

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Axel and Gabrielle Mitchell Travel the World

Two Mt. Everest students, Axel Mitchell, grade 5, and Gabrielle Mitchell, grade 8, have been sailing around the world with their family for the last couple of years. Their home base is San Diego, and they send their homework in to Mt. Everest Academy through email and regular mail. Their supervising teacher says both Axel and Gabrielle are very strong students academically, turning in excellent work. What an example of "flexibility to pursue your passion!"

The students have put together a short video showing their ABSOLUTELY AMAZING journey. Some of the places they have been are French Polynesia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Thailand, Cambodia, Italy, and the Netherlands. As well as some beautiful underwater shots, their video even includes footage of two active volcanoes erupting.

Take a few minutes and join them in their travels! https://youtu.be/1LiR9WsHWLU

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Emileigh Stock, competitive swimmer
emily dive Emileigh Stock, grade 11, is one of the top ranking breaststrokers in San Diego County and swims competitively year round, not only during the high school season. She trains 5 days a week, for nearly 3 hours at a time, with the Mission Valley YMCA. Emileigh recently had the honor of competing in the same event with Olympic swimmer, Jessica Hardy.

Since Mt. Everest Academy doesn't have a swimming team, Emileigh is able to swim on the team at Kearny High School, where she is the only swimmer in Kearny High history to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) finals. At the recent CIF finals, she placed 8th out of 32 in the 100-yard breaststroke. Emileigh is currently 7.7 seconds away from the Olympic Trials cut, and this determined young lady's training is focused on continuing to drop seconds and set new personal bests.

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Matthew Lee ranks top 5 in SD County
matthew coach Matthew Lee, class of 2016, has been playing tennis since the age of 8 and has started playing competitively at the age of 10. He is currently in the top 5 in San Diego county and top 20 in the section of Southern California in the 18-and-under boy's division. In the past year, he has competed in a number of national and international level tournaments, including the Easter Bowl International, International Spring Championships, and the National Clay Court Championships. Along the way, he has been fortunate enough to join the select sponsor player teams of Babolat, Adidas, and Solinco. He is going to the United States Naval Academy as part of the class of 2020 to not only serve the country, but also to play NCAA division I tennis for the school. His dream is to become the best tennis player that he can be, and he thanks his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the ability, skill, and motivation to do so. Matthew knows that the road to this success isn't easy, but he gives all his glory to God and strives to become one of the greats to play the sport.

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Rachel Eggers Learns Video Animation

Rachel Eggers, grade 11, loves writing and illustrating stories. To add another dimension to her storytelling, Rachel has been taking a video animation class. In class, she practiced animation on a character called Norman. Norman is from Eric Goldberg's animation book "Character Animation Crash Course."

Here is one of Rachel's projects, "Norman vs. the Granite Block." The parameters of this project allowed Rachel to be creative, but she had to make the story plausible. Norman had to have a logical reason to want to push the block. He could be showing off his strength, or the block could be in his way so he has to push it. Norman is running away from something, then the block slides on-screen and he runs into it. Norman has to push the block to get it out of his way.

For a little more illumination into this process, here is the storyboard Rachel created: Norman_storyboard.pdf

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Yosif Shaheern, 2nd grade scholar

Yosif Shaheen (2nd grade) recently got admitted into the Davidson Young Scholars Program. This program provides services designed to nurture the intellectual, social, emotional, and academic development of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18.

Yosif and his family are excited to be able to get long-term help from such an institution to keep Yosif intellectually stimulated and to be able to connect with other profoundly gifted children.

Link to Davidson Young Scholars Program

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Jarred Druzynski places 2nd in Figure Skating Nationals

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Jarred Druzynski, a senior at Mt. Everest Academy, is a competitive Ice Dancer. With his partner, he has won the Pacific Coast Sectionals (1/3 of the the country) three years in a row at Intermediate and Novice Levels. They came 2nd at the Figure Skating Nationals Intermediate Dance 2015.

Whiie Jarred had been attending St Augustine's all boys school for freshman and sophomore year, his need to train for 20-30 hours per week as well as travel across the country for competitions made regular school very difficult to fit in.

Mt. Everest Academy has allowed him the flexibility to thrive in the competitive world, as well as maintaining a very high academic standard. In fact, Jarred feels MEA prepares you better for college and life as you have to be very disciplined, motivated and flexible.

Jarred is wanting to go into Engineering while continuing with competing, and MEA has given him the academic strength and flexibility to move in the right direction.

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Pablo Pelaez on the U-18 U.S. Men's National Team

Pablo Pelaez has landed on the Under-18 U.S. Men's National Soccer Team, which is currently training in Carson. The San Diego native and his U.S. teammates are also competing in the 2015 U-18 Men's NTC Invitational Tournament. Link to news release:http://www.goaztecs.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/071315aaa.html

Pablo Pelaez joined Mt. Everest Academy as a sophomore and graduated with us in 2015.

Pablo has been a competitive soccer player for most of his life. As he advanced in this sport, he found himself and his national team traveling the globe to compete against other countries.

While attending daily classes is a challenge for high caliber athletes such as Pablo, the Mt. Everest Power Program enabled Pablo to complete his work independently. Pablo worked very hard as a student athlete, earning a scholarship to SDSU.

Watch for Pablo as his career advances - we are sure to witness great accomplishments from this young man!

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Sydney Zamudio Joins City Ballet of San Diego

After Syndey Zamudio graduates from Mt. Everest, she will be going directly into the City Ballet of San Diego to dance as an apprentice! Syndey, grade 12, shares her journey, and how Mt. Everest has helped her accomplish this dream.

"Steven Wistrich, Artistic Director of City Ballet of San Diego, offered me a trainee contract at the age of 15. I was absolutely elated, knowing that this was a huge step towards becoming a professional dancer. At this time I left Francis Parker and joined the Mt. Everest Academy community in order to have a more flexible schedule. Over the past 3 years, Mt. Everest Academy has allowed me to dance 40 hours a week and still receive a high school education and form friendships that will last a lifetime. This school has provided me with a wonderful education in not only academic fields, but also the reality of adult life and time management.

After graduating, I will continue growing as an artist and will be dancing as an apprentice with the City Ballet of San Diego. I hope to continue diversifying my repertoire and working my way up the ranks of the company towards becoming a principal dancer. None of this would have been possible without the endless love and support of the Mt. Everest Academy teachers and staff. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"

Life in the Fast (Bike) Lane with Quinten Kirby

Quinten Kirby, grade 10, is a semi-pro road cyclist who races throughout the United States, and is looking towards competing in Canada and Europe this summer. His races can cover up to 100 miles a day! In preparation for these events, Quinten trains 15-20 hours a week, putting in 250-400 miles of riding all around San Diego.

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Quinten says that while racing, cyclists can ride as fast as 50 MPH, tightly surrounded by their fellow cyclists a mere 2-3 INCHES away! And they can burn up to 4000-5000 calories in a day's ride.

Both mental and physical fitness and finesse are required. It takes many years to condition for the level of racing that Quinten partakes in. Quinten believes that cycling is very much like school, and life for that matter; that it takes hard work and perseverance. Challenges will always come to be, but in the end, it will most definitely pay off with victory.

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Hannah Stock in "Off Their Rockers"

Hannah Stock, grade 4, had the chance to work with the wonderful Betty White, playing her granddaughter, in the show "Off Their Rockers," which aired on January 15.

At her young age, Hannah already has a long resume! She has performed in many theatre productions, videos, TV commericals, and TV series (The Birthday Boys, Deperate Housewives, CSI: Miami, to name just a few). With her flexible schedule at Mt. Everest Academy, Hannah is able to pursue these activities - many of which involve a lot of back and forth travel between San Diego and Los Angeles.

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Petunia Rizo is a National Winner in Math Kangaroo!

Mt. Everest Academy had the honor of hosting the International Math Kangaroo Competition for students from local schools. Over 6 million students throughout the world take part in this competition at the same time. And now our very own Petunia Rizo, grade 2, has been announced as a National Winner! Petunia earned one of the top 15 scores of all the students in the United States that competed in level 2!

Math Kangaroo is an annual international competition for students in grades 1 thru 12. The competition originated in Australia (hence the name "Kangaroo"), and soon spread from country to country, now being held worldwide. It takes place at the same time throughout the world, however, the results are not compared between various countries. Prizes are awarded by the national organizers of the competition. www.mathkangaroo.org

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Brilynn Rakes on "Dancing With The Stars"

Brilynn Rakes, MEA senior, recently performed on Dancing with the Stars.

If you missed this incredibly talented young lady's performance, you may watch her on YouTube. Brilynn, Mt. Everest joins your family and friends in congratulations for a wonderful performance!

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Natalie Marrewa in "South Pacific" at Welk Resort Theatre

Natalie Marrewa, grade 5, just completed an 11-week run acting and singing in "South Pacific" at Welk Resort Theatre. She was one of only 2 children in the production and did 5 performances a week, along with the adult professional actors.

Natalie's schedule at Mt. Everest gives her the ability to attend the 3 weeks of intense rehearsals where they practice 3:00-10:00 pm Tuesday thru Friday, 10:00-5:00 pm on Saturdays, and 1:00-9:00 pm on Sundays. This is just one of many shows that Natalie has performed in!

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Ria Rizo, first grade scholar!

After a strict application process, Ria Rizo, 1st grader, has qualified for and been accepted to the Davidson Young Scholars Program. Ria's academic skills are far beyond her grade level, and her parents have been searching for new ways to challenge her and support her love of learning. They have found the solution with this program, which will supplement Ria's environment of learning at home and at Mt. Everest Academy.

The Davidson Young Scholars Program is an individualized, family-oriented program that supports the educational and developmental needs of profoundly intelligent young people between the ages of 5 and 18. This program assists parents and students with academic support and educational advocacy, child and adolescent development, and talent development.

Link to Davidson Young Scholars Program

Larry black red belt 300Larry V. Oldham, III Earns Recommended First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
On December 1, Larry tested for and earned his Recommended First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do! His Chief Master Instructor, Mr. Tchag, (pictured with Larry), highly praises Larry for his exceptional skills and abilities in martial arts! He is also very proud of Larry's strong leadership capabilities demonstrated consistently toward the lower ranked students he instructs, as well as all Sidekicks students and instructors. Larry performs his Junior Instructor duties under the direction of Mr. Tchag, who has been with Sidekicks Martial Arts Academy for over 25 years. Mr. Tchag says Larry is the most accomplished young student in the many years of his teaching martial arts!

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Haley Driver, amateur tennis player, ranks #64 nationally

Haley Driver, 11th grader, is passionate about tennis and plays competitively. She moved up 28 spots in the Prince Hot 100 junior class rankings to #64 in the nation, a significant feat for a Top 100 recruit. Perhaps the most significant of Haley's accomplishments was winning the title in the prestigious USTA Interscholastic Championships West, where all six opponents she defeated were 4- and 5-Star athletes.

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Bethany Fullerton is a National Semi-Finalist

Bethany Fullerton, 6th grade, has placed as a semi-finalist in the national Endangered Species Day Artwork Contest. Her painting is of a San Joaquin kit fox. These foxes are primarily nocturnal and are usually found in grassland or mixed shrub habitats. Congratulations Bethany!

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