Valedictorians

Compiled by Stephanie Stassel and Michael Jose Torra

Each year, high school students who lead their classes in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys are honored as valedictorians. A variety of criteria are used to choose the students, but basically, they are the best and brightest at their schools. Several of them share their thoughts as they embark on their journeys into adulthood.

Public School

Valedictorians

AGOURA HIGH SCHOOL

(Agoura Hills)

Jane Fields

Agoura Hills

4.36

UCLA

Michelle Hsiang

Agoura Hills

4.36

Stanford University

ALISO HIGH SCHOOL

(Reseda)

Alexandra Sears

Northridge

3.80

School of Visual Arts

ANTELOPE VALLEY

HIGH SCHOOL

(Lancaster)

Charles Cooke

Lancaster

4.0

Antelope Valley College

Jennifer Schmidt

Lancaster

4.0

Antelope Valley College

BIRMINGHAM

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Van Nuys)

Matthew Benbassat

Encino

4.033

University of Pennsylvania

Pedram Bina

Los Angeles

4.226

UCLA

Marla Braverman

Encino

4.182

University of Pennsylvania

Lisa Flores

Encino

4.10

Northwestern University

Sabrina Goodman

Encino

4.129

Northwestern University

Roxana Martinez

Los Angeles

4.00

Marine Corps

Peter Massumi

Encino

4.30

UCLA

Cara Nissman

Reseda

4.081

Boston University

Pedram Pourmand

Encino

4.103

UCLA

BURBANK HIGH SCHOOL

(Burbank)

Matthew Baker

Burbank

4.64

Harvard University

Christine Na

Burbank

4.55

Wellesley College

JOHN BURROUGHS

HIGH SCHOOL

(Burbank)

Kamran Ansari

Burbank

4.5

Yale University

Christopher Russell

Burbank

4.5

Harvard University

CALABASAS HIGH SCHOOL

(Calabasas)

Nancy Chu

Calabasas

4.39

Harvard University

CANOGA PARK

HIGH SCHOOL

(Canoga Park)

Angelica Escobedo

Reseda

4.219

Madonna University

CANYON HIGH SCHOOL

(Canyon Country)

Betina Hsieh

Canyon Country

4.53

UC Berkeley

CHATSWORTH

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Chatsworth)

Fernando Cazares

Los Angeles

4.03

Occidental College

Kirby Faciane

Winnetka

4.10

UC Berkeley

Laura Hardake

Chatsworth

4.33

UC San Diego

Mandy Hyun Joo Kim

Chatsworth

4.03

UCLA

Susan Young Lee

Chatsworth

4.29

Stanford University

Rupal Shah

Chatsworth

4.00

UC San Diego

Nancy Vincent

Northridge

4.13

Brigham Young University

Dawn Renee Williams

West Hills

4.13

USC

Melissa Witkow

Northridge

4.32

Pomona College

Ray Wyant

Chatsworth

4.02

Duke University

GROVER CLEVELAND

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Reseda)

Bree Blumstein

Northridge

4.0

UCLA

Austin Chung

Los Angeles

4.0

Pomona College

Joshua Dimon

Sylmar

4.0

UC Berkeley

Amy Diner

North Hollywood

4.0

UC Berkeley

Kristen Feuer-Quintero

Chatsworth

4.03

CalArts

Eva Friedberg

North Hollywood

4.06

UC Berkeley

Ly Danny Huynh

Reseda

4.30

Yale University

TramAnh Nettie LeDuc

Winnetka

4.20

UCLA

Estee Liebross

Sherman Oaks

4.09

Emory University

Joanna Liebross

Sherman Oaks

4.15

Emory University

Michelle Lloren

Burbank

4.06

Cal State Northridge

Davinder Mann

Northridge

4.14

UCLA

June McIntyre

Los Angeles

4.04

UCLA

Nam Nguyen

Reseda

4.0

UC Irvine

Bruce Pao

Chatsworth

4.35

UCLA

Koolaya Jackie Phavackul

Pacoima

4.06

USC

Marina Pincus

Winnetka

4.0

UCLA

Simona Radu

Reseda

4.0

Cal State Northridge

Mark Reyes

Reseda

4.07

UCLA

Gene Sandan

Winnetka

4.02

UC San Diego

Galit Sarfaty

Reseda

4.46

Harvard University

Olivia Svilik

Encino

4.09

Stanford University

Patricia Svilik

Encino

4.11

UC Berkeley

Joseph Tsiang

Northridge

4.32

Massachusetts Institute

of Technology

Veronica Ventura

Canoga Park

4.13

Franklin and Marshall

University

James Wald

Granada Hills

4.09

UC Berkeley

Pauline Yasuda

Northridge

4.25

Wellesley College

AMELIA EARHART

HIGH SCHOOL

(North Hollywood)

Angelica Minton

North Hollywood

3.7

Valley College

ALBERT EINSTEIN

HIGH SCHOOL

(North Hills)

Juan Coscolluela

Mission Hills

3.8

Valley College

Julie Mendoza

Panorama City

3.6

Valley College

EL CAMINO REAL

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Woodland Hills)

Eldar Brodski

West Hills

4.33

Amherst College

Andrea Camacho

4.03

West Hills

Pepperdine University

Yasmin Damshenas

Woodland Hills

4.24

UCLA

Richard Hoang

West Hills

4.02

UC San Diego

Joseph Hwang

West Hills

4.0

UCLA

Daniel S. Kim

West Hills

4.38

Pacific Union College

Joyce Li

Reseda

4.10

New York University

Christine Lulovics

West Hills

4.03

UC San Diego

Herbert Nichols III

Canoga Park

4.0

The Master's College

Dale R. Shuger

West Hills

4.31

Harvard University

Staci Simoff

West Hills

4.12

UC San Diego

Bradley Stone

West Hills

4.0

UCLA

Dana Wagner

West Hills

4.12

University of Pennsylvania

Stacy Wagner

West Hills

4.31

Stanford University

Justin Weaver

Woodland Hills

4.17

UC Santa Barbara

Sharona Yashar

Woodland Hills

4.25

UCLA

GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL

(Glendale)

Linda Hayrapetian

Glendale

4.42

UC Berkeley

Jennifer Hoang

Glendale

4.42

Harvard University

David Schmittdiel

Glendale

4.42

UC Berkeley

GRANADA HILLS

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Granada Hills)

Rocelle Bade

Northridge

4.12

UCLA

Joli Brown

Encino

4.23

UCLA

David Chan

Northridge

4.07

USC

Cecilia Chang

Chatsworth

4.26

UCLA

Michelle Deul

Northridge

4.03

USC

Danielle Fox

Granada Hills

4.25

UCLA

Sarah Han

Northridge

4.23

UC Berkeley

Toshihiro Horie

North Hills

4.25

UC Berkeley

Manesha Khiani

Northridge

4.03

UCLA

Daniel Kim

Northridge

4.20

UCLA

Monica Kim

Granada Hills

4.06

Pierce College

Pan Kyeon Kim

Granada Hills

4.10

UCLA

Ye Jin Kim

Granada Hills

4.06

University of Michigan

Elaine Law

Northridge

4.10

UC Irvine

Sueanne Lee

Los Angeles

4.26

Caltech

May Xou Hang Lim

Los Angeles

4.19

UCLA

Julie Love

Northridge

4.12

UCLA

Wendy McCarthy

Northridge

4.27

UCLA

Nimesh Patel

Sylmar

4.17

UCLA

Michael Prosper

Mission Hills

4.13

UCLA

Jennifer Sanders

Northridge

4.07

UC Berkeley

Hooman Sarraf

Granada Hills

4.28

USC

Eric Song

Northridge

4.37

Pomona College

Rebecca Tamayoshi

Sylmar

4.03

UC Irvine

Daniel Weinstein

Granada Hills

4.16

UCLA

Nathan Wendt

North Hills

4.19

Brigham Young University

Joel Whiteman

Granada Hills

4.03

Valley College

Tracy Yen

Northridge

4.00

UCLA

ULYSSES S. GRANT

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Van Nuys)

Ngoc-Huong Thi Bi

North Hollywood

4.17

UCLA

Joseph Cole

North Hollywood

4.23

UC Berkeley

Reena B. Frailich

Sherman Oaks

4.17

UCLA

Jagan Gopalasingam

North Hollywood

4.06

UCLA

Louis J. Lurie

Sherman Oaks

4.28

Harvey Mudd College

Ari Eman Moss

Encino

4.00

UC Berkeley

Chai-Ing Amy Pan

Van Nuys

4.03

University of Pennsylvania

Justin A. Radell

Sherman Oaks

4.11

UC Berkeley

Lesley Said

Sherman Oaks

4.17

UC Berkeley

HIGHLAND HIGH SCHOOL

(Palmdale)

Iantha Haight

Palmdale

4.0

Brigham Young University

Kimberly Skaggs

Palmdale

4.0

UCLA

INDEPENDENCE

HIGH SCHOOL

(Van Nuys)

Philip Brisk

Woodland Hills

3.73

Santa Monica College

JOHN F. KENNEDY

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Granada Hills)

Gania Barlow

Mission Hills

4.17

San Francisco State

Chad Kawakami

Granada Hills

4.15

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Eric Kim

Granada Hills

4.06

UC Berkeley

Patricia Sharokhi

Granada Hills

4.10

Cal State Northridge

LITTLEROCK HIGH SCHOOL

(Littlerock)

Karen E. Fernandez

Palmdale

4.0

USC

Charity Rominger

Littlerock

4.0

Milwaukee School

of Engineering

JAMES MONROE

HIGH SCHOOL*

(North Hills)

Lindsay C. Amstutz

Chatsworth

4.22

Stanford University

Yvonne Bang

North Hills

4.06

UC Irvine

Terrance M. Cain

Panorama City

4.13

Columbia University

Grace S. Cho

North Hills

4.09

UCLA

John H. Cho

North Hills

4.28

UC Berkeley

Stephen M. Friedman

Van Nuys

4.27

Georgetown University

Natalie Ikhlassi

Van Nuys

4.22

UC Davis

Jeanette M. Kang

Granada Hills

4.12

UCLA

Wing-Fong "Jodi" Lai

North Hills

4.10

UC Irvine

Hae Eun "Grace" Lee

Panorama City

4.06

USC

Arlyn Llanes

Panorama City

4.15

UCLA

Kristina Nubaryan

Los Angeles

4.00

UC Berkeley

Panit Pollavith

North Hills

4.00

Santa Monica College

Chanyamat Werner

North Hills

4.00

Cal State Northridge

Shirlee B. Wong

North Hills

4.06

Cal State Northridge

Jason C. Yi

Los Angeles

4.11

UCLA

NORTH HOLLYWOOD

HIGH SCHOOL**

(North Hollywood)

Azniv Ayvazyan*

North Hollywood

4.0

Cal State Northridge

Damon Francis

Los Angeles

4.50

UC Berkeley

Jonathan Maack

Los Angeles

4.571

New York University

Don Nguyen

Culver City

4.10

UCLA

Andrew Robbins

Los Angeles

4.548

Stanford University

Kevin Shapiro

Encino

4.656

Harvard University

PALMDALE

HIGH SCHOOL**

(Palmdale)

Mary Clark

Palmdale

4.0

Southern Utah University

Jerrus Floyd

Palmdale

4.0

Occidental College

Adam D. Gray

Palmdale

4.0

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Jaime Lintemoot

Palmdale

4.0

Northern Arizona University

Henry D. Pascual

Palmdale

4.0

UC San Diego

Ruben Ruckman

Palmdale

4.0

UC Santa Barbara

JOHN H. FRANCIS

POLYTECHNIC HIGH

SCHOOL *

(Sun Valley)

Joel Angeles

Sun Valley

4.088

UC Irvine

Jasmin Garcia

Sun Valley

4.135

Undecided

Nilza Lal

Sun Valley

4.015

UC Irvine

Eric Yee

Sun Valley

4.031

UCLA

QUARTZ HILL

HIGH SCHOOL *

(Quartz Hill)

Michael Ambriz

Lancaster

4.0

UCLA

Joyce Chang

Lancaster

4.0

UCLA

Gina Galier

Lancaster

4.0

Loyola Marymount University

Ivory King

Lancaster

4.0

Stanford University

Jamie Nyholt

Lancaster

4.0

UC Santa Cruz

Amanda Stanley

Lancaster

4.0

Southern California College

RESEDA HIGH SCHOOL

(Reseda)

Duy Van Do

Reseda

4.367

UCLA

SAN FERNANDO

HIGH SCHOOL

(San Fernando)

Sandra Gonzalez

San Fernando

4.188

Massachusetts Institute

of Technology

WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT

HIGH SCHOOL

(Woodland Hills)

Monica Campos

Los Angeles

4.3

UCLA

VALLEY ALTERNATIVE

MAGNET SCHOOL

(Van Nuys)

Edward Khaymenis

Tarzana

4.05

Occidental College

VAN NUYS HIGH SCHOOL

(Van Nuys)

Jerry Lai

Winnetka

4.567

Northwestern University

VERDUGO HILLS

HIGH SCHOOL*

(Tujunga)

Mark Anthony Capuano

Tujunga

4.06

UC San Diego

Kim Nadine Harrison

Tujunga

4.18

UC San Diego

Chul Soon "Christina" Park

Los Angeles

4.12

UC Berkeley

Meeta Patel

Tujunga

4.0

UCLA

Melissa Wood

Sunland

4.12

Oregon State University

Private School

Valedictorians

ALEMANY HIGH SCHOOL **

(Mission Hills)

Kelly Kathleen Ganzel

Northridge

4.24

UCLA

Kenneth Michael Larson

Simi Valley

4.33

UC Berkeley

Katherine Triplett Noyes

Sunland

4.31

Caltech

Mary Steryo

West Hills

4.34

Mount St. Mary's College

ANTELOPE VALLEY

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

(Lancaster)

Famela Ruth Uyu

Lancaster

3.9

The Master's College

ARMENIAN GENERAL

BENEVOLENT UNION

MANOOGIAN-DEMIRDJIAN

SCHOOL*

(Canoga Park)

Lisa Arslanian

Chatsworth

4.21

UCLA

Raymond Ellyin

Canoga Park

4.23

UC Berkeley

Raffi Kahwajian

Van Nuys

4.26

Occidental College

Kayane Kouyoumjian

Northridge

4.14

Cal State Northridge

Ani Sevan Melidonian

Glendale

4.01

UCLA

Ani Tokat

Northridge

4.35

UCLA

BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON

HIGH SCHOOL

(Burbank)

Tracy Sumoba

Los Angeles

4.21

Loyola Marymount University

BETHEL CHRISTIAN

HIGH SCHOOL

(Lancaster)

Kim Guess

Lancaster

4.05

The Master's College

Michael Halcrow

Lancaster

4.05

UC Santa Barbara

BUCKLEY SCHOOL***

(Sherman Oaks)

Adena Hadar

Los Angeles

4.47

Stanford University

Michelle Remie Watts

North Hollywood

4.17

Stanford University

CAMPBELL HALL

(North Hollywood)

Rania Shammas

Los Angeles

4.513

UCLA

CHAMINADE

COLLEGE PREPARATORY

(West Hills)

Abhijit Bhattacharya

Chatsworth

4.521

Stanford University

CRESPI CARMELITE

HIGH SCHOOL

(Encino)

Amir Vejdani

Encino

4.568

University of Pennsylvania

DESERT CHRISTIAN

HIGH SCHOOL

(Lancaster)

Jonathan Rue

Lancaster

3.95

Simpson College

FIRST LUTHERAN

HIGH SCHOOL

(Sylmar)

John Bennett

Sylmar

3.97

Concordia University

HARVARD-WESTLAKE

SCHOOL

(North Hollywood)

Joshua Eric Glazer

Calabasas

4.497

Massachusetts Institute

of Technology

HIGHLAND HALL

(Northridge)

Corinne Thomsen

Northridge

4.02

Oberlin College

HOLY FAMILY

HIGH SCHOOL

(Glendale)

Irene Guan~o

Los Angeles

3.83

UCLA

HOLY MARTYRS

FERRAHIAN ARMENIAN

SCHOOL

(Encino)

Tsolair Hovsepian

Los Angeles

4.15

UCLA

LOS ANGELES BAPTIST

HIGH SCHOOL

(North Hills)

Joy Shen

Culver City

4.183

UC Berkeley

LOS ANGELES LUTHERAN

(Sylmar)

Carmen Ranck

Palmdale

4.1

Grand Canyon University

MONTCLAIR COLLEGE

PREPARATORY SCHOOL

(Van Nuys)

Ryan Stanley

Granada Hills

4.5

UC Berkeley

Brian Samuel Stern

Santa Monica

4.5

UCLA

NOTRE DAME HIGH SCHOOL

(Sherman Oaks)

Stephanie Eden

Sherman Oaks

4.33

University of Notre Dame

PARACLETE

HIGH SCHOOL***

(Lancaster)

Kathryn Gainey

Lancaster

4.13

Long Beach State University

Rachel Payne

Lancaster

4.09

Baylor University

PRINCETON COLLEGE

PREPARATORY HIGH SCHOOL

(North Hollywood)

Devin Oatway

North Hollywood

4.1

Stanford University

PROVIDENCE HIGH SCHOOL

(Burbank)

Nita Doshi

Burbank

4.0

UC Irvine

ST. GENEVIEVE

HIGH SCHOOL

(Panorama City)

Debbie Formoso

North Hollywood

4.396

Loyola Marymount University

SANTA CLARITA

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

(Canyon Country)

William Fischer

Northridge

3.96

Cedarville College

Christopher "Chips" Ross

Canyon Country

3.96

The Master's College

STONERIDGE

PREPARATORY SCHOOL

(Tarzana)

Edward Foster

Reseda

3.8

Cal State Northridge

VALLEY TORAH

HIGH SCHOOL****

(North Hollywood)

Arvin "Moshe" Doostan

Encino

4.4

UCLA

Marta Vakulenko

Los Angeles

4.3

UCLA

VIEWPOINT SCHOOL

(Calabasas)

Karin Sinavsky

Woodland Hills

4.47

UCLA

VILLAGE CHRISTIAN

HIGH SCHOOL

(Sun Valley)

Joshua Graham

Tujunga

4.15

UC San Diego

WEST VALLEY

CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

(West Hills)

Ziba Esfahani

Woodland Hills

3.9

Undecided

*=Valedictorian awarded to all students with 4.0 and above.

**=Valedictorian awarded to all students with straight A's.

***=Valedictorian awarded by committee to student(s) based on academics and contribution to the school.

****=Valedictorian awarded to one boy and one girl.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Yaron Goldstein

Residence: North Hollywood

School: North Hollywood High

GPA: 4.406

College: Stanford University

Career goal: pediatric oncologist

"When I was 5, I was diagnosed with cancer. It took three years of chemotherapy and radiation to overcome it and now I have a clean bill, thank God. I want to give to others what was once given to me, that is, the will and determination to face any adversity. I'd always wanted to become a doctor--it all stems from my experience. I'm going to miss my friends, family and the school, but I'm looking forward to the future, being on my own and learning about responsibility. We all have to face the real world sometime. This is my time and I'm ready for it."

*

Jae-Il Shin

Residence: Chatsworth

School: Chatsworth High

GPA: 4.0

College: UCLA

Career goal: physician

*

"I came here from Korea 2 1/2 years ago. I'd heard it was a country of freedom where you can be anything you dream. It seems like it is. At UCLA, I'm going to major in biology, but if I find I'm not interested in it, I will change to computers. I'm the first one in the family to go to college in America. It's going to be my first time living away from home. I'm going to try to make new friends. I'm not nervous or worried about it. I feel kind of excited."

*

Tanya Tunchez

Residence: Tarzana

School: Zane Grey High School, Reseda

GPA: 3.44

College: Pierce College, where she has been a student for the past two years.

Career goal: pediatrician

*

"I really didn't care about school when I was involved in gangs. Then one of my best friends was killed and I started realizing it wasn't the lifestyle I wanted. I didn't want to see myself there. It was with my mom's help that I got out. I'm excited about leaving high school. In fact, I cannot wait. I'm finally graduating. I want to eventually go to either UCLA or I might go out of state. I'm the first in my family to go to college. I love kids and I want to help them. I used to volunteer at Northridge Hospital and I saw how they take care of them."

*

Galen Hammond

Residence: Sylmar

School: Sylmar High

GPA: 4.01

College: Cal State Northridge

Career goal: biochemist

*

"I'm looking forward to graduating. It's a combination of scared, excited and relieved. I'll be meeting more people beyond high school. I feel like my world will expand. My dad has always said I should go into biology. I didn't wake up to it until I had advanced placement biology with Mr. [Victor Hugo] Rodriguez. I really got interested in it. I've had people say I could go to a well-known school, but I'm looking at the quality of education. I've heard CSUN has a good science program. If they want to laugh at me for going there, saying it's below me, then let them. I'm going there for my benefit and education."

*

Jibit Cepkinian

Residence: Reseda

School: Armenian General Benevolent Union Manoogian-Demirdjian School, Canoga Park

GPA: 4.26

College: UCLA

Career goal: lawyer

*

"I've gone to the same school for 13 years. It's a close-knit family thing. I'm scared to leave because UCLA is such a big school, but I'm enthusiastic. I've always been active but I don't think it will be the same. I will be more independent. I'll have a lot more responsibilities that I'll have to learn to deal with. I've always had a passion for drama and speaking. I think law will be good for me. It suits my personality."

For the Record Los Angeles Times Tuesday June 18, 1996 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 3 No Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction Valedictorian--Birmingham High School valedictorian Michael Dechter of Encino has a 4.0 grade point average and will attend UC San Diego in the fall. His name was left off a list in Sunday's Times because of an omission by school officials.
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