Valley Sun All-Star Nicole DeMont:

After waiting for four years to wear her white dress and carry the red roses, graduation day finally arrived this past Sunday for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy senior Nicole DeMont and the class of 2009.

The 17-year-old told her fellow classmates in her valedictorian speech that her education at Flintridge Sacred Heart not only influenced her mind, it influenced her heart.

DeMont, a girl with a grateful heart, passion and perseverance is this week’s Valley Sun All- Star.

“Nicole’s obviously very bright and she’s No. 1 in her class,” said Mario Pariante, theology and history teacher at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

Pariante has been DeMont’s teacher in five classes, as well as serving as advisor for the school’s academic decathlon club, of which DeMont was a founding member.

Pariante said he’s amazed by DeMont’s dedication to her studies and the initiative she has shown in helping subsidize her schooling at the about $17,000-per-year preparatory school through working part time at the Los Angeles Zoo gift shop.

“She comes from a modest background, but she is a real go-getter,” he said, adding that the youth also is “sweet, popular and well liked by her peers.”

While at the school, DeMont has served all four years on the student council, one-year of which she was class president. This past year she was president of the ambassador club, which included organizing all the visitor tours of the school.

DeMont is the daughter of Denise DeMont and the granddaughter of Robert and Lucille DeMont of Glendale.

She has lived in the La Cañada/Glendale area all of her life. She attended Foothill Progressive Montessori in La Cañada for preschool through fourth grade and attended Village Christian School in Sun Valley through eighth grade.

DeMont said she was honored to earn the chance to present the valedictorian speech at graduation.

During her speech, she thanked her family and teachers for their part in bringing the students to that momentous occasion.

“We are standing here today because of your sacrifices and your faith in us. You have always been our number one fans and our strongest support system.

“Although we may not always tell you how much we love you or how much we appreciate all that you do, believe me when I say that you are the most important people in our lives and we care about you more than you could imagine,” she said.

DeMont’s gratitude toward others is one of her best qualities, Pariante said, adding, “She’s grateful for every little thing.”

The youth also has a positive attitude and determination to succeed, which will take her far in life, he predicted.

DeMont has been accepted to Stanford University, with full scholarships and financial aide. She plans to study political science and later go on to study law on the East Coast.

Her grandfather said he’s proud of his granddaughter for her use of her intelligence, serious dedication to her schoolwork, and inner and outer beauty.

“She’s very modest and probably won’t talk about all the things she does, but she does a lot,” he said, adding, “She’s a wonderful girl.”

To nominate an All-Star, send an e-mail to lcnews@valleysun.net.


IF YOU’D LIKE TO NOMINATE an exceptional young person who lives in La Cañada or is a student here to be a Valley Sun All-Star, call (818) 790-8774, ext. 19, or e-mail ruth.longoria@latimes.com.

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