The following students have been selected as Fredericksburg Optimist Club Students of the Month for March:

Gabriela Sibel, the daughter of Michael Sibel and Royce Lopez-Sibel, is a senior at Colonial Forge High School. Gaby is a member of National Honor Society, and she has earned academic awards and letter all four years of high school. She is also a member of Environmental Club, Virginia Space Coast Scholars/NASA Engineering Course, Destination Imagination, Virginia Cello Ensemble, Covenant Chamber Ensemble and Youth Orchestra of Prince William, and she has participated in Spring Strings Thing at James Madison University. She plays varsity tennis and travel soccer. Gaby’s community service includes Students Helping Honduras, Special Olympics, Rappahannock River cleanup, various fun runs, CFHS Freshman Night, CFHS New Student Social, CFHS Textbook Setup, VCE assistant and at a poll site on Election Day. Gaby plans to attend Cornell University and major in environmental engineering.

Alejandra Silva, a senior at Courtland High School, is a dedicated and hard-working student who has overcome many obstacles to be the person she is today. She has received academic achievement awards during all four years of high school as well as the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. She is Vice President of Community Service of DECA and last year placed in her regional and states competition as well as attended the international competition in California. She also became a member of the DECA Honor Society this year. She is a member of National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Technical Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Rho Kappa. Last year, she helped create a chapter of the National English Honor Society at her previous school and served as co-president. She has been part of numerous clubs including community service-based clubs like Red Cross, Bright Knights and Knights in Action, and clubs established to assist new and disabled students like Ambassadors Club and Friends Club. She also served as an officer in Spanish Club last year. She enjoys volunteering and has dedicated hundreds of hours throughout high school to various organizations. She is working toward graduating with an Advanced Studies Diploma. Alejandra plans to attend a four-year university and study business.

Emily Amelung is a senior at Fredericksburg Christian High School. She is part of the Leadership Team and took on the role of being president of the team for two years. She has participated in cheer, including football and basketball, and served as captain during her final season. She also received two Team Player Awards and a Coachable Award. Emily has been a part of the swim team, serving as captain her senior year, receiving two Team Player Awards and an Intensity Award. During her final season she received an All-Conference Award. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has received various awards, including the Stewardship Award, Outstanding Academic Effort, Trust Award and Distinguished Christian High School Student Award. Emily is a student at the Muggivan School of Irish Dance, where she has qualifyied for the Southern Regional Oireachtas and competed at local feis all over the region. For the past three years she has been part of the Guatemala Missions team which met twice a week for five months prior to the trip in order to prepare to serve for 10 days in villages and orphanages. Emily will attend Randolph-Macon College where she will major in pre-med and Spanish. She plans to become a physical therapist.

Justin Ray Logan, the son of Victor Logan and Wendy Logan, is a senior at James Monroe High School. He is a member of DECA and Kappa League, and Justin has played varsity basketball, earning second team All Conference honors. He has volunteered with the Ceili Leahy Program, Manarc Military Shop and Grace Redemption Church. Justin has applied to Virginia Military Institute, VA Tech and George Mason University and plans to major in engineering.

Dominique Brannan, the daughter of Tabitha and Gary McKay, has been selected at Massaponax High School. Dominique is captain of the girls varsity lacrosse team and plans to attend Cornell University in the fall.

Madeline Brence, the daughter of John and Jackie Brence of Stafford County, is a senior at Mountain View High School. She is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and a member of the National Honor Society. Madeline is very active in her school’s drama community as a member of the WildActs and secretary of Chapter 7143 of the International Thespian Society. Outside of school, she plays travel soccer with Prince William Soccer Inc. For the past two summers, she participated in a week-long mission service trip with her church youth group. Madeline plans to continue her education at the college level, majoring in psychology.

Chad Thomas Nichols, the son of Thomas and Cynthia Nichols, is a senior at North Stafford High School. A model student-athlete, Chad is extolled as dedicated, organized, personable and an enthusiastic participant in discussion and debate in the classroom. Chad has earned high marks in rigorous AP and Honors classes as well as CTE programs Horticulture, Greenhouse, and Auto Tech. He been a member of the football and lacrosse teams all four years and has earned a black belt in karate. He credits football with teaching him perseverance, dedication and resiliency. As a member of the Student Council for three years, Chad helped organize and run such events as Freshman Transition Day, Freshman Orientation, the North Choice Awards and various academic and athletic pep rallies. Further, Chad routinely donates his time to various charitable organizations such as SERVE and the Thurman Brisben Center homeless shelter. Chad has been junior and senior class treasurer, and a member of the Renaissance team, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,and the National Honor Society. Chad is considering pursuing political science in college and possibly working for Homeland Security or the FBI.

Alyssa Funai, the daughter of Danielle and Donald Funai, is a senior at Riverbend High School. Alyssa is president of Virginia Junior Classical League and Latin Honor Society. She is a member of Science National Honor Society and an executive board member of Latin Club. She enjoys gardening and knitting and works as a barista at Books-A-Million. In 2016, Alyssa received the Dennis Bartlow Convention Award that recognizes one student who most resembles Dennis Bartlow in his dedication to the classics, despite him never having been a Latin teacher. Alyssa plans to pursue a liberal arts degree at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md.

Brittany Donnell, the daughter of Carrie and Douglas Donnell, has been selected at Spotsylvania Career and Technical Center. At her home high school, Spotsylvania High School, Brittany is a member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society and the varsity softball and basketball teams. She is also a member of the Spotsylvania Vipers 18U travel softball team. Brittany volunteers at the Fredericksburg Fair. Her teacher says, “Brittney stays focused. She is always striving for and achieves perfect attendance regularly, gets frustrated from time to time but never gives up. She is self-motivated and is easy to be around. I wish all my students had these qualities and characteristics.” Brittany plans to attend Longwood University to become either a teacher or a journalist.

Johnny Henriquez, the son of Andres Henriquez and Maria Henriquez, is a senior at Spotsylvania High School. Johnny has been a member of the varsity wrestling and football teams, earning varsity athletic letters and serving as captain of the football team. He is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and Spanish Club. He is a candidate for the IB Diploma and has earned academic letters all four years of high school. Johnny has been selected for National Academy of Future Scientist and Technologists Award of Excellence and Boys State. He volunteers with “Stuff The Bus” and has tutored. Johnny has applied to Longwood University, University of Virginia and James Madison University, and he plans to major in business administration and work towards a Master of Business Administration.

Braden Kirk Clayberg, the son of Kirk and Angela Clayberg, is a senior at Stafford High School. He is a member of Key Club and National Honor Society, serving as its vice president. He has also served the Debate team as captain. He is a member of SkillsUSA and has won the silver medal at the National Additive Manufacturing Competition in Louisville, Ky. He will earn an Advanced Studies Diploma, has been awarded three academic letters, and earned summa cum laude awards all four years of high school. Braden was a Boys State delegate. He is an Eagle Scout in Troop 218; he has earned three palms and served as Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Guide and Assistant Scoutmaster. Braden volunteers with Stafford County Fire/EMS and is a certified EMT. He is a deputy court clerk for Fredericksburg Juvenille District Court. Braden plans to attend the University of Mary Washington and University of Virginia Law School. He would like to become an attorney and eventually a judge, or possibly work for the FBI.

Mikayla Coghill, the daughter of George and Lisa Coghill of Fredericksburg, was selected as Fredericksburg Optimist Club Student of the Month for January 2018 at Mountain View High School. She is a member of the school’s National Honor Society chapter. She is a hardworking student, having taken honors and college-level courses throughout her high school career, earning a 4.1 GPA. Mikayla has participated in varsity cheerleading as well as varsity lacrosse all four years. Throughout her years in lacrosse, she has received first team All Conference her first three years as well as first team All Area as a sophomore and second team All Region as a junior. She has also been named captain for her senior year. Mikayla is taking her third semester of ASL and is extremely interested in learning signing and all other aspects of deaf culture. She is an active and reliable member of the athletic training program at her school and enjoys participating in events helped by her NHS chapter. She plans to attend Liberty University where she will major in athletic training, minor in ASL, and play Division I lacrosse.

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