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Mira Costa Grads Honored

Jun 12, 2018 09:57AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

MCHS Class of 2018 winners of the California Scholarship Federation Scholarship

Mira Costa High School graduating seniors were honored at Senior Recognition night on Monday, where local community and school organizations awarded more than 200 scholarships to high-achieving students.

"This has been a tremendous class," said Mira Costa principal Ben Dale. "They have raised the bar in every imaginable way."

Leading off the list were four National Merit Scholarship winners: Joseph Cohn, Alex Gist, Alexander Le, and Peter Lu. Dale noted that this year marked Mira Costa's highest number of National Merit finalists, semi-finalists and scholarship winners.

New for this year were two memorial scholarships: The Chad Elliot Jenson Memorial Scholarship  honors Sergeant Chad Elliot Jenson, a Mira Costa grad who had gone on to serve in the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, MARSOC (United States Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command) and died tragically last year in a C-130 plane crash. It was awarded to senior Ryan Ohanesian.

A second new memorial scholarship was the Sandy Casey Memorial Scholarship, honoring Manhattan Beach MIddle School special education teacher Sandy Casey, who was among those killed in the Las Vegas massacre in October. It was awarded to James Krigsman and Alex Levin. 

Other memorial scholarships included the Eva Risnel Memorial, the William Wilcox Memorial, and the Pina Fisher Memorial (all three from the Sandacre Teacher Memorial Scholarships); the Richard and Sally Reed Memorial Scholarship, the Sandacre Scholarships; the David Stanton Memorial Music Scholarship; the Suzi Whitehead Memorial Scholarship, the Matthew McAfee Memorial Scholarship; the Carl Fisher Memorial Scholarship; the Kevin McIver Memorial Scholarship; the California Community Foundation - Sue Nies Memorial Scholarship; the Arthur G. Winsworth Memorial Scholarship; the Mason Zisette Memorial Scholarship; and the MB Police Officers' Association Officer Martin Ganz Memorial Scholarship.

School and community groups awarding scholarships included SoCalROC, the Beach Cities Masonic Lodge, the Alumni Association of MCHS Men's Water Polo, the Arts Group of Hermosa Beach, the Hermosa Friends Foundation, the 17th Street Mural House, the Association of California School Administrators, the California Scholarship Federation, the California School Employees Association, Chevron US, the Foundation of Local Arts, the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Hermosa Beach Kiwanis Club, the Hermosa Beach Sister Cities, the Herosa Beach Police Officer's Association, the Hermosa Beach Women's Club, Leadership Hermosa Beach, Magic Rainbow Preschool, the Manhattan Beach 10K Run, Manhattan Beach Community Church, the Manhattan Beach Coordinating Council, the Manhattan Beach Council of PTAs, the Manhattan Beach Hometown Fair, the Manhattan Beach Kiwanis Club, the Manhattan Beach Property Owners Association, the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club, the Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association, the Mira Costa Alumni Association, the Mira Costa Dance Boosters, the Mira Costa Soccer Boosters, the Mira Costa PTSA, the Neptunian Women's Club of Manhattan Beach, Schools First, Soroptomist International of Manhattan Beach, the Torrance Y's Men's Club, and Airforce ROTC.

The evening also included remarks from senior speakers Mareda Michael and Chirawan Murphy, who encouraged fellow graduates to continue to look beyond themselves and to focus on working together and helping others.

"It's no longer about competition, it's about collaboration," said Michael. "Remember that if your dream only includes you, it's too small."

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