Retired Navy Rear Adm. Len Hering. Photo via

Nearly 100 high school seniors were honored Wednesday for the work they’ve done this year to improve their schools at the 62nd annual Washington-Lincoln Laurels for Leaders luncheon.

The event, held at San Diego State University, gave associated student body presidents from schools throughout the county to network as well as meet community and business leaders.

“It was an awesome experience,” said Melody Li, ASB president at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego. “I don’t often get the chance to meet other ASB presidents.”

At the luncheon, the students heard an inspirational speech from retired Rear Adm. Leendert “Len” Hering, a nationally recognized expert on the environment and security and chairman of the board of The Charter School of San Diego.

“We all want to see you do amazing things,” Hering told the students. “We believe that the greatest days are ahead of us, and you all are going to make that happen.”

According to an online biography, Hering in 2009 joined the University of San Diego, where as vice president for business services and administration he launched many sustainable measures on the campus.

“Within the two years he served, USD installed the largest solar system of any private campus in the country, instituted the most comprehensive water abatement project in the school’s history and reformed numerous business practices to help control costs,” the bio said. “His efforts resulted in saving more that 3 million gallons of water per year and more than $1 million in electrical costs.”

Hering was an early endorser of Democrat Mike Levin in his successful race for Congress.

Each student received a check for $250 as well as a recognition certificate and medallion from Washington-Lincoln Laurels for Leaders, a local nonprofit started in 1957.

This year’s honorees are:

  • Molly Schroeder, Academy of Our Lady of Peace
  • Eshner David, Army and Navy Academy
  • Shreya Ranganath, Bonita Vista High School
  • Maddison Walsh, Bonsall High School
  • Melody Li, Canyon Crest Academy
  • Celina Hosking, Castle Park High School
  • Lauren Munro, Cathedral Catholic High School
  • Laurel Beezer, Christian High School
  • Marlyn Zuno, Chula Vista High School
  • Skyler Fickett, Clairemont High School
  • Elliot Pak, Classical Academy High School
  • Avery Dozier, Coronado High School
  • Huda Ahmed, Crawford High School
  • Douglas Helmer, Del Lago Academy
  • Delaney Anderson, Del Norte High School
  • Grecia Jimenez , East Village High School
  • Sean Darcy, Eastlake High School
  • Deved Shamoun, El Cajon Valley High School
  • Bella Teta, El Camino High School
  • Madison Rust, El Capitan High School
  • Benjamin Rangel, Escondido Adventist Academy
  • Bethany Hydar, Escondido Charter High School
  • Ronni Williams, Escondido High School
  • Kendra Donoghue, Fallbrook High School
  • Julia Bernicker, Francis Parker School
  • Shaila Campos, Garfield High School
  • Victoria Orozco, Gompers Preparatory Academy
  • Damian Hidalgo. Granite Hills High School
  • Kennedy Dirkes, Grossmont High School
  • Kyra-Mariae Toves, Guajome Park Academy
  • Jessica Husted, Helix Charter High School
  • Christopher Stagner, Henry High School
  • Briana Bautista, Hilltop High School
  • Micaela Chopineau, Hoover High School
  • Hilda Gaxiola, IDEA Center
  • Dahlia Canonigo, iHigh Virtual Academy
  • Ryan Lay, Julian High School
  • Jennifer Aylin Garcia Hernandez, Kearny High School
  • Keelin Grubb, La Costa Canyon High School
  • Yuqi Yang, La Jolla Country Day School
  • Shushu Crevoshay, La Jolla High School
  • Christina Blore, Liberty Charter High School
  • Phonisha Pruitt, Lincoln High School
  • Nolan Huckabone, Madison High School
  • Jennifer Tapia, Mar Vista High School
  • Madeline Castillo, Mater Dei Catholic High School
  • Naedeen Aquino, Mira Mesa High School
  • Cynthia Taboada, Mission Bay High School
  • Alex Hernandez, Mission Hills High School
  • Jasmine Koehler, Mission Vista High School
  • Zyrille Sabio, Monte Vista High School
  • Adriana Real, Montgomery High School
  • Amie Bagay, Morse High School
  • Jade Mahaney, Mount Miguel High School
  • Sujhey Rosas, Mountain Empire High School
  • Ashlyn Horpayak, Mt. Everest Academy
  • Gabrielle Wilds, Mt. Everest Academy
  • Blake Yamamoto, Olympian High School
  • Yarelis Lopez Martinez, Orange Glen High School
  • Jordan Hands, Otay Ranch High School
  • Aleida Newhouse, Palomar High School
  • Sean Fallon, Poway High School
  • Jimmy Tran, Preuss School, UCSD
  • Sarah Pascarella, Ramona High School
  • Kate Zielinski, Rancho Buena Vista High School
  • Sofia Naranjo, San Diego High School
  • Ilan Leisorek, San Diego Jewish Academy
  • Delphinia Senske, San Diego MET
  • Jeremy Romero, San Dieguito High School Academy
  • Abigail Velazquez, San Marcos High School
  • Rebeca Brown, San Pasqual High School
  • Michelle Villarreal, San Ysidro High School
  • Sam Odenkirk, Santana High School
  • Marilaine Kate Roque, School of Creative & Performing Arts
  • Jerry Yang, Scripps Ranch High School
  • Marco Abbiate, Serra High School
  • Jeskari Rodriguez, Southwest High School
  • Christopher Erpelding, St. Augustine High School
  • Samuel Greenbergs, Steele Canyon High School
  • Ruth Pineda, Sweetwater High School
  • Gabe Thomas, The Bishop’s School
  • Melinda Byrne, Torrey Pines High School
  • Joshua Thompson, Tri-City Christian Schools
  • Maria Islas, Twin Oaks High School
  • Samantha Staples, University City High School
  • Sandrien Mekany, Valhalla High School
  • Kiera Bernet, Valley Center High School
  • Rebekah Caesar, Victory Christian Academy
  • Gabriella Crouch, Vista High School
  • Ethan Rombal, Warner School
  • Natalia Nasrawi, West Hills High School
  • Dean Olsson, Westview High School
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