12th grade: Elizabeth Uribe, Selma High

The Fresno BeeMay 26, 2012 

Selma High senior Elizabeth Uribe is such a strong student that she's been nominated as an Academic All-Star seven times.

"There are classes like biology that I love, but I needed a little prodding with math," Elizabeth says.

The interest in biology was triggered by all of the time Elizabeth and her father spent watching the Science Channel. Her fascination with life and how it works will continue when Elizabeth heads to the University of San Diego in the fall, where she plans to major in biology. She would eventually like to work in some form of research.

Elizabeth is a well-rounded student. She has worked on the school newspaper, served as the California Scholastic Federation secretary this year, acted as a youth group leader in 2011 and served as captain of the school's 2010 junior varsity soccer team, 2011 cross country team and 2012 track and field team.

Her excellence in school earned her outstanding freshman, sophomore and junior honors.

She's very active in the community, having volunteered through confirmation classes and the JAM Youth group at St. Joseph Church. Elizabeth has helped serve food, set up and cleaned up for various church dinners and a confirmation retreat, sold tickets and set up for the Share the Love Festival.

In nominating Elizabeth, teacher Forest Castle said: "Elizabeth has the pedigree of a general, but the mentality of a foot soldier. Her labor is spent not in the spotlight telling others what to do, but one-on-one with individuals, mentoring, equipping, listening, and encouraging. Quietly and without fanfare, Elizabeth builds up the small communities she's a part of that, in turn, impact the bigger community. In short, she makes everyone better."

More about Elizabeth

Age: 18

School: Selma Higb School

Home: Selma

Parents: Nabor and Catherine Uribe

Achievements: 4.28 GPA; California Girls' State delegate, 2011; Student of the Month, October 2009 and April 2011; Clarion Co-Editor-in-Chief, 2011-2012.


12th grade Honorable Mentions

ELIZABETH LANIER, 18, Fresno

School: Clovis West

Parents: Brent and Andrea Lanier

Achievements: Along with being the varsity captain of the school's debate and forensics teams, she won the national Good Citizen Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. Elizabeth has been the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, president of the Faith Club, founder and president of the Just Hearts Club and a member of the Key Club. As a member of the National Honor Society, Elizabeth works as a tutor. She was named most valuable player for the junior varsity soccer team.

ABIGAIL RODRIGUEZ, 18, Fresno

School: Fresno High

Parent: Robert and Michele Rodriguez

Achievements: "Abigail is active in and out of the classroom. Her grades reflect her attention to her reputation, and her actions outside of class benefit those around her. Though not known for her athletic abilities, Ms. Rodriguez is as well-rounded a student as I can think of," said Darren Klassen, the teacher who nominated her. Abigail was the ASB treasurer her senior year and a member of the school's debate team for four years. She picked up a FACET Award at Fresno State's annual Young Writers Conference her freshman year.

NATALYA MARIE FERDINANDI, 18, Fresno

School: San Joaquin Memorial

Parents: David and Wendy Ferdinandi

Achievements: Natalya serves as the ASB secretary and has been the Memorial soccer team captain for the past two years. She's also been sophomore class president, homecoming queen her senior year, a B'nai B'rith nominee, California Scholastic Federation Life member/president and student ambassador her sophomore, junior and senior years. Lisa Nilmeier, San Joaquin Memorial High School president, said of her: "What is most amazing about Natalya, in addition to her academic excellence, is her outstanding athletic accomplishments, extracurricular leadership and service to her community. Natalya is a wonderful combination of humility and self-confidence, and is mature beyond her years."

The reporter can be reached at rbentley@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6355. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.