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Class of 2019 Lifers

    • Top row, left to right: Elizabeth Nelson, Anna Shaul, Amanda Nance, Catherine Murray, Cameron Yaghouti, Faith Fayman.  Middle row, left to right: Grant Miller, Jesús Labra, Katherine Shauh, Navid Massarat, Nicolas Barrera, Rebecca Mirkhani. Bottom row, left to right: Rohan Jha, Ruhi Parikh, Sarah Mirkhani, Suzi Schleimer, Zoe Skerlos, Dakota Hernandez.

      Top row, left to right: Elizabeth Nelson, Anna Shaul, Amanda Nance, Catherine Murray, Cameron Yaghouti, Faith Fayman. Middle row, left to right: Grant Miller, Jesús Labra, Katherine Shauh, Navid Massarat, Nicolas Barrera, Rebecca Mirkhani. Bottom row, left to right: Rohan Jha, Ruhi Parikh, Sarah Mirkhani, Suzi Schleimer, Zoe Skerlos, Dakota Hernandez.



Lifer Q&A

La Jolla Country Day School is proud to recognize 18 lifers from the class of 2019 for our 52nd lifer class. Our lifers have called LJCDS home for 13 or more years. Below, six of our lifers reflect on their time in the Torrey community. 

Lifer: A student who has gone to the same school for 13 or more consecutive years from Tiny Torreys/nursery, junior kindergarten or kindergarten to senior year.

Nicolas "Nico" Barrera

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What is beneficial about being a lifer at LJCDS?

    Most people talk about their high school friends as lifelong friends because of the special bonds and experiences they shared during their four years in Upper School. Having been at LJCDS for 14 years, I feel that the lifer community has become a lifelong family.
  • Who is your mentor and why?

    Mrs. Chang, my advisor, is my mentor because she has been there as a supportive role model throughout my entire Upper School career. I know she is always there for me, and she really feels more like family than faculty.
  • When you leave, what will you miss the most and what will you remember the most?

    I will miss the community the most and I will remember the incredible faculty the most. Some of the teachers that have inspired me are Mrs. Johnson, my sixth grade history teacher, Mr. Prychun, my 10th and 12th grade teacher, Ms. Valji, my 11th grade math teacher, Mr. Peritz, my ninth grade English teacher and Academic League coach, and Mrs. Chang, my advisor and one of the best people on this earth.
  • What do you want to do to make the world a better place?

    I want to make alternative and clean energy mainstream so that we stop producing so many harmful emissions.

Dakota "DK" Hernandez

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What is beneficial about being a lifer at LJCDS?

    Being a lifer at LJCDS has allowed me to utilize everything that this school has to offer. I've been able to explore many different passions of mine through La Jolla Country Day School's many opportunities, and I've been able to meet many amazing people. By the time we graduate, we lifers will have been together for longer than any other group we will ever work with which is something very special.
  • When you leave, what will you miss the most?

    I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'd miss the people at LJCDS more than anything. Being able to be around people I love every day has certainly made a profound impact on my life. The people at LJCDS gave me something to look forward to in the morning and something to miss in the evenings.
  • How do you want to make the world a better place?

    I want to create something that brings people together; I want to create something that gives people the freedom to put aside their differences and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Tell us an interesting fact about you.

    An interesting fact about me is that I'm from the Barona Indian Reservation. Living on the reservation has taught me a lot about family. The reservation is fairly remote and the community comes together for every holiday, religious ceremony and funeral as well as for life’s other celebrations and troubles.

Catherine Murray

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What is beneficial about being a lifer at LJCDS?

    I truly noticed the benefits of being a lifer at LJCDS during my senior year. We often had lunch together and planned events, such as the lifer lunch and painting the rock. The lifers experienced intense emotions this year with their college decisions, and we were all able to come together and support one another while transitioning to the next chapter of our lives.
  • How have teachers inspired greatness in you?

    Teachers at La Jolla Country Day School have pushed me to my full potential and have helped me overcome obstacles inside and outside the classroom. Most importantly, my teachers are always interested in supporting me outside the classroom, like coming to watch my tennis matches and orchestra performances.
  • Who is your mentor and why?

    My greatest mentor is my mom because she shows me what hard work looks like, how to treat others with kindness and respect, and ways to make at least one person smile each day. I admire her compassion and care for others. She helped me through the struggles and victories in my life.
  • What advice would you give to incoming ninth-graders about Upper School?

    I would advise incoming ninth-graders to push themselves out of their comfort zones and immerse themselves as much as possible. LJCDS provides a unique Upper School experience, but you can only face the opportunities if you put yourself forward and communicate as much as possible with other people in the community.

Ruhi Parikh

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What is beneficial about being a lifer at LJCDS?

    I think the benefit of being a lifer is that I was taught from a young age about strong character. LJCDS has taught me to be confident in standing up for what I know is morally correct and to always question my surroundings. These aren’t skills you can learn in a couple of years, it’s something you are raised with.
  • How have teachers inspired greatness in you?

    I have become close with so many teachers at LJCDS, and they have helped shape the person I am today. During my most difficult times, it was those teachers who offered me the most love and support, and I will forever be grateful to them.
  • When you leave, what will you miss the most?

    When I leave, I will miss the comfort of being at LJCDS surrounded by the friends and teachers I love. While I know it’s time to move forward, I have built a home here. I’ll miss being able to walk across campus and feel comfortable knowing all the students and faculty I pass.
  • What advice would you give to incoming ninth-graders about Upper School?

    The biggest advice I can give to incoming ninth-graders is to take advantage of everything La Jolla Country Day School has to offer. Use your first year of Upper School to join different clubs and sports and to really get to know yourself better. LJCDS provides us with so many opportunities to learn and succeed outside of the classroom. While I eventually settled on the couple clubs and sports that are most meaningful to me, some of my best friends are people I became close with by joining activities in my freshman year.

Katherine "Kk" Shauh

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • How have teachers inspired greatness in you?

    Many of my teachers have empowered me to do things that I would normally lack the confidence to do. In my orchestra class, I am challenged to perform solos and lead the orchestra. In French class, I am pushed to speak up more every day in order to take my understanding of the language to the next level. Both of these experiences were difficult for me as a quiet-natured student; however, they have allowed me to grow academically and personally. Mrs. Diener, Madame Rachel, Madame Torres and Mr. Rowling have helped me develop skills that are not only needed in school but more importantly, they are needed in all of my future endeavors.
  • When you leave, what will you miss the most and what will you remember the most?

    When I leave, I will undoubtedly miss my incredible teachers and friends most of all. I will remember the women’s tennis team and the captain’s practices that always ended with food. I will remember Camp Bravo and doing improv and yoga with my friends. Last but not least, I will remember the arts; going to the annual musicals in Upper School, Rhythm and Blue performances, student plays, choir concerts at the Torrey Pines Lodge and of course, the friendships that were made during my time in the LJCDS orchestra program.
  • What do you want to do to make the world a better place?

    I want everyone to know that they have a role. During Upper School, it was sometimes difficult to remember that our missteps would not ruin everything because college was such a daunting thought. Personally, I was always confused as to what my role was or would be, but with the continuous support of teachers and friends I figured that out. With that, it is important to me that everyone knows they have someone and a place in the chaos that is high school.
  • Tell us an interesting fact about you.

    I have been playing violin since I was five and plan to continue with the violin and music for the rest of my life. So many of my mentors work in the LJCDS music department. Without the arts, I would not have the amazing friends I have today, nor would I have been able to step out of my comfort zone so often. I feel that music plays a significant role in the person I am today and I would not trade it for anything.

Zoe Skerlos

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • How have teachers inspired greatness in you?

    Teachers have inspired greatness in me by accommodating my learning disabilities and valuing me as an individual. Mr. Norland, who has been my advisor, friend and government teacher, inspires greatness for a better world. He constantly leads by example and focuses on teaching his students good morals. Mr. Norland is funny, kind and creates an inclusive environment for his students. I don’t know how I would have been able to get through Upper School without him.
  • Who are your mentors and why?

    There are more amazing teachers than I could possibly list but a few that have truly made a difference in my growth are:
    • Dr. Healey, who has been my English and home economics advisor and American studies teacher: Dr. Healey taught me to have confidence in myself and my writing. Dr. Healey strives to have every student's voice heard, helping students express creativity and growth of knowledge. We are extremely lucky to have Dr. Healey at LJCDS. I am even luckier to have had her as my teacher multiple times.
    • Mr. Uyeda, who was my biology teacher: Mr. Uyeda would talk about the world with me for hours. When completing an assignment, Mr. Uyeda would dig deep into the concepts with me by explaining the biology clearly and answering any questions I had. Mr. Uyeda clearly cares about every student's mind and who they are as individuals.
    • Ms. Alexander has been my Learning Resource Center tutor, and “therapist” since sixth grade. Ms. A is my lifelong best friend. Her office has been a safe space for me for as long as I can remember. Ms. A always wants to know how I am and is willing to help me with whatever I need, whether it be a homework assignment or relationship advice. I will forever be grateful for this woman.
     
  • When you leave, what will you miss the most?

    I will miss the Learning Resource Center family. I will miss the discussion-based classes and the teachers that deeply care about my growth and development as an individual and who accommodated my learning disabilities.
  • What do you want to do to make the world a better place?

    I want to make the world a better place by accepting and listening to people without judgment. I want to build empathy in our society.

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