Scholarships were issued to local students by the Vallecitos Water District to help them continue their higher education. (L to R): Board Vice President Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, scholarship winners Phlavia Oyrem, Caitlyn Hansen, and Julianna Stipica-Kelecic, Board President Jim Hernandez, scholarship winners Daniel Baza, Evan Fox, and Board Member Erik A. Groset. Not pictured: Board Members Craig Elitharp and Jim Pennock, scholarship winner Brook Sannella. Photo: Vallecitos Water DistrictScholarships were issued to local students by the Vallecitos Water District to help them continue their higher education. (L to R): Board Vice President Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, scholarship winners Phlavia Oyrem, Caitlyn Hansen, and Julianna Stipica-Kelecic, Board President Jim Hernandez, scholarship winners Daniel Baza, Evan Fox, and Board Member Erik A. Groset. Not pictured: Board Members Craig Elitharp and Jim Pennock, scholarship winner Brook Sannella. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Students Recognized For Conservation Art, Scholarship Excellence by Vallecitos Water District

The Vallecitos Water District Board of Directors recognized students from district area schools for their excellence in the classroom in two separate contests: poster art for fourth graders and an essay competition for scholarships.

Students who compete for a scholarship must complete an essay and provide a personal statement related to their background and/or goals. The annual contest is open to students living or attending schools within the Vallecitos Water District service area and is intended to increase the knowledge and awareness of water-related issues affecting the region.

Six students were selected to receive $1,000 college scholarship: Phlavia Oyrem, La Jolla High School, who plans to attend Palomar College; Brook Sannella, San Marcos High School, who plans to attend UCSD; Daniel Baza, Evan Fox, and Caitlyn Hansen, who all attend Palomar College; and Julianna Stipica-Kelecic, who attends Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College.

Baza, Fox, Hansen, and Oyrem all plan to pursue water studies and water industry careers. Fox completed a Spring 2023 Internship with Vallecitos Water District while attending Palomar College.

Oyrem was selected as the Fall 2023 Intern with Vallecitos when she attends Palomar this fall.

Fourth graders promote water conservation through art

Double Peak K-8 fourth-grade student Natalie Clark of San Marcos win first place in the Vallecitos District’s 2023 Water Awareness Poster Contest. Photo: Vallecitos Water District student recognized

Double Peak K-8 fourth-grade student Natalie Clark of San Marcos win first place in the Vallecitos District’s 2023 Water Awareness Poster Contest. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Love Water, Save Water

In addition, three fourth-grade students from the local community were named winners of the district’s annual student poster art contest. The poster contest, which focuses on students in the fourth grade, is designed to promote understanding of water issues in elementary schools.

This year’s theme was “Love Water, Save Water.”  The three winning posters were selected from all entries based on their depiction of the theme, artwork, originality, and poster design. The winning posters will appear in the 2024 Water Awareness Calendar, available for free at the district’s office starting in December 2023.

First Place: Natalie Clark of San Marcos. Photo: Vallecitos Water District students recognized

First Place: Natalie Clark of San Marcos. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Double Peak K-8 fourth-grade student Natalie Clark of San Marcos, age 10, received first place in the Vallecitos District’s 2023 Water Awareness Poster Contest. Her teacher is Abby Lyon. Natalie wrote about her entry, “I love water because we can’t live without it, and when I touch, see, smell the water, I feel connected.”

Mikaela Fuentes, second place. Photo: Vallecitos Water District student recognized

Mikaela Fuentes, second place. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Mikaela Fuentes of Baypoint Academy, age 9, received second-place. Mikaela wrote about water: “It keeps us alive and is the source of all living things and animals.”

Grant Neum, third place. Photo: Vallecitos Water DIstrict students recognized

Grant Neum, third place. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Grant Neum, also from Baypoint Academy, age 9, placed third. Grant wrote he loves water “Because water helps the world grow.”

(Editor’s note: The Vallecitos Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego County region.)