On June 2, Elite students and staff assembled at the Elite Teacher Convocation 2012 to celebrate the hard work and successes of the past year. The annual Teacher Convocation is an opportunity to recognize several of Elite’s extraordinary instructors while honoring this year’s graduating Southern California Elite Branch Scholars as they prepare to make a new start at college.
The day began with an introduction of Elite’s updated summer curriculum and presentations by Elite teachers, with titles such as The Secret of Great Essay Structure: Building from the Ground Up, How Vocabulary Can Change Your Student's Life, and Going Beyond the SAT: Curiosity, Games, and Always Saying Yes. Throughout the evening, staff and students alike discussed Elite’s commitment to holistic student development. “Elite’s a special place,” said Phil Mann, who was formally recognized on Saturday as the new head of curriculum. “It’s a whole lot more than just test prep.”
Elite President Jonghwan Patrick Park presented awards to the Elite Teachers of the Year and Elite Southern California Branch Scholars. This year’s award winners include:
2012 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BRANCH SCHOLARS
Elliott attended Eldorado Emerson and is this year's Branch Scholar from Elite of Anaheim Hills. He has never been to Seattle, but it's his favorite city. "Because Jimi Hendrix is buried there!" says Elliott. He looks forward to attending Cornell University in the fall.
Rachel McKinght is Elite of Arcadia’s 2012 Branch Scholar. Rachel's fun fact: She was a Gerber baby! She was accepted to Santa Clara University, Boston College, DePaul University, Trinity College, and UC Santa Barbara, and plans to attend Boston College this fall.
Andrew Hou is a graduate of Whitney High School and attended Elite of Cerritos. "I'm semi-OCD, germaphobic, and going to Caltech. Call me Sheldon Cooper?" says Andrew. He looks forward to starting at Caltech this year.
Alice Wang is this year’s Elite of Fountain Valley Branch Scholar. One of her aspirations is to travel to Italy to see Michelangelo's David. Alice graduated from Fountain Valley High School and was accepted to NYU, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis. She will be starting at UCLA this fall.
Isabelle attended Elite of Fullerton and is a graduate of Troy High School. "As a little girl," says Isabelle, "I read all of the 56 original Nancy Drew mysteries. I have come to realize that this fostered not only my abiding love of reading, but my insistence on owning a pair of high heels, and learning to run while wearing them, to be more like my favorite heroine, Nancy Drew." Isabelle received acceptance letters from UC Santa Barbara, Mt. Holyoke, and the University of Puget Sound, and plans to attend UCSB.
Bill attended Elite of Irvine and is an Irvine High School graduate. He loves biking, and one if his life goals is " to own a deep frier so I can cook everything with it." Schools accepted: Caltech, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego. Bill will be a freshman at UC Berkeley this fall.
Jacob is Elite of Los Angeles’s Branch Scholar. He is a die-hard Dodgers fan, and is working on his banjo skills. Jacob attended Village Christian High School and was accepted to the Wharton School of UPenn, Harvard, USC, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. Jacob will be starting at Harvard this year.
Paola attended the Los Angeles Leadership Academy and was a student in Elite’s college prep program at LALA. She is this year’s recipient of the Elite Outreach Scholar Award. Paola was accepted to UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Smith College, and Ohio Wesleyan University. She will be attending Smith College this fall.
Kevin attended Granada Hills Charter High School. He enjoys not smiling in pictures and hopes to go skydiving sometime in the future. He applied and was accepted to Caltech, Harvey Mudd, UC Berkeley, USC, and UCLA, and will be going to Caltech this fall. Kevin is this year’s Elite of Northridge Branch Scholar and an Elite Student of the Year.
Francis Marenga Mburu
Francis attended Elite of Irvine-Northwood and Trabuco Hills High School. "When the planets align and my friends and I are not studying, we like to play Dungeons and Dragons," says Francis. He was accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Columbia, Brown, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and UC Davis. He will be attending Yale University in the fall and is an Elite Student of the Year.
Lawrence is a graduate of Great Oak High School and is Elite of Rancho Bernardo’s 2012 Branch Scholar. As a hobby, he composes music for solo piano. Lawrence is looking forward to attending Brown University starting this fall.
Bernadette attended Elite of Rowland Heights and St. Lucy's Priory High School. She is an unabashed disco lover and hopes to ones day create an international non-profit that promotes the empowerment of girls and women worldwide. Bernadette was accepted to Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, UPenn, Georgetown University, Brown, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Harvey Mudd College, and UC San Diego. She starts at Harvard this fall.
Andrew is this year’s Elite of Torrance Branch Scholar. In his spare time, he enjoys rock climbing and mountain biking. He attended Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and was accepted to Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. He will attend UCLA starting this year.
Christina graduated from West Ranch High School and attended Elite of Valencia. She's not a fan of seafood ("I can imagine it alive on my plate") and hopes to one day travel to France. Christina was accepted to UC Berkeley, Notre Dame, Occidental College, UCLA, and UC San Diego, and plans to attend UC Berkeley this year.
2012 ELITE TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Mr. Benedict holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from Caltech and has taught Math, Chemistry, and Physics at Elite of Anaheim Hills for five years.
Mr. Walker is a graduate of Northwestern University and has been with Elite for four years. He teaches PSAT, SAT Writing, and Jr. Elite Writing Enrichment Classes at Elite of Arcadia.
Ms. Walsh has been with Elite of Irvine for nine years. She is a graduate of Grinnell College and received her Ph.D in English from UC Irvine. Erin teaches Critical Reading and Writing in our 2100 Plus program, as well as Essay Writing, Writing Workshop, and ReadiPrep English.
Ms. Cho graduated from Bryn Mawr College and has taught PSAT and SAT Critical Reading, SAT Writing, ReadiPrep English, and AP World History at Elite of Los Angeles for five years.
Ms. Khaw has taught at Elite of Irvine-Northwood for three years. She’s a UCLA graduate, and her Elite subjects include PSAT/SAT Writing, and Elite 3-2-1 Quad Learning.
Ms. Shin is a graduate of UC San Diego and holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University. She has taught SAT Critical Reading and ReadiPrep English at Elite of Rowland Heights for more than six years.