Every year, 90 seniors from nearly 50 high schools from throughout Ventura County, are selected by their teachers to be Star Scholars, a group that represents the best and the brightest students in their upcoming graduating classes.
This year, for Ojai Valley School, it was senior Ally Feiss, who throughout her high school years at OVS has set herself apart with her determination to maintain a high GPA and her intense involvement in campus activities.
Since arriving her freshman year, Ally has participated Student Council, theater productions, and competitive sports teams every season, including captaining the soccer and cross-country teams. She also has been selected to take part in several leadership programs, including HOBY and Girls’ State.
“It’s an incredible honor,” said Ally, who attended the award ceremony earlier this week, at the Serra Center in Camarillo, with her parents and her advisor, history teacher Fred Alvarez. “It’s not only about the dollar amount but also just the honor of being nominated for the award.”
The 33rd annual Star Scholar Awards, presented by the Ventura County Star, honored the achievements of a wide range of seniors. Those students represented 46 public, private, alternative and parochial high schools in Ventura County and Las Virgenes Unified School District.
Star Scholars were selected based on their academic excellence, leadership talents and community service activities. Selected students also to submit essays, which were judged by a panel from The Star. The top-scoring essay writer was awarded the $5,000 Julius Gius Star Scholarship.
Ally wrote about her father’s recent heart attack and her realization that everything in life can change in the blink of an eye.
“It really altered my perspective and outlook on life,” she said.
Mr. Alvarez, who has been Ally’s advisor since her sophomore year, said Ally was a natural choice to be this year’s Star Scholar, given her contributions inside and outside of the classroom.
“I can’t think of a more deserving student to receive this honor,” he said. “Ally has worked hard in her four years at the Upper Campus, both in and out of the classroom. She is driven to excel, and do her best at all times. As her advisor, I couldn’t be prouder.”