2016-06-10 / Schools

SENIOR STANDOUTS

SANTA SUSANA

Editor’s note: Senior standouts are selected by their respective schools, and profiles are compiled from questionnaires filled out by the students. Photos by O’Connor Bros. Photography.


Scranton Scranton Breanna Scranton

Breanna, 17, spent most of her high school career focused on volunteering with the Key Club. She has served as president, vice president and tech editor of the group.

The daughter of Sherry and Dave Scranton, Breanna is a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation. While in high school, she was Associated Student Body creative director, freshman adviser for Big Brothers Big Sisters and a soccer player.

Breanna plans to attend UC Davis, where she will study animal science and visual arts. In 10 years, she hopes to open her own veterinary practice.

“Besides being a veterinarian, I hope to sell my art on the side and maybe even do portraits of the animals I take care of,” she said.

Her biggest influence is her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor whose view of peace taught her that she can overcome anything.

Nicolas Mintzer
Mintzer Mintzer

As much as he never admits it, Nicolas said his stepfather, Sean Flynn, has influenced his life most.

“(My stepfather) is a classy, well-mannered, highly educated man, and his successes in life are something I will always strive to achieve,” the 18-year-old said.

The son of Lee-Ann Flynn and Jordan Mintzer, Nicolas said his favorite subject is math because numbers come easily to him.

He plans to attend UC Santa Barbara in the fall to study actuarial science. In 10 years he wants to be an actuary— a person who calculates insurance risks and premiums— and continue his hobbies of volunteering and acting.

Nicolas was a moderator when former Mexican President Vicente Fox spoke at the school, and the grad volunteered at the 2015 GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library.

He also participated in the Key Club, International Thespian Society and Improv Club, and was a member of the Simi Valley Youth Council and California Scholarship Federation.


Schlaffer Schlaffer Natasha Schlaffer

A self-proclaimed theater enthusiast and history and literature geek, Natasha dedicated her high school years to academics and art.

The daughter of James and Lourdes Schlaffer, Natasha, 17, was an officer for both the California and International Thespian societies, as well as her high school’s thespian club.

She was a member of the PTSA, feminist club, California Scholarship Federation, musical and children’s choir at Santa Su, and the show choir.

The graduate said her favorite class was Advanced Placement language and composition with Cecilia Carrigan, who “reinvigorated my love for reading and brilliantly integrated history into the classroom,” she said.

Natasha plans to attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall and will major in acting and minor in arts entrepreneurship.

Pravin Visakan
Visakan Visakan

Throughout high school, Pravin was heavily involved in robotics and with the Ventura County Mock Trial program.

The 18-year-old son of Kamesh and Manickam Visakin, Pravin placed second as both mock trial pretrial attorney and bailiff.

Pravin received the National Merit Scholarship commendation, was named salutatorian and started the Santa Su Flight Club for aeronautics.

His favorite class was calculus with Gary Reinstein, to whom he attributes his love of science, technology, engineering and math. In the fall, he plans to study either mechanical or aerospace engineering.

Pravin said his life has been most influenced by his mother because he knows he can always turn to her.

“Our discussions have me questioning some deep-seated beliefs, and she has a wealth of knowledge about the world in general,” he said. “She also feeds me most of the time, which is nice.”


Hoffman Hoffman Kayla Hoffman

From a young age, Kayla’s mother, Laurie, set an example of giving back through her philanthropic efforts.

“She has tirelessly devoted so many hours to helping others,” Kayla said.

The daughter of Larry and Laurie Hoffman, the 17-year-old has been a Girl Scout for 12 years, earning her Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

While in high school, Kayla’s favorite teacher was Bevin Abbe, who, the grad said, helped her grow and mature as a vocal performer.

The graduate is the founder of the glee and encore clubs, and also participated in the Key Club, PTSA and choir club.

Kayla hopes to be married and working as a forensic scientist with law enforcement in 10 years.

After graduation, she plans to study biology at Cal Lutheran University.

Compiled by Melissa Simon

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