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Murrieta’s high schools offer high academic standards

Students win world robotics championship, find strong science and career focus

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The quality of a high school is often measured by how prepared graduates are for higher education or the world of work. Not only must today's graduates be proficient in core academic subjects, but they also need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators. In other words, they need 21st century skills.

Murrieta Valley Unified School District high school students are exploring their interests and taking steps to prepare for college and careers through high school career pathways, International Baccalaureate classes, Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment classes, and their involvement in a vast array of co-curricular clubs and activities.

Murrieta Mesa High School is one of three high schools in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. The district offers students a strong curriculum in sciences.

From building robots and solar vehicles to learning about renewable energy and fashion design, MVUSD students are acquiring 21st century skills that are a valuable commodity in today’s job market. Approximately 87 percent of graduates from the Class of 2012 will attend some of the top colleges and universities in the country.

Murrieta Valley High School 2012 graduate Vinayak Pillai will use the engineering skills he gained as captain of his school’s Robotics Club to pursue a career in biomedical engineering. In April, Pillai and his teammates captured the coveted title of 2012 VEX Robotics World Champions after competing against 396 high school teams from 17 countries. Pillai and his teammates collaborated with teams from New Zealand, Vancouver and British Columbia, and beat teams from Shanghai and Beijing along the way to winning the world title.

Miles Schuler, valedictorian of Murrieta Mesa High School’s Class of 2012, will take the skills he acquired in his engineering and robotics classes to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, where he will study aeronautical and environmental engineering.

Creekside High School alumnus Miles Ten Brinke discovered his passion for the environment after joining his school’s Green Team, a student-led effort to reduce energy consumption. In 2011, Brinke joined the Cal Energy Corps Program at University of California, Berkeley. After earning his degree in society and environment in May, Brinke will fly to Great Britain in September with a Fulbright Award, where he will work toward a master’s degree in energy policy at the University of Exeter.

Students on Murrieta Valley High School’s Solar Team designed, built and raced their solar energy car in the Shell Eco-marathon held last April in downtown Houston, with teams from 177 colleges and high schools from North and South America.

After studying fashion and graphic design at Vista Murrieta, 2012 graduate Grace An won the grand prize in O’Neill’s national design competition. The grand prize included an internship at O’Neill, and An’s designs were featured in O’Neill’s spring collection. She also received a $5,000 scholarship, which she will use at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Murrieta Valley Unified School District Superintendent Stan Scheer said, “We hope that our graduates will understand what it will take to pursue their dreams, succeed at the college or university of their choice and turn competitions like these into job offers.”

For more information, visit the district website at murrieta.k12.ca.us.

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