June 2024

Mount Madonna Class of 2024 Gets Ready to Fly

Mount Madonna School is pleased to announce Ona Musoll-Buendia as the 20243 valedictorian and Anya Gonzalez and Emma Monclus as co-salutatorians.

These students earned this distinction through hard work and focused effort, edging out their peers at the Central Coast school known for strong academics, environmental education, learning journeys, performing arts and scholar athletes. The 2024 high school graduation ceremony will be held at the school’s upper campus June 13 at 10:30am.

“The graduating class is comprised of academically strong, talented and creative students who are ethically minded,” commented Head of School Ann Goewert. “I am proud of Ona Musoll-Buendia, valedictorian, and Anya Gonzalez and Emma Monclus, co-salutatorians, for their hard work and personal accomplishments. These individuals are scholars, caring friends, athletes and budding scientists.”
Musoll-Buendia will attend the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) and plans to major in environmental science.

“I chose Cal Poly because of its ‘learn by doing’ philosophy,” said Musoll-Buendia.

“During my time as a Mount Madonna School student,” continued Musoll-Buendia, who came to MMS in seventh grade, “I have been very grateful for teacher Nicole Silva Culbertson. She is an inspiration to me because of her love for the topics that she teaches. She is very passionate and loves what she does, which translates to her students being interested and eager to learn.”

Gonzalez will attend Gonzaga University, where she plans to study nursing.

“One factor in my decision to choose Gonzaga is because of its well-established, direct-entry nursing program,” said Gonzalez. “Other factors that are important to me are the university’s social environment and school spirit.”

Gonzalez began attending Mount Madonna School in kindergarten, and like classmate Musoll-Buendia, says teacher Nicole Silva Culbertson has positively influenced her education.

“I am incredibly grateful for Nicole Silva Culbertson,” said Gonzalez. “She teaches with such grace and humor, and her dedication and hard work never fail to inspire me.”

Monclus is choosing to attend the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and will study biomedical engineering.

“Some factors for me in choosing UC Davis were the beautiful campus, you can bike everywhere, second-year housing is easier to find, and it is relatively closer to home,” said Monclus.

Monclus, who came to Mount Madonna School as a seventh grade student, said teacher Sam Lee is someone she looks up to.

“Same Lee always teaches his class with excitement and passion,” Monclus said. “This encourages his students to try their hardest in his class and have fun while doing so. Even though the class is super-fast paced, Sam Lee does a wonderful job of thoroughly explaining the lesson of the day with infinite patience for us.”

In addition to these students, Mount Madonna School’s Class of 2024 includes 13 other students.

The students are listed below with their college choices.

Beatrice Miller, University of Washington; Bella Sol Padilla, Santa Barbara City College; Cooper Padilla, Berklee College of Music; Cy Harris, University of California, Santa Cruz; Erik Howley, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Erin Kavitsky University of Portland; Ethan Lee, Cabrillo College; Irulan Cockrum, San Francisco State University; Isaiah Orozco, Sacramento State University; Logan Shaw, University of California, Davis; Peter S., San Jose State University; Sophia Manzur, University of California, Los Angeles; and Wyatt Adams, Santa Barbara City College.

Mount Madonna’s Head of School shared well wishes for the Class of 2024.

“Mount Madonna School’s graduating class of 2024 is committed to academic and personal excellence,” said Goewert. “I am proud of these passionate and talented young scholars. They will attend some of the finest universities and prestigious programs. May the senior class continue to develop their capacity to think independently and advocate for change.”

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