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By Teresa Leader-Anderson

June 11, 2021 (Lakeside) - The El Capitan High School Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA) awarded $1,000 in scholarships to graduating senior members. The scholarship winners are (left to right) Connor Crist, Samantha Wilson, Abby Burghart, Megan Zink and Hafeez Merali.

“People often ask where their PTSA membership money goes – what is it used for,” said Teresa Leader-Anderson, president, El Capitan High School PTSA. “At El Capitan, part of our membership money is used for senior scholarships so we can help hard-working students pursue their educational goals after high school.”

This year’s winners are:

Connor Crist

Connor played four years on the El Capitan baseball team and played club baseball in the off season.  A great person and math wiz according to his math teacher, Connor received several academic awards, was a regular volunteer with his church and worked at Albertsons 22 hours a week. Connor will be attending Biola University in the fall.

Samantha Wilson

Samantha played for three years on the field hockey, soccer and track and field teams. She participated in the Suicide Prevention Walk and was on Honor Roll all four years at El Capitan. Samantha will be attending Louisiana State University in the fall where she plans to major in sports administration and hopes to get a Masters in sport management. 

Abby Burghart

Abby is one of El Capitan’s valedictorians and has been very active on campus. She played on the tennis team four years, soccer team for two years and is a member of the Book and International Clubs. She is a Girl Scout, scholar athlete and has been a top ten student all four years at El Capitan.  In her free time, she volunteers at Sharp Grossmont and enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her cat.  Abby will be attending U.C Berkeley this fall where she plans to major in molecular environmental biology and become a research scientist in ecology.

Megan Zink

Megan played four years on the El Capitan tennis team and was one of the yearbook’s editor-in-chiefs for two years. She was a member of the Book and Photography Clubs and has volunteered with the El Capitan Stadium Association, Lakeview Elementary Carnival and the Wounded Warriors Project. Megan is a scholar athlete and was recognized this school year as Vaquero of the Week.  Megan will attend the University of Arizona this fall where she will major in physiology and medical sciences.

Hafeez Merali

As one of El Capitan’s valedictorian’s, Hafeez not only had good grades but was involved with many organizations on campus. He participated in Academic World Quest Club, Debate Club, Board Game Club and Academic League. He was on the JV swim team and this school year participated in the theatre production. Hafeez has been an Ismaili community volunteer for four years and has helped at Feeding San Diego and with several park/beach cleanups. Hafeez is a National Merit Scholarship recipient, been on Honor Roll all four years at El Capitan and works as a tutor in his “free” time.

As a member of the Global Language Leadership Program, Hafeez graduated with the seal of tri-literacy on his diploma.

Hafeez will attend the University of Oxford in England this fall.

The El Capitan High School PTSA is a group of volunteers that supports parents, teachers and students and works to increase communication and parental involvement. Additionally, El Capitan High School PTSA raises funds for senior scholarships, safe grad night activities, Reflections Art Contest, Teacher Supply Day, hospitality at events such as the Freshman BBQ, booster support for parents and much more to make El Capitan a better school for everyone. Membership in the El Capitan High School PTSA is $10 per person. Anyone can join the PTSA and you do not need to have a child that attends the school. To join the El Capitan High School PTSA - https://jointotem.com/ca/lakeside/el-capitan-high-school-ptsa.