Top Scholars Honored for Achievements
Top Scholars Honored for Achievements

Congratulations to the 2017 OCS Valedictorian Micaela Cole and OCS 2017 Salutatorians Caleb Groen and Samantha Speer, as well as National Merit Scholars Groen, Justin Gerwien and National Merit Finalist Colton Hayse on their outstanding academic achievements.


Cole will attend USC, matriculating with so many credits she will complete a bachelors in computer science/business administration and a masters in economics by the time she graduates. While at Oaks Christian School, Cole devoted herself to the Mock Trial team, National Honor Society, the equestrian team and varsity tennis. An avid reader, she engaged in philosophical discussions with English teacher Christi Goeser and lively political debates with history teacher David Moore. Outside of school, she wakeboards, snowboards, hikes and rides motorcycles in the desert with her family.

Sharing the salutatorian honors are Groen and Speer. Groen will major in political science at UC Berkeley and he was also named a National Merit Scholar. Speer will study economics and computer science at Vanderbilt University.

Groen played on the boys tennis team and was in chamber strings for four years. He also founded the Veritas Club and served as Spiritual Life Prefect, was on National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl for two years and an Honor Board member. In addition, he has been on several different trips with the school such as the Colorado River, Big Bear, Eastern Europe, and Mexico.

Speer has attended Oaks Christian since sixth grade. During her four years in high school, she has been involved in Mock Trial, competing in six competitions. She has led the varsity mock trial team to Top 8 for two consecutive years. This achievement influenced her decision to study law. She has been on OCS student leadership as an Honor Board member, and co-founded the Knowledge Bowl club. Speer was one of only 75 students nationwide out of 83,000 to achieve a perfect score on the College Board AP Economics exam.

National Merit Scholar Gerwien participated in the speech and debate team, Mock Trial, National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl, the STEM Club, and was the editor of the Eco Club newsletter. He has also been tutoring for clients at Mathnasium of Thousand Oaks, and privately for the past two years in various school subjects and for standardized tests. Additionally, he volunteered consistently with the For the Troops organization. He will study engineering at UC Berkeley.

National Merit Finalist Hayse is a proud member of the performing arts department, having been on stage for every play and spring musical since freshman year. He has been in OC Voices, on the Mock Trial team, and served as captain of the Comedy Sports team. He will attend Dartmouth College and major in chemistry. Hayse was selected as the MVP at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, a program for distinguished high school students showing potential to be the nation's next medical leaders and research scientists. He also scored a perfect 800 on both the math and chemistry sections of the SAT. Additionally, he has done summer research at Point Loma University, working on an antidote for weaponized anthrax, as well as other research through the Scripps Institute on macular degeneration.

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