MONTEBELLO – Performing mock interviews, drafting resumes, polishing presentation
skills and completing job applications were among the areas of practice for five
Montebello Unified School District Regional Occupational Program (ROP) students who
participated in the Los Angeles County ROP Outstanding Students Competition earlier
this month.

The students’ hard work paid off as each student placed at the competition, receiving
gold, silver and bronze medals. Taylor Chavez of Montebello High School and Ernestin
Gardea, an independent study student, received the competitive gold medal in
Professional Dance and Recreation Occupations, respectively; Jesie Amaya of Schurr
High School and Jocelyn Panfilo of Montebello High both won silver medals in
Professional Dance; and Alejandro Espino of Montebello High received a bronze medal
in Marketing Occupations.

“It is a high honor to not only have qualified, alongside many students from 23 school
districts in the County, but to have solidified numerous competitive medals for the first
time in our history,” MUSD Board of Education President David Vela said. “We are very
proud of our ROP students for their tenacity, dedication and achievement within their
respective programs and beyond.”

The MUSD ROP program focuses on providing quality career and college prep using
work-based learning. The program runs during regular school days, after school and on
“ROP is key in connecting what students learn in the classroom to practical, real-life
scenarios outside the classroom,” said MUSD Superintendent Cleve Pell. “This
competition illustrates that our ROP students are excelling at applying the knowledge
and skills they are accumulating toward the next step in their professional and
educational careers.”

he competition, comprised of over 100 students from various high schools within the
County, was held at the Southern California Edison Energy Education Center in
Irwindale on March 11.

“This competition is a direct result of the quality programs and quality teachers at
MUSD, producing quality students,” said Rick Espinoza, Assistant Director of ROP and
Adult Education. “Rightfully so; the state mandates it, the District requires it, our parents
expect it and our students deserve it.”

All student winners will receive special recognition at a Los Angeles City Council
meeting in May, as well as recognition from the MUSD Board of Education in April.
The LA County ROP program is designed to enhance the essential career and technical
skills acquired by ROP students and to support their academic achievement.

PHOTO CAPTION: From left to right: Jesie Amaya (Schurr HS), Jocelyn Panfilo
(Montebello HS), Taylor Chavez (Montebello HS), Alejandro Espino (Montebello HS),
Ernestin Gardea (Contract Independent Study) at the LA County ROP Competition on
March 11.