BLYTHE - Christopher Tennefos, the 17-year-old son of Kristin and Chuck Tennefos, was announced as Palo Verde Unified School District's January Student of the Month at the Jan. 15 Board of Trustees meeting.
The Palo Verde Valley High School (PVHS) senior is a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) student who has participated in honors and Advanced Placement courses throughout high school. His hard work has earned him a cumulative GPA of 3.98 and acceptance to a California State University.
During Tennefos's time at PVHS he has participated as a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and been an active member of the Class of 2013. Tennefos is also a four-year cadet of the JROTC program, where he has been involved with many community service activities, including environmental clean-up days and assisting with community service fundraisers, all as commander of the JROTC Honor Guard. He is currently the executive officer of the Yellow Jacket JROTC Battalion and holds the rank of Lt. Colonel; the highest possible rank to achieve in the Palo Verde Battalion.
Within the community, Tennefos has assisted the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Catholic Church with holiday food basket distribution and he has interned and volunteered as an instructional assistant with the Amerman Arts and Humanities Academy under the direction of George and Sherri Amerman during the summers of 2011 and 2012.
Adding to all his accomplishments, Tennefos made the Principal's Honor Roll for three of his four years at PVHS and the standard Honor Roll the other year. He received the JROTC Superior Cadet Medal his freshman year, and the JROTC Distinguished Cadet Medal, the Bronze ROTC medal by the Sons of the American Revolution, both his sophomore year.
Tennefos also received the Fire Squad Leader Award at the Junior Cadet Leadership Camp held in Oracle, Ariz. Last year he earned the Major Marlowe Award, the Howard A. Coulson Memorial Community Service Award, and the Reserve Officers Association Award. He was also recognized for scholastic excellence and demonstrating Americanism by receiving the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry.
Tennefos plans to attend a four-year university and study in the education field and obtain a teaching credential to teach secondary English. His ultimate goal is to become a college professor.
Tennefos, who has two younger brothers, Nicholas and Jonathan, who attend Ruth Brown Elementary, is employed at Rite Aid as a clerk and is a member of Zion Lutheran Church. His hobbies include reading and creative writing, drawing, fishing and going to the river in the summer, camping and going to the desert in the winter.
He credits his parents and grandmother for always being very supportive of him and his academic and personal goals and would like to thank them for that.
"On campus, Tennefos is an all around outstanding person," said PVHS Interim Principal Brandy Cox. "He is a quiet, unassuming team player with a great sense of humor. I am extremely proud to present this young man tonight on behalf of the faculty and staff as Palo Verde Valley High School's student of the month."