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Local Student Up For National Award

Valencia senior nominated by Principal Paul Priesz.

Amber Gaines, a Valencia High School senior, has been nominated to compete in the national Principal’s Leadership Award (PLA) scholarship program, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).  Herff Jones, Inc., funds the PLA program.


Dr. Paul Priesz, principal at Valencia High School, announced the nomination, which places Gaines in the national competition.  One hundred national PLA winners will be chosen this spring to receive a college scholarship ranging from $1,000 to $12,000.  “Amber’s leadership is highly respected on campus, and her ability to get tough jobs done is exemplary,” wrote Priesz.


High school principals from across the country were able to nominate one of their student leaders.  Nominees were selected based on their leadership skills, participation in service organizations and clubs, achievements in the arts and sciences, employment experience, and academic record.  They were also required to write an essay.


Amber Gaines


“Every year the nominees for the Principal’s Leadership Award are just phenomenal, and Amber is no different,” said Gerald N. Tirozzi, executive director, NASSP.  “She is an excellent example of what a true student leader embodies and deserves to be commended for her excellence in the classroom and community.”


In recognizing leadership in co-curricular activities as well as academic performance, the PLA scholarship recognizes the importance of a well-rounded education.  Co-curricular activities are an essential part of the school curriculum. 


While at Valencia High School, Gaines has been the student body president, junior class president, sophomore class president and has been involved in many service projects in both the school and the community. This fall, she plans to attend California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo and study kinesiology. 

Local Student Up For National Award

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