By MIKE ZINN     4/13/2023

St. Juliana Falconieri School Principal Dr. Manuel Gonzales Jr., doesn’t hesitate when asked to describe eighth grade student Sean Villa.

“Sean embodies all the core values of our school: prayer, knowledge, responsibility, respect, service and leadership,” he said.

Gonzales added, “Sean always positively interacts with his fellow students. He is always available to lend a helping hand.”

The principal specifically emphasized Villa’s strong leadership skills on the football field and his ability to continuously motivate his teammates.

Spanish language teacher Andrea Coulson said she was equally impressed with Villa’s personal evolution over the course of his time at the school.

“I have seen Sean grow from a little child to a young man with strong convictions, leadership skills and an even stronger faith,” she said.

Coulson described Villa as having a strong and consistent work ethic and always on time for any activity he is involved in.

Villa has spent his entire grammar and middle school career at St. Juliana Falconieri. An active student, he is senior editor-in-chief of the yearbook and also serves as commissioner of finance for the student council.

Villa has a well-thought put plan for his future. He plans to attend Orange Lutheran High School. He hopes to play football and maybe basketball and baseball there. Villa is an avid New York Yankees fan – a love he shares with his father.

Villa also wants to attend California State University Fullerton to finish some of basic requirements and then possibly transfer to another school. Building on his student council finance responsibilities, he would ultimately like to be a government accountant.

There are many who have influenced and shaped Villa’s life. He listed his role models as his father and Billy Graham – for his Christian oratory skills. His ultimate role model is Jesus Christ, and his love of Jesus is at the center of what he likes best about St. Juliana.

“I enjoy the religious aspect of our school and the teaching of Catholicism,” he said.

Villa’s proudest accomplishment at St. Juliana is being honored this past football season with the Damien McNally Memorial Award. This award is given to an eighth-grade student athlete who is a team player and demonstrates the attributes of good sportsmanship.

The spirit of cooperation and helping others is the core of his personality.

When asked of ways students could be everyday leaders, he answered, “By helping people, assisting and teaching them.”

He made reference to the St. Juliana “Buddy System” with older students being paired with younger students at such functions as school Mass. Villa particularly enjoys helping the younger students with their spiritual growth.

As Villa enjoys his final year at St. Juliana, he said he has one final goal: to be named either valedictorian or salutatorian of his class.

As for life beyond St. Juliana, Villa will surely use his leadership traits of cooperation, consistency and helpfulness to continue to help his fellow students along the way.