By MIKE ZINN     1/16/2024

Sawyer Haselby, and eighth grader at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Yorba Linda, was the  ‘unanimous choice’ to be featured in this spotlight series, according to school staff.

A multifaceted student who excels in academics and athletics, Haselby’s quiet yet strong leadership style sets him apart.

He is involved in many school activities, including campus ministry. He has many great ideas to share, like his recent suggestion of holding a prayer walk around the school campus, which was very well received.

“He is a regular and consistent participant, involved and assertive,” said Ann Cooper, who teaches eighth grade.

Haselby also participates in Monday prayer at the school’s St. Mary’s statue for those who are sick or in need.

He says his proudest accomplishment is being named student council president. Jennifer Nieto, who serves as the student council moderator, works closely with Haselby and said, “he leads by example.”

“He is assertive and draws ideas out of fellow council members, so all members feel involved,” she added.

Haselby takes his role and responsibilities very seriously.

“I wanted to use this role to leave a legacy as a kind and loving person,” he said.

Hasselby’s mother Cindy is a teacher at the school and is involved with after school programs. Haselby will often drop in to lend a hand.

“He interacts with all of the students in the program, regardless of their age or interests,” Nieto added.

Haselby began his academic career at St. Francis of Assisi in the fourth grade when his mother became the director of Student Support.

A strong overall student, Haselby cites Math as his favorite subject.

“It is fun and challenging,” he said.

With all strong leaders, role models are an essential factor. Haselby said his father is his biggest role model.

In addition to sharing a knack and interest for Math, “he taught me to be kind and loving to others.”

When asked which historical role model he was most influenced by, Haselby named Martin Luther King, Jr. for his never giving up and making the world a better place.

Haselby enjoys and looks forward to many aspects of student life. He likes the various learning opportunities and activities St. Francis offers.

At the top of his list is a class project to clean headstones at a local cemetery and a spring class trip to the East Coast to visit various historical sites.

Haselby hopes to attend Santa Margarita Catholic High School, where he will continue working with campus ministry and participate in his favorite sport, lacrosse.

He feels the most important trait of leadership is kindness.

“I try to use kindness instead of power,” he said.