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#BulldogSTRONG STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Nathan Bernal

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Student: Nathan Bernal

Year in School: Senior

Plans After High School: Nathan plans to attend either Cal Poly Pomona or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and pursue an advanced degree in software engineering. With his degree, Nathan hopes to one day work at Apple or at Google. 

GPS Focus: GROWTH, PRIDE, & SERVICE

What Makes Nathan #BulldogSTRONG: One of the essential behavior expectations at Golden Valley High School is to show GROWTH in the classroom by always giving 100% effort. By giving 100% effort, the exemplary student remains focused on success. As 100% effort brings these nonpareil students closer to their goals, their motivation and willpower increases as they can taste success. Whatever the goal may be, exemplary students always plan to put in the consistent, 100% effort needed to achieve success. For Bulldog Senior Nathan Bernal, 100% effort is exactly what he has given as a student throughout his educational career. From Granite Point Elementary School to McKee Middle School to Golden Valley High School, Nathan has earned straight As. As a Bulldog, Nathan enrolled in the most rigorous classes that GVHS has to offer including GATE, Honors, Advanced Placement, and Project Lead the Way course and was exceptional as he earned a 4.5 GPA in the process, placing him first in class along with three other GVHS seniors. Furthermore, at the conclusion of this school year, Nathan will have completed 28 semesters of AP or Honors courses further pushing him into elite company as he is only one of two students on campus that has accomplished such a feat. Nathan is quick to credit his teachers for the academic success he has experienced as Bulldog. He appreciates the extra effort of his engineering and AP Physics teacher, Judiah Hopkins, for making himself available on Saturday mornings to provide academic assistance and by making his classes engaging, entertaining, and supportive. Nathan also appreciates all of his English teachers, Jamie Contois, Lana King, Karen Bastain, and Madison Bealessio, for pushing him to improve his writing, work ethic, and overall approach to the English language as he developed skills that he will carry with him beyond the walls of GVHS. As a result of his academic success and support that he has received from his teachers, Nathan plans to attend Cal Poly Pomona or San Luis Obispo in Fall 2022 where he will pursue a degree in computer/software engineering with aspirations of one day working at Apple or Google as the principal software engineer. Nathan also has aspirations to serve his community by opening an animal sanctuary to serve animals in need. His GROWTH and SERVICE mindset will afford him opportunities to succeed in life. 

 

1Nathan Bernal has been exceptional as a Bulldog student earning a 4.5 GPA and rising to first in class.

 

To the reading audience, Mr. Wylie here. I have been writing the article for #BulldogSTRONG Student Spotlight every week since its inception in the 2018 - 2019 school year. I have been fortunate enough to have encountered some amazing students that have exemplified GROWTH, PRIDE, and SERVICE, epitomizing #BulldogSTRONG to the finest degree. However, this piece on Nathan Bernal is and will always be my favorite article. I am Nathan’s step-father and to say that I am proud of him and love him is an understatement. Nathan and I each started at GVHS during the 2018-2019 school year - he a 9th grader and me, the Assistant Principal of Administration. As any parent of a high school student, his mother and I were curious, sometimes nervous, and other times excited to see how Nathan would be as a Bulldog and how his high school experience would transpire. From the moment Nathan walked on campus, he was determined and motivated to chart his own path and excel academically. Through late nights, weekends, holiday breaks, and multiple summers throughout his high school career, Nathan committed himself to being the best version of himself, demonstrating an elite work ethic that inspires his teachers, friends, and family. My wife and I never had to pester Nathan about getting his homework or classwork done, to study for a test, finish a project, or give his best effort - he simply did it on his own accord and far exceeded our expectations. Like any teenage son, Nathan has probably been on his XBox longer than he should and has eaten more In-N-Out than most humans should consume, but these petty actions have never deterred him from his academic pursuits. Parents wish for their children to be smarter, achieve more, and have more financial success than themselves, and we have no doubts that Nathan will accomplish that in his own life as he will be better than us; in many ways, he already is. Beyond the success Nathan has experienced, he has remained humble, kind, and caring towards others and that is perhaps what his mom and I are most proud of - Nathan Bernal is a great person and we are lucky enough to be around him every day. He has surrounded himself with amazing friends who, like Nathan, are a positive influence on the campus of GVHS - many of them have been featured in previous #BulldogSTRONG Student Spotlight articles because of their own success and for representing GROWTH, PRIDE, and SERVICE. Nathan’s drive for success and the benevolence he exhibits towards others inspires me to be a better father, husband, Assistant Principal, and human being. For the prodigious academic success he has experienced on his way to a 4.5 GPA and First in Class for the Class of 2022, Nathan Bernal is #BulldogSTRONG and Mr. Wylie’s all-time favorite student.      

 

1Nathan Bernal (Far Right) has surrounded himself with supportive and encouraging friends that are College Bound in Fall 2022.

 

What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Nathan: "To me, #BulldogSTRONG means always improving yourself and everyone around you. It is important to respect and support others. It also means keeping a positive mindset and spreading positivity throughout the community to create positive change.”

 

What Teachers and Staff Think of Nathan: 

“I have had the pleasure this year to work with Nathan for the last four years. Nathan has a passion for learning and that has led him to studying Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. From building bridges and towers, to programming in Python, designing in AutoCAD, machining, and 3D printing,  he has a talent for designing and building that will serve well at any engineering firm.  He is a leader among his peers - forming study groups after school and on Saturdays where they learn Calculus and Physics, or just to play some board games.  He has a genuine smile and laugh that brightens up the classroom.  I admire his self-advocacy, he was never afraid to say what he needed in his education.  I have been truly lucky this year, working with some amazing young men and women.  Nathan is one of the finest students I have had the pleasure of teaching, with a wonderful group of amazing friends.   He has a great future ahead.” Judiah Hopkins, AP Physics and Project Lead the Way Teacher, eSports Head Coach, Golden Valley High School 

 

“As a student in my AP Language and Composition class during distance learning last year, Nathan was a leader in the class who set a good example for others and consistently made positive contributions. He is attentive to detail and dedicated to getting the job done and doing the job well every time, even when that means struggling through a more challenging text or skill. The fact that Nathan will tackle the obstacles he may encounter and always give 100% are qualities that make him a wonderful example of what it means to be #BulldogSTONG.” Karen Bastain, AP English Language and Composition Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan is definitely #BulldogSTRONG in the classroom and on campus!  As a sophomore, his hard work and focus were exceptional.  He was both engaged as a student and helpful to his friends and classmates.  He pushed himself to keep growing as a student.  One of the best examples of this was during the early weeks of the pandemic.  Nathan never quit working and growing even in the midst of so much world-wide uncertainty.  He finished the year strong and determined to continue to succeed.” Lana King, GATE English and ELD Teacher, English Department Chair, Golden Valley High School

 

“It is my pleasure to recognize Nathan Bernal as an outstanding Bulldog! Nathan's passion for mathematics is inspirational! His leadership among his peers is phenomenal! And his potential to do great things in life is limitless! For these reasons, Mr. Bernal is #BulldogSTRONG!” Luis Jauregui, AP Calculus Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“Kind, quiet, inquisitive. Three words that describe Nathan Bernal. As a student in my freshman English class, Nathan would not only complete his work on time, but he also submitted quality work that often exceeded expectations. Early in the year, Nathan struggled with whole-class discussions due to his reserved nature. By the end of first semester, he began to exhibit a great deal of growth in that area. Nathan recognized his strengths and areas for improvement and pushed himself to grow in both. Nathan walked #BulldogSTRONG from his first day on GV’s campus, and I expect he will continue to do so as his academic journey moves beyond the walls of GVHS.” Jamie Contois, English Teacher and ELD Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan chose the path less traveled for his senior year. While many students are looking forward to a lighter academic load, as they’ve completed most of their requirements, Nathan took on a full Honors/AP schedule!  He gives his all and then some more, and that is on the academic side!  Always a smile and bright face in class, transmitting optimism and readiness to learn.  I’m encouraged to be here by his enthusiasm! Nathan brings the best of himself and others out.” Alejandra Soto, Long Term AP English Literature Teacher and Yearbook Adviser, Golden Valley High School

 

“The best words to describe Nathan as a student are practical, logical, and focused.  One thing that I always admired about Nathan is that he is very sure of himself, how he likes to learn and what he enjoys learning about.  Although he is very self-directed, he is also great at group work and collaboration.” Terri Richmond, AP Psychology and AP US History Teacher, Social Studies Department Chair, Golden Valley High School

 

“The end of the school year is always a time for reflection, especially when we are tasked with saying goodbye to our seniors. I got to know Nathan during his sophomore year when he was a student in my AP European History class. Nathan was a part of that group of students who didn't get to finish the school year in our classrooms due to school closures because of Covid-19. Instead, he, like the rest of us, had to finish out the school year online. Because of that, all AP tests were quickly reformatted and administered online. Nathan didn't quit. He continued to study and prepare for the exam. Nathan's strong work ethic, the ability to ‘roll with the punches’ and his all-around good nature are what I remember best about him.” Tracy Costa, AP European History Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan was in my 9th grade GATE Geometry class. I remember him as one who got upset if he earned a "B" on an assignment. He strived to go above and beyond and eventually got the highest score on our class Final. He is an achiever and a believer!” Paul Hernandez, GATE Geometry Teacher and Head Track & Field Coach, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan Bernal is truly #BulldogStrong! He is not only a mathematical thinker, but he is thoughtful in his approach to problems. Beyond math, Nathan is a kind, caring person who is such a good friend to many. This combination of attributes will serve him well as he ventures off to Cal Poly Pomona. I can only imagine the great things that Nathan will accomplish as he moves forward in his life!  I know that there are great things ahead for this young man.” Sheryl Cleveland, AP Statistics Teacher and Math Department Chair, Golden Valley High School

 

“I had Nathan as a sophomore in my Advanced Algebra GATE class. I knew right away that he was a very smart young man who can be quite shy and timid at times. As he left my class I still get the pleasure of seeing him in the nearby upper division classes around me and even at lunch when he and his friends need a place to relax, play games, or work on rubix cubes. I know that he can accomplish any goals he sets his mind to. I can wait to see what amazing things he has in store for his future. It has been an honor to teach and get to know him.” Sheena Dixon, GATE Advanced Algebra Teacher and Math Department Chair, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan was an absolutely amazing student while I had him in my PE class.  He always gave 100% in every sport, and always had a positive attitude……..super smart kid who has a brilliant future ahead of him….on a side note that kid is a wiz at the rubik's cube.” Joe Rojas, PE Teacher and JV Head Wrestling Coach, Golden Valley High School

 

“I remember Nathan being an intellectually curious, dedicated and respectful student. He was always looking for ways to become better at everything he did and was also willing to be of service to his fellow students and his community. He is a worthy example of what GPS and BulldogStrong is all about.” Roberto Rodriguez, GATE Earth Science Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“I had the honor of introducing Nathan to the high school Project Lead The Way program at Golden Valley. Nathan started his high school engineering pursuits in the freshman IED class and has continued to flourish in the PLTW program. Even as a freshman, it was apparent that Nathan was an intelligent person, an incredible student and was taking steps on his path to becoming an outstanding engineer. Nathan has shown GROWTH, PRIDE, and SERVICE throughout his four years at GV. He has shown GROWTH with his thirst for learning. He is inquisitive and enjoys figuring out and understanding how things work. As he learns he improves his problem solving skills and continues to grow as a scholarly person. Nathan has shown PRIDE by how much care he has taken with his assignments, not only in engineering, but in all of his classes. He has a perfect GPA and has never faltered in his academic accomplishments.  Nathan has shown SERVICE through participation in the SWAT program, which is a group of students aimed at helping other students with issues concerning tobacco use and vaping. Nathan is also the first to volunteer to help another student in class. Nathan has a great sense of humor, is easy to get along with, and is a real pleasure to work with in the classroom. He is admired by his teachers and his peers. Nathan is a stellar example of what it means to be #BulldogSTRONG and I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future.” Aaron Wherry, Art and Project Lead the Way Teacher, Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair, Assistant Dean, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan’s pillars or values include having a strong work ethic and continuing to improve through education.  Friends and family are also very important to Nathan.  Nathan has always enjoyed animals and will always cherish his dog Oakland.” Lupe Sanchez, Counselor, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan is truly #Bulldog STRONG, During Covid I had the pleasure of having Nathan in my Honors Chemistry class. The only regret I have is not having him in person. I admire Nathan’s determination and drive. He has set goals for himself and works extremely hard at achieving them. I know Nathan will be successful in whatever endeavors he chooses to embark on. I wish him the best of luck and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes.” Raelin Villalobos, Honors Chemistry Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan possesses a very specific and useful kind of leadership skills. He is very calm, caring, and kind. Nate bears a certain steadiness and an ability to be an exemplar that allows him to lead those around him. He is exactly who you want in any of life's various kinds of foxholes.” Aaron Wright, AP Government and Economics Teacher, Golden Valley High School

 

“What makes Nathan #BulldogSTRONG is his strong work ethic and his humble and caring nature. It was a pleasure working with him this year. I’m positive Nathan will do great things in life and continue to walk #BulldogSTRONG.” Karla Gomez, College and Career Technician, Golden Valley High School

 

“Nathan was in my Spanish 2 and 3 class and throughout his years with me he showed amazing bulldog spirit by being responsible, consistent and a role model to follow. He is in fact a great example of GV pride.” Sonia Romero, Spanish Teacher, Golden Valley High School