#BulldogSTRONG STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Daniela Castillejo

Student: Daniela Castillejo
Tennis Team
Year in School: Senior
Plans After High School: After finishing high school, Daniela plans to attend UC Davis to pursue a degree in Sociology and History. Her interest has always been in exploring different communities and their development through history, and she is keen to join a research project while studying at Davis.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Daniela: "To me being #BulldogStrong means being someone who is actively involved in sports and clubs at Golden Valley that they are genuinely interested and passionate about and being able to make it a community for others to join and feel comfortable in while simultaneously achieving their goals as a student."
What Makes GVHS a Special Place for Daniela: 
"I only ever played one sport during my four years, which was tennis. To this day, I don’t really know why I joined tennis. It was during freshman year and it was during quarantine. I remember just wanting to get out of the house, but I remember the restriction of only playing one sport. I had played basketball from 3rd to 8th grade, so I remember wanting to go out for that sport, but I also wanted to try something new, and I ended up signing up for tennis on a whim. I remember how bad I was at tennis. Crosby does not yell often, but I remember he yelled at me because I could not get that ball over the net. However, when I start something new I don’t just give up because it becomes hard. I will admit that getting yelled at the first day of conditioning was a little tough but from then on I made it my plan to get better, and I remember after the first couple of games, I wanted to be number one by my senior year which I was able to accomplish. I practiced before conditioning, before practices, after practices, after conditioning, and I went to all the summer practices. I was determined to be number one, and I’m so glad I was able to accomplish that my senior year. I will admit that being number one was a lot of pressure, but I had great coaches like Kumple and Crosby along with my teammates, who uplifted me during hard times. One of the most memorable moments was when we won our division during my junior year, which was division five so that was the first time in Golden Valley's history, and I’m really happy to be a part of that history along with the rest of the girls on the team. While sadly, we only made it to the second round during playoffs my senior year, I was still able to make so many memorable moments, especially with some of the newer girls who moved up to varsity. I became especially close to some juniors who I will miss when I graduate. Because of tennis, I was able to make some memorable nights with some of the most amazing girls and have an amazing support system."
"In my four years at Golden Valley, the most influential person has been my tennis coach, Mr. Crosby. He has always made me feel supported and comfortable, even during the pandemic and quarantine. I remember at first being intimidated by Crosby because on the first day of conditioning, he yelled at me and I seriously considered never going back to tennis, but I am super glad I continued going. Crosby and the rest of the tennis team have made the sport so impactful in my life, and I showed so much gratitude to Crosby for everything he has provided for me from snacks to even helping me look for college scholarships. When I receive any good news, I always tell Crosby, and he always shows me that he is proud of me. I could not have asked for a better coach and a better influence in my life."
What Teachers and Staff Think of Daniela:
"Daniela has been a member of the Golden Valley Girls Varsity Tennis team since her freshman year. She played a key role in helping lead the Lady Bulldogs to consecutive League Championships in 2022 and 2023, and their first-ever CIF Central Section Championship (Division V) in 2022. Daniela was a fierce competitor on the tennis courts, leading by example through her determination and work ethic. She is one of the most complete student-athletes who I have had the pleasure of coaching. Daniela was recently admitted to UC Davis, where she hopes to major in History and Sociology." Ed Crosby, World History Teacher and Varsity Girls Tennis Coach, Golden Valley High School
"Daniela Castillejo Huanosta is an outstanding example of a student who is #BulldogSTRONG in the classroom, on campus, and in our community. In the classroom, she demonstrates Growth by challenging herself with high-level courses and giving a 100+% commitment to learning. Daniela also shows Pride in being a Bulldog by involving herself in numerous activities around campus, including We the People, Tennis, and Mock Trial. Moreover, she is an excellent example of Service in our community and on campus by being a model citizen, being helpful, and always making positive contributions. I know Daniela will continue to be #BulldogSTRONG long beyond her years in high school and continue to be a positive exemplar involving herself in helping others and contributing to society." John Hansen, Government/Economics Teacher and We The People Coach, Golden Valley High School
"Daniela is an awesome young lady! She's always friendly, encouraging, and a hard worker. Daniela is a perfect representation of what's like to be Bulldog Strong." George San Miguel, Biology and Anatomy Teacher, Golden Valley High School
"Since I met Daniela two years ago, I knew that she was a serious student, and her can-do attitude has not changed since. Daniela is a cheerful and positive person who gets along well with her peers and is respected by her teachers. It has been my privilege and pleasure to have been her Spanish teacher on two occasions. Sigue adelante, Daniela. ¡Y recuerda que el tiempo es fugaz!" Gabriel Flores, AP Spanish Teacher, Golden Valley High School
"I have had the pleasure of teaching Daniela in not one but two classes this year: Publications and AP Literature. While both classes are starkly different, Daniela remains equally dedicated to her work. She gives 100% on all assignments, showing her #GROWTH as a student. In AP Lit, she has worked hard to improve her writing, and it greatly shows. I'm so proud of her commitment to herself and her education. In yearbook, she shows #SUPPORT by providing help to her classmates who may have struggled with a certain publications concept, even though she too is a first-time yearbook student. Not to mention, she was a huge source of support in the spring when she would stay late, work on others' spreads, and help in any capacity that she was able to. She embodies all that a #bulldogSTRONG student is and I'm quite sad that I only got to be her teacher for one year. I know she will continue to spread positivity and show her grit while away at college." Madison Bealessio, English Teacher and Yearbook Adviser, Golden Valley High School