He has kept himself busy during his tenure at Patterson High School, maybe even too busy by normal standards. On April 30 at Hutchins Street Square in Lodi, senior Lolyn Tejeda Lemus was honored as one of the 49 winners of this year’s A. Dale Lackey/CSEA Scholarship.

Four male and four female participants were selected to win $800 each. The remaining recipients received $450. Tejeda Lemus was one of eight recipients to receive $800. A total of $26,350 was handed out to 49 award winners.

In addition to the A. Dale Lackey Scholarship award winners, one male and one female are selected to win the Clarke Coover Scholarship Award. Pitman’s Nolan Lok and Livingston’s Annie Winton were both awarded the $1,200 Clarke Coover Scholarship.

Recipients are chosen based on athletic performance, community service and academic success. Tejeda Lemus has certainly checked all those boxes.

“There are very few people that can master so many academic and athletic skills with grace and humble demeanor. In fact, the few times I saw him struggle with something, I breathed a sigh of relief because it was proof that he is indeed human. He is consistently setting the curve, or way ahead of it. Lolyn is well liked and helpful to teachers, coaches, and peers alike. I don't know anyone who deserves this award (more) than Lolyn,” Patterson High teacher and water polo and swim coach Phoebe Skelson said via email.

To say that Tejeda Lemus is a bright standout would be an understatement. By the conclusion of his four-year tenure, Tejeda Lemus put together four years of service with the tennis and volleyball teams. During a pair of those years, he also participated in cross-country and water polo.

Twice he was a volleyball Most Valuable Defensive Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference, and was selected to all-league one of those seasons.

“Lolyn is a once-in-a-career kid that coaches dream of having. I was lucky to have him in cross country one season, and have been his volleyball coach all four years. His ability to absorb information, and adapt to whatever he needs to do to succeed is at an almost unimaginable level. This scholarship is just one of the many impressive things I've seen this young man achieve in the past four years,” boys volleyball head coach Trey Parson said via email.

Tejeda Lemus earned a team Most Valuable Player award and two all-league selections as a tennis player, but his accomplishments at Patterson High extend far beyond his exploits in the athletic sphere.

Academically, he is at the top of his class of 353 students, with a 4.54 GPA. Tejeda Lemus plans to attend Yale University following the conclusion of his time at Patterson High. He hopes to major in anthropology, linguistics and chemistry, with the noble goal of being a trauma surgeon for Doctors Without Borders.

He is also an accomplished linguist. The senior has earned a Seal of Multilingual Proficiency in French, as well as a Seal of Biliteracy in French and Spanish. As if being trilingual is not enough an accomplishment in and of itself, Tejeda Lemus has taken on the task of learning five additional languages, including ASL, Arabic, Korean, Georgian and Lithuanian.

“Having interacted with Lolyn both inside and outside of the classroom for the last four years, he is the child that every parent would like to have at home, the student every teacher would like to have in the classroom, the athlete every coach would (love) to have on the team,” tennis head coach and Patterson High teacher Raustand Nzoule said. “Lolyn is an exceptional and blessed human being who understands what it takes to be successful. Lolyn works extremely hard to meet the high expectations he has set for himself. Well deserved. Toutes mes félicitations.”

Along with the extracurricular task of being a student-athlete, he is a member of several AP clubs, as well as the Healthy Occupations Students of America. He also volunteers his time as a coach for the Patterson Pirates swim team.

Patterson High teacher, swimming and water polo head coach Valerie Jamieson shared that she has been impressed with Lolyn’s work ethic, and seemingly endless supply of energy and focus along the way. Tejeda Lemus proved that despite his cumbersome workload, he was able to maneuver through his high school career and excel.

“When I first met Lolyn, he was running on the cross-country team, playing tennis, and playing club soccer in addition to taking all honors courses, including pre-calculus as a freshman. I was concerned that he would burn himself out at that rate, but Lolyn consistently reassured me that he was making sure to get enough sleep every night and to take time to rest if he felt overdrawn,” Jamieson said via email. “Sure enough, four years later, Lolyn is still happy and thriving and has been engaged in so many clubs and activities I couldn't even name them all. And every time I check in with him, I'm pleased to find an emotionally mature and level-headed perspective and response regarding his balance of life and ambition. Lolyn does not become involved in activities to put them on his resume, Lolyn engages with the sports, activities, clubs, and academics that he is truly curious and excited about. He does not allow himself to become emotionally or intellectually drained by his hectic schedule, but (is) invigorated by it.”

Jamieson went on to praise his demeanor and humble attitude.

“It is obvious that Lolyn possesses an exceptional intellect and superior athletic abilities. But what does not show up on paper is the down-to-earth, friendly, and kind personality behind his many accolades and accomplishments. Lolyn has a warm smile and encouraging word for anyone who makes eye contact with him, and he is willing to go out of his way to help others. He has a genuinely good heart, and it shows in how he treats everyone around him.”

PI sports writer

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