by LIZ ONUFER | photo by Soul of Photography

Standing Out… At 16

One glance at his resume and Matthew Coufal stands out among his peers. From tennis to classical piano to the Kumon math and reading method, 16-year-old Matthew is a young man with many talents and an intellect and work ethic to match.

Matthew’s diverse range of interests is being acutely developed as a student at the La Jolla Country Day Academy. “I like how my school promotes the idea of a ‘scholar, artist, and athlete of character,’” he explained. A member of the school’s Academic League, tennis team, and an accomplished studio artist at the academy, Matthew is a model of all three. The environment at the school and the support of peers is an important aspect of his success. “I’ve noticed over the four years that I have been at my school that there are a lot of intellectually curious students around me, so the atmosphere is academically healthy and fruitful,” he acknowledged.

“My parents inspire me to maintain a diligent and intellectually curious work ethic.”

Musically, Matthew studies piano under Dr. Jimmy Hwang and will be performing this spring for his Certificate of Merit in classical piano. In the art studio, he has progressed into Studio III at school, and in academics, Matthew takes a full load of AP coursework and represents La Jolla Country Day Academy on their Academic League. He is a stand-out on the court, as well – Matthew was awarded the MVP award for the JV Tennis Team.


The community also provides Matthew and his family a “healthy and fruitful” environment. His parents, Drs. Frank and Sandra Coufal and two brothers, Frank, 19, and Christian, 9, have been long-time residents of The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe. Matthew enjoys the benefits offered at the club, the quiet streets, and the safety of a gated community.

With all of these interests and talents, Matthew has a difficult time choosing his favorite subjects, but admits he is most drawn to math and physics right now. He looks to his parents for encouragement. “My parents inspire me to maintain a diligent and intellectually curious work ethic,” he expressed. A career in engineering piques Matthew’s interests at this time in his life.

From performances to AP coursework, this young man certainly fits the scope of a Renaissance teen and the motto of his school – “a scholar, artist, and athlete of character.”



Name: Matthew Jeffrey Coufal ( 16)
School: La Jolla Country Day School
Grade: 11
Parents: Drs. Frank and Sandra Coufal
Siblings: Frank Henry Coufal III (19)
Christian Michael Coufal (9)
Favorite Place in Rancho Santa Fe: The Bridges