Valedictorians reflect on highs, lows of TuHS careers

Lupita Ruiz, Feature Editor

The Wolf caught up with this year’s valedictorians for a Q & A!

Q: What are your plans after graduation?
Sarah Jones: I plan to attend Indiana University – Bloomington in the fall to study Marketing!
Lachlan Paige: Next fall I’ll attend Montana State University, and study Health and Human Performance. My long term goal is to become a physician.
Kaylee Mo: I’ll be attending Northwestern University in the fall to study Economics.
Kavya Balasubramanian: I plan on attending Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, and double-majoring in biological sciences and neuroscience.
Abby Borg: I will be attending Humboldt State University in the fall, and I will be playing soccer there as well!
Andrew Payton: I will be attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where I will be studying Construction Engineering Management and competing on the Cross Country and Track teams.
Taylor Cockrell: I’m studying biology and marine biology at Oregon State Honors College.
Heidi Williams: I am planning to leave on an 18-month mission for my church in the fall, and then attending Brigham Young University!
Nichole Quan: After graduation, I plan on attending the University of Portland, majoring in biology, in hopes of pursuing a career in neonatology.
Emma Koehmstedt: I will be attending Oregon State University in the fall!
Hannah Olson: I will be attending Gonzaga University to study health sciences.
Elyse Burton: Gap year- Colorado Springs MCC Service Adventure

Q: What’s the most special part to you about being a valedictorian?
Sarah Jones:
Ever since I’ve known what the word “valedictorian” meant, I have wanted to be one. The most special part for me is just knowing that my hard work and effort really paid off, and I can say that I reached this goal.
Lachlan Paige: The sense of accomplishment feels awesome. I always felt like I was capable of doing it, but I wouldn’t have made it without the sacrifice that others made to motivate me, and being valedictorian feels like thanking them in a way.
Kaylee Mo: Knowing that my hard work paid off and was truly honored throughout the school. I was truly surprised to see the efforts faculty went through to make sure that all valedictorians were honored in the best way possible during these times.
Kavya Balasubramanian: Probably being paraded by all of my favorite teachers! Definitely a memory I will remember forever.
Abby Borg: I think it’s really special to me because I was able to prove to myself that I could juggle all sorts of activities while also staying on top of my schoolwork. I feel honored to share this award with some really cool people!
Andrew Payton: Having the hard work pay off.
Taylor Cockrell: In sixth grade, I was voted most likely to become valedictorian, so it’s pretty exciting that it actually came true!
Heidi Williams: I think it’s something to be really proud of, and it is a representation of my hard work throughout high school.
Nichole Quan: I think the most special part about being valedictorian is that I am able to make my parents proud. They came over to America and lived a really hard and difficult life in order to provide me with the means to succeed, so the fact that I am able to honor my parent’s hard work and their aspirations for me academically is something very special to me.
Emma Koehmstedt: The most special part of this experience is seeing that five of the valedictorians from the class of 2020 are from Tualatin Elementary School. I love seeing the people I grew up with have so much success.
Hannah Olson: I have worked extremely hard the past 4 years with this goal in mind, and I think finally being able to see that my hard work paid off is really special.
Elyse Burton: It was special to have a parade with the principal, police and teachers driving by my house to celebrate.

Q: What was your favorite class in high school?
Sarah Jones: Definitely either IB English 12 with Mr. Malone or Sports Marketing with Mrs. McGetrick.
Lachlan Paige: It’s a tie between IB Econ or MCE 1.
Kaylee Mo: IB Economics because I not only loved what I was learning every day but I also loved the environment of the classroom, especially with Mr.Duke as my teacher.
Kavya Balasubramanian: I’ve been fortunate enough to have so many great teachers and classes that it’s hard to pick! But I would probably say MCE 2 with Mrs. Gorka, because we had the chance to see a real human cadaver!
Abby Borg: My favorite class was probably IB English 11 because it really made me appreciate reading, and Ms. Lacy always made the workload tolerable while also making the class fun!
Andrew Payton: Chemistry with Duggan.
Taylor Cockrell: Either drawing 1 or any of my science classes.
Heidi Williams: IB English 12, hands down.
Nichole Quan: My favorite class in high school definitely had to be astronomy. Everything I learned in that class was really interesting and I had the best time being a clown with my friends. Youngberg always knew how to make that class fun and knew how to keep everyone interested in the subject.
Emma Koehmstedt: Human Body Systems.
Hannah Olson: Advanced Business Procedures.
Elyse Burton: Mrs. Childers’ IB ESS class.

Q: What class almost made you lose your 4.0?
Sarah Jones: I almost lost my 4.0 first semester of junior year in Intro Calc with Mrs. McCleary.
Lachlan Paige: IB Bio 1. That is the hardest class I’ve ever taken, but it definitely set me up for success in the future.
Kaylee Mo: Sophomore Advanced English. The proficiency grading was very hard to deal with.
Kavya Balasubramanian: Definitely second-semester Calculus. I still don’t know how I made it.
Abby Borg: Intro Calc!!!
Andrew Payton: Calc 1.
Taylor Cockrell: All of my math classes, especially Pre Calc my sophomore year.
Heidi Williams: I’d have to say Calculus junior year with Mr. Wiechmann. I spent many hours studying for those tests.
Nichole Quan: Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t have a hard time in IB Bio I. It was actually a really easy class for me. I struggled the most with Intro Calc because the concepts introduced in this class were really confusing and most of the time I never knew what was happening. On top of all of that, I always managed to fall asleep in that class despite all of my efforts to stay awake. Every single test I took in that class was challenging and by the end of each one I was ready to cry my eyes out.
Emma Koehmstedt: My Calculus class was very challenging!
Hannah Olson: Intro Calc and FST.
Elyse Burton: Intro Calc junior year.