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The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

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Evelyn Rusnac
Staff Writer

Valedictorians overcome challenges to finish strong

As the school year ends, our semester grades arrive and all seniors are about to finalize their official high school transcript. Of the 408 Tualatin High School (TuHS) graduating seniors, a small percentage of them have kept their unweighted 4.0 GPA and will be named valedictorian. The TuHS Class of 2024 has 27 valedictorians: Ahmed Altuhafi, Lauren Ayers, Akash Balakumar, Tatum Brintall, Victoria Gillard, Ethan Hoang, Nathan Hoang, Sawyer Johnson, Amy Kang, Meah Latt, Grace Love, Alan Nguyen, Alex Nguyen, Ben Nickle, Zion Ocholi, Lily Pettitt, Emma Regimbald, Nathan Ruybalid, Olivia Saldanha, Twisha Santra, Shalini Shinde, Kate Stamey, Kate Sung, Helayna Sy, Janey Tran, Kate Unis and Satvika Vadapu. 

Valedictorians Helayna Sy and Kate Unis reflected on their accomplishments and the challenges that threatened their perfect 4.0. 

“Becoming a valedictorian has always been an aspiration of mine, though my primary goal throughout high school was to be successful overall in my courses and have a strong application when applying to college,” Sy said. 

This achievement is impressive and should be congratulated as these students have persevered and created inspirational mindsets towards hardships.

“I always have wanted it to be a goal of mine. It’s something I knew I could do and would push me to become the best student I could be. The dedication I put into being valedictorian helped to build a strong work ethic, as well, which I think is very rewarding!” Unis added.

Turning dreams into reality was not possible without its challenges for Sy and Unis. Like many of their peers, both experienced many academic difficulties. 

“It was stressful at times. There were a few close calls with grades in some of my classes, but I wouldn’t have done it another way. I’m really proud of myself, and having the GPA I have has helped me get scholarships in college, too,” Unis explained. “I definitely felt successful in a lot of my classes, but there were also times when I struggled. However, I found that I actually was able to learn more in the classes I struggled in, which is cool to look back on. The key is communicating with your teachers and asking for help because they want to support you in any way they can.”

Sy agreed that knowing when to use the resources available to her was key. 

“I have definitely struggled through some of my classes throughout high school. I struggled the most in my math classes, which meant finding outside resources to support me,” Sy admitted as well. 

Despite some obstacles, these valedictorians continued to study and work hard toward their education and deal with the challenging balance.

“A rigorous course load can definitely put a strain on your social life, and it can be difficult to find the balance at times,” Sy noted. “But taking courses that challenge me makes having a 4.0 feel even better. Especially after knowing how hard I worked to maintain a strong academic record.”

As the Class of 2024 prepares to say goodbye to TuHS and begin the next chapter of their lives, they leave behind dedication and resilience. For Sy, Unis and their fellow valedictorians, the impact of their achievements will continue to be an inspiration for future generations of students.



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Kayla Vo
Kayla Vo, Co-Copy Editor
I'm Kayla and this is my third year on staff! In my previous years, I've been a staff writer and co-copy editor. I'm so excited to take on my positions and work alongside my friends for one last year!

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