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There is a good reason they call these ceremonies "commencement exercises." Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.
– Orrin Hatch  
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  Volume No. 10 Issue No. 6 June 2014  

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News from D 49
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  Valedictorians and Salutatorians - Class of 2014
  By Lindsey Harrison

   Sand Creek High School
   Valedictorian: Grace Jiang

   Grace Jiang will be attending the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall and plans to major in chemical engineering. Jiang said her interest in that field began when she took courses in engineering at Sand Creek. To get to where she is now, Jiang said she had to be motivated and believe in herself, which is something she hopes younger students will do as well. Jiang’s activities in school included the cross country and track teams, the LINK crew (helping freshman with orientation) and the National Honor Society. She also did volunteer work with an animal rescue service, Jiang said. Her best high school memory: “Meeting all the different people in everything I did, because I did a bunch of different things and I got to meet new people and that was really fun for me.”
   Salutatorian: Shelby Harold
   Shelby Harold will attend the University of Denver to study political science. Her interest in the field stems from observing her parents’ involvement with politics and taking a class on government from a teacher who was passionate about what he taught, she said. Harold’s advice to younger students is to keep working hard. “As easy as it may be to slack off in that one minute, it pays off when you see your quarter or semester report card or your final grade point average,” Harold said. She served as student body president, was a part of the varsity cheerleading and golf teams, the NHS and works at Texas Roadhouse, Harold said. “When they announced that my cheer team made state finals this year, that was my best memory from high school,” she said.
   Sand Creek High School International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
   Valedictorian: Rachel Reidenbaugh

   Rachel Reidenbaugh said she will also be attending DU in the fall and plans to double major in theater and marketing. She has been involved in theater since she was little, and said she is passionate about it. But she is also interested in marketing and advertising. Reidenbaugh’s advice to younger students is to take on challenges. “I would tell them not to be afraid to challenge themselves and find a good balance between school work and the things they love,” she said. “The IB program is very rigorous but it’s worth it when you get to the end.” Outside of the classroom, Reidenbaugh said she was involved in the plays and musicals at the school, the LINK crew and served as the secretary for the NHS. “I met a lot of my best friends through doing plays; and, when we went to the thespian convention in Denver every year, my favorite part was spending time with them and getting to watch the plays,” she said.
   Salutatorian: Nicholas Rizzuti
   Nicholas Rizzuti will attend Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, in the fall. He plans to double-major in publishing and marketing. "I've been writing poetry for some time and thought that majoring in publishing would be a good way to have job options and still be in the writing world," Rizzuti said.  Outside of the classroom, he said he was part of the school's Knowledge Bowl team and participated in the theater program all four years, doing behind-the-scenes work as well as acting.  His advice for younger students: "It's really about balancing time.  If you totally focus on school too much, it makes everything more stressful and difficult, but if you balance it right to get school done and do other things, it's more enjoyable."  Rizutti said his best memory from high school was spending every Friday night playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends.
   Vista Ridge High School
   Valedictorian: Mackenzie Isbell

   Numerous phone calls to Mackenzie Isbell by the NFH were not returned. We also call the school to double check phone numbers.
   Salutatorian: Desiree Trujillo
   Desiree Trujillo will attend the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the fall to study finance. She had originally wanted to go into accounting but researched the finance world and decided she liked it. Trujillo’s advice about school: “Keep doing it; find a way to motivate yourself because it’s really not that hard once you get started.” Outside the classroom, she ran with the track team for two years and was part of the NHS for three years. “My best memory from high school was the first time I went to the homecoming (football) game,” Trujillo said. “It was a lot of fun because the spirit of the school was amazing.”
   Falcon High School
   Valedictorian: Brody Kent

   Brody Kent will attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall and plans to get a degree in computer science. He said he became interested in the field because of great teachers and a natural interest, especially knowing that computers have a widespread impact on the world. Kent said he was involved with various community service projects outside of school and was also part of the NHS.  In advising younger students, he said he would tell them to follow what they want to do and put in their best effort. "My best memory would be a collective memory of the times when I was hanging out with friends and enjoying high school," he said.
   Salutatorian: Beau Curnow
   Beau Curnow will be attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, for a semester before going on a mission through his church. He will return to BYU when his mission is completed, where he will study computer science. As part of the CyberPatriot program at Falcon, Curnow said his interest in computer science evolved. “My advice to younger students is to make wise decisions in general and set their priorities and work hard to achieve them,” he said. Outside of the classroom, Curnow was part of the Future Business Leaders of America and the chess club. “I don’t have one specific favorite memory but I loved my stuff in CyberPatriot and getting to know everyone in general,” he said. “Being done is pretty nice, too.”


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