By Janine Alven, student journalist for Minarets Press
O’NEALS — Despite our current circumstances regarding the pandemic, four students from the 2020 graduating class have persevered and been named valedictorians. With their exemplary work and determination, seniors Mackenzie Camacho, Joseph Langley, Autumn Pecarovich and Synovia Wold have earned the honor of being valedictorians.
Camacho explained, “I set becoming a valedictorian in high school as one of my goals around my sophomore year and since then I have worked tremendously hard in my classes and challenged myself with AP and college courses. One of my proudest achievements is that while I was striving to become a valedictorian, I have taken so many college math courses that I only have one left to take for my engineering degree! The whole journey has been challenging but extremely rewarding, fun, and has brought me closer to my friends through friendly academic competition. I am super excited to have achieved this goal.”
When she was asked about how it felt to be named valedictorian, she said, “Finding out that I was one of the valedictorians was amazing. There are a lot of high achievers at Minarets and I am honored to represent the class of 2020 in academics.”
Joseph Langley has earned many distinguished honors throughout his high school career, including being the Editor in Chief of Minarets Press, ASB IT Representative winning the Southgate Film Festival in the PSA category along with senior Colby Jobinger, and making the top-five in the Slickrock film festival category alongside other Minarets Press staff members. In the fall Langley will be attending Occidental College as a presidential scholar.
When asked about how he felt when he found out he was valedictorian, Langley described, “It was definitely validating, but the number one thing I felt was excitement. I have always wanted to give a speech at graduation, and even though we’ve had to improvise when it comes to giving those speeches digitally, I am still really excited to have the opportunity to speak.”
For Langley, “it means that my hard work through high school can finally come to a satisfying conclusion. Obviously, life beyond high school will bring new challenges, but it is honestly very freeing to know that this chapter of my education has been sealed with an elegantly tied ribbon to top it off.”
Autumn Pecarovich has also earned many reputable honors throughout her high school career. From being Managing Editor for Minarets Press, ASB secretary, winning the General Advertisement and Swede categories in the 2020 Southgate Film Festival, She was also awarded an honorable mention for the best High School news story at the Gruner Awards, with her article ‘The Dirt on the Parking lot’ and made top 5 for the News Broadcast category for Slickrock alongside Joseph Langley and other members of the Minarets Press staff. In fall, she will be attending college at Humboldt State University.
She explained what being valedictorian means to her, “It means my level of work is reflected with a prestigious honor. But more importantly, I am here because of my great and supportive teachers, friends, and family. The four years I have spent at Minarets have been the happiest in my life so far. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend this great school. It truly felt like a second home.”
When Pecarovich was also asked if she always wanted to be valedictorian she said, “I care so much about doing well in my classes! I wanted to challenge myself by taking AP classes and was excited to find out there would be a GPA bump to reflect the rigor of the courses. This helped bumped me up to be in the running to be one of the valedictorians. I never was locked on the goal to be valedictorian. My goal was just to challenge myself as much as possible.”
Synovia Wold has earned many esteemed honors throughout her high school career, which include being a member of FCA, Yearbook, CSF, and Leadership/Link Crew. She was played volleyball all four years, attended the Nike Tournament of Champions, and made it into the volleyball semi-finals. Outside of Minarets, Synovia was also a member of multiple club volleyball teams, and attended multiple FCA camps.
When asked if being valedictorian was something that she always wanted to achieve she explained, “I would say that I have constantly worked hard to better myself and to learn as much as I could, and that receiving valedictorian has been the amazing result of that, but it has not been the center of all of my goals. Instead, my goal was to fully experience high school and all that it had to offer, and I feel that I have done just that.”
For Wold, “Being valedictorian helps me to truly think back on all of the great experiences I have had in high school, and it helps me to know that all of my hard work has paid off. It’s an honor to represent my school as one of the valedictorians, and I would like to thank Minarets for growing me as an individual and shaping me into the person I am today.”
These four seniors have made Minarets proud with everything they have achieved during their four years and we are excited to see what they will achieve in the future.