Riverview School District


Cedarcrest Names Class of 2018 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

The Cedarcrest High School Class of 2018 Valedictorians (L-R):
Joanna Droppo, Amy Duer, Jen Gard, Jackson Frank, Sophie Paradis, Callum Walker,

Kendra Mutch, and Elaine Townley.

This year's Valedictorians and Salutatorians all have significant common traits among them. Several of them will be attending the University of Washington. A number of them played sports, specifically cross-country and track and field. Several of them started in the Riverview School District as kindergarteners. A number of this year's "Vals and Sals" were members of TSA (Technology Student Association) and NHS (National Honor Society). Each of them felt a personal sense of pride, upon learning from Cedarcrest Principal Ray La Bate that they had achieved the top academic recognition from their school. And nearly all of them cited one specific thing they sacrificed to achieve their goals and accomplishments.


Yes, sleep. That moment when we relax just enough to let our heads hit our pillows and fall into a sweet slumber that recharges our batteries and gets us ready to conquer a new day, Among all the great things we wish for this year's Vals and Sals, and as proud as we are of them, we do hope they, along with all of our Class of 2018 graduates, take a well-deserved long summer's nap as soon as they can after graduation.

Through coordination with Mr. La Bate, our Communications Coordinator, Mike Ward, asked each of this year's "Vals and Sals" to look back at their high school experiences and think of the activities, teachers, and moments that helped them achieve great personal achievement and success.

Some of their answers may be similar, and some may surprise you. At times they had a lot to share, while others were more succinct. These are their words. And on the eve of their graduation from Cedarcrest High School, we could not be happier to introduce this year's 8 Valedictorians, graduating with a 4.0 GPA, and 4 Salutatorians, graduating with a 3.993 GPA: Amy, Callum, Cayley, Daniel, Elaine, Jackson, Jen, Jenny, Joanna, Kendra, Mary Cate, and Sophie.



Mary Cate has been in Riverview since Kindergarten and will be attending Gonzaga University this fall. She plans to study and major in history, and possibly enter into teaching upon graduation.

ON CONFIRMATION OF SALUTATORIAN STATUS: “I remember being called down to the office by Mr. La Bate and he shared with all of us that we had achieved Valedictorian and Salutatorian recognition. And I was really happy. I have worked so hard these last four years and it felt like all that time I spent paid off. I was also really proud of myself for persevering and sticking to my goals. Everything had been worth it.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Well, obviously, sleep. I have spent many late nights completing homework, studying for tests, etc. During the school year, my life would become consumed by school work and extracurricular activities, and I found the times to hang out with friends on the weekends pretty rare.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been involved with band, TSA (Technology Student Association), cross-country, track and field, and Girl Scouts. In band, I was in the marching band, pep band, and wind ensemble, serving as a section leader for the marching band’s front ensemble. I was a four-year varsity athlete in cross-country, and a three-year varsity athlete in track and field. I train year-round and went to State twice for cross-country. I mainly did TSA my Freshman and Sophomore year and went to State both years. I have been involved in Girl Scouts since kindergarten and have worked a lot at the Valley Day Camp as a Program Aide, in addition to monthly meetings with my Girl Scout troop.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I really started applying this last fall, and applied to four schools overall. They were schools I knew I was interested in, and I personally did not want to waste time on applications for schools I knew, deep down, I would never go to. I was fortunate to get into all four schools, but I was able to reduce that down to two options. Ultimately, it came down to Gonzaga and Regis University. We toured both schools in February, and after weighing the pros and cons, I wanted a small school, but Regis proved too small for what I was looking for. I could not be happier or more excited to be going to Gonzaga.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Definitely Mr. McDowell (Bruce McDowell, Math teacher and Cross-Country and Track & Field Coach), Mr. Thompson (Kyle Thompson, former Cedarcrest band teacher), and Mr. Briggs (Loren Briggs, Social Studies). While Mr. McDowell was never my teacher, he was my cross-country and track and field coach and taught me a lot about running, but also life in general. Mr. Thompson was great. It was not uncommon for him to give us lectures on kindness in the middle of rehearsals, or remind us that, like lobsters, we need to grow out of our shells in order to grow as people. I really enjoyed Mr. Briggs’ class. He is a big reason why I have decided to major in history, after I took his AP History class. He shared United States history through various different viewpoints, from the representation of various different groups (women, African-Americans, Native Americans, etc.) which fascinated me and made me excited to learn more.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Join a club or a sport and find your niche. High school is about grades, but also about making friends and making great memories. High school is not all about preparing the perfect college resume, you are allowed to have fun and be a teenager. Take advantage of it!”

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Joanna has attended Riverview schools for approximately 10 1/2 years, with a brief time away from the district in seventh and eighth grade. She will be attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the fall, under a biological discipline with a path towards pre-medicine and medical school. She credits a number of Cedarcrest science classes as inspiring her to pursue this path of study.

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I always had a hunch I might be a Valedictorian. I made sure to keep a 4.0 GPA throughout all four years, and during my Freshman year, I just felt a duty to keep my grades up. This was something I wanted to strive for and I’m someone who checks my grades constantly - Skyward has been my best friend! Then, when Mr. La Bate told me, I felt relieved and it felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. All the hard work and sacrifice had paid off and I was actually reaching the finish line on the academic goals I set for myself years before.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “The biggest sacrifice was definitely sleep. I am a competitive gymnast, so I would leave school, head to the gym, and often not get home until 8:30 or 9:00 at night. Most of my homework time was spent late at night and on weekends. I remember going to see ‘The Nutcracker’ with my team and though I was watching and appreciating the performance, during intermission, I went straight to Quizlet (a mobile app for studying) and make sure I wasn’t losing any study time. I have been striving for academic and athletic excellence for a young age, and I learned you can’t do everything. Something has got to give and ultimately, I knew academics was my number one priority.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I am part of National Honor Society at school, am also a Girl Scout in Service Unit 441, and a top-level Junior Olympic Gymnast at Emerald City in Redmond, WA. I typically practice gymnastics 4 1/2 hours every Monday through Friday after school. I was able to make it all the way to the national championships this year and hope to walk on to a collegiate team when I arrive in Illinois.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “The college process has been pretty stressful and challenging. I found answering the questions asked of me difficult at first, but eventually it got easier. I was rejected from a few schools I was interested in, which was disappointing, but ultimately I think I found a great fit in where I will be heading to this fall.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “I will always remember my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Isler (Christie Isler, Carnation Elementary) for sharing her passion for learning with me. She inspired my inquisitiveness through science labs, the complex and enthralling stories she shared, and comprehensive projects that expanded my mind and made me interested in every topic she introduced to us.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Listen to and get to know your teachers, enjoy lunch time with friends, and never take extra credit opportunities for granted in your classes. Oh, plus - always walk on the right side of the hallway and never stop in intersections - just like driving - so you can avoid the human traffic jam when getting from class to class!”

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Amy has been in the Riverview School District for 8 years and will be attending the University of Washington (UW) in the fall, majoring in computer science.

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I learned I would be a Valedictorian after a discussion with friends about GPAs and what it means to have a 4.0. I remember discovering that the first semester of senior year determines the recognition and was moderately surprised because I didn’t expect Mr. La Bate would confirm this until closer to graduation.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Though there have been countless occasions where I have traded hours of sleep or leisure time in favor of completing assignments or projects, I am much more grateful to have my family support me in my academic endeavors, even if it meant spending less time with them.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “Outside of school, I have had a few summer jobs while at Cedarcrest. I have been most involved with TSA and FFA (Future Farmers of America) for all four years I’ve been at Cedarcrest and have competed in various competitions for both clubs, even winning some on occasion. I’ve also been in National Honor Society and competed in Track and Field the last three years.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I must say, I wish I had familiarized myself more with the college application process before senior year. I delayed looking into colleges until the beginning of my senior year and caused myself unnecessary stress and pressure with test scores and trying to meet all the deadlines. With that said, I am excited to be going to college in the fall.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Who I am today has been influenced and shaped by so many of my Cedarcrest teachers. Mr. McDowell has been an inspiration as my track coach and helped me stay engaged and interested in math. Mr. Miyoshi (Mike Miyoshi, Career & Technical Education teacher) has allowed me to work independently, at my own pace, and his positivity and enthusiasm keeps every day interesting. Mrs. Thomas (Sarah Thomas, Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor) has passion about her subject and it is contagious. She encourages everyone to take initiative and to continue doing something even if it gets difficult. At Tolt, I was in Multi-Age and Mr. Klune (Mark Klune, formerly at Tolt Middle School, now an Instructional Coach with Riverview) and Mrs. Cruz (Ruth Cruz, retired) both fostered my love of learning and inspired me to put as much effort into everything that I do. Also, my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Nakagami (James Nakagami, former Cherry Valley Elementary teacher) taught me to be confident in myself.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Do not be afraid of a challenge and/or asking for help. Take that class you might be interested in, even if everyone else tells you it is hard. Join a club or start an activity, even if you are not exactly sure how it all works. Find opportunities to work with other people, so, if things are difficult, you can struggle together, learn together and grow as a person.”

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Jackson has been in Riverview for seven years and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. He plans on studying Computer Science, adding “I just have to get into the program first!”

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I kind of assumed I might be Valedictorian when I still had a 4.0 after my first semester of Senior year. Once we met with Mr. La Bate it was confirmed and although I was kind of expecting it, I was very proud of myself and extremely excited.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Between academics, sports, and clubs, time is probably the biggest sacrifice, well, and maybe just a touch of sanity. Overall, whatever sacrifices I had to make are almost insignificant to what I’ve been able to accomplish so far.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been involved in many different sports, including cross-country, track and field, basketball, and golf for a year. I am also a part of our school’s TSA chapter, as well as a member of our school’s National Honor Society chapter.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “Essays! Essays! Essays! While it involved a lot of work, nervousness, and frustration at times, being able to explore the diverse range of colleges potentially available to me was a very exciting time for me and ultimately, I am sure I have made the right choice.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Overall, I feel my teachers all contributed to an overall positive experience at Cedarcrest. If I had to pick specifically, Mr. McDowell and Mr. Miyoshi both had the most tremendous of impacts on me. Whether it was coaching me for four years, while also teaching me math for two of those years (McDowell), or helping me learn and develop the skills I need for the area of study I want to pursue for a career, both of them influenced me in ways that will never fade.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Don’t be afraid to pursue a passion. Even if you think it might be useless, it isn’t. Find something you are interested in, something that you love, and pursue it.”

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The Cedarcrest High School Class of 2018 Salutatorians (L-R):
Jenny Martin, Mary Cate Babcock, Cayley Marshall, and Daniel Murphy.



Jen has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. She will be studying biology, with a focus on physiology and hopes to work in the medical field in some capacity. She also notes that UW has so much to offer, and she is keeping an open mind on whatever piques her interests.

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I was sitting in class and got a note to head to the Principal’s Office, which had me a little worried because I thought I might be in trouble, even though I knew there wouldn’t be a reason why. Once I saw the others with the same note, I put the pieces together, and realized why we were all there. And then I felt complete in the moment Mr. La Bate told us. I reflected back on all of the effort I put into my assignments, projects, and tests these last four years and I realized everything had been worth it.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Sacrifices manifested themselves over time in the routines I set for myself, which best fit with my academic goals. I was in more activities in elementary school and middle school, but when I got to high school, I realized my schedule would be tighter, so I had to make some tough choices, in order to focus my time and energy appropriately. Probably the biggest sacrifice was definitely the amount of sleep I got though. Lots of late nights cranking out essays and assignments.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “Marching band played a large role in my high school experience. I was a part of it for all four years and it gave me some of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life. I am pretty sure I have spent more time in the band room than at home during that time. I was also involved with TSA, and competed in Photography at state and national competitions. I was a part of ASB for a few years, National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, as well as Girl Scouts for over 13 years outside of school.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “The college process ran me through the gamut of emotions. At first, it was completely overwhelming. It feels daunting to see the amount of schools out there and then realize you have to choose only one of them in the end. After the SAT and writing application essay process, the wait was dreadful, but then letters starting coming in. I was fortunate to receive acceptance letters from schools I applied for, but I received a rejection letter from my top choice. As time as moved on, I am content now knowing this was probably a sign that led me to end up exactly where I am supposed to be.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Honestly, every teacher I have ever had has made an impact on me in some significant way, whether by heightening my knowledge in a particular subject area or sharing valuable life lessons. The teachers I have had for multiple years allowed me to form deeper connections with them, like Mrs. Robison (Denise Robison), who I have had for science the past two years. Her classes have been a huge help to me as I go forward with higher education. I was lucky enough to be taught by two terrific band teachers in Mr. Thompson and Mr. Hughes (Breland Hughes), who helped me develop my leadership skills and helped me grow musically. Also, my 4th/5th grade teacher, Mrs. Isler, had a huge impact on helping me find a love for exploring, learning, and science.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Make the most out of the immense variety of opportunity presented to you in high school. Just be sure to choose things that you are interested in to fill your time. Don’t feel pressured into thinking you have to do the exact same things your friends do. Branch out and join a new club that catches your attention, try out for a sports team, even if you don’t know anyone else doing so. There are going to be numerous options for the path you take during high school, and some of my best experiences came from joining clubs where I originally knew no one, and then built many new and unique friendships along the way.”

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Cayley has been in Riverview for five years and will be attending the University of New Mexico in the fall. She is considering studying criminology, though, she adds, “plans can easily change.”

ON CONFIRMATION OF SALUTATORIAN STATUS: “When Mr. La Bate informed me, at a meeting with the other Salutatorians this year, I felt proud of what I had accomplished and felt proud to be sharing in this accomplishment with so many others.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have joined many clubs in my high school years, including Literary Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance, Strategy Games Club, and the Riverview Youth Council. I have also been a member of the marching band and the pit band for three Cedarcrest musicals.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I was able to tour several schools in my Junior year, and was able to narrow it down to three. I was accepted to all three and finally made the decision to go to the University of New Mexico earlier this year.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mr. Fassler (Daniel Fassler, Language Arts) really helped me improve my writing and analysis. I will always remember raising his blinds as we made more and more connections and ‘saw the light.’ I have also had so much fun this year with Mr. Schenk (Tony Schenk, Language Arts) as well. He doesn’t take all of this too seriously, but I have learned so much in his class.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Don’t wait to join things. You will have so much more fun and meet so many more people. And do not worry about what everyone thinks of you. To thine own self be true.”

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Jenny has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. She plans on studying cellular and molecular biology or biochemistry, hoping to work in the medical field developing medicines.

ON CONFIRMATION OF SALUTATORIAN STATUS: “I was aware because I kept track of my grades and knew that if I kept getting A’s for the remainder of high school, I would be a Salutatorian. When Mr. La Bate confirmed I was a Salutatorian, I was excited that all the hard work I put in had paid off. But then I was nervous about continuing to keep my grades up for senior year.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I have sacrificed a lot of my social life to spend more time on homework and studying and taking harder classes. My friends and I are all hard workers when it comes to school and most of our ‘hang out time’ comes in studying or doing homework.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been involved in the Random Acts of Kindness club, Art Club, and the National Art Honor Society, as well as National Honors Society, and serving as a Link Crew leader and officer. I participated in Track and Field, and was briefly involved with the Environmental Service Corps and Young Americans for Freedom. Outside of school, I am involved in art, both as a class and a hobby, as well as being active with my church youth group and Girl Scouts.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I had no idea which college I wanted to go to when I started the process, except I knew I wanted to stay in Washington. I applied to five area schools and was accepted to all of them. I was fortunate to receive scholarships for the private schools I applied for and ultimately, I had no idea which one to pick. After touring the schools, I ended up choosing UW because it is a research university with lots of scientific opportunities and a great location.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Being in the Multi-Age program at Tolt, Mr. Klune and Mrs. Cruz made a big difference for me because I spent half the day with them for three years. They taught me how to be a good student and how to enjoy learning. At Cedarcrest, Mrs. Robison was my AP Biology teacher and started my passion for biology. Also, Mrs. Descheemaeker (Andrea Descheemaeker, Art) encouraged my love of art and was also there for me whenever I was struggling with something.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Every part of the high school experience is important - the learning and academics, the dances, hanging out with friends, joining clubs, sports, etc. Even though academics is very crucial, it is important to enjoy the whole experience because you are only going to go through high school once. The more involved you are, the faster time moves and the more enjoyable the whole experience becomes.”

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Daniel has been in Riverview since the second grade and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. He received direct admission into the College of Engineering.

ON CONFIRMATION OF SALUTATORIAN STATUS: “Well, I knew because I was aware that I only received one A- at the time we met with Mr. La Bate. However, when he confirmed I was one of the Salutatorians, I was ecstatic. It was great to see that my hard work had paid off and it is a great honor.

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I had to be very dedicated to my studies, and pretty diligent with my homework and assignments – not just aiming for completion, but really turning in my best work. Lots of long nights for sure.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I was a varsity distance runner for cross-country and track. In addition, I served as an Executive Officer for National Honor Society”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I was very ambitious in my applications. I applied to Stanford, Harvard, and UCLA, but was rejected from all three. Luckily, I was accepted to Cal-Poly (California Polytechnic State University), CU-Boulder (University of Colorado - Boulder), and the UW, and ultimately, I decided to stay close to home and become a Husky!”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mr. McDowell, Mr. McLaughlin (David McLaughlin, Math), Mr. Miyoshi, and Mr. Guyer (Justin Guyer, Science) all had a great impact on my time at Cedarcrest. All in all, I was fortunate to have some amazing teachers.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Find a balance between working hard and having fun.”

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Kendra has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending Washington State University in the fall. She has plans to major in Civil Engineering.

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I actually received confirmation from my school counselor, prior to Mr. La Bate letting us know. I am overall appreciative of being recognized as a Valedictorian. My parents and teachers have taught me to set goals and work hard, but they also made me realize what is reasonable to accomplish and when enough work is enough. I’ve thought a lot about priorities for myself and realize now that you can be a good student without a certain title of academic achievement.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I will always cherish my extracurricular activities. In FFA, I enjoyed raising animals and attending national competitions as a member of the Floriculture and Nursery Landscape teams. I also enjoyed participating in golf, track and field, cross-country, and volleyball. Outside of school, being engaged in my church has always been a valuable part of my life.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “My decision in attending Washington State University really came down to my interests in attending an in-state school that provided my major.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “As I began forming a list of all the teachers I would like to thank, I realized it was impossible to not include each teacher I’ve ever had. I truly and strongly believe the strength of Cedarcrest is found in its remarkable teachers.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Learn how to balance school and constructive fun, a skill I realized I needed to learn earlier on in my high school. You can work efficiently and still accomplish your goals by allowing for adequate time for recreation, not just restricting yourself to only school work. Also, I would encourage any incoming freshmen to join FFA and track and field.”

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Sophie has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending Western Washington University in the fall. She will be studying Marine Biology and signed a Letter of Intent to participate in Track and Field (Pole Vaulting) at the school.

“Going into my Freshman year, my goal was to be the Valedictorian, but I never really thought it would happen. I worked hard, but when I got to my Junior year, I knew it was close and I could not let the opportunity go. And then we all got the note from Mr. La Bate and found out together. Then, I felt relieved and overjoyed. All the hard work and sacrifices paid off, but then I felt gratitude towards my family, friends, and teachers who helped me achieve this goal. Everyone has a hand in this achievement and it takes their constant support to make this a reality.

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Sleep was a big sacrifice. I am very busy with sports and clubs, so when I got home at night I would start homework right away to try and go to sleep at a reasonable time. I relied a lot on coffee and sacrificed lots of time on the weekends, with Sundays especially being my ‘Get Stuff Done Day.’”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been very involved in athletics, playing club soccer and school soccer all four years of high school. I was also on the track and field team all four years, which introduced me to pole vaulting, which is now a passion of mine that I will be continuing at the collegiate level. I have served as a Student Representative on the Riverview School Board for two years, and have been a Link Crew officer, where upperclassmen help freshmen integrate into the high school experience. I have volunteered through National Honor Society, at Acres of Diamonds, and have been a tutor at Cherry Valley Elementary. I also have been a part of the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network Suicide Prevention program for the last three years, where we present to students at Tolt and Cedarcrest on how to help a suicidal or depressed friend.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “At first, I knew nothing. I didn’t know how to apply, where to go, how it worked, etc. Mr. Schenk had us write college essays and that’s when everything started to click and I realized this was all happening very fast. I applied to eight colleges and in March, was offered a spot on the Western Washington University Track and Field team. Ultimately, I didn’t want to be super far away from my family and Western became the choice. Not only will I get to continue competing in my favorite sport there, but it has also has the major I want to pursue.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mrs. Parish (Michelle Parish, Language Arts) had a big impact on my school career. I took AP Language from her my Junior year and had a blast in her class. Her sense of humor and laughter light up the room and everyone got along great with her in that class. I played soccer with her daughter and she helped with pole vaulting during track meets. I received support from her both in and out of the classroom.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Do not worry about what other people think. If you spend your years in high school trying to impress others, you won’t be able to find yourself. Express who you want to be. Join activities you want to join, not the ones your friends want you to join. Don’t fear being alone, because there will always be peers and teachers who will make you feel welcome and help you excel. Don’t be intimidated by your teachers, they are there to help you!”

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Elaine has been in Riverview for 12 years and will be attending Hillsdale College in the fall. She will be studying mathematics, or applied mathematics, and signed a Letter of Intent to play Softball at the school.

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “Once the first semester grades were posted, I knew that I had maintained a 4.0 and I would be Valedictorian. Once Mr. La Bate confirmed it, I was honored and excited. Being Valedictorian has been my goal since before I started high school, so I feel very blessed to make it a reality."

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Sleep. As a dual-sport athlete for all four years of high school, I rarely have a day off from practice. It has been very difficult to find the time to complete all of my homework and study for all of my tests. Sure, I've had to cancel on friends quite a few times, but ultimately, the thing I've given up most frequently is sleep.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I joined National Honor Society my Sophomore and Junior years, and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) in my Freshman and Sophomore years. I have been most involved with school sports, achieving varsity letters in both softball and basketball all four years. I also play on a travel softball team which practices year round and competes in about 9 tournaments per year.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “I have known I have wanted to go to Hillsdale since my sister LuAnn applied there my Freshman year. Their softball program proved to be a perfect fit, so I verbally committed there after my Sophomore year. When it came time to apply, I knew my GPA, SAT scores, and extracurricular activities would gain me admission, and the school has been great every step of the way. I have been slightly overwhelmed at all the paperwork I have to fill out to play college softball for them, but I know it will all be worth it.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “I love almost all the teachers I have had at Cedarcrest, especially those from my Senior year. I would like to give a shoutout to Mr. Miyoshi and Mr. McDowell. Mr. Miyoshi has given me innumerable life lessons when I am having bad days and somehow convinced me to take his class over and over again, even though it almost ruins my 4.0 every time! And Mr. McDowell introduced me to the subject I plan to pursue in college, with an energy which allowed my enthusiasm for the subject to grow.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Keep your GPA up, but don't let it rule your world. It is important to stay happy and prioritize your hobbies while maintaining a good work ethic and completing homework. Balance is key. Find a better balance between the things you enjoy and the responsibilities you need to take care of. I wish I had reached that place earlier.”

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Callum has been in Riverview for every grade, 13 years, and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. He received direct admission into the School of Computer Science.

ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “We all learned together when we were called into the office and Mr. La Bate told us all together. I thought it would be likely based on my previous and present grades at the time, and I just felt reaffirmed upon hearing the news.”

THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Mostly, it came in sacrificing free or personal time for all of the school work I needed to complete.”

ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL:“The main activity for me has been TSA, but I have also been a member of the Riverview Youth Council, as well as National Honors Society.”

THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS:“Overall I would say the process was mostly successful, if not a bit overwhelming at first.”

TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Honestly, it is really hard to name names, since there have been so many factors that have contributed to my Cedarcrest experience.”

IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Take high school seriously, but do not be afraid to experiment.”

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