Cedarcrest Names Record Number of Valedictorians and Salutatorians
in the Class of 2019
The Cedarcrest High School Class of 2019 Valedictorians (L-R):
Brooke Benson, Ashwin Subbaraman, Karen Bauman, Isa Taboada, Delaney Tobin, Lauren Krause, Ryan Linerud, Quinn Burford, Clayton Kristiansen, Vivek Patel, and Justin McBride.
This year's record-setting number of Valedictorians and Salutatorians (13 in total!) all have significant common traits among them. Several will be attending the University of Washington. Three others are headed to Brigham Young University. Two are headed to Montana State University. Boy Scouts played a role in some of their lives. Others have current internships in technology and anthropology. Their experiences at Cedarcrest cut across numerous different areas of study and interests.
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), as well as involvement in Cedarcrest Marching Band, Robotics, and performing arts both inside and outside of Cedarcrest. Two have signed Letters of Intent to play sports at the collegiate level. All have thought about graduation, even if it doesn't quite feel real just yet. And all were excited to learn they had earned the highest academic achievement possible, sharing a communal sense of accomplishment, relief, and success.
If anything, this record setting group of "Vals and Sals" are thoughtful, reflective, forward-driven, and honest. And that honesty, a speaking of their truth, if you will, is represented in their words below.
Recently, this year's "Vals and Sals" answered questions prepared by our Communications Coordinator Mike Ward, and the responses they sent back were powerful, inspiring, and, once again, honest. The students talked about the stress they experienced in trying to achieve their goals, as well as the fun which lined up with the challenges of striving to achieve their goals. Many wish they spent more time with friends. Others wonder what the time spent in high school will mean for their future. And with graduation bearing down upon them, all of them are ready to learn from their experiences, collectively step forward into the next chapter of their lives, and carve a new path for themselves.
Some were succinct, others had more to say. Through coordination with Cedarcrest principal Ray La Bate, we are proud to share with you the words and thoughts and reflections of the record-setting 11 Valedictorians and 2 Salutatorians who speak from the heart and with great eloquence.
KAREN BAUMAN - VALEDICTORIAN
Karen has been in Riverview for twelve years and will be attending The University of Wyoming this fall. She plans to study and major in molecular biology, with a minor in French language.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I honestly do not remember how I learned that I was a Valedictorian. I was kind of expecting it, as I had kept a 4.0 GPA through the first semester of my senior year. It was still a nice surprise getting a note from Mr. La Bate confirming the news. I was proud to be one who would represent my class and felt my hard work during school had paid off."
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I've had to invest lots of time into schoolwork and to make learning my first priority. I've had fewer opportunities to spend time with friends outside of school.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been involved in Cedarcrest marching band all four years of high school. Since my sophomore year, I have had the opportunity to be a drum major, which has helped develop my leadership skills and self-confidence. I have played the alto saxophone in Cedarcrest jazz band all four years of school, and been an active member of the Chess Club, serving as an officer my junior and senior year. Also, I have been actively involved in our after school foreign language clubs for French, Spanish, and Japanese my senior year.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “The college process has been a lot of work, but it has been worth it. Something I didn't expect was that I would learn a lot about myself and my priorities. I always thought I would thrive in larger cities, but visiting colleges there I felt very uncomfortable. The smaller size of Laramie (where the University of Wyoming is located) really appealed to me. In addition to the location, the school's focus on academics was very important to me. All in all, I am happy with the choice I made and am proud of the school I will be attending.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Ms. Parks (Pamela Parks, World Languages), I call her 'Madame', was my French teacher my sophomore and junior years and has continued to support my interest in languages my senior year. I would look forward to her classroom after school each day because it is a place where I can be curious, discover new aspects of culture, talk about Star Trek, laugh, and be myself. She opened the door to a passion that will enrich the rest of my life. Dr. Henrikson (Dr. Davin Henrikson, Science) sparked my interest in biology. He emphasized the importance of science in the world, taught critical thinking, and inspired me to continue studying molecular biology in college.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Find something your are interested in (a sports, subject, issue, art, hobby...) and get involved in that thing as much as you can. Clubs and sports are a great way to make friends and discover their passions, making for a richer high school experience. Try not to do too many things at once though, you can quickly become exhausted and will not have as much time to follow what really matters to you.”
QUINN BELLAMY - SALUTATORIAN
Quinn has attended Riverview schools since kindergarten. She will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. She plans on exploring biology, math, and physics and learning more about topics such as evolutionary biology, differential equations, quantum mechanics, genetics, and statistics, among other topics and subjects.
ON CONFIRMATION OF SALUTATORIAN STATUS: “I received an e-mail from the main office stating I needed to come to the principal's office, but had to reply that I was unable to do so because I was in Philadelphia at the time. When I learned I was a Salutatorian, I was happy, though I was aware of my GPA at the time.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I chose to spend time studying subjects I found fascinating, instead of focusing on things that seemed less important (parties, YouTube, etc.). I also had to give up playing varsity basketball, which was a difficult sacrifice for me to make.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have played piano since the age of 4 and learned to play the mandolin this year. I played varsity basketball for two years and volunteered at the Northwest Art Center. Currently, I am working as an intern at my cousin's anthropology lab.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I have written more essays applying for college than I have in two years of community college.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mr. McDowell's (Bruce McDowell, Mathematics) Honors Algebra II class gave me a solid foundation in mathematics that has helped me in all my college calculus courses. Mr. Miyoshi's (Mike Miyoshi, Career & Technical Education) programming class showed me a new way to think about the world and provided a nice introduction to computer science. Finally, Mr. Coats (Scott Coats - Tolt Middle School), my eighth grade science teacher encouraged my already strong interest in science.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Take Mr. Miyoshi's programming class, even if you get an A- and it makes you Salutatorian!”
BROOKE BENSON - VALEDICTORIAN
Brooke has been in the Riverview School District since kindergarten and will be attending the University of Minnesota-Crookston (UMC) in the fall, signing a Letter of Intent to play Women's Soccer for the school. Brooke wants to double major in Biology and Health Sciences and plans on attending medical school after graduation and landing a career in the medical field.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “This has been a big goal of mine, and I have never had lower than an "A" in any class all through middle school and high school. I felt accomplished and proud of myself for being able to balance all my activities and still keep my grades up. It is also amazing how many of my classmates all get to share in this honor.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Everything has been extremely stressful, especially with being involved in so much. Though the stress would get to me, I was always able to find ways to work through it. Consistently, I just made sure that school came first and that was sometimes difficult with so many other things I would want to focus time on.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been in ASB since elementary school and am Senior Class President this year. I am also involved in National Honor Society, Random Acts of Kindness, Future Farmers of America, and I paid dues to DECA too! I competed in the Science Olympiad this last year in categories like Disease Detectives, Anatomy, Forensics, and Herpetology. I work and volunteer quite a bit. I have assisted with Tent City, the Duvall Farmers Market, Cedarcrest sports camps, TOP Soccer (an organization where I help kids with disabilities learn and play soccer), Bloodworks Northwest, the Puget Sound Kidney Center, and other organizations. I played varsity soccer at Cedarcrest all four years and have been in club soccer for as long as I can remember! This has allowed me to have the opportunity to play soccer at the collegiate level for the next four years.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I was never really stressed about the college experience. Having soccer involved in my decision made the process slightly different for me, but I had been contacting colleges all through high school to come watch me play and had a lot of options through the years. My decision became final after a coach at UMC invited me for an official visit and I loved the campus, team, coach, and community. I then shifted focus to scholarships and I have been very fortunate to receive enough scholarship opportunities to focus on academics and athletics, and not worry about finances for my Freshman year.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mrs. Robison (Denise Robison, Science) influenced my love of science quite a bit. I knew I was interested, but after AP Biology, my goals for the future were solidified. We are very lucky for the teachers we have at Cedarcrest. All the teachers I have had through the years have been passionate about what they teach and help students with whatever realistic things they need.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Start off strong and on the right foot. If you fall behind, it can be hard to get a grip on everything. Stay involved, but never lose the enjoyment in the high school experience. Also, remember that you are never alone. If you are ever struggling, there is always someone there to help you and you never have to go everything alone.”
QUINN BURFORD - VALEDICTORIAN
Quinn has been in Riverview for nine years and will be attending Montana State University in the fall. He will be majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in materials science.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I received an invitation by Mr. La Bate to discuss speeches and graduation and then was told I was Valedictorian. I felt happy and suspected it before the confirmation, but it is always nice to hear it said out loud for the first time.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I sacrificed my free time to work on homework and to study.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “During my time at Cedarcrest, I have been involved in Robotics, Marching Band, and outside of school, Boy Scouts and Venture Crew.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I was fortunate to be accepted to all the schools I applied for and, including scholarships, they are all within my price range. The deciding factor for me was choosing the school that felt right. That school was definitely Montana State. The area around Bozeman is beautiful and has activities in the winter and spring. I look forward to studying engineering and performing in the school's horn ensemble.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mr. Fassler (Daniel Fassler, English/Language Arts) was the first English teacher to convince me that literature was important. Since then, both Mrs. Parish (Michelle Parish, English/Language Arts) and Mr. Schenk (Tony Schenk, English/Language Arts) have taught me to appreciate literature as more than an academic subject. Mr. Miyoshi has given me the opportunity to succeed and fail and I enjoyed spending advisory and three years with him as a teacher.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Follow your passions. Find something you love and maintain a good enough GPA to pursue it. Joining clubs and finding out what really makes you tick is just as important as maintaining an immaculate gradebook.”
The Cedarcrest High School Class of 2019 Salutatorians (L-R): Lexi Delorey and Quinn Bellamy.
LEXI DELOREY - SALUTATORIAN
Lexi has been in Riverview for 11 years and will be attending Brigham Young University - Provo Campus (BYU) this fall. While she has not committed to a major yet, she plans on studying computer science, with an emphasis on human computer interactions.
ON CONFIRMATION OF SALUTATORIAN STATUS: “I had been shooting for Valedictorian status, but once I got that one "A-" my first semester of my sophomore year, I knew, or I guess I should say I hoped I would be a Salutatorian. Officially, I guess I didn't know until Mr. La Bate told us for sure. I felt very relieved. I've been trying my best to be focused on all my work, but it gets harder near the end of senior year and I was starting to think that maybe I would slip up and lose it right before graduation. So when Mr. La Bate told us we were confirmed, it felt good to know all my hard work had paid off. It was nice to have that pressure lifted.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I admit, I was pretty stressed most of the time during high school, which I know is a universal experience, but I would like to think I put more pressure on myself than I should have. There's a big expectation in high school that you will have so much fun, but also that you have to do super well in school, and I think I took that too seriously. I pushed myself to fit everything into my schedule, making time for my friends, family, homework, and myself, and I think, at times, that didn't have the most positive effects on my mental health.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “There have been a lot of those! I was a co-president of National Honor Society, which was a huge responsibility. Outside of school, I am very involved in church activities in leadership positions, I take piano lessons, and I did dance lessons for most of my time in high school.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I have been pretty lucky in this regard, applying for college was relatively easy for me. I have wanted to go to BYU my whole life, so when it came to applying I only applied there and UW (University of Washington). The hardest part was having to reach inside myself and write meaningful essays, followed by the waiting and wondering. I actually found out I got into college while I was at Disneyland, so I guess it is true when they say it really is the happiest place on Earth! Preparation was key for me and I had set myself up well to have good test scores, grades, and connections to write my recommendations.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “The teacher that has had the biggest impact on me, since I moved here, was Ms. Isler (Christie Isler, Carnation Elementary). She teaches the PAT (Program for Academically Talented) class, and she was the first teacher I remember having where I really loved learning. The class was a unique experience, with a unique gathering of kids, but I think that is what made me like it so much. She created a safe space where I was able to do whatever I wanted and that was encouraged. She invested in her students and struck me as a teacher who loved her job, and her class and teaching style made an impact on me. At Cedarcrest, Mr. Briggs (Loren Briggs, Social Studies) and Mr. McDowell taught me how to think in classes. My junior year, I really began formulating my own opinions and understanding the world through my own lens. Those skills are probably the best thing I learned in high school and their classrooms helped me push past my current understanding. I am so grateful to them.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “AP students like myself will tell you it is important to have fun and make good memories, but the most important advice I can pass along is to try! I hear a lot of people say they wished they worked harder their freshman year, which I think is a really important sentiment. Remember, to try does not mean to be perfect. Just put forth your best effort on everything you do, because that is all anyone can ask for. Don't be like me and stress yourself out over every little thing...just be your best you every single day.”
LAUREN KRAUSE - VALEDICTORIAN
Lauren has been in Riverview since kindergarten and will be attending Gonzaga University in the fall, where she signed a Letter of Intent to run cross-country and compete in track and field. She plans on studying nursing.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I was aware that having all "A's" meant I would be a Valedictorian. It was something I had been working very hard to achieve and when Mr. La Bate confirmed the news, I was very excited and relieved. All the hard work I had completed and all the time spent was recognized.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “In hindsight, I put school before a lot of other things, which made me very stressed.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I was involved in gymnastics until my junior year, as well as dance. I ran track all four years at Cedarcrest and did cross-country this past year. I have also been a member of National Honor Society, Link Crew, and DECA.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “Overall, I found the college process very stressful and challenging. Where I thought I was going to end up changed constantly. I wanted academics to be my first priority and I knew I liked Gonzaga. I wasn’t sure I could run at that level, but when I received confirmation that I had earned a spot on the team, I automatically knew I had made the right choice of where to go to school.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “The attention and encouragement that my elementary school P.E. teacher gave me at the time positively impacted my Cedarcrest sports experiences. I enjoyed P.E. and was taught to work hard, which has carried over into other aspects of my life.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “The work you do in high school will open doors for you when it comes to college admissions.”
CLAYTON KRISTIANSEN - VALEDICTORIAN
Clayton has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending Texas A&M University in the fall. He plans on studying computer engineering, which is a combination of the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering majors.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I was notified in a letter I received from Mr. La Bate. I was excited and relieved. I cannot say I was anticipating it, but with the paper in front of me I could hardly believe that I was actually going to receive this honor.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I did my best to work hard in school, while also maintaining an active and rigorous extracurricular presence. Much to my surprise, I had time to go camping, kayaking, play video games, and hang out with friends. I was often stressed in the pursuit of doing everything I could, but I always seemed to find a way to do it. For me, the real sacrifice was boredom. I have hardly been bored these last four years, and even when I had little to do, I simply enjoyed the time relaxing. Not having much time to be bored, relax, and reset has made my time in high school often quite stressful. So, in a way, not being bored in high school was my greatest sacrifice.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “In school, I participated in many extracurricular activities and clubs, including Track and Field, Marching Band, National Honor Society, TSA (Technology Student Association), ASB, Snowboarding Club, and the Peer Tutoring Club. I am also an Eagle Scout with the local Boy Scout Troop 745, the president of Venture Crew 215, and also volunteer with Redemption Church.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I applied to many colleges, including the University of Washington, Montana State, and others. I was accepted at every school I applied for and decided to attend Texas A&M, based on the quality of the engineering program, their high academic standards, and the friendly tradition-oriented aspects of the school.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Every teacher I have had at Cedarcrest has had an influence on my education. But, without a doubt, the teacher who has had the most impact on my time at Cedarcrest has been my programming teacher Mike Miyoshi. Not only does he share my passion for faith, engineering, and technology, but he has been unwavering in his support and dedication to me as a student and as a person. Justin Guyer (Science), Stuart Grayson (Social Studies), Tony Schenk, and Bruce McDowell have also all had significant positive influence over m development through high school, both academically and personally.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Work hard and play hard, it is important to do both. Working hard without playing hard often leads to disappointment and regret, while playing hard without working hard can leave a person crippled and unprepared to face what's next.”
RYAN LINERUD - VALEDICTORIAN
Ryan has been in Riverview for 12 years and will be attending Brigham Young University this coming fall. He plans on majoring in mechanical engineering..
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I remember receiving a letter from Mr. La Bate confirming that I was a Valedictorian. I was kind of surprised. It was something I definitely knew could happen, but never thought it would come. Overall, I am happy with the result."
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Many nights of losing sleep and staying up late to finish various assignments.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I am a member of band, as well as a drum major in the marching band. I was president of Tri-M Music Honors Society this year and have been in various leadership positions for the last few years. I am a member of Thespian Society and have been in multiple musicals including Mamma Mia! and Grease. I have been in other theater classes as well and performed there. In three of the last four years, I have been involved in Robotics, I played a year of soccer, and competed for a year in wrestling, until I tore my meniscus and could no longer participate in sports. I earned my Eagle Award in Boy Scouts and spent years as a leader in my troop. This year, I was also a member of the Ensign Youth Choir, where I sang at different devotionals and events.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS: “I applied to both BYU and UW, and was fortunate to get into both schools. I will be attending BYU in the fall, which I am very excited for.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “A lot of people have left an impact on me throughout my high school career. Mr Miyoshi helped spark my interest in engineering. Another is Mr. Mullinnex (Seth Mullinnex, Drama/Performing Arts) taught me how to be my own individual, and how to express myself on and off the stage. Another amazing example has been working with Mr. Hughes (Breland Hughes, Band), while he has been learning along with us on how to strengthen our band program. He has taught me how to advise and instruct others to create strong groups, and how best to connect with my peers.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Join some kind of group. Whether that is sports, drama, band, choir, or any other clubs, the key to having a great high school experience is making connections and having fun as you go. I would not be half the person I am today if not for the multitude of clubs and activities that I have been a part of.”
JUSTIN MCBRIDE - VALEDICTORIAN
Justin has been in Riverview since first grade (12 years), with two years spent in Running Start at Bellevue College. He will be serving a mission for the next two years, and will attend Brigham Young University - Provo upon its completion. He anticipates majoring in some kind of computer science, and is considering minoring in a hobby of his, "...like music, astronomy, history, or even political science if I am feeling bold."
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I started getting letters from the high school inviting me to attend meeting with the other Vals and Sals. Unfortunately, they were all occurring when I was at Bellevue College, but I suspected I might be included as a Valedictorian, because I retained a 4.0 GPA. Once I learned I was a Valedictorian, it was nice to know that all my blood, sweat, tears, and pure luck in keeping my GPA at 4.0 all these years paid off. So many close calls, and 93.0%'s...gratifying to know I had made it.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “As someone who is not naturally an "A" student, I couldn't really slack much. I probably could have been more involved in clubs and sports and social stuff if I had not been so often single-minded on schoolwork. Colleges care more about extracurriculars nowadays than they do about GPA's. I imagine the sacrifices are similar for all of us - skipping events for homework, stressing out over projects, cram studying for hours with a few all-nighters here and there. You know, just the normal stuff."
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I was briefly involved in Debate Club my freshman year. I hung out with Stealth Robotics team one day. I went to Chess Club during both my freshman and sophomore years, which was fun and a good way to spend Advisory. Outside of school, I was involved in Boy Scouts through my church when I turned 8, until the moment I turned 18. I have an Eagle Scout Award to show for those ten years of work. I also took private piano lessons for roughly the same ten-year period, with three different teachers, so I guess I am kind of classically trained now. I have also been involved in the youth programs of my church and earned various awards, including the Duty to God award, which culminated six years of work.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “The application process was a bit of a mess for me! I started late and that caused a lot of problems. My first choice was BYU-Provo, but I waited to long to start my secondary choices, schools like UW and MIT. That ultimately turned out okay because I got into BYU, which is more affordable and nearly the same quality as those other schools. Not to belittle anyone who got into those schools though, that's quite the achievement and I congratulate you. I am just getting a head start on school pride!”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “I have had a lot of great teachers over the years. Thanks to Mr. Haley (Brendan Haley, Tolt Middle School - Social Studies) for being just the coolest dude ever and genuinely caring. Thanks to Mr. LaBrie (Matt LaBrie, Tolt Middle School - Social Studies) for his enthusiasm. Thanks to Mr. Mershon (Daniel Mershon, formerly at Tolt Middle School) for the economic adventure of a lifetime. At Cedarcrest, thanks to Ms. Filer (Peggy Filer, Health) for being the kindest person ever! Thanks to Mr. McLaughlin (David McLaughlin, Math) for being a savage and for using a genuinely interesting textbook for Pre-Calc. Thanks to Dr. Henrikson, whose expounding on Accidentalism, made me consider the merits of Creationism. Thanks to Mr. Fassler for being more than a teacher to his students, but a good friend, mentor, and featuring in my hero's journey. Thanks to Mr. Kennedy (Tim Kennedy, Media Arts) for teaching me how to teach myself, work hard for a good grade, and showing mercy in the end. To Mr, Miyoshi: Thanks for introducing me to computer science, giving me free rein with my creativity, and for creating an amazing class environment. And I must mention my great elementary teachers in the PAT program, Ms. Isler and Ms. Turchin (Joan Turchin, formerly of Carnation Elementary). They tamed the wild child that I was, gave me a love of learning, and showed me there was no shame in intellectualism or being nerfy. There is no way I would be a Valedictorian if they had not set me on that path early on in my life. Ms. Turchin, we will all miss you."
FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: (Editor's Note: Justin provided one of the most thoughtful, eloquent, and humorous answers to this question we have ever received. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we had to edit portions of it.)
”First and foremost, don't be the person who stands in a slow-moving row with your friends in the hallway and block all the traffic. While it is hard and you don't want to do it, think about your future now. Take lots of classes at the high school to find what interests you the most. Try new things. Get involved. Attend introductory club meetings and join a few. Do sports, even if you have minimal experience. Do Running Start and get a bunch of friends to do it with you. Get a part-time job, the experience is invaluable. Keep a journal. Live high school to the fullest, but do not do anything you will regret. You are not too cool for school. Understand yourself. Use a critical mindset and keep biases in mind. Make sure you are thinking for yourself. Give everyone fair consideration. Make goals for what you will and will not do in high school. Be a good friend. Don't be the reason others are left out. Look after your friends. Help them through hard times. Help them find help. And last of all, be happy and kind to people. As you are kind to others, you become happier yourself. We all need a little more of that in high school."
Members of the Valedictorians and Salutatorians in the Cedarcrest Class of 2019
Not pictured above: Quinn Bellamy, Justin McBride, Delaney Tobin.
VIVEK PATEL - VALEDICTORIAN
Vivek has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. He will be studying Computer Science at the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “Prior to high school, I knew that earning all A's would yield a 4.0 GPA, which is a cool little badge to wear. So I set myself on the path towards it and after the first semester of senior year, I mostly knew I had earned that distinction. When Mr. La Bate told us, I have to admit, I was probably thinking about what I brought for lunch, which is just another day in the life of Vivek."
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Sleep. By far. Hands down. No debate. Also, I was unable to hang out with friends as much as I would have liked, but most of them share the same commitment to academic success, so I imagine that we share something of a common gripe.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been heavily involved in the Technology Student Association (TSA), the Peer Tutoring Club, National Honor Society, and have helped faculty around campus with technology. I am also an *EXTREMELY* competitive ping-pong player at lunch, Outside of school, I like to develop mobile apps, conduct computational research into machine learning, and I work as a software engineering intern at a company in Bellevue.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “I spent the summer after my junior year preparing applications by making a GIANT spreadsheet with information about the colleges I wanted to apply to. (Editor's Note: Vivek offered his email address if anyone would like his homemade spreadsheet template.) After narrowing down my list of schools, I started reaching out to students at those institutions about what drew them to go there. I then hammered out my applications and overall, it went pretty smooth. I had a lot of choices about where to attend. Initially, I was not directly admitted to my major at the University of Washington, but after a lot of finger-crossing, my petition was accepted, and I committed the very same day. It is safe to say that everything has a way of working out in the end.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “At Cedarcrest, the teachers who had the biggest impact on my education were Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Grayson, and Mr. Miyoshi. Mr. Kennedy taught me the analytical side of technology is just as welcome in digital media as is the artistic side, opening up a wealth of opportunities and new interests for me. He inspired me to take up photography as a hobby and imparted valuable knowledge in the arduous process of creating cinematic work. Prior to my junior year, I despised learning about history. Mr. Grayson turned that around. He took the time to show how concepts fit into the larger web of history and, more importantly, was open to any and all discussions about history or current events. Mr. Miyoshi provided me newfound freedom in my education that I had never experienced before. His lack of consistent deadlines in lieu of larger, long-term deadlines drove me to learn the art of self-discipline and avoiding procrastination. These are skills which will benefit me in college and beyond.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Do not view yourself as your GPA and SAT/ACT score. College take care of that for you. Students who are successful in high school are often successful as a result of well-tested time management and prioritization skills. Efficiency is key and maximizing the return of every minute you spend doing something will carry you just as far as putting in tons of time studying. Enjoy yourself. Be responsible. Think about the future (just not too much), and cherish the last few years of your primary education.”
ASHWIN SUBBARAMAN - VALEDICTORIAN
Ashwin has been in Riverview for 13 years and will be attending the University of Washington in the fall. He has decided to focus on some form of engineering, but will decide after a couple years of college and taking classes that will help narrow his focus.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “It was my counselor, in a meeting, who shared with me I was a Valedictorian. I was pretty excited, and it was great to hear the news from Mr. La Bate and one of the coolest people I know."
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I have definitely spent time outside of school studying and doing homework. Being able to keep a lot of time for myself along the way has also helped me to stay calm and focused to do well.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been in National Honor Society, the Riverview Youth Council, and Peer Tutoring in school. Outside of Cedarcrest, I have worked at Kumon, an extracurricular tutoring center, for the last four years.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “It was pretty stressful at first when I had to think about how I would shape the next four years of education. As I went through it, the stress began to ease away. I would spend a little time on it each day when I was applying, so I definitely planned it out better than how I usually wait until the last minute to do things.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Each teacher has definitely impacted me in their own unique way as I have gone through high school. My interest in engineering probably comes from Mr. McDowell, Mr. McLaughlin, and Mr. Guyer. They really shaped my interest in math and science. Also, Mr. Schenk, Ms. Parish, Mr. Fassler, and Mrs. Blooming (Amy Blooming, English/Language Arts) really helped develop my writing skills and made me a more confident reader and writer, something I was not good at coming into high school. But every teacher I have had since elementary school has had a great impact on my education and I am greatly appreciative of that.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Enjoy your time at Cedarcrest, work hard, and just have fun with it. Try to engage yourself in as many extracurricular activities as you can without overloading yourself, spend quality time with friends, and remember to keep a broad perspective. As long as you put in the effort, you will be fine as far as academics go. These four years do fly by, so take advantage of any opportunities as much as possible.”
ISA TABOADA - VALEDICTORIAN
Isa has been in Riverview since first grade (12 years), and will be attending Boston University in the fall.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “The news was officially confirmed in a letter from Mr. La Bate, we had delivered during school. I was very excited, but also relieved because it felt like all my hard work had paid off!”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “I feel like I did not spend as much time participating in hobbies or hanging out with friends as I would have liked, because I had to prioritize homework. I was also very anxious throughout the years, but I think most people struggle with this throughout their high school career!”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been a part of National Honor Society since sophomore year. I danced during my first three years of high school and I started practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before the start of my junior year.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “The college process has been stressful, especially the not knowing what was going to happen. Also, it was very exciting because I knew I was looking into the future. Now that I know where I am going, I am more excited about what is to come, though it still does not feel quite real!”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “Mr. McLaughlin, who I had for two years of math, and Mrs. Descheemaeker (Andrea Descheemaeker, Art), who I had for two-and-a-half years of art, definitely had the greatest impact on me. I had always had a great love of art, but I felt my skills were lacking, so I felt bad investing time in it. Mrs. Descheemaeker encouraged me to join AP Art because she said the motivation was more important. This led me to be more creative in my everyday life, and I realized I did not have to be great at something to make it worthwhile. Mr. McLaughlin motivated me to work hard and produce high quality work just because it is clear that he puts so much effort and purpose into everything he does for us. They give so much to their students, I feel lucky to have been one of them.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Try to challenge youself, because high school is a time where you can grow a lot, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes. Make sure to keep a balance; learning when to give yourself a break is hard but important! Also, high school goes really fast so enjoy it when you can.”
DELANEY TOBIN - VALEDICTORIAN
Delaney has been in Riverview for 13 years, and will be attending Montana State University in the fall. She will be pursuing both art and nursing, hoping to major in nursing and minoring in something art-related.
ON CONFIRMATION OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS: “I knew my GPA and class rank from when I was applying to colleges. I was aware that I was ranked #1, but when I heard the news I felt very excited and a great sense of accomplishment.”
THE SACRIFICES MADE TO GET TO THIS POINT: “Spending time with friends and family to do homework led to losing sleep because I was so busy with homework or studying. I made my anxiety worse in putting so much pressure on myself.”
ACTIVITIES IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL: “I have been involved in soccer, soccer managing, National Honor Society, Link Crew, skiing, National Honor Society, working, and babysitting. I also took stats for the basketball team and served for two years as a Student Representative on the Riverview School Board of Directors.”
THE COLLEGE PROCESS AND GRADUATION THOUGHTS: “Overall, the process went pretty smoothly for me. I did not apply to many schools, as I had a set list of criteria and things I wanted in a school, which made the choice relatively easy. Montana State's application process is pretty straightforward, which also made things go smoothly. It has been a little stressful working out the final details and meeting the different deadlines, while having to research and find the time to do these things. For the most part, however, this has been an exciting time.”
TEACHERS WHO MADE AN IMPACT: “So many teachers have left an impression on me at Cedarcrest. Among them: Mr. Briggs, Mr. Schenk, Ms. Thomas, Mr. Fassler, Mr. McLaughlin, and Mr. Guyer. Also, Mr. LaBrie at Tolt had a lot of impact during my middle school years.”
IF AN INCOMING FRESHMAN ASKED YOU FOR ADVICE, YOU WOULD SAY...: “Never be afraid to ask your teachers for help and remember, they are there to help you.”