The valedictorians and salutatorian of Boulder City High School’s Class of 2020 are excited about the future and thankful for their time in town despite their senior year not going as planned or expected.
“It’s just made me grateful for the experiences I got to have while I was able to,” said Sara Harvey, one of the seven valedictorians in the Class of 2020.
Harvey said she will be attending University of Nevada, Reno where she will study animal science. She also said she looks forward to being more independent.
Fellow valedictorian America Grafton said her time away from the school building has been a balance of being less stressed about homework but still having to do it.
“It’s a horrible purgatory between needing to get this done and I don’t want to do anything,” she said. “I hate that feeling.”
Grafton said she also misses her teachers and her friends.
She will be attending Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where she will major in environmental studies. She said she is excited most about the opportunities there.
Alyssa Tobler, valedictorian, said this time away from school has shown her the importance of being around people every day because she is “very shy” and said she didn’t think she’d miss daily social interaction.
“I’ve really missed seeing people every day and talking to them,” she said.
Tobler is going to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and will be majoring in either electrical or mechanical engineering.
“I think I’m looking forward to meeting new people and getting out of my shell and being more outgoing,” she added.
Senior class president and valedictorian Sophia Morris is also attending Brigham Young University, but she will be going to the school’s campus in Idaho. She said she is looking forward to learning things in college that weren’t an option before.
Morris said being out of school has shown her how “incredibly blessed” she is.
“We just have good lives,” she said. “It’s still sad because what we expected didn’t happen. … As long as we stay positive, it will be a good experience. Our circumstances don’t define us. … I just see my classmates pulling through.”
“I definitely took school for granted. … I feel like we just have to realize the experiences we’ve had and not take them for granted,” added Boen Huxford, valedictorian.
Huxford said he is excited to be studying biology in college because he’s been passionate about it since he was young.
He will be attending Southern Utah University in Cedar City.
Salutatorian Makenna Arboreen said she has “mixed emotions” about her shortened last year of high school.
“It’s not like a longer summer because of the quarantine,” she said.
Arboreen said it’s hard because her class hasn’t had a prom, their last school assembly or other things they were expecting when their senior year began.
“At the same time, it’s just a new chapter,” she said. “I think COVID will bring on better things. I’m excited to see what’s to come.”
Arboreen will be attending Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, and majoring in psychology.
Valedictorian Angelina Evans also said there have been some good and bad things about being at home more.
“I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it,” she said. “I miss my friends and performing in band but at the same time being at home has allowed me to destress and given me a chance to figure out what I like to do and where I want to go.”
Evans said she is excited for the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things. She will be attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix where she will major in forensic science.
Taylor Pilkington, valedictorian, said she’s been using her extra spare time to explore the subjects she is really passionate about as well as meeting new people with different opinions.
She said, however, that she misses the spontaneity of being in class and hearing what people say.
Pilkington will be attending Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where she will major in political science.
Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.