Nathalia Valdez- Our Beloved Senior



Nathalia in her cap ‘n gown!

Krystal Orehek, Reporter

I remember meeting Nat when I was in geometry as a freshman. We had our little table group and helped each other on all the proofs you can imagine. She started convincing me to do track… and suddenly I was running ten, 100-meter dashes a day… she wanted me to join The Papercut… and we all know how that went. Nat has been one of the best people I’ve met while in high school, so it was my honor to do her last interview as a student at Sahuaro.

Me and Nat going to a track meet in 2019 hehe! (Krystal Orehek )

After high school, Nat is going to the U of A on a full-ride scholarship and hopes to get her bachelor’s in Psychology before heading off to law school… yeah you don’t want to get into an argument with her. She’s also excited to move on from high school’s tight schedule, “High school tends to be packed with classes, homework, and extracurriculars. Hopefully, I can catch a break during some point in college.” Even though moving on from the restricting schedule secondary school brings, she’s still going to miss some things about Sahuaro. “What I’m going to miss the most from Sahuaro is the friends and people I’ve met throughout my high school career.  They say once high school is over you lose touch with everyone and I really hope that’s not true.” Don’t worry Nat, I still plan to take you up on that date offer you made way back in November!

I think we can all agree that teachers can really make or break how you feel about going to school every day, and Nat claims she never had a bad teacher at Sahuaro. However, there are a few special ones she would like to give a special thanks to.

For Ms. Lange, “I would obviously like to give a big thanks to Ms. Lange for taking me under her wing and teaching me to use my voice! Like many freshmen, I was always very shy and tended to stumble on my words when talking in crowds, but thanks to Ms. Lange I got better at communicating, listening, and of course writing!”

For Mr. Jardini, “I also want to thank Mr. Jardini for being an amazing match teacher and not letting me lose faith in my math skills! If I learned one thing from him and that class, it’s that anything is possible if you set your mind to it, even if it’s math :).”

For Ms. Krause, “I think Ms. Krause was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had as well, even though we were online a majority of the year she was always very engaging and helpful. And I absolutely love her for that!”

Our high school years are supposed to be filled with some of our best and worst memories, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had a pretty fair share of both. “I think I’ve made many memorable high school moments like winter formal, senior sunrise, and the Sahuaro Olympics (hosted by Mr. Rutherford). But I think the best memory I have is the trip with my Cross Country team. We went to Santa Monica pier and Six Flags. Everyone was good friends so it was a great experience.”


From the good and the bad, you learn many life lessons. If any Cougars read this, future or current, Nat has some advice to offer. “Firstly, don’t be afraid to be yourself. I know how it sounds, but I promise I’m not setting you up for failure. Go with the flow, meet new people, and enjoy the time you still have in high school! Remember you’re worth more than your appearance. Don’t worry about having expensive things or seeking validation from others because if and when you do that, it’ll never be enough and you’ll never feel like you’re enough, BUT YOU ARE! Please don’t forget that ever! And of course don’t procrastinate because it’ll just make the situation 100x worse, trust me I KNOW. If you know you have a plan for after high school (and even if you don’t) respect your teachers and your peers because it’s better to be remembered as a kind and respectful person than it is to be “that one kid.”

We’ll all miss you Nat! Thank you for pushing me to try new things. You’ve definitely had an impact on my life, and certainly others. Next time I see you you’ll be a Wildcat, and I will be contacting you and Nousha to make sure you haven’t killed each other as roommates. Congratulations and love ya!