Sahuaro Top Scholars Compete for Valedictorian


Sierra Blaser, Editor

Throughout our time in high school, we all create goals for ourselves to achieve by graduation. For some, it’s to graduate with perfect attendance or maintain a 4.0 GPA, but for these four students, a 4.0 is simply not enough. Jack Lu, Ashley Tapia, Paula Le, and MiaBella Sainz have gone above and beyond throughout their time here at Sahuaro, and as a result, the honor of becoming valedictorian is up for grabs within the group. These four students have worked tirelessly throughout their years at Sahuaro and shared the experiences that got them up to this point.

When asked about why she goes after all A’s, Ashley responded, “I’ve always just wanted to do well in my classes. I turn in my stuff on time and do all of my work. I didn’t really aim for this, but paying attention and doing well kind of just got me here.” MiaBella stated, “I have higher expectations for myself, so knowing that I’m capable of achieving the things that I have just pushes me to work harder.” All four students have in common their drive to make themselves and their families proud, and their hard work is definitely paying off for them.

However, these top scholars have struggled in certain classes just as the rest of us have. “I’d say my hardest classes were AP Government and AP Chemistry,” said Jack. “Those two were definitely challenging for me,” Paula stated that AP World History was her most difficult class. “It was my first college class and was very fast-paced, but it did help set me up to be a successful student.” These four are proof that no one is perfect when it comes to earning good grades in school, however, what sets them apart from the average student is their ability to accept their faults and work past them.

The group does have some advice for others who plan to go after the title of valedictorian. Jack Lu advised, “Divide your time between studying and having fun in your free time. Usually, when I get stressed, I just take a seat back, drink some water, and take some deep breaths.” Ashley expressed how much sports help her decompress. “It’s kind of a way to help me get my mind off of things, but other than that I just try to plan out my days and get my stuff done rather than procrastinating.” Paula recommended taking a self-care day here and there to relax and breathe. “When stress becomes too consuming, I just try to let go and not let it absorb my mood and my energy.”

All four students plan to attend the University of Arizona next year, but their planned majors range in a variety of categories. “It’s hard to decide on one thing when you could see yourself in many fields,” said Paula. She continued, “It’s hard to tell the future, but I’m just going with the flow.” Jack plans to major in Microbiology and MiaBella wants to major in Physiology, however, she hopes to specialize in Sports Medicine. “I’m not really sure what degree I want yet,” Ashley said during the interview. “I’ve looked into business or nursing, but I’m not too sure yet.” No matter what these candidates decide to do in the future, it has become very obvious to me and their peers that they will lead a successful life.

We here at The Paper Cut wish all four students the best of luck, and can’t wait to see who comes out of graduation with the title of valedictorian.