Eden takes pride in being the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, being the first in her family to graduate from high school, and attend college. Her passion for equitable education led her to become a member of the Youth Power Project (YPP), a program that engages students in grassroots organizing and policy innovation, and she currently leads as a Youth Fellow. Alongside YPP, she was able to play a role in Nevada’s 81st legislative session where her advocacy efforts secured passing legislation such as Nevada Assembly Bill 261, which requires state-wide instruction on the history and contributions of various minority populations. Not only is Eden involved in our community, but she also leads our campus as Student Body President, BSU Treasurer, and our Ambassador Program’s Secretary. With a GPA of over 4.89 and over 200 community service hours throughout her high school career, Eden was competitively selected into the Ron Brown Leaders Network as a Ron Brown Captain for recognition of outstanding academic achievement and commitment to service. After graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in political science and eventually become a lawyer to practice education advocacy law. We are proud of Eden and her accomplishments!
Nevada Learning Academy at CCSD
Miyan Adkins has attended Nevada Learning Academy at CCSD (NVLA) since sixth grade. Miyan was one of the first members of the middle school student council and is currently the Student Body President for the high school council. In this role, she developed the student council website and works diligently to host activities for the student body; most notably, this year NVLA hosted its very first prom. Furthermore, Miyan is also a member of the National Honor Society which provides the option to delve into various community service opportunities. The mindset of service is pivotal to her, so she served with the organization known as EnGin which provides students the opportunities to work with international students via technology in places, such as Ukraine helping them to learn the English language. This service opportunity helped Miyan to develop an understanding and empathy for different cultures. This was all before the current war, of course. In short, Miyan will continue her education in the fall and it is obvious that community service will continue to be a focus in anything she does.
Palo Verde High School
Palo Verde High School is proud to recognize Jasmine Ahmet as our 2022 Star Grad! From Speech and Debate to Student Council to athletics, she is an active participant in our school community. She has jumped into all of these extracurricular activities by taking on leadership positions and winning regional events. Personally, she is a caring, thoughtful individual that genuinely thinks of others before herself. She is also a very resilient young adult. She has overcome a personal family loss and still continues to thrive in rigorous courses and balancing her activities, work schedule, and community engagement. Over the last year, she has participated in Trial by Peers which enabled her to pursue training and experience as a future attorney. She plans to attend Arizona State University in their online program so that she can travel the world as she works on her post-secondary journey.
John F. Miller School
Stoney Alder is a resilient young man. Since his birth he has undergone many surgeries, therapies, and medical procedures to increase his physical independence. Stoney’s strong will, determination, and the consistent love of his family is why he is celebrated and honored today. Stoney’s team of related service personnel would also say his personality contributes to his success. He often shares a witty phrase or two to show his sense of humor and charming smile. Stoney knows his own heart and mind and is confident in his own decisions. Stoney will continue with his school programming in order to gain even more functional living skills and independence. We are proud of Stoney as he continues to reach his goals.
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts is proud to announce Gildardo Ayala as our Star Graduate. Gildardo is recognized as a kind, hardworking, helpful, and talented student. Currently, he is the content editor for the nationally recognized Eclectic Yearbook, a writer, and an accomplished animation major in LVA’s Visual Arts Conservatory.
Gildardo took on helping his mother raise his two brothers and taking care of his grandmother after his father passed away in 2019. He learned to balance school, family responsibilities and hold down a job to help pay bills, all while enrolled in honors and AP classes, earning a 4.9 GPA.
He said he is the first generation of everything in his family and is proud to be Mexican & gay. He was accepted and received scholarships to Otis College of Art and Design, UNLV, and CSN. Gildardo’s dream is to use his animation and digital art skills while working with others to “create art for the big screen inspired by my people; people like me, with curly dark hair, brown skin, and brown eyes. To help people understand where we come from.”
“He is a respectful individual and always has a smile on his face. With hard work and his positive attitude, Gildardo will achieve everything he sets out to accomplish,” said Ms. Jeffery, guidance counselor.
Boulder City High School
Boulder City High School is proud to announce Sarah Barnes as its class of 2022 Star Graduate. Sarah is an incredible student. When Sarah was in 2nd grade, she was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type I. This required her to undergo brain and spine surgery at the young age of 8. As a result of this diagnosis, Sarah has always suffered from headaches, memory issues, and loss of balance. Her brain gets extremely tired. Although this has been a struggle for Sarah, she pushes through the pain and is an extremely dependable student. She takes almost all Honors and AP courses, despite these challenges. She pushes herself to do her best and she is successful. Sometimes the headaches are unbearable, but Sarah has a strong determination to not let the constant pain control her. Although Sarah is unable to participate in any type of physically strenuous activities, she has found ways to support her school. Sarah served as a member of BCHS’s School Organizational Team and a member of Student Council where she is senior class treasurer. Sarah is a kind and caring friend who is well-liked by her peers. She has already proven she can overcome huge obstacles with a positive attitude and tenacity that doesn’t quit. Sarah was accepted into Penn State where she will major in Forensic Psychology
Valley High School
Dre Boyd-Weatherly is a bright and enthusiastic, lifelong learner. Dre has been a student of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program for her entire academic career and is a candidate for class valedictorian. Dre is a recently recognized Ron Brown Captain and College Board Recognition Program Scholar.
An active member of Valley High School, Dre participated in Valley Theatre, lettered in bowling, and served on IB Council. She is in her second term as president of the IB Council and a student representative at the state level for IB World Schools Student Board.
Dre is a leader and community volunteer. Outside of school, Dre has a passion for the arts through ballet and storytelling. She leads dance classes over the summer. During the pandemic, Dre began Books and Ballet, a virtual class introducing ballet, literacy, and culture. She received over $2000 in grant monies for Books and Ballet and this past year, was appointed by the mayor for the City of Las Vegas Grant Review Board for its 21-22 term.
Dre’s commitment to education, school activities, and community has prepared her for college. She will major in international relations and ultimately attend law school and focus on global justice issues.
Silverado High School
Lynn is a highly articulate young person with many talents and a diligent work ethic.
Lynn is truly a dedicated student. A quick glimpse of her transcript will reveal that she is the
Silverado High School, Class of 2022 Valedictorian. Earning this prestigious award takes stamina and steadfast erudition; both of which Lynn has manifested while taking the most difficult level of course rigor on our campus and independently studying for an AP Exam for a class that we did not offer. I am thrilled to report she passed the exam.
Beyond Lynn’s academic prowess and dedication, she is involved both on and off her campus on many levels. She is the President of the Mu Alpha Theta math tutoring club which assists many of our students who have math deficits and need extra assistance. She co-founded the Mahjong Club on our campus and relishes in teaching others how to play this strategy-based game. Finally, one of her proudest accomplishments is leading a team of individuals that helps raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Clark High School
Clark High School is proud to present Jang Choe as our 2022 Star Graduate. Jang has achieved unparalleled academic success and has earned a weighted GPA of 5.8 in Clark’s AMSAT Program. He holds the title of AP Scholar with Distinction, earning thirteen 5’s and one 4 on various AP exams, and achieved a perfect score on both the ACT and the SAT.
Jang is focused, dedicated, but also kind. Jang is a talented violinist with a love of music and is the current concertmaster of the Clark High School Advanced and Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has found success in Science Olympiad team events, earning 26 local and state medals and 4 National Top 10 finishes.
Jang has spent each of his last three summers conducting medical research in labs across the country, including the UMass Markstein Lab. He is a Conrad Challenge Grant Award Winner for his proposal for a Smoke-Free World. He even holds two patents on medical products AlgaeAid, and PectiGrow. Jang has earned acceptance to several Ivy League schools, including Harvard and Yale. He will begin studying Molecular Biology in the fall and hopes to become a doctor.
Cimarron-Memorial High School
Cimarron-Memorial’s 2022 Star Graduate is Maya Dávila-Gonzalez. Maya is a salutatorian candidate who serves as vice-president of the school’s nationally-ranked robotics team. She is a talented musician, participating in both concert and marching bands all four years of high school. Maya has learned programming and is proficient in robot and systems design through her experience in the school’s automation program. Maya also dedicates her time to our school’s personal leadership program, where she uses her expertise in robotics and mechanical systems to help students in our special education programs to experience robotics and mechanics through the building of small-platform robots. During Maya’s sophomore year, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Despite surgeries and treatment, she was able to maintain excellent academics, and fought to be cancer-free her junior year. She was accepted and plans to attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall. Cimarron-Memorial is exceptionally proud of Maya!
Indian Springs High School
The 2022 Star Grad from Indian Springs High School is Anthony DiGregorio. Anthony has the distinction of being one of the few seniors in Clark County who has been at the same school from Pre-K all the way through his senior year in high school. Anthony has fought through struggles throughout his life, but he has excelled in all of his efforts in school. He is graduating with a 4.075 grade point average, he was a three-sport athlete throughout his high school career. Anthony plans to attend Montana State University in the fall to study architecture. The Indian Springs community is very proud of Anthony and his accomplishments in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.
Burk Horizon Sunset High School
Burk Horizon Sunset’s 2022 Star Graduate is Isabel Duran. Isabel enrolled at Burk as a concurrent student and was determined to become an early graduate. She opted to transfer to Burk full-time. Despite some initial setbacks, Isabel was able to accomplish her goal of becoming an early graduate by 8 months. Isabel has proven to be an exceptional student and leader. Her determination and great aptitude for learning has helped her gain great academic success. Accordingly, Isabel has plans of continuing her studies post-high school. Burk High is very proud of Isabel and her accomplishments!
Mojave High School
Bridget Estabillo, age 18, daughter of Roger & Breyanne Ramos, is a senior at Mojave High School. Bridget overcame many challenges including constant relocation with her parents’ military careers, a battle with anxiety, and the unending endeavor to always achieve above and beyond standards. Despite these struggles Bridget has become an outstanding student, resilient leader, mentor, and positive role model to younger students. She has over 250 Community Service hours with Make-A-Wish Foundation, 3-Square, 4-H Club and many others in the Las Vegas Valley and Nellis Air Force Base community. Bridget began participating in the Keystone Youth Programs and quickly discovered her natural ability to lead and inspire others. Bridget is currently President of the Make a Difference (M.A.D.), Keystone Club, and a member of the JROTC and Honor Society at Mojave. Bridget has garnered many awards as a member of the Nellis AFB Youth Programs such as “Teen of the Month” and the 99th Air Base Wing “Teen Volunteer of the Quarter”, as well as the Nevada State Youth of the Year. Bridget plans to attend the US Air Force Academy to study Aeronautical Engineering while fulfilling her dream of becoming an AF pilot.
Diane Flores is the type of student that defines our amazing Construction Program at East Tech. Since her ninth-grade year, Diane Flores has been standing up to be a leader, not only at East Tech but also in her extracurricular activities, far exceeding expectations in both her program area and SkillsUSA, the Career and Technical Student Organization that our Construction students participate and compete in. Diligent, conscientious, and confident in all her endeavors, Diane has truly embraced her passion in the male-dominated program of Construction, not only participating but leading.
Diane was the first-ever female to compete as a ninth-grader in the Construction category for SkillsUSA. She has been an active member of SkillsUSA all four years of high school, won the Silver Medal in Cabinet Making as a junior, and is also the President of this organization.
With the ability to adapt to ever-changing educational circumstances and the discipline to succeed, Diane is in the top three percent of her class with a 4.83 GPA in all honors, Dual Credit, and AP classes. She is a finalist for the prestigious T-Martin Scholarship for $12,000. Diane plans to continue her education in Construction Management at UNLV.
Arbor View High School
Farrah Gasidan is one of the most impressive students to ever attend Arbor View High School. Farrah maintains high grades while completing intense course work. She is ranked 6th in her graduating class. She has an unweighted GPA of 3.98 while taking 9 AP classes. She has won the AP Scholar with Distinction, Aggie Medallion, and AP Aggie award.
Farrah is the only Arbor View student to ever be elected president of Key Club and NHS and has been for two years. Farrah has volunteered at many local charity organizations, such as Opportunity Village, Animal Foundation, March of Dimes, and spearheaded a letter writing campaign to troops overseas.
Farrah has an aura that all people are drawn to. Her peers look up to Farrah, and the staff smiles when in her company. Farrah is headed for great things.
Farrah has been accepted into one of her top choices for college: the University of Washington. She plans to attend law school and join the Peace Corps. Her goal is to work within the United Nations as a human rights advocate and to become a Representative in the House, then a Senator. Every school, organization and company needs people just like Farrah Gasidan.
Robert Gibson V
Durango High School
Durango High School is proud to recognize Robert Gibson V as Durango’s Star Graduate. Robert is an exceptional student that is extremely motivated and passionate. Robert is a true Durango Trailblazer, with a great deal of school spirit, enthusiasm, and perseverance. Robert pushes himself daily to achieve his goals and has persevered through various personal adversities. Robert is an exemplary student that has taken a rigorous academic course load and is currently ranked in the top 5% of his graduating class. He has passionately played on Durango’s Varsity Basketball team for four years where he currently leads as team captain. He is also a spectacular athlete on Durango’s track and field team where he earned a spot on the Academic All-State team for the past two years. Robert has a tremendous amount of school spirit and is very involved in the Durango community. Robert has shined on stage, starring in several theater productions. He is also an active member of Durango’s video production program where he is consistently featured as an anchor for school-wide announcements. Robert holds the valued leadership position as President of National Honor Society where he demonstrates his strong leadership skills. Robert’s talents and determination are truly remarkable. He is a role model in the classroom, champion on the court, and star on the stage. Robert is planning to attend a four-year university to pursue a college major in journalism. He has been accepted into several universities, including UNLV and UNR. It is with great pride that he represents Durango as our Star Graduate.
CSN High School West
Jonnie was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma cancer. After undergoing treatments and many surgeries Jonnie is thankfully in remission. She looks forward to becoming a child psychologist to help other children who have to face struggles as she has. Jonnie will graduate as the CSN High School salutatorian and will earn an Associate of Art Degree before her high school graduation.
Dannia Gonzalez Castro
Dannia Gonzalez Castro has been a student at Morris Sunset East H. S. since the fall of 2021. Within the first two months of this school year she was able to overcome being credit deficient to being on-track for graduation. Since enrolling at Morris, Dannia has excelled academically, socially, and developed strong leadership skills. She has applied to multiple colleges, universities, and for several scholarships to pursue her dream in Veterinary Science. With Dannia’s take charge attitude and confidence, she will effectively manage the rigors of a college setting. Her leadership, can-do attitude and organization skills will be invaluable to her as she reaches her future goals. Dannia is not afraid to try new things and is very determined to achieve her dreams. Dannia’s motto for life is: “You have not lived to the fullest until you’ve challenged your knowledge and see what you are capable of!” Morris Sunset is proud to showcase Dannia Gonzalez Castro as our Star Graduate!
Liberty High School
Superlatives cannot even begin to describe the impressive resume of the awards and achievements for Josephine “Josie” Hartl. Josie is on track to graduate with an Advanced Honors Diploma. She is ranked 1st out of more than 700 students in her graduating class. Josie has taken the most rigorous courses including Honors and AP courses. Through seven semesters of high school, Josie has earned a 5.225 weighted GPA. She has done well on her AP exams and is a candidate for the AP Capstone Diploma. Josie participates in Liberty’s Chamber Choir and earned a spot on the 2021 CCSD Honor Choir. Josie is active in Varsity Quiz and currently serves as president of the team. In addition, Josie is a talented athlete. She has served for three years as girls captain of the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club 04. She was a youth soccer coach at Longevity Sports Center for almost 2 years where she created the goalkeeper training program for students aged 7 – 12 years old. She will study Secondary Education and hopes to be a math educator. Josie is intelligent, talented and patient. She wants to join the ranks of teachers who serve to inspire future generations.
Western High School
Lizbeth Hernandez is an exceptional young woman with great discipline and a strong work ethic. Lizbeth’s character is what really helps her stand out. She is mature beyond her years. As the younger daughter in her family, she attributes her success to being challenged by her older sister.
At Western High School, Lizbeth has really shined academically. She has managed to get A’s in 12 Honors classes, and three AP classes! In addition to her challenging course work, she is in the school’s Sports Medicine program and has recently passed the end-of-course CTE exams for her program area. She holds a 4.77 GPA.
Outside of school, Lizbeth started taking Martial Arts lessons at the age of six. She currently holds a Second Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo. In 2019 she earned a World Title in Sparring with her studio’s Demo Team.
In the fall Lizbeth plans to attend UNLV and study Biological Sciences with the ambition to go onto medical school and work her way to becoming a plastic surgeon.
The Western High School community is very proud of this Star Grad and cannot wait to see how she is going to change the world.
Rancho High School
Amanda Joens is a top student in the Aerospace Engineering Magnet Program at Rancho High School. She ranks in the top 4% of her graduating class. She is an elite athlete, and Amanda represented Rancho High School in wrestling throughout her high school career until she suffered a spinal injury during a match requiring surgery. Initially, doctors were not sure if she would be able to walk again. She was moved out of state for rehabilitation. Amanda was determined to walk across the stage and graduate in June with her class throughout this time. Amanda has always taken a rigorous course load and pushed herself academically and athletically. She had athletic scholarships to wrestle in college. Although circumstances have changed, Amanda will still attend college on an academic scholarship at the University of Nevada, Reno, in the fall, where she will study pre-medicine. Amanda possesses a remarkable ability to adapt to situations as she maintains an even temperament under challenging circumstances. She is an intensely determined young adult with a level of maturity and commitment not usually found in students her age. Amanda can achieve her dreams and change the world. The entire Rancho Ram family is proud of this Star Graduate, and we cannot wait to see what she does next!
West Career and Technical Academy
Elijah Kennard is a caring, intelligent, and integral part of the clubs and groups he associates with. Being president of the Dungeons and Dragons club, Elijah serves as a model to the people around him. His passionate optimism toward art and creative writing acts in a way that shows an open attitude and willingness to always improve. He takes all the time he can to listen and respect those around him, all in the hopes of helping them celebrate the best parts of themselves, and equally accept the parts where they struggle. He takes this into account with his own struggles, and after an attempted suicide, he tries everything he can to find meaning in the world around him. Elijah strives to stand tall as an inspiration to anyone struggling, with mental illness or not. He believes everyone needs someone to lean on and to help them feel safe. Elijah hopes to join the psychology field as a psychotherapist, seeing the value in supporting others through emotional validity and therapeutic medicine. Anyone around him deserves to be treated with love and respect, and Elijah Kennard does all he can to emulate compassion towards everyone, even if he’ll only meet them once.
Laughlin High School
Sean Kolb is a model honors student, multi-sport athlete, and member of the student council. During his four years at Laughlin High School, Sean has received many awards for academic excellence. However, his most cherished and memorable achievement was being honored with the Coach’s MVP Varsity Football Award in Fall of 2021. As captain of his high school football team, Sean was called upon in his senior year to lead and motivate his team through a challenging winless season. Overcoming one hurdle after another, Sean was a shining example of perseverance and character. Anyone that’s played or coached football knows that while wins and losses are what are focused on every Friday, they’re rarely what gets remembered. Sean will be attending Nevada State College – School of Education in the Fall of 2022. Pursuing a career in teaching, his ambition is to continue to inspire others and he hopes to make a return to the football field as a head coach one day.
Coronado High School
Emma Lee is Coronado High School’s 2022 Salutatorian. She is on track to earn an Advanced Honors Diploma and Advanced Placement Academy recognition. Her academic resume is extensive and includes awards and recognition such as Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and Commended Scholar Award. Emma has also earned numerous awards and recognition in the DECA program, Nevada Chemistry Olympiad, and Speech and Debate. She serves as the DECA Vice President, Student Council Senior Class Secretary, and Acting Historian. Emma is also an accomplished athlete, earning a varsity letter as a member of the Coronado Swim team, as well as the NIAA All-State Academic Athlete and Scholar-Athlete awards. She is active outside of school as a Trial by Peers Youth Volunteer, where she defends, represents, and advises juvenile offenders in court with the Clark County Law Foundation. Emma speaks four languages (English, Mandarin, Spanish, and French) and has started learning Arabic. She received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, and has also been accepted at UC Berkeley. Her goal is to work at a U. S. embassy.
Sierra Vista High School
As a freshman and sophomore, Julia struggled with peer pressure and chose to surround herself with peers who were making poor decisions regarding their academics and behaviors on campus. However, over the last two years the administrative staff and teachers who she had as an underclassmen have seen an incredible change in her attitude and outlook on school. She has consciously made better decisions regarding the people she associates with on a daily basis, has shifted her focus and energy on doing well in school and working, and has in turn become a mature young adult with straight A’s and B’s and no behavior concerns. Julia has demonstrated grit and fortitude over the last couple of years through facing some life obstacles both in and outside of school. She consistently demonstrates respect and professionalism with the teachers and staff, is always willing to help out and comfort her peers in need, and has become an extremely self-sufficient, responsible young adult. She has earned the trust of her teachers and administration and is now a student and office aide, demonstrating she is reliable and dependable. Julia is one of the kindest students I know. She is calm and quiet but impactful on campus from her ability to support others to her willingness to help make the campus a better place. She is well-deserving of this award!
Bonanza High School
Marco Martinez is Bonanza High Schools’s Star Graduate. He is one of the most hardworking and driven students to ever walk the halls at Bonanza HS. He knows how to work through stressful situations and get the job done, whether it’s in the classroom or in the gym. He works well with his peers and exemplifies leadership. He has been an active member of our student council for four years and was chosen by the Nevada Association of Student Councils to represent Bonanza as a junior counselor in their conferences. He was a junior counselor for the mid-level, southern zone, and most recently the state conference. He is an excellent representation of a leader at Bonanza. Teacher Lindsay Powers says, “He represents growth more than anyone” and teacher Jalil Briley states “This young man is the hardest worker on campus. When facing adversity, doing it with a smile comes second nature to Marco.” We are so proud of Marco Martinez and know there is no limit to his growth and achievement in future endeavors.
Shadow Ridge High School
Hailey Morrow is truly a star in all that she does. Hailey is the type of student that makes the school a better place. She is an active leader in the student council who is constantly leading school-wide campaigns for spirit and engagement. If something is happening at Shadow Ridge, it is a safe bet that Hailey had a hand in it. Hailey has been a star in the classroom, earning straight A’s and being near the top of her class. Every teacher is excited to have Hailey on their roster. Hailey has been a star on the athletic field as well. She has excelled in multiple varsity sports while at Shadow Ridge. She has certainly made her mark on the softball field. Because of her skill and commitment to the sport, she has been awarded a scholarship to continue her softball career at BYU.
Desert Rose High School
Hoc Nguyen is an exemplary student and person. He demonstrates leadership, work ethic, and self-advocacy. From the start of his enrollment at Desert Rose, he expressed his aspirations to go to college and study construction management; he earned a summer internship for construction management as well. Hoc is insightful and has a desire to seek improvement in his life and in his community. Hoc independently developed a plan to strengthen the school community, and presented it to our school as a gift before his graduation.
Hoc wanted to ensure he had all the right classes, and asked many questions about his classwork and how to improve his understanding of the material. He is always willing to ask “why” and reflects on teacher feedback to improve himself as a student. Desert Rose High School knows that Hoc will go on to accomplish anything he sets his mind to, and we are proud to call him our Star Graduate.
Cheyenne High School
Giovanni Nunez of Cheyenne High School is a dependable, hard-working, team player who is exemplary in every way. Giovanni’s loved ones encouraged him to focus and succeed in the things he could control, like his grades and performance in school. Giovanni began to celebrate his accomplishments and enjoy his journey towards success. Giovanni excelled in his classes and is a candidate to be valedictorian for Cheyenne’s Class of 2022. During his time at Cheyenne, Giovanni participated on the swim team and was the #1 player for the tennis team receiving a letter and two plaques for Most Valuable Player and Academic Excellence. He is a part of the chess club and improv club. Giovanni is also a part of the J4NG career association as treasurer, managing finances and displaying leadership skills. Giovanni is planning to attend UNLV and major in psychology. His philosophy in life is to provide support for others. Congratulations to Star Graduate Giovanni Nunez of Cheyenne High School.
Desert Rose Adult Ed
Laron O’Quinn is a Star Graduate for the 2021-22 school year for Desert Rose Adult Ed. Laron started with Desert Rose in the 2017-18 school year with the purpose of finishing her high school diploma as well as fully understanding all of the material. Laron exemplifies all areas of our school’s RISE motto by being respectful to all, having the utmost integrity in her studies, being self-aware in advocating for herself, and being an all-around excellent student! She diligently worked through the pandemic with a “can do” attitude. Laron completed her high school diploma in November 2021 and earned an NSHE Core GPA of 3.417. Her resilience in reaching her educational goal is amazing! Congratulations Laron O’Quinn!
West Preparatory Academy
Matthew Pama has proven to be a student destined for higher education and leadership. The qualities of hard work, ambition, consistency, and dedication are ever-present in his character. Matthew is one of the most intelligent and genuinely respectful students at West Prep. He is currently ranked number 1 out of 80 students at West Prep Academy High School. His GPA is 4.555. He works in the school cafeteria and in the past has assisted the school technology specialist around campus helping teachers with technology needs. Matthew enjoys helping everyone he meets. He is patient, thorough, intelligent, creative, trustworthy, punctual and strives to major in Computer Engineering in order to become a computer technician that will help anyone fix whatever is broken.
Sunrise Mountain High School
Kevin Pareja is one of our best and brightest students here at Sunrise Mountain High School. He is the valedictorian candidate, with a weighted GPA of 5.177. He has taken AP and Honors courses all four years of his time in high school. During Kevin’s time at SMHS, he has been an active member of the school’s Ballet Folklorico dance team, National Honor Society, SkillsUSA, Student Organization of Latinos, and SMHS student council, and is currently the SMHS Student Body President. Kevin is also on the SMHS men’s volleyball and cross country teams. Outside of school, Kevin works with his mom and is involved with Trio/Upward Bound and Groupo Folklorico Libertad. Kevin has been accepted into several universities for next year, including MIT, UCSD, and UNM. He shared that his success stems from the support of his mom and the example of his brother. He stated that he loves the staff and faculty at Sunrise Mountain, and appreciates their honesty and relatability. Kevin would like to attend MIT and major in computer science and engineering with an emphasis on aerospace engineering, with a goal of working for NASA.
Centennial High School
Brenden is an amazing hard-working student who has overcome so much to get to graduation. He is currently in remission from a serious bout with cancer and has still managed to complete his studies. Brenden, like many others, struggled during the Covid quarantine but has since worked hard to earn all the credits he needs to graduate. Additionally, he is a member of our nationally-ranked Junior ROTC program and just performed in nationals in Pensacola, Florida. He is an exceptional young man and we are proud to call him a Bulldog.
Camila Pirela Leon
Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts
Camila came to Del Sol Academy to pursue dance after leaving a difficult situation in her home country of Venezuela. She started school with us in the middle of her 9th grade year with limited English. This was a struggle for her because she had to work even harder to do well in her courses all while learning the language and culture of a new country. Despite this obstacle, Camila has thrived and excelled in all of her courses.
In addition to Camila’s outstanding academic performance, she is empathetic, a natural born leader, and is determined to succeed. She has been a key component of Del Sol’s dance magnet program, Dance Company, and participated on the varsity cheer team. In addition to her after school commitments at Del Sol, Camila also participates in dance companies within the community. She is committed to continuing to develop her talents in dance and would like to help the Latin community as she recognizes that resources and opportunities to grow and develop talent are very limited. She is an amazing young lady that has worked tirelessly to pursue her dreams.
Foothill High School
Ben Pirincci is Foothill’s Star Grad for 2021-2022 school year. Ben is from an immigrant family and will be the first to graduate high school. He is intuitive, dedicated, and focused on his continuous pursuit of learning. He is passionate about reading, writing, and creative expression. Ben has achieved an outstanding 4.8 GPA by taking ten AP courses in a breadth of subjects including AP Capstone, AP Chemistry, and AP Psychology. He has been a leader in sports and clubs and is the current Key Club President. Despite an extremely difficult high school career, he has been able to overcome adversities and is on his way to a bright future. We proudly recognize Ben both for his ability to overcome his obstacles and outstanding academic accomplishments.
CSN High School
Kira has become one of those students who seem integral to the basic functioning of our school. As an invaluable member of our Student Council, she has an incredibly positive effect on our overall school climate. Her positivity, integrity, and dependability shine through everything she does and she is simply going to be irreplaceable.
Las Vegas High School
Las Vegas High School’s 2022 Star Graduate is Kennedie Ray. Kennedie is a Valedictorian candidate and a school leader. She has been a member of LVHS Key Club, a varsity athlete, and is a current member of the Las Vegas High School Student Council. She is currently a representative in the student council and captain of the Flag Football and Swim teams. During her underclassmen years, the family lost their home due to a fire. Kennedie continued to excel in the face of adversity by focusing on school to secure her status as valedictorian. Kennedie has been accepted to Brigham Young University Provo where she will study Neuroscience. We look forward to learning about all of Kennedie’s future successes and we hope she remembers, “Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat!”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word student as a learner or scholar. Karissma Rodriguez encapsulates the definition of a student. Her thirst for knowledge is only outmatched by her desire to excel in all that she does. Karissma has overcome a great deal, especially over the past two years, yet through all of that, and the pandemic she has maintained a 4.5 GPA. Her determination and drive to graduate with her Associate’s degree ten days before she receives her high school diploma is unparalleled. In order to accomplish this goal, she is presently enrolled in 23 credit hours at CSN while concurrently taking her high school classes and working full time. She is E-board Treasurer and has helped our student council fundraise thousands of dollars this school year. She was class leader for Metro’s Explorer’s Program, and upon graduation, she plans on working for Metro until she is 21 when she can enter the Police Academy. Her ultimate goal is to become a Narcotics Detective and eventually work for Interpol. On a personal level, Karissma is her namesake. She is extremely charismatic, kind, and caring. Her resiliency is to be admired as is her strength and determination.
Mission HIgh School
Giuseppe Russo is our Star Graduate this year. This young man came to us in August 2020, after spending time in treatment where he worked hard to learn how to manage the challenges that contributed to his substance use. Giuseppe has been honest with where he was and what he could handle. He admitted when navigating through rough times and accepted support, even when he would rather have been left alone. Giuseppe has continued to work with his therapist and school team to build upon the strategies and tools that he learned. Giuseppe has struggled with anxiety throughout his life and the struggle didn’t end when he arrived at Mission High School, but he persevered and pushed through to where he is today. Today, Giuseppe has over two years of clean time! He is a diligent and conscientious student that leads by example on campus, and is adored by his peers and staff! Giuseppe’s quick wit, sense of humor, and dedication to his recovery makes him the perfect candidate for Mission High School’s 2022 Star Graduate! Congratulations, G!
Juan Sanchez Canelles
Veterans Tribute Career & Technical Academy
Juan is always working to do better than he did yesterday, competing only against himself. He participates in sports, holds down part-time work, and has earned every single achievement students at our school can earn, including perfect attendance, academic letters, and Student of the Month in several subjects. Juan sees problems and works to find a solution; he never makes excuses or gives up. Juan will be attending Brown University in the fall! Congratulations Juan, Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy’s 2022 Star Graduate!
Chaparral High School
Chaparral High School has been fortunate to have Nigel Sherfield as an exemplary student for 4 years. Nigel is an honor student with a weighted GPA of 4.1 and ranks in the top 40 of his class. He is intelligent, hard working, respectful, and humble. He is dependable and takes pride in his work. His personality inspires others to do their best.
Nigel has also been a valuable member of Chaparral’s basketball teams for the past 4 years. His basketball coach, Christopher Sanders, has witnessed Nigel’s strong work ethic. Coach Sanders was most impressed by how Nigel developed into a role model for the younger players and worked well with all of his teammates.
Chaparral High School has no doubt that Nigel will be successful as he moves forward in life due to his excellent leadership skills and winning personality.
Southwest Career & Technical Academy
Southwest CTA is proud to honor Ruth Shiferaw as our 2022 STAR GRAD. Not only is Ruth an exemplary student, boasting 5.096 weighted GPA, but she is also a compassionate leader among her peers. During her time at SWCTA, Ruth participated in the Black Student Union (BSU) and Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA), where she is currently serving as the secretary. She was inducted into the SW Tech chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) in her 10th-grade year and has devoted countless hours to bettering our valley through her community service. In her spare time, Ruth works a part-time job, loves reading and music. She is close with her family and is proud to say she is the first one to go to college.
Ruth wants to study dentistry but is still undecided on which college she will attend in the fall. The good news is she has many acceptances to choose from! Congratulations Ruth Shiferaw, SWCTA Class of 2022!
Desert Pines High School
Hailey Silva has demonstrated the Desert Pines High School Core Values, including perseverance, kindness, determination, and community during her tenure at Desert Pines High School. She has also been thriving in our magnet Culinary program over the past 4 years. Hailey was selected as a QuestBridge Scholar and accepted into Northwestern University, which was a highly competitive process. Hailey will be majoring in BioChemistry and plans to become a Dietician. Additionally, Hailey has served as our DPHS Theater President since the 2020-2021 school year and served as President of National Honors Society for the 2021-2022 school year. Hailey is a phenomenal student and we are so proud of her accomplishments!
Basic High School
We would like to recognize Soleil Tarver as our Star Graduate.
Understanding exactly who she is, and having the strength to overcome any challenges, has shaped Soleil into the “Great” person she is today. Earning nothing less than an A throughout high school, Soleil is on track to graduate with the third-highest GPA in her class in addition to being an IB Diploma candidate. She has achieved everything she has set out to achieve at this point, and looks forward to pursuing more of her dreams and goals with an excellent college education so she can increase her reach to make an even greater impact on our community and beyond.
Soleil is one of 1,674 Finalists to receive a full four-year scholarship to The University of Notre Dame through the Questbridge National College Match!
Canyon Springs High School
Vanessa Taylor is top 5 of her class and contending for Valedictorian (5.1 GPA). She is Mock Trial Club Co-President and has competed all 4 years of high school. Vanessa’s leadership shows well in one-on-one situations, where more skill is required to be a leader. During Mock Trial competition prep this year, she was constantly looking for freshmen who needed guidance. She was awarded Best Junior Law Magnet student. Vanessa will compete in the National We The People finals. Her unit was awarded Best Traditional Unit in regionals. She is also an active Key Club member serving as the Vice President. Lastly, she also served as Co-Captain of the Speech and Debate Team.
Vanessa was one of only 25 students nationally to be selected as a participant in the Usher Legal Spark Academy. That honor allows her to participate in that group throughout the summer.
Vanessa is a truly generous and loyal person. She supports classmates when they go through challenging personal circumstances. Vanessa tackled all of the challenges of high school and has grown as a person with every step.
Spring Valley High School
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Tokarski exemplifies resilience, drive, and excellence. After experiencing several adversities growing up, Lizzy decided to work extra hard to accomplish her dreams, passions, and to make a difference in the world. This work has led her to excel in honors, AP, and dual credit course work…earning a 4.791 weighted GPA. On top of high-level coursework, she is completing two CTE strands: Teaching and Training and Theater Tech. She is an FCCLA state vice president, state and national medalist at FCCLA conferences, assistant stage manager for school theater productions, involved in extracurriculars such as co-founding the H.E.R. club, girls basketball team manager freshman year, and Youth Services volunteer at local libraries. Along with all of the hard work and academic achievement, Lizzy is empathetic and kind. She makes everyone feel welcome, supported, and heard. Spring Valley couldn’t be more proud of her!
Global Community High School
Tam is an exemplary model student from Global. Arriving in the USA 2 years ago, Tam entered high school in quarantine distance education. Although unfamiliar with the traditions of US high schools, Tam quickly adapted to the expectations of learning via Google Meet and showcased his English language acquisition skills with proficiency. Now a future student at UNLV, Tam will graduate as 5th in the class and has been recognized each quarter as Student of the Quarter, Straight As, and Perfect Attendance. Accepted at UNLV as a biochem major, Tam embodies the spirit of newcomer students.
Rocky Van Blaricom III
Sandy Valley Schools
Rocky is an extremely ambitious student who is eager to pursue a career in aerospace engineering where he hopes to use his creativity and intelligence to make advancements in space technology. He will be helping to make this dream come true by attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the fall, where he has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship. Rocky has been such a positive part of Sandy Valley schools and the Sandy Valley community. He has been an active member of student council, the cross country, basketball and baseball teams, and was chosen by school administration to be the student representative on the School Organizational Team. In addition, Rocky has volunteered for many events in his community and in his free time, taught himself how to Code, 3D model and print working rockets, map parts of the night sky through photography, and learn how to refurbish and rebuild automobile and ATV components. Amazingly, he has done all of these things while maintaining a high GPA in honors, AP and dual college credit classes. The Sandy Valley School community is extremely proud of Rocky. We have no doubt that he will be successful in whatever he chooses to pursue.
Eldorado High School
Omaree Van Dyke has been a student at Eldorado High School for the past four years and has demonstrated a brilliant burst of personality since day one. Omaree has excelled in motivating others to care about Eldorado. He has been a leading light in our Sundevil Broadcast Network that he co-founded with one of our teachers who became his mentor. During our COVID year, Sundevil Broadcast Network helped many students feel connected to the school. There is not a student who walks the halls of Eldorado who does not know Omaree. He has a smile for everyone and he is always in the mood to volunteer. Like many of our students, Omaree has overcome family and financial challenges to graduate. This year Omaree made us all proud in the face of an unbelievable tragedy when we lost to illness the faculty member who created Sundevil Broadcast Network with Omaree. This required Omaree to step up in the midst of his grief to keep the other students focused on covering the tributes to his late mentor as well as keep reporting the other activities at the school. No student but Omaree could have done this. When the school needs a PSA, Omaree reads it. When the school needs someone to make morning announcements, it is Omaree. It will be hard to imagine Eldorado next year without its most famous student.
Moapa Valley High School
Moapa Valley High School is pleased to introduce Samuel P. Wheeler. Sam is currently 11th in his class and is by all accounts an asset to MVHS. He fills his schedule with advanced courses and still finds time to challenge himself in other avenues. Sam has always been a hard worker, mastering his first job at age seven. He has experience working in many fields, finally ending with his own entrepreneurship in landscape maintenance. There was even a time that Sam worked alongside the town mortician and states that it taught him true customer service in the necessity of delicacy and sympathy. He has always been willing to give of his time generously to the community whether he is picking up a shovel or helping decorate for the neighbors wedding. Through his membership at church and his love for community, Sam has been there. In 2014 Moapa suffered devastating floods and Sam could be found helping those who suddenly became homeless. Unlike many students who volunteer for service to improve their chances of gaining admission for their post-secondary endeavors, Sam donates his time because he has a compassionate heart and is always willing to help others. MVHS recognizes Samuel Wheeler as its STAR GRADUATE!
It is with incredible Hawk Pride that Northwest Career and Technical Academy recognizes Kayla Wolf as a STAR student. Ms. Wolf balances a full-time job, family responsibilities, National Honor Society service, and the demands of a High Honors schedule. She will be graduating with the College and Career Diploma, the CTE Seal, the Seal of Biliteracy, and straight As throughout high school with a 5.2 GPA. The skills Ms. Wolf acquired as an Engineering & Design major have led to Utah Tech University offering her a full-ride scholarship, and we know that she has big things to come!