Paolo Narag and Garrett Kalt have worked toward graduation day for the last four years both academically and athletically at Churchill County High School.
The two will represent the graduating class with Narag as the valedictorian and Kalt as the salutatorian as both students will speak during the CCHS graduation ceremony tonight at 7 p.m. at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Narag is graduating at the top of a class of 234 students with a grade point average of 5.4, which is believed to be the highest in CCHS history. Kalt is graduating second with a GPA of 5.2.
“I’m excited to be the valedictorian,” Narag said. “This is something that I’ve worked so hard for since my freshman year, and I’m glad to see my hard work wasn’t for nothing. I’m thrilled.”
There will be no rest for these two once they graduate. Narag was accepted into the University of Nevada, Reno’s Bachelor of Science Medical Degree program.
“In this program I’m able to finish my degree in seven years instead of eight,” Narag said. “I want to become a neurosurgeon, so I’ll major in neuro science and I want to get a minor in Spanish. My parents are both doctors so they really influenced me to become one. I saw them in the clinic and hospital helping patients and the positive impact they had on them … I want to do that.”
Narag said another reason he wants to become a neurosurgeon is to help improve the lives of others who are suffering from a disease like Alzheimer’s, which his grandmother is suffering from now.
“I see her struggle every day,” Narag said. “I would like to find some kind of cure or something to ease the side effects of Alzheimer’s disease, that’s something that I’d like to do. The brain is one of the most important organs we have.”
Narag also enjoys playing basketball and soccer.
“I started as a freshman on the soccer team which was the first time I ever played soccer,” Narag said. “But soccer was my main sport because I was pretty bad at basketball. It took me two years to get the defender spot which is what I wanted.”
Narag said he was involved in several clubs including student council, National Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America and Pep Club.
“Garrett actually brought me into student council,” Narag said. “I was really quiet and student council has helped me grow as a person and become more social, and it’s taught me how to become a leader, which is important for the medical career path I’m choosing.”
Narag held a job during high school. He said he job shadowed his parents at their clinic and acted as the receptionist for three years and then accepted an internship with the city at the Chamber of Commerce for his senior year.
Narag is originally from Pittsburg but has lived in Fallon for 11 years. His parents, Drs. Reynaldo and Lana Narag, own Narag Fallon Family Clinic. His brother, Nathaniel, is a sophomore at CCHS.
Kalt was accepted to Washington State University for the fall semester. He said he plans to major in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science.
“I’m excited about going to college and starting that new chapter in my life,” Kalt said. “I’ve known what I want to do for awhile. I’m going to start networking while I’m in college for internships since it’s important to have contacts in that industry. Hopefully, I’ll be able to work my way up to the big networks and become a host for “Good Morning America.” If that doesn’t work out I would love to go into public relations.”
Kalt was not only successful in academics but was also successful athletically. Kalt played on the varsity tennis team for four years where he served as captain his senior year.
“One of the best moments in my tennis career was when my teammates voted me MVP of the year; that was a great day,” Kalt said.
He was involved in student council and served as student body president. He also played an active role in Fallon Rotary and Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership programs.
“It’s my passion to make a difference and I feel that student council has been that medium to make that change,” Kalt said. “I believe that I have made a positive impact on CCHS and I hope to have left a legacy of compassionate leadership for everyone.”
Kalt has worked for the Fallon Theatre for almost one year and will continue to work there until he leaves for WSU in the fall.
“I have a different feeling about graduating high school and leaving to go to college everyday,” Kalt said. “I know it’s cliché to say but it really is bittersweet. It’s bittersweet because it’s going to be sad to leave the friendships that I’ve made and the town I’ve know my whole life … it’s a scary thought but I know it’ll be exciting to branch out and experience a new way of life in a new town … I’m excited for that experience.”
Kalt said he is honored to give a speech at the graduation ceremony.
“I’ve worked hard to reach my goals through out high school,” Kalt said “I feel like I did really well for myself and obtained what I set out for. I couldn’t of done it though without the support from my family who taught me that education and grades were important and the teachers who were willing to work with me.”
Kalt has lived in Fallon his entire life. His father, Alan, works as Churchill County comptroller and his mother, Kieran, works at Numa Elementary as a third-grade teacher. He has two siblings, Thaaron, who attends UNR, and Stacy, who will be a CCHS freshman.