Madellyn Christie and Joseph Jamieson have worked toward graduation day for the last four-years of their high school careers.
The two will represent the graduating class with Christie as valedictorian and Jamieson as salutatorian as they will speak during the Churchill County High School graduation ceremony tonight at 7 p.m. at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Christie is graduating at the top of a class of 226 students with a grade point average (GPA) of 5.35 and Jamieson second with a GPA of 5.1225.
“I’m excited to be the valedictorian,” Christie said. “This is something that I’ve worked so hard for and I’m glad to see my hard work has paid off. I’m thrilled. I can’t say I was shocked, though, because I knew where my grades were and what my transcript said.”
There will be no rest for these two once they graduate. Christie was accepted into UCLA and will major in statistics, and Jamieson will attend Brigham Young University where he will major in mathematics.
“I want to become a biostatistician,” Christie said.
A biostatistician applies statistics to biology, she said. It encompasses design of biological experiments, especially in medicine; the collection, summarization, and analysis of data from those experiments; and the interpretation of, and inference from, the results.
“I wanted to become a doctor, but my mother told me I have horrible beside manors,” Christie said. “So with this career path, I’m still able to work in the medical field without having to interact with patients. My high school teacher, Mr. (Erick) Gremlich, actually told me about biostatistics,(and) he knows it includes my two favorite things, science and math.”
Christie has been a long time enthusiasts of dance and has performed in several recitals, plays and musicals.
“I have loved dance every since I was little,” Christie said. “My mom was a dance instructor so me and my sisters have always had an appreciation for it. I was asked to dance for a ballet company but early on I realized academics was where the money is at so I focused more on my studies.”
Christie said she enjoys ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and ballroom style dances. Christie and her father, James, competed in this years Dancing with the Stars.
Christie was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has lived in Fallon for two years. Her father is a Navy pilot and her mother, Jennifer, taught theater at Oasis Academy.
She has two sister, Brynne, who will be a junior next year, and Keira, who is in middle school.
Jamieson said BYU has always been the school at the top of his list to attend.
“BYU has always been my top pick for schools,” Jamieson said. “I joked that I wanted to attend Yale, but when it came down to it, I wanted to go to a good church school and that’s BYU.”
Jamieson plans to attend BYU for a year before going on a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I’ve wanted to go on a mission for awhile now but I feel I have some growing up to do first, that’s the reason for attending school for a year and then taking a break,” he said. “I need to grow up in order to serve the Lord better and the mission will allow that. Once I finish my mission, I plan on returning to BYU to complete the rest of my degree.”
Mathematics and learning has been an enjoyment for Jamieson since he was little. He said he has always been one to follow the rules and find excitement in learning new things.
“I have a desire to learn and do what needs to be done,” Jamieson said. “Math is fun for me. Math is logic and I’m a logical person, so being able to work my way through something to find the solution is rewarding.”
Jamieson said the ranking for valedictorian did not surprise him because he and Christie compared their transcripts a week prior to getting the official phone call.
“My parents (Gary and Kathy) were very proud of me even though I didn’t get No. 1 in my class,” he said.
Jamieson was born and raised in Fallon. He said just about all of his family are either teachers or dairy farmers. He has two older sister, Sarah and Becky, and two younger brothers, Thomas and Ben.