This year, Carson High School will celebrate not two but five students at the top of the 2018 graduating class.
This year, the school had two Valedictorians and one Salutatorian along with a Valedictorian and Salutatorian from their Jumpstart program.
Jessica Camelon and Nicole Van Geel were named Valedictorian, Hannah Golik was named Salutatorian.
“I am extremely proud to be the top of my class because there are so many bright and hardworking students who have been with me the four years of high school,” said Van Geel. “I proved to myself that challenging myself always is rewarding, sometimes in ways I would have never expected.”
This year, Alexa Haight was named Jumpstart Valedictorian and Alexys Solorio was named the Jumpstart Salutatorian.
“It feels surreal to be at the top of my class and I am so blessed with everyone that helped me get to this point,” said Haight.
All five women obtained a weighted grade point average above a 5.0 for their high school careers.
“It feels rewarding to be recognized for my hard work in school,” Golik said. “I’ve always valued my education and pushed myself to do my best in school and I’m grateful to lead my class along with the Valedictorians.”
This year, the school also included the students in the Jumpstart program as a part of the class rankings. The two were separated because the Jumpstart students received more weight in their final grades due to the dual credits with Western Nevada College.
For some, the ranking isn’t a complete surprise.
“This is something I knew was attainable from the first year as a freshman after taking an honors class most students could not get into,” said Camelon. “Being in the top of my class wasn’t necessarily a surprise to me but it was a lot of work and very stressful trying to maintain A’s in my classes. But being top of my class means I was able to accomplish my goals in high school and prove to myself that I can complete my goals in the future.”
For Solorio, being the Salutatorian wasn’t something she expected to achieve.
“Being so high in class is very surreal for me,” Solorio said. “I never would have thought I would be Salutatorian and even top 20 was a shock. It is really a great feeling to know the effort and commitment I have put in the last four years is paying off.”
The women were involved in a variety of activities over their four years in addition to excelling in their studies.
Van Geel qualified for state in swimming, participated in National Honor Society, danced at the Western Nevada Performing Arts Center and played the violin.
Camelon participated in Link Crew, National Honor Society, HOSA, wind ensemble, marching band, danced at the Western Nevada Performing Arts Center and was on the varsity swim team. She also accumulated the largest total money in scholarships for the class of 2018, with $355,000.
“I was very busy but I never regretted any of it,” Camelon said. “The many activities I was in, especially the band program, made me enjoy coming to school every day. All the hard work and long nights never seemed overwhelming when I would get to spend my time with friends doing things we all enjoyed.”
Golik participated in National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, HOSA and soccer, along with winning a number of scholarships including the Barbara James Service Award, Albert and Francis Seeliger Scholarship and was a semifinalist in the national Presidential Scholar program.
Haight participated in National Honor Society, Link Crew, Western Nevada Musical Theatre, Drama Club in which she was vice president, the Carson High Theatre Arts Competition Team, and manager for the JV girls basketball team. She also was awarded a number of scholarships including the Soroptismist International of Carson City Girl of the Month, National Honor Society scholarship and more.
Solorio was on the varsity cheer team, National Honor Society, the Jumpstart program and a variety of volunteer work.
For the women, the lessons learned in high school extended beyond the classroom.
“I would describe my high school career as an eye opening experience,” Van Geel said. “I learned so much, I was given numerous amazing opportunities and I made great relationships with many of my classmates.”
All but Haight will be attending University of Nevada Reno in the fall, Haight will be attending the American Musical Theatre in New York City. Camelon will be studying molecular microbiology and immunology; Van Geel will be studying computer science; Golik will be studying biochemistry and molecular biology; Solorio will be studying psychology.
“High school has truly been awesome but I am beyond excited for the next chapter,” Golik said.