Jonah Dodd, Carlos Torres, Morgan Golden, Amberlee Ketten, Dalton Yannikos and Ciarra Valladon
Six seniors (four from Carson High School and two from Pioneer High School) who have shown exceptional academic prowess were announced as valedictorians and salutatorians on Thursday in a Carson City School District news release.
The valedictorian and salutatorian honors represent the students who have earned the highest and second highest ranks, respectively, among their graduating class.
Carson High School Valedictorian:
Jonah Dodd has always dreamed big, and he’s never taken no for an answer. He has never settled, never accepted when someone tried to place limitations on him. He is determined and works hard. These qualities have certainly aided in his success. If you get to know Jonah, you also learn that he is quirky, funny and passionate. He has a fascination with space, the environment and financial topics. He sets goals and achieves them. He has a contagious smile and a huge heart. He will be attending University of Chicago this fall, studying economics. He dreams of making a difference in this world, and there is no doubt that he will.
Carson High School Salutatorian:
Carlos Torres has been at the top of his class all four years at CHS. He is a high achieving student who has contributed greatly to the Carson High School community by participating in CHS Swim Team, FBLA Club and National Honors Society. He is a first-generation college student following in the footsteps of his older sister, Karla a 2019 CHS graduate, who attends USC. Carlos will be attending Yale in the fall and has made CHS very proud.
Carson High School JumpStart Valedictorian:
Morgan Golden is a first-generation college student who grew up in the Carson City School District GATE program. She will attend the highly selective University of Washington in the fall to major in aerospace engineering. Raised by a hardworking single mother, Holly, who worked long hours in the restaurant business, Morgan was encouraged early on to focus on her studies and to achieve great things through her education.
“My mom is the reason that I am here,” Morgan said. “She has sacrificed everything for my brother and I, working extra hours, making sure we had everything we needed to be successful in school.”
She has thrived in the Carson High School WNC JumpStart program and spends all of her extra time outdoors camping and hiking. She is currently completing a two-year internship with Butcher Boy in Reno where she learned the details of running a small business with the hopes that one day, she could run a corporation utilizing the skills she has gained in this experience. Her little brother is one of her major inspirations, and she hopes that the work she has done will benefit her entire family in the future.
Carson High School JumpStart Salutatorian:
Amberlee Ketten was born and raised in Carson City. She is the youngest of four with three older brothers, who of which are CHS and WNC Alumni. She plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall to study civil engineering.
“I have loved my experience, and I am looking forward to the future,” she said of her time in the CHS/WNC JumpStart Program.
Pioneer High School Valedictorian:
Dalton Yannikos earned the status of Valedictorian at Pioneer High School for the class of 2021 and has worked on changing a learning challenge into a life benefit. With a determination to prove the doubters wrong, and a focus on hard work, Dalton has thrived at Pioneer and Western Nevada College. Dalton credits his success to the teachers that believed in his abilities and his family that stuck with him through tough times. Though he says there is always room for improvement, he would like to thank his family for pushing him to be his best.
He earned his Associate of Arts degree at WNC and is the recipient of Millennium, Aramark, and Keller Scholarships. As a second-year student at Pioneer in the Jumpstart program, Dalton is planning on attending the University of Nevada Reno to pursue a Ph.D. in criminology. He plans to join the police force before he joins the Federal Bauru of Investigation to become a profiler. Dalton is thankful for Pioneer for offering a unique program to help get him closer to educational goals.
“Pioneer High School has helped me achieve my goals by offering me the wonderful opportunity of being part of the Jumpstart program,” Dalton said.
Pioneer High School Salutatorian:
Ciarra ValladonCiarra Valladon also participated in the Jump Start program, earned her Associate of Arts Degree from WNC and is the recipient of the Millennium, Rotary and Chartwell Scholarships. Ciarra is planning to study radiology at UNR in the fall.