The Superior Unified School District has named Ashley Barreras, Valedictorian, and Ariel Alonzo, Salutatorian, for the class of 2014. The faculty and staff consider these two young individuals as being the best choice for these highest academic awards. These awards are intended to recognize students who have achieved the highest performance and have taken advantage of the greatest academic challenges available to the Superior high school students.
While everyone knows that valedictorians get the honor of the good-bye speech during graduation, many may also wonder if there are other benefits to becoming valedictorian of one’s senior class. Being named valedictorian has come to symbolize one of the highest honors you can achieve academically in high school. A salutatorian is the second highest grade point average and number of credits taken. Both of these young women are excited about their future outlook and thankful to everyone that has helped them get to where they are today.
Ashley attended school in Nevada and Mesa before attending Superior.
“Ms. Villaverde was a big influence on me,” Ashley said. “Her classes have really helped me and she is fun to be around. Her motto is she prepares kids for life, in her classes.”
Ashley added, “Ms. Villaverde is flexible to let me apply for scholarships and some other things.”
Villaverde’s class is made up of participation points for culinary arts. Ashley has taken three years of her class and has completed her CTE in Culinary Arts. Ashley has also finished a marketing and geology course through the CTE.
Ashley was awarded many scholarships including The Ceasar Chavez Scholarship, a laptop from the Superior Optimist Club and, most impressively, the AZ CTE Award – only 13 students in the state of Arizona receive this award. She also received the Promise for the Future scholarship from Central Arizona College and looks forward to attending Arizona State University after graduation with her focus on Geological Sciences.
Ariel has lived in Superior all her life and said, “Coming to Superior (High School) was a great opportunity for me. It is such a close knit community and you know all your teachers and they work with you. I think they were a big help in both mine and Ashley’s successes. If they know you are struggling with something, they help you to improve your grades, help you become involved in other activities and I think that looks great on a resume. The teachers treat you like you are their daughter or son and help you succeed.”
Ariel has a younger sister who is 14 and she hopes she is a role model to her, that all the hard work does pay off. “Without my parents, Michael and Virginia Alonzo,” Ariel said, “I wouldn’t have been pushed to do what I have been doing.” Both parents have inspired her to do the best she can do.
Ariel just found out that she was the recipient of a SaddleBrooke Community Outreach scholarship (renewable for four years and worth a total of $6,000). She also has received the Ceasar Chavez Scholarship, a CAC Promise for the Future scholarship, Social Club scholarship and a laptop from the Superior Optimist Club.
Ariel has been active in volleyball, basketball and softball and participates in the FCCLA in which she will be going to Nationals in July this year. Ariel plans to attend the University of Arizona majoring in physiology. She plans to attend medical school and focus on obstetrics and gynecology.
By accomplishing what they have done in high school Ashley and Ariel have set the bar high for their future endeavors. It is easy to see why they are valedictorian and salutatorian by their outgoing nature, excitement to learn new things and obvious commitments about what they want out of life! Congratulations to both of them and we at the Superior Sun wish all the graduating class of 2014 the best for the future.