As the summer gets closer, and the school year comes to a close, Hayden High School’s class of 2022 prepares to step into their future, as they walk across the stage and receive their high school diplomas. Hayden High School’s graduation is set for May 27. Before that life-changing day, the class of 2022’s salutatorian and valedictorian had a chance to reflect on their time in high school.
This year’s Salutatorian will be Aiyana Gonzales, a student athlete who played volleyball, softball and basketball. Aiyana is a student council member, President of National Honor Society, President of the Athletic Club, and was the 2022 winter royalty. Reflecting on her high school experience Aiyana commented, “A memory that will always stay with me is, each year’s lock-in at school, with either my volleyball team or basketball team, those were some of the best nights. We would just laugh, sing, and have fun throughout the school. These memories were made with some of the best people. One thing I will miss is the bonds I created with most of my teammates from freshman year to now, being able to see everyone grow as a person and an athlete. Also I’ll miss the bonds I created with the teachers and staff, they always gave guidance when needed and helped me along the way.”
Aiyana will be continuing her academic career in the fall at New Mexico State University, where she plans to study psychology with a minor in forensics, so she can obtain a doctorate and become a forensic psychologist.
“My advice is to just work hard towards your goals because the hard work will pay off in the end, no matter the setbacks, the triumphs, the hate, the love, it will all lead to something better,” Aiyana commented for the upcoming freshman, “Take me for example, never would I have ever thought I was actually going to be able to attend college out of state and do what I want to do in life and here I am.”
The class of 2022’s Valedictorian is Amariz Ochoa. Amariz has accomplished many things during high school, such as, winning first in the Gila County Science Fair, receiving the 4.0 National Honor Society Medal, receiving the Chuco Waddell Memorial Plaque, the outstanding female athlete trophy, and being invited to join the National Society of High School Scholars. She competed as a student athlete in basketball, volleyball, and softball.
“Some of my best memories were with my class at times when we would just be laughing so hard we’d cry. However my favorite memory from High School is the feeling I had when we first beat Ray, and every time after that,” Amariz commented looking back, “I’ll miss the feeling of adrenaline and the hype of beating your number one rival. I’m also going to miss my crazy class mates and my team.”
After graduation, Amariz will attend Northern Arizona University, with plans to peruse a double major in Environmental Engineering and Spanish, with a minor in Forestry. If she gets the opportunity, Amariz would like to travel to Spain for an internship. She would like to help out the Earth as much as possible, and plans to become an environmental influencer, pulling more people into the Save the Earth Movement.
“My advice for those starting high school is to not change for anyone but yourself. If you don’t
want to do it, don’t. If you want to, be safe, but never go out of your way to try and change and fit what
others want you to be, because trust me, you’re gonna find friends that will accept the real you. No change needed, and once last thing, don’t be afraid to express yourself,” concluded Amariz.