This year the Ray High School class of 2022 will have three valedictorians and one salutatorian. These graduates shared a their future plans and wishes for their community. Their high school careers were dramatically disrupted due to COVID-19, an experience which each of them felt will help them and their peers to be more resilient and comfortable to handle the unpredictable changes that they know they will face in life. They also all shared that their community was important to them.
Valedictorian Brina Morales is the daughter of Joe Morales and Patricia Morales. Her grandparents are Joe Morales and Jennie Morales along with Joseph Alvarado III and Aurelia Hise. She has two siblings Joseph Morales and Christoper Alvarado.
During high school she played Volleyball, track, basketball, band and was a member of Science Club, National Honor Society, Student Council and yearbook. After high school she plans to attend Northern Arizona University to major in Dental Hygiene; she plans to become a dental hygienist and she is looking forward to owning her own home and property as she grows into adulthood. She is looking forward to meeting new people and learning new things.
She will miss her friends, teachers, the band and driving home from school with her brother. She will not miss the stench of Mr. Cude’s classroom.
Brina lives in Dudleyville and her wish for her community, looking forward 10 years is that it will grow and perhaps hold more community events. “The tight knit relationships of my community will make me want to return as well as the beautiful view of the stars,” she said.
“Big extra thanks to my 2022 4×1 relay team: Mia, Bella and Ana. There’s not enough “thank yous” in the world to describe how grateful I am to have ran on a team with you three. Thank you for an amazing senior season,” explained Brina.
Valedictorian Tracon Naranjo is the son of Stephen and Sarah Naranjo. Throughout his high school career, he was a student athlete and scholar. He played Football (2 Years), Basketball (4 Years) and Baseball (4 years). He also participated in Student Council (4 years) National Honors Society (3 Years) and Science Club (4 years). Tracon is going to miss playing sports and participating in school activities, he is not going to miss starting school at 7:40 in the morning.
After graduation he will be attending Northern Arizona University to pursue a degree in Fitness Wellness/Physical Therapy. As he embarks on this new journey, he is most excited to see and live in the world on his own and meet new people.
Looking forward 10 years from now, he visions himself being a physical therapist and having his own practice specializing in athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. His hope for his community in the future is that there is more health care services provided in town. He would like to eventually open his own physical therapy practice so he can help people in his community.
“I would like to thank my parents for all they have done for me,” he stated.
Valedictorian Jack Warren, is the son of Scott and Lisa Warren. His siblings are Noah, Josiah, Luke, Kaia, Michael, Asher and Zhenya. His sister Kaia is also a valedictorian in the class of 2022.
During his high school career he played baseball all four years of school, basketball for three years and football for one season. He has served as the Senior Class President and was continually involved in the Student Council and was a member of the National Honor Society. He is going to miss playing baseball with his friends and he will not miss math class.
He will be attending Northern Arizona University and will major in Environmental Sustainability and while he has not chosen an exact career path, he would like to work in that field. He is determined to develop his career in sustainability and he hopes to have a family of his own as he grows into adulthood. “I am looking forward to enjoying the freedom of living on my own and the challenges that will come with it,” he stated.
When asked what he would like to see in 10 years for his community, “I would like to see my community grow and expand. I want to see the people take pride and love this town. If people focus on creating and developing new things in town while keeping the good things intact, I would definitely return,” he said.
Valedictorian Kaia Warren: she is the daughter of Scott and Lisa Warren. Her siblings are Noah, Luke, Zhenya, Michael, Jack, Josiah and Asher. Her brother Jack is also a class of 2022 Valedictorian.
After high school, she will be missing homecoming week, but will not miss the long daily bus rides to Globe. Kaia has been an active student at Ray High; she was a cheerleader and a member of the Student Council, National Honor Society, Junior Chamber and Yearbook.
She will be attending Northern Arizona University to pursue a bachelors degree in Dental Hygiene. She would like to specialize as a pediatric dental hygienist and once she has her degree she would also like to volunteer when she can as a hygienist.
“I am looking forward to being out in the world on my own and learning more about myself,” she said.
“I hope that in the future the town continues to put on community events because that is what brings us all together,” she added.
Her special thanks: “I would like to thank my family for their constant love and support and my friends for always making me laugh.”
Salutatorian Mikenna Seller is the daughter of Don and Tonya Seller. Her siblings are Justin Seller, Mikayla Carpenter and Jordynn Seller. During high school she has been actively involved in Cheer, Student Council, Junior Chamber, National Honor Society and Yearbook.
“I am going to miss how close knit this community is and I will miss my daily afterschool Buzzy’s drink.” Her hope is that the kids in town will continue to have the experiences she had growing up in a “loving and caring small town.” She will not miss the “sweet glow of florescent lighting at 7:30 in the morning,” she said.
She will be attending Northern Arizona University in the fall. She will be studying communication sciences and disorders, which will help her pursue a career as a speech language pathologist. She plans to focus on speech therapy in the pediatric field. She is excited to create new memories in a big town with her friends.
“I would like thank my family for always being there for me, my friends for always making me smile, and Kaia for passing me through every single one of my math classes,” she said.