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Top academic achievers for SHS class of 2005 named

A cross country runner and a math whiz lead the Sunnyside High School class of 2005. The two have been selected as the valedictorian and salutatorian of the class of 291 seniors. The duo will be the class speakers when the class graduates Friday, June 3.

But first, the young men, Brenden Scott and Michael Alanis, along with the remaining top 5 percent of the graduating class, will be honored tonight (Monday) at the annual SHS top 5 percent banquet to be held at the Harrison Middle School cafeteria.

Joining Scott, who has a 4.2857 GPA, and Alanis, with a 4.2701 GPA, in the top 5 percent are Lizeth Chiprez, 4.2326 GPA, Chelsea Durfey, 4.1470 GPA. Marika McNerney, 4.0740 GPA, Andrea Phillips, 4.0460 GPA, Emily Jones, 3.9816 GPA, Asuncion Marquez, 3.9730 GPA, Vanessa Alvarez, 3.9538 GPA, Kevin Lick, 3.8660 GPA, Lanna Pangle, 3.8480 GPA, Alex Jetter, 3.8462 GPA, Reid Schilperoort, 3.8096 GPA, Daniel Rios, 3.7960 GPA, Amanda Myers, 3.7910 GPA, Travis Johnson, 3.7778 GPA, Mercedes Martinez, 3.7680 GPA, and Luke Schilperoort, 3.7538.

Scott is the son of Phil and Robin Scott. In addition to being a standout in varsity cross country and track, Scott has been active in Leaders in Action, National Honor Society, Key Club and FFA. He is also active in his church youth group and is a member of the Boy Scouts of America. He has volunteered his time as a Link Crew member and as a English as a second language tutor. He plans on attending Brigham Young University for a year before going on a church mission. Scott then plans to pursue a degree in computer engineering or a related computer science field.

Alanis, who is planning to attend Stanford University, has been active in MECHA and National Honor Society. He is also a member of the Knowledge Bowl team, while holding a part-time job. The son of Alejandra and Miguel Alanis, he plans to major in mechanical engineering.

"If at first I don't like it, I will take pre-med and later become a pediatrician," he said.

Chiprez, the daughter of Teresa Salazar and Pedro Chiprez, has held many leadership positions while attending Sunnyside High School. She served as president of the SADD club, was program chair for her class, as well as an Evergreen Girls State delegate. She is the founder of Ahead, a college preparatory program for high school students. She was also a Quest Scholar, sponsored by Stanford University.

In addition to organizing a community tsunami relief effort, Chiprez is a tutor at Pioneer Elementary School. In addition, she has played high school tennis for the past four years.

Chiprez said she will attend Stanford University, where she plans to double major in political sciences and human biology. She plans to seek a career in public health.

Durfey, the daughter of Ted and Pam Durfey, plans to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, majoring in political and environmental sciences. She has earned many academic and athletic awards, and served as a senate page for Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside in 2003.

In addition to her leadership honors, Durfey is active in National Honor Society, FFA, Key Club, Spanish Club, Leaders in Action and Pep Club, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and is the ASB secretary. She is also active in 4-H and the Sunnyside Rotary Swim Team, Sunnyside High School swim team, basketball and is a member of the Central Washington Hunter/Jumper Association. She also holds a pilot's license and is active in her church youth group.

McNerney is a member of National Honor Society, as well as swim team, but she admits her passion is with her church, where she is a youth group leader and on the church worship team. She plans to finish her Associate of Arts degree at a community college before transferring to a university to seek a teaching degree. She is the daughter of Roxanne and Lonnie McNerney.

Phillips, in addition to serving as the current Miss Sunnyside, is active in high school volleyball, basketball and is also a member of National Honor Society, Link Crew, Key Club, Leaders in Action Fire Squad, and is the ASB business manager. The daughter of Krystopher and Yolanda Phillips, she plans on attending Gonzaga University to pursue a degree in psychology. She is interested in pursuing a career in marriage or youth counseling.

Jones, the daughter of Rodney and Rebekah Jones, is active in National Honor Society, Link Crew, and Leaders in Actions. She is the ASB treasurer and is a member of the high school executive council. In addition, she is on the high school varsity fastpitch softball team and is a member of 4-H and her church youth group. She will be attending Central Washington University, where she will major in business and accounting.

Marquez is active in an in- house drug awareness program for fifth graders, as well as being the president of Club SADD. In addition, he is a member of National Honor Society, Leaders in Action and Link Crew. He plans to attend the University of Washington, where he plans to seek a degree in an architectural field.

Alvarez is the ASB president and has held several class offices, as well as serving as ASB manager. She is active in National Honor Society, MECHA, Spanish Club, Link Crew, Leaders in Action, and is a member of the Venture program. In addition, she is a member of the track, basketball, and volleyball teams, where she also held leadership roles. Alvarez will attend the University of Washington and hopes to double major in business management and Spanish. The daughter of Catalina Espindola and Alejandro Alvarez Jr., she also plans to attend the Robert Cromeans Academy of Cosmetology in San Diego, Calif.

Lick, the son of Tim and Emily Lick, is a member of the high school cross country and golf teams, as well as being active in National Honor Society, Knowledge Bowl and Apple Bowl. He is a USGA Junior Amateur qualifier and has participated in the PGA Junior Series. He is also a member of the Washington State Junior Golf Association and also participated in the International Junior Golf Tour. Lick has been admitted to the engineering school at San Jose State University, where he plans to earn a Master's degree.

Pangle, the daughter of Larry and Liisa Pangle, plans to attend Washington State University, where she hopes to get into the college athletic training program. Pangle plans on becoming a certified athletic trainer and to eventually work for a major league athletic corporation. She is a member of the high school varsity basketball and tennis teams, as well as being active in Pep Club, French Club, National Honor Society and Lower Valley Young Life.

Jetter, a member of the Boy Scouts of America, has earned the Order of the Arrow. In addition, his high school activities have included tennis, debate and drama. He is a member of the Venture Scouts and Lower Valley Young Life. The son of Ron and Sue Jetter, he plans on attending the Art Institute of Portland, where he plans to study game art and design. He eventually plans to travel to Japan for school or work.

Reid Schilperoort is the son of Tyler and Kris Schilperoort. He is a member of the high school varsity basketball and tennis teams. He is also a member of National Honor Society, Fire Squad and Key Club. He is also active in his church and youth group. In addition, he is a member of the NHRA. Schilperoort plans on attending Washington State University and wants to major in mechanical engineering, business or education.

Rios, the son of Manuel Rios and Sylvia Rodriguez, plans on attending the University of Washington, where he hopes to major in pre-medicine. He is a member of the Fire Squad.

Myers hopes to attend the University of Portland as a nursing major with a minor in music. She wants to earn a Master's in forensic nursing. The daughter of Daniel and Kristi Myers, she is active in National Honor Society, debate, orchestra and drama. She is a past Rotary exchange student to Germany. In addition, she is a member of Venture Crew and Knowledge Bowl. She is also active in 4-H.

Johnson is the son of Craig and DawnAnn Johnson. He is active in National Honor Society, Link Crew, and is a tutor. He plans on working as a web site programmer for the summer prior to college. He will attend the University of Washington.

Martinez, the daughter of Abel and Luz Martinez, hopes to attend Heritage University, where she plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts in business. While attending Sunnyside High School, she has been active in FBLA and MECHA, while also being a member of the high school cross country and tennis teams.

Luke Schilperoort is the son of Randy and Sandy Schilperoort. He is active in his church youth group and is a four-year member of the high school basketball and track teams. He is also a member of National Honor Society and Fire Squad. He will attend Washington State University, majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in business. Eventually, he hopes to have a career in the automotive industry.

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