Sunnyside High School has named 22 students as the top academic achievers for the class of 2013.
Leading the top 5 percent of the class is valedictorian Anna Estrada-Iniguez, who earned a cumulative grade point average of 4.311.
The daughter of Jose Estrada and Guille Iniguez, she plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to major in aerospace engineering.
Estrada-Iniguez said she has been influenced by many. “The one who stands out and I’m thankful for is my father. He taught me the value of hard work and an appreciation for education,” she said.
She wants to earn a Ph.D. in aerospace studies to work for an airplane manufacturer.
Marching to pomp and circumstance as the salutatorian will be Meagen Meyers, who has a GPA of 4.281. She is the daughter of Michelle and Richard Perry and Michael Meyers.
Meyers said she has most been influenced by her mother, who worked three jobs to care for her children when Meyers was a young child. Meyers said her mother didn’t allow life to keep her from achieving her goals and has since earned two Bachelor degrees. Meyers’ step-father also inspired the soon-to-be SHS graduate because he was willing to be her Daddy when her father was not a part of her life.
Meyers plans to study law with a minor in performing arts at Lesley University. She wants to perform on Broadway in New York and aspires to one day serve as President of the United States.
With a GPA of 4.23, Marthy Hernandez has been named the No. 3 top academic achiever. Her parents are Anselmo and Cristina Hernandez.
She plans to attend the University of Washington to major in bio-medical engineering.
Hernandez said her mother has been the most inspirational person in her life. “If it weren’t for her praying knees, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today,” said the Gates Millennium Scholar.
Geordan Skyles has earned a GPA of 4.181 and plans to attend the University of Idaho.
The daughter of Todd and Georgianne Skyles, she wants to pursue a degree in engineering. Skyles said she is most inspired by her mother, who pushed her to achieve academic success.
The daughter of Alfredo and Janeth Lopez, Adriana Lopez Ayala has the fifth highest GPA (4.13) of her classmates.
She plans to attend Washington State University in Pullman and said her parents have pushed her to be successful in life. “They taught me the value of an education,” she said.
Brandon Daley has earned a GPA of 4.114 and plans to attend Washington State University to major in sports medicine. He is the son of Bill and Christy Daley, whom he said have always supported his pursuits.
With a GPA of 4.111, Kendall Platsman will be among the top 5 percent to graduate from SHS this year.
She is the daughter of Tim and Kristina Platsma and plans to attend the University of Washington in pursuit of a career as a professor of history.
Platsman said her parents have supported her and taught her good work ethics...throughout her life, using humor to encourage her to pursue her goals.
Tara Van Corbach has earned a 4.098 grade point average and plans to attend the University of Washington to pursue a degree in mathematics, as well as an interest in aerospace engineering.
She is the daughter of James and Darla Van Corbach.
The soon-to-be graduate said her grandfather, Jack, has most influenced her. “He cared for me when I was young and really made me who I am today,” Van Corbach said.
The son of Salvador and Elvia Ramirez, Sergio Ramirez has plans to attend the University of Southern California.
The Gates Millennium scholar, who has earned a GPA of 4.088, wishes to pursue a career as a screenwriter for film and television.
He said his parents have influenced him, always motivating him to succeed.
Juan Estrada earned a GPA of 4.080 and plans to attend the University of Washington.
He is the son of Daniel and Elia Estrada, who said his mother taught him high moral standards. “Without her I wouldn’t be where I am in life,” he said.
With a GPA of 4.073, Avery Gardner is the next on the list of top academic achievers for the class of 2013.
He is the son of Dylan and Erica Gardner, and he plans to go on a mission for his church before pursuing a degree in chemical engineering.
Gardner said his father has influenced him, helping him achieve and pushing him to succeed.
Lydia Robert has earned a GPA of 4.012 and has plans to attend Eastern Washington University.
She is the daughter of Dave and Liz Robert, and said her older sister, Jessie, has been the most influential person in her life.
Robert said her sister has stood by her and supported her in everything she has set out to achieve.
With a GPA of 4.021, Joanna Mendoza is next on the list of top academic achievers. She is the daughter of Irma Mendoza and has plans to attend Seattle University.
Mendoza said her brother, Luis, is the most influential person in her life because he pushes her to be an individual.
Esmeralda Fernandez has earned a GPA of 3.991 and plans to attend Washington State University to major in criminal justice to pursue a career as a probation officer for juveniles.
Fernandez is the daughter of Fermin and Eliza Fernandez.
She said her older brother, Fermin, established a path for her to follow, making success look achievable. She said she wants to follow in his footsteps.
Next on the list of top academic achievers is Juan Noyola, who has earned a GPA of 3.978.
He is the son of George Noyola and Maria Fernandez, and has plans to attend Yakima Valley Community College in Grandview to earn an Associate’s degree before moving on to a four-year college to pursue a career as a math or science teacher.
Noyola said his grandmother has most influenced him because of her positive attitude. He said she has encouraged him throughout his life.
Kaylynn Alaniz is the daughter of Basilio and Anid Alaniz. She has a GPA of 3.921 and plans to attend Washington State University for an undergraduate degree in pre-med.
Alaniz said her parents have always pushed her to achieve her goals.
With a GPA of 3.882, Danielle Ruppert plans to enlist in the United States Navy.
She is the daughter of Kirk and Becky Ruppert and said her brother, Adam, has influenced her with “...his dedication to country, service and family before self.”
Charley Rollinger plans to attend Eastern Washington University to study physical therapy. She has earned a GPA of 3.873 and is the daughter of Charles and Sharon Rollinger.
The soon-to-be graduate said her parents have most influenced her because they have pushed her to be successful and been supportive of her aspirations.
Having earned a GPA of 3.809, Adilene Aballi plans to attend Washington State University.
She is the daughter of Saycie and Amelia Aballi.
Aballi said her older sister, Berenice, has influenced her in a positive way. “She’s had many achievements and successes,” said the younger Aballi.
Sarah Berumen has earned a GPA of 3.77, and has plans to pursue an undergraduate’s degree in microbiology at Utah Valley University before pursuing a doctorate’s degree.
She is the daughter of Pete Berumen and Linda Hall.
Berumen said her mother, Tina Peabody and Mrs. Joyce Stark have most influenced her, inspiring her “...to do great things.”
Next, Daniel Diaz has earned a GPA of 3.768.
He is the son of Maricela Diaz and plans to earn a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a minor in machining at Washington State University.
Diaz said he is most influenced by Albert Einstein because he believes the world-famous genius was a great man.
Kori Haubrich is the last member of the class of 2013 to be included in the top 5 percent of her graduating class. She earned a GPA of 3.754 and is the daughter of Susan Hole.
Haubrich plans to attend Western Washington University, and said her mother has always encouraged her to do her best.