Sunnyside High School has named 28 students as the top academic achievers for the class of 2014.
Leading the class is valedictorian Gardenia J. Contreras, who earned a grade point average of 4.0.
The daughter of Gustavo and Maria Contreras, she plans to go into the medical field and become a doctor. Her current plan is to start at Heritage University and later transfer to a medical school.
“I want to be able to help others,” she said. “And I like the idea of being able to help people through medicine.”
She cited her parents as the most inspirational persons in her life.
“They have shown me that through hard work and determination I can achieve my dreams,” she said.
The salutatorian for the class will be Kurtis Tramel with a GPA of 3.99. He is the son of Kent and Kathy Tramel.
He plans to study biotech engineering at the honors college of Washington State University.
Tramel named his father as the most influential person in his life, “because he is always willing to help with a project in the middle of the night.”
With a grade point average of 3.925, Jocelyn Huerta-Garcia has been named the No. 3 academic achiever. Her parents are Jorge J. and Miriam Z. Huerta.
Huerta-Garcia plans to attend Heritage University to study dentistry and bio medical science.
She said her parents are the most influential people in her life.
“Whether it’s been for band, drama or softball games they have always been there to support me and that really means a lot,” she said.
Kelli Wilson has a GPA of 3.922 and plans to attend Washington State University – Tri-Cities to study either speech pathology or ultra sound technology.
Her parents are Tim and Traci Wilson. She said she is most inspired by her mother.
“I hope one day I can grow up to be just like her,” said Wilson. “I feel honored to call her my mom.”
The daughter of Fortino Lopez and Ignorina Bustamente, Jazmine Lopez earned the fifth highest GPA of her class with 3.884.
Lopez plans to attend Eastern Washington University and study business. She credits her parents as being the most influential people in her life.
Madison Marquez earned a 3.88 grade point average. The daughter of Scott and Tonya Marquez, she plans to attend Washington State University to study nursing or elementary education.
Marquez said her parents are the most influential people in her life.
Next on the list is Josie Marro, whose efforts earned her a grade point average of 3.874.
Her parents are Mark and Heather Marro. She plans to attend Washington State University next year and explore her options. She would like to be an English teacher at a high school. She said her father is the most influential person in her life.
“Throughout my entire high school career my father has pushed me beyond my limits and because of that I am who I am today,” she said. “My father could see the potential that was present in me that I couldn’t see in myself.”
Itzel Alvizo earned a grade point average of 3.839. She is the daughter of Leticia and Angel Alvizo and plans to attend the University of Washington, transferring to other universities until she earns a PhD. in education. She hopes to become a superintendent of a school district or president of a college.
Alvizo said her sister Nereida is the most influential person in her life.
“One of the most important things Nereida has done for me is that she has always believed in me and she’s always had the ability to make me believe in myself,” she said.
Next on the list is Leonardo Chavez Orta, who earned a 3.836 GPA. His mother is Maria Dolores Chavez.
He plans to attend YVCC and get an Associates degree, then transfer to Central Washington University to earn a degree in civil engineering.
He said he is influenced by his mother and grandmother, who have encouraged him in his studies.
With a GPA of 3.832, Maritza Macias is next on the list. Her parents are Candido and Graciela Macias. She plans to attend Heritage University and get a degree in social work. She said her greatest influence is her parents.
Cody St. Clair Woodworth earned a GPA of 3.83 and plans to attend Eastern Washington University and major in engineering.
The son of James and Jessica Woodworth, he plans to become an electrical engineer. His most influential person is his father.
Shawna Santini, daughter of Bobbi and Jason Tolman, earned a grade point average of 3.826. She plans to attend Washington State University and major in education. She said her mother is the most influential person in her life.
Next on the list of top achievers is Blanca Contreras, daughter of Griselda and Arturo Contreras. She earned a GPA of 3.825.
She plans to attend Washington State University and major in business. She said her parents are the most influential people in her life.
“They never let me give up,” she said. “They put me on the path towards education, an option they never had when they were kids.”
Miriam Paz earned a grade point average of 3.808. She is the daughter of Maria C. and Jaime Paz. She plans to attend YVCC for two years in the nursing program, then go to university. She said her family has influenced her the most, but also gives credit to Mr. Reser for pushing her to do her best.
Dominique Campos plans to attend Washington State University and major in biology, with an ultimate goal of becoming a brain surgeon. He earned a 3.787 grade point average. He credits his father, Remedios Campos, as the most important person in his life.
Earning a GPA of 3.77, Jesus Magallan plans to attend UW-Bothell before going into the National Guard. He plans to earn a degree in engineering or business.
His parents are Adela and Jeronimo Ramirez and he said he admires his mother for her courage and resilience.
Stefani Anciso, daughter of Roy and Elvira Anciso, earned a 3.745 GPA. She plans to attend Washington State University, and is leaning towards studying business and education.
She calls her parents her “biggest fans and wisest teachers” and said they love her regardless of her attitude toward them.
“I would not be who I am today without their cheesy jokes, advice I sometimes didn’t ask for and especially their tough love,” she said.
Vanessa Alvarez, with a GPA of 3.739, is next on the list. Her parents are Alicia Alvarez and Ernesto Ramirez.
She plans to attend the University of Washington and study physical therapy.
“I recently sustained an ACL injury and if it wasn’t for my physical therapist I wouldn’t be recovering as fast as I am right now,” she said. “I would like to have the opportunity to help other athletes to recover from similar injuries.”
Alvarez said her brother Danny has had a huge influence on her life and is her role model.
The daughter of Artimio and Connie Borja, Thalia Borja earned a grade point average of 3.733. She plans to attend Heritage University and study English before attending law school to become an attorney.
She said that all she is and all she hopes to be she owes to her parents.
Elvia V. Delgadillo-Figueroa, daughter of Elvia Figueroa, earned a 3.729 GPA. She plans to attend Eastern Washington University, earn a minor in science and get into the dental program.
Her most influential people are her mother and oldest sister, who taught her to work for what she wants and never give up.
Jasmine Gonzalez earned a GPA of 3.722. The daughter of Jesus and Elena Gonzalez, she plans to attend Central Washington University and study accounting. She hopes to become a small business owner after gaining experience.
She said the members of her family are the most influential people in her life.
“They have pushed me to become the very best person and have given me advice that will last me a lifetime,” she said.
Next on the list is Aidee Cisneros, daughter of Ana Toscano and Juan Cisneros, who earned a 3.708 GPA. She plans to attend Washington State University as an undergraduate and then transfer to the University of Washington to earn a higher degree.
She said Adrian Martinez (Mr. Martinez) is the most influential person in her life.
“He always pushes me to do my best in school and keep pushing forward,” she said.
Next, Briseida Soberanes has plans to attend Eastern Washington University and earn a degree in exercise science. Her goal is to eventually earn a doctorate in physical therapy.
With a GPA of 3.707, Soberanes is the daughter of Maria and Ruben Soberanes, who she said are the most influential people in her life.
Amanda Cervantes has a GPA of 3.705 and is the daughter of Jose and Cynthia Cervantes.
She plans to major in biology at the University of Washington, then transfer to graduate school to pursue the field of sports therapy.
Her mother is the most influential person in her life because she inspires Cervantes to strive for her greatest potential.
Jesus Castillo earned a GPA of 3.7. The son of Jesus and Sugey Castillo, he plans to attend WSU – Tri-Cities and study mechanical engineering.
He admires his father, who never finished school but always tries to do his best on whatever he does. Castillo said his father has inspired him to “not just finish school for me, but for the both of us.”
Dalia Maria Perez is the daughter of Guillermina A. and Martin Perez and earned a 3.682 GPA. She plans to attend the University of Washington and major in biochemistry or biology, and eventually become a doctor.
She said her parents have been a strong influence, telling her that she can overcome any obstacle in life by working hard.
Adilene Amaro, with a GPA of 3.678, plans to attend the nursing program at UW-Bothell. She is the daughter of Francisco and Roberta Amaro. She said her parents have been a great influence on her life, supportive of her education.
“They were not able to have an education like I do, and I’m happy they raised me with the mentality of education being my main priority,” she said. “I will be the first in my family to graduate from high school.”
The final student at the top of the Grizzly class of 2014 is Nickolas Ramirez, son of Lisa and Samuel Ramirez. He earned a GPA of 3.639.
He plans to attend UW and major in computer engineering and minoring in art, or vice versa. He hopes to earn a living in the comic book or video game industries.
“I am incapable of telling you who the most influential person in my life is,” he said. “I am the person I am today because of so many others like my dad, my mom, King James I, Red Foreman, Grover Cleveland and Ethan. So to literally everyone, thank you.”