Sedro-Woolley High School students of the month
Rachel Jackson and Lazaro Vasquez Olivera have been named the Rotary students of the month for April.
Jackson maintains a 3.99 GPA while being involved in many school activities: National Honors Society, Drama, French Shakespeare, robotics and band. She plays the flute and piccolo and can be spotted in front of the pep band as the conductor.
She is active in her church community and has participated in mission trips. She will be attending the University of Washington with Direct to College admission to the College of Engineering. She plans to study mechanical or material science engineering.
Olivera maintains a 3.44 GPA while taking challenging courses and being involved in clubs. His family moved to the United States when he was 11 and knew no English. He worked hard over the next six years to pick up the language and now speaks three languages: Spanish, English and a Mexican indigenous dialect called Mixteco.
He is a member of the Latinos Unidos Club that promotes cultural diversity and community at the school and been able to attend conferences like the Migrant Student Leadership Conferee, Dare to Dream Academy and the Social Justice Conference. He also gave a speech about the importance of the contribution of immigrants to our country and empathy in Spanish and English for the Martin Luther King Day assembly. He plans to study at Skagit Valley College with the aspiration to become a multilingual high school science teacher.
Katie Davis and William Taylor have been named the Soroptimist students of the month for April.
Davis maintains a 3.47 GPA while participating in many school activities. She is a member of the National Honors Society, Varsity in Volunteerism, Interhigh and Crub Crew Mentor. She has also been the Community relations officer in the ASB and a volunteer. She also plays soccer, track and tennis.
Davis likes to spend time outside hiking, swimming and boating. She works part time at a local retirement facility and can answer any trivia question about the show "Friends."
She plans to attend Western Washington University to pursue a career in elementary school counseling.
Taylor maintains a 3.61 GPA while being actively involved at the school. He is a member of National Honors Society and has won six department awards in music, math, computer science, English and science. He participated in three drama productions and has participated in various clubs: Shakespeare, Robotics, SeaPerch Underwater Robotics and E-sports.
He is also an accomplished musician and member of Jazz Choir and Advanced Orchestra where he received the Outstanding Musician Award at DeMeiro Jazz Festival two years in a row.
Taylor plans to attend Eastern Washington University to study Communications Sciences and Disorders with the ultimate plan to attain a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology.
Mount Vernon High School student of the month and teacher of the year
Nadya Gonchar and Matthew Jurenka have been selected as the students of the month for June at Mount Vernon High School.
Gonchar maintains a 3.9 GPA while attending Running Start and participating in cross country and track and field. She also works a part time job. Gonchar plans to attend the University of Washington's College of Arts and Science.
Jurenka maintains a 3.4 GPA while being very active in school activities. He is a member of Speech and Debate, DECA and Future Business Leaders of America. He is also the student representative to the school board and voted most inspirational on the swim team. He will be attending Arizona State University to study computer science.
Mike Criner is Mount Vernon High School's teacher of the year. Criner spent his early life pursuing electrical engineering until he found himself unhappy in the field of study, he said. He then went on to work in construction for almost 20 years.
Once the physical toll of the job became too much, he earned associate degrees in electrical technology, electronic engineering technology and communications technology. Still, he said he was unsure of which career path to move toward until he realized, while he was on a plane returning from a family trip in West Virginia, that he wanted to be a teacher. So, he enrolled at Western Washington University and earned his bachelor's degree in technology education and his masters in 2006.
Criner was hired by the Concrete School District in 1997 and brought a robotics program to Concrete High School in 2008. He moved to Mount Vernon High School in 2011 after Concrete's enrollment went down and brought robotics there as well. He is retiring at the end of this year.