Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Vanden High School Top Students 2014

armijo rop grads 5_20_14

Vanden High top graduates. Front row, from left to right, Tyler Koss, Heidi Carr, Amber Jacobson, Jessica Ye, Michaela Copp, Shannon D'Ambrosio, Elizabeth Hubbard and Kristine Nolasco. Second row, from left to right, Scott Morris, Tim Comer, Andrew Pirondini and Josh DeVoe. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page GRA5 | June 08, 2014 |

Amber Jacobson – Salutatorian

Plans for next year: Attend University of California, Davis, to study life science. Career goal: Be a forensic scientist or a doctor. High School Highlights: Joined the Academic Decathlon team and volunteered for National Honors Society. Awards: Travis Credit Union, Assist-A-Grad, Salutatorian. In 10 years: I see myself graduated from college and living in San Francisco, working with some science-oriented career that allows me to enjoy life.

Andrew Pirondini – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, majoring in computer engineering. Career goal: To become a computer software engineer. High school highlights: Winning two regionals with our robotics team my junior year and earning our team’s only three blue banners in its history. Awards: Sons of Italy Foundation, Solano First Federal Credit Union – Assist-A-Grad, California Teachers Association, Travis Unified Teachers’ Association, Vacaville Rotary Club. In 10 years: I hope to be a computer software engineer working for a major software company in Silicon Valley.

Elizabeth Hubbard – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attending Harvard College with a concentration in molecular and cellular biology with a secondary in statistics. Career goal: I want to be a medical researcher, focusing on oncology research. High school highlights: I was the first person from my school to earn first place at a Future Business Leaders of America section conference. I also was the highest scorer in the past two Academic Decathlon North Bay Regional competition and was the third highest scorer at the state competition for all of Division II. Perhaps my greatest was leading my own research project during my internship at the Travis Air Force Base Clinical Investigation Facility, testing the efficacy of a machine that detects biological pathogens in blood samples. I was also acknowledged in one of the lab’s publications for my assistance on a different research program. Awards: Harvard College, Bio-Rad scholarship program, Mary Keith Duff Memorial scholarship, Travis Enlisted and Officers Spouses Club scholarship, Air Force Aid Society Youth Employment Skills program, 2013 Junior Outstanding Viking, valedictorian, California Military Youth of the Year, Gold President’s Volunteer Service award for 2012 and 2014; other academic awards for Latin 1-3, Advanced Placement English Language, Advanced Placement U.S. History, Academic Decathlon, trigonometry/pre-calculus, Algebra 2, Integrated Science 1 Honors, English 2 Honors, and Advanced Placement World history. In 10 years: I see myself graduating from grad school with a master’s in oncology, hopefully working for the National Institute of Health.

Heidi Carr – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attend Brigham Young University, majoring in biology education and minoring in mathematics education. Career goal: High school science and math teacher. High school highlights: I loved playing on the Vanden soccer team and helping out in a sixth grade class at Cambridge Elementary School. Awards: Elks Most Valuable Student scholarship, the Association of California, School Administrators scholarship, Travis Credit Union Mary Keith Duff Memorial scholarship; Vacaville Rotary Club Leadership scholarship, Solano First Federal Credit Union Scholarship, Assist- A-Grad Valedictorian Scholarship in memory of Dorothy Stone. In 10 years: I will be graduated from college and teaching high school.

Jessica Ye – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attending the University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in human biology and society with a minor in biomedical research. Career goal: Oncologist or medical researcher. High school highlights: Through my involvement with the Vanden Viking music program, I’ve met an amazing band director and developed close friendships. These relationships mark the highlight of my high school career. Awards: Assist-A-Grad scholarship, the University of California, Riverside Regents scholarship, Chinese American Association of Solano County scholarship; Travis Credit Union Mary Keith Duff Memorial scholarship. In 10 years:  I see myself fulfilling my medical residency. I hope that I will be able to make a positive impact on the lives of others, whether or not it is through completing a residency program.

Josh DeVoe

Plans for next year: Next year I will be attending the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, working towards a degree in regional and comparative studies. Career goal: I hope to some day work for the State Department or the United States Agency for International Development. High school highlights: The highlight of my high school experience has definitely been the people I have met. Between leadership, sports, clubs, and just going to class, I have met many cool people. It’s been a good time. Awards: I have received a four-year Army ROTC scholarship for Georgetown University. In 10 years: I hope to be working for the government and traveling the world. I also hope to have a nice family.

Kristine Nolasco

Plans next year: Attending University of California, San Diego. High school highlight: The one aspect that stands out the most is that I have been an active member of the band at Vanden for four years, which constitutes a major part of my high school experience. Awards: Awards for excellence in math throughout high school. In 10 years: I hope to have a stable career in hardware technology and have a place of my own.

Michaela Copp – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attend Vanderbilt University, pursuing a chemical engineering major. Career goal: I am still unsure. I know I want to have a career in the sciences, but I have yet to narrow it down to one career. High school highlights: I have enjoyed the typical high school highlights, such as prom and the football games. However, some of the most exciting moments I have had happened on the volleyball courts and making it to playoffs with my team. Awards: Professional Businesswomen of California, Assist-A-Grad, Scholarship for Military Children, Travis Officers Spouses Club scholarship, girls state delegate for Vanden in 2013, Most Valuable Player for varsity volleyball (captain), Letter of Recognition from the California Senate and California Assembly. In 10 years: I see myself graduated from college with a profitable job. (I like to imagine that I will be rich in 10 years.)

Scott Morris – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attending California State University, Long Beach, as part of the President’s Scholars Program to study international relations. Career goal: International diplomat or work in developing countries. High school highlights: Becoming president of the Vanden Chapter of the National Honor Society and being a three-time member of the NCBA All-Northern Honor Band. In 10 years: I hope to be working for the government as an ambassador and traveling the world.

Shannon D’Ambrosio – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: I’ll be attending University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in cellular, molecular and developmental biology. Career goal: Anesthesiologist. High school highlights: Being a part of the marching band and Wind Ensemble, and participating in and competing with the RoboVikes Robotics team. Awards: Assist-A-Grad for being valedictorian. ln 10 years: Right smack dab in the middle of my residency. I’ve already completed medical school, and am preparing to become a licensed anesthesiologist.

Tim Comer – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: Attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, majoring in an undecided field of engineering. Career goal: I would like to start my own business eventually, or head a large business. I will be getting my Master of Business Administration after getting my bachelor’s in engineering. High school highlights: Winning CCGC Championships with my drum line this last year was definitely my favorite high school moment. Being named valedictorian would be a close second. Awards: Academic excellence scholarship from University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 10 years: I would like to be the head of a company or working my way up to becoming one.

Tyler Koss

Plans for next year: Attend the United States Air Force Academy and study aeronautical engineering while competing as a member of the Air Force Falcons track team. Career goal: To become a pilot in the United States Air Force. High school highlights: Playing sports is a huge part of my life, but I am also proud of my academic accomplishments throughout my four years of high school.Being the Solano County Athletic Conference all-league 200- and 400-meter champion and the Sac-Joaquin Section 400-meter champion were highlights. Beating Benicia for our “senior night” football game was also a highlight. Awards: Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, Order of Daedalians, Golden Gate Flight 5 scholarship, Travis Air Force Base Enlisted & Officers Spouses Club Merit scholarship. In 10 years: I see myself traveling the world and serving our country as an Air Force pilot. I would also like to have a family and kids with whom I can share my passion for sports.

Susan Hiland

Susan Hiland

Susan graduated from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a B.A. in Communications. She has eight years experience working for newspapers in Wausa, Nebraska. She lives in Vacaville with her husband and dog.
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