Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Will C. Wood High School Top Students 2014

wood grads 2014

Will C. Wood top graduates, (top row, left to right) Akira Shah, Nicholas Bowers, Joseph Gall, Arjun Vadlamudi, Kevin Kasir and Adam Cunning, (bottom row, left to right) Paige Peck, Berlyn Mendoza, Brianna Miller and Kelsey Mifflin. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

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From page GRA10 | June 08, 2014 |

Adam Cunning

Plans for next year: To attend Point Loma Nazarene University and pursue my bachelor’s in nursing. Career goal: To become a specialist in one of the many nursing fields. High school highlights: Homecoming king, Winter Wishes program with Link Crew, varsity soccer and football, performances with band, Homecoming week. Awards: Robert Vinson Memorial scholarship, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame scholarship. In 10 years: Completing my education, working full-time as a nurse specialist and trying to start a family.

Akira Shah – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: I plan on attending University of California, San Diego, to fulfill my dream of becoming a surgeon. I want to make the most of my college life and of the opportunities given to me by learning and exploring the world. Career goal: For now I want to get a degree in biomedical engineering but eventually I want to go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon. My thirst for knowledge about the human mind has led me to this decision. The brain has simply captivated my interest, and I desire to inquire about it more than ever before. High school highlights: I loved being a part of the Chamber Orchestra and participating in the musicals. I also will always remember all my teammates from my tennis and badminton teams. I have had so many good experiences throughout my years at Wood. One of my favorite moments was winning the I Built A Bridge Competition with my Advanced Placement Physics class. In 10 years: I hope to be done with medical school and on my way to surgical residency. I also hope to be settled down in San Diego simply because it is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to live. I will be keeping myself busy with all my rounds and long hours, but it’s okay because I will be doing what I enjoy to do most.

Arjun Vadlamudi – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: I will be attending University of California, Los Angeles, for my undergraduate studies. I will be studying biology in order to meet pre-med requisites. Career goal: I want to go to medical school and afterward become a primary care physician, possibly in internal medicine. High school highlights: I am currently in the running for valedictorian. I am the vice president of my class and have been for the past two years. This year I was part of the Pack It Up team that put together backpacks full of supplies for the homeless in the winter, a campaign I really enjoyed. I am the treasurer of the Key Club community service club. I played varsity soccer and varsity tennis. Awards: California Scholarship Federation scholarship. In 10 years: If I’m still pursuing my current career, I will hopefully be in my second year of residency.

Berlyn Mendoza

Plans for next year: Attending the University of California, Irvine, for the Nursing Science program. Career goal: Become a registered nurse and make a difference to people everyday. High school highlights: I loved every single volunteer opportunity in Link Crew and in Key Club. These clubs taught me that happiness comes from helping others. The holidays were the most rewarding time to give back. In Key Club, we would pack groceries for families in need and deliver the groceries out to their car. In Link Crew, we got to raid the toy aisles at Target, then pay the cashier in stacks of change so that we could donate these toys to children who otherwise wouldn’t have presents underneath their tree. Awards: California Scholarship Federation, Vacaville scholarship. In 10 years: Happily starting a family and owning a beagle.

Brianna Miller

Plans for next year: I will attend University of California, Santa Cruz, majoring in neuroscience. Career goal: I plan to become a doctor of neuroradiology and to participate in research opportunities involving mental disorders. High school highlights: I placed fourth in last year’s school poetry slam and my team won the Solano County Math Steeplechase for the varsity team. Our physics class also won the I Built a Bridge Competition this year. Awards: Gates Millennium Scholars scholarship. In 10 years: I see myself completing my residency and applying for a research opportunity or physician position.

Joey Gall – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: I’ve decided to attend the University of California, Los Angeles, and I am ecstatic. I plan to major in aerospace engineering. Career goal: To be an astronaut. High school highlights: I played football my sophomore year from the first day of practice until the very last and with my physique, I take a lot of pride in that. It was a humbling experience. I was also an actor in the 2013 fall play and that was an absolute blast. Lastly, I was given the opportunity to be one of the leaders of our spirit program this year at Wood, named Cat Kartel. I developed an immense passion for school spirit and I loved being there for my classmates. Awards: California Scholarship Federation, National Society of High School Scholars, two-time award recipient from the National Teen Leadership program. In 10 years: Hopefully, not on Earth. If all the stars align, I’ll be an astronaut working on the International Space Station, or possibly be involved in a future space exploration.

Kelsey Mifflin

Plans for next year: I will be attending University of California, Davis, as a chemistry major. Career goal: After I graduate from Davis, I plan to apply to University of California, San Diego, for graduate school in order to attain my Doctor of Pharmacy. High school highlights: Throughout my high school career, I have enjoyed being a part of school sports teams for tennis and badminton. These extracurricular activities have not only helped me create lasting friendships, but they have also taught me how to work hard with others. In 10 years: I see myself as a recent graduate, hopefully employed as a Pharm. D.

Kevin Kasir

Plans for next year: Attending University of California, Los Angeles, and strive toward a degree in the major of psychology. I hope to become as involved with my school as possible while still being able to hold a job and afford the cost of higher education. Career goal: To become a psychiatrist after attending medical school, and I would likely try to be a psychologist before reaching that step. I’m unsure of where I’d like to work but I know that I would like for it to involve people who need help with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia. High school highlights: Some of my high school highlights are being able to juggle all of my grades and extracurricular activities, which include my jobs, clubs, or community service activities. It’s been an exciting four years and I’m glad to have completed it while meeting some great people along the way. Awards: Solano Community Foundation. In 10 years: I see myself continuing my education to become a certified psychiatrist and hopefully already having experience through internships under my belt.

Nicholas Bowers

Plans for next year: Attend California Polytechnic State University. Career goal: Physicist. High school highlights: Marching band/concert band/jazz band. Taking first place in Solano County Math Steeple Chase (2013). Forming relationships with students and teachers that made me into who I am now. In 10 years: Conducting research as a doctor of physics.

Paige Peck – Valedictorian

Plans for next year: I will be attending the United States Naval Academy this year. Career goal: I hope to one day specialize as a neurosurgeon in the U.S. Navy, but if that goal doesn’t work out for me, I’d be happy doing anything as long as it includes helping others and traveling the world. High school highlights: Being a part of the cross-country team at Wood has created some of my best high school memories. With trips to Disneyland and week-long running camps, my friends on the team have become my best friends off of the team too. In 10 years: I see myself aboard a Navy medical ship as a medical officer or in school working on my specialization in neurosurgery.

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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