Top of the Class
Fifty-two students from 16 high schools across Jackson County have earned the highest cumulative grade point averages in their respective schools and met other school-specific academic requirements to become this year's valedictorians.
These distinguished seniors have been asked to share their achievements and college and career plans.
NORTH MEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL
Alex Dinh Doan
Parents: Phuong Dinh and Kenny Doan
Honors, awards: American Chemical Society's Honors Chemistry Student of the Year, 2013-2014; Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction; Bonneville Power Administration Regional Science Bowl, 2015 NMHS team captain; Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award; NMHS boy's varsity tennis team; NMHS chamber orchestra concertmaster; NMHS French Club president; Honors Diploma; NMHS TED-Ed Club founder and student facilitator; Torch Honor Society; Medford Kiwanis Club Academic Excellence Award and Student of the Month, November 2015; state qualifier for the 2016 Oregon State Mathematics Contest in calculus; University of California, Davis, Young Scholars Program participant, 2015; University of Oregon Presidential Scholarship; and Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon violinist, 2014-2015.
College plans: Princeton University, majoring in either molecular biology or neuroscience with a pre-medicine emphasis.
Career plans: My occupational goal is to become a physician specializing in emergency medicine or surgery. I also plan on conducting scientific research as a side career, in addition to practicing medicine.
Parents: Chuc and Alan Doan
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: Honors Diploma; Kiwanis Club Student of the Month, January 2016; Torch Honor Society; International Club president; Asian Cultural Club vice president; NMHS Sparrow Club ambassador; NMHS American Red Cross board member; and NMHS Interact Club director.
College plans: Southern Oregon University, majoring in biology. I also would like to study abroad in South Korea during the summer of my third year of college and, after getting my degree at SOU, go to any medical school that accepts me.
Career plans: I plan on becoming a pediatrician because of my love for kids. After acquiring all my skills, I also want to join Projects Abroad to assist others in developing countries, including my parents’ home country, Vietnam.
Parents: Robert Forrest and Ninthorn Buaklang
Honors, awards: AP Scholar with Distinction; National Torch Honor Society historian; Honors Diploma; National Forensics League member with degree of honor; Kiwanis Club Student of the Month; Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest, third place for “Service Above Self” speech; Speech and Debate Team, first place in After-Dinner Speaking and third place in Impromptu Speaking; varsity tennis captain; Asian Culture Club president and founder; Interact Club president; Period Awareness Club president and founder; TED-Ed Club student facilitator; and International Club vice president.
College plans: University of California, Los Angeles, majoring in global studies and political science.
Career plans: I plan to pursue a career in international relations and international business with a focus on East Asia.
Emily Elizabeth Grether
Parents: Jobie and Margie Grether
Honors, awards: Most Outstanding Choir Member; varsity swimming and track athlete; National Torch Honor Society; Red Cross High School Leadership Award; Violet Richardson Soroptimist Volunteer Award; Latter-day Saints Young Women’s Recognition and Honor Bee.
College plans: Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, studying recreational therapy.
Career plans: I plan to obtain my recreational therapy license and, hopefully, work in a pediatric rehabilitation unit at a hospital and eventually become a dedicated mother.
Parents: Nora and Todd Hamilton
Honors, awards: National Torch Honor Society; Interact Club; Rogue Credit Union student teller; lettered in track and field freshman year; member of NMHS cross country team.
College plans: Oregon State University, majoring in biology. I am hoping to expand my options when it comes to paths of study once I’m in college.
Career plans: Nothing is solid yet, but I hope to do something in the field of science. I am interested in a career in biomimicry.
Parents: Dave and Nancy Levos
Honors, awards: Lettered in varsity golf, two years; National Merit Scholar Program Commended Student; Kiwanis Student of the Month; 2016 Kiwanis Vocational Award for Technical Arts; Certified SolidWorks Associate; Oregon State University Academic Achievement Award; Oregon State University Dean’s Engineering Scholarship; and voted “Most likely to win a Nobel Prize.”
College plans: Oregon State University, majoring in mechanical engineering.
Career plans: Aerospace engineering.
Parents: James and Sara Mackie
Honors, awards: National Hispanic Scholar; National Merit Scholar Program Commended Student; National Torch Honor Society; Prudential Spirit of Community Honoree and recipient of the program’s President’s Volunteer Service Award.
College plans: University of Arizona, majoring in astronomy.
Career plans: Undecided at this time.
Parents: Ed and Lynn Roussell
Honors, awards: Soroptimist Student of the Month, November 2015; National Torch Honor Society; Willamette University Merit Scholarship; Willamette University Theater Scholarship; and Medford Rotary Robert Johnson Memorial Scholarship.
College plans: Willamette University, majoring in theater and minoring in film studies.
Career plans: I plan to pursue a career in directing and playwriting.
Parents: Andy and Dana Snowden
Honors, awards: Kiwanis Club Student of the Month; National Torch Honor Society; Homecoming Court and Prom Court.
College plans: To attend Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, where I plan to become fluent in Spanish through a study abroad program and explore possible leadership careers.
Career plans: Although I am unsure of my major, I plan on going into a field in which I am in a position of leadership.
Parents: Jeff and Traci Thomas
Honors, awards: Wendy’s High School Heisman Award state finalist; Oregon School Activities Association 6A First Team All-Conference, soccer; OSAA 6A First Team All-Conference, softball pitcher; U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete; All-State Honorable Mention, softball 2015; and Medford Rotary Robert Johnson Memorial Scholarship.
College plans: Oregon State University, majoring in bio-health sciences/pre-med and minoring in Spanish — then on to medical school.
Career plans: Cardiovascular or trauma surgeon.
Parents: Matthew and Carolyn Thompson
Honors, awards: Torch Honor Society secretary; Kiwanis Club Student of the Month; and co-captain of the boys’ Medford water polo team.
College plans: Biola University in Los Angeles, majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in Bible.
Career plans: I plan on traveling to developing nations, helping provide relief work through the use of engineering. I hope to help as many people as I can and aid in making their lives better.
Parents: Wendy and David Williams
Honors, awards: Kiwanis Club Student of the Month; Rotary Club Student of the Year; AP Scholar with Distinction; National Merit Scholarship finalist; and Torch Honor Society vice president.
College plans: Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., studying mechanical engineering.
Career plans: Medical research or space exploration.
SOUTH MEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL
Hannah Rachelle Case
Parents: Ellis Lane and Mary Ann Case
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: State of Jefferson Scavenger Hunt 2013, first place team; Miss Rogue Valley Scholarship Program, Academic Excellence Award; American Legion Auxiliary Oregon Girls State, semifinalist for Girls Nation; Miss Rogue Valley's Outstanding Teen 2013; Torch Honor Society; Occidental President's Scholarship; and Oregon Invitational Mathematics Tournament Qualifier.
College plans: Occidental College, Los Angeles, majoring in diplomacy.
Career plans: I plan to pursue a career as an ambassador.
Andrew David Allen
Parents: David and Alison Allen
Honors, awards: Kiwanis Academic Excellence Student of the Month Award; Great American Rivalry Scholarship; SMHS Leadership Scholarship; Jacksonville Rotary Student of the Year Award; BACH Student of the Month Award; YMCA Teen Character Building Award; SMHS Football Coaches Award, two years; Purple Tassel; Eagle Scout; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints four-year seminary graduate; National Torch Honors Society; and Honors Diploma.
College plans: Brigham Young University and a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Career plans: I am going into the medical field.
Parents: Roy Carter, Maya Carter, Hilary Hall
Honors, awards: Sixth in state for soprano vocal performance; Soroptimist Student of the Month; Medford Rotary Student of the Year, 2016; and National AP Scholar.
College plans: Davidson Honors College at the University of Montana, Missoula, majoring in English (hopefully with an emphasis on rhetoric), minoring in art, studying a year abroad, and perhaps returning to get my Master of Education.
Career plans: I hope to teach internationally, first in a small country such as Slovakia, and then, hopefully, transfer to South Korea.
Parents: Edward DeVries and Sara DeVries
Honors, awards: Varsity soccer captain; vice president of the senior class; Scholar Athlete; SMHS Student of the Month; and Soroptimist Student of the Month.
College plans: Occidental College in Eagle Rock, Calif., where I will be majoring in media arts and culture, minoring in French and playing soccer.
Career plans: I plan on taking advantage of the networking opportunities of Los Angeles.
John Henry Gaffney
Parents: Grier and Larry Gaffney
Honors, awards: Eagle Scout; AP Scholar; First Team All-Conference Player, soccer; swim team captain, two years; Kiwanis Club Student of the Month; National Honors Society Secretary; and prom king.
College plans: Oregon State University, majoring in biology and minoring in international studies.
Career plans: I would like to become an optometrist.
Victoria Elizabeth Haynes
Parents: Jerry Haynes and Yolanda Arellano-Haynes
Honors, awards: President’s Trustee Endowed Scholarship from Lewis & Clark College and the Britt Foundation Scholarship.
College plans: Lewis & Clark College, majoring in physics as a pre-med student. I also want to study in New Zealand through the study abroad program and will run cross country and track for the Pioneers.
Career plans: After college, I plan to attend medical school and join the U.S. Navy to become an emergency room surgeon.
Parents: Tim and Dana Keller
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: Jacksonville Rotary Student of the Year; Soroptimist Student of the Month; Linfield College Trustee Scholarship; Medford Education Association Scholarship; and National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation.
College plans: Linfield College, studying English and mathematics with a focus on education.
Career plans: I plan to teach internationally and in the U.S. at the high school level before working to get my doctorate and becoming a college professor.
Parents: Debra and Patrick Levesque
Honors, awards: Associated Student Body secretary; AP Honors Scholar; speech and debate, fifth in state for “Humorous Interpretation”; theater duo acting state qualifier.
College plans: Denison University in Granville, Ohio, studying physics and theater.
Career plans: Teaching, acting or running a theater/arts business.
Parents: Billy and Elizabeth Manuwai
Honors, awards: Great American Rivalry Scholar Athlete Scholarship; University of Hawaii Merit Scholarship; SMHS 2016 Medford Rotary Student Recognition Award; Medford Rotary Scholarship.
College plans: University of Hawaii, Manoa, majoring in chemistry.
Career plans: My goal is to become a pharmacist.
Parents: Mike and Beverly Miles
Honors, awards: National Honor Society; women’s track team captain, 2015 and 2016; Most Valuable Player, track, 2014 and 2015.
College plans: Linfield College, majoring in psychology and participating in the women’s track and field program.
Career plans: I plan to obtain my master’s degree in psychology and become a therapist or mental health counselor.
Faith E. Pardini-Adams
Parents: Jennifer L. Pardini and Jesse Wade Adams
Honors, awards: Glenn and Rickie Dines Art Scholarship, Carpenter Foundation Scholarship, Britt Arts Career Exploration Program completer; Presidential Scholarship.
College plans: University of Portland, majoring in engineering.
Career plans: I hope to work for an aerospace engineering company or as a sound designer/at a music venue or recording studio.
Alyssa Renae Steller
Parents: Brian and Kimberly Steller
Honors, awards: National Honor Society; 4.0 GPA from middle school through high school; lettered in volleyball; $34,000 of academic scholarships, including the George Fox Presidential Scholarship, the West Family Scholarship and the Kiwanis Scholarship.
College plans: George Fox University, double majoring in accounting and business management.
Career plans: Accountant/certified professional accountant and/or business owner.
Chinmay P. Wadgaonkar
Parents: Pushkar S. Wadgaonkar and Anagha P. Wadgaonkar
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: Jackson County Spelling Bee 2015, first place; Arun Dalvie All Round Excellence 2014, St. Mary's School, Pune, India; India Nationals First Tech Challenge 2013.
College plans: Oregon State University, studying electrical engineering and computer science.
Career plans: I currently plan to pursue computer or software engineering. After earning my bachelor's degree, I intend to either continue to get a master's degree in the field or pursue a Master of Business Administration in entrepreneurship.
CENTRAL MEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Eric and Robyn Tarbell
GPA: 3.25 (two years at CMHS)
Honors, awards: Organizer of schoolwide blanket drive; “Hope on the Edge” volunteer in Africa; Medford Rotary Award; YMCA Character Award; camp counselor at Wilderness Trails.
College plans: Southern Oregon University.
Career plans: Art therapist for all ages, but primarily youth.
LOGOS CHARTER SCHOOL
Parents: Jeremy and Crystal Giles
Honors, awards: Principal's List, 2012-2016; Player of the Meet at the 2015 5A Girls Golf State Championship.
College plans: University of Oregon, studying psychology and playing golf.
Career plans: I wish to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist so that I can help people overcome life challenges.
Camron Stone Attebery
Parents: Shane Attebery and Connie Thompson
Honors, awards: Honor Roll and Principal’s List.
College plans: To participate in Rogue Community College’s Automotive Technology Program and earn my associate of applied science degree.
Career plans: Upon completion of my degree at Rogue Community College, I will become an automobile mechanic.
CRATER ACADEMY OF HEALTH & PUBLIC SERVICES
Ayleen Ruvalcaba Villa
Parents: Yesenia Villa and Felipe Ruvalcaba Olvera
Honors, awards: Central Point Rotary Student of the Month, December 2015; Principal’s Award, 2015-2016; Citizenship and Leadership Award, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
College plans: George Washington University in Washington, D.C., majoring in international relations and minoring in psychology.
Career plans: I hope to one day work for the federal government.
CRATER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, INNOVATION AND SCIENCE
Parents: Brandan and Becky Hull
Honors, awards: Rotary Student of the Month and recipient of the Eccles Distinguished Scholars Award for the University of Utah.
College plans: University of Utah Honors College (major undecided).
Career plans: Who can tell? I've still got time.
CRATER RENAISSANCE ACADEMY
Parents: Yazmin and Christopher Karabinas
Honors, awards: Rotary Student of the Month, November 2015; National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar; English Student of the Year, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016; Band Student of the Semester, 2015-2016; Chemistry Student of the Year, 2015-2016; member of National Honor Society.
College plans: Oregon State University Honors College, majoring in biochemistry/biophysics and minoring in Spanish.
Career plans: As of now, my goal is to become a medical doctor.
ASHLAND HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Lisa Bach and Michael Bach
Honors, awards: Member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta; varsity water polo for one year; varsity alpine ski team for four years; League Sportsmanship Award, ski team; varsity crew team for three years.
College plans: California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo,Calif., majoring in biological sciences, minoring in Spanish and participating on the school’s equestrian team.
Parents: Susan Brown and Paul Briggs
Honors, awards: National Merit Finalist.
College plans: Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., majoring in computer science.
Career plans: Undecided.
Parents: Susan and Paul Moen
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: National Merit Commended Student, AP Scholar Award, Student of the Year for chemistry, geometry honors and Algebra 2.
College plans: I have not decided on which college I will attend.
Career plans: Medical research, medical/forensic anthropology or surgical medicine.
Parents: Tracy Sherier and Dewayne Conner
College plans: Oregon State University Honors College, majoring in psychology.
Career plans: Research field in neuroscience.
PHOENIX HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Shari and Matthew Botermans
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: Woodward-Bray Top Student Athlete Award; Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete; OSAA Scholar Athlete; All-Conference and All-State awards in baseball and football; National Honor Society Inductee; AP Scholar student; Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship; PHS Community Service Awards.
College plans: Oregon State University Honors College, pursuing a degree in environmental engineering.
Career plans: I plan to become the chief executive officer of an energy resource engineering firm.
Parents: Felicia and Tom Hazel
Honors, awards: AP Scholar; National Honor Society; Skyline Conference Sprinter of the Year, 2015; ASB president
College plans: Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., double majoring in cellular and molecular biology and neuroscience and minoring in Spanish.
Career plans: I plan on becoming either a doctor or a veterinarian.
Parents: Van and Thomas Le
Honors, awards: Honor Roll; AP Scholar Award; Napoleon Bonaparte Award; drum major of PHS marching band.
College plans: Oregon State University Honors College, studying everything that will help me become a better, more educated individual.
Career plans: I want to hold public office and be able to help people in my local community, state and country. I also want to be an advocate for people who are marginalized, oppressed and discriminated against. I also would like to create and run nonprofit organizations that will help various groups of people and communities in my lifetime.
Ethan Daniel Shepherd
Parents: Kirsten and David Shepherd
Honors, awards: Scholar Athlete Award; Platinum Community Service Award; AP Scholar Award; National Honor Society; swim team MVP; swim team co-captain; district swimming champion; state swimming finalist; First Team All-Conference, swimming; recipient of congressional nominations for the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy.
College plans: U.S. Military Academy at West Point, studying engineering and physics.
Career plans: Officer in the U.S. Army, focusing on special forces.
Parents: Amy and James Tegner
Honors, awards: Ayn Rand Essay Contest semifinalist; Phoenix FFA Star Greenhand Award; National FFA Creed Speaking Contest, third place; National FFA Parliamentary Procedure Silver Award; Oregon FFA Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship; Phoenix FFA Chapter president; Junior Cup Award; AP Scholar Award.
College plans: Oregon State University Honors College, participating in the university’s Exploratory Studies Program.
Career plans: I plan to enter into a career in education or scientific research.
EAGLE POINT HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Christopher and Kristine Alden
Honors, awards: Honorable Mention All-League, 5A girls basketball; co-captain for my basketball team; Top 5 Percent of class for all four years; Scholar Athlete for the last four years; Gold Gown for being one of the top 10 students in my junior class; black belt in martial arts.
College plans: To attend either George Fox University or Arizona State University and participate in the school’s pre-physical therapy program.
Career plans: To obtain my doctorate in physical therapy, and then come home to practice physical therapy here in the Rogue Valley.
Parents: Douglas Calvin and Teresa Reed
Honors, awards: Top 5 Percent of my class; Diversity Excellence Scholarship; Ford Scholar.
College Plans: University of Oregon, studying early childhood education and minoring in Spanish. I also plan to participate in the university’s UOTeach graduate program starting in 2020.
Career Plans: To become an elementary school teacher after graduation.
Parents: Rebecca and Steven Fincher
Honors, awards: Numerous fencing medals, including two gold and one silver; top 16.1 percent of all participants in Moody's Mega Math Challenge; "Dodgeball Master."
College plans: Corban University, majoring in business and accounting and minoring in Bible.
Career plans: I plan on either being a financial analyst or own a business.
Parents: Hank and Rebecca Rademacher
Honors, awards: Rogue Valley Pear Blossom Queen; student body vice president; National Honor Society president; Eagle Point FFA Star Chapter Farmer; Eagle Point FFA Chapter Reporter and District Outstanding Reporter; National FFA Livestock Evaluation Contest (Gold Individual), fourth place team; FFA State Champion Livestock Evaluation Team (Second High Individual); FFA State Champion Floriculture Team (First High Individual); Oregon FFA State Degree Recipient; Top 5 Percent of graduating class for four years, earning the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Eagle awards; Gold Gown Honor in 2015 graduation for being in Top 10 of 2016 graduating class; Eagle Point High School representative at Hugh O’Brian Youth Oregon Leadership Conference; Oregon ambassador at HOBY World Leadership Congress.
College plans: Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., majoring in agricultural communications and minoring in international studies in agriculture.
Career plans: I would like to become an international agricultural ambassador and work with farmers and ranchers in impoverished nations to better their agricultural practices and fight the global hunger crisis.
Parents: Carrie and Mark Stanton
Honors, awards: Scholar Athlete, Top 5 Percent of class and Ford Scholar.
College plans: Willamette University.
Career plans: I plan to attend medical school and pursue a career as a pediatrician.
ROGUE RIVER HIGH SCHOOL
Isobel Nona Berglund
Parents: Racquel and Matthew Berglund
College plans: University of Oregon's Robert D. Clark Honors College, majoring in East Asian languages and literature and minoring in music.
Career plans: To become a translator of Asian languages for the United Nations.
Parents: Nancy and Kendall Birdsall
Honors, awards: Honor Roll and honorable mention for volleyball and basketball during senior year.
College plans: To attend Brigham Young University-Hawaii for two years and then transfer to Brigham Young University-Idaho to finish out my degree.
Career plans: To become an elementary school teacher and then, maybe, eventually become a superintendent.
PROSPECT HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Darin and Chana May
Honors, awards: Student Body vice president; leadership, four years; Honor Roll, four years; varsity football, four years; varsity basketball, four years; varsity baseball, four years.
College plans: To join the Air Force and obtain my college degree while serving my country.
Career plans: After the Air Force, I plan on pursuing a career in law enforcement.
BUTTE FALLS HIGH SCHOOL
Raleighanne Grace Weaver
Parents: Charlotte and Daniel Weaver
Honors, awards: Honor Roll; Third-Year Future Business Leaders of America National Qualifier; All-State volleyball team; National Honor Society.
College plans: Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, majoring in exercise science, minoring in art and playing volleyball.
Career plans: I plan to pursue a career as an athletic trainer or in sports medicine. I also want to involve graphic design in my future career plans.
ST. MARY’S SCHOOL
Hailey Christina Ordal
Parents: John and Kathie Ordal
Honors, awards: National Merit Scholar; National Merit Scholarship; AP National Scholar; Cum Laude Honor Society; University of Southern California Trustee Scholar and scholarship recipient; Violet Richardson Award; Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, Certificate of Excellence and President’s Volunteer Service Award; Grange Co-op Scholarship; National Spanish Exam, first in state for Spanish levels one, three and four; National German Exam silver award; and the Diabetes Scholars Foundation Scholarship.
College plans: University of Southern California, double majoring in economics/mathematics and international relations, and minoring in Russian.
Career plans: Economist specializing in macro-economic analysis of European countries and the former Soviet Bloc.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Jeff and Kim Shelton
GPA: 4.0 (unweighted)
Honors, awards: Association of Christian Schools International Distinguished Christian Student of the Year in Leadership, 2015-16; ACSI Distinguished Christian Student of the Year in Academics, 2015-16; Laurel’s Scholarship; Scholars' Diploma.
College plans: To participate in the Jackson Josephine Pledge Program at Southern Oregon University, majoring in business administration and minoring in communications.
Career: My current goal is to get my Juris Doctor degree in agricultural law and become an agricultural lawyer.
ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST ACADEMY
Parents: Kenny and Hollie Shults
Honors, awards: National Honor Society.
College plans: Walla Walla University, in College Place, Wash., studying pre-med.
Career plans: I would like to get a degree in sports medicine.