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Get to know the 2017-18 valedictorians, salutatorian

Here are the continued interviews for the 2018 valedictorians and salutatorians. Below are interviews with salutatorian Hally Ruff, as well as valedictorians Macy Quinn-Sears, Joaquin Sunhawk Miranda Durling-Jones, Meghan Yenney, Scott Golden, Christiana Zaugg and Blake Morris. 

Hally Ruff

Have you gone to Wa-Hi all four years?

“I went to CC for 2 years.”

What is the most memorable aspect of Wa-HI?

“The relationships I’ve formed over the years with teachers and friends.”

What has helped you succeed at Wa-Hi?

“My family and my teachers.”

What do you do outside of school?

“I run track, do swimming, and work at Memorial Pool.”

Have you committed to college anywhere? If so, what contributed to that decision?

“I am going to Arizona State University; I applied there and to University of Washington. Both my sisters went to ASU, and it just felt like home, and I love the warmth.”

What are you most interested in studying?

“I’m studying civil engineering because I love math and science, and I want to work outside.”

What do you see yourself working toward in 5 years?

“I see myself with a steady job, and a house with at least 3 dogs.”

Was one of your goals to be valedictorian/salutatorian?

“It was not my goal to be salutatorian, I was just trying to get good grades so I could get good scholarships, but it’s pretty cool that I got it.”

Macy Quinn-Sears

What is the most memorable aspect of Wa-Hi?

“I think I’ll remember the insane effort many of my teachers put into their students; they do so much more than their job requires, and I will always appreciate how they pushed me to be my absolute best.”

What has helped you succeed at Wa-Hi?

“Coffee.”

What do you do outside of school?

“I’m a journalist, but I also ride horses competitively and have been working part-time since my sophomore year. Right now I’m a server at The Olive.”

Have you committed to a college anywhere? If so, what contributed to that decision?

“In September I’ll be moving to Cardiff, Wales, to study Journalism, Communications and Politics. I’ve known for years that I wanted to study journalism, and that I wanted to study abroad, so Cardiff Uni just happened to be the perfect choice. I also already had a U.K. passport, so why not?”

What are you most interested in studying?

“Journalism, but specifically print — I’d settle for online, but broadcast has never been my thing.”

What do you see yourself working toward in 5 years?

“Because my degree will only take three years, and my Masters will only take one more year, I’m hoping to be working for a bilingual newspaper, either in the UK or in a Spanish-speaking country.”

Was one of your goals to be valedictorian/salutatorian?

“I don’t think I ever saw myself as valedictorian, but I always obsessed over grades to an unhealthy level. So, in a way the title was just a product of high self-expectations.”

Joaquin Sunhawk Miranda Durling-Jones

Have you gone to Wa-Hi all four years?

“No, This is my first year at Wa-Hi”

What is the most memorable aspect of Wa-Hi?

“I don't know. I like the campus, it’s probably the biggest campus I’ve been to. It’s really green, it has the stream going down. That’s pretty cool.”

What has helped you succeed at Wa-Hi?

“The teachers. They're very understanding, and they always help me out when I need it.”

What do you do outside of school?

“The main thing I do outside of school is play soccer, but right now, since I tore my ACL, mostly physical therapy to be honest”.

Have you committed to a college anywhere? If so, what contributed to that decision?

“I committed to Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, New York City. They are Division 1, so I can play soccer there, and I just really love New York City”.

What are you most interested in studying?

“Maybe something in social studies, like humanities. Maybe sociology, anthropology or economics, that sort of thing. Because I’ve traveled a lot in my life, I’ve really seen a lot of different cultures and that is a big part of sociology and anthropology, studying cultures.”    

What do you see yourself working toward in 5 years?

“Hopefully playing soccer professionally, that’s what I want to do with my life.”

Was one of your goals to be valedictorian/salutatorian?

“Yeah, one of my goals was to be valedictorian, because when I came here I checked my rank in the school and I saw that I had the possibility.”

Meghan Yenney

What is the most memorable aspect of Wa-Hi?

“Probably meeting new people, and all the opportunities it gave me.”

What has helped you succeed at Wa-Hi?

“My teachers have always been super helpful, and whenever I’m confused I can go to them.”

What do you do outside of school?

“I play softball, basketball, and I work.”

Have you committed to a college anywhere? If so, what contributed to that decision?

“Yeah, so I’m going to UW. It’s close enough to home that I can come back, but also far

— away and it's in a city. I wanted to be in the city.”

What are you most interested in studying?

“Finance, because math has always been my favorite subject.”

What do you see yourself working toward in 5 years?

“Graduated college and finding a job. Hopefully, being successful at whatever I’m doing. I want to live in a big city and be a personal financer, and hopefully be able to travel.”   

Was one of your goals to be valedictorian/salutatorian?

“Yes, I have always set myself high standards and I knew that I could do it.”

Blake Morris

Have you gone to Wa-Hi all four years?

“No, I went to College Place High School my freshman year, but have been at Wa-Hi since the beginning of my sophomore year.”

What is the most memorable aspect of Wa-Hi?

“The most memorable aspect at Wa-Hi is its very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, created by both the staff and students. AP Physics with Mr. Ahrens was definitely the most memorable and enjoyable class that I took throughout my years at Wa-Hi.”

What has helped you succeed at Wa-Hi?

“The excellent faculty and teaching staff at Wa-Hi has definitely been a part of my success, in addition to my commitment to work hard and study diligently inside and outside of the classroom.”

What do you do outside of school?

“I work at my dad’s cabinet shop, Richards and Lees Cabinets. Whenever I am not studying or working, I am at the shop working on completing a frame-off restoration on my dad and I’s 1974 Corvette. But if I am not turning wrenches in the shop, I am either playing my electric guitar or out on the river bass fishing.”

Have you committed to college anywhere? If so, what contributed to that decision?

“Yes, I have committed to Walla Walla University. I chose Walla Walla University for its excellent mechanical engineering program, its small and welcoming campus, and for the fact that I can still live at home while attending school. I had already decided that I would attend Walla Walla University when I visited last spring, so it was the only school I applied to.”

What are you most interested in studying?

“I am going to be majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in both computer science and mathematics. I am interested in mechanical engineering because it combines my passions for designing, building, and problem solving with my academic strengths in mathematics and physics.”

What do you see yourself working toward in 5 years?

“In five years, I will have graduated college, and I either see myself continuing on to graduate school for my master’s degree or starting my career if I end up with a job from one of my internships during college.”

Was one of your goals to be valedictorian/salutatorian?

“Yes, it was one of my goals to be a valedictorian, but not for the title or recognition at graduation. My goal in life has always been to put my all into whatever I do, whether it be my academics or hobbies. In high school, that meant always working hard and being very thorough and detailed in my studies so that I could get the most benefit out of my time and secure the best possible future for myself.”

Scott Golden

What is the most memorable aspect of Wa-Hi?

“...the athletics”

What has helped you succeed at Wa-Hi?

“I would say a lot of the teachers. They are very helpful and they want you to succeed, so I feel like they were a big part of my success.”

What do you do outside of school?

“I play baseball and basketball. I fish and hunt, too, outdoor stuff.”

Have you committed to a college anywhere? If so, what contributed to that decision?

“I’m going to CC. I applied to some other state colleges, too, and I got accepted, but I figured I’d stay here and go to CC for a couple years. Then I’ll head off to Gonzaga.”   

What are you most interested in studying?

“I’m actually looking to go into computer science and programing. I got into a class last year that I really enjoyed, so I decided I’d go into that. I took another class this year and I liked it. So, my big goal is to major in computer science and math.”

What do you see yourself working toward in 5 years?

“Well, my big dream would be to be working at microsoft.”

Was one of your goals to be valedictorian/salutatorian?

“Well, that wasn’t really one of my goals. I’ve always worked hard, and that's just a perk and just shows hard work paying off.”

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Walla Walla High School Health Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

We are celebrating the opening of the new Walla Walla High School Health Center during a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Tuesday, September 26th at 10 a.m. This student-based health center specializes in mental health services, while also providing primary medical care. Special thanks to the Walla Walla County Commissioners for their generous support in helping fund the Wa-Hi Health Center. Also thanks to the non-profit organization The Health Center for its long-standing partnership with Walla Walla Public Schools in operating all of Walla Walla's student-based health centers.

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FBLA competes at state

On April 19-22, 19 members of the Walla Walla High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), attended the annual FBLA State Business Conference in Spokane, Washington after qualifying at the Regional Winter Conference earlier this year.

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Walla Walla High School

WAHI logoletters web800 Abbott Road
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Ph) 509-527-3020
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The Walla Walla School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The Assistant Director of Human Resources, 364 South Park Street, Walla Walla, Washington 99362, (509) 527-3000, has been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination.