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Valedictorians honored at annual dinner
There are five valedictorians this year at Mariposa County High School. They were honored last week for their hard work. From left, Quinn Whatley, Cameron Yancey, Sami Norman, Blake Atkins and Dawn Canapary are shown at this year’s MCHS Valedictorian Dinner. Photo by Matt Johnson

There are five valedictorians this year at Mariposa County High School. They were honored last week for their hard work. From left, Quinn Whatley, Cameron Yancey, Sami Norman, Blake Atkins and Dawn Canapary are shown at this year’s MCHS Valedictorian Dinner. Photo by Matt Johnson

The hard work of five Mariposa County High School students was rewarded last week.

The school’s five valedictorians were treated to dinner at Savoury’s, a restaurant in Mariposa. It was part of the MCHS Academic Booster Club’s annual Valedictorian Dinner.

MCHS awards valedictorian status to multiple students each school year.

This year’s valedictorians include: Blake Atkins, Dawn Canapary, Sami Norman, Quinn Whatley and Cameron Yancey.

The students earned the title of valedictorian by taking the most rigorous courses offered at MCHS as determined by the classes taken upon entry as freshmen. Their course load must include four years of math through pre-calculus, four years of science with three being lab sciences, three years of the same foreign language, Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and AP English Language and all Honors and AP classes available to the student.

Valedictorian students must earn a “B” or higher in all classes and maintain a weighted GPA of 4.0 or higher.

Each student’s mentor gives the student her or his valedictorian medal, and says a few words about the valedictorian. MCHS valedictorian Sami Norman (right) is honored by her mentor, Brooke Dobson. Submitted photo

Each student’s mentor gives the student her or his valedictorian medal, and says a few words about the valedictorian. MCHS valedictorian Sami Norman (right) is honored by her mentor, Brooke Dobson. Submitted photo

Atkins will be attending the University of California, Berkeley, this fall to study biological sciences.

Canapary will be attending Oberlin College, a liberal arts school in Ohio. She will play soccer at Oberlin.

Norman will be attending the University of California, San Diego to study linguistics in the fall.

Whatley will be attending the University of California, Davis to study neurobiology, physiology and behavior. She plans to pursue a career in medicine and serve in international areas as well as rural United States communities.

Yancey will be attending Brigham Young University for one semester before spending two years on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Eventually he plans to pursue a degree in human biology.

During the course of the evening, the students heard from guest speaker Jennifer Ritter Trump. She graduated from MCHS in 2009 and went to study religion and dance at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Eventually she earned her Masters of Science in Education and Special Education before moving back to Mariposa. She now teaches sixth grade at Mariposa Elementary School.

Students also had the opportunity to invite their parents as well as mentors from the community who have helped shape them over the years.

Each student’s mentor gives the student her or his valedictorian medal, and says a few words about the valedictorian.

The event was sponsored by the MCHS Academic Boosters Club thanks to a donation by local company

SierraTel, and the support of Mirriam Platto, owner of Savoury’s. In addition to the meal at Savoury’s, the boosters give each valedictorian an orchid and a $50 gift card to Amazon.com. The MCHS Academic Boosters Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to supplement and enrich academic experiences and provide updated educational tools for MCHS students.

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