As graduation day quickly approaches, Dunsmuir High School valedictorians Heather Coe and Nick Ewens and salutatorian Leah Henson are gearing up for the speeches they’ll be giving on the big night.
“It feels good to be recognized for all our hard work,” said Coe, who was named Dunsmuir High School Student of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators in March. She was also the recipient of the Darold and Judy Adamson Scholarship, which recognizes superior NSCIF student athletes.
Coe will be moving on to Sacramento State University in the fall with dreams of becoming a lawyer. She has lived in Dunsmuir her entire life and says she will miss the luxury of a small, close-knit school.
Ewens and Henson say the same.
“There are pros and cons, but it’s nice because you know everyone really well – it’s almost like we’re family,” Henson said. “I think we’re going to miss the teachers most of all.”
Ewens credits the faculty for his success in school, especially his math teacher, Gabe Dougherty. “If it wasn’t for Mr. Dougherty, I wouldn’t be valedictorian,” Ewens said. “My freshman year, I had average grades, but Mr. Dougherty saw that I had potential and encouraged me to get my grades up.”
Ewens, who has lived in Dunsmuir since he was very young, will be attending California State University at Long Beach next year. He plans to major in mechanical engineering. In addition to being a top student, Ewens will soon become an Eagle Scout.
“It’s exciting [to be valedictorian] because it’s something that we’ve worked for all through high school since we were freshman,” Ewens said.
“I was surprised when I found out I was salutatorian,” Henson said, “but I’m really excited.”
Henson was the recent recipient of the H.W. Trapnell Service Award at Tiger Awards night. She will be attending College of the Siskiyous after graduation and plans to major in business adminstration or accounting. She, like Coe, has lived in Dunsmuir her entire life.
“I’m excited [to graduate], but I’m really going to miss everyone here,” Henson said. “We have each been a key part in each other’s lives... we’ve been together since we were really young... but we’re all going to keep in touch.”
Coe, Ewens and Henson will graduate along with 16 of their classmates this Friday, May 29. The ceremony, which will be held at the DHS gymnasium, begins at 7 p.m.