DHS valedictorian Weld 'always has a good word'

Liz Pyles
Clara Weld is valedictorian for Dunsmuir High School's Class of 2012.

In her three years at Dunsmuir High School, senior Clara Weld has been class president three times, a participant in four different sports, an active member in school clubs, and is now approaching graduation as the Class of 2012’s valedictorian.

She will be giving the valedictory speech during the DHS graduation ceremony on June 8, which will take place at the Dunsmuir Elementary School gymnasium beginning at 7 p.m.

Clara is a “fantastic young woman, who has huge potential.  She is an academic scholar and a very good athlete,” said Ray Kellar, Dunsmuir High School’s vice principal, teacher, athletic director, and coach. Kellar described Clara as personable, humble, quiet, confident and funny.

Richard McCormack, First Baptist Church Pastor and Dunsmuir Sports website owner said, “She is one of the most dynamic individuals I have ever met. She always has a good word to say, no matter what.”

This year, Clara was chosen to receive the Association of California School Administrators award “based on her fine academic performance, school involvement, and of course, her wonderful personality and ethical nature,” Kellar said.  Superintendent/principal Leonard Foremen recently presented the award to her.

Clara has played three years of volleyball and basketball, two years of softball, and competed four years in track, winning league this year in the 100m, 200m, and 400m races. The track coach at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois, saw Clara’s track statistics and contacted her about competing for the college. She will be attending there after graduation on an academic scholarship awarded to her by the school.

“I’m going there to run track,” said Clara. “He was the first coach to come ask me to run, so I’m excited about it. The girls’ team just took their conference meet.”   Although she hasn’t visited the college, Clara is ready for the adventure. She will be majoring in criminal justice and pursuing a career as a police officer or CHP. “I like the idea of structure and keeping people safe,” she said. Clara received $21,000 in academic scholarships from AU, along with a $1,000 Evergreen School Athletic scholarship, and a $100 Adamson scholarship.

Born in Castella to Peggy and Marty Weld, Clara attended Castle Rock Elementary School through fifth grade. She moved to Redding and attended school there through her freshman year. Sophomore year, Clara started at DHS and has been class president all three years.

She’s also involved in the Interact Club and Odyssey Angels, a community service club. At DHS, she said Mr. Kellar has inspired her the most and is her favorite teacher/coach.  “He’s a really good mentor.  He gives good advice and is there for the students.”  

What motivates Clara? “I want to do well for those I care about,” she said. “I like setting self-goals and achieving them.”

Although excited to go to Aurora University, she said she will miss the small town feel of Dunsmuir and knowing everybody.