Three share valedictory honors at GHS

By marlys good

Logan Jensen, Sabrina Heuschkel, McKenna Powers and Ceirra Carlson are the top graduates of the Class of 2014. Logan, Sabrina and McKenna share valedictorian honors and Ceirra Carlson, just a spot back, is the salutatorian.

The four excellent scholars have achieved a goal they set as elementary and middle school students and are looking forward to the challenges ahead as they leave the halls of Greybull High School.

Jensen, the son of Ken and Kathy Jensen, plans to attend the University of Wyoming to pursue a major in astronomy/astro-physics. “But that could change,” he laughs. Down the road he would “hopefully” be working for NASA.

His career choice has been influenced by his older brother Trevor. “He was going into the science field and gave me an idea of what I needed to try for; what I had to look forward to. He’s out there right now doing an internship in Mississippi on dolphin research. He was in Florida, now in Mississippi, working his way through it.”

He has especially enjoyed classes taught by Joel Kuper (science) and Michael Blissitt (math). “Their classes were in my target fields, things I was interested in. I enjoyed their classes and had a lot of fun.”

In addition to membership in the National Honor Society and Student Council, Logan has competed in football, basketball and track all four years.

Looking beyond GHS, Logan says he is going to miss “being in classes that are small enough I know everyone, laid back enough you can have some fun and still learn.”

Sabrina is the daughter of Steve and Paula Heuschkel. In addition to the National Honor Society, Sabrina interests have centered on music. She plays in the jazz, concert and pep bands, so it is no surprise that Michael Jaycox has been one of her most influential instructors; she also notes the influence of John Kunkel. “Through Mr. Jaycock I’ve become more comfortable with music; I’ve gained more self-confidence. With Mr. Kunkel, it’s the same thing.”

She also gives credit to her parents (“They have done so much for me”) and her friends. “They have just helped me become more comfortable with myself and have encouraged me with the goals I have set.”

She plans to attend the University of Wyoming to earn a degree in either astrophysics or psychology with a goal of earning her master’s degree in one of the two fields and eventually do research.

McKenna Powers, daughter of Duane and Cindy Powers, won’t have much time to think about her May 18 graduation. The regional track meet is May 16-17 in Lander and the state track meet, for which she has already prequalified, is May 22-24. Graduation will be sandwiched in between the two.

McKenna will have six weeks after the state meet to get ready for the next big step in her life. She is to be inducted into the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. on July 1. That will be the realization of a dream she has had since she was 14 years old, partially fueled by her father who spent 20 years as a Navy pilot and is currently flying in Afghanistan, where he is under contract. “I’ve always wanted to be in the military,” she said, and serving her country went hand-in-hand with that choice.

Her final goal is to be a naval aviator.

McKenna is a member of the National Honor Society. She has participated in basketball, volleyball, track and this fall competed in indoor track with the Worland High School team. But her favorite sport has always been track. “I love track seasons, track practices, meets — and my teammates. It is fun,” she said. Her involvement in activities did not detract from her academic studies.

McKenna gives all the credit for her success to her parents. “They always make sure I’m trying my best and are always encouraging.”

McKenna said she wouldn’t change a thing about her life. “Everything came out exactly the way I planned.” She did admit, with a laugh, that along with her determination, work ethic, and emphasis on academics, “There might have been a little bit of luck involved.”

Ceirra Carlson, the salutatorian, is looking forward to earning a degree in environmental engineering. She had hopes of attending the University of Michigan, but after looking further she realized it was financially impractical.

She has elected to attend Sheridan College for the first two years. “It was one of the junior colleges (in Wyoming) that had courses in the exact degree that I want to major in.” Her excellent academic record has earned her multiple scholarships so “it will pretty much pay for the first two years. After that I can pretty much go where I want.”

The week before graduation Ceirra will be in Los Angeles competing in the International Science and Engineering Fair. This is her third trip to the international fair; her first trip was as an observer; this is her second time as a finalist.

She has been active in volleyball and basketball, played soccer for Worland High School for two years; is a member of FBLA, Student Council, Science Club, Spanish Club, Pep Club and the National Honor Society.

Her advice to underclassman is to be involved. “Everything I remember about high school isn’t going to be about going to classes every day. It will be FBLA, Student Council … things like that where I met and made new friends that I will remember. I am going to miss that.”

She will be serving an internship with the Bureau of Land Management in Worland this summer. It is no surprise that she will be working as “an environmental aide type of person.”

Ceirra said her parents, Mike and Shelby Carlson, are the most influential people in her life. “They do so much for me.”

The four will be giving their respective addresses at graduation exercises May 18 at 3:30 p.m. in the Buff Gym.