By Marlys Good
Meet the honor graduates of the Greybull High School Class of 2018. Eduardo Burgos, Mason Werbelow, Jayden Stebritz, Makyela Sorensen, Kristin Collingwood and Bayley Burns are the co-valedictorians; Korbin Adams is the salutatorian.
They will be addressing family and friends at graduation exercises in the Buff Gym on Sunday, May 20, starting at 3:30 p.m.
All seven are members of the National Honor Society and all seven set their eyes on being the “best of the best,” although at different stages in their school years.
Mason, the son of Victor and Julie Werbelow of Emblem, said being a valedictorian “has been a priority for me for as long as I can remember. If it hadn’t been, I don’t think I would have ever achieved the honor.”
He’s been involved in science fairs, pep and concert bands, plays soccer for Worland High School, participated in the District Music Festival, NWC Guitar Ensemble, Northwest College Community Orchestra, Future Business Leaders of America and is active in 4-H.
He plans on attending the University of Wyoming to major in mechanical engineering and will participate in UW’s music program. When he completes his course of study at UW, Mason plans to attain his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Eventually he would like to work as an engineer in either Arizona or California.
He praises his maternal and fraternal grandmothers, Leona Leavitt and Joyce Werbelow, for their influence and impact on his life. “They have both taught me the importance of attitude, work ethic and religion. They have done this by setting excellent examples of what hard-working adults look like.”
Mason has been thinking a lot about the topic for his graduation speech but admits he hasn’t started writing it yet.
Eduardo, son of Juan and Maria Burgos, has worked hard to get good grades since elementary school; in middle school he maintained a 4.0 GPA and as a freshman started his march to the top of his class.
He has been involved in science fairs, Intel ISEF, Genius Olympiad, Spanish Club, FBLA and participated in basketball.
Eduardo said his parents have been the “greatest influence in my life. They are who motivate me to work hard in school as a way to show them how much I appreciate all the sacrifices they have made for me and the rest of my family. Without them, I would not be the person that I am today.”
He plans to attend Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pa. Although undecided about his course of study, “I am considering going into either the medical field or engineering.”
Looking ahead 10 years, Eduardo said he wants to be “happily working in whatever career I choose.”
Jayden, the daughter of Donald and Anna Stebritz, earned a spot a spot on the Gold honor roll when she was in middle school “I saw that it was possible for me to be at the top of my class, and when I saw that I could do it and saw the pride it brought my parents, I knew I had to continue.”
She was a member of the Greybull High School state champion speech and debate team, and is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
She said the advantages of living in a small town and attending a small high school “lie in the amount of support you get. In high school there is more of an opportunity for one-on-one time with teachers. It also helps you make more connections within the school and in your community and those connections help as you progress through school and get ready to graduate.”
She plans to attend the University of Providence in Great Falls, Mont., to major in Forensic Science.
Her thoughts on graduating “change every time someone asks,” she admitted. “I am scared for everything that comes after, but I am excited to start a new chapter in my life.”
In the future Jayden looks forward to working in the law enforcement field and “making a difference in my community. Mainly I just hope that I’m happy and helping the people around me because that’s what I want to do with my life.”
Makyela “Ky” is the daughter of Brent and Becky Sorensen. When she entered high school she set her eyes on being the valedictorian “and I pushed myself to maintain good grades”
Ky has been active in FFA, Student Council, Science Fair, History Day, Spanish Club, FBLA and participated in basketball and volleyball. She plans to attend the University of Jamestown (N.D.) and study biology, with a goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon who works with professional athletes.
Ky believes that attending a small high school gave her the advantage of “having such a personal relationship with my classmates and teachers. I knew that if I needed help with anything my teachers would help me. Even though our school is small, I feel I’ve had BIG opportunities.”
She appreciates her parents for “pushing me to achieve all my goals; I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
Kristin, like Mason, set her goal of being valedictorian way back when she started through the Greybull school system. She has worked hard scholastically, but still found time to participate in swimming, basketball, Future Business Leaders of America and SkillsUSA and had fun along the way.
Her future plans include attending Northern State University on a swim scholarship and pursuing a major in biology.
She has loved attending a small high school for several reasons: “You know all your classmates and the teachers care more about you personally.”
Kristen hasn’t settled on a career choice as yet, but 10-15 years down the road, “I’ll hopefully be working at a good job, and own my own house.”
She is the daughter of Jerry and Charlene Collingwood.
Bayley Burns, the daughter of Michelle Burns and Daniel Burns, credits her self-motivation and drive for her excellent academic record. “My goal in high school has been to keep good grades that would allow me to pursue the future I wanted; being valedictorian came along with that. I completed my freshmen and sophomore years at an online public high school; this allowed me to learn at my own pace and I had a wide variety of classes to choose from. I wanted a high quality education and utilized the tools available to receive one, going down a non-traditional path.”
Bayley hasn’t decided where she’ll go to college, but is “leaning” toward Seattle. She plans to major in psychology while following the pre-med path. “I then would like to go on to medical school to become a trauma surgeon.”
As for the topic of her graduation speech, Bayley said, “I haven’t put a great deal of thought into it yet, but I want the main focus to be on the lessons we’ve learned in high school and applying them to wherever your future leads you.”
She plans on working this summer to earn extra money for college, “and spend time with my friends before we part ways and not see each other very often.”
Korbin Adams began his schooling at Carolina Day School in Ashville, N.C. His family moved to Wyoming when he was in the sixth grade.
He recalls when he was a freshman he got a B in Ag, “So I wasn’t really focusing on being an honor student. It turns out that was the only B I got, so I just gradually grew into it. I’m proud of what I achieved. Getting nearly all As (except for the pesky B) isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of hard work and concentration.”
He’s been involved in football and basketball and is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. He will enroll in University of Wyoming this fall, with current plans of studying medicine and eventually becoming a doctor.
Eventually he would like to live “somewhere on the east coast” and practice medicine.
The most influential person in Korbin’s life has been “my dad, Jeff Adams. Unfortunately he passed away in November but he taught me many things about life that I will never forget.”
He is going to miss all the close friendships he has made over the last four years. “I know everyone says they can’t wait to get out of the house and be on their own, but I already know I am going to miss the many little things my mom has done for me over the years.”
He is he son of Kim and the late Jeff Adams.