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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 Class of 2015 valedictorians and salutatorians

Falcon High SchoolValedictorian: Mitchell CarrollMitchell Carroll will leave in August to serve a two-year church mission in Santiago, Chile. Following the mission, Carroll will attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and is considering a career in mechanical engineering. ìIíve taken a lot of art and math classes, and I thought that mechanical engineering would be a good way to combine those two,î Carroll said. His favorite memory from high school happened his freshman year. ìI went out for cross country, and we went to the state meet,î Carrol said. ìI got to run with all the seniors as a freshman, and that was pretty fun.îSalutatorian: Matthew WentzMatthew Wentz will attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York this fall. With an affinity for math, he hopes to study mechanical engineering. ìI like seeing how things work,î Wentz said. ìMechanical engineering will give me a broad spectrum of things I can do in the future.î His favorite memory from high school took place his senior year, when the senior boys competed in a talent show, he said. ìI won Mr. Falcon,î Wentz said. ìI performed a dance, and my friends and I made a cheerleading squad and came up with our own cheers.îSand Creek High SchoolValedictorian: Brody StrunkBrody Strunk will attend the University of Colorado Boulder in the fall. Until then, he plans to write and produce music with his band, Letters to the Living, he said. Strunk will study mechanical engineering, with a minor in computer science. ìMy interest in engineering and technology arose during the four years of engineering courses I took at Sand Creek High School,î he said. ìIt was nice to get a feeling of what the profession is like.î Strunk said his favorite memory took place during a trip to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston with his engineering classmates. ìI got really close to several friends and met many amazing people,î he said.Salutatorian: Hugo LaraHugo Lara will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida this fall. He plans to study aerospace engineering, with a minor in unmanned aircraft systems. ìI will be studying aerospace engineering because of my passion for aviation,î Lara said. ìEver since I was a child, I had a love for planes and aspirations for becoming a pilot, but the applied sciences that came with aviation interested me the most. I want to learn how to design, build, test and improve aircraft and systems of the like.î Lara said his favorite memory of high school is having U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn confirm he had received a congressional nomination to the United States Naval Academy. ìI was happy receiving such an honor by a congressman, and I was delighted to make my family and friends proud,î he said.Vista Ridge High SchoolValedictorian: Rachel KnocheRachel Knoche will attend the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, in the fall. She plans to study computer science. ìI took computer science and engineering classes in school, and I really liked the coding and everything like that,î she said. Hopefully, she will be able to translate that into a career in the software world, Knoche said. Her favorite memory from high school is studying with her friends, she said. ìI would FaceTime my friends really late at night before tests, and we would study together,î she said.Salutatorian: Raymond GahaganThe NFH made several attempts to contact Raymond but did not hear back from him or his family.

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