Vals and sal gals to give speeches at graduation


Kevin Ayala/Reporter

Top to bottom: Adria Burton, Sienna Sutton, Mlen Azruin

As this school year comes to an end, La Quinta High School recognizes the achievements of the Class of 2018’s top scholars: Adria Burton and Sienna Sutton, this year’s valedictorians, as well as Mlen Azurin, salutatorian.

Burton is graduating with a GPA of 5.14 and will be attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She will study architectural engineering, focusing on biomimicry to create environmentally friendly designs. Burton is grateful for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, as it has encouraged her to fulfill all her dreams at LQHS.

Over the years, Burton has been involved in girls’ basketball, environmental club, and the California Scholarship Federation, and has served as the ASB executive vice president. Some of her greatest memories were with her basketball team, who became a “second family” to her.

She is especially thankful to Mr. Wallace for being her mentor: through Algebra II and Calculus, and as her adviser for her extended essay. She commented that his support will continue to matter to her for the rest of her life.

Her advice to the senior class would be, “If you work hard, the rest will follow.” No matter how high school went for you, she encourages making the next chapter bigger and better. Keep an eye out for Burton-designed buildings in a city near you!

Sutton is also graduating with a GPA of 5.14 and will be attending UCLA, with a major in biology, as her plan is to become a pediatrician. Ten years from now, Sutton sees herself “living somewhere that’s not here.”

She shared that being involved in the IB program helped her with managing her time efficiently and meeting deadlines. As a cheerleader, Sutton will most miss being involved with school spirit weeks.

Sutton’s advice to the underclassmen is to “just keep going.” She added, “It gets really rough around junior year; but if you push through, then you will get the college decisions that you want.”

Azurin is graduating with a final GPA of 5.09 and will be attending Cal State Fullerton in order to become a nurse anesthetist. She hopes to enroll in a doctorate program, so that she may practice within a decade. She attributes much of her college preparation to the rigor of IB.

Azurin was involved in the girls’ tennis team, Key Club, Botball Robotics, and the Hawkview school newspaper. She also volunteered at JFK Memorial Hospital throughout the year.

Her greatest memories include RYLA and Theory of Knowledge class. She is ecstatic about earning salutatorian, especially since this will be one of the last classes to have one.

Azurin’s advice to underclassmen is to “find the balance between fun and responsibilities.” For those enrolled in the IB program, she encourages students to really put their minds into it, and they will realize that it is not that hard. Finally, Azurin encourages everyone to explore the clubs offered here at LQHS, and to start one if the right one does not yet exist.

These girls are a shining example of academic success and they will be great role models in years to come.