Achievement House Blog

Senior Shoutouts 2020 Blog Image Day 1

2020 Senior Shoutouts: Jamie White and Sequoia Horning

Julia DeBald

Jamie White: 2020 Valedictorian

     This year’s Valedictorian is a student who has been described as disciplined, friendly, hardworking, and curious by her teachers. Senior Jamie White balanced school life with excellent grades while also working almost 30 hours a week at her local Starbucks. Her work ethic landed her a promotion as a shift supervisor, something she says was a very proud moment for her.

I have always struggled to do more than just school because it’s always been my top priority,” Jamie says. “Challenging myself and being able to handle both, however, proved that I’m capable of not letting either of my responsibilities slip.

     Jamie shares what a valued experience it was for her to receive individualized help during her time at Achievement House. As a result, she gained special relationships with her teachers who cared deeply about her reaching her full potential. 

Public school was a challenge for me because I was not naturally gifted, which forced me to work 10x harder to get the same grades as my peers in the higher-level classes I took,” Jamie says. “This always made me frustrated and feel like I stood out like a sore thumb because I was not learning in the same ways. Having teachers who just wanted to see me succeed while supporting me all the way felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

     Jamie’s Calculus teacher, Ms. Tweed, shares how much she has enjoyed getting to know Jamie.  

Jamie excels in the classroom and beyond,” Ms. Tweed says. “Jamie consistently attends live class and even visits the drop-in-center just to hang out and complete her coursework. During the Covid-19 stay-at-home order, Jamie is still busy serving a hot cup of coffee and a friendly smile!

     After graduation, Jamie plans to move up in Starbucks’ management and even has the option of attending Arizona State University through a program that Starbucks has set up. They would pay for Jamie’s schooling if she decides on another career path. We know that no matter what she decides, she will shine! Congratulations, Jamie!

Sequoia Horning: 2020 Salutatorian

     Our Salutatorian’s perseverance and discipline is something to be admired. Even while facing setbacks in her personal life, she remained positive, attended live class daily, and continued to participate. Through her determined spirit and will to succeed, she finishes her senior year with an almost perfect GPA. 

I can think of many times that I got overwhelmed with school, work, and just life in general and I didn’t know how I would get all my work done,” Sequoia says. “Even those times when I thought for sure I would fail, I pulled through and kept going, which resulted in me getting a good grade after all. One of my greatest achievements is being able to graduate with my current academic status.

     Sequoia has described her teachers as wonderful and her favorite part about Achievement House. She loves attending live classes, because they always start with teachers and students talking about their days and getting to know each other better. 

Having teachers who care about your well being and make sure that you get the help you need rather than solely focusing on your grade is something I will always remember about Achievement House, Sequoia says. “Every teacher I've had made sure that no student fell behind.

     Sequoia’s personal finance teacher, Mr. Jim Flick, shares that he loves having Sequoia in class just as much as she loves attending. He feels very fortunate to have been her teacher over the years. 

Sequoia’s senior year was not easy trying to balance working part-time with schoolwork, but in true Sequoia fashion, she passed with high grades,” Mr. Flick says. “One survey she did for class revealed that she has an investigator’s mindset, which is having strong math and computer skills while also being a good communicator with a natural ability to work well with others. I look forward to hearing about her future successes.

     After graduation, Sequoia plans to take a gap year to decide what career she may want to pursue while continuing to work as a shift lead at Auntie Anne’s. She currently loves her job and is excited to see what opportunities may be available to her within the company. Also being a wiz with numbers, she plans to explore an online college where she could study to become an accountant one day. Her endless possibilities prove that hard work really does pay off! Congratulations, Sequoia!