Sunday, July 14, 2024

CHS salutatorian balances leadership, academics and athletics

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CASHMERE – Cashmere High School salutatorian Reese Westlund has balanced an impressive load of academics and activities throughout her high school career.

She has been involved in the CHS leadership all four years. She has served as the Class of 2024 president for freshmen, sophomore, and junior years. This year, she was the class secretary.

This year, she served and represented the school as ASB Vice President. She has been a peer mentor the last two years, helping Freshmen adjust to high school and has been involved in countless clubs. 

She was involved in the National Honor Society, Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Spanish Club, Bible Study and was yearbook editor. 

Westlund is also an all-season athlete and has participated in varsity cheer and tennis.

“All of these things that I have been involved in over the past four years have shaped me into the person that I am today,” she said. “They have taught me countless things about myself and have helped me step outside of my comfort zone and experience new things.”

“The main thing that motivated me to strive for academic excellence was my parents,” she said. “Having heard about all that they accomplished in their high school years and the opportunities that excelling in academics gave them was truly inspiring and something that I looked up to.” 

“The most influential people in my life throughout my high school journey were definitely my family,” she said. “They have always been here for me, encouraging me every step of the way to do my best in everything I do. They inspired me to do hard things and step outside of my comfort zone to get involved in new capacities around the high school.”

“They supported me in countless ways, whether that was driving me to sports and school before I got a car to staying up after my sports practices and helping me master a concept in a class at school,” she said. “I am forever grateful for all of the time they have poured into me and my academic career.”

With all of her activities, sports, and college courses Westlund had to work hard to manage her time but said that she grew better at it over time. Using a calendar to keep track of deadlines and completing work at school helped her manage her workload.

“The academic achievement that I am most proud of is being named Salutatorian,” she said. “It has taken dedication to get to the point where I am at today, and I am proud of my drive to always push to excel beyond the minimum requirements.”

The main challenges Westlund faced during her high school career were COVID-19 and online learning. 

“Having to adjust to everything being online and not getting to spend time with friends and be in person was definitely an adjustment,” she said. “The thing that helped me to overcome this was challenging myself academically in the online atmosphere and finding other hobbies to occupy my time helped me overcome this challenging time.”

A teacher who has significantly impacted her academic journey was Mr. Robertson. 

“He was my eighth-grade teacher, and I have gotten the opportunity to help out in his classroom this year while planning the CMS Corps of Discovery Trip for my senior project,” she said. “I have always looked up to him and have enjoyed the time that I have spent in his classroom. He has taught me to dream big and that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”

After graduation, Westlund will attend Texas Christian University, where she plans to major in marketing.

“The main life lesson that I have learned, that I plan to carry with me into my future, is knowing that my best will always be enough,” she said. “If I try my hardest and give my best effort on everything I do, it will always be enough.”

Quinn Propst: 509-731-3590 or quinn@ward.media.

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