Huyette, McGee tops in '11
By Emily Charrier-Botts INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
Jun 2, 2011 - 06:37 PM
EMMA MCGEE, SALUTATORIAN; and Noah Huyette, valedictorian, are preparing to look back at their four years at Sonoma Valley High School during graduation Friday.
Both valedictorian Noah Huyette and salutatorian Emma McGee are excited to address their classmates, teachers and families during Friday evening's Sonoma Valley High graduation ceremony, but both said they are more excited about what the future holds for them, even though they will be worlds apart next year.
Huyette will be heading to Butler University in Indianapolis in the fall, where he is on the pre-med track but hopes to major in anthropology.
"It's a field of study that fascinates me," the 18-year-old said, adding, "They also offered me some great scholarships."
He said it'll be an interesting change moving from sunny California to the Midwest, but he is excited to experience life outside Sonoma.
McGee will be get a taste not only of life outside Sonoma, but life outside of the United States as well. She is one of a select few accepted to New York University Abu Dhabi, a new college located in the United Arab Emirates. McGee will be a student in the university's second-ever class. More than 9,000 students from around the globe applied to join the inaugural class, which began last September, and only 150 were selected, representing 39 countries around the globe.
"The idea is a global honors school," McGee said, adding that she applied on a whim after receiving a flier in the mail. "I've always been interested in studying something internationally related. To get to actually experience that instead of studying it in an international relations class is much more effective."
McGee visited the school during candidates week, when the university flew out potential students to see the campus. She said she was impressed with the academic programs, which have attracted professors from Ivy League colleges, as well as the city of Abu Dhabi.
"There's a lot of different culture convening there," she said. "It's a really interesting city because it was literally formed 40 years ago."
But before their adventures can begin, both Huyette and McGee are looking forward to their last summer of living at home, hanging out with friends and being young in Sonoma.
Huyette is the son of Florie and Michael Huyette. Throughout high school, he played basketball, participated in the Spanish Honors Society and was a part of the award-winning Forensics Team this year. Through the honor society, he built a partnership with La Luz to help provide student volunteers for the nonprofit's fundraising events. He was also part of the first class of graduating seniors who were part of the school district's dual immersion program. As a recipient of the Morton Finey Leadership Award from Butler University, he will continue his passion for community service in college.
Looking back on his years of high school, he said he will most fondly remember the many instrumental teachers who helped guide his scholastic career. "There's a handful of teachers who have always been there for me," he said, declining to identify any specifically. "When the teachers read this, they'll know who they are."
McGee is the daughter of Tim McGee and Julie Shoffner-McGee. In high school, she was active in track and field, cross country and soccer; participated in the Spanish Honor Society, the Interact service club and the Moneymakers Club and also wrote for the school's literary magazine, "Mines."
Looking back on high school, she said her favorite experience was serving as a campaign manager with the high school's annual convention. "It was when I felt most connected to my school," she said.