Eighth grader Alex Farrow, son of Kelly and Erik Farrow, was selected as one of Altimira Middle School’s students of the year.

Alex attended Dunbar Elementary School and, during his three years at Altimira, has maintained a 3.98 cumulative GPA in all of his classes. This year, his academic load includes algebra, advanced Language Arts and accelerated science. He has also a been a member of Altimira’s school band for the last three years.

Alex says he likes U.S. history best because, “Our teacher Mr. (Justin) Hollander integrates real life into his curriculum.” His band teacher Carolyn Neihaus says, “Alex is a dedicated musician and a wonderful addition to the Altimira band program.”

Most recently, Alex was first chair trombone in the Sonoma County Junior Honor Band and was recognized for his efforts by the guest conductor and received a merit scholarship to attend a two week session at Cazadero Music Camp.

Alex is excited about moving on to Sonoma Valley High School, and has his sights set on Stanford for college. He hopes to pursue a career in genetics.

Student of the Year Olivia Thorgerson celebrated her award with parents Paige and Thomas and sister Jennifer. Olivia is also a graduate of Dunbar, During her time atAltimira, she has maintained a 3.92 GPA in all of her classes. This year, her academic load includes accelerated science and advanced language arts.

Looking back at her career at Altimira, Olivia said that she will remember her teachers more than anything else.

“They created a welcoming atmosphere that allowed all of us to grow and prosper,” she said. “I will always hold them in a place of honor.”

Her science teacher Michelle Walters describes Olivia as the ideal student.

“She’s funny, friendly, intelligent, and kind,” she said. “Having her in class means having a student that can and will work with anyone, regardless of their ability or personality.”

Olivia is looking forward to take all the math and science courses that Sonoma Valley High School has to offer. She dreams of attending MIT and then Johns Hopkins University to study biomedical engineering.

This article is one of the series profiling all of the Students of the Year honored at Sonoma Valley campuses during the 2017-2017 school year.