Sonoma’s 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian
Trevor Griggs-Demmin is the valedictorian and Jack Boydell is the salutatorian for the Sonoma Valley High School Class of 2019. Friends since their days at Prestwood Elementary School, they are thrilled that they will each have a turn at the podium at the graduation ceremony on June 7.
Griggs-Demmin earned a 4.38 grade point average, with his buddy Boydell just a tad behind him at 4.33. Griggs-Demmin was a standout on the tennis team and Boydell, playing shooting guard, was a basketball star all four years. And they were both on the staff of the school newspaper, the Dragon’s Tale.
“I kind of had an idea we’d be number one and two,” Boydell said with a huge smile. In all 12 years of school he has earned only A’s. Griggs-Demmin has all A’s, too, with the exception of a single B-plus one semester in AP English. But he took one more advanced placement class than Boydell, putting him at the top.
Griggs-Demmin will be attending UCLA. He only applied to UCs, ultimately choosing UCLA over UC Berkeley. “I visited last summer and really liked the campus. Ever since then it has been my first choice,” he said. He plans to major in either chemistry or computer science.
UCLA is a popular choice for SVHS’s top students, also chosen by the valedictorians and salutatorians in 2017 and 2018. Two 2019 graduates will be attending the school next year.
Boydell will be attending Willamette University in Oregon, lured by the promise that he will be playing on its basketball team. “I got to spend time there and work out with the team and stay with one of the players in the dorms,” he said, explaining that was what helped him make his decision. “I love basketball,” he said. He will major in either economics or business. He was also accepted at the University of Michigan, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and Bentley University in Massachusetts.
He also applied to Amherst College, “Because I heard it is the hardest college in the country to get in to,” which is apparently true – they turned him down.
This summer Griggs-Demmin will be working at Ramekins, serving at events, and Boydell has a job at Picazo Kitchen. (He knows the owner, Sal Chavez, who was his coach freshman year and then volunteered to be his personal trainer, working on his basketball skills with him before school at SVHS.)
They also have some fun things planned, including a trip to San Diego along with some other friends to “hang out” right after graduation. Griggs-Demmin is also going to Spain and Portugal with his family. They try to get a Europe trip in every other year. “Travel has been a huge part of my upbringing,” he said.
Boydell will be going with his family to a cabin in Michigan, an annual trip where they spend time with extended family. He said it is always an “amazing” time. He is the son of David and Kelly Boydell and has one brother, Grant, who will be a freshman at the high school next year.
“This is our first child to leave. I’m a little sad but we have been super-supportive of him choosing wherever he wanted to go. We are so proud of him,” his mother said. “This is a small town and it is time for him to go see the big world out there.”
This is the first time since 2013 that boys have held the top spots at SVHS. That was the year that Griggs-Demmin’s brother, Connor, was valedictorian. In 2015, his sister Angelica was the number one student.
They may be testimony to the phrase “good genes” as their father, Jeff, was valedictorian, and their mother, Vikki, was salutatorian when they graduated from their high schools. (Jeff went on to Princeton and Vikki to Stanford.) He also has another sister, Lydia, who went to Kent School, a boarding school in Connecticut, because of her interest in horse jumping, and brother, Aidan, who will be a sophomore at SVHS next year.
“Trevor worked so hard,” his mother said. “I’m so proud of my kids. It is a thousand times more important to me that they are committed and tenacious than what number they end up being.”
“There was no direct pressure,” Trevor said, “But, indirectly, I wanted to follow in my siblings and family footsteps.”
Griggs-Demmin had his speech written and memorized two weeks in advance. Looking to the future, he will focus on three subjects – ambition, innovation and collaboration. “I think these are the characteristics we will need to succeed,” he said, and then added:
“And I will remember to thank our parents.”