Jenna Hawks and Milo Birdwell are Grand County High’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for the Class of 2020.
Both represented the school in Sterling Scholar this year; Hawks in science and Birdwell winning the math category.
Hawks and Birdwell have been involved in many activities during their high school careers. Hawks competed in varsity tennis, drama and theater, Science Olympiad, was Color Guard captain, Sterling Scholar, and in student government.
Birdwell participated in student government, as well as Sterling Scholar and varsity basketball.
Hawks has worked hard to deserve this honor, but greets the attention with humility.
“My biggest achievement: making it this far without going crazy,” he said. “But in all seriousness my biggest achievement is the strong friendships and relationships I’ve built over these last four years.
“Graduation has rather snuck up on me. It came much faster than I was anticipating because I was having fun participating in sports and activities. I am truly honored, but I was doing all those things because I loved them; not for the award.”
“While graduation this year is not traditional. I am excited and thrilled to be a part of this moment,” said Hawks. “The community, school, and my peers have really come together to make the closing of this year special. Thank you!”
Birdwell respectively accepts the honor with much of the same attitude. “I think my biggest achievements have been Sterling Scholar and academic all-state, mostly because they encompass a lot of what I did in the past four years. I think what led up to this honor was all the work I have done since freshman year. I came into high school looking to get the most out of it, and that led to me achieving a lot and getting this award.”
He’s taking the pandemic fallout in stride. “Graduation is crazy, but I can’t really be upset at it. I’m excited we are just getting something and it’s unique. We can make it our own special thing which is pretty cool,” he said. “This has been an insane last four years so all we can do is celebrate it as best we can.”
Hawks will attend Utah State University in Logan this fall and will major in Health Education and Promotion with an emphasis in Epidemiology.
Birdwell didn’t disclose where he would attend school, but he plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.