12 Outstanding Seniors
Congratulations to our 2020 Outstanding Seniors. These amazing young people were chosen by their teachers, counselors, and administrators for their excellent contributions to Hazen High School. The positive academic, athletic, musical, artistic, cultural, and social impacts made by these students are immeasurable. They truly embody Pride, Unity, and Achievement, and the Hazen Highlander Spirit!
When Lucas thinks of his time at Hazen High School, he will always remember a project he and his friends completed in their Calculus class their junior year. He says, “Most groups did videos or posters, but a few of my friends and I decided to do something different. We set the scene with a video, but then took the class outside and, with the permission of Mr. Caudle of course, launched a rocket high into the air. I'd have to say launching a homemade rocket in the middle of Calculus is definitely a highlight of my Hazen experience.”
In Lucas’s eyes, one of Hazen High School’s most memorable staff members is Dr. Jones. In his smooth, radio announcer voice, Lucas said, “Having two years of Dr. Jones as a teacher has been a wonderful blessing. The quirks, quips, and quarreling are some of my most memorable moments in a classroom. I have tremendous respect for the amount of time and dedication she has put into her lessons.” Dr. Jones holds Lucas in equally high regard, saying of him, “Lucas is devoted to detail and to making sure he, and those in his work group, thoroughly understand what they are doing – and that they are able to express their work clearly, concisely, and correctly.” She goes on to say what all other teachers at Hazen know to be true about Lucas: that he “is unusual in the breadth and extent of his talents and interests . . .” and is “truly a Renaissance man.”
While maintaining an incredibly high academic record, Lucas has demonstrated his “Renaissance man” qualities through the many activities he has been involved with while a student at Hazen. He has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, co-founded Hazen’s Film and Broadcast Clubs, as well as appearing in several productions for the Hazen Players. Lucas has also been recognized for his musical talents and abilities as a member of Hazen’s symphonic, marching, and jazz bands, serving as trumpet section leader. In his spare time, Lucas enjoys tinkering with electronics. He plans to take his talents and passions to Montana State University and study electrical engineering.
About her time at Hazen High School, Katie says, “‘My high school life was like a book, Colorin colorado este cuento se ha acabado.’ During my 4 years at Hazen High School, I have built so many exciting, beautiful, and unforgettable memories and friendships. Being a student here has taught me so many lessons and has helped me find and embrace my true colors as a person.”
Katie’s most memorable staff member at Hazen High School is all of them. She declares, “There's too many to name but I, overall, appreciate every teacher or staff member in the Renton School District that has gotten to know me and has bonded with me during my K-12 years.” Katie is thankful for “all those people put aside time to talk to me and help me through tough times.”
Katie has been a strong student academically while holding leadership positions as a part of the Hazen Girl’s Wrestling team and Latinx Club. She has also given back to the Renton community through her work over the past four years as a member of the Renton Youth Council. Katie plans to take her leadership skills to the University of Washington Tacoma, where she will study Criminal Justice as a stepping stone towards law school.
When reflecting upon his time spent at Hazen High School, Matt stated, "Whether it was desperately memorizing the tuba part for the fight song before my first football game, broadcasting our first live match for Broadcast club, learning my lines in preparation for the play, getting the shot juuuuust right in Film Club, or feeling like I'm really making a difference in NHS, Hazen has given me the opportunity to grow through experience (and have fun!!) in ways I didn't think possible back when I was first starting high school, and for that I am grateful. Moving on to college will be tough, but I know that I'll always be a Highlander at heart!”
According to Matt, the most memorable staff member at Hazen High School is Dr. Jones. He marks his time at Hazen as “before Dr. Jones” and “after Dr. Jones.” Matt says that rather than being tedious, math can be fun! About her and her class, he says, “Spending hours studying for a test? Exciting! Memorizing derivative and integration rules? Thrilling!” Dr. Jones holds Matt in high regard as well, saying, “whether he is asking probing questions about Calculus, endeavoring to beat his record (two) for clicking his heels, or asking tangential questions that most of us enjoy almost as much as the mathematical topic of the day, Matt brings unbridled enthusiasm and curiosity to the learning environment.”
In addition to maintaining a perfect GPA, Matt has thrown himself into several different aspects of involvement in the Hazen community. He has been a part of both band and jazz band, a class senator, NHS, as well as co-founding Hazen’s Film and Broadcasting Clubs. Matt plans to take his unbridled enthusiasm for learning to the University of Chicago.
For Austin, one unforgettable moment at Hazen High School “was definitely senior night of basketball. The amount of people that showed up for me to support me was absolutely incredible. That was definitely my favorite moment as a Highlander, and a night I will remember forever.”
Austin’s most memorable staff member at Hazen High School is Mr. Kilburg, who has “been like my father at school.” Austin says that Mr. Kilburg has always been there to give him advice as well as checked up on Austin to make sure that he’s doing well. Austin has made an equally big impression on Mr. Kilburg, who says of Austin, “Austin is such a terrific student, athlete and person. He has such a positive attitude whether I see him in the halls or in the classroom, he’s an all-around great kid. I know Austin’s time at Hazen was well spent whether it be in the classroom, or on the basketball court where he loved to shoot the rock.”
During his four years at Hazen, Austin has shone both academically and athletically. Co-captaining the Highlanders this year, he has been a basketball player for the last four years. Additionally, Austin has run track since his sophomore year and put in at least 70 hours of community service. Austin plans to take his enthusiasm to a four year university to study business.
Ben describes Hazen High School as a “school like no other. We have a great community that always comes together in the end no matter what happens. The amazing, unique, and hilarious people that I have met and grown closer to in these past 4 years are connections that I will carry for the rest of my life. I will always be proud to be a Highlander and call Hazen my home.”
While a student at Hazen High School, Ben has found Mr. Nguyen to be an immeasurable source of inspiration and advice. “He has difficult discussions with me about problems that I have and allows me to grow even in hard situations.” Ben has declared, “Mr. Nguyen truly believes in bettering the students around him and teaches them lessons that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
While being an academically strong student, Ben has been involved with numerous activities and clubs at Hazen. He has served as the ASB Historian and President, as well as being president of the class of 2020 and Key Club. Ben has also been a part of FBLA, HOSA, NHS, varsity cheerleading, and the philharmonic orchestra. With plans to attend the University of Washington, Ben will direct his enthusiasm and energy towards majoring in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing or Human Resource Management.
The Hazen High School staff member Trevon found to be most memorable was Ms. Gollegy. “She would always check up on me and was there if I needed to talk to someone. She pushed me to become a better person.” When asked about Trevon, Ms. Gollegy says the following, “When I think of Trevon, I immediately think of his giant heart and warm hugs. He’s a dedicated athlete and determined student, and doesn’t give up on anything he wants. But I think the most
special part of him is the way he loves others--he’s kind and sensitive and humble. He is always giving of himself instead of thinking about himself, and that’s such a rare thing to see.”
During his time at Hazen, Trevon has been an integral member of the basketball team, acting as co-captain this year. He has also run track, received the Hazen Unity Award, and was a member of the Black Student Union. Trevon plans to take his positive and hard-working attitude to Renton Technical College’s welding program.
Erin says, “Something I'm grateful for as a HazenHigh School student is that Hazen has given me the ability to speak my mind and stand up for what I believe in. Be it debates in my AP Lang class, pushing for celebrating diversity at the Constitutional Convention or walkouts for gun control reform and trans rights, I'm constantly inspired by the bravery of my fellow students as we work towards a brighter and more tolerant future. I will never forget the Hazen Yearbook supporting GSA when our rainbow poster board was destroyed. They made us new letters as a gesture of unity and it was one of the most lovely gifts we as a club have ever received. I'm
eternally thankful for the respect demonstrated by others and I hope that this trend of tolerance and love continues well after I graduate.”
According to Erin, two staff members of Hazen High School have made a profound impact on her. Ms. Auman and Mr. Wallace “encouraged me to pursue writing and be confident in the power of words.” As a student, Ms. Auman says “Erin is always alight--her empathy, passion, and sheer joy illuminate everything she touches. However, she is also a ferocious protector of those who need protecting, and her shield is compassion.” Mr. Wallace was impressed by Erin’s genuine intellectual curiosity. He believes, “She's not guided by grades but by a desire to learn more about the world and her interests. She's someone who loves falling in love with a work of art, and she approaches every text with positivity and open-mindedness.”
In addition to her intellectual curiosity and desire to learn, Erin has been involved in several aspects of extra-curricular life while a student at Hazen. She held leadership positions as a part of Hazen’s GSA and the Hazen Players, as well as writing and acting in films as a part of Film Club. Erin also was a member of the following: Concert and Chamber Choirs, Divina Voce, and Vox Lumini, as well as participated in theater productions at the Seattle Children’s and Broadway Bound programs. Erin plans on attending Portland State University to study creative writing in order to pursue her dream of becoming a novelist.
About her time at Hazen High School, Emily finds this quote from Amelia Earhart appropriate: “Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off! But if you don’t have one, realize it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.” Emily chose this quote “because not only do I feel that it summarizes my time at Hazen, but also because I have always looked up to Amelia Earhart. She and I not only share the same birthday, but we also share the same outgoing and adventurous spirit.”
Emily feels that there are three staff members at Hazen High School who have had a powerful impact on her. She says of former staff member Mr. Clark, “He mentored me through the ups and downs of robotics and I learned how to create incredible things in welding art, construction, and woodshop. There is so much that he has done for me, I can’t quantify or put in words.” Emily also says that Ms. Perkins and Mr. Zylstra “became good friends as I learned the French language and fell in love with reading.” Ms. Perkins declares that Emily, “had a joyous outlook in all that she did. She was willing to help anyone and everyone that needed help in the classroom. She always gave her personal best for all activities. She treated everyone, including me with the utmost kindness and respect!” Mr. Zylstra says “Emily is a creative, intuitive and dedicated learner and has a knack for capturing the big picture through metal art design. She is a leader and willing to step out of her comfort zone to go above and beyond expectations.”
While a student at Hazen, Emily discovered her passion for robotics. As a part of the Robotics Club, Emily won the “Midnight Oil” award, acted as a project manager, public relations officer,
and team captain. She also was a part of Hazen’s Hack Club and a member of Hazen’s Chamber Choir and Divina Voce. Outside of school, Emily has held a paid internship at Boeing during the summers and volunteered for RSD’s STEM CTE camp. Emily plans to take her passion for robotics and engineering to Boise State University where she will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.
Denies has said that she has learned a lot from her time at Hazen High School, but that the most important lesson is that, “success is the big effort to lead in your life-- to look straight ahead and lead--even if you fall, stand up and look ahead.”
Denies’s most memorable Hazen High School’s staff member is Ms. Riley “because she was always there for me and she has always helped me through the hard times in high school, in classes and assignments.” Ms. Riley states “Denies is an extremely strong, dedicated, kind and hardworking individual. I know NO MATTER what she does in life, she will be successful and happy. I am a better person for knowing her.”
In addition to being a strong student while at Hazen, Denies has been involved in Key Club and Earth Corps. She is also a member of Concert Choir and Divina Voce. Outside of school, Denies has continued to demonstrate her environmental consciousness by volunteering to pick up trash in her community. Family is very important to Denies, and she has shown this by helping her mom in their nail salon on the weekends. Denies’s future plans include attending community college and studying something in the dental field as well as traveling. Her desire is to continue to be a role model to her family.
When Ethan reflects on his time at Hazen High School, one class in particular stands out as impactful. “A memorable moment to me was in Ms. Auman’s AP Lang class where we would have deep and meaningful class discussions each day. Usually stemming from themes of stories we read each night, I would open up to a diverse class of students some of which I would’ve never thought I’d become friends with. They in turn would share their viewpoints with me.” Of Hazen, Ethan says, “I’ve found such a beautiful openness to the diversity our school holds through the backgrounds, stories, and people that walk through the halls each day. I think that openness and acceptance that people are different has taught me to connect with others on a deeper scale and grow as a person.”
As a student at Hazen High School, Ethan regards Ms. Auman as one of his most memorable staff members. He says Ms. Auman, “always encouraged me to reach out towards my dreams.” Of Ethan, Ms. Auman declares, “His boundless optimism is complemented by his keen instinct for finding the story in everything he sees. Whether it is sifting through a piece of literature and finding the heart buried in it or creating his own stories (usually cinematic) to display the truth of the people he meets, he will find the story that needs telling. His eye for film and his overflowing compassion make him a storyteller who can balance truth and sentiment.”
During his time at Hazen, Ethan has demonstrated academic strength as well as cemented himself as a record setter. As a member of Hazen’s swim team, Ethan was an All-American varsity swimmer and broke seven out of eight school records. In addition, he also holds the Washington state record in the 100m breaststroke. Ethan was a part of Hazen’s Homecoming and Junior Prom courts and he also plays the violin. Outside of school, Ethan swims competitively for the Bellevue Swim Club, ranked 8th in the nation. In the fall, Ethan’s swimming and academic future will land him at Stanford University.
When it comes to Hazen High School, Vincent says one of his best memories was being awarded the “Most Improved Athlete” award for Cross Country.
Vincent’s most memorable staff member during his time at Hazen High School was Ms. Hahn. Regarding her teaching style, he appreciated that “she made things easy to understand for the students, and she has a great sense of humor.”
While maintaining a strong academic record at Hazen, Vincent has participated in Cross Country, boys swimming, and track and field. He also received the Spirit of the Highlander award in 2017 and 2018 and acted as an office assistant at Maplewood Elementary School. Vincent’s future plans are to attend Bellevue College for two years and then transfer to a university to complete his bachelor’s degree.
In her four years at Hazen, Rosalinda Garcia-Antonio has brought her positive presence and work ethic to multiple clubs and sports. In addition to being a standout varsity soccer player, Rosa has also been a member of our volleyball and Cheer teams at Hazen. One of Rosa’s most significant impacts at Hazen has been through our Leadership program. Rosa joined leadership because she wanted to help students like her feel more represented and to give her peers a voice. Her Leadership teacher, Mr. Rustemeyer, notes that “in the time that I have known her, I have seen her grow so much as a person. Rosa has such a big heart and has proven to always be there for those who need it most. I admire Rosa for her dedication, tenacity, and how much she cares about the people and things around her.”
Rosa’s leadership and dedication to creating a positive and inclusive culture at Hazen is also seen in her work with the Latinx Club, where she worked hard to reach out to underclassmen and help them find their place at Hazen. She is also an amazing artist, bringing her beautiful style to photo booths, paintings, and signage for dances and assemblies. On top of all of her incredible contributions, Rosa also works two jobs! Rosa truly brings her all to Hazen every single day, and our school benefits greatly because of her presence.