Monday, May 10, 2021


Colusa High School’s top scholars recognized

On Monday, the academic accomplishments of Colusa High School’s top students and their parents were honored at the Super Seven recognition event, sponsored by Torchbearer Gamma Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi of Colusa County.

The ceremony was held in the Colusa High School gym and did not include the traditional dinner because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colusa Woman’s Club established the Super Seven Dinner in 1975, before passing the torch in 1997 to the local Beta Sigma Phi sorority.

“The purpose was to encourage academic scholarship and to acknowledge and celebrate the achievement of the top seven juniors and seniors at Colusa High School,” said Sue Rasmussen, sorority president.

This year, 15 students total were recognized as the school’s top achievers because of a tie in academic achievement within the junior class.

Super Seven organizers said the sorority, the school district, and the supporting businesses and nonprofit organizations that help sponsor the event were all very proud of the students’ perseverance and achievements, particularly during the pandemic when instruction shifted from in-person to online.

Monday’s ceremony included remarks from Interim CHS Principal Rebecca Changus and the introductions of the “Teachers of Influence” by the senior Super Seven scholars.

Super Seven seniors receiving awards and recognition were Emily Cerney, Edgar Garcia, Samantha Gonzalez, Casey Medina, James Murray, Abigail Smith, and Kelsea Whiting.

Juniors recognized were Gladis Almaraz, Holley Hickel, Ethan Lay, Guadalupe Perez, Alexis Price, Nicholas Price, Maria Emely Valdez, and Renee Wrysinski.

Students recognized at the event, in addition to high academic achievement, are all actively involved in extracurricular activities in addition to their studies. Many participate in clubs and hold down jobs off-campus. Most plan to attend college after graduation to pursue various careers.

Sorority member Irmalee Shumaker said after more than two decades of hosting the Super Seven event, the Torchbearer Gamma Chapter is now ready to pass that torch to another organization, which will carry the tradition of honoring top academic achievement at Colusa High School into the future.


Super Seven Juniors

The top juniors at Colusa High School recognized for academic achievement are (from left) Ethan Lay, Renee Wrysinski, Maria Valdez, Guadalupe Perez, Gladis Almaraz, Alexis Price, Holley Hickel, and Nicholas Price.

Gladis Almaraz is the daughter of Joel Almaraz and Gladis Ramirez. She is mainly interested in math, science, and history. Her extra-curricular activities are cross country, soccer, Spanish Club, and the Environmental Science Academy. Anatomy, reading, playing sports, and cooking are some of Gladis’ hobbies. Her plans for the future are to attend a community college and then transfer to a university.

Ethan Lay is the son of Eric and Jenny Lay. He is mainly interested in his math and business courses. Lay is active in cross-country, basketball, and baseball. He’s also a member of the California Scholarship Federation, Future Business Leaders of America, and Associated Student Body. Ethan’s hobbies include sports, reading, hanging out and gaming with the boys, spending time with family and friends and working. Over the past several years he has coached Little League and recreational basketball teams and plays travel ball. He has been an umpire and a referee for baseball, softball, and basketball games for the past five years. He plans to major in business finance and play baseball at the collegiate level. Currently, he is undecided on a college.

Guadalup “Lupita” Carrillo Perez is the daughter of Miriam Carrillo. Her main interests in school are sports, mathematics, chemistry, and ESA. She has been active in soccer, cross-country, and track and field events. She belongs to the Environmental Science Academy and Spanish Club. Lupita enjoys video games, sports, and astronomy. She plans to attend a four-year college, hopefully, the University of California, Davis, where she will major in computer science.

Alexis Price is the daughter of Witt and Cristal Mann. She plays shortstop for the Varsity Softball Team and also plays travel ball. Alexis enjoys watching football, basketball and baseball. Softball is her main hobby, yet she finds time to be with friends and to sleep excessively. She has committed to Minnesota State University on a softball and academic scholarship. Once she finishes college with a degree in special education, Alexis will start working with kids. (Her best friend, Jimena, inspired her to do this.)

Nick Price is the son of Charles and Leeann Price. His main interests in school are math and business courses. He is active in football, baseball, basketball, and is a member of FBLA, CSF, and ESA. Nick’s hobbies include sports, hanging out, and gaming with the boys, and spending time with family and friends. During the summer, Nick works at the Ag Department, walking the fields looking for diseased crops. His plans for the future are to major in engineering or something science-related. He hasn’t yet decided.

Holley Marie Hickel is the daughter of Rob and Kelley Hickel. Her main interests in school are math and shop. Her extra-curricular activities include volleyball, basketball, and softball. She is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, Associated Student Body, Future Farmers of America, and Future Business Leaders of America. Holley’s hobbies include sports, photography, and writing. She enjoys spending time with friends & family, time on the river, tubing, and wakeboarding. She works for the City of Colusa as a lifeguard and a recreational referee and enjoys volunteering in the community. She plans to major in Ag Business although she hasn’t decided on a college at this time.

Maria Emely Valdez is the daughter of Jose and Carmen Valdez. Emely is interested in history and art. She is a member of the Art Club, Drama Club, Environmental Sciences Academy, Colusa Youth Advocates for Change, and Friday Night Live. Her hobbies are painting, listening to music, and gardening. Emely plans to attend a four-year college or Art School to pursue a career in illustration or graphic design.

Renee Wrysinski is the daughter of Jon and Colleen Wrysinski. She is very interested in STEM subjects as well as music. She explores these interests through her involvement in the Environmental Sciences Academy and band. Her extracurricular activities also include Drama Club, Spanish Club, art, Girl Scouts, Friday Night Live, Colusa Youth Advocates for Change, and varsity tennis. Renee enjoys spending that time with friends, watching movies, playing the bassoon, and learning about music theory. Renee wants to study something STEM-related while in college. Her plans are to go to medical school to become a doctor.

Super Seven Seniors

The top seniors at Colusa High School recognized for academic achievement are (from left) James Murray, Edgar Garcia, Casey Medina, Abigail Smith, Kelsey Whiting, Emily Cerney, and Samantha Gonzalez.

Emily Cerney is the daughter of Mike and Cindy Cerney. She pushes herself academically by taking difficult classes but she also has fun with her electives. Emily is a member of the Associated Student Body and is president of Future Business Leaders of America, Colusa High School chapter. For the past four years, Emily has played tennis. This year she is the tennis team captain. As a member of ASB, Emily has been on the dance committee for two years. She is a member of CSF and ESA. Emily likes to cook and bake during her free time. She enjoys arts and crafts and hanging out with friends and family. In the fall, Emily plans to attend Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where she will major in history. Her teacher of influence is Ms. Kim Olson.

Edgar Garcia is the son of Luis and Martha Garcia. He is interested in school sports, science and the clubs offered at Colusa High School. He has been kept busy with ASB, FBLA, ESA, CSF, Spanish Club and band. Somehow he has managed to also have time for football, soccer, baseball, and cross country. He has received multiple All-Conference Awards in sports.

Edgar’s hobbies revolve around music. He plays the guitar, the saxophone, and the ukulele. Previously, Edgar auditioned and was accepted to perform in Australia for the band. Along with all of these activities, Edgar finds time to hold a job at Sav Mor Foods. Next year, he plans to attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where he will major in computer engineering. Mr. Michael Phenicie is Edgar’s teacher of influence.

Samantha Gonzalez is the daughter of Rocio Gonzalez. She is interested in athletics and art. Her extracurricular activities include soccer, tennis, golf, Art Club, and Spanish Club. Samantha enjoys creating different types of art, watching and playing sports, and listening to music. She also likes to write lyrics and poems. Samantha plans to attend a four-year university to major in visual communications and to pursue a career as a graphic designer. Her teacher of influence is Ms. Jean Summerville.

Casey Medina is the daughter of Ruby and Manny Medina. The science classes offered at Colusa High have been of great interest to Casey. She has taken five of them to further her interest in the world of science. Her extracurricular activities include cross country, cheer, basketball, track, and golf. Casey has been an active member of FFA, Spanish Club, FBLA, ESA, and CSF. In addition to school, sports, and clubs, Casey enjoys going shopping, hanging out with friends, and spending personal time with her family. She also likes walking her dogs, swimming, and fishing. Casey plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and then to continue on to pursue a career as a dentist. Casey is glad that her hard work and dedication has paid off. In the fall of 2021, Casey plans to attend the University of California, Davis. Mrs. Gay Seaver is Casey’s teacher of influence.

James Murray is the son of Ira Murray. History and science, especially physics and biology, are James’ main interests in school. He has been active in FBLA and CSF for the past four years. He also has been a member of the Spanish Club for two years. James’ hobbies include reading, playing basketball, learning about history, psychology, and watching art films.

James plans to attend UC Davis to study biological sciences. He hopes to continue on to medical school to become a pediatrician. Mr. Matt Giffin is his teacher of influence.

Abigail “Abbie” Smith is the daughter of Asa and Tisha Smith. Her main interests in school include science classes and her extra-curricular activities. She likes athletics, particularly basketball. This year, she was able to play on the tennis team as well. Throughout high school, Abbie has been a three-sport athlete participating in cross country, track and field, softball, tennis, cheerleading, and basketball. She has also been a member of ESA, FBLA, ASB, CSF, Spanish Club, and 4-H. Her hobbies include traveling, athletics, reading, wakeboarding, and paddleboarding. She also enjoys skiing, swimming, spending time with her family and friends. She also manages time to play with her pets and hold down a job at Louis Cairo’s. She plans to attend a four-year college and earn a bachelor of science in nursing before becoming certified as a travel nurse. Her teacher of influence is Ms. Kelsey Watt.

Kelsea Whiting is the daughter of Shawnte Bice and Emit Whiting. Kelsea enjoys learning about government and political science. She likes taking part in FBLA activities, going on ESA trips, and dressing up for Homecoming Days. Currently, Kelsea is California Future Business Leaders of America State president. She has been an FBLA state officer for two years and a section officer for three years. Kelsea has her own photography business. She is also a direct sales representative for a company called Origami Owl. She strives to be a force for good and to make a difference in her community. Kelsea enjoys photography, marketing on social media, and painting. She likes spending time with family and meeting new people. She enjoys competing in public speaking and broadcast journalism competitions. Next year, Kelsea plans to attend an out-of-state four-year university, where she will major in political science.

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