90°F
weather icon Clear

Meet Pahrump Valley High School’s valedictorian

The race for valedictorian at Pahrump Valley High School was so close that the high school wouldn’t announce the winner until all the grades were in.

Joey Sladek finished the year as the top student at the high school with a final GPA of 4.788, barely edging out Bethany Calvert, who finished with a 4.731.

“It came down to the number of honors classes taken,” Sladek said.

Honors classes and are more weighted than normal classes and that’s how students finish with a grade point average higher than 4.0.

Sladek said he had wanted to be the valedictorian since elementary school.

Sladek is a planner and dreamer and knew what he wanted to do when he went into high school.

“I wanted to be valedictorian since I was in fifth-grade,” Sladek said. “And I knew I wanted to go into the Air Force Academy when I was a freshman.”

He will be going to the Air Force Academy this fall.

Joe Clayton, his football coach, had no doubts he would be valedictorian.

“He told me he was going to be valedictorian,” Clayton said. “I believed him.”

His parents were proud of his accomplishments. “We are outrageously proud of him,” the elder Joe Sladek. “He’s quite a driven young man. He knows exactly what he wants to do with his future.”

In his speech on graduation day, the younger Sladek thanked his teachers and spoke about what he learned from them.

One of the fondest memories Sladek will have about high school is being a kicker for the football team.

“It was fun being the kicker,” he said. “It was definitely a unique experience.”

Kicking a ball, next to studying, is something Sladek knew a lot about. The family sport was soccer. Sladek grew up with two older sisters who also studied a lot but when they were not doing that they were playing soccer. After middle school, he made the decision to play football instead of soccer.

“Most football teams don’t have good kickers,” Sladek said.

Things were different with Sladek kicking the ball. He could kick the ball through the uprights.

“I got the wind knocked out of me during one game when I tried to tackle the runner,” Sladek said. “That’s something I should have learned how to do better.”

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Pahrump expansion to feature Marriott, retail near racetrack

The planned, five-story hotel just outside the gates of the Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club could be a Marriott-brand hotel. The commercial project could get underway by the end of 2019.

Pahrump Purple Heart Day ceremony honors wounded and fallen

National Purple Heart Day is a day set aside for the remembrance and honoring of the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have been injured or lost their lives in service to their country.

Nye County District Attorney’s Report

Editor’s note: The Nye County District Attorney’s Report is provided by the office of DA Chris Arabia. Plans call for it to be provided on a monthly basis as the information becomes available. Duplicate names represent separate cases. See pvtimes.com for a look at recent DA reports.

Smiles Across Pahrump delights community

Smiles Across Pahrump returned to the valley last weekend, bringing grins of delight to the faces of dozens of area children and their families who headed out to enjoy an event filled with free games, activities and prizes, all in honor of the legacy of the late Butch “Patches” Harper.

Nevada Assemblyman Greg Hafen II to seek two more years in seat

Pahrump resident and Nevada District 36 Assemblyman Greg Hafen II announced this week that he will be seeking that seat in the 2020 election for what will be his first-ever official bid for office.

Wildfire tamed near northern Nye community

Firefighters tamed a 650-acre wildfire — believed to have been started Aug. 7 by lightning — near Nye County’s Gabbs community.

Off-highway grant workshop held in Beatty

Folks from Beatty and the surrounding area learned more about the Nevada Off-Highway Vehicle Program in a workshop conducted at the Beatty Community Center Aug. 12.