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Salutatorian honor a surprise to Pahrump graduate

It appears the future is bright for Pahrump Valley High School graduate Bethany Calvert.

As part of the Class of 2017, Calvert is one of 231 seniors who made the walk on May 26.

She was selected as the 2017 salutatorian, ranking the second-highest academically at the school.

Calvert graduated with an overall 4.731-grade point average, along with an unweighted 4.0-grade point average throughout her four years.

While she called her high school experience “amazing,” Calvert noted that she had a slight “inkling” that she would be selected for the salutatorian honor.

“I kind of had an idea that I would make salutatorian just because ever since I was in the eighth grade, it has been my goal to be in the top two, so I didn’t want to accept anything less,” she said. “My high school years were focused primarily on academics and sports. That’s how I made all my friends and all of my memories by making sure that I was doing well in school. I could always have a good time in sports.”

Regarding her academics, Calvert’s favorite class was physics and advanced placement English with Mr. Garry Mason.

As for her future, Calvert said she will attend the University of Nevada, Reno this fall.

“I will work on my masters in mechanical engineering,” she said. “I also want to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering and hopefully get involved with the Tesla automobile industry. That is my overall goal and I think it would be cool because there are a lot of new advancements being made in that area.”

While addressing her fellow classmates during commencement ceremonies, Calvert recalled watching previous graduation ceremonies many years ago.

“I want to start my speech by thanking God for leading me through all my success and accomplishments up to this very moment,” she said. “It seems not very long ago that I sat in the same bleachers as an eight-grader, listening to Sarah Williams speak on this very stage about how my next four years would fly by and boy, she was right.”

Additionally, Calvert imparted sage wisdom, by admitting that life can indeed be a struggle at times, but it has a way of making individuals stronger.

She cited a popular television character to drive home her point.

“When you go through life, you will face hardship, but the struggle will never be as important as the recovery,” she noted in part. “Here in the recovery is where the secret of life truly lies. If I’ve learned anything in my short time on this earth, it’s that time and time again, the secret to life as Cory Matthews asserts, is that people change people, life gets overwhelming and it’s impossible to handle by yourself so confide in someone else.”

Calvert also commented on the grand finale fireworks presentation as the graduates tossed their mortar caps to the sky.

“The fireworks were amazing,” she recalled. “It was one of those moments where you toss up your caps and the next thing you know, the fireworks went off. I think it’s cool because it kind of set our class legacy. I’m sure it will be a tradition now.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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