A Raya SoHum Sunshine
The 19 high school seniors representing 12 local high schools who were selected as Humboldt County’s 2017 Rising Stars Academic Achievement Team were recognized by 150 educators and family members at an awards ceremony and banquet held at the Humboldt County Office of Education’s (HCOE) Sequoia Conference Center on Wednesday, March 29, in which nearly $7,000 in scholarships was awarded by the Foundation. Members of the Team were selected based on their exemplary academic performance, significant involvement in extracurricular activities, proven leadership abilities, excellent communication skills, and a displayed commitment to their community. The average grade point average for the team is 4.22, with one as high as 4.60.
The event concluded with the naming of two Stellar Students, Raya Mahony of South Fork High School, and Kate McLeod of Arcata High School. The Stellar Students were selected by a panel of community members in recognition of their exceptional accomplishments and potential to make a significant impact in the future.
“We are very proud to honor these 19 outstanding students from nearly every high school in the county. Each has a host of achievements that include contributing to their community in unique ways and showing deep appreciation for those who’ve supported them, while maintaining exceptional GPAs and academic records,” Eagles stated. “I have tremendous admiration for what these young people have done so far in life, and I am confident that many more great things lie ahead.” The event marked Eagle’s final public appearance as Superintendent of Schools, as he prepares for his retirement in June and the swearing-in of Dr. Chris Hartley, Ed.D., March 31.
Each member of Academic Achievement Team received a $300 scholarship, certificate, and engraved pen. The two Stellar Student award winners each received an additional $200 scholarship and a special plaque to commemorate their selection.
Raya is the daughter of John and Jacqueline Mahony of Miranda. The impact Raya has made on the South Fork High School community will be felt for years to come. During her tenure at SFHS she created a Peer Tutoring program through the California Scholarship Federation (CSF), raised funds to provide solar power to schools in Africa, competed as a four-year soccer athlete and three-year track athlete, served as ASB President and gave countless hours back to the community.
When asked about the honor Raya express her gratitude and shock, “I am among all of these amazing people; it is an honor to be recognized because all of them have done such great things.”
Raya has been raised on a farm and spends numerous hours each day tending to her sheep and many other animals. She participates in 4-H and is the club President this year. She has spent years at the local fairs showing her rabbit pens and market sheep. Raya has her pick of universities to attend in the fall, and currently is leaning towards attending UC Berkeley, majoring in engineering.