Mount Madonna School announced Grace Timan as its Class of 2022 valedictorian and Ben Pearson as salutatorian.
Timan, who started attending MMS as a preschool student, and Pearson in kindergarten, earned this distinction through hard work and focused effort, edging out their peers at the school located in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Gilroy.
The 2022 high school graduation ceremony will be held in-person at the school’s campus on June 16.
“I am very proud of Grace and Ben for their hard work over the last four years,” said Mount Madonna Director of Upper School Shannon Kelly. “They have taken challenging courses and excelled in the classroom. They were selected from a very strong academic cohort.”
Timan will attend the University of California, Los Angeles.
“UCLA has been my dream school for quite some time,” Timan said. “I love the classic college feeling of the campus, while also being located in one of the largest cities in the world. I will be studying public affairs, and hope to go into journalism or media of sorts.
“Two people at MMS who inspire me are Shannon Kelly and Sara Sobkoviak. They are both so smart and I really respect them in regards to their passion for their careers, as well as their personal connection with their students. I turn to both of them often for personal and academic advice. Furthermore, the connection that Haley Campbell has developed with the senior class is so touching, I think her teaching would inspire so many to love English, just as we do.”
Pearson will attend the University of California, Santa Barbara this fall, majoring in mathematics.
“I chose UCSB because the campus is gorgeous and right on the beach, the academics are very strong, and the volleyball culture there is very good as well,” Pearson said. “I think all of the faculty at MMS are admirable, as everyone here is doing what they do because this school helps to develop good people. Despite the small numbers, there’s still an amazing amount of work that goes into keeping this school running, so everyone that contributes to that is inspiring in my eyes. I’ve never been a particularly outward person, but MMS and the performing arts department really helped me with moments in which I have to talk to a large group.”
In addition to Timan and Pearson, Mount Madonna School’s Class of 2022 includes eight other students. The students are listed below with their college choices:
Addison Catterall-Pendleton, California State University, Channel Islands; Alyssa Manzur, University of California, Los Angeles; Benn Glorfield, Seattle University; Blythe Wilson, California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; Jimmy Bregman, California State University, Long Beach; Kayla Goldstein, University of California, Santa Barbara; Liana Kitchel, University of California, San Diego; and Summer Howley, American University.
“Mount Madonna School’s graduating class of 2022 has heart and unbreakable spirits,” said Head of School Ann Goewert. “These young passionate leaders value and honor the human experience and create meaningful personal connections and bonds. Their MMS education helped to develop their capacity to think independently and advocate for change. The MMS class of 2022 is poised to be changemakers.”