Being a high schooler is no easy task.
They face more hurdles as they work toward graduation — expectations are higher, colleges are more competitive, and the number of decisions that need to be made post-high school can seem daunting on their own.
But with their resources, their hard work and their talent, the youth of today are very well up to the task of confronting all of tomorrow’s problems.
The Yelm High School class of 2019 is no exception.
Here are Yelm High School’s top 10 academic students, as chosen by Yelm Community Schools.
Valedictorian Olivia Brownfield plans on attending Pacific Lutheran University next fall and double-majoring in English and music.
Brownfield was a band, music and drama aficionado during her time at Yelm High School. She was band president from September 2017 through June 2019, she was a member of the All State Band Concert band in 2018 and 2019 and she was in the PLU Norwest High School Honor Band the last three years.
She was also a member of Yelm High School’s Jazz Band and a part of many productions, including “The Addams Family,” “Urinetown” and “Zombie Prom.”
When it comes to a favorite memory in the classroom, Brownfield said participating in “Punday Monday” in Mr. Magrath’s advanced placement language and composition class comes to mind. Her favorite memory during the last four years at Yelm High School was playing Bach’s “Toccata, Adagio and Fugue” in the wind ensemble. She cites it as one of the best moments in her life.
Her favorite teacher was Mr. Becker, with whom she took honors world history and advanced placement U.S. history.
Brownfield is an avid writer of poetry. She likes hiking, listening to music and hanging out with friends. She describes herself as “someone who is cheerful, determined and a complete nerd.”
In five years, Brownfield hopes to have her undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in education. She hopes to one day teach high school English.
Valedictorian Abbie Dorhauer plans on serving as the Washington State FFA treasurer next year after she was recently elected. She plans on attending the University of Portland in the fall of 2020.
Throughout her time in high school, Dorhauer was an exemplary FFA member, having served as Yelm High School’s treasurer, vice president and president during her time, and a member of the National Honor Society. She was also involved in volleyball, basketball, fastpitch and sports medicine.
One of her favorite memories during her time at Yelm High School was being a fan in the stands during football games. Dorhauer said she can’t think of one particular favorite memory from the classroom, but she has always enjoyed taking agriculture classes.
Her hobbies include being with friends and family and watching baseball. She describes herself as determined and goal oriented.
Valedictorian Taylor Gubser plans on attending the University of Washington in the fall and studying engineering.
Gubser played catcher for the Yelm softball team and has been a key player in her team’s success in recent years. She was named to the All-League First Team three times, the All-League Second Team one time and was awarded the Golden Glove three years. Gubser also served as treasurer and vice president on the Yelm chapter of the National Honor Society.
Her favorite memory was beating Redmond at the 2018 softball state championships, and the hug from Drea Schwaier that quickly followed. Gubser’s favorite teacher was Ms. Allen and she liked her 10th-grade English class.
Gubser describes herself as hard working, steady and kind. Her hobbies include watching “The Office,” painting and spending quality time with her friends.
In five years, she sees herself getting her master’s degree.
Valedictorian Rebekah Hume plans on attending Whitworth University in the fall to study and major in kinesiology.
A standout soccer player, Hume played varsity all four years for the Tornados. Hume was also involved as a manager for the school’s wrestling team. She was involved in sports medicine and the National Honor Society.
Hume describes herself as dedicated, passionate and hardworking. Her favorite teacher at Yelm High School was Mrs. Johnson, who taught Hume advanced placement world history and European history. Hume said her favorite memory from high school was attending the homecoming football games with her friends.
She loves to play soccer, read, hangout with friends and watch “Gossip Girl” or “Pretty Little Liars.”
In five years, Hume said she hopes to have just graduated with her master’s degree in athletic training. She hopes to one day work as a college athletic trainer.
Valedictorian Hannah Sullivan — who describes herself as funny, ambitious and a perfectionist — plans on attending the University of Oregon this fall and double major in international studies and Spanish.
During her high school tenure, Sullivan participated in soccer, varsity tennis and served as treasurer of the Yelm chapter of the National Honor Society.
Sullivan’s favorite teacher was Ms. Allen, who she took honors English with her sophomore year. Her favorite memory in the classroom was going to the tennis courts during her calculus classes.
In her spare time, Sullivan likes to play piano, learn new languages and spend time with her friends. Her favorite memory during her time at Yelm High School was going to her friends’ choir and band concerts and getting Dairy Queen afterwards.
In five years, Sullivan said she hopes to be a translator or an English as a second language teacher. In 10 years, she sees herself advancing in her career and starting a family.
Valedictorian Rachel Hall plans on attending the University of Washington next fall with plans of majoring in psychology and going into their master's program.
During her time at Yelm High School, Hall played tennis and performed alongside wind ensemble and jazz band. She was also treasurer of the Yelm chapter of the National Honor Society and played select soccer for Thurston County United.
Her favorite memory from high school was laughing, talking and being our her friends, both inside and outside the classroom. Her favorite teacher at Yelm High School was Ms. Lori Mitchell, with whom she had the honor of assembling her senior English projects under. She took freshman honors English and senior AP literature and composition under her tutelage.
Hall's favorite hobbies include skiing, backpacking, swim, play tennis and enjoy the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. She also likes to read, embroider and listen to podcasts in her spare time; she recommends The Moth Radio Hour as a good recommendation.
Overall, she describes herself as empathetic, intuitive, funny and kind.
Salutatorian Brooklynn Hillemann plans on attending Washington State University this fall to study broadcast journalism.
Hillemann played soccer and participated in Yelm FFA, FBLA and Yelm National Honor Society during her time at Yelm High School. She also served her class as ASB treasurer.
She said she considers herself to be very driven and knowledgeable in what she wants in life. “I need to be willing to work for it,” she wrote.
Her favorite teacher at Yelm High School was Mrs. Mclean. Her favorite memories from high school were watching the homecoming football game and having a party and watching penguin videos in Mrs. Allen’s English class.
Hillemann’s hobbies include hiking with her friends, and she said she’s always up for an adventure.
Five years from now, Hillemann said she sees herself living in a small apartment in the big city with two dogs that love to join her on road trips.
Salutatorian Ty Hummel plans on attending Whitworth University in the fall to work in chiropractic studies so he can one day open up his own practice.
Hummel was a star as the baseball team’s catcher and was heavily involved in Yelm FFA and sports medicine. He also played football.
His favorite memories include Toga Day with Mr. Franklin and Max Week in BFS.
Humel describes himself as a well balanced student because he always has something on his plate and balances a heavy set of extracurriculars well while also keeping his grades up. Some of Hummel’s favorite hobbies include hunting, fishing and woodworking.
In 10 years, Hummel said he hopes to have his own chiropractic practice.
Melody Park plans on attending Pacific Union College in California with hopes of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Park is an avid writer, animator, painter and musician, and she hopes to one day work for an animation studio at a film company.
“I love all of the creative arts, and I can’t imagine my life without them,” Park wrote.
In addition to being part of Yelm High School’s wind ensemble, Park was also a member of the National Honor Society. She also helped paint the 2019 campus mural.
Although she loved all her teachers, she said her favorite was Ms. Rector, with whom she took trigonometry. She said Rector was always a positive, kind and supportive role model, and said she was grateful to have her as a teacher.
Park’s favorite memory in the classroom was learning and mastering music compositions with the YHS band. It was truly special, she said. Park describes herself as someone who is empathetic, humble, emotionally sensitive, shy and anxious.
When it comes to hobbies, Park said she loves anything to do with the creative arts. Whether it’s writing, reading, playing music, drawing, painting or composing.
Sophia Lydon plans on attending classes at the University of Washington in the fall to study pre-sciences and hopefully major in biology.
Lydon’s list of extracurriculars includes basketball, participating in Yelm High School’s award-winning sports medicine team and playing rugby for the Kent Crusaders.
Some of her favorite high school memories include hanging out with her friends, laughing in class with her teachers and getting into a rough sticky notes battle with her friend, Sam.
Her favorite teacher during her time at Yelm High School was Mr. Hume, with whom she took advanced placement calculus and pre-calculus. Her favorite memory in class was watching and making Hamlet films in Ms. Mitchell’s advanced placement literature class.
Her hobbies include playing basketball, listening to music, riding her horses Desi and Roo, and hanging out with her friends. Lydon said she describes herself as “cool, collected and responsible.”
In five years, Lydon sees herself still at the UW, with her head in a book, on the way to becoming a doctor.