Yarie Ortiz

Yarie Ortiz is the valedictorian for the Easton High School Class of 2020.

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As soon as she started high school, Yarie Ortiz knew she wanted to be valedictorian. On Saturday, Ortiz will be giving her valedictorian speech to the graduating class of 2020.

During her time in the Easton School District, Ortiz was the ASB president for two years, varsity basketball team captain for three years, varsity volleyball captain for one year, played varsity soccer and archery, volunteered with the fire department and took Running Start classes.

“It has actually been an amazing time,” Ortiz said. “It is such a small school, so you get super close to the staff and it’s a great environment.”

Because Easton is a small school, Ortiz found it easy to form relationships with teachers. If she didn’t fully understand something about a lesson, the teachers would stay with her before and after school. She specifically wants to thank her math and science teachers, Tracy Van Lone and Lyn Cox. Ortiz also found district secretary Julie Miller to be a huge help.

“She (Miller) was the overall one that helped me, she was the one that kept pushing me.” Ortiz said. “She would always send me little reminders like ‘you got this.’”

Being the ASB president was some of the hardest work Ortiz had during her time in the district. She held the position for two years, which meant not only a lot of hard work, but working difficult and unforgiving hours. While this job was difficult, she had a great time doing it.

“Being president was so much fun, I was representing the whole student body,” Ortiz said. “We were able to through on events that made the school a better environment, it was honestly the best. I think it was the best part of being in high school.”

Ortiz started volunteering with the fire department in seventh grade. She was close to athletic director Jenny Jensen, who is a volunteer firefighter. One day, Jensen asked if Ortiz would like to volunteer with the department. Ortiz said yes and started to get close with the department and has helped them ever since.

Ortiz would help with the fire department during events. This could mean serving breakfast during Memorial Day events and helping out with the 100-mile run. The 100-mile run is a marathon event, Ortiz would supply runners with ice and towels.

Sports became stress relief, a way to relax after a hard day’s work. As team captain for volleyball and basketball, it was her responsibility to ensure everyone on the team was playing well together. This meant making sure they were getting along and having fun.

“Sports were the one thing where I got to distract myself from all the rest of the things, and I just got to have fun with my friends and have the high school experience,” Ortiz said. “I don’t think it was something that was like taking time off from my studying, it was more me relaxing and just having fun.”

Ortiz will be attending Central Washington University next year, where she plans on majoring in business marketing with a minor in psychology. There has always been an interest in business, but she didn’t know what to do with it.

Her time as a Running Start student gave her the ability to talk with college students to find a major that suits her. Running Start also provided her with the chance to take some psychology classes. During these classes she learned that she liked the subject and decided to make it her minor.

Easton will be taking precautions against COVID-19 for their graduation. They will have a drive-in graduation, where families will remain in their cars for the ceremony. This means Ortiz will still be able to give her valedictorian speech to a live audience during the ceremony.

Ortiz will soon be leaving the Easton school district, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be back.

“It’s going to be a little bittersweet. It’s going to be sad leaving because I am so involved,” Ortiz said. “But I know that I will still be welcomed, I’m still here, so it will just be a little sad not being in the building.”

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