Valedictorian and salutatorian look back on their high school journeys

Valedictorian Delilah Brumer wears her Northwestern University sweater on May 11. Brumer looks back fondly on her four years of high school at DPMHS. (Grant Asner)

Despite her difficulties throughout middle school, senior Delilah Brumer achieved success in her high school career through diligence and perseverance. She is the valedictorian for the Class of 2023. 

“I had a 2.2 GPA in middle school and I’ve always kinda been nervous about school but now I’ve been able to really grow,” Brumer said.

Brumer has been able to keep a cumulative weighted GPA of 4.2 while being heavily involved in her community inside and outside of school. She is the print editor-in-chief for The Pearl Post, president of National Honor Society (NHS), school secretary and freelances for the Los Angeles Daily News. 

Her senior year showcased her accomplishments and revealed to her and others that all her hard work paid off. She was named California High School Journalist of the Year and was runner-up for National Journalist of the Year. She will be attending Northwestern University this fall as a journalism major. Even so, Brumer has sometimes found herself struggling to juggle schoolwork and her extracurriculars. 

“I think to an extent I’ve struggled with just making sure I get everything done while also having time for my own mental health,” Brumer said. “I’d say it’s a little tough but I’ve been able to handle it pretty well.”

Salutatorian Kennedy Fayton Guzman holds a University of California, Davis flag on May 23. Guzman’s title became a milestone as the end of high school nears.

Senior Kennedy Fayton Guzman was named salutatorian for the Class of 2023, as perseverance and prioritizing herself propelled her to a gratifying finish at the end of her high school journey. 

“I’m happy that all the hard work I’ve been putting in for the past four years has paid off,” Guzman said.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite shifting policies reminiscent of pre-pandemic school life, were significant in Guzman’s academics. 

“I was slacking in a lot of my classes but I figured that I might as well get it done and over with,” Guzman said. “I just tried my best to keep up and keep my grades up because I didn’t want to be the student who ends up falling behind due to online learning.” 

With a GPA of 4.2, Guzman managed school life with sports as she played for the Birmingham Community Charter High School girls basketball team since her freshman year as the point guard and extracurricular activities such as volunteering at animal shelters. Guzman will be attending the University of California, Davis in the fall, majoring in animal science. 

“Make time for your mental health,” Guzman said. “Because mental health should come first before schoolwork. Try your best and if you need help, there’s always help available.”