St. Paul High School is sending another class of students into the world at graduation ceremonies Friday and leading the way will be valedictorian Marco Anaya.
Anaya, like many St. Paul students, is involved in multiple sports and activities, including cross country, track and field, Virtue First, yearbook and Future Business Leaders of America. Additionally, Anaya volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and St. Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn.
Unlike his classmates, however, the son of Jose and Maria Anaya is looking east for his post-graduate plans.
"I have received a very generous scholarship from the University of Chicago that would cover most of my school expenses," he said.
His love of math will translate to his major in computational and applied mathematics, which he hopes will lead to him becoming a data scientist.
While he's looking forward to a change of scenery, he will also remember St. Paul fondly.
"I will miss the very close community here at St. Paul, our Buckaroo pride and our one hallway," he said. "I am looking forward to all of the opportunities that will present themselves at such a very different school in such a very different place."
He said he has been inspired by his teachers, as well, especially Don Kunkel, business teacher and FBLA adviser.
"Mr. Kunkel has been very inspirational to me with his positivity," Anaya said. "He can always see the positive side to a situation and make everyone smile."
St. Paul High School's graduation is set for 7 p.m. Friday in the gymnasium.