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Cameryn Halliday found a purpose in band and drama, while Angel Solis conquered procrastination.

Madras High School selects students each year who have turned their academic performance around during high school.

Last week, we featured two seniors, Andrew Ganuza and Dapri Miller, who finished high school strong.

This week, we focus on the two juniors who received the award — Cameryn Halliday, of Warm Springs, and Andrew Solis, of Madras.

COURTESY PHOTO - Cameryn Halliday

Cameryn Halliday

Teachers have seen a big change from Cameryn Halliday since her freshman year at Madras High School.

Halliday just finished her junior year, and she credits band and maturity as the reasons she received one of four turn-around awards at the school this spring.

She plays flute, as well as bass drum in marching band. To participate, she had to pass all her classes.

"The motivation just didn't stop," she said, "and it was so easy to get a nice grade and be able to keep it average and not falling so far behind."

"This young lady has really stepped up & taken her education more seriously this year compared to years past," said geometry teacher Kristy Gilmore.?"If you look at her previous grades, you can see that she has made improvements each year from ninth grade to 10th grade to currently.? She is a joy to have in the classroom ... She knows what she needs to do, and she's definitely willing to put in the hard? work and effort it takes to get it done."

Gilmore also said Halliday never complains.

"I was raised not to complain, so it's rude to complain," Halliday said." I was never allowed to complain growing up."

Halliday has pushed herself in other ways, too.

She performed in the MHS production of "The Grinch," and she would have had a part in "The Music Man," had it not been canceled due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

"Being in drama is really out of my comfort zone, and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone," she said.

Performing in band wasn't as difficult. "With drama, I had to go on stage and actually be a person," Halliday said.

She said she just wanted to try something new and entertain herself.

"I was bored with just going home and doing nothing," she said. "And I was able to make lots of new friends, which was nice."

Halliday is still formulating a plan for life after high school. That includes a couple of years of community college.

Her advice for younger students who need some motivation? "Every person says this, every senior, but everything that everyone tells you is absolutely true: High school goes by so fast ... I just feel like people take for granted the time that they have. It seems far away, but it's a lot closer in reality. Just participate in what you can and do what you love that makes you happy. Try right now to create the best future for yourself. Start now."

STEELE HAUGEN/MADRAS PIONEER - Zachary Guthrie and Angel Solis of Madras fight for a ball in a non-league soccer match  in 2018.

Angel Solis

Angel Solis struggles with procrastination, but the MHS junior has learned to conquer it, earning a turn-around award from the school.

Balancing sports and work at Sonic, Solis realized he had to work harder in class.

"I kind of just opened up my eyes a little more and just realized, 'If I can just do it, get it done, I wouldn't have to be so stressed out,'" he said. And if he could manage his time correctly, he would have time for sports and work, too.

Angel's chemistry teacher said, "He has learned to push himself academically. He asks excellent higher-level thinking questions. He is kind to other students and really is helpful assisting other students who struggle in class. He's a cool kiddo — and he brings the entire classroom up to another level."

COURTESY PHOTO - Angel Solis"In the beginning of the year, I wasn't necessarily too excited about the class," Solis said. "I liked the subject, but I didn't know too much about it."

He started asking questions, and because of that, he thinks other students paid more attention, too.

"He was willing to drop learning habits and develop new habits," his physics teacher said. "He shows an interest beyond academics to extracurricular activities. He realized that he could become a 'learner,' and really embraced a growth mindset."

Solis would like to do something creative as a career, so he's considering digital design or a trade school — "just something that would interest me, and I would feel like I would have a good time at my job. I would be living happy," he said.

He also has some advice for new high school students.

"Freshman year is one of the most important years," he said.

Either you do well, or you slack off and have to make it up for the rest of high school.

"Try to get your assignments in on time, and try to pay as much attention as you can in class ... Get it done quick so you don't have to worry about it."

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