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The three-sport athlete and academic standout is this year's valedictorian at the Newberg school

GRAPHIC PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Trevor Ambrose joins two older sisters in being named valedictorian at C.S. Lewis Academy in Newberg.

After his two older sisters were the respective valedictorian and salutatorian at C.S. Lewis Academy in 2017 and 2012, Trevor Ambrose figured he'd add to the family's legacy with an academic title of his own in 2019. The youngest Ambrose was named valedictorian of the private, Christian school last week after posting a greater than 3.95 GPA in his four years of high school.

Ambrose, a McMinnville native, has attended CSLA since fourth grade and plays three sports: soccer, basketball and track. Balancing school and sports was a challenge, he said, as was fitting in time for his involvement with student council. Keeping busy allowed Ambrose to be successful, though.

"I think I do better in school when I'm also in sports," he explained. "It's easier to procrastinate when you're not in sports and when you come home from a two-hour practice it forces you to focus on homework and keep on a schedule."

Family is an important part of Ambrose's life. He said he values the time spent with grandparents on both sides of the family, and the lessons passed down from them – along with mom and dad – shape his perspective.

One lesson in particular from his parents stands out in Ambrose's mind.

"Under my parents, the rule is to work your hardest and as long as I do that it's good enough for them," he said. "I've been trying to do the best I can do and that just happens to be valedictorian-level, I guess."

Hard work translated onto the field and court as well. Ambrose starred in soccer and track for four years and played three years of basketball. He admits he was "terrible" at basketball at first, but through his work with coach Brett Vernon, he developed into a regular starter for the Watchmen and a key defensive presence.

Sports and school have always been deeply intertwined for Ambrose as he's grown up.

"They definitely play into each other," he said. "Learning from sports translates into education in the classroom. I learned a lot about putting in maximum effort and stuff like that."

Ambrose is also a big fan of playing video games, solving Rubik's cubes and tending to his family's Chesapeake Bay retriever. Beyond his family members, Vernon and CSLA principal Clay Swanson are among his biggest influences, he said.

After high school, Ambrose plans to attend Chemeketa Community College in Salem before hopefully transferring to a four-year university to earn a bachelor's degree. Right now, he said his primary interest is kinesiology and exercise science.

"I like the exercise and sports part of it and it branches into the science field as well," he said. "It covers both art and science in a way that I like."

The close-knit nature of the community at CSLA is something Ambrose said he'll always remember after he walks across the graduation stage on June 1. Leaving behind a legacy for his family and this senior class – while serving as a mentor to younger students – is something that is clearly important to this year's valedictorian.

"The high school used to be in a different area than the middle and elementary school kids," he said. "Now that we're combined on one, it's been fun to mentor the younger kids and be in their lives. That was one of the biggest things when I was in second grade – we had a reading buddy with the eighth graders, and I just remember that a lot."

School briefs

St. Paul Rodeo on the search for student artists

The St. Paul Rodeo Association is looking for talented artists from local schools. Students interested in creating western-inspired art can apply for the rodeo's juried art show and must be a student age 8 or older.

College students are also welcome to apply.

Applicants must submit a full application that includes a western-inspired art piece, labeled with the artist's name, the title and a price. The art may not exceed 36 inches in any dimension and must be a finished product ready to be put on sale at the art show.

Jurying for the art show begins June 10.

For more information, visit the rodeo website or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Newberg High School alumni Golden Gathering

Newberg High School alumni that graduated 50 or more years ago are invited to a gathering from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 11 at the A-dec Inc. company cafeteria in Newberg.

The event marks the 19th annual "Golden Gathering" celebration and is hosted by reunion chairman Ken Carsley, class of 1961.

Last year graduates from the classes of 1942 to 1968 were in attendance.

This year, the class of 1969 or earlier is invited to attend. Memorabilia to share will be displayed on tables at the event as well.

If you have questions, contact Carsley at 503-538-5849.


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