Cactus Shadows names valedictorian and salutatorian

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Foothills Focus Executive Editor

Cactus Shadows High School named its valedictorian and salutatorian as Billy Mullenmeister and Elizabet Cave, respectively, for the Class of 2020.

Attending Cave Creek Unified School District since kindergarten, Mullenmeister went to Desert Willow Elementary and Sonoran Trails Middle schools.

He’ll go on to ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College to study biochemistry with the hopes of perhaps being an optometrist.

“I don’t know what my career choice is, but one potential career option for me is an eye doctor or an optometrist,” he said. “In my first four years I have to take general science classes, and I wanted a strong foundation in biology and chemistry.”

The key to becoming the valedictorian was putting forth a consistent effort throughout high school.

“A big part of it, too, was not putting too much stress on myself,” said Mullenmeister, who ran track and cross country in school.

“You’re not perfect. My freshman and sophomore year, I think I was too intense. I needed to scale it back, then school went more smoothly. You just have to remember you’re a student. You’re not perfect. Mistakes happen.”

Cave has been attending CCUSD since the fifth grade, having gone to Black Mountain Elementary and Sonoran Trails Middle schools.

Rounding out the top 2% of the Class of 2020 are Taylor Rotenberg, Ryan Hildebrand, Colin McConnon, Olivia Cordes, Megan Mathews, Lauren Jankowski and Jacob LaRue.

The top 3% of the Class of 2020 are Kendall Fender, Bryce Brown, Emma Petronella and Michelle Uddin.

The top 5% of the Class of 2020 are Hailey Steenhoek, Abigail Nosan, Veronica Boyle, Drew Seiser, Trenton Dianovich, Georgina Kartsonis, John Stevens and Suman Zahir.

The top 10% of the Class of 2020 are Holly Beck, Tyler Fair, Russell Liberman, Annalysse Bacon, Serena Sabbara, Brittany Whalen, Antonio Cartin Ferradino, Megan Schreiber, Alison Tobin, Sydney Perry, Lucas Sample, Romi Takamura, Hannah Dicksion, Karrine Arenz, Maximus Rigler, Emilie Leazier, Gabriela Marchica, Kelsea Clays, Katelyn Mizera, Reece Toso, Jaclyn Kennedy and Alexandra DePinto.

“Congratulations to all of these student exemplars of Falcon excellence,” Superintendent Dr. Debbi Burdick said. “We are so proud of them and look forward to hearing about their continued success in their future endeavors.”