Class of 2020: Peñasco

Peñasco valedictorian has her sights on veterinary school

By Doug Cantwell
Taos News
Posted 6/3/20

Academics, athletics, animals: Peñasco High School senior Ariana MacAuley has them all covered – in spades.

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Class of 2020: Peñasco

Peñasco valedictorian has her sights on veterinary school

Posted

Academics, athletics, animals: Peñasco High School senior Ariana MacAuley has them all covered – in spades.

As class valedictorian, she will speak on behalf of her classmates at the PHS commencement, which is scheduled for June 27 (or July 11 if need be). MacAuley was tapped by the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society during her sophomore year and has served as its secretary for the last two years. She received recognition as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and also a Northern New Mexico Super Scholar earlier this year.

In the fall, MacAuley will apply her considerable talents at Stanford University, where she will major in biology with the intention of going to veterinary school afterward.

She has worked with animals for years, raising and showing pigs at the county fair as a member of the 4-H Club, which she served as president for five years. Recently, she has shadowed one of the vets at Smith’s Veterinary Hospital in Santa Fe to get a feel for what the profession actually requires.

Why does she want to be a vet? “I’ve just always really enjoyed working with animals,” MacAuley said. “I think it would be a challenging and rewarding career. Every day is different, so I wouldn’t get bored. I also have an aunt who is a vet and she has been a great role model.”

MacAuley has left her mark on Peñasco athletics as well, serving as captain of the stellar PHS basketball team, which nearly won the state championship in 2018 and again
in 2020.

She also served as captain of the volleyball team, which finished as district champion and competed in the state tournament in 2017 and 2019. MacAuley ran track as well, competing as a sprinter in the 200 and 400 meter races and 1600 meter relays. She ran cross-country for three years, winning the state championship with her teammates in 2016 and 2017.

At commencement, MacAuley will pick up diplomas from both PHS and Northern New Mexico College, having taken enough dual-credit courses to earn an associate degree from the latter.

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