Making their mark

Several seniors celebrate legacies with superlatives

photo credit: Tori Thedford
Mr. Wylie East \ \ Senior Everett Vasquez accepts the title of “Mr. Wylie East.” “The award means a lot to me because I feel like I put a lot of hours and spirit into East,” Vasquez said.

writer: Shelby Perry, Digital Media Editor

The spring pep rally recognized a variety of spring sports, as well as several outstanding members of clubs and organizations, such as Raider Choir’s all-state choir members and Pride of the East’s award-winning drumline Feb. 25. However, one group in particular was highlighted to celebrate their impact on the school within the last four years. This group is the senior superlative winners for the Class of 2022. 

The categories vary from year to year, and are chosen by student council members a few weeks prior to nominations and voting.

This year, the categories were Most Athletic, Most Humorous, Hallway Crush, Best Duo, Best Smile, Most Likely to be Successful, Most Likely to be Late to Graduation, Master of the Arts, and Mr. and Ms. Wylie East. Nominees were elected and voted by their peers in the two weeks prior to the pep rally. While some students posted social media campaigns to promote themselves as candidates for different categories, others were entirely surprised by their nominations.

This award really validated my outward appearance and I’m very flattered to have been nominated. My friends and peers really pulled through in voting for me, and I want to thank them all again.”

— Redieat Samson

“I definitely didn’t expect to win because I didn’t run to be nominated, so seeing my name on the list was so unexpected,” Hallway Crush winner Redieat Samson said. “I hollered for sure, it was a cool surprise.”

Following the announcement of the nominations, several nominees created social media fliers to promote themselves and gain votes from their fellow seniors, while others trusted their peers would vote for the candidate that they saw best fit. 

“I did not promote voting, only nominating a little,” Ms. Wylie East winner Ryah Hill said. “I think campaigning defeats the purpose, as the seniors should be able to select the people that they think fit, not whoever tells them to vote.”

With many seniors running and campaigning for votes, there were a few winners that felt their award was entirely unexpected. A few of them were even placed in multiple categories, without asking for a single vote.

“I only promoted Mr. Wylie East, which is why I was surprised to see that I was even nominated for the other two, and even more surprised when I won them,” Most Humorous and Most Athletic winner Marcus Harbert said. “The only category I expected to win, I lost in. The other two, I just didn’t believe I was the ‘best’ candidate for. Although I personally believe I’m the funniest person I know, I didn’t think other people would agree. And for Most Athletic, the other nominees were two-sport athletes, so I assumed that their chances of winning were higher than mine.”

The nominations and award process brought on a wave of nerves for a couple of the nominees. None of the winners were revealed prior to the rally, and nominees all stood in front of the entire school while the Mrs. Gholson announced  the winner of each category. 

“It felt good and very relieving to be awarded my superlative because I was a little anxious about it before,” Mr. Wylie East winner Everett Vasquez said. “It was just a wave of relief. The award means a lot to me because I feel like I put in a lot of hours and spirit into East. I think people voted for me because I’m very vocal and outgoing, so a lot of people have seen me out there chanting and getting everyone involved.”

Due to the large variety of categories and nominees, each award meant something different to the student who received it. While some of the winners expected their wins, others felt that it was entirely unexpected, which made it even more meaningful.

“This award really validated my outward appearance and I’m very flattered to have been nominated,” Samson said. “My friends and peers really pulled through in voting for me, and I want to thank them all again.” 

While these four years are coming to a close for these seniors in only a few months, the impact that many have had as leaders in their clubs and organizations will not be forgotten anytime soon, and these superlatives are an attempt to recognize that.

“From the standpoint of a student involved, I’m an officer and a leader of several organizations- so I assume that they took those qualities into consideration when voting. I like to think I’m friendly to everyone, optimistic, and easy to talk to, and I hope that made its way into people’s minds when they voted,” Hill said. “My brother won Mr. Wylie East his senior year, and Everett’s sister won Ms. Wylie East, so we feel that we get to carry on that legacy in some way. I’m so ecstatic to have earned the title of Ms. Wylie East, especially alongside Everett who is one of my best friends.”

Regardless of the winners’ prior expectations, the outcome of the awards reflects each individual’s impact on their classmates, and will always remain a memory in the minds of the Class of 2022 as they move into their adult lives post-graduation. 

“The awards mean that I matter to people, and that means the world to me,” Harbert said. “I think people voted for me because I try my best to be everywhere, make a mark on everything within this school, and spark change.”


Mr. Wylie East: Everett Vasquez

Ms. Wylie East: Ryah Hill

Best Smile Male: Josh Capers

Best Smile Female: Susie Martinez 

Most Humorous Male: Marcus Harbert

Most Humorous Female: Lizette Landry

Most Athletic Male: Marcus Harbert

Most Athletic Female: Aleena Dawkins 

Best Duo: Carrington Brown and Aleena Dawkins

Most Likely to Succeed Male: Thanh Nguyen

Most Likely to Succeed Female: Kayla Nguyen

Master of the Arts Male: Elbert Haney

Master of the Arts Female: Meredith Simmons

Hallway Crush Male: Josh Capers

Hallway Crush Female: Redieat Samson

Most Likely to be Late to Graduation Male: Jayden McCalister

Most Likely to be Late to Graduation Female: Kaydence Tucker