Valeria Miranda, top-ranked graduating senior at Pierson High School, is fascinated by languages and bilingualism.
“I just love how it transfers everything. Even my voice changes when I speak in Spanish,” she said. “I just love trying to talk in both languages at the same time.”
Now that she’s finishing high school, Miranda wants to study translation and interpretation. She’ll take the first step in that direction by moving to Tucson and enrolling at Pima Community College, she said. Then, after completing an associate degree, she’d like to transfer to the University of Arizona.
Miranda spent her last year-and-a-half at Pierson after transferring from Mexico. She initially enrolled at Nogales High School, but when she learned she wouldn’t be able to earn the credits she needed in time to graduate with her class, she switched campuses.
It was a good move for her.
“Pierson is a wonderful school. I loved my time in high school here,” she said during a pre-graduation interview. “It has been a very good option for me and I loved it so much, from the day I started until the day I’m leaving.”
Asked about her favorite subjects, she listed English, government and social studies/history. Her favorite teachers included Alejandra Beach (English) and Mark Nash (social studies).
“Both of them are very helpful. They explain so well – they actually enjoy their jobs and their subjects,” she said. “It’s just so perfect because the subject by itself is interesting, and having them, it’s even better.”
One of her more memorable non-classroom experiences at Pierson was attending a Teen Lifeline workshop at which she learned to be a peer counselor for teens struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Her hobbies include reading, listening to music, hanging out with friends or just relaxing at home.
Principal Berenice Rodriguez described Miranda as “extremely dedicated and very determined.”
“She has not only worked diligently to complete her graduation requirements early, but also with the highest GPA for cohort 2018-19,” Rodriguez said. “Valerie is also very positive and supportive of her peers and is always willing to provide her support to anyone who needs it.”
Miranda gave special thanks to her parents, Eligio and Martha Miranda. “They’ve always been there for me,” she said.