Carson High School valedictorian and salutatorians aren’t your ‘normal nerds’

Tristan Martel

Tristan Martel

This year, Carson High School doesn’t have just two students at the top of the class, it has three.

In addition to Ethan Lopes serving as the valedictorian, Tristan Martel and Quinn Peterson both tied for salutatorian for the 2016 class.

“We aren’t your normal nerds,” Martel laughed.

These three students are the highest achieving students Carson High has ever had, beating the record grade point average of 5.20. Lopes ended his high school career with a 5.30 and Martel and Peterson ended up with 5.25 each.

“This is the culmination of four years (of hard work) and has been something worthwhile for us,” Peterson said.

In order to achieve these GPAs, the three took more than eight Advanced Placement classes along with numerous honors classes in the last four years.

“I feel like our hard work has paid off so I have no regrets,” Lopes said.

But Peterson, Martel and Lopes didn’t just excel in the classroom, all three were extremely active in extracurricular activities at CHS and in the community. Lopes participated in seven different clubs and sports including varsity cross country, robotics club, Western Nevada Astronomical Society and was president of the National Honor Society. Martel was on varsity football, vice president of National Honor Society, track and field and volunteered with Make-A-Wish. Peterson participated in several church leadership roles, Boy Scouts of America, taught piano and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Being so actively involved wasn’t without its hardships. The boys said the balancing act between their responsibilities and social activities wasn’t always easy.

“Time management and social pressures were difficult because people wanted me to do fun things and I didn’t want to because I didn’t find it as fun as studying,” Lopes said.

“The balancing act was really hard,” Martel added. “Especially during football season because on Fridays you aren’t worried about school you are thinking about the game that night. If I didn’t have Quinn there, I wouldn’t have made it.”

But, the three survived the tests, essays and assignments and each are attending school out of state; Lopes will attend Williams College majoring in astrophysics and geosciences; Peterson will attend Brigham Young University majoring in engineering before going on a two-year church mission; and Martel will attend the University of Southern California majoring in aerospace engineering on a full ride Naval scholarship.

“It feels great to (be graduating) but it also feels unreal,” Lopes said. “I think I expect to be going back in the fall.” Lopes also wants to break the world record for owning the most rubber ducks.

All three students were raised in Carson City, however moving out of state isn’t a scary thought for the three go-getters.

“I don’t think it will be hard to move, we will be able to adapt,” Peterson said.

Though, the three agreed that they will miss the small town feel that Carson has for its residents.

“I’ll miss being able to know where all the roads are, where everyone lives,” Martel said. “And I will definitely miss my family because they all live around here, and of course my friends like Quinn and Ethan.”

“Although we will probably all end up working at NASA together,” Martel laughed.

With graduation and the end of their high school careers looming, Lopes said he had one last parting statement for CHS.

“Stay blue Carson High.”


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