Senior Kelsi Husted an Admirable and Dedicated Salutatorian


photo courtesy of Lauren Endaya

Senior Kelsi Husted posing for a picture during a football game.

Jade Wood, Staff Writer

   Being Salutatorian means being a role model. One must be hard-working, engaged in the community, and motivate those around them. This takes years of dedication, perseverance, and mental strength to perfect. Taking on many AP and honors classes, committing to extracurriculars, and maintaining a healthy social life is a taxing feat — those who achieve this are truly deserving of acknowledgment. Class of 2022 Salutatorian Kelsi Husted certainly fits the role. 

   The Salutatorian is the second highest placement in a class in terms of grade point average (GPA). Husted has earned the title with a GPA of 4.86. Throughout her high school career, Husted has taken about 22 full-year weighted classes. Husted said, “I began high school by taking courses that I was interested in and felt that I would enjoy. At the beginning of my junior year, I was informed of my class ranking and continued taking a fully weighted schedule.” 

   Although GPA and grades determine class rank, Husted doesn’t believe that these fully encompass a student’s abilities. She said,  “I am proud to be able to say I am our class Salutatorian, but I believe grades don’t truly represent who you are as a person or how much you have done. I am most proud of the work I have done outside of school to give back to my community.” Along with handling a heavy course load, Husted has engaged in community programs and work. She added, “I work with elementary and middle school students as a private tutor. During quarantine, I worked as an independent pod teacher where I handled a small group of elementary schoolers. I love what I do and am incredibly dedicated to it as well. These children helped shape my interest in education and public policy in order to bring significant education reform.”

   Husted is also a part of the Aaron Price Fellows Program, a program dedicated to preparing high school students to be responsible, caring, and engaged members of the community. She said, “The Aaron Price Fellowship program was extremely significant in shaping my high school career. The program and network that they have built has given me countless opportunities that I would not have without them. Additionally, the community that they provide has been incredible and I have met some of my absolute best friends through this program.” Along with these impressive commitments, Husted has also participated in the Cheer Team for four years, plays tennis outside of school, and has an internship working on teenage substance abuse education and prevention. 

   Husted said the people of the UC High community impacted her the most. “My teachers, mentors, and peers have been unmatched and I am so grateful to have had the incredible network of support and education that I received at UC High. I have been surrounded by incredibly passionate individuals who are working on improving unjust systems and it has driven me to consider and explore my own interests,” she said. Husted said the most challenging part of her time at the school was trying to concentrate on Zoom — a sentiment most agree with. She added, “I feel very fortunate to go to UC High, because all of my teachers worked tirelessly to adjust to our new reality and to ensure that we were still learning what we needed.”

   Husted is not only an outstanding member of the UC High community but also a personal role model for her younger sister. Sophomore Karis Husted said, “I look up to her more than anything. She’s one of the strongest people I will ever know and she will always be there for me. I think she’s amazing for being able to achieve this…. I’m super proud of her.” Karis knows her sister as a hard-working, funny, humble, helpful, and loving person. She added, “One thing I admire about her is how hard she works and how she will never give up. If she wants something she will do everything she can to achieve that.”

   Kelsi Husted positively affects many people around her, earning respect from many. Biomedical Teacher Leslie Wymer said, “Kelsi is a dedicated, self-starting young woman. She is a natural leader and collaborator who demands the best of herself and brings it out in others. She is a role model for academic excellence and her future is very bright.”

   Committed to UCLA, Husted plans to major in neuroscience and double minor in education and public policy. She hopes to eventually go to medical school and work in pediatrics, knowing she’ll likely work with children in a medical or advocacy field. Husted looks forward to shifting her attention to things that will have long-lasting and positive impacts on her surroundings. Husted adds, “I am proud of how resilient our class was and as high school comes to an end, I look forward to seeing what everyone accomplishes in the future!”