Grand County High School is proud to announce its September 2020 students-of-the-month: Porter Ricks and Grace Mefret. Both are seniors during a very unconventional year and staff and faculty feel that each exemplifies admirable qualities.
Porter Ricks, son of Danielle and Joel Ricks, helps hold the school’s many extracurricular activities up with his tireless volunteering. One school staff member said Porter is “here helping, working, assisting, and providing support at the school as much as our teachers and staff. We tease Porter about who is going to replace him after he graduates.”
Porter’s school-based activities are many, including serving as president of the Future Farmers of America club, on the tech team managing the high school auditorium, member of the marching band, the drill manager, an elected position in student government and a yearbook editor among other things. He explains that he has a passion for volunteering because he “loves helping out whenever I can.”
Porter says that one of the best things he has gained from his high school education is “the ability to talk to different people” and that the advice he would give to others on their way through school is “to not be afraid and ask the questions you have and to do the things you want to do.”
Porter reports that one of his favorite classes is band “because everyone is always welcome there.” He also loves his agricultural science class as that course dovetails into his desired career path.
“He is more than deserving of student of the month, heck, I would nominate him student of the year!” said Cara Grula, the agricultural science instructor and advisor of Future Farmers of America. “Porter is a dedicated and hard working student who displays kindness and dedication in all of his work. On top of being involved in so many activities, Porter still maintains excellent grades!”
He has worked for several years with his grandmother helping to manage 17 apartments. His long term career plans include attending a college to get a degree in Agricultural Science and Fish and Wildlife, and to ultimately take over his family’s farm.
The other September 2020 GCHS student-of-the-month recipient is Grace Mefret, daughter of Greg and Michelle Mefret. Grace, like Porter, is a member of the marching band and lists it as one of her favorite courses, alongside her drama course.
“I enjoy trying new things and bringing stories to life,” said Grace.
“Grace is a breath of fresh air!” said Maralee Francis, student government advisor and drama teacher. “She is happy, helpful, and a wonderful student. She is a joy whether on the field in marching band or in drama class or helping her friends manage the concession stand.”
Grace says that math is her most challenging subject because it is “just not my strong suit,” but she values “having a good teacher [to] make it easier to learn.”
Her math teacher, Teddy Anderson, has much to say about Grace.
“She always tries her hardest, and tries again and again in math class, until she has the right answer,” said Anderson. “When she understands something, she always helps others. She is very good at taking help from others, too. She has a positive attitude and helps make this class a math family.”
Grace is involved in her school community through marching band, Future Farmers of America and the Color Guard. She is also a member of Young Life, a Christian youth organization. She currently works for Canyonlands Natural History Association and has been there for a couple years in addition to working at the bookstore at Arches National Park and the Moab Information Center.
She says that a piece of advice she would offer others making their way through the school system is “to not be afraid to be yourself. Do not worry about what others think of you. You have to do what will make you happy.”
In regards to her future career path, she says, “I’m not completely sure yet. I would like to go to college either for something music-related or agriculture-related.” Whatever she does, she will be sure to be successful.
Congratulations to GCHS’s September 2020 students of the month!