Class of 2022 will be graduating on Thursday, June 9

TEMPLETON — Seniors from the Class of 2022 will be graduating from Templeton High School this Thursday. Last week, Templeton students were given their honors and celebrated for their accomplishments.

This year, the school has three top scholarly students they will be celebrating at graduation.

John Nicholson is the 2022 THS valedictorian, with Zach Gonzales and Owen Daulton as co-salutatorians. 

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Nicholson, who was also named Templeton’s Scholar Athlete of the Year, was surprised to hear his name.

“It was nice to hear them call my name after a long four years of working hard,” said Nicholson.

In Nicholson’s sophomore year, his school counselor let him know with his class choices and grade point average, he had the potential to be valedictorian. After learning of that potential, Nicholson went for it.

Nicholson ran track in the spring and played soccer in the fall, making it to CIF in both sports this year.

Following graduation, Nicholson will be heading to UC Santa Barbara to major in pre-statistics and data science. But he has plans to follow in his late grandfather’s footsteps to switch his major to computer science.

“He was a big inspiration to be for computer and data science,” said Nicholson, “He is the one who sparked my interest in computer science.”

Nicholson knew he wanted to attend UCSB since the eighth grade when his sister was touring college campuses. He says the campus fits his interests, like surfing.

“It’s cool to be able to actually go to the school,” said Nicholson.

According to Nicholson, time management was one of the greatest skills he learned through high school. His advice to younger classmates would be to learn how to prioritize their time.

“Time management is a skill that helped me get through with academics and sports,” said Nicholson.

Zach Gonzales, one of the co-salutatorians, said receiving the honor was a surprise for him. Though Gonzales knew he was in the top five for grade point average for the school, earning the honor wasn’t a priority for him.

Gonzales explained he took classes that interested him, and it just turned out those classes helped him earn the title of salutatorian.

Throughout high school, Gonzales was on the cross country and track teams all four years and played tennis for three years. 

“It’s [high school] been a pleasant experience,” said Gonzales, “I think the sports are what have made the biggest impact on me … running helps me find my motivation for the school work.”

After graduation, Gonzales will be attending Cal Poly to study engineering. 

His advice to younger students had to do with choosing classes.

“I think the biggest misconception people have going into high school is that all the AP classes or the weighted classes are going to be the hardest,” Gonzales said. “But in my experience, they’re not really that much more of a workload than the other classes with a few exceptions.

“If you have a chance to take what people think is a harder class in an area that you’re interested in, take that opportunity.”

Owen Daulton is Templeton’s other co-salutatorian — an honor he had his eyes on since entering high school.

Outside of school, Daulton also enjoys cross country, music, and his new hobby as a wildlife photographer. 

Since the sixth grade, Daulton has been in the school band and now is in the honor jazz band. In April, the school band made a trip to New York, where they played for a university professor and attended Broadway shows. The experience was a highlight of Daulton’s high school career.

Cross country was also a vital part of Daulton’s life as a high school student.

“The cross country team is an incredible community because everybody is sharing a lot of pain,” said Daulton. “so you get close with each other, and you get some great memories.”

Daulton will be attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he will major in applied physics. He hopes to conduct research while in college and see where that will take him or possibly enter into product development.

Prior to covid’s implications on the way students attended school, Daulton wanted to attend UCLA. But switching to a hybrid schedule for a portion of high school made him enjoy the smaller class size, which impacted his college choice.

“That definitely helped me realize that I didn’t want to go to a school where I was sitting in lecture halls with 400 to 600 people,” said Daulton.

Daulton’s advice to younger students would be to be open-minded when applying for colleges.

“I went into the application with a specific school in mind,” said Daulton, “I think it would have been a lot more beneficial to the decision I have to make in the end if I had been more open-minded about the type of major I went into.”

Templeton High School Valedictorian John Nicolson poses with THS Counselor Bre Goetz during the school’s awards ceremony. Contributed Photo