Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Mikailey Judkins Irvine, Valedictorian at Valley Oaks Charter School

Valley Oaks Charter School

"Don't wait until you know who you are to get started." -Austin Kleon. This is Mikailey's favorite quote and how she has approached her life in high school. Mikailey was not the biggest fan of school growing up. She was home schooled from pre-k through 8th grade and admitted that she was a rough kid to educate during the elementary years. However, when she entered middle school, Mikailey started liking school more. Once she enrolled at Valley Oaks for high school, Mikailey's whole mentality toward school changed and now she loves school.

Mikailey has taken college preparatory and advanced classes. She has taken advantage of Valley Oaks Charter School's variety of class structures. While completing her high school courses, she is concurrently enrolled at Cerro Coso Community College and will earn two associate degrees in Art History and Liberal Arts/Humanities. Diligent and thorough in her studies, Mikailey maintained a 4.0 GPA and has made the honor roll every year since 9th grade. She has received awards in Conceptual Physics, Biology and has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society since her sophomore year.

With a love for photography and art, Mikailey also received the best-in-show award at the annual Tehachapi Youth Art contest in 2019 and first place in photography this year. She also participates in extra-curricular activities. Mikailey is the Editor of the VOCS yearbook and President of ASB during this year. She completed her second year as an assistant teacher at a local dance center and is a talented ballet dancer. Mikailey takes pride in her academics, excels in individual settings and was hired on as an English tutor at Cerro Coso community college this year.

One of the most important lessons Mikailey learned at Valley Oaks is determination. The classes here are not easy and you have to work for them. Valley Oaks Charter School has also taught her about community. Attending high school is a small and tight-knit community that gave Mikailey the foundation to grow her education. Being in a pandemic world has taught her that everything can be taken away very quickly, so you have to appreciate what you have now. Mikailey's mom and sister have been her anchors throughout high school and taught her that you can do anything when you have people you care about by your side.

Mikailey plans to attend a 4-year university and get a degree in Kinesiology, with a focus on Exercise Science. From there, she hopes to get a Doctorate and become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Mikailey's experience in dance has given her an interest in helping people recover from injuries, similar to the injuries she has had to overcome as a dancer. Her current future goal is to work in a hospital rehabbing patients who are going through chemo, accidents or other health issues. It is a long road to becoming a doctor, but the people she will help will make it all worth it.