You might be surprised to hear that Corbyn Burke, Sedona Red Rock High School’s valedictorian of 2023, isn’t addicted to caffeine.
Instead, he says, he focuses on actually sleeping so he can play a variety of sports, graduate with an associate’s degree, and work part-time.
“His motivation to succeed is what gives him the energy to do everything,” said former SRRHS head cross-country coach Ben Schamihorn. “Whatever he does, he wants to perform at the highest possible level and that’s what drives him.”
Burke’s drive was demonstrated in both SRRHS football and cross-country, in which he participated simultaneously, helping the football team reach the playoffs and secure a state final in cross-country. This year, Burke replaced cross-country with track and field, focusing on the mile and 800 meters.
Burke said cross-country was his specialty in high school. Because “the results are definitely visible” according to the amount of effort put into training.
“When you pass someone in a race, or when you finish a race with a new personal best, it feels like nothing else. “You can’t go before that,” Burke said.
In addition to his athletic achievements, Burke will graduate as a first-generation college student with an associate degree from Yavapai University as part of an early college program before graduating from high school on Wednesday, May 24.
“Our senior year was very different from other students,” Burke said. “I used to drive to the Yavapai campus, he three times a week for biology and math. After class, I always drove to Red Rock High School, [sports] training. If the schedules between schools and classes didn’t match, I had to choose one over the other. After that, I needed a follow-up exam, and it became difficult on the way. “
Adding to the stress was working three to four times a week as a server at Pago’s in Oak Creek Village. Burke said pepperoni is her favorite topping, and the combination of sweet and savory means pineapple has earned its place as a pizza topping.
“I had about one energy drink this year, but it wasn’t even for school,” Burke said. “I was driving really late at night, and it was still a long way to go with my friends for a three-day weekend trip to San Diego. The night drive that is going on.It’s really something you can’t get anywhere else.”
After graduating from high school during the COVID-19 pandemic, those carefree memories will probably be rare. Burke said she felt life was “more laid back and a little easier before Covid-19.” “There will always be something after COVID-19 that makes life a little more difficult.”
One of Burke’s most difficult experiences was the death of his father two years ago, but “he has shown tremendous strength, determination and passion to overcome obstacles,” said SOCSD director Dennis Dearden. rice field.
“It was especially difficult to keep going to school when my father died,” Burke said. “But with the help of my friends and family, I got through it.
My father always inspired me and told me to give my best in school, in life, in whatever I set my mind to… I still think of him when I’m trying to achieve my goals. “
“Corbyn has always demonstrated great talent in mathematics throughout his teaching career,” Dearden said. “Corbin’s academic performance has been exemplary not only at Sedona Red Rock, but also at Yavapai College. Beyond academic success, Corbin is also an incredibly caring and caring person. He was happy to help and encourage his classmates.”
Burke won $7,000 in local scholarships and Pell Grants and merit-based scholarships to attend Arizona State University, where he plans to study mechanical engineering with the goal of working in the medical and aerospace industries. .
The SRRHS graduation ceremony is on Wednesday, May 24th.