[Courtesy photo]

Grand County High School’s Students of the Month for October 2016 are junior Grace Osusky and senior Jacob Johnston.

Osusky is the daughter of Tony and Karen Osusky. When asked about her favorite class at GCHS, she said, “My favorite class? That’s like asking me which parent I like better. I honestly can’t decide. I really love math, history, English, science and Spanish!”

“My teachers make the classes enjoyable,” Osusky added. “I think a lot of school is getting along with your teachers, and while you may disagree with them some of the time, that’s OK. It’s called creative differences, and it’s a very real obstacle people have to work through. I trust their knowledge.”

Osusky cited either math or Spanish as her most challenging class. “Ms. Arzt pushes us to do great things in Spanish and to learn as much as possible,” she said. “I like the fact that it’s preparing all of the students for college.”

“As far as math goes, it’s all about learning new concepts. I personally like trigonometry,” Osusky added, joking, “Whoa! First time you’ve ever heard someone say that!”

At GCHS, Osusky has been involved in many activities. She is the captain of the debate team. She has also been involved on the school’s Quiz Bowl team for the past few years, helping the team win several trophies. In addition, she has been involved with Science Olympiad and student government, and is currently the junior class president.

Outside of school, Osusky volunteers as a teaching assistant at HMK Elementary’s Moab Strings Program.

“I love music and play the violin, viola, guitar, and a little bit on the keyboard,” she said. “With my musical talents, I’ve played songs at hospitals and nursing homes. I’ve also played at fundraisers for foundations such as Seekhaven and cancer walks.”

At Christmastime, Osusky plays violin at the Moab Community Baptist Church and St. Pius X Catholic Church. She has also played at local restaurants such as the Peace Tree and Jeffrey’s Steakhouse for tips to raise money for music camp.

Osusky said she also has a deep love for writing and is currently writing a novel that she plans to have published before she graduates from high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society.

Osusky has also worked every summer for three years with the Moab Music Festival as its student intern.

Osusky says she plans to go to college to pursue a career in either civil law, or the biomedical engineering field.

Johnston, a senior, is the son of Dwight and Susie Johnston. He says his favorite classes at GCHS are AP English and Spanish 4.

“I like English because I love reading, and I love hearing the different interpretations of stories and books that I had never thought of, both from my classmates and Mrs. Simmons-Cameron,” he said. “I like Spanish because it is fun being able to broaden my horizons by talking to people that I have never been able to talk with before. It’s also pretty cool being able to tell people that I speak a different language.”

Johnston says his most challenging classes are AP Calculus and Spanish 4.

“AP Calculus is a different kind of math – there are more letters than numbers. It’s almost like someone decided to combine English class and math class, while making them both way harder, and more confusing,” he said. “That being said, it is super fun to come to a complicated problem and have the ability to work through it and figure out an answer, and calculus has a lot of real-world applications, which is very satisfying.”

“Spanish 4 is difficult because it’s another language, with a whole new vocabulary,” Johnston added.

At GCHS, Johnston has been involved with student government and is the current student body vice president, a captain on the football team and the school’s Sterling Scholar nominee in world languages. He also has played basketball and soccer, and has been a part of the swim and track teams. He plans to play soccer next spring. Johnston is also a member of the National Honor Society, FCCLA and FBLA organizations, as well as the school spirit club. He also writes articles for the school newspaper and will play Uncle Henry and a guard in the upcoming school musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” in mid-November.

After high school, Johnston plans to attend college, probably at Utah State University. His plans are to double major in Spanish and aerospace engineering, and then go to graduate school and get a higher degree in engineering.

The local Elks Lodge sponsors Grand County High School’s Student of the Month program under the direction of Frank Vaccaro. Jeff Richards is the high school coordinator. GCHS faculty members choose the students; the Rotary Club and Grand County School District Board of Education also recognize them. The Elks started the program to recognize students who are outstanding in the areas of character, leadership, service, citizenship and scholastic performance.