Rowan Murdock and Alondra Escalante, both seniors, are Grand County High School’s February recipients of student-of-the-month.
Rowan Murdock, son of Brian and Alina Murdock, is a lover of learning and said that he does not really have a favorite class because “each one was fun and interesting in their own way.”
He has been involved in Quiz Bowl in the Grand School District since middle school, and he participated throughout high school as well. He has volunteered at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, helping with their Day of Day celebration and serving as an “Amigo” in the Amigos to Amiguitos Club, which pairs mentors with elementary students.
Rowan reports that high school has taught him important lessons about time management and success.
“Usually I would put things off for a long time before I would do them,” he said, “but doing assignments in school helped me to stop procrastinating and to get my work done on time.”
His advice to his peers still in school is basic but vital.
“Just actually go to school. Showing up to class will not only improve your grades but also increase the amount you learn in your classes,” Rowan said.
Josh Cameron, Rowan’s junior year AP English Language and Composition teacher, has seen Rowan’s positive impact in the classroom.
“The remarkable thing about Rowan is his consistency: he shows up every day, he is prepared and engaged, he does quality work,” said Cameron. “Many students, for a variety of reasons, experience a lot of valleys and peaks that impact their learning. Rowan starts strong, he stays strong, and he ends strong. Also, he’s just a great personality to have in the classroom.”
Rowan plans to attend the University of Utah in the fall. He has not yet determined his major, but he has many interests, including history, teaching and computer science.
Alondra, daughter of Angelica and Manuel Escalante, moved to Moab from Green River after her sophomore year.
Alondra says that the move to a new place with unknown people was terrifying.
“I really didn’t know anyone, only my cousins,” she said. “I had to go out of my confort zone and make new friends, and now I have a soccer family and a basketball family, and I’m happy to call them my family.”
She reports that her favorite course is film photography.
“It allowed me to express myself through pictures,” Alondra said. “Developing the picture from scratch was so amazing.”
Alondra is an active participant in the GCHS community. She has been involved in yearbook, girls soccer, girls basketball, and she is currently doing an internship in a first-grade class at Helen M. Knight Elementary School. Alondra also helped create informal pick-up game opportunities in soccer and basketball before the pandemic, just to get students out and together.
GCHS Principal Dr. Marable said that she has seen Alondra’s contributions firsthand.
“Alondra has been a great addition to our school,” Marable said. “When you see Alondra she always has a smile and is focused on getting her job done. You can tell who Alondra is just by observing how easily she has become a part of Grand and how well she gets along with her teammates! She has a very delightful demeanor that is contagious.”
Alondra’s advice to students still in school is to take their time while in high school.
“You don’t want to grow up too fast,” she said. “Yes, it is good to grow up and ‘be you’ but also cherish the time you have in high school because that only comes once.”
She plans to attend Utah Valley University in the fall. She does not yet know what she plans to major in, but she knows it will relate to athletics.