Cedar Hill High School Valedictorian and Salutatorian Set Sights On STEM

Cedar Hill High School Class of 2021 Valedictorian Ariel Awuwoloye balanced academics with orchestra and softball. CHHS Class of 2021 Salutatorian Jolie Sanders served as National Honor Society (NHS) President while studying and working part-time as a mathematics tutor.

Both Awuwoloye and Sanders attended classes virtually during a school year that was affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“It was not a senior year like any of us would have expected,” Sanders said.

Awuwoloye agreed, “You would wake up, get on your laptop, and work, work, work.”

Awuwoloye and Sanders are the top academic scholars in a class of 521. Graduation was held on Friday at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Nine of the top 10 scholars in the CHHS Class of 2021 are female.

Awuwoloye said she plans to study Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Sanders plans to study Physics at Texas A&M University.

The Valedictorian and Salutatorian were classmates in Calculus as juniors, before in-person classes were canceled due to the Pandemic. They also collaborated in NHS where Awuwoloye was the parliamentarian.

Although she was a virtual scholar, Awuwoloye participated in orchestra and softball. She led the viola section and was a member of the first CHHS quartet to reach UIL State in Solo & Ensemble. In softball, Awuwoloye earned Second Team All-District honors as the team showed great improvement under first-year head coach Jennifer Davis.

Awuwoloye attended Plummer Elementary, Joe Wilson Intermediate and Permenter Middle School before CHHS.

“It’s unreal,” she said. “I can’t believe high school is over. I had a softball family and an orchestra family. It was difficult, but it was fun to be part of both groups.”

Sanders moved to Cedar Hill for her sophomore year from Grants, New Mexico – which is 78 miles west of Albuquerque.

“It’s been very rewarding,” Sanders said. “I’ve definitely put in the hours, and it’s been a really long year. I’m ready for college.”

Sanders likes Texas enough to stay in the Lone Star State. Her career goal after A&M is to work as a physicist in a laboratory.

As NHS President, she helped start a tutoring service.