This year's valedictorian for Bow Valley High School has achieved a perfect math score, she excels athletically and is preparing for a future in science.  

Taya Vlietstra will represent the class of 2024 at the upcoming graduation ceremony next month. 

The grade 12 student said even though it was a surprise to learn she was chosen, she did have a feeling on some level as she walked into the principal's office. 

"There are so many people that are qualified, you're just hoping that they see something special in you. The morning of all my friends knew what was going on because I texted them and so when I left the principal's office, they all said 'good luck, good luck,' Sure enough, when I went in, my parents were sitting in the office, and I was like, okay, this is it."

Vlietstra excels academically, she recently had a perfect score on her Math 30 exam.

Even though grad is still over a month away Vlietstra is already working on her speech. 

"At the end of the day, being valedictorian, it's not for yourself, it's to represent the school. And so, with the application, I got at least 10 people to like make edits and make some suggestions on what sounds right and what sounds really presentable. That's my plan for the speech as well. I want to do something where I can get as many collaborators as possible so that the speech is really a speech of our grade, and not just a speech from me."

The grade 12 student does not just keep busy with her academics. 

"I think anyone who knows me would probably call me a jack-of-all-trades. I really love athletics, I do hockey with the Cochrane Chaos, I do softball, I do basketball with the school and with club and I also do track and field. I also am really involved in my church, I love kids ministries and just hanging out with the kiddos every Sunday morning."

In the fall, she will be studying biological science at the University of Alberta. She intends to apply for the radiation therapy program after her first year.

"I'm a really passionate person and in my life I think I need a job that actually drives me and gets me going and one where I know I'm making a difference in the world. I know that's cheesy to say, but it really is what I think I need to be happy. I know that radiation therapy is something that will allow me to do that and I love physics, biology, and I love chemistry and so all together is perfect for radiation therapy."

Bow Valley High School graduation is set to go on June 27 at SLS Centre.