The proper motivation: Pair of classmates push MCHS Class of 2020 valedictorian Joshua Gumber |

The proper motivation: Pair of classmates push MCHS Class of 2020 valedictorian Joshua Gumber

Moffat County High School Class of 2020 valedictorian Joshua Gumber.
Courtesy Photo

Whenever Joshua Gumber needed motivation to keep the top spot in his class for Moffat County High School, he would turn to the two students on his tail. 

He exchanged friendly banter with Marlene Areanyo and David Lopez Gutierrez, and even some trash talking with Marlene (David, he explains, is too nice for that sort of thing), but they also pushed each other during a tough year. 

“If anything, it was the opposite,” Gumber said. “It was more of, ‘Well, I think you got me beat here.’”

Gumber was indeed named valedictorian last week by the high school. Gutierrez was salutatorian. Gumber was excited about the honor, but it wasn’t the main goal. 

“I always saw high school as a means to an end,” Gumber said. “How I performed in school allowed me to do more things or prohibited me from doing them.

Gumber will attend Colorado School of Mines, although his major of computer science may change, as he also enjoys electrical engineering as well. He enjoys learning how things work and how things are built, and typically that involves machines and technology, but it doesn’t have to.

“I even remember going to Denver and being in awe of the construction there,” Gumber said. 

Gumber believes Gutierrez is a much better story. Gutierrez was the first to graduate from high school in his family and came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 10 and didn’t know English. He was in awe of Gutierrez’s ability to juggle college classes that didn’t count toward his gpa while keeping up a demanding ap schedule that would help boost his score. 

“He’s really incredible,” Gumber said. 

Even so, he will go down as the top student, at least when it comes to his grade-point average. 

“I just always wanted to do everything I could and pursue everything that was available,” Gumber said. “Valedictorian came with that territory.”

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