Benson High School Valedictorian Tatum Benson will be heading to the University of Arizona this fall to study nursing, with aspirations of becoming a licensed nurse practitioner.
Question: What are your parents’ names?
Answer: I was raised by my mother, Brandie Benson.
Q: What town do you live in and what do you like most about living in a small, rural community?
A: I have lived in Benson since I was 2 years old. I love living in a small town because the community is very close. I feel supported by each person in our community, from the school side as well as from the town in general.
Q: How long have you attended school in the Benson Unified School District?
A: I have attended Benson School District for 13 school years, since kindergarten. I also went to preschool for two years at the Presbyterian Church on the hill.
Q: What is your grade point average?
A: My final GPA was 4.60.
Q: What extracurricular activities were you involved in during high school?
A: I was on the varsity softball, basketball and volleyball teams all four years of high school. I was a member and president, vice president, and treasurer of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. I served as the secretary and chair of the Benson Youth Council. I was a member of the National Honor Society and Health Occupations Students of America. I was also a Link leader. Link is an organization that helps freshmen and new students transition into high school through peer support.
(As an added note, Tatum was name Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Arizona Interscholastic Association.)
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time at Benson High School?
A: My favorite part about Benson High School was the competitiveness of the athletic program, which provided me with numerous opportunities. I also feel that Benson High School has compassionate teachers who dedicate their time into shaping all of the students into successful young adults.
Q: What high school memory/memories stand out that you would like to share?
A: Some of my favorite high school memories were formed during sports because I met some of my best friends through basketball, volleyball and softball. It was very exciting to play in the state championship my sophomore year for softball. Another one of my favorite memories was breaking 1,000 assists for volleyball. I also loved going to nationals for FCCLA. We went to San Diego and visited the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and the beach where I was stung by a stingray. In spite of the sting, the trip was a great experience. Finally, I had so much fun going on our senior trip to Disneyland because I was able to enjoy the experience with several members of my class.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I will be attending the University of Arizona in the fall to pursue a degree in nursing. I have plans to become licensed as a nurse practitioner in the future.
Q: What advice or words of wisdom do you have for upcoming graduates?
A: Some advice I have for upcoming graduates is to live in the moment and cherish every single second of high school. Don’t let others hold you back and follow your dreams.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add about your high school journey?
A: I am so grateful to have graduated from Benson High School and for the opportunity to experience the school’s Tradition of Excellence. I would not have gotten here without the support from my mom, so I would like to give a big shout out to her.