My nephew, Tymoteusz, has always been a hard worker with lofty goals, which has resulted in many achievements both academically and personally.  Tymek (his nickname) is graduating from Hermiston High School in June, and Wednesday night was the Evening of Excellence where outstanding Seniors are recognized for their achievements.

Tymek was born in Poland, and I didn’t get to meet him until he was seven months old when I visited my sister, Sebastian, and Tymek with my parents and my grandma, Virginia.  I remember the first time I saw him, he had a spunky personality, engaging smile, and the same gorgeous blue eyes as my daughter, Emma, and their great grandpa Frank.  Even then he was enthusiastic and inquisitive, wanting to learn everything he could.


His love of learning and drive hasn’t changed one bit throughout his school career. Tymek’s hard work has culminated in is acceptance into nearly every college he applied to (including some with a less than 10% acceptance rate).  At the Evening of Excellence, Tymek received multiple accolades and recognitions, and I will talk about each of them.

Tymek was honored as a member of the HHS Circle of Excellence, which demonstrates “the highest levels of personal, scholastic, and civil excellence”.  Students are nominated by teachers at Hermiston High School.  After the selection process of the entire group of Circle of Excellence students, ONE student is then selected to be the recognized as the “Outstanding Circle of Excellence Student” and recipient of a $1,200 scholarship sponsored by the Hermiston Kiwanis. He will be wearing a medal at graduation indicating his achievement.


Hermiston High School is big enough that they are able to offer Programs of Study that are specific collections of classes organized to help students focus on a future career interest.  Tymek completed two programs of study:  Arts, Information, & Communications in Instrumental Music; and Business & Management in Finance.  For each Program, he received a special stole to wear at graduation – gray for Business and red for Arts.


Beyond completing the Hermiston High School Diploma, Tymek completed additional requirements to earn the Oregon High School Honors Diploma.  In order to do this, he had to take 3 extra credits and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.  Twelve of his total credits had to be Advanced Placement or Honors courses.


Finally, out of approximately 1300 Seniors in the Hermiston High School Class of 2015, Tymek was selected as the class Valedictorian.  I can’t even imagine how hard he has worked to reach this goal and achievement, but I am so very proud of him!


I do want to add that Tymek is not just a scholar.  He is involved in multiple outside activities and clubs, and he is very involved at home helping with his younger siblings.  He even keeps a drawing from each of them in the front (empty in the above picture) pocket of his pocket protector.  And yes, folks, he does wear it – every day!

All seriousness aside, though, he is still the goofy, gregarious blue-eyed kid I met nearly 18 years ago, and I am still as smitten as I was then.  I am a lucky aunt.  This final picture is one of my favorites from his senior pictures.  It’s just him.