McKay High School Youth Appreciation!

The Optimist Club of Salem met with students, faculty, and guests from McKay High School on March 16th to present Youth Appreciation Awards to several McKay High School Seniors.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Salem Keizer Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) and got to meet four outstanding students.

Below are synopses of each student.

Alexa Flor Esquivel

Exceptional Community Service

Alexa is a senior and Student Body President at McKay High School. Her involvement in student government, volunteering for everything McKay and ability to mobilize others to perform community service makes her a shining example of what it means to be a good leader and most importantly, a good human being.  Alexa’s dedication to serving others is truly inspiring and a testament to her character and commitment to making the world a better place.  As a club we are pleased to be able to recognize Alexa for her contributions to McKay and her community.


Alexa plans to attend Portland State University and major in Interior Design.

Alexander Sanchez

Achievement in Mathematics and Language Arts

Alexander is a Senior at McKay who is being recognized for his unique ability to have a passion for and the ability to excel in a wide variety of subjects.  Whether it is honors courses in Math, Band or Science or his work in Creative Writing, Foreign Languages, Literature and History, Alexander has demonstrated exceptional talent and skill in whatever field he has chosen to study.  However, music is the one area that would appear to have won his heart.  Alexander is currently McKay’s Band Drum Major and plays the French Horn.  He is credited with helping to build a better band program at McKay.  Our club is honored to present Alexander this award in recognition of all that he has accomplished.


Alexander plans to attend the University of Oregon with the goal of going into teaching as a Band Director.

Ashley Monroe

Balancing School Activities and Academics

Ashley is a senior at McKay High School who is the Assistant Drum Major with the band, plays the Flute and Sax, plays tennis and participates in drone & robotics at the Career Technical Educational Center (CTEC).  Ashley is being recognized for her determination, resilience and perseverance that has shown that anything is possible with hard work and a positive attitude.  These characteristics have made it possible for Ashley to handle the most difficult courses offered at McKay while at the same time participating in a range of extracurricular activities.  In recognition of all she has accomplished, our club is pleased to present Ashley this well-deserved award.


Ashley plans to attend Oregon State University and major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Yuliana Ramirez Ascencio

Outstanding Achievement in Academics

It has only been one year since Yuliana moved from Oaxaca, Mexico to begin attending McKay High School. Through a combination of dedication, hard work, and a willingness to overcome obstacles, Yuliana is now at the top of her class academically.  Everyone at McKay is proud of all that Yuliana has accomplished and our club is honored to present this award to her in recognition of her persistence, determination, and commitment to her education.


Yuliana plans to attend Chemeketa and then continue her education at George Fox University majoring in Electrical Engineering.

Award Photo